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,


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