Monday, April 20, 2015

The Hybrid Bag

Becoming a prepper has been a fun, but daunting task. I has become my purposeful hobby.

I’m spending money—not a massive amount—but spending on this prepper hobby is protecting my daughter and me and even my animals.

There is so much to learn and almost daily I am learning something new.

That said, with each new prep milestone I accomplish, I feel yet another step away from the false sense of security I once held.

Even fully prepped, our lives are still unsecured, but our prepping reduces our insecurity when SHTF (“stuff” hits the fan) happens.

We prep because security is illusory and we know it.

A person could have a one-year stockpile of food and his house could burn down. We could have a 72-hour emergency bag and it could be at home when the emergency happens.

I’m not trying to be a Negative Nate, but we simply cannot cover every contingency.

At some point, we have to put it all in God’s hands.

We prep to have more of the chances in our favor that we can mitigate the threats we face.

Bags are a big deal for preppers.

You have to have your 72-hour emergency bag.

Then you need your EDC (everyday carry) bag.

Finally you must assemble your GHB (get home bag).

All these bags come in all the cool post-apocalyptic colors, but being a loud, shouty thing is idiotic. Being unobtrusive is essential.


Prior to deciding to work on my EDC and GHB, I had planned to create an IC (in-car) bag.

I should copyright IC bag.

Because I work 20 miles from home, I am not overly afraid about not yet having my GHB all outfitted. I keep a supply of water in my desk at school. I keep a flat of water and a first-aid kit in both of my cars.

I could get home where I have emergency bags and food stockpiled.

It is my belief that every driver should have an in-car bag for each vehicle he owns.

Although I belong to the Automobile Club of Southern California—AKA AAA—too many of us rely on them for everything.

I have seen people call AAA for a flat tire either because they are inexperienced about changing a tire or are too lazy to do it.

There is a great Subaru commercial in which a teenage girl struggles to change a tire. The camera pans back to show her father watching. He taught her how to change a tire and made her rehearse it.

Brilliant commercial.

Practice changing a tire before you have to.

I am guilty of knowing I need an in-car bag and not assembling one. My IC bag will have GHB features. In essence, I’m building a hybrid bag that’s a little of both.

Lists of what to put in a GHB are everywhere on the internet, but being a car guy, I think I have some insights to share.

Some of the essentials everyone should plan to have in the trunk are:

spare tire

Did you know that some newer cars do not have spare tires because leaving the spare out reduces weight and in theory increases mileage? Do salespeople tell you that? The tire well is there, but no spare. Buy the spare tire kit. Both of my 2015 cars have emergency spares included, but having a spare is RARE these days.

Remember to check the tire pressure of the spare!

small hydraulic jack

Look in your owner’s manual for the jacking points on your car. Now go out to the driveway. Crouch down. Look at those points carefully on the undercarriage to see if a small hydraulic jack could be used.

Jacks that come with cars these days are flimsy and have been known to buckle under the weight of the car especially when the vehicle is not level.

Small hydraulic jacks are reasonably priced and make tire changing safer.

tire inflation in a can

Sometimes we are confronted with a soft tire that perhaps has a slow leak.

Driving on a soft tire actually makes that tire run hotter and that can cause a blowout at speed. A blowout could cause a severe wreck.

Obviously getting to a tire shop is paramount for a competent remedy.

In the short term, find a gas station and fill the tire with air and head for a tire shop.

If you’re in the middle of nowhere with a soft tire, a can of tire inflator can safely put your vehicle into limp-onward mode.

Slow down a little and get the tire addressed as soon as possible.


Flares have disappeared from many stores that you’d assume would carry them.

Some people have replaced flares with battery powered lamps with a red lens. Remember to keep changing out that battery!

Flares don’t need batteries.

Fortunately, car parts stores still carry flares.

I keep six each in my cars and more in my 72-hour emergency bags.


A good flashlight like a MagLite is a smart idea because of the focusable beam, but also it is waterproof and can be used as a weapon. Keep the batteries NOT in the flashlight for obvious reason.

first aid kit
rain poncho
plastic tarp

Walmart has good first aid kirs for $9.00. In short, Walmart has a great camping section.

heavy gloves

Get good ones because you will need them to personhandle tires and wrenches.

a few feet of duct tape wrapped around a used gift card

I saw this in an EDC video and thought it was brilliant.

yoga mat

No, we’re not going to jai guru deva om out in an emergency, but a yoga mat could provide a modicum of comfort for a person injured in a collision.

You can also put the rolled-up mat under your knees while wrenching on that flat.

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