American Survival Guide - - BASE CAMP BASICS -

Your base camp must have food, water, shel­ter, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, the abil­ity to cook and boil water, and pro­vi­sions for proper san­i­ta­tion. FOOD: Food is any long-term storable prod­uct you can get your hands on and that your group will eat. In­clude a se­lec­tion of grains, ce­real, canned foods (fruit, veg­eta­bles, meat and fish), freeze-dried meals (such as those made by Honeyville, Moun­tain House, The New Pri­mal and Pa­leo Meals to Go). Be pre­pared to hunt, fish, grow and for­age to sup­ple­ment your sup­plies. WATER: You can never have enough water. Con­ser­va­tively, you’ll need at least 1 gal­lon of water per per­son per day—just for con­sump­tion. Body size, weather, ex­er­tion lev­els, cook­ing and clean­ing food, hy­giene, san­i­ta­tion and other needs might push that up to 3 or 4 gal­lons per per­son per day. Keep an am­ple sup­ply—per­haps 30 days’ worth—of bot­tled water on hand at all times. Fill water-safe con­tain­ers in man­age­able and large-ca­pac­ity sizes; ro­tate their us­age to en­sure pota­bil­ity. Un­treated raw water needs to be fil­tered, so have high-vol­ume fil­tra­tion sys­tems on hand. SHEL­TER: Shel­ter can be as sim­ple as tarps or as sub­stan­tial as a mil­i­tary-style can­vas tent, a cave or even a build­ing. What­ever it is, it needs to be suit­able for keep­ing your peo­ple and sup­plies out of the el­e­ments and safe from theft. COM­MU­NI­CA­TIONS: You must have some form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion to keep in touch with the mem­bers of your party and the out­side world. Cell phones are good if the sys­tem is work­ing, but you should also con­sider FRS, GMRS, ham or other types of ra­dios. A va­ri­ety of lower-tech signal de­vices, such as whis­tles, mir­rors, flares, flash­lights and sim­i­lar tools, can also be help­ful for short-range comms. COOK­ING: Cook­ing will need to be done sep­a­rately from the liv­ing area. Por­ta­ble propane stoves are great—as long as you have stocked up on fuel. Bio-fuel stoves are also good stand­bys. I keep the Camp Chef Ever­est gas stove and the Solo Stove bio-fuel stove with my emer­gency sup­plies. Both are light and easy to use. You’ll need cook­ware and uten­sils. A Lodge cast-iron Dutch oven is the one ex­tra pot I would have with me; it’s ver­sa­tile and is a way to cook with­out re­quir­ing con­stant at­ten­tion. SAN­I­TA­TION: For proper san­i­ta­tion, you’ll prob­a­bly need to dig a la­trine, so you’ll need a good shovel or two. Just make sure you lo­cate it away from base camp and well away from any water source. MED­I­CAL: Med­i­cal sup­plies should com­prise much more than a sim­ple first aid kit. You should be equipped to handle ev­ery­thing from splin­ters to gun­shot wounds, and at least two peo­ple should know how to use each of the com­po­nents. Make sure you have plenty to ac­com­mo­date the size of your group, along with any spe­cific con­cerns for your area, such as snakebite kits. I carry all my ex­tra sup­plies in a 5.11 ALS back­pack, which stays in base camp. You should also have por­ta­ble kits that can be car­ried when hunt­ing or oth­er­wise ven­tur­ing away from camp.

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