Mark Farage's Don't Go Without a "Go-Bag" at F3 Tactical - March 25, 2017

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AAR: Don’t Go Without a “Go-Bag” Class

By Beverly Jedlinski

Yesterday marked the inaugural class in F3 Tactical Inc.’s new training classroom, where course participants gathered to learn about being better prepared in the event of an emergency, natural disaster or unexpected situation of any type by having a “go-bag” ready.

Class: Don’t Go without a “Go-Bag”

Location: F3 Tactical, Inc. at 14231 Willard Road, Suite 300, Chantilly, Virginia

Date: Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 12 pm to 3 pm

Format: Two hours of discussion, instruction and demo; followed by an hour of hands-on application and Q&A

Instructor: Mark Farage with Farage Precision

Objectives:

· To provide essential knowledge for preparing a “go-bag” to grab in the event of an emergency.

· To dispel the myth that this requires a stereotypical “prepper” mentality.

· To understand the need for and purpose of a wide variety of products to build a bag in a simple and inexpensive manner.

· To learn what components to include in the bag for yourself, your spouse or partner, your kids and your pets.

· To create confidence in participants to be ready for any situation requiring a quick exit.

Materials Required:

· An open mind, and pen and paper for taking copious notes.

Key Learnings:

· Mark Farage reviewed in detail the “Rule of Three” as it relates to the body’s ability to survive without air (three minutes), with exposure (three hours), without water (three days) and without food (three weeks).

· On average, a person can carry 20% of their own bodyweight for an extended time period.

· “Blend in” and stay under the radar; do not look like you have all the resources.

· Your pack should be built for one to three days of need at minimum.

· Mark provided practical demonstrations on the difference in drying time between cotton and wool when exposed to moisture, sorting supplies in vacuum sealed bags, weighing materials for inclusion, and the smartest way to pack a bag.

· In recommending bag elements, Mark divided them into essentials including air quality/debris masks, water and water vessels, change of clothes and undergarments, waterproof items, insulated blanket or sleeping bag, emergency whistle, hand warmers, food (snacks and meals), miniature stove, lighters and more.

· In the “nice to have” category came maps and navigation tools, a compass (and advice to learn how to use it), flashlight and headband light source, batteries, infrared beacons, communications such as family radios/walkie talkies, repair tools, a knife, and nail clippers.

· In the “really important but often overlooked” category came a firearm, memory card chips secured in a case (to cover medical records, insurance documents, credit cards, personal photos and all critical information that can be digitally transported), cash (vacuum packed), state ID cards, an extra phone, travel solar panel, retractable saw, extra sunglasses, ear plugs, hand sanitizer and all personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, bar soap, deodorant, shaving cream, disposable razors, wipes), emergency contact info on non-tear paper, medical supplies, tourniquet, travel syringe kit, superglue, CPR mask, sunscreen, bug screen, mosquito netting, and a spork (spoon/fork combo).

· Mark also emphasized having one “go-bag” for the home (near your sleep location in case you have to flee immediately for a fire or other danger), and another for your car.

· In addition, Mark suggested changing bags out for seasonality or particular purpose (such as venturing to an area with a different climate) to ensure they would be appropriate for warm or cold temperatures as appropriate.

· Mark brought an incredible volume of supplies to share with the class, passed them all around for hand-held review, presented recommendations on “best” manufacturers for purchasing supplies, and gave us the opportunity to work with each of the items.

· Overall, the class was robust with information presented in a clear and concise manner, an interactive atmosphere and strong participation from attendees in asking questions and offering additional insight.

Why this Class is Important:

I have gone through more than a few emergency situations including the Rodney King riots and the Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles, a SWAT standoff in our apartment complex in Las Vegas when we were not permitted to leave until the situation was diffused, potential fire evacuations and storm and hurricane preparations in multiple locations, and more. I had actually learned to be prepared for such scenarios in terms of what I had in the house, and always kept a pair of sneakers, water and a bag with some minimal basics in my trunk.

Yet one of the scariest times I can remember was being stuck in a completely unexpected 3 ½-hour commute home in blizzard conditions here in Virginia in 2013. I had car pooled to work that day with a co-worker, and our normal 30-45 minute commute turned into a seemingly endless white-knuckle ride where we could barely see, did not know if we would run out of gas, needed to go to the bathroom, and had no water or food. My co-worker “never believed in that stuff,” and although I was somewhat comfortable to have company on the harrowing drive, I knew that we would have been much better off if we had been in my car. We might have been frightened, but we would have had food, water and a blanket in case we got stuck.

During the 2016 snowstorm that buried us in our homes, a neighbor hired a friend to clear driveways down our street, but you needed cash as payment. We seldom use cash, but we were saved by the fact that I had started to keep an emergency stash, and otherwise, instead of having our driveway cleared in 20 minutes, we might have been stuck for days.

So even though my past experiences have encouraged me to be better prepared than the average person, I knew it was not enough. It was important for me to take this class and up my game to be well prepared for a wide array of potential situations in a snap. I wanted expert input on what to do and how to do it, and for compiling priority products in the most efficient way for my “go-bag.” With Mark’s instruction and insight, I certainly got all of that.

This course is for everyone. It seems like it should be a life prerequisite. The learnings could literally save my life or that of someone else. In all honesty, I had never even seen some of the items that Mark presented; and, I learned important nuances about the various offerings in those categories. I am making my list of items to purchase now, and I intend to follow through to get my “go-bags” ready. I’m really grateful that I took the class, and I’m certainly more confident that I have gained the critical information needed for real-life application.

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