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.