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Imagine this, it's two weeks after the SHTF and you running low on AAs and there isn't a D cell around for 200 miles without a paranoid trigger finger between you and it. Your Maglite is dead, your comms radios are about to be done, and smoke signals draw too much attention. If you haven't thought about this before, then how about now?

The get home bag, holding the gear to get you home and not mark you as a crazy person or target, should also be functional during daily life. Honestly, if you are not functional during daily life then you need to talk to someone about it. I will focus on getting home from work since most of us spend the majority of our waking time there. This can still work for other situations, the point is to critically and tactically think about the situation and the location. Hopefully this will help you get started on that path.

How do you communicate privately? This is a problem that has plagued mankind for centuries and has entered a new era of need with the advent of texting, instant messaging and mobile phones. For all intents and purposes, all of that data is currently transmitted in the clear. Government servers get split feeds direct from the phone company. Texting is not even encrypted at all and law enforcement can get transcripts of messages. So how does the average person protect themselves and exercise their right to privacy?

The venerable axe is arguably the most useful tool anyone can own. With proper care an axe head can last for multiple generations. You can routinely pick up axes for around $10 at flea markets, estate sales and the occasional yard sale, but we recommend the estate sales. While you are there look for a decent chainsaw if you don't already have one. In one instance we saw a $450 Husquavarna chainsaw go for $30.