Out of town for work bore-dome and the dollar store

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by 111mm Scout, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. 111mm Scout

    111mm Scout Tracker

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    So I got really REALLY bored while traveling for work and did some budget kit building tasks, I'm on a 2 week project and packed everything I needed in a single backpack for the entire trip, so no checked baggage for my flight etc. I had minimal containers, fire and shelter on me for my travels.

    What I lacked was cutlery, cordage, some first aid items, water purification and better shelter.

    Sometimes we see these videos on "dollar store" or discount survival kits and we feel somewhat at ease that in a bind we could put together something hasty and cheap. I wanted to spend some energy on looking into what is actually on the shelves of a random store near where I've been the last week and a half and what could be done with it.

    What dawned on me is this, we all kind of poke fun at the ready made off the shelf kits...but in reality...the components they are using in those are exactly what I was finding in the "dollar" store. here are some examples of what I purchased, and played with while I had time to burn in the evenings.

    Paracord= 50' $1
    The sheath I'm impressed by however when you cut it open you'll notice there are only 1.5 inner strands....I say 1.5 because of the two samples I got to spend evenings practicing knots the inner cord had one very thick and one very thin inner part. It will work for 75% of the stuff we ask para cord to do I'm sure but next time I'm packing cordage

    folding knife, serrated $1
    new personal rule of mine is on top of avoiding serrated knives, avoid ALL serrated knives cheap or not at all cost. A discount sharpening stone and plain blade knife will get you FAR FURTHER than the serrated folding knife (looks like a delca). If I had to kit up a blade while traveling I would get the sturdiest one piece handled plain blade I could find, be it in the cooking section or maybe even in the form of a hatchet at a discount tool place. Anything is better than a dollar store option in that realm. scissors and nail clippers are better options for just cordage cutting. I would perhaps find a way to ship myself a knife or otherwise obtain cutting capabilities via more reputable sources (Outdoor retail setting) A popular Leatherman model at the pawn shop down the street was only $25

    Shelter, clear drop tarp. $1
    Get a few of these plastic drop cloths combined with maybe a moving blanket or two from the import tool place and you could stay pretty warm and dry. Something I may look into more of in the future.


    In all honesty you would have to be pretty desperate to go the dollar store survival kit route. I think I could outfit better at a place like harbor freight than the dollar store. They have the job site survival kits, sharpening stones, blades, tarps, blankets, hand axe etc....lots of options for somebody who thinks ahead and is inventive.

    I know its been talked about but, I've been bored and used it as a thought exercise on what I could obtain and how quickly if I needed to walk out of this situation quickly. on that note AAA was my first stop for paper maps since I've never been to this state before.
     
  2. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter

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    Yeah, I think the dollar store survival thing is just a "thing" to play around with different scenarios. If I was in a survival situation, in the aspect of SHTF kind of thing, a dollar store is about the last place I would head for. :)

    That being said, it is a good exercise because it prompts you to think outside the box and come up with items to keep you sucking air if things get bad. It also gives a person the impetus to check out the stores when they are in a new area. The last road trip I went on, I found a military surplus store near where we were staying. I bought a few trinkets, but also saw a few things that I didn't know were available.
     
  3. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Bushmaster

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    Anymore walmarts are almost everywhere and has a good selection of low cost but usable knives. My local walmart also carries stainless Old Hickory kitchen knives. A butchers or boning knife would work well for a few more dollars than the dollar store.
    Next my experience with dollar store painters drop cloth it is a good idea to have a roll of duct tape for emergency repairs.
     
  4. 111mm Scout

    111mm Scout Tracker

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    True, as much as I dislike to shop at walmart there is one just a few miles down from where I'm staying. It was the only place that was open when I finally got to my hotel and I got some breakfast stuff from there to save some money on my per diem . It wouldn't be hard to outfit a kit for ~$50....I may have more away from home projects for work like this in my future and not having checked baggage with some of my "comfort" items will take some ingenuity. I think the only thing I would lack would be the knife/multi tool. Next time I do one of these trips I plan on actually taking a day off and not working 2 weeks straight and get out and do a day trip or maybe even a overnight.

    On the mention of tape, on my way out the door I nearly looped my mini roll of guerrilla tape to my pack. I've always traveled with some but thought I should do without it this trip. Next time it'll come with me, better to have it and.......
     
  5. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    A couple of tips from an old road warrior.

    If you will be returning to the site at all or especially if it is a regular work place... ask the hotel or even the job if they can store a tub of stuff for you.

    If you go to a spot and want to have gear that you can’t carry on the plane, buy it on site and ship it home at the end of the trip. Flat rate boxes will hold a lot of stuff.

    Of course, the reverse works too. Ship a box of stuff to the hotel or site and pick it up when you get there and ship it home when you are done there.

    I was lucky. My time on the road was when you could haul STUFF. I took a backpack full of day trip stuff with me lots of times. And, always had basic gear. Leatherman was OK then. My time in central america saw my carryon as a nice backpack with waist belt and all my gear.
     
  6. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Be willing to check a bag easier to carry some kit supplies and they are almost always with you, and as said walmarts and big box home supply stores are good places also.....are you willing to just leave stuff behind.....or do you want to go through the time and effort to mail stuff ahead or home......that's why i check a bag...unless the airline misplaces the bag I've got most of what I want as soon as I walk out of the airport door.
     
  7. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I get the feeling that you were less than impressed by the knife, lol. I'm still grinning at your obviously disgusted reaction. They truly are complete and utter junk, aren't they. As you've already surmised a basic paring knife is a far better tool, and can be sheathed between two pieces of plastic cut from anything you find (don't hesitate to go to the local recycling center and grab something out of the bin) duct taped together.
    I really like your experiment, totally agree that it makes you think outside the box, plus what an inventive way to pass the time. Good job!
     

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