[Ryan here: Guest posts are great. They are like a blogger "get out of posting free" card. Also they are sort of a nice thank you from loyal readers. Anyway this post was providential for me as I left work at about 8:20 and go to bed around 10. Thanks to Chadow because without him there wouldn't be much of a post, if a post at all. ]
I discovered some time ago that being mildly paranoid, moderately boy scout and a marginal survivalist doe not mix well with going on vacation. Every time the wife and the kids piled in to the car to go somewhere, I began having an overwhelming sense that I needed to pack more and more stuff in to my bag-- "just is case". The end result would be me running around the house like an idiot at the last minute grabbing things while the wife rolled her eyes at me. I decided to organize and do away with the anxiety.
Now, any time that we go away for camping or our pilgrimages to the the formerly white sandy beaches of the Gulf, the vacation bag goes with us. Both of our cars already have tools, roadside emergency supplies and some extra clothes in them. My truck is even more stocked, but wanted to have a pack that covered the majority of REAL LIFE emergencies that we might face id we found ourselves away from home during an emergency. This bag will not get us through TEOTWAWKI, but it would give us a leg-up on a regional weather disaster, road emergency requiring a long walk, burglary, electrical outage, stores closing, etc.
The first picture shows the bag and it's contents. The bag: 3 pockets with a lumbar support and chest strap to take the load off of the shoulders. It also has a water bladder that fits in it's own pocket. Tool Kit, made by taking the foam out of a pistol case: Pliers, Multi-bit screw driver, duct tape, zip ties, hose clamps, channel lock pliers, monkey wrench. Protection: Glock 26 with extra mag. (not pictured: both cars have a stun gun in them). : This is a large tri-fold pack and I am an ER nurse, so it has lots of extras most don't. You should still have one with the basics. (not pictured: I carry drugs in my shaving kit so they can be taken out when we get back home. They just expire in the bag and it's extensive have two kids and two athletic adults to supply for.) Multi-tool: Leatherman.
The Small Stuff Kit--made from a insert with plastic dividers(14"x7"): compression strap, sun screen, floating key ring, pen/flashlight, LED flashlight, compass/whistle/thermometer thingy, AA and AAA batteries, chapstick, 2x lighters, pocket knife, 20 feet fishing line, spike line for caught fish, 2x lures, 2x shop rags, toilet paper (folded), 2x tea candles, 20 feet of nylon twine, 2x ziplock bags, medical tape, magnesium fire starter, 3x spools of thread, needles.
I also make sure that we carry some other things with us that have dual use for vacationing and survival. We have a plastic grass mat that unfolds to 8' square to sit on. It has handles and is waterproof, so it could be used as a shelter. We carry a large beach umbrella most of the time that can cover two families from rain or sun if it needed to.
Finally, we vacation in style. We go to resorts where we have a full kitchen. This saves is HUNDREDS of dollars every vacation, but also allows us to have the option to not go out and to not have to rely on local restaurants being open. We can weather small emergencies just fine in the condos that we choose while those staying at motel 8, will be roaming the streets in whatever situation had occurred looking to feed their families.
Overall, vacationing is important to us. We work hard and believe in playing hard. However, just as someone should always be aware of their surroundings, you should be aware of your increased vulnerabilities when on the road.
Thanks Ryan, putting your time in to the blog. On the topic of fitness, go check out my blog and look at my calisthenics pages. You might find them challenging.
t his blog. I will give the blog a better look tomorrow when hopefully I leave work at a halfway reasonable hour. Thanks again!