This week, we take a peek into my GHB and my car kits. I’ve covered the GHB before, but there have been a couple of fairly minor tweaks since then; I don’t think I’ve gone over the car kit much (beyond what we’ve covered in the last couple of posts). Without further introduction:
My Get-Home Bag:
- One MOLLE-style sling pack. For portable and modular things, I’m a fan of this system; while I generally avoid “tacti-cool,” but this is a good design.
- One bottle pouch. Again, it’s a MOLLE-system bag, which means that it’s probably a little overpriced, but it attaches nicely to the sling pack, and (if it came down to it) would attach to the ALICE-system backpack that makes up my BoB.
- One 1-liter (32-oz) Nalgene bottle. This fits nicely in the bottle pouch, above. If need be, I can stuff it full of other things–but then I need to figure out something else for when I go to fill it with water. (And I don’t keep it filled; if it froze and cracked, I’d be left without, and risk rust on some of my other gear… I’ll risk taking a chance on having water available at such time as I need to set out with the GHB.)
- One camping mug. The style I’ve got snugs down nicely over a Nalgene bottle, saving on space. And since it’s metal, it doubles as a cooking utensil (or for boiling questionable water…).
- Firestarting gear. This includes at least one firesteel, a lighter, and (believe it or not) flint and steel, with a bit of charcloth (which I really need to talk about, one day).
- A decent multitool. I like my Winchester, but Gerber and Leatherman are good ones, too. Personal preference is the key, here.
- Empty plastic bags. I save a few of these from grocery trips. Gallon zipper-bags are good, too.
- A headlamp, and a flashlight. It’s possible to go crazy with all the different variations of these; I recommend keeping it simple. (Extra batteries are good, too.)
- A compass, and a halfway decent map that at least shows the area around hour house–if you have a bit of a commute, like I do, I’d cover the distance from work to home.
- A signal mirror. If nothing else, it’ll help with some minimal hygiene things, which is always good for morale.
- A pen and small pad of paper.
- Mylar emergency blankets. They’re useful, and are so cheap that it’s not difficult to pop one or two into pretty much any “survival” pack of whatever sort.
- A Lifestraw, and some water purification tablets. These go hand-in-hand with the Nalgene bottle and the cup.
- A knife. For the money, I like my Mora, as I’ve said before. Unless you’re fastidious about keeping up with your blades, I recommend the stainless steel blade, but they’re all inexpensive and functional.
- A watch cap, and an extra pair of socks.
- A cotton handkerchief. Good for rough water filtration, washing your hands, wiping the sweat off, or getting wet to keep you cool.
- A first-aid kit. Something with the basics; the one I’ve linked is in a MOLLE-compatible pouch. (See? Told you it was a good system…)
And the car kit… Really, you can’t go wrong with the list from the last post. I’ll just reiterate some of the highlights, and add a couple of things. A folding shovel is a handy thing; in most cases, if you’ve got one, you can skip the bag-of-sand. Spare socks, and a pair of hiking shoes (ideally, broken-in ones). Another flashlight, and batteries. Bottled water (changed out as necessary). Ponchos, blankets, and towels. A car-care kit (jumper cables, tire patch kit, flares/reflectors, at a minimum). I’d add a couple of collapsible bowls–I keep some in the vehicles anyway, for the odd case where the dogs come along on a ride. Maybe another knife. Possibly, depending on your local circumstances and personal preference, even a hatchet. (The linked one is small enough, and has a few added features–because if it can be multi-functional, why wouldn’t it be?) And in the winter, I add a 100-hour candle, for warmth if I stay in the car.
A commenter last week chided me on not mentioning weapons, firearms in particular. As stated in my reply, while I don’t have anything against them, I don’t keep one in my car. There’s a lot of federal property and military installations near me, and the security guys frown hard on finding such things in cars during random inspections. Add to that the fact that I can almost throw rocks from my front porch into about eight different jurisdictions, all with differing firearms laws, many of which are contradictory and/or non-reciprocal, and I just don’t want to mess with it. No, no guns in my car. But you’ll note that I’ve got more than a few weapons there… And (bonus) they all double as multi-purpose tools. In the scheme of things, if I’ve pulled my GHB, and grabbed whatever I could out of my car kit, and I’m walking home, it’s probably the early days of an emergency, and things aren’t likely to have gotten that desperate yet–and I’ll be headed away from major population centers, which does quite a bit to add to my safety in that instance. And I’ve always preferred to avoid fights, if at all possible.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve got. I may do a “homestead update” with my next post, but I’ll be keeping on with the Family Survival Planning Guide as well. (Also, the nice folks at GamePlanExperts.com have asked me to review their Preparedness Score test; I’ll get to that at some point as my schedule allows, and talk about that in an upcoming post. In the meantime, I like their car kits; do check them out!) What do you folks think, so far? Is there anything I can clarify, or questions I can answer? Ping me in the comments.