Sunday, June 16, 2013

Guest Post - "Redneck Emergency Kit"

by Tristan Miske
My parents and my parents-in-law do crazy things like rafting or kayaking wild rivers, and backpacking and camping and things like that.  They've been trying to find a truly waterproof way to pack a few emergency supplies, so I decided to experiment.
I've heard of using small containers like Altoid mint tins or vitamin bottles, and probably a few others I can't think of right now.  But after watching guys at work, and other places where I hang out, throwing away chewing tobacco cans I decided to give them a try.  For the record (mother, are you listening?) I don't chew tobacco, I swear they're someone else's cans. 
I started off by laying a book of matches in the bottom of the can.  Then I dug some dryer lint out of the trash can in our laundry room.  I know I could have soaked the dryer lint in Vaseline or something else to make it kind of like a fire starter but I thought it might get the matches gooey and make it hard to light them.

Before I stuffed the dryer lint in the can I took some of it outside and lit it to see how well it caught fire and how good it burned.  It passed the test, so here it is, nestled in the can with the matches underneath it.

The top part of these cans have a separate storage space.  It's supposed to be a place to discard 'used' chew, if you need a place to put it.  I put four ibuprofen tablet in there, but you can put other pain relievers such as aspirin or Tylenol in there, or small hard candies for emergency energy.  If you're diabetic the candies might be a good sugar fix if your blood sugar drops.  That might happen if you are unexpectedly in the wilderness longer than you planned.  I'm not real familiar with diabetes, so I'm just talking from vague things I've picked up along the way.  I'm barely an adult, so don't be too hard on me. I do take preparedness seriously though.

Now time for the submersion test.  Into the sink and then I filled the sink with water. floated.  Well, that's actually a good thing, because if, for example, you're on a wild river and you dump into the water and your little kit gets away, it floats.

But I wanted to see if it was really watertight, so I forced it under the water.  After a few minutes of staring vacantly at it I weighted it down with something and left it for a while.  When I came back I opened it up and the contents were still dry.  I made up two more and submerged them as well, to make sure it wasn't just the first can that was water tight.  All three cans emerged from the water with dry contents.

Knowing how invisible something like this little can could be on a river or lake, I tied some of this marker tape around the can.  First one direction, then the other, and tied them together.  That gives the can visibility.  If you're staying on dry land you might not want to use the bright tape around it, but remember, it's possible to fall into water when you're not expecting to.  I, family members, who have fallen into streams while crossing on downed trees.  If they needed to make a fire to dry out clothes and warm up, they would have this handy little kit to start a fire with.  If they got bruised up in the fall, they could make use of the ibuprofen.  If the can fell out of a pocket, they could find it and retrieve it, and hopefully not fall in again getting the can out of the water. 
I'm thinking of other things that could be put in these little cans.  A small compass maybe, and a map printed as small as legible and folded to fit in the can.  No one plans to get lost, but it can happen.  I'm on Search & Rescue, and we hear that a lot.  Another thing that could go in the can is a fish hook and about a 10' length of fishing line coiled up and tied.  Fishing line takes up almost no space.  If you get strong enough fishing line you could use it for snares for small animals, doubling it if you need too.  But then we're talking about survivial food for the seriously lost folks.
If I come up with more cool combinations for the kit, I'll send in updates to be added to this post.  Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Miske, for this information.  It's always nice to see the younger generation taking preparedness seriously and doing things like this.  Keep up the good work, and please do send in more as you experiment.
Please leave comments or questions below, or email them to:
Susan and the Poverty Prepping team


  1. What a great idea! I can't wait to try this out. Thank you.

  2. This is a take and run with it,kind of thing. Awesome! Thank You!

  3. I really appreciate the idea! Nice stocking stuffers for my kids, and it would be great to have extras about for surprise guests around the holidays. Almost wish I knew someone with the tins to dispose of (not that I wish the habit on anyone). I will try to find the mint tins you speak of, instead, even though they don't have the separate compartments. Thanks.