Thursday, July 9, 2009

A modern day possibles bag........

As long as I can recall, I've been one to tuck a few things away. A little cash, a little food, maybe some extra ammunition and even a few books to while away a required wait. That desire to 'be prepared' predated my youthful stint on the boy scouts. I can only surmise it's genetic, as both my parents were the same.

This morning I began assembling a 'possibles' bag to live in my new scooty car. Nothing tremendous, but just a small bag with a few things that might prove handy. Small enough to be tucked away in the cargo area and not take up too much room. Not so big that it would be left behind when large things must be moved with the vehicle. Just..... a bag.

In this case, it's a soft side briefcase with multiple zippered pockets and divided internal spaces. Just the ticket for keeping gear in order.
To each thing a place and time.


  • A change of clothes, with extra socks and underwear. Denim pants and shirt.
  • A bath towel just because every cool frood must have one, and a large bandanna.
  • A certain amount of cash, equal to what I would need to buy fuel, food, and tolls for a long day of travel. It's also enough to buy a tire and have it mounted, or take a hotel room for the night.
  • Personal care needs: Razors, soap, toothbrush,vitamins, trial pack script meds, bug spray that's 95% Deet. Spare glasses (when I get a spare set). Toilet paper.
  • Two pocket knives. One razor sharp, the other serrated. One is an old jack knife with a screwdriver blade and a can/bottle opener.
  • Means to make fire.
  • A flashlight, to back up the two already in the vehicle.
  • Two ball point pens, a sharpie, and a pencil. Also a note pad.
  • A campers space blanket, and an emergency poncho.
  • A med kit with: Iodine, aspirin, band aids, sterile pads, gauze, tape, and alcohol swabs, steri-strips, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and some other meds.
  • A box of ammunition for several of my regular carry pistols.
  • An Emergency Medical Guide.
  • A few bottles of water, and a few protein bars.
  • An old cell phone and car charger, not linked to an account but works to dial 911.
  • A half dozen road flares stored in doubled zip lock bags.
It's nothing wildly fantastic, but it's enough to deal with minor annoyances and some minor emergencies. It's a ten pound bag of confidence that says I can get stuck someplace overnight and not be too uncomfortable, that I can live through a vehicle stuck in a nasty snow storm, and that I can have a fighting chance of dealing with most issues on the road. For two good reasons there are no firearms. One, the bag is easily stolen and the car is not a vault, and two.... I'm a school teacher. Self defense is illegal in schools and they are quite serious about that. Being found with a firearm in my vehicle on school property would be a career ender.

It's a bag of insurance I can grab and scoot with.

What's in your bag?


Anonymous said...

That's not a bad idea. I don't have them all in a bag, but in my car are:
A bag of dryer lint and matches (fire)
A flashlight
An old pocket knife
A compass
How to Survive in the Woods by Bradford Angier
Small binoculars
First-Aid-Kit in a sardine can.

I agree about the firearms. Though they do make lock boxes that could fit in a trunk. And I'm sure that you never give anyone probable cause to go through your trunk at work. Yet, why deal with the hassle. I'm linking to this and thinking about consolidating my stuff in a bag.

Adding an emergency medical guide is not a bad idea, either. I'm trained, but not everyone with me might be.

Carteach0 said...

In the car, but not in the bag, are a blanket (red), paper towels, flashlight, larger than average tool kit, compass, GPS, phone charger cable, a boonie hat, binoculars, writing instruments, usually water bottles, a camera tripod, and map books.

None of these are particularly bulky, and can live under the seats or in the glove box for the most part. The vehicle does not look or feel cluttered, as that bothers me to no end.

JK said...

Just a few comments / suggestions...I am not convinced that 95% Deet is safe for any living animal. Even for travelling abroad to Africa, the lower concentrations are recommended.

Any vitamins / aspirin / tylenol / ibuprofen will be subject to extreme temperature changes, thus limiting their stability. Just something to consider, so you don't go overboard with a whole bottle of the stuff.

What, no rope? Not sure what you'd use it for, but seems like a good thing to have.

I always carry spare socks, gloves, and jackets in my car. They're not in a nice black zipper bag, but rather thrown all over the trunk of my's one part of my life that I have not organized. Regardless, I'm big on keeping exposed limbs warm during cold weather.

Old NFO said...

I carry the same, plus a full emergency medical kit. I also carry one of those little fold up coolers, actually had to use one years ago to get water out of a stream to put in the radiator! And I was a Boy Scout... :-)

Carteach0 said...

JK, Rope will find a home under a seat after I visit a farm supply store (g).

The meds.... I usually swap out 'vehicle' supplies every year. You know what temps they will see, and you know what you are doing. Is that enough? Should I just eliminate them altogether?

Carteach0 said...

Old NFO, I got out of the habit of carrying a container capable of carrying a gallon/s of water when I had the new truck. Now that I'm driving an old clunker again, I guess I better get back in the habit. A folding cooler will lay down in the spare tire well just pretty as you please.

I do have ziplocks... all gear gets stored in them, just because the bags can do triple duty. They carry water, but not easily.

JK said...

Yes, I'd eliminate the meds altogether. It's interesting that lot's of people keep their medicine in the medicine the bathroom...that gets hot and humid repeatedly. It's like the worst place for meds! My Dad used to keep them in the cabinet above the microwave...another bad idea. Keep them in a cool dry place that is not subject to temperature changes.

JK said...

oh yeah...if it's an emergency, then all you need is the phone that dials meds needed at all.