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My thoughts on children's kits

Offline Jerry D Young

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My thoughts on children's kits
« on: March 14, 2015, 05:28:44 PM »
My thoughts on children’s kits

Some of these items are probably a bit counter to what some might suggest, but I try to explain my thinking. These are the basic items, geared more for the 3-year old to 10-year old, and as the basis of more advanced kits.

One might think the smallest, lightest, most compact items possible would be a good choice. I disagree. I would go with easy to use, hand-filling, cold finger usable items. I'm going to suggest very specific items, for very specific reasons for some of the items. I have tried to keep the weight down, since a small child might be carrying it. This document will be put up on the Meet Up site and www.nnpg.net site so you will have clickable links for some of the items.

01)   Whatever type of child's backpack or book bag of appropriate size suitable that will please and suit the child. This is could be a very personal decision. Or if in a group, something uniform to add cohesion and camaraderie among the individuals. Optimally, the kit would be in a separate bag inside a Kevlar lined backpack.

02)   Laminated ID w/picture, name, home address, telephone number, alternate address and telephone number of close relative with their pictures and names. Another laminated card w/home address and telephone number and parents cell phone numbers with pictures of parents with the child.

03)   List of safe houses if parents are not available with names, addresses and telephone numbers. Telephone number of a taxi service that is trusted.

04)   City map with home and relatives’ addresses marked, along with the list of safe houses.

05)   Memorize three code words. One to use to indicate it is the parent’s instructions, by them or trusted family and friends to give or receive information or be picked up. A second word that means to keep doing whatever it is you are doing, primarily meaning stay where you are. A third word to mean to follow the Get Home Plan.

06)   A small coin purse with a ten dollar bill, a five dollar bill, five ones, plus coins. (Money primarily for paying for a taxi. Including a signed note that offers a reward to get the bearer safely to one of the addresses on the laminated cards. The change is primarily for vending machines or pay phone (If any still exist)

07)   Change of underwear, knit cap, pair of warm gloves in vacuum sealed bag

08)   Whistle: The big orange Storm Whistle
http://www.survivalresources.com/Pro...Signaling.html (about 1/2 way down the page)
It is big enough for smaller, probably cold hands, to hold easily and firmly, and it is loud. They aren't likely to lose it, and it will come to mind because it is big. And orange. Can add a signal mirror if the child is old enough to use.

09)   Space blanket: The big red, hooded, heavy duty space blanket
http://www.survivalresources.com/Products/Shelter.html (about 1/4 the way down the page)
It is big enough to really wrap up in. It isn't flimsy and hard to control and handle. It is hooded to protect the head. It is red and can easily be seen. It has the hand pockets to control it while still keeping them protected. It is sturdy enough to be practiced with, re-folded, and put back in the kit. Can add a disposable plastic poncho to supplement the space blanket.

10)   Food: 4 boxes Horlick's Malt tablets (each box is 3-packets of 9-tablets each)
There are plain as well as chocolate versions. Whichever the child likes best. To the kids this can be candy, like M&Ms or Tootsie Rolls. But it is actually a very nutritious food, used by early 20th century Arctic/Antarctic explorers and WW II soldiers.
(http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/muse...icks/page3.asp http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/equipm...ion-tin-20138/ )
With the 9-tablet packets, it is less likely the child will automatically just eat all of it at once. The child can spread the food out over time, keeping energy levels up without sugar crash. And for those that might have difficulty opening the packets, the tablets can be repackaged into plastic tubes, and rotated every six months or so. Can add packets of trail mix, jerky, and some hard candies for some children.

11)   Water: 4 – 6 boxes 200ml – 250ml Aqua Blox
4 – 6 small boxes rather than one larger container that might be used all at once, or if spilled or left, the entire supply is lost. The containers are the same as the fruit and other drink boxes with a straw attached that is inserted into the box to drink. Most children have already mastered this. If not, some practice and they will be able to do it. (Consider the weight and capability of the child as too how much to be carried.) Can substitute small water bottles if the child has the dexterity and strength to get the caps off. Can also substitute juice for some of the water.

12)   Sanitation #1: Toilet paper (I prefer the Charmin version but didn't find a link)
There is a good chance the child will need to go to the bathroom. And may not be skilled enough to safely and effectively use emergency wipes.

13)   Sanitation #2: 10 Purell sanitizing hand wipes
For sanitizing the hands after going to the bathroom or handling anything that might be contaminated in the field. Get a small bottle if they cannot open the packets.

14)   Light/comfort: 6 or more Light sticks
As much for comfort in the evening as anything. But also signaling. Get several extra so the child can have a chance to see how they work and to use them so there will be less temptation to use the ones in the pack before they are needed. Have at least 2 white for actually seeing at night (only 8 hour), 2 green for longer comfort time (12 hour), and 2 red strictly for signaling (12 hour) when they know someone is close at night. Have a stout string with them, with loops tied into each end. Teach the child how to loop the red light stick onto the string and whirl it around slowly in a vertical circle. This is a much better signal than just holding it or waving it around. (If these are too difficult for the child to get open or snap, repackage the sticks and rotate more often, and show them how to use leverage to snap them.) A windup LED flashlight can be added for children that can carry the extra weight and can learn to use it.

15)   Medical items: Couple of band-aids and two larger patch bandages, prescription and over-the-counter medications (only if allowed by school), a packet of tissues for runny noses

16)   Dust mask and swimming goggles for dust, smoke, or fumes, and a bicycle helmet for protection in tornados, earthquakes, etc.

17)   Prepaid cell phone if the school allows, or a telephone card (Use at least once a month under supervision so the child knows how)(FRS radio in field kits, preferably with NOAA weather alert radio, with spare batteries)

18)   Lighter and pocket knife if allowed by school or in non-school kits (used monthly to keep in practice)

19)   When and where applicable, young women’s sanitation needs in discrete single use wrappers. Several feminine cleansing wipe packets. Add an extra pair of underwear or two in a vacuum packed bag for just in case.+

20)   Additional items: Depending on the age of the child, their size and dexterity, whether it is a school or non-school kit, and anticipated situations, there are many other items that might be included. But do not weigh the child down, include things they do not know how to use or cannot use (unless you know they will be with someone that can use them on their behalf), or that will get them in trouble at school. Some things that might be nice to have, but would result in ridicule from other children might better be left out.

Just my opinion.
Jerry D Young

(There are photographs in the .pdf attachment.)
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Jerry D Young

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and always remember TANSTAAFL

(TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch - Robert A. Heinlein)