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DC Matt

Condo sized Plan and Gear

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Hey everyone.

 

I recently stumbled on this site and have enjoyed reading the articles and posts. One thing I have noticed (not necessarily on this site) with a lot of other sites is that list of items in peoples bug-in and bug-out kits is pretty extensive and not realistic for most people. Especially people like me that live in a small place. My wife, dog, and I live in a small condo (800 sqft) in DC. The condo is ground floor with a patio and the building (small new 14 unit building) has a garage and general storage room. Luckily we do have a car (though we street park it).

 

Here's my question:

 

For space constrained and budget conscious preppers, what are the essential items would you have in your kits for a couple/family living in a major city. The challenge is to limit the list to what you can keep in two large Rubbermaid chests and bugout bags. Keep in mind that most major cities have stricter gun and other regulations.

 

So far here's what I have:

 

Two bugout backpacks- contents currently include: emergency food rations, first aid kits, water purification tablets, dust mask, work gloves, walkie talkies, batteries, head lamps, ear and eye protection, documents, pen, paper, photocopied ids, maps, cash, airplane bottle of bourbon and vodka (we'll need a drink), change of socks/underwear, 12 hr glow sticks, bandannas, para-cord, pocket knife, toiletries, water bottles, wife's bag includes light weight sleeping bag.etc. all fits into standard day pack. Running shoes and water jugs kept in same closet.

 

Dog's bugout backpack: She carries three days food, meds, water bowl.

 

Currently have one Rubbermaid chest container full of camping gear: tents, tarps, stoves, camp tools, sleeping bags are in same closet, duct-tape, cookware, dishes, water purifier, lantern. Camp fuel is on patio.

 

Not sure what to to include in the second Rubbermaid container. Maybe food?

 

Have can goods and other food ( few days worth) we can quickly grab if need to Get out of town.

 

For weapons: We each have a Recurve bow, about a dozen arrows each. A 20 gauge Model 12 shotgun. Looking to get a hand-gun.

 

OK, so writing that out made me realize I have a decent amount of stuff, but feel like there is a lot of room for improvement. Any recommendations? Would love to see what y'all would do with these limitations.

Edited by DC Matt
Didn't mean kitchen lunch sized Tupperware containers, but really those chest sized Rubbermaid containers.

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a .22 pistol would be great since you can carry 500+ rounds in the same weight you would only get 100 of a larger caliber and its CHEAP, 550 rnds Remmington .22 LR for about $20. a collapsible bucket for water collecting. one thing i see missing in A LOT of bag is fingernail clippers, i dont chew mine and a wicked hangnail would be easier taken care of as opposed to using a knife. this may go without saying but i did notice a lack of fire STARTER like matches/firesteel/lighter in your list.

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TCC, I need to replace it, but I try to keep about six gallons of water on hand. More would be hard to store in my place. That being said, I have a 5 gallon collapsible water jug and a 4 gallon solar shower from my camping supplies I can fill if there is time. It really helped when we got rid of our storage unit a cross town, so all my camping supplies are now in the condo.

 

Sono, a .22 would be a good idea. I'll look into that. I want something my wife can easily use, but that also has decent power. I'll throw some finger nail clippers on the list as well.

 

I want to look into getting a nice outdoor storage chest, but am a little worries about theft (we are on the street level) and cold (winter is heading this way). any recommendations?

 

Thanks.

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Looks like your BOBs are in decent shape. I also note lack of fire starter. Also sanitary products for your lady and for you - MREs packed toilette paper for a reason.

What I don't see is Bug In prep. You have just been hit with the earliest snow storm on record (at least areas north of you got snow - don't know about your location). What if you were stuck in place for a couple of weeks. I'm assuming there is not a tub but in either case, tub or shower, there are liners that unpack and seal an area (think small water bed) that can hold 50 gallons or so of water. A basic two burner camp stove for use in a bug in (remember ventilation - CO does kill) could make your life easier. I suspect you are "all electric" which makes alternate cook/heat energy critical.

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Capt Bart, Thanks for the reply. Luckily our place has a gas stove/oven. So if the power goes down, we potentially have cooking power for a little bit. On the other side, I do know where the building gas shutoff is in case we get another earthquake (still amazed we had one) and need to shut-off the gas. We do have a tub, so I'll look into getting one of those liners. In the camping supplies we have both a backpacking stove and a two burner Coleman. I need to pick up another thing of fuel. I do want to go through the BOBs some more, I like the idea about adding TP. Speaking of snow, I still remember when the city was shut-down for a whole week a couple years ago. Luckily, we live in a walking city, so no worries about trying to drive anywhere (though that week did teach this Alabamian the importance of a snow shovel)

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if you can get a waterbed full about 75 gallons king 150 to 180 and a liner truck bed liner may work

the key is the water bed as its always filled and never forget the fill the bathtub and all containers

then you can wait within a few weeks most will have eliminated themselves or moved on

alternate heat try gelled alcohol shopping channel had a nice looking heater that they fire with gelled alcohol

crystalline wax candles are higher priced but burn longer

canned goods are great but start looking for long term dehydrated or freeze dried food

be prepared grandma's country kitchen shelf reliance .coms look up canned meat and butter

these sites have canned beef , chicken & pork and all manner of pudding drink mixes fruit and vegetables

in #10 cans about a gallon size you will need powdered eggs for cooking dehydrated package camp food is good but the shelf life is only 5+ years and the #10 cans last 25 years.

if you live in a apartment or condo I do not know what to tell you as if gangs of marauders roam the area all

they have to do is burn you out as you leave trailing your food and goods they finish you and take what you saved or do a room to room apartment to apartment but the scenario ends up the same.

 

Let me quantify this statement first I have no stock in the company nor ever worked or have family

employed by Ruger or with CCI hi velocity copper plated solid about 1200 feet per second either arm rarely has a problem why this particular brand and style the round nose rarely fails to feed lead heads use wax

as lube messy copper plated is cleaner bullet weight equals more energy hi velocity assures auto operation.

CCI has better quality control I also like stingers but both should be tested for accuracy but both Rugers

are tough as nails and made for I think 47 years and the pistol for about 61 years with various minor but helpful changes

having much experience other rifles and pistols seem to have flaws or parts that are easy to loose or over complicated..

Ruger's are so accurate and durable and accessories to no end try looking for others brands to have any

accessories at all

 

The 22 is a fantastic Idea a 10/22 and a mk II or III Ruger both and get at least 5mags for each there

is a reason I have never seen either broken accuracy is excellent power is plenty use only hi velocity not

standard and get all the same brand I harp on this but I makes me dizzy a friend was always complaining

about accuracy at his home I was bewildered as to the different brands and speeds it was a nightmare

partial boxes in truncated cone hollow point solids lead copper plated etc..

accuracy comes from precision bullet weight and shot to shot deviation in speed this is where quality

control comes in inexpensive stuff has a lousy deviation pop bang boom CCI velocitors copper plated round nose bullet at 1235 feet per second come 100 rounds to the box any one with less than 1K is silly...and

more is better as trade stock

and once sighted in you will probably never have to re sight it ever again either gunn.....

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snake, thanks for the advice I'll check out those websites you mentioned. Also, good advice on the Rugers. We plan to go to one of our local shooting ranges and let me wife fire a few different models and I will see if they have a Ruger she can try.

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I remember someone taking numerous deer in the garden at 100 yards dropped them like a stone taking of

large game with rim fire is not legal. but in TEOTWAWKI not much is going to be said and 100 rounds of

CCI velocitors copper plated 40 grain round nose is a little over a pound per hundred so 2K rounds in a

ammo can is under 25 pounds

 

your wife should like the ruger mkIII 22/45 it has the grip angle of a 45 a polymer frame and in a 5 1/2 inch

barrel a good sight radius if she does not like the pistol the ruger 10/22 rifle has virtually no recoil and the

sound is forward further I can shoot very well but my wife shoots rarely but she does not have any

predetermined ideas so I just drew a picture of how the sight should look on the target and she nailed it

pistol same thing at 25 yards she printed good to great groups with no effort if she is not fire arms savvy

do not complicate things she will absorb it in time as we all do the drill instructor bit does not work too well with men instructing women I do not know what level of experience your wife has but easy does it on any new arm.

I am not trying to be sexist but men or women who do not have much interest I feel its better to limit the

amount exposure as a person who knows how to use only one fire arm and use it well is all that is required

if you think automatic pistol is complicated because of a lack of interest then a Taurus or a smith revolver medium length barrel if she is interested and has experience anything she likes a friend loves his smith 22 auto but not many accessories for it though.

but some don't want or need such things i like tricking thing out to the max.

my wife well, she can but is not dedicated so she has double action revolvers she likes them because no

prep just grab and aim and shoot and with crimson trace laser grips wahoo

just a side story many years ago an Olympic pistol medal winner was in the shop I gave him my ruger and

at 15 yards one blurry hole with a tapered barrel 4 inch off the shelf an old model MKI I have never felt so

inferior I would guess it was less than 3/8 of an inch group with 10 shots hey he said that's pretty darn

good for a off the shelf now myself can tear up a nickle or 9mm case and feel like i am doing ok at

15 yards but then

he goes to his car and brings in a hammerly free pistol fitted grip custom case and shot a one hole group

looking at his lock up he was like a machine oh and this was done rapid fire I still feel like I ride the short

bus remembering him do that.....

below is some long range 22 info

 

 

http://www.hickokfamilygenealogy.com/Lethality_of_the_22_LR.html

http://www.ruger1022.com/docs/22lrballistics.htm

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I didn't see any way to make fire in your bug out bag or camping gear. I assume it's there because you go camping (or at least have the gear) but buying a bulk pack of matches is cheap and throwing in a few lighters for insurance. Store your matches in a few separate water proof containers so if one leaks you have the others

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM2286114803P?sid=IDx20101019x00001a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=SPM3030186802

or

http://www.amazon.com/Matches-Matchbooks-Anniversary-Birthday-Party/dp/B000MOHF4S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320045373&sr=8-2

 

If you don't have it in your bug out gear consider a pot to boil water or a gi canteen with the cup that fits around it. Tablets run out so it's good to have a backup.

 

Also you didn't list much in the way of bug in supplies.

A good start is a few month supply of food and water.

A quality set of tools, duct tape, zip ties and nails. Safety glasses and leather gloves too.

Access what cleaning, hygiene supplies you use now and buy 2 to 5 times your current supply depending on available space and supply.

A sewing kit with bulk tread and needles.

100 feet Polypropylene cord 1/4 inch.

Jug of unscented bleach to purify water.

 

All cheap preps close to or under $20

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Adding to what Autonomous wrote, consider plastic sheeting to go with the duct tape. A chemical release (tanker truck accident on a nearby freeway or a train derail if not near a plant) could mean a shelter in place. The plastic placed over windows, electrical outlets, AC vents, doors, any opening using the duct tape would seal a room; just watch out for CO2 levels in that room.

I can't believe I forgot the duct tape - MacGyver would disown me!

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at least 1 machete/fixed blade knife/hachet, and multitool. should you run out of bullets, you could still at least make spears/walking sticks and a better tool to make more arrows. with the thicker blades, you could do power assisted chopping, and with a piece of flint, make fire easier than a pocket knife; won't have to worry so much about closing the blade or bending/ breaking it when scraping the flint.

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A good pair of tin snips, if in a long term event, would be handy. In the urban area, you will have lots of abandoned vehicles and the cutting tools will allow you to fashion extra arrowheads from the sheet metal bodies or other items that can be made from the sheet metal like frying pans, cookie sheets, plates, bowls, etc. Besides needing cleaned, the supply of metal will be enormous in most urban enviroments. Car hoods make great snow sleds.

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I agree with the Captain, you should start prepping more towards Bunkering In. But if you did Bug Out, I have to recommend two handguns in fighting caliber, then survival weapons like .22. Has anybody else heard of shot-shells for pistols? Someone brought that up and I thought it was cool. Walking around D.C. of all places with an 870 will get you killed/thrown into a camp in no time by less than constitutional Martial Law enforcing forces. Enjoy your stay. I'd recommend just storing food, considering hygiene/sanitation, and staying warm. Cooking is important, especially if you don't choose super expensive ready to eat foods. Maybe this will be of interest:

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Has anybody else heard of shot-shells for pistols? Someone brought that up and I thought it was cool. ... I'd recommend just storing food, considering hygiene/sanitation, and staying warm. Cooking is important, especially if you don't choose super expensive ready to eat foods. Maybe this will be of interest:

I keep .45 ACP shot shells in my dog walking gun for the odd rabid skunk, pack of feral dogs, etc. I walk in a green belt with homes all around so I want a round that won't cause massive harm if I miss. The shot shells won't cycle my 1911 so I have a Ruger Blackhawk with a .45 ACP cylinder in it. We did have a pack of several "pets" that would get out occasionally. Killed the neighbors cat, barely missed a getting one of the kids in the neighborhood and I started carrying shot shells. Didn't want to think about needing to use a heavy round in such close quarters to little ones. Beyond about 15 feet they are not terribly effective but inside of that range they have a decent pattern and for what I carry them for, they do the job. I've heard that the .357 Mag version leaves even more to be desired in terms of range while the .22LR version (I grew up calling it "rat shot") was good for 5 to 7 feet only. Still, if you NEED to discourage a snake or a critter that is too close and in a built up area, not bad. The .45 is essentially a ".410 very short" shotgun round.

 

Your point about the food choices is well taken. While I eat (can even enjoy) MRE's the family almost won't touch them. Prep with foods you normally eat so you can rotate easily and you aren't hit with gastric upset from the new "prep" food.

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As always, thanks for the great feedback. In general, if things are really about to go down, we plan to get out of town as fast as possible. Still working on a few alternative routes. In general will try to drive, but will bike or walkout if need to. Rock Creek Park, runs the length of the city, so that is Plan out route, but have a few others in draft form. The bug-in issue is one I need to work on. Have friends on the top floor, so we evac up there is that is better. Also there is a large high school (built in the 1920's) a block away. So depending on the situation, that could be a good shelter or scavenging location.

 

Related to BOB. Each bag does contain leather work gloves, safety goggles, 25 ft of para-cord, and matches and lighters. Need to purchase flint/steel fire starter, add sewing kits, and maybe better quality emergency blankets (have the cheap ones now) which can double as tarps. My bag contains the small backpacking stove (and small tank of fuel) and metal sierra cup. small, but anything bigger might be too cumbersome. If we have to walk-out and have a couple minutes, well dump our small BOBs into our backpacking packs.

 

related to Bug-in: Have some bleach and duct tape, but probably need a dedicated supply. Wife has a fixed blade and I have a nice hunting ax (large hatchet). I have some hand-tools and cordless power tools. I like the idea of adding tin snips. Might look at a hacksaw too. Going to purchase a storage locker for the patio, so will have room for additional tools (finally). Plastic sheeting would be good to add to the list as well.

 

 

This post as made me realized I have a lot of stuff (thankfully), but definitely have some room for improvement. Now I need to get creative on storage. The biggest issue is going to be food and water. Food, I can probably find some good compact options, but water will be the biggest. If we have time, we can fill up containers, etc. But that is a big if. Also, I need to learn how to disassemble the Model 12, so it can fit in a backpacking pack. But a handgun is a much more realistic option for walking out. Need to look into this once get some extra funds.

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I would skip tin snips an jump right to bolt cutters. you get a lot more options in what you can cut. a medium large pry bar would also be nice to have if there is debris that needs to be moved to pull your neighbor/wife/kid/dog out of a damaged structure. All it takes is a wind storm to knock a tree over into the building and I know everyone's preps focus on keeping them safe but if your neighbor isn't trying to kill you for canned corn basic morals say you should help him if you can.

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It's really good to hear that you have friends higher up in the building. I feel that the most important elements to survival and preparedness are knowledge, practical experience, and strong personal bonds. Does your building have some sort of water storage on the roof? The roof could be a last resort retreat because the stairwell can be very easily reinforced with grease and glass on the steps or even blocked off, but it lacks the crucial defense element of an escape route. I know nobody has said this before, but rappelling is actually very simple and easy. Another thing, have you guys practiced hiking with your bug out bags and setting up a camouflaged/discreet campsite? I guess the most important tactic to have ahead of time is good situational awareness and communication; I think the blog has an article on the subject.

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Good idea about a water source on the roof. We have been talking about installing a rooftop water tank to capture rain-water for our little building's garden. I'll look into this more and see what the other board-members think. Do y'all have any recommendations about what we could use for this?

 

Luckily I'm on the board, so I have keys to all the water and utility closets in the garage. So not only have access to some emergency safe-rooms, but can influence where and what gets done. I agree with Auto, you got to help your neighbors if you can. Not only from a moral standpoint, but if you help them, they will be more likely to help you when you need it. Or at least not take your canned corn. :) Will look at getting a pry bar too. Think we can find some room for that in the condo.

 

John, we haven't necessarily hiked with our BOBs, but these are smaller and weigh-less than our current backpacking bags. Also in reality, the wife and I have to lug around laptops and other junk on our normally commute to work, which is normally a 3 or four mile round trip, so we both are in decent hiking shape. The pup has hiked with her bag a few times, but is probably the least in shape of us. I'll try to get her using the pack on our weekend walks.

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Also, any recommendations on fire ladders or other ways to escape from a three story building? I want to be sure our top floor neighbors have something in-case of a fire (or other event) and the stairway is blocked. I don't think either set have every rappelled before and one set has a dog and the other has a two year old. So I think a ladder would be an easier sell to them.

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http://www.firesafetysource.com/site/948848/page/915396

Here is a link for rope style escape ladders. They are of a reputable company. I would also ensure they have a toddler carrier (backpack style) for carrying the toddler and maintaining secure grip with both hands. The nice thing about rope ladders, they can be transported if bug out is feasible over a different event, so you always have it.

Edited by Regulator5

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DCMatt,

A couple of things. Make sure the ladder you choose is one they can use. It looks cool to kick a rope ladder over the side and climb down but if you've never used a rope ladder, it is a non-trivial exercise. Need to practice, carefully and before an emergency to make sure you can handle it. There are also smoke hoods, frequently sold for light aircraft or airline passengers that give about 15 min. of clean air in a fire. check out

http://www.aeromedix.com/aeromedix_articles/smokehood/index.html

for various kinds.

 

Before you think about water on the roof, you need to talk to a structural engineer. Water is HEAVY. A gallon weighs over 8.3 lbs. A cubic foot of water weighs over 62 lbs. So 125 gallons of water weigh over half a ton. I saw a fuel truck break the back of the trailer because some kid (in the army) decided to fill it with water instead of fuel. So the 10,000 gallon truck had 83,000 lbs in it instead of 60,000. OOPS.

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I agree with the Captain, rope ladders are harder to use than they appear. I know rappelling may seem a bit "mall ninja" but it is possible to have someone hook up to someone without experience and take them down, search and rescue folks do it all the time. Rappelling sets are expensive, at least the tactical ones, however I'm sure any mountain climbing supplier would have them. The benefit of a rappelling rope is that you can have a belay man to stop someone from falling if they slip, and the rope lengths are probably longer than the rope ladders. I've rappelled many times, and I could easily set up a line, hook up to someone and lower us both down. Also, with a little bit of practice, you can get down a 3 story building easily in 1 to 2 jumps, rather than however long a rope ladder would take; remember, it's not easy to establish good points of contact with a moving "rung" and there is not second chance if you slip. Ultimately, I wouldn't put a rappelling set as a high priority though. Did you say you only walk 3-4 miles to work? Have you considered some get home supplies?

If these idiots can do it anyone can:

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