The trouble with advice
… is that when you ask for it, people give it! I mean, that’s the good thing about advice, too. But it goes both ways. On Tuesday when I asked for tips on what to add to my reconstituted grab-and-go kit (which sounds so much more respectable than a bug-out bag), you were your usual generous and informative selves.
You helped me and potentially helped hundreds or thousands of strangers who might google upon that blog entry one day.
Of course, you also twisted my brain into a pretzel and will probably scare the heck out of some newbie looking for simple ideas for an emergency kit. And that’s the tougher part of getting advice. Everybody has ideas, some of which conflict, some of which are great for thee but not for me (because of circumstances, budget, skills, etc.), and some of which might be just plain nutz.
I think most people here have enough experience and savvy to glom onto the most workable suggestions and filter out those that would work less well for them — and enough savvy to know the most important thing: YOU BEGIN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE.
As with every other form of preparedness, it would be easy to become daunted by the project of putting together an absolutely ideal emergency kit. A person could easily spend hundreds — maybe thousands — of dollars and who knows how much time putting together the Super-Duper Killer Guaranteed-Perfect Escape-and-Evasion Tsunami Hurricane Forest Fire Etc. Etc. Kit. A person could just as easily panic at the prospect of not being able to achieve perfection — and end up with no kit at all.
If all you’ve got is your daughter’s Hello Kitty backpack from the first grade, a couple bottles of water, and a box of granola bars … start there.
One of my favorite snippets of advice (among the many)
… came from naturegirl who wrote:
Above all, anyone who has to bug out of their comfort zone: accept that you will be miserable, uncomfortable, and will undoubtedly forget to bring something very important…as soon as you decide not to whine, then have a good cry-scared as hell session & get all that over with, the determination and survival (and sometimes even finding humor) modes can kick in…..The main thing everyone needs in their bug out bag is the right attitude (and knowledge)….
Yeah. Even you guys with the Super-Whiz-Whacker Bug-Out Kits. But naturegirl’s remark was a good reality check for me, too. Made me realize that I’m too focused on providing a level of comfort that isn’t in the cards no matter what I do.
I also appreciated Ellendra’s comment, “And, in the aftermath, remember that there will be those of us hoping and praying for your safety and well-being the entire time!”
Good advice and good hopes and prayers. Couldn’t ask for more. (Except, of course, for a complete lack of disasters. But …)
I know this will offend a certain blog lurker who considers every generality to be an Evil Stereotype, but I couldn’t help but notice that guy advice for a bug-out focuses on gear, while several of the women who spoke up addressed more abstract, emotional aspects of a run-for-the-hills emergency.
Hello Kitty backpacks and female stereotypes brings me to an unrelated topic:
Pink Freaking Guns. Now, I have an acquaintance who has a hot pink rifle, but everybody involved in the project knew it was a joke. And I’ve seen discreetly lavender handguns, which were actually somewhat attractive — though nobody I know would buy one.
But apparently, as more women buy firearms (yay!) there’s really, truly a marketing push for pink guns (boo!).
Well, I say boo, but at the very moment P.T. was sending me the link to that pink guns article, I was online reading another article about a pink gun in the right hands blowing a bad guy to smithereens. Though I feel compelled to add that the pink-gun owning couple appear to be a pair of ostentatious morons, they did rid the world of one criminal nuisance.
Still. I Do. Not. Get. The whole women-and-pink thing — in guns or anything else. I am of the “I am woman, hear me roar” vintage. Tough. Independent. You know, with shoulder pads and Attitude. And while I’m glad to see that feminism has softened and we can all strive for equality without pretending we’re the same, I still remember when women … well, outgrew being all pink and lacy and perpetually babylike. Twenty years or so ago, some tool company got the bright idea of marketing a pink toolkit “just for us girls,” and the product rapidly disappeared in a cloud of insult.
The pink-ribbon breast cancer orgy that recently seems to last half the year (and mark half the products in stores) grosses me out. A friend talked me into going to one of those “pink” events, where I got a pink bag and a pink pen and a pink notepad and blushed pink from the embarrassment of participating in such pink-bubblegum goo. (And I wonder how men would feel if half the world was covered in nursery-blue ribbons for prostate cancer. Hey, equal time, baby.)
Now. Pink FIREARMS. No. I Do. Not. Get. It.
But then, I like things to look like what they are, and guns are machines. The more they look like machines, the better.
If women are looking for the right guns for their needs, I’d rather they took advice from that tough cookie Miss Fitz rather than Cosmopolitan
Finally, thank you to the Mystery Somebody who arranged for a copy of Larken Rose’s book The Most Dangerous Superstition to show up in my mailbox yesterday. Larken Rose is a good writer, an incisive and insightful thinker, and a man with guts. I’ve just started the book and will probably have more to say about it later.
You can read more about The Most Dangerous Superstition or buy the book via my Amazon link or the author’s website. (Actually, Rose also sells the book via Amazon, so if you use the Amazon link then choose him as your seller, you do us both a good deed. But the price is lower on his site.)
I like one Amazon customer’s headline for his/her review: “‘Government’ is a secular faith-based religious belief based upon fraud, misrepresentation and concealment.” Pretty much describes Rose’s thesis right there.