Or simply, Further Preparedness Notes.
Today I made another trip to Hull Street Outlet to pick up a few more just in case items and hoped that this time I wouldn't receive...the look. Fortunately, the gear I had in mind was harmless enough:
--one of those plasticized, grommeted, green/silver tarps in 9' x 11', which is a great all-around utility item. Not only will it keep bird poop off the car windshield, but it makes a great ground cloth for tents, sleeping bags, and lying on hillsides watching the Perseid meteor shower with Christina Ricci and Scarlett Johansson (yeah, that'll happen!) In a pinch (and with a little ingenuity) it can be used to construct an emergency shelter.
--a U. S. Army intermediate weight sleeping bag (mummy configuration, allegedly good to 15 deg. F), cover, and rubberized sack for storage. I debated getting the "extreme cold weather" version, but figured additional blankets and warm clothing trumped the inherent problems of down fill (once wet, down is damned hard to dry in the field and clammy sleeping is not high on my list of fun things to do).
--a Condor 3-Days Assault Pack, which is Condor's tacti-cool name for some of their intermediate-sized backpacks. Sure, it's probably not practical for serious backpacking or anything, but I think it'll work well on the rare occasions I go camping and especially as a Bug-Out Bag. Prior to today the only backpack/rucksack I own is a Boy Scout Yucca Pack purchased in 1966 or so and its failings are legendary, though the young Indiana Jones/River Phoenix carried one in Last Crusade.
--a Coleman Sportster II Dual Fuel Stove--"dual fuel" as in Coleman Fuel (aka "white gas") or unleaded gasoline. Not that I go camping all that frequently, but I have found that more and more places are banning open air fires, so it's a nice thing to have. For emergency purposes, well, let me tell you--one winter the gas lines in my neighborhood froze, which I didn't know was even possible, and I spent about three days wishing for some way to heat food and water--your meal choices are somewhat limited without a stove and as for shaving with cold water...well, let's just say it was an experience I'd prefer not to repeat. Incidentally, this particular stove can be found at Wal*Mart for significantly less than Coleman's list price or even Amazon.com's (and Amazon's reviews are encouraging).
Now, if I can just find a few people willing to try a Bug-Out Campout...