Gaye Levy, Contributing Writer
We all know what a bug out bag is: “A portable kit that contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster.” You will hear such a kit referred to by many other names, including “72 hour kit”, “go bag” or “G.O.O.D (get out of dodge) bag”. The exact term you use is not really important since the whole goal is to have basic essentials for survival readily available should disaster strike.
A couple of days ago I wrote about the myriad of things that could happen to put you and your family in a bug out situation (see A list for those that think it will never happen to them). Some situations, such as an earthquake or tsunami, are natural disasters and others, such as a nuclear melt-down or civil disobedience, are man made. The common thread with all of these disasters is the need to mobilize quickly and to have everything you need ready – really ready – with no scrambling around or afterthought.
So imagine this. You are on a road trip and you vehicle stops. It is early evening and starting to get dark but you are pretty handy around cars so you open the hood, move a few hoses and wires around, then try to get things going again. You are alone and there is little if any traffic on the deserted road. As much as you try, the engine is deader than a doornail and you are stuck. It is now dark and there you are in the middle of nowhere.
Darn, you forgot to charge your cell phone battery so you can’t call for assistance. And man oh man, it is starting to get cold. You are hungry and your are thirsty.
What I have described is a situation where a bug out bag in your back seat or trunk would become invaluable. So today, I will list out some essentials for the car kit and challenge you to gather these items and more so that you will be ready if and when you are stuck in your car for an extended period of time.
The Backdoor Survival Car Kit:
- A thee day supply of water
- A water bottle with built in purifier (check out the Berkey Sport or the Hydros Bottle)
- Non-perishable food such as tuna in pouch, energy bars, peanut butter crackers
A survival blanket or two
- Hand sanitizer
- Baby wipes or personal wipes
- Zip lock bags
- Fold up shovel
- Rope or paracord
- Knife or multi-tool
- Duct tape
- First aid items (Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, pain pills)
- 3 days worth of prescription meds in little baggies, well marked
- LED or Maglite flashlight
- Flares and glow sticks
- Hand crank radio and charging station (this one even includes a solar cell phone charger)
- Jumper cables
- Pepper spray
- Two signs: “HELP ME” and “I AM OK”
- Extra clothing including socks, underwear, study jeans, sweatshirt (these can be compressed in a space bag so they will not take up too much space)
- Reading material, perhaps a paperback or two and a Sudoku or crossword puzzle book to while away the timeDry pet food and treats
This just happens to be my list and a pretty darn good one the average for Joe and Josie. But this is just a starting point since your needs may vary, especially if you have children in which case you would also want to include some small toys and other amusements to keep the little ones occupied.
As you go through this list, you may find that many of these items can be gathered from what you have on hand. On the other hand, you might want to take a look at the exclusive Backdoor Survival Kit that was put together for me by Kelly over at Survival Gear Bags. This is a fabulous value and I urge you to check it out, comparison shop, and come to your own conclusion.
Getting stuck in a vehicle could happen any time, any where. Think about the list above and add the additional items that suit your particular situation. As with all of the weekly preps in my “Getting Prepared” series, nothing is written in permanent ink. Every situation, every household, and every budget is different. The important thing is to take that first step.
The moment is now.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye Levy, the SurvivalWoman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable, self-reliant and stylish lifestyle through emergency preparation and disaster planning through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. SurvivalWoman speaks her mind and delivers her message with optimism and grace, regardless of mayhem swirling around us.