[FoRK] New Orleans is Sinking

J. Andrew Rogers andrew
Sat Sep 3 01:25:35 PDT 2005

On 9/2/05 6:57 PM, "Strata R. Chalup" <strata at virtual.net> wrote:
> Gym bag with some change of clothes including a warm layer and a no-wind
> layer. Sleeping bag.

A sleeping bag is a luxury, as a careful selection of clothes will
compensate.  But if you are going to bring one, an ultra-light and compact
down bag is not a bad choice.  For extremely cold climates, synthetic fill
is better (it picks up less ice), but that probably doesn't apply here.

> 2 - 3 gallons of water.

That is a lot of weight, unless you plan on crossing the deep desert.  A top
quality water filter will serve you well.  Really good ones like the
Katadynes will make damn near any water safe, though it may not filter out
all the nasty chemicals depending on the type of filter and filthy water
will still taste like ass even if reasonably safe.

> Can opener and canned food that's palatable cold (and
> preferably has some water in it) eg vegetable barley soup, chicken rice soup,
> etc.

MRE entrees, which can be purchased separately, are another good choice and
far more compact than the full MRE with 80% of the benefit.

> Gatorade.

Very useful in powdered form.  A lot of the aforementioned filtered water
that is technically safe but tastes like ass is barely drinkable without a
heavy dose of powered Gatorade and similar to cover up the indigenous
flavor.  The powdered concentrate is a standard item for soldiers in the
field for precisely this reason.

Over the span of a few days, you can survive quite well with nothing more
than replacement calories.  Trying to get a balanced diet that complies with
the FDA food pyramid is an unnecessary exercise, though a multivitamin
certainly would not hurt.

> A quasi-indestructible travel-mug, plus a bowl, plus a packet of sturdy
> plasticware.

A good mug *is* a bowl.

> Big pack of hypoallergenic people wipes (Cetaphil or similar
> waterless shower stuff); pack of disinfectant object wipes.  Pepto-bismol or
> immodium.  Toilet paper, napkins.  Maybe a bag of 'shop rags'.  Bottle of Dr
> Bronner's (dilute, dilute, ok!)

You can get a lot of mileage out of a little medicated talcum powder and
alcohol pads, in a pinch.  Some wet-naps for real luxury. :-)  The military
"mountain gold" (aka toilet paper) that comes with MREs is extremely

> or garbage bags with clump cat litter.

Kitty litter with clumps is the part you are supposed to leave behind...

> spare radio / flashlight / bic lighters,

Don't forget your tiny bottle of DEET.

My only general comment is that it looks like you would be carrying 50+
pounds of gear. :-)  Figure out what you'll genuinely use, what things can
serve as adequate substitutes for other gear, and dump the rest.  Having
meta-resources like water filters and lighters and knowing how to use them
is often much more useful than carrying the derivatives of those things
themselves.  Reducing weight matters.

A lot of this varies with the terrain and environment one expects to get
stuck in.  


J. Andrew Rogers

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