Sunday, October 09, 2011

My car kit

Back in January of  '97 we caught a series of warm winter storms that really fucked things up here in the valley. Widespread flooding from the premature snowmelt to the point that the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Rivers all overflowed their banks and joined together to form a huge lake.
About the only things that were semi-dry were the roads because they were built up higher. It was a strange sight, thousands of acres underwater with a road snaking down it for miles.
I had to cross the San Joaquin to get to work in the next county and the water was so fucking high it was sloshing over onto the roadbed. I honestly didn't know if the bridge was still going to be there when I got off that morning and there were only 3 bridges crossing the river within a reasonable distance, so I started carrying a road bag with me in case I had to get a room on the other side of the river for a night or two.
It had all the essentials, just your basic overnight bag. Small enough to be out of the way but had everything you needed to get by for a day or two - extra change of clothes, toiletries, pint of whiskey, shit like that.
I never needed it but I stayed in the habit of keeping something like that behind the front seat of the truck.

Well, the floods of 97 are history and life is back to normal, full of uncertainty and fear. I've adjusted my roadbag - before it was geared to a night somewhere else, now it's geared to getting home on foot.
My line of thinking on its' contents are this:
I only work 35 miles from the house. That can be walked if needed. Granted, there will be much bitching and moaning about it, and it may take a while longer than I want because I'm old, but I can do it if I have the basic shit. Gotta have shelter (I ain't walking 35 miles without a break, fuck that shit), food and water.

I need calories for 2 reasons. Number One, you gotta have calories for fuel and Number Two, I get downright cranky if I don't get my 4-5 meals a day.
I took care of the munchies with an MRE and heater along with 8 or 10 nasty fucking oat granola bars from the Dollar Store. Why the nasty ones? That way I ain't tempted to eat them when I'm on the road and get hungry. I mean, they don't taste bad, they just don't have any taste period. But they're 110 calories each. I also had a tuna and cracker lunch in there (that I need to replace) but I got hungry and....... well, you know.
As far as the water goes, there's the fancy water bottle and a package of purification tabs. I also have a 2 quart collapsible canteen somewhere behind the front seat but I didn't feel like digging it out for the picture. I've got a river and several canals along my route home, so the plan is to fill them both, treat them, and hit the road. By the time the nasty germs are all dead, I'll be at my next water source. Drink, refill and Charlie Mike.
For shelter there's an 6'x8' camo tarp behind the front seat and then there's a space blanket to wrap up in. It's all I need, it rarely gets below 30 degrees here at night. Besides, if I get too cold, I'll just fucking walk.
There's also a tube of bug spray, a couple of hair ties for my hippie hair, a small bottle of liniment, toothbrush and paste and a pair of socks for my comfort.
I also have an LED flashlight, 50 feet of 550 cord, a pair of pocket binoculars, a pocket knife and multitool and a fancy weather alert radio that D turned me onto.
And then there's a neat little package that I bought at the surplus store for 12 bucks that has all kinds of neat shit. I don't know exactly what all there is because I haven't opened it, but I can see a compass, matches, about 3 feet of duct tape, some light weight wire (for snares?) some monofilament and hooks and some first aid shit.
You'll notice one thing that is conspicuously absent and that's a firearm. My employer conducts random searches of vehicles leaving the property as well as retaining the right to search anybody and/or vehicles at any time. So that takes care of that.
The one piece of gear that I keep in my vehicle and hunting gear at all times, believe it or not, is a shamagh like our friends the muslims wear. Seriously, that thing will keep the sun off, the skeeters from biting, the sand off you and it does a damn fine job of breaking up the outline of a human head.
I wear one all the time when I'm coyote hunting, which will probably bite me in the ass though if some Afghanistan or Iraqi war vet is also hunting the same area and spots me wandering through the brush...... But as far as the head rag goes, I'm not too proud to learn from our enemies.
But yeah, I put all that shit in a surplus map case that I bought at my local Army/Navy surplus store for $8.50. It all fits with more than enough room to squeeze anything else that I might scrounge out of the truck at the last minute like sunblock, batteries, chapstick, etc.
So the whole package as pictured weighs less than 5 pounds, fits nicely behind my front seat and can be carried slung across the back, over the shoulder like a purse or strapped around the waist, ass-pack style.

So that's my basic everyday car kit, the one I carry as I travel during the week back and forth to work.
If I were headed up to the mountains or any considerable distance from home, I just toss my Git Kit in the back of the truck. I can run hard for 3-5 days with what I have in there, but that's a post for the near future.

If don't already have something for your car, consider spending the money and putting it together. Tailor it to your specific needs - for instance, if you don't work in comfortable shoes, put a pair of walking shoes in with it. If you take meds several times a day, put a couple days' worth of meds in there.
You'd be surprised at how little you need to buy. Fuck, everybody has an extra toothbrush laying around, a change of old clothes, you know? I think my total outlay for this was maybe 20 bucks.


Anonymous said...

Gotta keep some moon floss handy
Mike in Fullerton

Anonymous said...

A friend living in Oregon had the same problem with guns in his car on the job.

After thinking about it for a bit we came up with this idea.

Buy a pawn shop S&W Model 10 or whatever your druthers are. Test it, clean it and wrap it up in anti-corrosion paper and seal it up in an anti-corrosion bag.

Take it and some bagged ammo and reupholster your truck. If you ever need it, well you do have a knife right?

Hell if you put the gun in a soft locking gun bag it would probably be legal.

Grumpyunk said...

I made a pretty good kit for my wife's car several years ago but nothing much in my truck. WTF is wrong with me?

Mr. Miracle said...

Since I would have to cross a major metro area to get home, I have a larger kit to start with, but it can easliy be pared down. I don't have the firearm problem here in AZ, so I carry my Kel Tec .223 and a full size .45, cable locked to the fram in my trunk. I will get home! I'm suprised you haven't built in a lockbox for a gat under the bed or in back of the engine compartment. Hell, I bet you could build it somewhere under your dash so that it wouldn't be seen unless they rip the dash out. Get inventive, you got a good woman to get back too!

Skip said...

I got stuff like that in a backpack in my truckbox.
Plus tp, cheapass first aid kit with added Israeli bandages, a MK3 Ruger w/4 mags, a GPS w/extra battery, a good compass, no cooking stuff [my fatass could miss a few] and since I don't work where you do, my carry 1911 w/2 extra mags.
If the cel don't work, and I got a hundred miles to go, and the thumb don't work, I will jack the next ride.

dhanna59 said...

Where did you get that yellow NOAA radio with the OD 100 mph covering the battery cap? Huh? Where? Gotta call the Modesto PD bout that shit, I think some body elses name is scratched into that bitch...