I was playing the Conflicted card game with our daughter and son-in-law the other day (almost had to wrestle the deck back from Brea, she loved it) and one of the questions asked what you would do if you were 1,200 mile away from home on vacation when the SHTF and you had darn few supplies in your car. The question asked if you would just stay put, since you were so far away and were lacking gear, or would you embark on the very lengthy and likely dangerous, trek home.
Well, I snickered a bit at the question, I would never find myself 1,200 miles away from home without essential emergency gear. Ammo, long term storage food, and first aid items would definitely take precedence over a few extra pairs of cute wedge heels and funky headbands, in my suitcases. Brea and her husband James, who recently launched The Prepping Newlyweds website, agreed with both the preparedness disclaimer I uttered before answering the question, and my the decision t start the long hard journey home on foot immediately – a proud prepper momma moment right there!
The Conflicted card game questions are very good discussion starters to use with your family and your tribe (AKA mutual assistance group) this particular one would be an eye-opener for a newbie prepper or a non-prepper you are attempting to educate, it just made me utter a chuckle of superiority because “me and mine” would never find ourselves in such dire straits due to a lack of gear on board.
The survival card game question did entice me to share some vehicle centered emergency preparedness tips. Although prepping is now second nature to me and I consider it a form of insurance that brings peace and reassurance to my life, I know I can always learn more and am eager to do so whenever the opportunity arises. The essential emergency car gear list was created with newbie preppers in mind, those veteran preppers among us should always take a moment to review the suggestions of others just in case a new helpful tidbit of information is presented.
- Long-Term Food Storage – buy a bucket or multiple packets that will feed your entire family during a routine outing or extended trip away from home. It would be nice if tragedy only struck when we were tucked safely away in our retreat locations, but staking your life on having such luck could prove a fatal mistake Dehydrating your produce from your garden and eggs offered up by your chickens and then vac-sealing the food in small bags is also a good idea as well.
- Tarp or Drop Cloth: The heavy-duty plastic can be used to make a temporary shelter, to be cut into slices and used as a sling, to be tied together to carry supplies, or to protect supplies from bad weather overnight while you camp.
- Headlamp and Flashlights: Hiking at night might be the safest option once civil unrest begins occurring. Wearing a headlamp leaves your hands free to carry necessary items, such as a weapon, hiking stick, or a map. Don’t forget to store extra batteries for your headlamps and flashlights as well. A portable fan, the little ones that you can tie around your neck, as also a good idea as well.
- Bugout Bag or Get Me Home Bag – A bugout bag or a get me home bag with multiple pockets is useful, cuts down on the search for items you may need very quickly. Buy a camo or black color bag so that it does not stand out during your journey. Bigger isn’t always better. Massive bags will restrict your movement and feel extremely heavy when packed over rugged terrain – or even on level ground for the hours you will hike each day. Click on the bugout bag link for a list of items you should pack in your bugout bag, get me home bag, or INCH bag and first aid kit. I can perform minor surgery with the first aid kit in my SUV, it does have some weight to it, but during a long walk with your spouse and family, the items could be grouped into everyone’s get me home bags to reduce the burden on any one person.
- Blankets: The need for blankets is largely self-explanatory, but the off label uses for the warmth-giving items should be noted as well. Blankets can be cut into bandage strips, cut and braided to make a makeshift strap to carry bartered items or wild game, used when making splints, and cut to make diapers for a baby – just a few possible added uses for blankets during an emergency.
- Spray Paint – If you want to leave a message for a loved one, or a warning to others, spray paint will come in quite handy.
- Tools – My pink ladies tool kit was replaced in the back of my SUV as soon as Bobby (and Mother Nature who yanked power away from my region for a week during a heat wave a some summers back) convinced me that I needed to become a prepper. There is now a rather large and not-so-cute tool box inside my vehicle at all times. Bolt cutters, wrenches a multi-tool, folding shovel, tow straps, ax, hydraulic jack, 4-way wheel wrench, lighter plug-in air compressor, lots and lots of rope, chains, and a come-along, jumper cables, standard household tools, i.e. screwdrivers, pliers, duct tape, garbage bags.
- Clothing, Gloves, Hats, Shoes – Keep multiple changes of clothing for your family inside the vehicle. You can layer up or tie extra clothing off of your bugout bag or get me home bag while hiking. If you get wet during your journey home, which is likely, you will need to change your clothes and socks to prevent health issues which could cause your trek to come to an abrupt and tragic end. One pair of good walking shoes or boots are on your feet and that is all you need, right? Wrong. Two is one and one is none, tie the laces on your extra shoes or boots together and sling them over your shoulder or tie them onto your pack for easy carrying.
- Paper Map and Portable GPS Device – You must be able to find your way home and staying off the highways will likely be necessary. A portable GPS device will be a worthless tiny heap of junk if the SHTF scenario is of the power grid down variety, so stock up on old-fashioned paper maps – they are not that easy to find anymore , so start searching now.
- Comfort Items – Traveling in a functional car with children for an extended period of time with can be a taxing endeavor for everyone involved. Imagine how many times your will hear a sweet and frightened little voice ask, “Are we there yet?” during a dangerous walk home that could take weeks or even months. Bugout bags for kids can hold light-weight small toys, books, crayons, activity pad, chalk, snacks, and their own pocket-sized first aid kit and life straw. Follow the link above for a complete list of get me home bag items for kids.