Those who know me know that I am into preparedness. Not that I am an expert, I’m just a want-a-be. What can you expect. I grew up in an LDS family, the church of Jesus Christ of later day saints, Mormons. I have had preparedness preached to me my whole life. My parents had large cans of wheat, rice, and honey stored. I joined the Air Force when I was 18 and spent many years volunteering or working for the American Red Cross. I’ve even served on the emergency preparedness comity for my local ward and stake. I should be an expert but there is a lot I don’t know.
Over the last several months I’ve been working at building up my supply, consent rating mainly on building a camping or bug out kit. I want to have as much ready as I can if I had to take off on our own for a few weeks, tents, bedding, cooking supplies, etc.
Being that my wife and I have limited mobility our experiences and needs are not the norm. Let me qualify that statement, I suffered a major stroke on October 30th 2014 that left me with limited function on my left side. I can walk but tend to drag my foot a bit, I can move and kinda use my left hand and arm but not like I use to could. My wife, Kat, has been in a wheel chair most of her life. She can stand and wLk a few feet with assistance she can even crawl up a flight of stairs with rest breaks,
Last month I bought a small Coleman Pack Hourse trail urge. The idea was to putt everything in it and be ready to go at a moments notice. Ok I know I can’t really have everything ready but I can keep my tents, sleeping bags, etc ready. Turns out it is too small we need something much bigger.
This week, Tuesday we decided to test our kit by going out on a wilderness camp out. In the end we found a campground with not only running water but also electric. That saiid for the most part we are leaving off the grid. I brought and we are using our own water and I did pack gas and a generator. However, we are not using it. Why waist the gas if we don’t have too. I use a CPAP machine at night for sleep apnea so sadly power is a must.
In this posts I will catalog what we found out good and bad.
Nevada is wide open but down here most places are flat and you can see or be seen for miles. Finding a good sheltered spot can be a challenge.
Tuesday morning set out on our trip with just a ruff idea of where we wanted to go. We got off the main road onto a dirt road and drove until we found a place that seemed to meet our needs. Parked but couldn’t find a spot big enough for our tent. Decided to back track and stay at willow beach campground.
Tuesday late afternoon arrived at our site, we paid extra for an RV site since we can’t use our generator in the campground. We are right next to the bathrooms.
We have two tents a smaller two present tent we have used before and a new eight person Coleman tent we have never unpacked. Big mistake. When buying a new tent set it up before hand so you have an idea of what you are doing. It was dark by the time we got the tent set up. We bought a tent that tent that has a light and battery powered energy pack no need for a lantern.
Since we have power we used an electric pump for the air mattress. My wife set up the bed while I brought her everything and did some unpacking.
My dog Tristan is with us. I bought him canned food as a treat for the trip. Big mistake he has almost never had canned food and didn’t know what to do with it. Maybe tomorrow he will eat it. I put it in a bag to keep in the ice box over night.
I had bought pre packaged salads for dinner no need to cook tonight. After eating and takin Tristan, for a walk we crawled into bed. I have a jump starter with a built in compressor and battery powered inverter. I had planned to use it at night for my CPAP. It turns out it is under powered. I will need to look for a better option.
Up early not sure on the time my iPad and Katsura kindle don’t agree.
Kat didn’t sleep well last nigh. On the other hand I slept like a baby. I got up and after walking Tristan started un packing so I could make breakfast. Realized we had not packed the eggs they are sitting happily in the fridge at home waiting for our return. I cleaned up our old Coleman two burner pro pain stove. I didn’t realize how dirty it was. When we get home I need to do a better job of cleaning it.
With the stove somewhat cleaned I was able to boil water and rinse off the dishes.
Breakfast I had planed for bacon eggs and hash browns. Sadly no eggs. Since my camp frying pan is smaller than the one at home, I cut the bacon strips in half allowing me to back more at a time. I have frozen hash brown patties. I added a little butter to a frying pan and fried them. I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have so the got a little burned not bad. Over all breakfast was grate it just needed eggs.
Continued unpacking, things were not very organized. I really need a portable kitchen with pantry. I’ll have to see what I can find. With Kat being in a wheelchair and me needing a walker the need to be last in and first out making packing a pain. I have a bike rack that mounts on the trunk I have used in the past for the wheelchair I just didn’t use it this time.
Lunch time. For lunch I am cooking lemon pepper chicken with vegetables. I normally would cook this in the oven lacking an oven I am grilling the chicken, on the stove top. I have a small cast iron pan I use for this. Vegetables will be started latter in a pot.
Lunch was great though Kat slept through it. I put hers in the ice chest for later and cleaned up the dishes.
Dinner cooking steaks on the grill and a pot of beans. The camp site has a barbecue grill and I brought isn’t light charcoal. The problem I encountered is the grill is too high from the charcoal. The steaks are taking too long. I had to cook the beans on the propane stove. We had never had this brand of beans before and never will again way too spicy. The steaks turned out great. And provided more than we could eat. I have a portable grill I had planned to use maybe I will try it in the morning. We made hot chocolate and ate some fruit before heading to bed.
Up early again as normal.cooked the left over steaks, has browns, and bacon for breakfast. Still no eggs but we are doing great without them. I didn’t burn the hash browns today.
It is march we had expected to be cold. Which it is a night. However, it is hot during the day. Much too hot we brought a box fan but it isn’t enough. During the day we are using our 4runner to give us shade while we sit next to it in our folding camp chairs enjoying the breeze. We need to either go someplace cool which may not be an option or find a portable AC unit for the tent. I don’t know how people lived out here in the old days.
For lunch I am using the for table charcoal grill. I have insta light charcoal but the bag was left open over night so it won’t light I didn’t bring lighter fluid, I didn’t think I would need it. There are openings on both sides below the charcoal allowing me to grab the used paper towels and stuff them in this worked great for getting the charcoal started. I’m sure it was designed that way and if I had read the instructions I would have known this. I am a man we don’t read instructions we just do it.
Looks like our fan has given out, one less thing to pack up and take home. Thankfully there are trash cans in the area I can dump our garbage in. I brought lots of trash bags both large kitchen and large garden bags. What I don’t have is something to put them in. Bags by themselves are a pain.i either need to find or build something. I have ideas that we will look at later.
We keep coming up with things we need to add. But only after putting the iPad away to charge for the night, we need penciled and a note pad to write things down as we remember them.
Much of our day is spent either reading or writing. There is no cell service out here even though this is a real camp ground. They have a pay phone here. I have my handheld HAM radio in a real emergency I am sure I could reach someone. I need to get a mobile set up for the 4runner and maybe for my truck as well. I wonder if I can put together a J-pole antenna to use on them for better range.
Cooking foil dinners tonight. I bought stew beef at food for less, I won’t to that again it still had pieces of bone attached. At least Tristan is getting a treat. I would normally cook foil dinners in abed of coals from the camp fire. Here I am cooking it on top of the folding grill over charcoal.
Tonight we took much needed showers I had bought a solar shower that uses five gallons of water that’s a lot when we only brought about 15 gallons total. However since we decided to stay at a real camp ground we put off testing our shower I’m sure to relief of our neighbors and took advantage of the camps shower. I’m sure it was much nicer. For the most part we’ve been attempting to live on just the water we brought today was the exception with the showers. We could have saved a lot of water not washing dishes. Kat thinks we should use paper plates. I
My thinking is I have to wash the cookware anyway so why not save money and use camp plates. I guess I will add paper plates, cups, and plastic silverware in same of a real bug out where we may need to conserve water.
When I bought the aluminum foil I wasn’t thinking. My thought was for covering dirty camp grills. I got the cheap thin stuff. Foil dinners should use heavy duty aluminum foil. I used several layers on ours which will make checking it difficult.
It’s dark dinner is still cooking I have flashlights lots of them but no landers. I need to find or replace ours.i can’t see very well.
Dinner was ok not great nor as good as I had hopped. With dishes washed and the camp cleaned up, Tristan walked, we are going to bed.
This is our last day here. Check out is noon. I got up around seven as use real. While I started breakfast Kat started packing the tent. While breakfast was cooking I stared repacking the 4runner and the trailer. After breakfast I washed and put away the dishes. I then got serous about packing. What I will never understand is considering we brought less home than we took, why does everything seem more stuffed.
In retrospect there is still a lot we need to get and do. Sometime next week Kat and I need to get together, go through what we have, look at what we found this time, then work on getting what we are missing.