You've broken down in the middle of nowhere, no cell signal and not another living soul for miles around. What a bad day! This scenario can happen at any moment, simply & easily to any one of us, at any time, but the outcome of what happens next is what's most important. Are you prepared? Let's take a moment in discussing and the consideration of building a "Grab-Bag" for your car over the coming months; this will essentially help you build a kit that will last you 72hrs and provide you the best chance to survive a scenario that can't be foreseen.
First and foremost, decisions to consider when building a 72-hour Grab-Bag for your car is how you'll carry it. The purpose of your kit isn't to hike with it for miles, you'll just need something readily available in the trunk of your car at a moment's notice. We urge everyone to consider a sturdy backpack. Note that school backpacks tend to be made of inferior nylon, traditionally too thin for the weight of things you'll need to be holding in your pack. Now, even though the pack will spend most of its time laying somewhere in your car, why not get one that can go the distance if and when you need it to? That said, if you're shopping for any of the expensive mountaineering/climber packs that tend to range between $500-$1,000, that's waaaaaay overkill for the purpose of this kit.
We recommend a pack with the carrying capacity between 30 ‑ 45 liters. Any less space than this and that means you won't have enough room for everything you really need. Anything more of course, means you'll be tempted to pack everything; giving you a beast of a pack to haul that would make a llama faint. It won't look like much room, but the pack only needs to carry your essentials (key word: essentials) for a short distance.
A good trick to remember, the size of your bag shouldn't be more (or be able to hold) more than about ¼ to 1/3 of your overall body weight. This will keep you safe from injury should you need to carry the kit the distance.
Important criteria to look for in backpacks are multiple pockets and pocket layouts as well as compartments, reinforced yet comfortable shoulder straps and please consider getting a model with a waist belt ‑ this can really help with total load-weight and balance.
For the Ladies! ‑ Women's backpacks are not just a gimmick! Good ones will have extra padding and specially-shaped shoulder straps so you can carry the pack without squishing your bosoms. A good idea is to try a few on, and pay attention to the size labeling ‑ S, M, and L refers to your torso size, not overall height. Browse "fitting pack for torso" online for additional tips on this.
In addition, we strongly recommend getting a backpack that'll work with a hydration bladder. Hydration bladders are like water bottles with long tube-like straws and specially-designed bladder compartments are built right into some backpacks in order for them to slide in. Most hikers traditionally love them because they allow for a sip of water while on the trail without having to stop and pull out water bottles from a pack. Camelbak is a tried and true hydration bladder company that makes their own backpacks and caters to U.S. Armed Forces; they can be found at most major outfitters as well as DNATactical.com.
*Side Note ‑ 1 gallon of water weighs approximately 8 pounds. Simple rule: Ounces = Pounds, Pounds = Pain! The more proficient method in carrying your water, the easier and less stress on your body!
You won't need to buy the most expensive pack in the store to outfit your Grab-Bag either, but you should consider where the pack is made. Items made overseas tend to be made of inferior materials and lack the craftsmanship to go the long-haul. We support and urge customers in buying products made in the good ol' U.S. of A., may cost a bit more, but the reliability and durability you're paying for will make up for it in the long run. Just take a moment and ask yourself this one question when confronted with a budget issue, "how much is your life or the life of your family worth?" You may save a buck or two when shopping your gear, but when everything goes sideways and the cheaper products fail, what then? Items made in the U.S.A. are designed and built to survive the harshest conditions, variety of climates and definitely field tested.
Finally, considering the Grab-Bag is going into your car, another element to think about is concealment. We understand that a lot of people out there don't feel comfortable leaving gear in their cars as it may invite an unwanted break in or even worse, theft. If your car doesn't have tinted windows or if your car gets parked somewhere sketchy, another option would be to wrap your Grab-Bag and gear in a black plastic garbage bag and label it "Clothing to Donate" - Added Bonus! ‑ The garbage bag can also be used later for sanitary purposes should it really come to that!
This wraps up our first issue on "How to Build a Grab-Bag for Your Car". Stay tuned for the next newsletter where we plan on covering "Shelter", priority #1. All the best till then…
Hi guys! Being a cat, I can see in the dark just fine, but judging by the way you humans trip around in the dark (and trip over me!), you need help. Better pick up a couple of tiny flashlights ‑ one to keep by your nightstand, and one to keep in your car! This way if the lights go out, you won't bark your shins on everything. It also helps if you gotta fix your car or get into your pack at night. In my answers to everything cat guide, it looks like LED lights powered by regular AA or AAA batteries are best, and you should aim for at least 50 Lumens. You can pick them up in most general stores, or buy online at……wait for the plug….DNATACTICAL.COM….hehe. They're pretty inexpensive, which will leave you plenty of money to grab me some snacks! Scratcha later!