100 Tiny Things for Your EDC Bag

Posted on August 26, 2023

Here are a bunch of tiny things to add to your EDC bag in no particular order…

  1. Foam ear plugs
  2. Mini Bic lighter
  3. Strike anywhere matches
  4. Ferro rod
  5. Glue stick
  6. Button compass
  7. Credit card-sized magnifying card
  8. Olight mini flashlight
  9. Write in the Rain paper
  10. Pencil
  11. Fisher Bullet Space pen
  12. Paper clip
  13. Safety pin
  14. Sewing needle
  15. Dyneema thread
  16. Mylar emergency blanket
  17. Paracord
  18. Compressed towel tablet
  19. Water purification tablets
  20. Soap sheets
  21. Condom
  22. Small folding mirror (regular and magnified sides)
  23. Carabiner
  24. Bug head net
  25. Toothpaste tablets
  26. Shampoo tablets
  27. Folding toothbrush
  28. Pocket comb
  29. Lifestraw
  30. Matador pocket blanket
  31. Rumpl down blanket
  32. Ultralight survival tent
  33. Ziploc bags
  34. Large plastic garbage bag
  35. Folding utensils
  36. Titanium mug
  37. Slim pocketknife
  38. Mini multitool
  39. Micro SD card covert coin (with all files backed up on it)
  40. Shedrain mini umbrella
  41. Small tube-style whistle
  42. Duct tape
  43. Mini super glue
  44. Wet Wipes
  45. Alcohol pads
  46. Bandaids
  47. Antibiotic ointment packets
  48. Small nail file
  49. Small nail clippers
  50. Floss
  51. Mini tweezers
  52. Min Sharpie
  53. Benadryl packets
  54. Tylenol packets
  55. Aspirin packets
  56. Small tube of Vaseoline
  57. Bandanna
  58. Folding water bottle
  59. Travel bidet top for water bottle
  60. Backpacker’s titanium trowel
  61. Shrink-wrapped cigarettes
  62. Mini bottles of whiskey/vodka/etc
  63. Wire
  64. Razor blade
  65. Mini glow sticks
  66. Tiny AM/FM radio/earbuds
  67. Backpacker solar charger
  68. Folding scissors
  69. Rubberbands
  70. Zipties
  71. Binder clips
  72. Mace/pepper spray/pepper gel
  73. Emergency 3500 calorie food bar
  74. Fish hooks
  75. Fishing line
  76. Fishing weights
  77. Folding wire saw
  78. Sunscreen packets
  79. Electrolyte packets
  80. Tinder fire starter stick
  81. Nitecore battery bank
  82. Mini cable kit (type A-type c, type c-type c, etc)
  83. Self amalgamating tape
  84. Osprey stuff pack
  85. Four-way Sillcock key
  86. Folding wall charger plug
  87. 10′ charging cable
  88. Folding sunglasses/folding readers
  89. Neck gaiter
  90. Titanium mini breaker bar
  91. Aluminum foil
  92. Cash
  93. P38 folding can opener
  94. Dust mask
  95. Potassium iodide pills in a titanium pill keeper
  96. Laminated list of emergency phone numbers
  97. Zpack rain poncho
  98. Small safety goggles
  99. Handcuff key/lockpick tools
  100. Small tourniquet

100 Fall and Winter Preparedness Tips

Posted on August 18, 2023

Fall will be here before you know it, so here are a bunch of tips to get ready for the upcoming season…

  1. Change your furnace filters.
  2. Get your furnace tuned up and ready for use.
  3. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
  4. Make sure your fire extinguishers are fully charged.
  5. Have a flashlight in each room with fresh batteries in them.
  6. Reverse your ceiling fans for winter use.
  7. If you have a two-story home, have safe ways to exit out the window of each bedroom in case of fire.
  8. If you live in an area with dangerous weather, be sure to have a NOAA radio on hand.
  9. Have your fireplace/wood stove flue cleaned.
  10. Install carbon monoxide detectors around your home (make sure the batteries are good in these).
  11. Stockpile fuel for the winter (fuel oil/stove pellets/seasoned firewood/kerosene/etc).
  12. Clean your gutters, take down dead or dying trees, weather seal the deck, etc.
  13. Change out your summer bedding for winter bedding (flannel sheets and a down comforter are great ways to keep warm in the winter).
  14. Put away your summer clothes/shoes and break out your winter clothing/boots/etc.
  15. Clean out your medicine cabinets and first aid kits, rotate supplies, toss and replace anything that has expired, add or remove items as needed, etc.
  16. Clean out your dryer vent.
  17. Install bidets (this will greatly decrease the amount of toilet paper you need to stockpile).
  18. Clean out closets, get rid of anything you no longer wear, and buy new items as needed.
  19. Stockpile all consumables (soap, shampoo, razors, paper towels, laundry soap, etc).
  20. Expand your non-tech entertainment options (books, board games, art supplies, etc).
  21. Empty your bug out bag, restock supplies and food as needed, replace anything that has expired, replace summer clothing with winter clothing, etc.
  22. Experiment with making your own power with a battery bank and solar panels.
  23. Have a back-up heating source (kerosene heater with spare fuel for example).
  24. Have a back up cooking source (patio grill or Coleman camp stove for example).
  25. Have back-up lighting sources (candles and matches, flashlights, lanterns, rechargeable solar garden lights, etc).
  26. Have a battery-operated radio for news and information when the power goes out.
  27. Stockpile any special items you use in your home (baby diapers, adult diapers, baby formula, hearing aid batteries, et al).
  28. Sign the entire family up for a first aid/CPR/AED and/or CERT class.
  29. Take everything out of your freezer and rotate food in order to use up the oldest food first. Note any items you are low on and replace them as soon as possible.
  30. Take everything out of your pantry, rotate the food, get rid of expired items, and restock as needed.
  31. Prepare a fall/winter garden if possible.
  32. Do a final yard clean up then clean and put away all of your yard and garden machines/tools.
  33. Do a home energy audit and add insulation/weather stripping/seal windows/etc as needed.
  34. Insulate or wrap water pipes, drain and store hoses, insulate exterior water spigots, etc.
  35. Make sure your pets and other animals are ready for winter (stockpile feed, insulate the chicken coop, etc).
  36. Make sure your vehicles are ready for winter (have chains or snow tires ready to go, revamp your vehicle bug out bag, change the windshield wipers and vehicle air filters, top off fluids and antifreeze, put a shovel and some cat litter in the trunk to add traction if you get stuck, etc).
  37. Have the tools to make your vehicle safe on the road during the winter (ice scraper, snow brush, etc).
  38. Keep your vehicle’s gas tank topped off at all times; also make sure you have appropriate air in your tires.
  39. Get snow and ice removal items ready for use (de icer, snow shovel, snow blower, etc).
  40. Winterize/put away your summer “toys” (boat, RV, pool, etc) and get your winter “toys” (snowmobile, skis, ice skates) ready for use.
  41. Get your generator tuned up and ready to use during winter power outages (be sure to stockpile enough fuel as well).
  42. Clean out your disaster supplies box/closet and make sure everything is not expired, adequate for your current needs, adequately stocked, etc.
  43. Clean out the garage. Get rid of unneeded things that have been stored there, make sure chemicals/rags are stored safely, etc.
  44. Make any improvements needed deflect water away from your home (make sure the basement sump pump works, add curtain drains if needed, put a dehumidifier in the basement, etc).
  45. Cover any access holes to your attic and/or crawlspace to keep creatures from invading your home.
  46. Make it a habit to refill any prescription medications as soon as possible so you won’t be at risk of running out if there is a disaster in your area.
  47. Have non-electric back ups for your electric appliances (ie: manual can opener, coffee percolator, etc).
  48. Check and rotate your stockpiled water supply.
  49. Make sure everyone in the family has the means to stay warm during a power outage (warm clothing layers, sleeping bags, a freestanding tent that can be set up in the living room, hats, gloves, etc).
  50. Have a back up plan for your kids (a babysitter in case school is closed due to inclement weather, a way to check school closure status of their schools, a way to be notified of early release during adverse weather, a family communication plan, etc).
  51. Practice outdoor winter survival skills (camping in the back yard, starting a fire in the rain, etc).
  52. Keep up your daily exercise routine but change it up for the season if needed (ie: walking indoors instead of outdoors, trade swimming for cross country skiing, etc).
  53. Make your fireplace/woodstove as safe as possible (put up a physical barrier if you have small children in the house, use only adequately seasoned fire wood, use a fire screen, keep anything combustible several feet away, etc).
  54. Never (ever ever ever) use gasoline to start the fire in your fireplace or woodstove; use only approved firestarters if necessary.
  55. Check the weather report daily during storm season and plan your day accordingly.
  56. Have space heaters to warm small spaces but be sure to use them safely.
  57. Take winter sports safety seriously. Wear a helmet when skiing, never ice skate on naturally frozen ponds unless it is safe to do so, don’t warm up your snowmobile in an enclosed space like a barn without sufficient ventilation, etc.
  58. If you will be hunting during the fall or winter, take a hunter safety class if you haven’t done so before, make yourself visible to other hunters (wear orange!), take care when using treestands, etc.
  59. If you will be traveling during the winter, leave your itinerary and route with a trusted person who will know to look for you if you don’t check in on time.
  60. For drivers who don’t have experience driving on snow, rain, or ice, practice in a parking lot before hitting the roads (there are plenty of videos on YouTube about winter driving skills).
  61. Always keep you home well stocked so you don’t need to run to the store for milk or diapers just as a big storm is set to hit. This way you can safely stay home and know you have all that you need to weather the storm.
  62. Keep clean up/disaster abatement supplies on hand. If a tree crashes through your roof, have tarps and ropes on hand to keep rain out of the area. If a window breaks, have plastic sheeting and duct tape on hand to make a quick repair. If flooding happens, have buckets, rubber gloves, and other cleaning supplies on hand for clean up.
  63. Review your home insurance policy so you will know what is, and what isn’t, covered when it comes to winter storm damage (wind damage, flood damage, tree damage, etc).
  64. If you live in a very cold area, know about ice dams, snow fences, car engine block warmers, etc.
  65. Sign up for your community’s emergency alert system (usually found on the city/county department of emergency management website).
  66. Keep cash safely stored at home in case you can’t access your bank or ATM.
  67. Back up all of your important documents then keep these documents in a safe place, ready to grab and go at a moment’s notice. Ditto computer files, pictures, etc.
  68. Keep back-up battery banks charged for emergency use. This includes portable 10k battery banks that can charge your phone a few times to battery jumper boxes, and larger Jackery-style portable battery power stations.
  69. Be knowledgeable about winter first aid (how to identify and treat hypothermia, frostbite, burn injuries, etc).
  70. Have a list of people you can call for emergency, risky jobs that you probably shouldn’t be doing yourself like removing snow from the roof, sawing up downed trees, etc.
  71. When in doubt, stay home. Wind storms, ice storms, snow storms, etc. all mean dangerous driving and dangerous conditions you could get stranded in.
  72. Stockpile easy-to-eat food (energy bars, cereal, sandwich supplies) that you can eat during a power outage and which don’t require cooking.
  73. Consider using disposable products (paper plates, plastic utensils) if you can’t easily wash dishes.
  74. Stock a bunch of “treats” to lift spirits during a bad storm or power outage (ie: cookies, candy, hot chocolate or S’mores supplies, new comic or coloring books, etc).
  75. If a storm is coming that could shut down your access to water, fill the bathtub and buckets so you will have water for flushing, cleaning, etc.
  76. Be sure to check on friends and neighbors, especially the elderly, during bad storms to make sure everyone is doing OK.
  77. Follow local YouTubers for up-to-date information on local storms. Ryan Hall and Reed Timmer offer exceptional coverage of tornadoes/hurricanes/etc.
  78. Use a programmable thermostat; your home will be warm when you wake up and it will lower temps when you go to bed.
  79. If you must walk outside, wear adequate layered clothing, winter socks and shoes/boots, and non-slip protection like YakTrax. Carrying rechargable hand warmers is another good idea.
  80. If you have medically fragile people at your home, plan in advance for their care. Have back up power for ventilators and CPAPs, consider evacuating them to a safer location before a big storm hits, have a plan to acquire supplemental oxygen and medications if the roads are too icy to drive on, etc.
  81. Keep a packet of emergency documents for ill or infirm family members. This should include a list of current medications and medical history, DNR order, living will, medical power or attorney, health insurance card, etc.
  82. If your area is hit by a major storm, prepare for no one to answer your 911 call, no access to an ambulance or an EMS service, no police response, no garbage pick up, etc. for one or more days.
  83. Also be prepared to protect yourself and your family. Emergency responders will be stretched thin during a disaster and help may not arrive for hours or days.
  84. Have the tools and supplies on hand to make minor plumbing, construction, and electrical fixes.
  85. Be proactive and clear storm drains by your home to prevent water from backing up into your yard and possibly home.
  86. Know where and how to turn off the main water valve in your home if a pipe bursts.
  87. Be aware of any mental or physical changes in the people in your home/neighbors. Many people have heart attacks from the sudden exertion of shoveling snow, the change of season can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health, holidays can be challenging psychologically for some people, etc.
  88. Plan ahead for winter travel. Prepare to be stranded in an airport due to storm or snow delays, carry winter clothing even if you are going to a tropical location in case you get stuck in a cold area on the way to your destination, and have enough funds to cover travel delays (extra food, hotel costs, etc).
  89. Update your video inventory of everything in (and outside of) your home in case you need the information for an insurance claim.
  90. Keep all electronics charged up. Unexpected power outages mean it is just good practice to always keep your phone, tablet, laptop, batteries, etc. charged up daily.
  91. Use storm windows and storm doors for an extra layer of protection during the winter. Remove window air conditioners and seal the space until spring.
  92. If you have a major home system in poor condition (furnace, hot water tank, roof, etc), consider replacing the item before storm season starts.
  93. Install useful apps on your cell phone (emergency alerts, weather alerts, traffic alerts, mountain driving updates, etc).
  94. Plan season-appropriate activities for the family (fall harvest festivals, holiday events, inside activities at the library or kid’s museum, skiing or sledding, etc).
  95. Hit up the Dollar Store for emergency items like matches, first aid supplies, tarps, etc.
  96. Bring pets inside during harsh weather even if they usually stay outside.
  97. If you work in an office, keep an emergency bag of supplies in your desk in case you get stranded overnight in your office due to bad weather.
  98. Learn how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning (a common killer during the winter). Don’t use outdoor cooking appliances indoors, don’t set your generator exhaust right under a window, always ensure good ventilation when using alternate heating sources, etc.
  99. In every situation, consider injury prevention tactics. Falls are the leading cause of death and injury for the elderly so avoiding fall situation (icy stairs, snowy walkways) should always be a top priority. Ditto fire prevention (don’t drop a frozen turkey into a deep fryer!), avoid driving during storms, don’t walk near ice covered power lines, etc.
  100. Remember EDAM. Educate your family, drill various scenarios, keep a positive attitude, make due with what you have in any particular situation.

Quick Tip: Learn Something In Your Free Time

Posted on August 6, 2023

Most people scroll YouTube and social media mindlessly but what if you were to spend that time actually learning something that could help you out when TSHTF? It could be any topic–gardening, how build a tiny house, how to pick a lock, how to make strawberry jam–the list is endless, and so is the number of videos on YouTube for every topic under the sun. Next time you go to scroll, check out something, anything, that can teach you something new and useful. My task this week is to learn how to fly a plane, not literally, but in the (very unlikely) event that I end up in a small plane and the pilot becomes incapacitated, I would at least like to have watched some videos and got the gist of how these contraptions work.

5 WTF Moments from This Week

Posted on August 1, 2023

It’s hard not to be labeled a “conspiracy theorist” when things that should have the entirety of our nation questioning situations, situations that in years past would have resulted in a Pulitzer for investigative reporting, are today seen as inconsequential things. Several things this week made me say WTF is happening here…

  1. A senator was publicly told how to vote during a senate appropriations session. Of course she voted as she was told to.
  2. A YouTuber who discusses privacy topics repeatedly said that if he ended up suicided he didn’t do it. Sadly, this sort of comment is becoming more and more prevalent because the possibility of actually being suicided seems to be becoming more and more prevalent. Exhibit A
  3. And how many times do mainstream news shows on every station report the same “news” word-for word? Exhibit A
  4. Speaking of the news, I saw a post that Chase Bank canceled Dr Mercola (and his entire team’s) bank accounts. Wanting to confirm this, I looked for mainstream media covering this and…crickets. It’s a pretty big deal that any mainstream media organization should want to definitively prove or definitively disprove.
  5. Finally, what’s with all of these young athletes experiencing sudden cardiac arrest? Of course this isn’t a new thing, but either due to more publicity, or straight up more young athletes experiencing this condition, it is hitting the news practically every week. The only doctor who hasn’t been deplatformed for questioning the covid connection seems to be Dr Campbell (you have to listen carefully, however, as he tiptoes around the facts which could get him banned from YouTube).

Social Engineering

Posted on July 27, 2023July 27, 2023

Social engineering is defined as “a manipulation technique that exploits human error to gain private information, access, or valuables. In cybercrime, these “human hacking” scams tend to lure unsuspecting users into exposing data, spreading malware infections, or giving access to restricted systems. Attacks can happen online, in-person, and via other interactions.” A more thorough definition can be found here. I’m not sure if we have hit peak social engineering yet but we are definitely headed in that direction.

Especially with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), people can be so easily hacked, swayed, and manipulated that it is/will be difficult to tell what is real. I am particularly concerned about what election season will look like. Here’s some ways to become more aware of, and thus more resistant to, social engineering attacks:

  1. Read the fine print. This AI generated social influencer says right on her social media platforms that she is AI-generated yet people still believe she is real.
  2. Search “sneak in” on YouTube. Some of their social engineering tactics are quite impressive. This guy pretty much takes the cake for social engineering tactics taken to extremes.
  3. Here are several ways to avoid social engineering attacks: examples here, here, here, and here.
  4. Learn about ways that social media is used to manipulate you (or just avoid social media all together). Part 1 Part 2
  5. Realize that AI will allow social engineering attacks to escalate exponentially (examples here and here).
  6. Just as in the real world, situational awareness should be key. Don’t give out personal information and don’t react emotionally to a situation (use logic and suspicion about any unusual situation). You could even play with the trolls if you want to, examples here and here.
  7. If you run into an unusual situation, try Googling the details. Chances are there will be several (in many cases several hundred) pages of information pointing out that it is a common scam.

How Not To Die in the Desert

Posted on July 22, 2023July 22, 2023

You would think it would be common sense that when it is 100+ degrees outside, you would make every effort to stay inside. Unfortunately you have people like this who think that if it is 128 degrees outside, they should go check it out. Obviously not the smartest thing to do. Anyway, here is how to stay safe in high heat:

  • Don’t hike/run/exercise or otherwise exert yourself outside when the temps get too high (generally about 80+ degrees for most people). Examples here, here, and here.
  • Similarly, if you must travel during periods of high heat, make sure your vehicle is in excellent working order. Example here.
  • If you must be out and about, try to do your walking/errands/travel in the early morning or late evening when the temps are cooler.
  • Do not head out to the middle of the desert (anytime) without a good map, GPS device, compass, and other navigation aids. It is very easy to get turned around in the barren desert and often times in remote areas, your cell phone won’t work.
  • If you make it a habit to travel in remote areas, carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) with you. At least it will provide a way for rescuers to find you should you become lost or injured.
  • Obviously, never leave anything perishable in your vehicle when it is hot (kids, animals, plants, chocolate, etc). You can replace the plants and chocolate but you can’t replace your kids or pets so leave a sticky note on your dash as a reminder to check the back seat before leaving your vehicle.
  • If you do get lost in the desert, stay with your vehicle. It is easier for searchers to find a vehicle in the desert than a lone person walking down the road. Note that you may not want to stay IN your vehicle as it will feel like and oven but you can always make a quick shelter next to it to hide from the sun.
  • Before you head out on a desert road trip, leave your itinerary with a trusted person who will start the search for you if you don’t arrive back when you planned to.
  • Always carry emergency gear in your vehicle when traveling: more water than you think you will need, clothing, shelter, etc.
  • And if you will be walking, do the same; carry more water than you think you will need, a tarp for emergency shelter, an umbrella or sun hat, wear a long-sleeved sun shirt and pants, good walking shoes, sun screen, sunglasses, etc.
  • Pay attention to hydration, before, during, and after your excursion. Drink plenty of water before you leave, drink regularly while you are out and about, and continue to hydrate yourself after your return. Especially for people not acclimated to the desert, the sudden high heat and low humidity not only zaps your strength but zaps your water reserves too. Note that you may want to intersperse water and electrolyte drinks (Gatoraid, Pedialyte, electrolyte tabs added to water) to replace electrolytes lost through sweating.
  • Note that hydrating excludes drinking alcohol or caffeine which tend to make you more dehydrated.
  • Carry a cooler full of ice in your vehicle. With ice water you can drink it to cool your core, dip your shirt or a towel in it to place on your body to cool off, and have a way to keep any food at a safe, cool temperature. Us folks who live in the desert regularly carry a cooler with ice to put our groceries in during the summer when we are out doing errands.
  • Know how to recognize the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to change plans. If the weather suddenly turns hot, skip the hike and opt for indoor activities until cooler weather returns.

Welcome

Posted on July 22, 2023July 22, 2023

Welcome to the new Code Name Insight website and blog. After (several) years of having the website then migrating to the more streamlined (at least for posting) Blogger platform, we are back at to a stand-alone website. The funny thing is, when you use Google services (such as Blogger), you get Google censorship. Several posts on the Blogger platform were inexplicably deleted (complete with a note saying they were delisted from the blog but no reason why and no way to appeal their decision). So here we go with an all new site, which, you will notice for a while, will be under a state of construction for a bit, until my assistant has a chance to move everything over here.