S1E69 - Margaret on Go Bags Part I
On this week's Live Like the World is Dying, Margaret and Inmn talk about what goes in a go bag, or bug out bag as they are sometimes called, and how being oogles might have set them up for being preppers. They talk about the different purposes one might make a go bag for, the different smaller kits that make them up, as well as other kits that are helpful to build alongside go bags. Tune in next week for part two.
Margaret can be found on twitter @magpiekilljoy or instagram at @margaretkilljoy. Inmn can be found on Instagram @shadowtail.artificery.
This show is published by Strangers in A Tangled Wilderness. We can be found at www.tangledwilderness.org, or on Twitter @TangledWild and Instagram @Tangled_Wilderness. You can support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness.
LLWD: Margaret and Inmn on Go Bags
Inmn 00:15 Hello, and welcome to Live Like the World is Dying, your podcast for what feels like the end times. I am your co-host today, Inmn Neruin, and I use they/them pronouns. I'm obviously a new host, and today I have with me Margaret Killjoy who is, you know, the normal host, and we're gonna do some fun role reversal here. Instead of me teaching Margaret something about prepping, because I don't really know much about prepping--well, I mean, you know, I know generally about prepping, but a lot of the specifics I'm newer to, a lot of the technical stuff I'm newer to. Strong ideology. Low tech. But, Margaret is going to teach me about how to put together something that has daunted me a lot, but that I understand the importance of, and that is go bags. This podcast is also a proud member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchists podcasts and before Margaret talks to me about go bags, we're going to hear a jingle from another lovely show on that network. Doo doo doo doo, doo.
Inmn 02:35 Okay, we're back. Margaret, could you introduce yourself on your own podcast that you started,you know, with your name and your pronouns and just a little bit about what you're here to teach me about today?
Margaret 02:50 Yeah, my name is Margaret Killjoy. I use she or they pronouns. You might know me from such podcast as Live Like the World is Dying. But, maybe this is your first episode. In which case, welcome. We have many hosts now on Live Like the World is Dying, which is very exciting. So, I'm going to be talking today about go bags, sometimes called bug out bags, or as I first heard them called, oh shit gear or OSG. No one really calls it that anymore. But some of the first anarchist preppers I ever met like 20 years ago called it OSG. And my background for this is that well, I'm sort of a prepper. I also have lived off-grid more years as an adult than I've lived on-grid. I do currently live on-grid. Before this, I lived in a cabin. Before that I lived in a barn. Before that I lived in a van. Before that I lived in a minivan. Before that I lived out of a backpack. And so I do feel like I have a fairly strong basis in what you need in a backpack to live out of because I did that for about 10 years. But it is a different context, right? And we're going to talk a lot about that today, the context of being traveling crust punk versus having to go bag and all the other different contexts. Yeah, that's my background.
Inmn 04:11 Wonderful, and we're also trying to connect it, I believe to this lovely new book that you just put out through our publishing collective Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness and the importance of go bags, you know, not only in our completely real tangible lives and these very fictionalized versions of our lives like Mankiller Jones', to which there are absolutely no similarities. There are no similar threat models. Nothing. Nothing like that.
Margaret 04:48 Yeah, for anyone listening, I my most recent book is called "Escape from Incel Island" and the protagonist is a nonbinary afab person, named Mankiller Jones, who's trapped on an island full of incels--thus the name--and needs to escape using their wits and the help of friends.
Inmn 05:09 And their go bag?
Margaret 05:11 Yeah, although okay, I'm actually going to argue that there is a difference between a go bag--I'm going to talk about some different types of bag systems you might have for living out of, right. So there's the go bag, and I'll get to that last I would argue that most...a soldier or mercenary or someone in a tactical situation, the primary objective of their thing is combat or evasion or, you know, something in a very militaristic setting. Usually, that might be called a rucksack. And it might be called like rucking. And you're going to have a very different load out of gear for, you know, your tactical situation. You're going to use probably a different type of bag. You're going to use it a lot of different stuff. So, that's like one context. It is a context to consider in these United States of America that are considering a national divorce, and there's a lot of people who want to murder all the trans people and you know, people color and all that shit. So, it is worth considering that and we'll talk a little bit about that. Okay, some of the other contexts that are not go bags, but are in form all of this, you have backpacking bags, right? And within that, basically like, I'm going to go and camp for a couple nights and hike, right? A backpacking bag is designed for two things. It's for hiking, and for camping. And within that you've traditional backpacking, and you have ultralight backpacking. Traditional backpacking, you're going to be carrying like 20 to 50 pounds of stuff. Whereas like rucking, you might be carrying 30 to 80 pounds of stuff, you know. And then there's ultralight backpacking, which is defined as less than 10 pounds before you add like food and water and shit to your bag. And that is like to make the hiking easier, right? But those have a specific purpose and it is not bugging out. It is not going. It is backpacking, right? And then you would have something called a bushcraft pack and I'm making that term up. And this is closer to the tactical bag because it is going to be very heavy, probably, and a lot larger. And bushcraft would be like "I'm going out into the woods to go live in the woods," right? If you need to build shelters, you're going to need different equipment, right. For example, in ultralight backpacking certainly and most traditional backpacking, you're not bringing a saw or an ax. However, if your goal is to survive in the woods for an indefinite period of time, a saw and an ax. are very important tools to have available. Okay, so those are, I'm gonna-go-spend-a-lot-of-time-in-the-woods bags--or desert or whatever. And then you have a go bag. And it's really easy to kind of conflate these things. But they really are a very different purpose. I would argue that your primary goal with a go bag--this is the bag that is in the closet by the door, or is by the door, or lives in your vehicle, or is packed and ready to go at all times in case an emergency takes you out your door for an unknown length of time, or even unknown length of time. And so this is the one bag you grab when your house is on fire. This is a bag that you grab, or you already have in your car, in case you need to spend your night in the car. Like, you know, it's these...people tend to think of go bags as like 'the world has ended' bags, and that's not...the world is always ending and it ends and fits and starts, right? And so it's for disasters. It's for crises. If you need to spend a night in the car, you're going to be very glad that you have a toothbrush and toothpaste, you're gonna be very glad that you have your medications, you're going to be very glad that you have your Nintendo Switch. And, if you suddenly have to flee the country, which frankly a lot of us have to think about as a possibility. It's not in an inevitability and it's not crazy likely that all LGBTQIA+ folks will have to flee the country or whatever. But, it's something that's on a lot of our minds, right? And so, in which case that bag is going to need your passport, it's going to need the rabies identification for your dog, you know, the vaccine identification for your dog. It's going to need a lot of really specific stuff that if you have to run out your door right now this is the bag you would pack and you just keep it already packed. But, most of the time your go bag is sometimes in your car, if you go to your friend's house for a surprise weekend because, you know, there's a hurricane coming, or the boil advisory for your town keeps getting deeper and deeper and you're starting to get really distrustful, or a train derails and there's toxic chemicals in the air, or your ex is in town and he's scary, right? You know, it's just the like...or wildfires sweeping through and there's an evacuation call, right? That is what a go bag is. There might be camping stuff in it, depending on your situation, how much you feel like carrying, how you expect to carry it. If it's gonna mostly live in your car, have some fucking camping stuff. Or, if like me, you live in a fairly isolated place, you know, you live rurally, like, if I needed to get out on foot I would need to have camping stuff with me because I am more than a day's walk from the nearest place that might be safe. Right? So yeah, that's the basic concept of a go bag.
Inmn 10:55 Just to parrot some information back to you so that I wrap my head around it, so there's there's a few different kinds of bags. We have go bags, we have rucking bags, we have backpacking bags, we have bushcraft bags. And are go bags...
Margaret 11:20 I'm making some of those terms up, but...
Inmn 11:22 Yes. And then are go bags and bug out bags the same thing?
Margaret 11:29 Yeah, it's just a...If you're avoiding the sort of prepper terminology, which is understandable, you call it a go bag instead of a bug out bag so you don't sound as crazy.
Inmn 11:40 I see. I see. And you know, everyone can understand the need to go, but bugging out can feel a little different. And so within a go bag, the idea is that you want anything that you will kind of like immediately need if you have to leave for whatever circumstance?
Margaret 12:05 Yeah, it's a combination of things. That is one of the things, is stuff that you would immediately need. It's like your overnight bag. It's your toiletries bag. All that kind of stuff is going to be more important than most of the other like survival gizmos or whatever, right? You know, your camping folding shovel is gonna be a lot less likely to be useful than dental floss, right?
Inmn 12:29 But it's cool.
Margaret 12:31 Oh, yeah, no, I have folding camping shovel in my truck. And I ponder putting it in my actual bag, but I probably won't. And so okay. Should I talk about the types of bags, like what kind of bag you want?
Inmn 12:48 Yeah, okay. And we're talking about go bags here or just any bag?
Margaret 12:56 I'm going to talk about mostly go bags. I'm going to focus what I'm talking about on go bags and I'll kind of like dip into...Because your go bag--if a civil war starts, which it probably won't, but 'probably' has a lot more modifiers than it did 10 years ago--and then your your bug out bag, your go bag, is going to have a lot in common with a tactical bag, you know a rucksack, whatever. I think rucksack is literally just like what military people call their backpack in order to sound cool, but I'm not actually entirely certain about that. Don't @ me, or if you do, @ me at my Twitter handle, @IwriteOK Okay [Robert Evans.] And so, you know, and if you're planning to hike to a different country, right, or a different state then it might have a lot in common with a backpacking bag. And, if you're planning on laying low in the desert or the Canadian wilderness, I don't know, then you're gonna have a lot of bushcraft stuff in there too, right? But overall, the sort of core of it is a go bag. And it really...you know, there's kind of like one bag that you keep around at any given time generally, but you might change it based on how circumstances are changing, and where you live, and what your threats are, right? Like, if the most likely thing is run out of the house because wildfire and throw it in your car, one, you might just leave it in your car. And two, you might be able to afford more weight, right? But if you're most likely thing is set out on foot or your most likely thing is spend a weekend away, you know, or if...I guess what I'm saying is it can look a lot different ways. And so you will have different options. I mean, it could be anything, right? You can have a shopping bag as you go bag. I don't recommend this. You could have, you know, my personal current go bag, I'm probably going to change this, but it has been my go bag for a number of years. My personal go bag is a style of bag that usually gets called a three-day assault pack. It is a tactical backpack that lacks an internal frame. It can hold-- it kind of sucks. It can hold a lot of weight, but it doesn't distribute that weight incredibly well across a body. It is not a backpacking bag. It is a soldier's bag. And one of the reasons I like it is because unlike a backpacking bag with like a big internal frame or an external frame, but those are really rare these days, it doesn't take up as much like space, you know? An internal bag, like an internal frame pack is very unwieldy. And you don't...it's hard to put in your lap if you're in a car. I've done this as a hitchhiker many, many times, you know. And so, I've moved away from those and I've been using what's more of a day pack size bag. And I personally went for a tactical style one because I'm a nerd. One of the reasons to not consider a tactical bag...I like things that are all black basically is what it and day bags tend to be really brightly colored if they're hiking bags. And, one reason to not consider a tactical backpack is people argue that it makes you more of a target, it makes you look more like a prepper, it makes you look more like a soldier, it makes you look more tactical and therefore more of a risk. And this is the sort of gray man theory that's very big in tactical spaces, which is an attempt to look not like a tactical bro. Ironically, most people who try and do this still look like tactical bros because they're like wearing gray man tactical pants that still say 511 on them or whatever, which is a brand of tactical gear, that I totally wear. And the reason I can wear it, is that I look fucking weird no matter what. I'm not going undercover anywhere. I have a giant nose ring. My hair is long. I have bangs and might be wearing women's clothes. You know, I'm not hiding, right? And I also not going to look like I'm enrolled in the United States Army or whatever. Right? So yeah, a tactical bag for me has no downsides from this point of view because it's just like whatever, I'm a punk. I look like a punk. And tactical bags will have something called molle all over it, which is that webbing straps, which allows you to attach other bags and things to it. And it makes it modular. And this is a little bit, like most of the time you're not really going to bother modularing out your thing. But, sometimes it's nice. You know, mine currently has a little bonus modular water bottle holder and my bushcraft knife that is part of my bag but wouldn't be part of a normal person's bag, is strapped to the outside with molle, which makes me look tough.
Inmn 17:38 See, I would get the impulse to...I love modular things. So, I'm like, okay, wait, so yeah, it's...In your in your different...So you want to plan your go bag based on your, I guess your threat model, or your risk assessment, and your environment it seems like? And so could you have your base go bag and then like a little additions? Like, well, there's the go bag, but here's the piece that you attach to it that makes it a better camping bag or something? The this is the it when shitty ex comes to town and this is it when it's wildfire, and they're like easy to combine? Is that? Is that a thing?
Margaret 18:26 Yeah, yes and no. Molle is not the system by which you do that. Molle is a very secure attachment system and it's a pain in the ass to attach. You're basically like weaving webbing through webbing. And there's different systems people have to make it fast. And if you really practice it'll get faster. But, it's not like grab and go type of thing. However, what you're describing makes a lot of sense. And it's the reason for example--I don't keep a gas mask in my go bag. I do keep a gas mask in a bag next to my go bag. Right? So if my threat on my way out the door is Russia nukes DC--again, very unlikely but a lot more likely than it was 10 years ago. You know, I'm not in the immediate blast zone of that, but I'm in the trouble area, right? And so like, you know, the gas mask is there. And it would be the same like if wildfires are threat, right, you would want your gas mask or at least a good respirator immediately next to it as well. And actually, if you live in wildfire zone, you probably have the respirator in your pack. Or it's outside your bag because you need to put it on as soon as you fucking need it. But, and so the other way that people modular it is that people modular the inside using different like--usually they're called packing cubes--and you can get different packing cubes that--like if they're like more tactical, they'll be made out of thick nylon and they'll have molle on them even though there's literally no purpose for them to molle on them. Or if you're an ultralight backpacker, they'll be made out of this parachute cloth that weighs nothing but will eventually rip. Because that's the thing with ultralight backpacking is it's incredibly light, and it's effective, but the equipment isn't as durable, right? Or, if you're like a different type of backpacker, they might all be dry bags so everything stays, you know, dry and separate. But basically...or if you're like a tour...you know, if you travel by suitcase, you'll also use packing cubes. And it's like, "Oh, this one's all my socks," or whatever. But it could also be, "Oh, this one's all my like magazines," not for reading but for reloading ammunition. You know, it could be the folding nine millimeter carbine, or whatever, that you throw into it, you know? And so you can modular it out. But molle is not quite the way to do it.
Inmn 20:58 I see. I see.
Margaret 21:01 Oh, we didn't get those other types of bags.
Inmn 21:03 Oh, yeah, What kinds of bags are there, Margaret?
Margaret 21:06 Okay, so, you've got the tactical bags, right, you've got the backpacking bags, the internal frame bags, which if you're going to be walking a lot, is probably what you want. And these are also available...you can kind of like look at things as either tactical, or there's a word for it I can't remember....hiking? But it has some word...technical! Technical versus tactical. Technical is like outdoorsy stuff that isn't made for people who shoot people for a living and it's gonna be brightly colored and it's high performance stuff with all the bells and whistles. But, it's not going to be camo, right? You know, versus, you can get a hiking bag that's all camo and it's gonna be aimed at military or whatever, right? And if you're hiking through the woods a lot, you might want the camo one. You might specifically not want the camo one because if you're hiking through the woods because like your car broke down you don't fucking camo. You want blaze orange so people can see you and rescue you. But, if you're like crossing a militia checkpoint to leave a red state you're gonna want camouflage. Um, yeah, anyway. And so then you could also have...some go bags are literally just small duffel bags, right, that are designed not really to be carried on your back and they're just meant to be thrown in a trunk. And like, and that's actually a very useful form factor for a lot of stuff. And, it might be that your extra bag is that. And then also, you can be really low key about it and just have a regular--not a day bag like a hiking day bag but just a regular day backpack is an incredibly good bug out bag for many people, especially people in urban environments where resources are going to be easier to come by. You're not necessarily gonna be camping. You don't need to carry as much stuff because you will be able to blend in with this kind of bag much more effectively. It'll still carry what you need. I like bags. My basement is full of backpacks that I've collected over the years.
Inmn 23:01 You know, I really like bags as well. I don't have a lot of stuff to put in the bags, but I have a little collection of bags. Which, I feel like sort of hearkens back to...I used to be a lot more of a oogle and...
Margaret 23:20 Yeah.
Inmn 23:22 yeah. And I had a little...
Margaret 23:24 It's good training.
Inmn 23:27 Okay, so I didn't think that I was going to have much to actually contribute to this, but like now that we're talking about it. I'm like, "Wait, were like train oogles preppers?"
Margaret 23:39 Yeah, because you need everything because you can't rely on anything showing up.
Inmn 23:44 Yeah, yeah.
Margaret 23:45 It's why when everyone's like, "You need a tent." I'm like, "Do you?" Like I never traveled with a tent. I don't know. If it's not really cold I just fucking wrapped myself in a shitty tarp and hope the rain left me alone.
Inmn 23:59 Well, the...
Margaret 24:00 Tents are useful in some situations. Go ahead.
Inmn 24:04 The thing now is...God, what are they called?
Margaret 24:09 Bivvies?
Inmn 24:10 Yeah, bivvies. I was gonna call it a ghillie sack. And I was like, that's something else.
Margaret 24:15 No, I like bivvies. A lot of people don't like bivvies.
Inmn 24:19 Yeah, I feel like bivvies are pretty pretty popular in that world right now. And yeah, I used to be obsessed with finding the perfect bag for that kind of stuff. And it was hard because you know, the camping stuff is brightly colored. It's a little too..it's not the most durable. Like it's made for hiking. It's not made for like, throwing it off a building, you know?
Margaret 24:47 Yeah, totally.
Inmn 24:50 And...but then, like, you know, the army stuff is a little terrible in another direction. It's not comfortable. Maybe it is now.
Margaret 25:03 No, overall, it airs on the side of durability and not comfort because it's like it's being put on a disposable human. You know, they don't care that whoever carries 100 pounds this long is going to destroy their knees because they're expecting somebody to shoot you.
Inmn 25:19 [Makes an 'Ooph' sound. Sighing.] Yeah. I always hoped that eventually it would emerge that there was some, you know, like train riding bag maker that would just make the perfect bag.
Margaret 25:43 Yeah.
Inmn 25:44 If you're out there, please, please email us. Email me.
Margaret 25:49 Well, and what's so funny, right, is even among oogles you have a difference between hitchhikers and train hoppers in terms of the size of bag they need. You know, like,when I first started and I was attempting to hop trains--I was never good at it--and I carried an internal frame pack. And then for a long time I moved down to, it was an old skateboarding backpack. Not because I recommend skateboarding backpacks, it was just literally my backpack from high school, you know, and I just carabinered my sleeping bag underneath. And then when I got to where I was staying I would take off the sleeping bag and then have a regular day pack. You know, it's like, because you need so much less as a hitchhiker because you don't need to cook.
Inmn 26:30 Yeah, yeah, I went from like one of those big 70 liter hiking packs to a like bike bag, not like the Chrome side strap ones but those like the made out of...
Margaret 26:46 Foldy top?
Inmn 26:47 Yeah, the fold the top. But you know, they were durable, and waterproof, and fairly spacious but no frame, absolute murder on your back if you carry too much.
Margaret 27:01 But, that would be an amazing go bag for most situations because it's waterproof. It's durable. It fits in your lap when you're sitting. Ut doesn't have straps going everywhere. Yeah, like for a lot of people that style a bag is fucking perfect. You know?
Inmn 27:16 Yeah, and for folks who don't know what we're talking about they're these like bicycle bags. They're made out of like, vinyl or PVC. And then they're covered with really high strength, like durable like cordura. And, they're made to be on someone who's biking so they're comfortable. But walking is not always the same as biking.
Margaret 27:41 Yeah, totally. Well, and it's like, and so because most go bags you're probably taking public transit or you're taking vehicles, you know, you're...like most things...It's worth having something you can walk with, right? Like I wouldn't recommend your go bag be 150 pound pickle bag, you know, a duffel bag. But like, you know, should we talk about what goes in it?
Inmn 28:05 Yeah, what? Margaret? Margaret, what should I put in my collection of bags that could be go bags? Because, I don't have a go bag and I feel really embarrassed about that.
Margaret 28:17 I know I can't believe you don't have a go bag. There was that--I don't want to out where you live--there was a toxic thing near where you lived at one point. So okay, I would argue that a preparedness base...you can sort of build up to the bag and what's in the bag, but if you don't do these things before it, you put all of this in the bag, and that's fine too. First, there's your kind of everyday carry, right? If you tend to wear clothes that don't have as many pockets you can do this with a fanny pack. This is one of the things that's so great about being a queer prepper is I don't have to...Like, men will do anything to avoid having to wear a fanny pack. There's these like chest packs that are fucking, have a harness across the back. They're so He-Man. They're so gay. I love them.
Inmn 29:05 Yeah, I've seen those.
Margaret 29:07 And it's like just wear god damn fanny pack. And then like, one of the best off body carries for a subcompact handgun are like fanny pack specifically designed for drawing from. But, they don't do all that well because men are afraid to wear fanny packs. It's hilarious. But anyway, you can put all this in your pockets. You can put all this in a fanny pack. You can put all this in your punk vest. Whatever. The basis of a lot of it is wearing somewhat durable clothing and practical clothing as much as you can. I'm someone who wears maxi skirts. I swear you can go hiking in them. Sometimes you have to hike them up. Whatever some of the stuff....
Inmn 29:45 You can. I can attest.
Margaret 29:47 Yeah. No, it's funny. One time, I was like working outside and the mail carrier was coming up and I was like, "I really don't want to deal with being a crossdresser right now." so I just like hiked up my fucking maxi skirt and I was like wearing tights underneath. And I'm like, "Now I'm just a weirdo in tights." Like this is better somehow. So, things to consider carrying on your person. And this to me, this goes back to my oogle days. The first and single most important prepper tool is your cell phone. And there's stuff--we could do a whole separate episode about stuff to put on your cell phone. Offline maps. That's a big one. Various tools that help you do things. And so, cell phone number one. Other things, a Bic later. Some people wrap it in duct tape because the duct tape can be used as a fire starter. A multitool. Like I use a pliers style multitool. If you're older than a millennial, you'll prefer a Swiss army knife. A pocket knife, a folding pocket knife. This isn't as important because you got your multitool, but I've always sworn by having a pocket clip knife on me. It's useful for cutting all kinds of things. That's not even a euphemism. And, a flashlight. And, the reason I like a flashlight, a tactical style flashlight that is in my pocket at all times or in my fanny pack is because you can use it to see shit. I also like headlamps and I'm gonna talk about headlamps in a little bit. But, a flashlight is an incredibly important self defense tool. Specifically--it's funny because the tactical flashlights people are like "So you can hit people with them." And you're like, "No, it's so that you can shine it in their face." And they're like, "Yeah, with the strobe function," and you're like, "No, because the strobe function disorients you and the other person." No, if someone shines a really bright light in your face all of a sudden, you are disoriented. And so the number one self defense tool-- other people are you pepper spray too and that's great, and I just don't have as much practice with pepper spray personally And but pepper spray would also be in this sort of category--but the flashlight lets you see things and it lets you fucking blind people and run away. Which, is the secret to surviving fights is to not get in fights. And one of the ways to do that is to disorient or disable your attacker and then run away. Okay, so that's everyday carry. And then you might want to consider other self defense tools like pepper spray. A bandanna is an incredibly useful survival thing. Oogles. I learned this from oogle life. You can use it as a dust mask, you can use it to prefilter water. You can use it to wipe sweat. You can use it as a napkin. You can, like a little...hikers use something called a buff and it's just a...hikers... They just don't want to oogles so they use a buff instead.
Inmn 32:30 They just don't want to call it a bandanna or a?
Margaret 32:33 Yeah, totally, I mean, it's a slightly different thing. And it actually is a little bit better suited for hiking because you can use it as a headband and stuff. And like if I was like more of a hiker...like a year from now, because I'm getting into hiking, I'm gonna be like, "Nah, you just need a buff, like no matter what," you know, but I like don't own one currently. Another thing to consider as part of your everyday carry, depending on your threat model, depending on where you live, is a handgun with a holster and a spare magazine. And if you carry the capacity to do deadly force, you should also carry a tourniquet at the very least. If you don't carry a full IFAK, an individual first-aid kit meant for gunshot wounds, carry at least a tourniquet. And honestly, if you're in a situation where gun threats are a thing, I would carry a tourniquet before I carry a gun. It is a lot safer legally. It's a lot easier. And like my goal is on any given day is to not die. And the ability to stop bleeding is often more effective than the ability to put holes in other people. So, that's everyday carry and if you don't have this on your person, you're gonna want it in your go bag. A lot of these I replicate in my go bag. Okay, the next thing, and the most important thing from my point of view is what--and this is like kind of like the Margaret school is a little different than other people's school of thought around this--is that more important than a go bag is an emergency kit. I make and distribute these emergency kits. All my friends who visit me they leave with an emergency kit. I get a...actually, I get a tactical medical pouch. It's a five by seven, six by nine? I don't know. And it actually has molle on it so you can attach it to a backpack. So, if your go bag is full you can put it on your backpack. And the emergency kit is everything that is like small and light and useful. And this turns any bag you're carrying into a go bag. And it is small and light and if you make them in bulk it costs you 50-60 bucks worth of stuff if you put like everything in it. And I'm gonna talk about what's in it.
Inmn 34:42 Yeah, what's in it?
Margaret 34:43 In my emergency kit, it is three different things. It is a hygiene kit. It is a first aid kit and it is a survival kit. For hygiene, I carry a folding toothbrush and travel toothpaste. If you're an ultralight hiker, you're gonna have toothpaste tablets, I'm going to look into those but for now just fucking use toothpaste. Whatever. Dental Floss, which doubles as sewing thread, a compressed towel...
Inmn 35:07 Another oogle lesson.
Margaret 35:08 Oh yeah, totally. And this is what I wish I learned as an oogle is a compressed towel. There are these like little tiny tablets that if you put them in water they turn into washcloths? Yeah, they weigh nothing. They will...I carry tampons in a hygiene kit. This is not for plugging gunshot wounds. Do not use tampons to try and stop bleeding because they don't stop bleeding. They don't apply pressure. They absorb some blood. The amount of difference between the amount of blood someone having a menstrual cycle produces versus the amount of blood or gunshot wound produces....This is not what they're good for. Primarily I carry these to give to people, if we're in an emergency situation, who wish they had a tampon with them. They have some other purposes by pulling out the cotton and using it as fire starter., etc. But, I carry earplugs, just the foam cheap ones, unless I have my nice ones with me. Sometimes they're in my bag too. The ones that are like for concerts and shit. But, earplugs are for if you are shooting, if you're using heavy equipment, if you're trying to sleep in a rescue center, if you have ear damage anyway and you sometimes...Like earplugs are incredibly useful and they're light and cheap. Lip balm. I carry lip balm. I don't use lip balm in my day to day life. However, avoiding sunburn is like one of these super important things, and then also lip balm, some of it, can like double again as fire starter. stuff. Put it on cotton. Things like that. I carry condoms in case I have sex with somebody and then--or other people are trying to and don't want to get sick or you don't want to like deal with pregnancy or whatever, you know. There's like other uses for condoms. People are like, "Oh, you can use them to like store water," and stuff, but a lot of the survival uses of condoms are a little bit like people just trying to come up with uses for shit. And then also, you have to use unlubricated condoms for a lot of these purposes. However unlubricated condoms have are less effective at their primary task. I carry lube packets. Again, anything small, light, cheap, and useful is fucking great. I carry nail clippers. I carry hair ties. And, I carry soap strips. And this is a little bit like...I carry it but whatever. They're like little dissolvable papers with soap in it. That's the hygiene part of it for me. You might have a different one. I actually am kind of looking into figuring out how I'm going to put razors into here. For shaving. Usually, I just kind of have my electric razor on me, but I feel like if I'm backpacking, or whatever, it might be hard to...It's a little bit bulky. For first aid...Am I missing anything for hygiene?
Inmn 37:47 Not that I can think of. I'm also....Okay, so I said that I didn't have a go bag. And literally besides the emergency kit, I have a go bag on me at all times. I was like oh yeah, I mean, I'm an ex oogle. I have a giant fanny pack with a with multiple forms of self defense and like multitools and...
Margaret 38:17 That's what people forget, is they think of a go bag as this utterly separate thing but it's like...Like purse snacks is prepping. You know, like, again, men are really weird and like, if you go to a random...if you're out at a bar, the most prepared people in there are the women. They have so much stuff in their purse that is so useful. You know, the men might have guns--well, maybe they're smart and they're at a bar (you shouldn't combine alcohol and firearms) but whatever. But like, you know, what's more likely than shooting someone is getting hungry. You know? Like,
Inmn 38:52 Oh, yeah, yeah.
Margaret 38:54 Alright.
Inmn 38:56 But what's in a first aid portion?
Margaret 39:00 In the first aid portion, these are the ones I make, right. You can make your own depending on anything, right? I carry emergency packets because they make water tastes good and might theoretically be good for you. I carry alcohol wipes. These are sort of contentious. Well, they're not contentious for sterilizing things. If you need to lance a blister, you need to suddenly sew yourself back together or whatever, you're going to be glad you have alcohol wipes. Within the first day community, there's a lot of arguments about using first aid to sterilize wounds. Alcohol, slows down healing of wounds. It also sterilizes them. And so people have different opinions about the trade off of that. I carry superglue. Go ahead.
Inmn 39:42 Oh, yeah. Well, you can you can also use them for their intended purpose, which is preparing the skin for things like maybe you have some kind of injection that you need to do. Maybe you need to do sutures like you can use the prep pads for their purpose.
Margaret 40:00 Yeah, no totally.
Inmn 40:01 Cleaning off the skin.
Margaret 40:02 Yeah. And then also cleans a lot of other stuff. Like, having alcohol swabs around is just fucking useful. Anything that's light and cheap, especially if it has multiple purposes, just fucking carry it. There's like no reason not to have them. They weigh nothing. I carry a little thing of superglue. I am not currently of the superglueing your skin back together thing, but a lot of like old woodworkers and stuff will use it as like, kind of instead of a band aid, you know. They'll like close their wounds with superglue. There's like some bonus upsides and downsides to that. I usually use superglue to like fix small things, personally. And like use it and woodworking. Antibiotic ointment packets super fucking important. More likely to die of an infection in the woods than someone shooting you. I carry some band aids. I carry wound closure strips, either the steri strips or the butterfly bandages depending on what I have available. These are for like wounds that kind of borderline needs stitches, you know. I carry an irrigation syringe and this is like a little bit like bigger of a thing, an irrigation syringe. But, I carry it and I put it in every pack I include because irrigation syringes are what you use for puncture wounds and cleaning out puncture wounds. And if you're hiking in the backwoods and you step on the thorn, or whatever I don't know, and you need to clean something out, seems nice to have it. Avoiding infection is like a big part of what I learned by living out of a backpack for a long time, you know?
Inmn 41:34 Yeah, yeah,
Margaret 41:35 I carry tweezers for similar purpose for like picking things out of wounds, for plucking my eyebrows, for taking ticks off. Although I'll be real, I usually use the pliers on my multitool to take ticks off but don't do what Margaret Don't does. I carry gauze. Even though this isn't my like IFAK, this isn't my gunshot-wound kit, I carry gauze in case there's like deeper wounds that need putting packed in gauze. I carry petroleum jelly packets. These are also sort of like...some people use them medically, like put it on wound. Some people don't. People like to argue about it. I carry them...Honestly, I mostly carry them for fire starter, but I put them in the first-aid section because some people use it for first aid. And then I carry a bunch of different over-the-counter-drugs and I don't use over...like I just don't use drugs. But I carry them with me because other people might need them or I might need them. And like and this is one of the things that I like see people not...I think this is a really good idea. However, specifically with pills, the first thought I had was like, "Oh, I only need 10," so I'll buy a bottle, and I'll pull out 10, and I'll put them in a Ziploc bags. If you have to interact with police ever, this is a bad idea because now you have unmarked pills in a bag even if it's fucking Benadryl. And so what I carry is blister packed pills or like in tiny like one dose pack pills that are labeled from the manufacturer. The biggest downside is I have not found caffeine pills in that form yet. So the caffeine that I carry is caffeine gum because caffeine gum you can get in smaller pockets. It's a little bit more than I want to carry. I'd rather have a caffeine pill. But whatever. I carry loperamide, which is like Imodium. It's an anti-diarrheal. Because if you eat something wrong or drink something wrong and you have another like three days that you have to hike, diarrhea will fucking kill you. And so I feel like this is a thing....This is the one that I would say most people overlook. I carry Benadryl or diphenhydramine, which is its formal name, and this is an anti-inflammatory. You can use it to stop itching, which is a common problem in the woods. You can also use as an anti-anxiety, which for some reason might seem like a likely problem. You can also use it as a sleep aid. Don't use it and then use heavy machinery. Don't go chainsawing. And for painkillers I carry all three of them. I carry ibuprofen, acetamino--thing [said like she can't remember the word] and aspirin. Advil, Tylenol, and aspirin is like the common names for them, but it's ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin. They all have different purposes. Read the thing. Some of them are good for people different situations. But, being able to bring down fevers and being able to like...You're fucking old and you're hiking all the time like you fucking might need some shit to keep your knee happy enough so you can get out of there, you know? And also, carry potassium iodide, although now I am past the age where this matters. I think this is the kind of thing that preppers are like, "You got potassium iodide?" and like it doesn't really matter all that much. Potassium iodide is...it is for disaster. Okay, so yeah, if you are near, but not in the get-blowed-up range of a nuclear disaster, you might, there might be an emergency broadcast directing you to take potassium iodide and you only have have 15 minutes to do it before it's too late and there's no point anymore. And what it does is it floods your...I forget the word for it...thyroid. It floods it with iodine so that you don't absorb radioactive iodine because it's full. And this can prevent some cancers down the line. It is contra...it is also really rough on you if you do this. And so it is contraindicated for people who are 40 years and older. So, for my birthday, I should have just given away all my potassium iodide. And I think the idea is that it's just like...your body doesn't want rough stuff to happen to it. And also, they're kind of like, "Well, you're gonna die before you die of cancer anyway. You're old." I don't entirely understand the mechanism.
Inmn 45:46 I feel like they need to update that. I feel like they probably maybe need to update those.
Margaret 45:53 No, it's worth, I should probably look into it more and I still keep some around. And then, any personal medications that you might need. In this case, for me, it would be my dog's medication. And then also, I take famotidine to stop heartburn. One more thing for the emergency kit, the survival section. And this is not going to be like a super packed out section. Because again, this is not your full go bag. This is your little survival...your little kit. I keep KN95 masks in there. For some obvious reason. I actually kept masks in here before covid because it's important to like...like when COVID broke out, I had a bunch of P100 masks, which is like kind of the next step up from an N95 mask, and the reason I had them was like prepper shit where you're like, "I don't know, if you're in a city and there's an earthquake and there's dust everywhere," you know?
Inmn 46:50 Yeah, I will say that one of our other prepper landmates at the time, sent all of us text messages well before covid was much of a popularized thing and was like, "Y'all should really go stock up on like P100 and N95 masks," and I did not. And it is...like it haunts me that I did not listen to him.
Margaret 47:15 Yeah, no. Yeah, Inmn and I used to live together on a land project. And, there was me and one other prepper there, and even though we're like, anarchists on a land project, we mostly got made fun of for being silly, for being preppers. However, covid has turned everyone into preppers on some level, thank God. It is the one upside. Yeah, when it broke out, I was able to, like, have masks for people who needed it and that felt really good, you know. But, which actually gets to some of the point of prepping I talk about a lot on the show, but like, the point of prepping is to kind of like have your own shit settled so that you can then help other people, you know? Because even if I only had one P100 mask, well then at least I don't need someone else to get me a mask, right? And so everything that you have prepped is like you're one less person who needs to rely on the mutual aid network. And then everything you have on top of that is stuff you can provide to the mutual aid network, and that rules. Both of those rule. Yeah, okay. In the survival [section,] you've got a mask, you've got another butane lighter. Just carry a Bic lighter everywhere. Fuck it. Like you got two Bic lighters, you're fucking good. Little pieces of solid fuel, which is just little like tablets that you can burn and some of them are actually designed, they're like--I don't know how to describe what size they are--two Starburst? And they're like, designed that you can like cook a 15 minute meal over just burning one of these tablets, you know? But they're usually used to start a fire. I carry a little bits of tinder. The purpose made stuff isn't super expensive, but can also make your own. I carry a little needle thing with sewing needles with three different leather needles and six regular needles in it. And this is for repairing different equipment. I use the dental floss as my thread in an emergency. I carry fishhooks and line. I don't eat fish, but I would if it was me or the fish. However, I'd be fucked because I don't know how to fish. I actually think fishing is fake. I tried fishing so many times when I was a boy scout. I have never caught a single fish. I think what happens is that I go out...everyone else knows the fishing is fake. And they're like, "Let's just trick Margaret again." And so we go out fishing. And they're like, "Oh yeah, oh, I gotta tug on my line," and then they wait till I turn my back, and then they like pull a fish out of a cooler, and they're like, "Oh, I caught a fish." You know? That best as I can....
Inmn 48:07 Well, Margaret that's why they call it fishing and not catching anything. [Margaret does not laugh] This is my bad dad joke.
Margaret 49:09 Oh, I see. Well, if you're fishing for humor, for laughs, it's not gonna work.
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