Prepping: The Trunk Check

Warren Bouffant and his little Brit-speaking gecko insure our vehicles,  So, every six-months we get new insurance cards in the mail and that’s a dandy way to trigger a ton of prepping checks. Even in huge outback of East Texas, it’s a short walk from the glove box to the trunk for an inspection.

What should be in the family car’s boot as an emergency/prepped kit?

The answer is extremely variable.  If all you drive if 6 miles, you might be able to get away with nothing and never notice.  Always within walking distance, right?

Driving the 1,287 miles of the Alaska Highway?  Well, that’d be a different kettle of fish.

A lot of prepper stories begin with a preachy party about how everyone needs this and that.  But, it simply ain’t so.

Since we are seldom more than a 4-5 hour walk away from the ranch, we don’t pay as much attention to the bug-out-car concept as much as if we lived in one of them peopled chicken coups called apartments and condos by city-dwellers.

The biggest “risk” for us is communications going down,  I try to remember to put a charged up 2-meter ham radio somewhere  in the vehicle before departure.  (Elaine won’t let me drill holes for antennas in her Lexus.  But it here only fault, so Mr, Acquiescence shrugs his shoulders…).

When we do venture  a 3-hour drive (call it 180 miles) or more out from home, we begin to slide over into the “geared-up” column a bit.

It begins with a gallon of water per person, in small Aquafina or whoever’s bottled water.  Sure, you can save some money buying one gallon jugs, but perhaps you’ve missed lugging a big judg around?  8 bounds in small containers is a lot more comfortable for lugging.

We also keep two LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness.

There’s a flashlight, NOAA weather radio.  Several rolls of toilet paper, a couple of cheap school backpacks. Didn’t look for the poncho.  A few granola bars.  First aid kit.  Space blanket, one small tarp, a para cord bracelet, plus a knife or two.  Oh, and some long-range bear spray.

Oddly, the one item that Pappy always carried (and it was used a surprising amount) was an old G.I. folding shovel. If you off-road, you can dig out a stuck vehicle…dig a poo-hole, or dig in a fox hole and repel…oops!

Amazon has an assortment any of shovels so which one it “just right” really depends on where you plan to go roaming.

Up north, one of the shovels with some saw teeth on it might make sense.  For under $20 bucks, an SOG Folding Shovel Survival Shovel – “Entrenching Tool” F08-N 18.25” Foldable Shovel Camping Shovel w/Wood Saw Edge + Tactical Shovel Carry Case. But, we are always skeptical when something is called a “tactical” anything since we can gin-up our own can of olive drab spray paint. A folding buck saw is more useful for real survival.  Or, this little $28 gem:Gerber Gator Saw It’s not a full-sized wood lot saw, but I’d pick the Gerber over a sharpened shovel, most days.

On the other hand, if you are not up north and don’t need to keep a fire going all the time, just a simple shovel like the TABOR TOOLS J35, Folding Shovel, Survival Spade, Camping, Gardening, Snow Removal, and SUV Emergencies, Entrenching Trowel Tool Featuring a Steel Rugged Edge Blade, Includes Carrying Pouch with Loop  is $14-bucks and if you feel compelled, you could spray paint the cover, if it really matters to you.  (I once turned an HF radio into a “tactical” radio with a can of spray paint and some shock mounts, but that’s a story for another day.  Sold well, though…)

Other thing that’s missing from the trunk (which I will be taking care of shortly) is a good pair of sneakers  and thick socks for both of us..  When we’re “out of the area” the walk-home trip could be a bit long and, like going up to Oklahoma to see a show at one of the Indian casinos, we may be l”out” several hundred miles with Panama Bates guarding the house..

At that kind of range from home base, the gear begins to increase.  Several days of MRE’s, more toilet paper, more water bottles.  But there’s a lot of other stuff that moves up the list.  Lead throwing equipment (ahem…) to augment bear spray.  A folding buck saw, maybe the hatchet goes into the kit.  More clothing, depending on time of year. Sun block and bug spray.

The “hidden money” also depends on where you’re driving and how far from home.  When we were flying around the country in our old Beechcraft, we got into the habit of carrying enough cash to pay for fuel all the way back to KPSN.  That was some real money at extreme ranges because the Beech drank 10-gallons an hour at fast cruise. 15-engine hours out is 150 gallons time $5 a gallon…do the math.

A wad of twenties in the car may seem excessive, but when you sit back and review things, there are a wide range of potential “headline events” that could make a hidden a roll of twenties  the smartest investment you every made.

Say the Internet goes down.  Massive cyber attack.  How do you pay for gas?

When we go somewhere, like Tulsa a while back to see Tom Jones, I made the mistake of not gassing up upon arrival.  That slowed our departure a good bit next day.

People who are ranging “widely” should be able to procure gasoline any number of ways, not the least of which would be using an under $20 –Made in USA -GasTapper () Power Equipment Model w/filter – Gas, Oil, Water, Fluid Changer Pump for Lawnmowers, ATV’s, Quads, 4 Wheelers, Power Equipment, Motorcycles, UTV, Generators, Tractors – Search “by Gentap” to see other versions

My thinking – yet to be field-tested – is that with a sufficient roll of twenties and the siphon one might be able to buy their way back to home base or at least walking range.  From wherever that was, we could break out the hiking shoes.

Bugging Out or Just Getting Home?

If you are already well-established at a survival platform, as we have set-up our place up to be, then a short list of items for the car is all that’s on the “normal” checklist for when car tabs or insurance cards come in.

  • Everything to change a spare tire is in working order and tire pressure checked.
  • Half dozen pair of nitrile gloves.
  • Quart each of motor oil, brake fluid, and power steering fluid if you are paranoid about breakdowns…
  • Roll of toilet paper.
  • NOAA radio, spare cell charger cable, 2-meter ham radio.
  • Case of water.
  • Granola or protein bars (or jerky, or whatever turns your crank).
  • First aid kit.
  • Flashlight (waterproof and batteries checked).
  • Folding shovel.

Ranging further out (to 200 miles)

  • Walking shoes with thick socks
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • LifeStraws
  • More MRE’s
  • Bear spray (and lead dispenser)
  • Fire steels and charcloth kits.
  • Fire-starting blocks.
  • Serious knives (marine folding of Bowie – either one is damn useful)
  • Para-cord
  • Space blankets
  • Blue tarp (or two)
  • Traction mats if going off pavement
  • Add to first aid kit:
    • Benadryl
    • EpiPen’
    • Pepto Bismal or bismuth tabs
    • Aspirin
    • Elastic bandages
    • DEET or equiv.
    • Mosquito helmets
  • Small overland kit (mainly the sighting compass)
  • Basic road map.
  • Basic car repair tools (wrench set).
  • Electrical tape
  • Recheck fuse spares are aboard…
  • (Pappy also insisted on a spare headlight and a spare tail light…)

Beyond 200 miles, think about:

  • A Haywire Klamper  Some rubber tape is good, too/
  • Buck saw, hatchet/
  • Basic fishing tackle
  • Flare gun
  • Case or three of MRE’s
  • More water
  • Case of toilet paper
  • Consider an overlanding GPS with trail maps and three sets of batteries.
  • 3-sets of batteries for everything
  • 100-hour candles (3)
  • 100-200 watts of solar panels
  • 500 W inverter
  • Good pop-up tent
  • Cheap digital volt meter
  • HF Ham radio and emergency antenna.

Of course, no one will actually do this because we are all so comfortable that we don’t think such extreme prepping would ever be useful because things will always be “normal” right?

On the other hand, toss in a $60 Sportneer Camping Tent 2-3 Person Automatic Instant Pop Up Waterproof Camping Hiking Travel Beach Tents for Family Groups and some cooking gear and we’re all going camping…

More prepping thoughts Saturday…

Write when you get rich,

20 thoughts on “Prepping: The Trunk Check”

  1. Dear Bard of the Waves,

    Dem yokels must be delighted to see proclamation in the public domain that Senator Rand Paul shall have a medical issue addressed at a hospital in Canada. The facility accepts payments of Canadians’ provincial health plans.

    All others please be sure to arrive with lots of Andrew Jacksons!

    • Years ago they wanted me to get a surgery.. In the USA the cost would have been very high the recovery time was months in the hospital..
      My insurance would send me brochures for hospitals outside the USA. Because the cost was a fraction of that in the USA.
      One of my doctors brings back products from her country just to hand out to her patients because the cost here is prohibitive.
      Another guy I know had his heart surgery in another country .. He not only got the surgery but recovery time all paid for by his insurance company because of the cost..
      So it doesn’t surprise me .. Probably even covered and promoted by the federal insurance that congress gets.

  2. I buy everyone that gets a car one of these as a gift.. I of course add a few things like the french press some coffee beans and grinder.. a shelter machete and auto rescue kit.. fire extinguisher gloves life straw and once a year I make crisco candles.. easy to make and boy do they work great last a long time.. I put mine in cans though then hand seal them..

    Well… my budget nightmare that I have been stressing about is now my wifes employers budget nightmare.. they had announced cuts.. and increases.. but today they gave the numbers.. sixty percent of employees will be reduced.. as the young kids walk out.. ( they always do.) they will not be replaced..the part time will be let go.. increase in charges..
    Sadly these are The exact same budget cuts I would make in dealing with the years budget.You cannot spend it if you do not have it… and boy have I been stressing about the budget here at the cottage.. The wife is of course upset.. no one wants to have all positions put on themselves. I had to remind her that even if she changed positions with another company..and start at the bottom again.. that she would just be walking into another facility which is facing the exact same budget increases that have to be dealt with and after as many years as we have worked in this type of work you gotta know how it works.. it doesn’t take a brain scientist to figure it out..I then suggested.. why not retire go on SS then work the part time to pay for the insurance till you can get the coveted medicare where you can save money.. learn the words… WELCOME TO… what ever chain you go to work for as a greeter.. you don’t have to stress some patient ripping the sink off and bashing you over the head.. or someone that has had a brain injury and throwing shizt balls at you LOL or trying to rip your throat out or break your limbs or have to bench press a three hundred pound person by yourself LOL.When the medical director of one of the top usa hospitals was just a kid going to school.. LOL and working side by side with MUAH.. I made the silly comment.. I think I have seen everything.. well we walked into a room and someone was doing something shocking and he said.. you seen that before.. I said nope thats a new one LOL LOL you never seen it all even when you think you have. a thing I have seen oh so many times through the years be like the willow be flexible.. LOL.. . but you gotta do what you gotta do..and at our age.. you take the good with the bad..I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have been the only floor worker for up to a hundred patients LOL..its a well known part of the industry.. decrease medicare payments and people are gone.. increase expenses and people are cut.. they put a good show on for the feds then the ghost worker I have said numerous times buy blow up dolls and put uniforms on them and velcro them to the walls LOL.. plenty of help always available.. LOL…
    The future I see.. is this can only do one thing.. the economy has been outpacing the increase of income since the eighties.. more unemployment and higher costs..a hundred pennies still add up to a buck..the more people are forced to seek out federal programs the more taxes that will have to be charged..uggg.. core necessities should be regulated.. deregulating those aspects.. well you already know what happens.. and we have a congress doing the macarena dance rather than worrying about national security by securing our borders as a virtual army of illegal aliens threaten to come on over.. People overal just are drooling idiots.. god I hate thinking that way.. OH MY U THINK I JUST FIGURED IT OUT…I think THE RUSSIANS MUST BE BEHIND IT not a do nothing congress letting lobbyists pay for wine women and song fancy vacation trips to the islands…..

  3. Your GasTapper idea may need some work. Notice automobiles aren’t in the list.

    Hurricane Frances hit us right in the nose when it came ashore here. We were planning on siphoning gasoline from the cars for the generator. It came as a big surprise to find out that automobile fuel tanks nowadays have a block in them that prevents a siphon hose from making it to the tank.

    • It is true that cars today have anti-siphon screens installed. However, in a bugout situation with the proper number of negotiated bills changing hands, this can be overcome (although you may get somewhat dirty). The screen is in the filler neck. There is then a rubber tube connecting the neck to the tank. Using the correct pliers or screwdriver from your tool bag (you did remember your bag of essential tools, right), loosen the clamp at the most accessible end of the tube and move it out of the way. Siphon from here. Replace tube and clamp.

    • Screwdriver will hold the block aside and permit a 1/4 inch rubber or plastic hose to bypass.

      If the car is already crunched with no likelihood of being salvaged or repaired, the same screwdriver applied to the side of the gas tank at the lowest point will permit access to the gas.

      Just sayin’

    • Lol lol not to mention in a real SHTF scenario there’s a possibility of getting sick with lead poisoning.
      Your best bet is if you have to travel then learn how to make fuel from what’s laying around

    • The antidote for an anti-siphon issue is a piece of half-inch “Class C” PEX. It is stiff enough to be driven through a screen with a palm or shoe blow, but flexible enough to wend its way past the baffles in an extra-long filler neck (à la Lincoln.)

      One of the “street tools” is a 3/8 flat screwdriver, sharpened to a point. This is typically used to puncture a tire using a nearly-imperceptible motion, and is appropriately called a tire-killer (stab sidewall, twist screwdriver on the way out. The tool reams like a fluted bayonet, resulting in a tire which is unrepairable.) ISTM such a tool, made out of beryllium copper might make an excellent “gas tank drain tool.”

      All this said, the “gasoline” we now use begins transmogrifying into mineral spirits and anhydrous alcohol @ between 5-6 weeks after its blending. Its “half-life” being < 6-months post blend, would tend to make petrol tank (or in-ground) extraction, highly time-limited, and tools of the "trade," soon moot…

  4. George,
    Check out the coin tissue from Amazon to replace the toilet paper. These things are amazing and take up much less space that a roll of toilet paper. Plus you can use them in place of a wash cloth to wash/dry your hands or face, then save them to dry out to use as TP. This is what wife and I use now in our BOB/GHB and I have found one does the job instead of several sheets of TP. Another side note, they can also be used as fire starter if you need to build a fire.

  5. I added 2 Tyvek® Coveralls / Suits to my car travel stuff. I seal them in vacuum pack bags so that I don’t have to worry about moisture and to reduce the volume. Sure was nice to put on when I was in the mud changing a tire.

  6. Er… TP,TP,TP, WTF….?
    paper towels work much better for just about everything, TP is really usless,
    wiping, washing, cleaning, drying, filtering, etc.

  7. George
    Growing up in Utah there was always a full set of chains with tensioners in the trunk. Male privilege is laying on your back in a foot of snow chaining up.

    • I apologized a few months back down at the county courthouse picking up license tabs for opening a door – for a woman.
      “It’s OK, mister…we ain’t all stupid.”

      • I always hold doors, when I’m the first one there. When not, I always thank someone (male, female, or whatever) for holding the door for me.

        If I get a withering stare or comment from a female (it has happened exactly twice — most girls and women actually appreciate chivalry. It’s “condescending machismo” they find intolerable, for which I blame them not in the least), my response has been an equally withering: “Your insecurities do not outweigh the manners my mama taught me,” followed by: “Have a nice day…” said with an innocent smile on my face.

        I have as low a tolerance for priggish behavior as I have for terminal stupidity — meaning none. Life is too short…

      • The older I get the more people start holding doors open for me. It used to be just common courtesy but I guess the exterior presentation is getting to be more and more disconnected from what I feel on the inside. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t been dealt a ration of **** because I hold the doors for all women in addition to whomever is going through it next

  8. George, driving the Alaska highway last year (1387 miles), I thought I was fully prepared with my RV. I should have taken a spare Triton 10 cylinder engine. The engine blew and we were stuck in Whitehorse, Yukon for two months, after a 200 mile tow. Preparing for trouble is important, but you never know what will go awry.

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