When I was a new mom, almost 19 years ago, I never left the house without a diaper bag. It contained anything I might need for a baby emergency, such as diapers, wipes, snacks and extra clothing. As the boys got older, the contents of my bag evolved. I took out the diapers and added drinks, toys and books. My boys are now grown, but I still carry a bag; It contains a new set of items …“just in case.”
Just in case of what? What if I’m in a room of an unknown building and the lights go out? What if I’m in a rural area and have car trouble? What if I’m traveling and there’s an earthquake?
Most wonder, “What if?” I say, “When this happens, then I’ll…” because I almost always have my emergency essentials.
Here’s what’s in my bag.
Current Photos of my Family
Remember 9-11, when survivors posted photos searching for their loved ones? Can you produce one quickly when your phone doesn’t work?
The uses of a bandanna are numerous: blowing your nose, protection from the sun and wind, a sling, a washcloth. How about a tourniquet? You can tie the corners to make a carrying pack, tear it to mark a trail or wet it to cool yourself. And in a pinch: Toilet paper.
Taking two AAA batteries, this LED flashlight the size of a pen has 3 settings, and it projects up to 160 lumens. I’ve already used Brite Strike’s EPLI light many times.
Eight tools in one, and TSA-compliant. This multi-tool has needle-nose and regular pliers, a nail file, wire cutters, scissors, a flat/phillips screwdriver, tweezers and a carabiner that doubles as a bottle opener.
This fits in your hand and contains a firestarter rod and jute tinder. It also has a mini knife wrapped in 200-lb. Kevlar line, 2 fishing hooks, 20 feet of fishing line, a Line Light, a compass and 12 feet of paracord.
Choose one that you are comfortable handling, stays sharp and is easy to open and close.
No one likes me when I’m “hangry,” so I always carry a snack high in protein.
Electrolyte-Enhanced Drink Tablets
I keep at at least 2 of these tablets in my kit. Adding one to a bottle of water has saved me more than once. Dehydration is a serious issue.
Carrying one item instead of 5 just makes sense. This whistle includes a water-resistant container (you can put matches inside), compass, signal mirror and flint.
The screw top with rubber o-ring makes this lighter waterproof and keeps the fluid from evaporating before you need it.
You never know when you’ll need to leave a note. These notebooks come in various styles and sizes and can be written on in wet conditions, even underwater. I wrote my family members’ phone numbers on the first page.
If you’re like me, you change your purse with the seasons and the outfits you wear. This means you’ll have to transfer all your emergency essentials every time you change. Recently, I found a solution to make the switch easier. By keeping all the items in a Vertx Organizational Pouch, I can easily switch without forgetting anything. And when I’m biking or hiking, the Vertx EDC Transit Sling is a perfect size for these essentials and a firearm.
Regardless of how you bring it, always have an emergency kit with you. Decide what you need the most, and devise a way to pack it.
What would you carry in your kit?
Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, is the managing and social media editor at The WON. Michelle is the president of Cerino Consulting and Training Group, LLC, a firearms training company she built with her husband Chris in 2011. Her path in the firearms and outdoors industries is ever progressing. She is writing, hunting, competing and doing contract work for major manufacturers. View all posts by Michelle Cerino