Most preppers probably have a pretty good handle on how to assemble a bug-out-bag (BOB). And, it’s probably so large and ungainly, that it gets stuck in the closet, just like mine. Let's be honest, are you going to have it when you need it? I think we have covered the likelihood of being at home when “it” happens in plenty of detail in the past. We have seen that the chances of you being at home on your couch with your BOB beside you are slim. What about all the other situations? In other words, where to you spend a sizeable quantity of your life in a situation that can easily turn against you? And, in this situation, are you adequately prepared? Lastly, are you just thinking of yourself, or thinking of your dependents…who are what really matter.
Ironically, about a month ago, Alabama had one of those Jesus Is Coming moments when the white stuff from hades started falling. If you don't catch the joke, it's that Alabama shuts down at just the threat of severe winter weather. I was sitting here in my office when the loud speaker told us to go home. In the ice and snow. 2,500 people all recklessly driving to pick up their kids. Not only does Alabama shut down, but Alabamians don't know how to drive in bad weather, of any kind. But they are particularly incapable of driving in snow and ice. Case in point is that on Interstate 65, wrecks caused 24 hour delays. Most of these delays were between exits in a very rural area. Families were trapped in their vehicles for a whole day.
I guess you can see where I am going with this article. The fact is, you use your car every day. You spend a sizeable amount of your life in a car. And of all things that you do, driving is probably both the most dangerous and most likely to put you into one of these situations. Here is the kicker: it is also the most likely time that you will have to fend not only for yourself, but for your entire family. Face it, being stuck in the snow for 24 hours is bad. But, you…by yourself…could hump it, if you had to. It wouldn’t be the end of the world. But it wouldn’t be the case for me.
So, my wife...ever supportive of this hobby of mine...saw a real application of survival prepping. She asked me to make an emergency kit for the car. While most of you reading would think about gas cans, flashlights, and tow straps, recall that many of us have kids. Young ones. We can't just start humping it up the interstate. We need food, water, and warmth. Now, I know times are hard and people have a tough time spending money on things they will probably never use. But, you can't put a price on safety, convenience, or comfort. These things do happen. All the time.
I am going to show you how to put together a simple kit that will buy you 24 hours of comfort and assurance for you and your family. And I am going to do it on a budget that anyone can feel good about, while maintaining the useful space in your vehicle.
After a few weeks of procrastinating, I finally got serious (and got paid...). The first thing I did was to shop at the Emergency Essentials web site. They have plenty of “all in one package” items, but not only was the all in one survival bags a little bit more than I wanted to spend, it took the fun out of shopping and building it for myself. Not only that, but everyone is different in their level of survivability. I started out by buying the 72 Hour Improved MRE kit. This cost $58 dollars.
Contents of the Improved MRE 72-Hour Food and Water Supply
- MRE Main Dish Entrees 9
- MRE Side Dishes 6
- MRE Dessert 6
- MRE Drink Mix 3
- Water Pouch 18
- Bread/Biscuit 3
- Peanut Butter 2
- Jam Packet 1
- Cheese Packet 1
- Hard Candy 3
- Accessory Pack 9
Now, that's a big box of stuff, and honestly, as I counted up the calories, I realized that we didn't need all of this, nor could we fit it in the car conveniently. I figured we needed a solid 1,000 calorie meal and days’ worth of water. After all, we are American and it would take weeks to starve us fat people. But kids get cranky and it's hard to keep your wits about you when you have 3 of them telling you how hungry they are. Turns out, by counting the calories in each item, it took one MRE main dish, one dessert, and one fruit for a 1,000 calorie meal. Multiple that by 5 and I actually had 1 person's day worth of food left over, which I added to my 24 hour bag.
Additionally, I added:
- Wool survival blankets for $11.99. That's a steal. These things are heavy and huge. And they normally cost $25.
- 5 Hothands Super Warmers. I bought these for $1 each.
- 3 Mylar emergency blankets. I bought these in a lot of 10 from Amazon for under $5
- 3 glow sticks. I bought these in a lot of 10 for $11
- Baggie of vitamins and OTC pills.
- One large flashlight
- Basic hand tool kit
- Straps and bungee cords
- Can of Fix-A-Flat
Even after I put this together, I noticed that there were some other things that I think should be added, but aren’t necessary. For you, they may be, so don’t forget about things like playing cards, sanitary wipes/toilet paper, extra plastic sacks, spare sets of clothes, and, if you need it as we do, baby formula.
While the people reading this already are like-minded and see the benefit of this kit, I am trying to appeal to those that aren’t. The Top Two Questions you are asking are: 1) I bet it’s a lot of money for something I will never use and 2) That much stuff would be impossible to fit in my vehicle. These two questions were foremost on my mind when I put this together. Why? Because like everyone else, I am on a budget and I have three children and all of their stuff. Yet, it fits nicely behind the back seat of my Chevy Yukon. It isn't very heavy. The total cost was under $60.