Survival Kit for a College Student
Article Provided Special for The Northeast Texan
“Disaster Guy, you know all about emergency kits,” Red said. “My nephew is going to college, and his Mom is worried about what he would do in a long-term emergency.”
“Obviously he’d come home if it were possible,” the Disaster Guy said. “A long-term emergency would probably shut down his college campus.”
“Let’s say he wants to come home, and there is no transportation. No airline flights. No buses. No private cars and trucks going anywhere. No trains. No nothing,” Red said. “How would he get home?”
“Obviously he’d have to walk,” the Disaster Guy said. “How far is his college from his home?”
“It’s only 150 miles,” Red said. “He can drive there in nearly two hours.”
“And he could walk home in a week or two,” the Disaster Guy said. “I think he needs a small survival backpack to get home.”
“I agree,” Red said. “The trouble is, he’s living in a dormitory. He hasn’t got much room for anything there.”
“A small survival kit could be made to fit into a small backpack,” the Disaster Guy said. “What do you think he’d need?”
“Well, some water, food, blankets, clothing – almost like going camping,” Red said.
“Right!” the Disaster Guy said. “Two two-liter soda pop bottles for water, a little bottle of bleach for treating water on the way, a couple portions of freeze-dried food, some Ramen noodles, some aluminum foil to make pans – he’d be all set.”
“Throw in a couple of space blankets, two 30-gallon plastic garbage bags for rain ponchos, and some toilet paper,” he said. “He’d need a flashlight with spare batteries, a transistor radio with spare batteries, for news, and a couple of BIC lighters to start a fire.”
“Would you add anything else?” Red asked.
“I think he should have a small first-aid kit with Moleskin, his overnight kit, a compass, and some maps,” the Disaster Guy said. “If it were me, I’d want some writing materials, duct tape, some more food, a pocket knife with a short folding blade, and my scriptures.”
“That’s all?” Red asked. “I mean, that would hardly fill a backpack.”
“He could add a bunch of socks, a couple changes of underwear, a shirt or two, a pair of pants, and a broken-in spare pair of shoes,” the Disaster Guy said. “I assume he’d be wearing a jacket and a hat.”
“Again, that’s all?” Red asked.
“Sure! He’d only be on the road a week or so. It isn’t as if he were going on a world tour,” the Disaster Guy said. “Besides, the less weight he has to carry, the further he’ll be able to walk each day.”
“Should he take any weapons?” Red asked.
“I don’t think the college allows guns on campus,” the Disaster Guy said. “He might get in trouble if he carried a gun.”
“He could bring along a walking staff about six feet long, made out of wood,” he said. “It could be used as a weapon, though most people wouldn’t look at it as one.”
“How about money? How much should he bring?” Red asked.
“All he’s got!” the Disaster Guy said. “He may not be going back to college for a while.”
“Any other tips?” Red asked.
“He should try to look like the other guys on the road, act like them, and not stand out in any way,” the Disaster Guy said. “It’s called protective coloration.”
“If it’s possible he should have a buddy he can trust, who is going the same direction,” he said. “The buddy system works for everything from Boy Scouts to the U.S. Army.”
“Your nephew should also learn not to be a hero,” he said. “If there’s any action, he should be somewhere else.”
“Finally, he should try to let his parents know he is coming home before he leaves, if that’s possible,” the Disaster Guy said. “If it isn’t possible, people at his college should know that he’s going home, when he left, and what route he plans to take.”
“All this, just so my nephew can come home in an emergency!” Red said.
“He’ll have to decide whether he should stay or go,” the Disaster Guy said. “In a long-term emergency with no traffic moving, the college will run out of food for its students very quickly.”
“It’s better to have a backpack prepared and not need it, than need it and not have it,” the Disaster Guy said. “But this is sure the tough way to dropout of college!”
My grandson has an emergency backpack like this in the trunk of his car. You can read more emergency preparedness and disaster survival Tips on the Disaster Guy’s website, www.DisasterGuy.com. He’d welcome your comments on this article by e-mail to <DisasterGuy@wildblue.net>.