Getting started – Part 4 by Ludvick

Vehicles and house heating and bugging out bags and bugging out.

So after the world’s worst holiday due to the break down on the way there and having to spend all the spending money on the repairs, Guy has started reading about vehicles and bugging out.

The first thing he does is to take the car to the garage rather than the once a year or when it breaks down. After its service it comes back with a few other small issues that he has resolved as well. He has also checked all the tyres and from now on when he goes to fill up once every two weeks he also checks the tyres, water, oil and the spare tyre. This simple routine is now called the vehicle preparedness plan.

He also looks at the car and decides to add a small plastic box in the boot. Into it he has added some items he thinks will be helpful to him if he breaks down again. The first is some small plastic macs as the wife and kids stood in the rain as they had put the coats in the bottom of the boot. Four hi-viz jackets so they’re safer when seen. Some oil, water and anti freeze and a can of tyre flat foam, some jump leads and a small first aid kit. In the fullness of time he is going to change these items to better suit their needs but for now it’s a great starter. He also buys a better jack for the car, a big bar and some wheel nut sockets and goes to the main dealer and buys a couple of spare locking wheel nut sockets too. And a set of spare bulbs just in case. He has also joined a break down service as well.

One of the worst part of the holiday was the fact the caravan was cold and damp; this is because people use a log burner to keep warm in it. Since Guy had no money he could not afford the shop bought logs so they went cold. At home they have two old fire places that they never use. So Guy starts to look at using them again.

He gets them both swept and cleaned and buys a small open fire grate to suit one of them. They live in a smoke control zone so he should not use logs, so he looks at buying some smokeless coal for it.

As he has no spare land to site the coal bunker he has to think where he is going to store it as well. In the end he builds a small wooden box on top of one of the water bins. The water IBC tank is 1200mm square and he builds the box to sit on top of it and makes it 800mm high with a good strong lid. It’s very hard to fill it as it’s so high in the air but he only does it once a year and the slot on the side makes it easier to get the smokeless coal out.

The wife has now forgiven him over the bad holiday and loves the cosy warm coal fire as they only use it when its very cold and it’s nice to sit in front of, so he leaves it as it is.

Guy and the wife are talking about the holiday and Guy suggests that if he’d had some items with him he could have made it a lot better. So they write a list of what they really needed. Matches for fire would have helped as being non-smokers they had to buy an expensive box of matches for it and fire lighters. They also found they did not know how to light the fire and it kept going out. Some dried food for when they got there and some water and tea bags for drinks and some cups as well. If he had taken the garden saw with him, instead of buying expensive logs they could have cut up the wood they found near by and small axe to split the logs would help as well.

Guy starts to buy this stuff. He has bought the cheapest he could find and has bought all of it at once. Once he starts to work with them and his bag and starts to find better ones he is going to replace them one piece at a time when they can afford it. This bag is designed to be a bug out bag. When Guy needs to grab some thing quick and go, he wants to bug out; he wants to grab every thing he needs for 24 hours or 48 hours in one hit so it’s his grab bag/bug out bag.

Over time he has tried some new pieces of kit and adds them to it, torches and the better fire starting tools and the like.

He has also started practising in the garden on their BBQ how to light a fire and how to cook on it. He is getting very good now at it. He has seen someone who can do it by rubbing two dry boy scouts together and has tried but cant seem to get that to work. In the bag he has also added fuel to light the fire with and other ways to light the fire other than matches.

The torch he has brought is small and not very good so he has researched better and cheaper ones and has several in the car and in his bag as well.

Guy is now starting to get more organised with what they have and how to use it. The wife is starting to enjoy the stability that he is producing as some of her concerns have been sorted out, too.