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The Life and Mind of DamnBlackHeart
This is to help me stay actively writing. So expect to see rants, tips on writing, thoughts on subjects, me complaining of boredom, reviews, anime, movies, video games, conventions, tv shows and whatever life throws at me.
Book Review: Emergency Bag Essentials - Everything You Need
Emergency Bag Essentials: Everything You Need To Bug Out by Jason Charles & The American Preppers Network -- For anyone who wants to be prepared for an emergency evacuation, this primer provides guidelines for assembling a bug-out bag with supplies to cover your essential needs (food, water, shelter, first aid, and communication) for approximately one week.

Presented in the accessible swatchbook format (sturdy laminated flashcards that fan out like a Swiss Army knife), Emergency Bag Essentials is the ideal entry point for anyone who wants to be better equipped for emergencies, but who doesn’t want to be overwhelmed with elaborate preparations. Written by a professional firefighter and community organizer for the New York City Preppers Network, this swatchbook outlines the contents of a quality getaway bag in the clearest way possible. One item is featured on each card, with details about why you should have it, how to use it, and recommended brands.


This swatchboook is 3.5 x 0.8 x 8 inches and contains 53 cards in total. Each card is full of information from front to back. It’s nicely organized because each section is color-coded with a symbol on it and the title is in a large bold font at the top. The cards themselves start off with an introduction of whatever subject they’re about.

The first card is The Bag, which is color-coded in green with a bag symbol. It discusses how the first step in ‘assembling an emergency bag is selecting the bag itself.” It shows an example image of a tactical bag that would do well as an emergency bag. It includes an approximation of cost, weight, and even recommended bag brands. At the back of the card there’s additional information and tips. It goes into bag features from material of it, the appearance, compartments, hip belt, load-lifters, etc.

The next couple of cards goes into how to properly pack your bag, then how to wear the bag and shedding weight from it if it’s too heavy for you to carry. It offers a list of items that you must absolutely keep no matter what.

The rest of the cards goes into different topics, such as water (portable filtration and purification tablets), basic food (stove, heat source, cookware and utensils), fire (fire-starting supplies and how-to), tarp (shelter, sleeping gear, and camp), clothing (what to have, footwear and accessories), personal care (toiletries, first-aid kit, foot care, and safety items), knives (multi-tool, rope, duct tape, flashlights, communication devices, and chargers), and making a plan (navigation, where to evacuate to, entertainment, and bringing important documents with you).

The last set of cards are about EDC (Every Day Carry) items, which is a small collection of lightweight emergency items that are carried with you on a daily basis, preparing your office by leaving some helpful items in your desk in case there’s a disaster or emergency that prevents you from going home and lastly preparing your vehicle.

I found this to be a very handy guide for preparing an emergency bug out bag. It’s great for those new to prepping because it’s to the point. It takes the work out of figuring how what you’ll need to get and I love that it offers brand names too. That makes it so much easier to know which ones to consider when in the search for essential items.

However, as much I enjoyed this I don’t like the way this swatchbook was bounded. I felt like a spiral binding would have done a better job and be less of an annoying hassle to use. It certainly is not easy when you need to constantly flip the book back and forth to read all the cards.

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