Solar Charger Mat: Look around and you can find one of these sufficiently sized to recharge a cell phone or a set of batteries. I've become a fan of AA-powered LED lights using rechargeable AA batteries. The sun is a wonderously overlooked source of energy none of us can afford to ignore in a survival situation. The portable mat chargers are neither big nor heavy so get two. Add them to your kit. Get two more to put in your GOOD vehicle. Having the ability to recharge batteries will enable you to carry and reasonably expect to use such convenient devices as:
- Kestrel weather tracker
- GPS unit
- Cell phone (if power grid stays up)
- flash lights
Water Purification: You can't expect the water in your hydration pack or canteens to last forever. Eventually, especially if you're on foot, you will have to find a source of potable water. Even if you THINK it's pure, you need to be safe. Water purification tablets are one option. UV Light treatment, such as from the Hydrophoton Steri-PEN, are another. Yes, you can always purify water by heating it up but that means you need to make sure you have a pot or metal pitcher (coffee pot type) in your Bugout Bag. The Steri-PEN or a small filter are far lighter and more compact. Be careful with the compact filters though - they DO have a limit on how much water they can filter.
So, those are my '09 updates. I hope you found them useful. Please forward or share any ideas you have beyond them.