a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Needing to Suddenly Grab 'n Go or (Hopefully) Just Getting to Go: Easy Ways to MAKE IT FIT BETTER

If our family or area ever faces a disaster . . .

Our first hope is that we will be able to stay in place---shelter in place---even if there is a lot of damage and all the utilities are unusable. Hopefully we could uncover, salvage or scrounge up some things from the wreckage.  

The disaster would be that much more difficult if we had to travel in a vehicle,  pull a wagon, ride a bike or walk to get somewhere safer.

We are getting old, our car is a compact and we have a very large dog.

Even getting three days worth of bare essentials in our car would be a challenge. And how much greater the challenge if we had to grab and go without having prepared for what we would take!

72-hour kits, grab 'n go or bug-out-bags need to be assembled before there is a need !

If you check out our four posts on  grab and go bags you will see the various combinations                    
we have put together over the years---some from when we had either a larger car or a much smaller dog!

I have read internet sites that not only cover B-O-B's but an EDC or every day carry.

We are somewhere in between the two. We have chosen to have our most immediate needs as portable and light as possible, with others portables packed in hope we can somehow manage to find room for them to go along for the ride.

We keep lists of what is in what pack. Our memories are bad enough as is, without bringing stress into the mix. 

We substitute or replace things periodically, and hopefully remember to change out summer/winter clothing.

We have a relative who has chosen not to prepare for the first 72-hours on the illogical thinking (in our way of thinking) of not  knowing what the emergency might be. 

I hope his way of doing nothing spurs you to do SOMETHING!

In the fall, we and our big dog (in our small car) are traveling across a few states to stay for a period of time near a lake. This has provided the impetus to find ways to compact our vacation stuff, while still having room for our emergency essentials in containers other than our bulky, and pretty heavy, backpacks.

My first efforts were packing the smaller of our emergency clothing in  food saver vacuum machine and bags and vacuuming them flat. We packed the more bulky emergency clothes and most of our vacation clothes in Ziplock-brand vacuum seal bags.

We don't plan on opening the food-saver vacuumed clothes (but they will be there is a need) and the Ziplock bags open easy and are reusable.


Milo eats a lot.  In preparing for this trip we marked the date we opened the bag of his dry food  to see how long it lasted. The 15.5 pound (7.03 kg) bag measures approximately 17" across and 27" long when laid flat.
When it is full, the bottom 12" of the bag has a bulky girth of 36!!

I measured the food in two cup portions--sealing each in its own zip lock bag. I laid the now-empty dog food bag out flat and layered the small  bags in it. One 17x27" bag holds 14 of these serving-size packets and will neatly lay flat in the trunk, being only  2-1/2 inches deep or high or thick or whatever it is called.

And, there is still room for some of his snacks bagged the same way and a beach towel! Remember? We are going to a lake and he loves water!

Collapsible Water or Food Bowls

You can find them but they are not cheap most are still a little bulky, and some admit they are only water resistant.  I found this genius idea on the internet---a two-minute youtube video. My thanks to Claude Pageau for sharing it. You may want to check it out.


Stay in touch for more of our space-saving ideas --- even more uses for the empty dog bags.

In the meantime, put on your thinking caps for ways to reuse these very sturdy, probably waterproof (I'll test that next), handy, dandy bags.

I am Simply, Gail

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