As the book release approaches, I’m tempted to take a small break from the food storage series to discuss items that Phil has in his truck in the early chapters.

What is this… “Can” you mention???

Get-Home Bags and Bug-Out Bags have been done…all over the internet…to DEATH. But I have come up with a pretty cool little trick that augments my get-home bag in all of our vehicles. I see two items that often get neglected in get-home systems: food and HAM radios.

I built a small kit out of new, 50-cal ammo cans to hold food and radio information.

The cans are virtually mice proof. I once had an awesome Sandpiper of California rolling duffle destroyed by mice in search of MREs and protein bars out in my garage. The entire bag reeked of urine, so it was a loss, even though I was willing to live with the holes. The off-the-shelf products and airing it out did nothing to make it better. I had to wear stinky battle kit to trainings and get that urine smell replaced with sweat-equity.

There’s not a bunch of food in there, but certainly enough to sustain 1-2 of us walking home for a couple of days. There is an MRE, some Mountain House, and some protein bars.

Now, ammo cans themselves aren’t perfect faraday cages, but they’re a good start. The rubber gasket is key in keeping them water-tight, but they also act to allow electrical energy to pass into the can. If its primary purpose is for EMP protection, replace that gasket with tightly packed steel wool. In my truck, it is more general purpose, so I leave the gasket in. I augment the EMP readiness by keeping the radio in a special reflective zip-lock bag, easily purchased in sets from the devil—er, um…Amazon.

I keep our family comms plan in there, too. My kids aren’t HAMs, but they’ve been trained a bit. They can crack open that can, and know exactly what Mrs. Chambers and I want them to do on both MURS, and for emergency traffic on HAM channels.