Combat mindset and situational awareness are areas I have discussed over and over throughout my articles. Anyone that takes being prepared and prepping, in general, seriously must understand these core principles as the foundation. Today, we’re doing just that; building on that foundation by adding a Vehicle Go-Bag. As we continue to prepare for all that’s lurking in the world of the unknown (natural, manmade, crime, and of course the SHTF moment) realize most of us spend a lot of time in or around our car. In fact, some of us may spend more time out of our home and near our vehicle throughout our work and play schedule. At work, a few steps away is your reliable (hopefully) car, ready to whisk you away from any danger… or perhaps just to lunch. This being understood, as we generally have access to our vehicle, our vehicle is what gives us freedom as Americans.
There are many reasons for a respectable Go-Bag in your vehicle and if you accept my defense that we, as Americans, spend a great amount of time in or near our vehicles then we’re moving in the right direction. I would like to simplify three areas that meet a need for having a well-stocked Go-Bag in the vehicle.
► The unknown - (minimal level, no bad intent) a catastrophic event has occurred, it’s not an intentional attack or terrorist act but more of a natural unexpected or manmade disaster. Think a tornado, tsunami, nuclear power plant accident, train wreck, major rioting, or a Center for Disease Control event. These are unexpected events that may catch us at any time throughout the day or night. We may have to move with little notice and no time to pack anything, except our loved ones, in the vehicle. Additionally, under the unknown is the unexpected accident. Imagine you’re with your family driving in a snowstorm as you head to your favorite ski destination. A plow truck rolls by and you lose all visibility of the road. Next you’re off the road, down a hill into deep snow. Quickly, the snow hides any evidence of your vehicle’s tracks leaving the road and, of course, you know there’s no cell coverage. The good news is your family is unharmed and safe but you are stuck and stuck good. This isn’t a story of the impractical. It seems every winter there’s reports of a family or individual in these exact circumstances. What you have in your car (or don’t have) and how you handle the situation could mean the difference between surviving days until weather clears and help is found, or not surviving the accident only to have someone stumble upon the accident months later in the spring or summer.
► The known - you know there’s an event on the way (hurricane, flooding, escalation violence in the area).
► The SHTF moment - the day we all dread but hopefully prepared for; a man-made event that guarantees lawlessness and lack of order will ensue. Now’s the time to go to our well thought out evac location and we need to activate the evac plan now. Everything in the car must be ready to go (just don’t forget your weapons). Plan for 72 hours of supplies in the vehicle even if it only takes 8 hours to get to your evac location. Also, if your evac location is further, you’ll have already cached gear along the way (you did, right?) to resupply and continue to stay off the grid away from the majority of the population.
There are many prepacked Go-Bags on the market; anywhere from $100.00 to well over $1,000.00 dollars. I examined several of these kits but looked over one, which retailed for $1,199.00 that included several of the key items I would include in my list (see below). Now, no premade kit will have everything you desire or need, but it’s a good start if you don’t have the time to put one together. Or if you have excess funds, get someone else to put it together for you. Also, as I went over this $1,199.00 kit, I realized it’s not top quality and I would’ve replaced many of the items with different brands. At the very least, online kits prompt you to think about what you may need. If you find an expensive one that’s fairly inclusive, use the packing list as a guide when you’re preparing your kit. Hell, if you’re really keen on having someone else do it for you, I would be happy to have you pay me to go shopping and pack your bag for you. My point is that even with a good paid-for kit, you can do better putting it together on your own. In fact, with Amazon, you can pretty much do all your shopping from home.
Here’s a list I suggest to get you started.
Vehicle Go-Bag Items:
► Bolt cutters (You never know when you’ll need to breach a lock)
► A Lock to replace anything you cut (replace the lock after cutting so the next guy can’t get it)
► Tool kit (comprehensive to your skills and needs, remember you may not have another chance to get additional tools so think through this well)
► Shelter (Keep in mind your geographical area, as in what do you need to stay dry and warm?)
► Riggers tape (Lots of it)
► 550 cord (Lots of it)
► Glass breaker (handy in vehicle and secured in case of roll over)
► Powdered spark plug (works great to break glass “quietly”)
► Tow rope
► Water (enough for everyone in your party for at least 72 hours “1-gallon per day per person”)
► Food (High, high protein, and healthy comfort food)
► Icon LIFESAVER jerrycan, LIFESAVER cube, or LIFESAVER bottle
► Survival (a few, something like a military poncho liner is a solid option)
► Hand sanitizer (keeping clean is important and it also serves as a fire starter)
► Baby wipes or personal wipes
► Zip lock bags (Water proofing)
► Fold up shovel (E-Tool)
► Rope or paracord
► Knife or multi-tool
► First aid items (Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, pain pills)
► 30 day’s 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 (less than lethal options are always a start)
► Extra clothing including socks, underwear, sturdy jeans, sweatshirt (these can be compressed in a space bag to conserve space)
► Reading material, perhaps a paperback or two and other items to keep your mind working and occupied during lulls in action. (If you have pets, think about what they’re going to eat)
Stay alert, stay alive!