Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Disaster Shopping Event: Kathmandu trip

I was wandering the streets recently, and passed one of the big-chain outdoors stores with a sale on, and thought I'd pop in to see what was what.  I thought I might do a new thing for a spot. I wandered around and found 6 items that I would want to grab and go with if a disaster was imminent. This wasn't a very well thought out thing, and I might do it differently next time, but the premise was: "if SHTF whilst out strolling, what would I grab and go with, right now". I had parked my car only a block away, I had my family with me (Omega, Lorin and Tactical Baby), so we already had a reasonable EDC and BOB capacity on-hand.

Dynamo Radio which gives you a portable and personally powered connection to the outside world, at least listening in. The Radio is recharged by turning the crank for 90 seconds (providing approximately 40 minutes of playback). It also features a torch, clock and alarm. It carries a IPX6 "Splashproof" rating, and even features an earphone jack (reducing your noise signature, and reducing power consumption).

 An internal rechargeable battery pack (2.4V/300mA) powers the radio two LR-44 button batteries run the clock, but it can It can run off AAA 1.5V batteries or be powered by an external DC3V adapter. It has a pretty standard frequency range (AM 540-1600KHz, FM 88-108 MHz). It weighs 200g and is pocket sized.

Phantom MTB v4 hydration pack caught my eye as a carry-it-all.
Lightweight & simple, with enough room for the essentials required for a short trip if we had to hump it. Its design encourages airflow & comfort, with airmesh harness and backing and and adjustable straps. It features a multi-tool organiser, waist strap for secure running or climbing, reflective come-rescue-me flashings, and is 2L hydration bladder compatible. It's construction is of some very lightweight materials, the main body being a P600D Oxford, the trim a N420D SC HD and the lining N210D Oxford, all materials are double polyurethane coated for waterproofing.  It weighs only 390g and this is telling, it's a pretty flimsy pack, compared to the usually mil-spec bags I'm used to, but it would have work well enough for what

With more storage and salvage in mind, as well as contamination reduction, I spied a
Dry Sac 3-pack, which would meet that need. Constructed of a light but tough 30D diamond patterned nylon ripstop with polyurethane coating. The three pack comes in three sizes: Large 48cm L x 33.5cm W, 8L capacity, medium 38cm L x 26.5cm W, 2L capacity and small 28.5cm L x 20cm W with 1L capacity. They are lightweight, durable, and water resistant with sealed seams. I really like dry-bags,  Its just a matter of stuffing them, rolling down the top a minimum of three times to cover the flap and folding back and clasping the Fastex buckles.

I also saw a pretty good little pocket sized Survival kit in a find-me Safety-Orange case the case's contents: Pencil, Waterproof paper, fire steel and striker, cotton wool (2pcs), button compass, whistle, survival mirror, Wire saw, a small multi-tool, snare wire, fishing kit, salt sachet (2pcs), safety pins (2pcs), duct tape, zip-lock polybag, braided nylon cord and a carabineer.

It's only 12cm x 10cm and weighs 186g, so would be a very quick way to bolster a survivors kit on short notice.

Power and light are key elements for even short term comfort in a disaster situation ,and can greatly improve morale which is where something like the LuminAid come into play
This is a solar powered, inflatable LED light, with a waterproof (IPX-7) solar cell, battery and LED lantern, which is housed in a PVC-free balloon, which makes it buoyant, and dissipates the light evenly, making it a lantern rather than a flashlight. The battery is fully charged after 7 hours of direct sunlight, and can retain its charge for up to three months, before needing a top up. 

It has two light settings, a 15 lumen glow, with 12 hours of illumination, and 30 lumens, with 6 hours of charge. The bladder is blown up by a valve, the same kind of valve seen on pool toys world wide. At 77g this is a simple innovation that would go a long way to driving back the chaos after a disaster, especially in a family situation. 

A second light also caught my eye, this time as a communal power source as well as light source. The Power source lantern has a Cree R5 LED 3W light with four lighting modes: high – 150 lumens; medium – 75 lumens; low – 13 lumens; flashing, with corresponding run times: high – 6 hours; medium – 12 hours; low – 94 hours. The lantern also features a USB output which can be used to connect and charge your digital devices as a power source. It features a rechargeable Li-ion 3300mAh battery offering DC 5V-1A Max output. 

The lantern can be placed on its base, hung by its built-in hook, or attached to metal via powerful built-in magnets. It also features a battery indicator and has a  IPX5 splash resistance rating. Being able to keep a phone charged can also be really useful and potentially life saving survival tool.

So, there is my quick summary of six items that caught my eye that I might grab, if I happened to be passing near a Kathmandu store in the outbreak of a sudden disaster. 

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