The Last Snowflake
Saving Pvt. Journalism, Pt. 5

Walking Home

This post by Uncle Jimbo reminded me that I was way behind on some specific posting promised earlier. Yes, my site is in the process of being upgraded, and I have finally hired professionals for the task. My temporary site has also had some ups and downs, including cracking of the homepage by an AQ-linked group. Nevermind the apparent continuing DDOS/spam attack on the "old" site that has my hosting provider kvetching about excessive CPU usage... Well, enough of that. Things are finally moving in a good direction, and it is high time to start posting as promised. One of those promises was to post on practical and rational preparedness, and Jimbo's post reminded me of the following post done a year ago September on car kits. In the interest of transparency, I am correcting some spelling and other errors as I repost. Maybe.

One of the projects I undertook this weekend was the annual car clear and re-arrange, which includes pulling out and re-doing my "Walking Home" kit that stays in the car. It is not a full bug-out kit, though it can be used for that in a pinch, but rather something designed to get me home or to help if things go bad.

I have kept something like this in my vehicles since I started driving. Not only does it make a lot of sense to be prepared, but I also used to go off into woods, mountains, and other areas off the beaten track. If something had happened, it would be up to me to get it out, get it fixed, or otherwise beat feet. While I am not in the wilds that much anymore, caca can still occureth, so I remain prepared as the best way to ensure something does not happen is to prepare for it. Most of these preparations are not obvious to anyone looking into my trunk, which has its own advantages...

The first thing any vehicle should have are some basic tools:


With what I have here, I can fix most things that are fixable outside of a shop, dig or pull my way out of problems, remove trees or other impediments, and otherwise cope with most situations. Many things pull double duty, and can also serve as camp implements if needs require. The throwing axe actually has about three uses right off the bat...

Next up are fasteners:


Fastners can also pull double duty, but I have rope, cord, wire, chains, pack webbing, and my tow rope. The latter is actually part of a cargo parachute system used to drop tanks and similar items, and so can handle about any loads I may place upon it. The snow/ice chains are technically illegal where I now reside, but I keep them anyway for emergencies, as the letter of the law will cheerfully be stretched in the face of a life-threatening emergency.

Other items include:


Plastic wrap/tarp, a canvas painters tarp, a collapsible jug, and a breath mask. Can you say waterproof and warm/cool shelter as needed? Can you say emergency window repair? Can you say being able to breathe in a dust or other storm? I knew you could, and know that you can think of other uses too...


Scrapers, tire inflator, heavy-duty jumper cables, a hat, snow salt, wiper fluid, and canvas tote bags round out the other items. With these, many car problems can be solved, I have a cover for my head as I work or hike, and the ability to go get or otherwise carry items in a comfortable manner.

Finally comes the pack. The backpack I have tucked away in the car has three major parts. The outer pocket:


contains paper and pencils, eating utensils, compass, bottle/can opener, knife, sewing kit, and locking D-rings.

The middle part:


contains food and other essential supplies. Essential supplies include a filter mask for dust or other delights, cord, and a water purifier. That brand is no longer available, but you can go find the same technology in Exstream products from Katadyn. With it, you can take water from almost any source except salt water, and drink it safely. Food includes beef jerky, sweets, salty, and even some textured vegetable protein in case the trip home takes far longer than anticipated. All the food is chosen as it will last for a year in some rather extreme temperature ranges.

The back part:


The back part contains a space blanket, foil blanket, heavy duty cord/parachute rigging, clothing, and a flashlight. Note that this is in addition to the normal car flashlight, just in case the car stuff disappears... The old film cannister contains tacks, brads, and other items that might come in handy.

Again, remember that most of this is out of sight and not taking up space in the main trunk. Modern car trunks offer a lot of places to put this and more where it can't easily be found.

Not shown are two first aid kits, one that stays out in the open and one that is hidden with the pack, and a few other implements including several bottles half-full of water. Yes, half full so that they don't split from heat or freezing. I am considering adding a couple of other things to the mix, most notably two siphons, one for gas and one for getting water out of containers, wells, or other such places without electrical power (I have one in the basement of the lair to get water out of the well if the power goes out). I am also considering adding this to the car:


though I would prefer something a bit more portable. Will see.

So, what is in your vehicle? Are you prepared to walk home or out if needed? For more on preparedness, remember to check out this archive and all the links.