I think being prepared when travelling started in college(1999-2004). I had an 1986 Toyota 4Runner that I bought from a man who purchased it in 1986. This gentleman made meticulous people look messy. He had every document for the truck and documented everything he did down to adding air to the tires. He had a tote in the back of extra parts, including but not limited to radiator hoses, spark plugs, wires, light bulbs, and various fuses. This was nice because I was, like most of you, broke and couldn’t afford to buy parts to fix the truck or have it tow. I would go back every month and half or so to visit family, and fill my belly with something other than Ramen noodles. My trips would be through the country and 60 miles between 2 towns on a stretch of it. So a breakdown would definitely be a bad thing.
Every vehicle since then, I have had a tool box to give me a chance to fix things on the side of the road. I haven’t gone as far as having spare parts for every vehicle, but I do carry more survival items. I travel 130 miles a day for work, and sometimes in the late evening. Most of the roads I am on are frequently travelled. Even if the roads are travelled, I do carry things that would keep my alive if something does go wrong. In my truck, I have a fixed blade hunting knife, fire starters, water filtration straw (Life Straw), tarp, water bottles, jacket, gloves, beanie, sometimes a bat (depending if we are in season–high school coach), extra clothes and many more items.
My biggest survival item are my boots that I wear daily. Tennis shoes don’t hold up when trying to hike or go through unforgiving terrain. I wear 5.11 ATAC 8″ boots to teach in. I know the kids mentioned them a time or two but they are comfortable, especially standing and walking on concrete floor during the school day. In my school bag, I also carry a small first aid kit, something for minor bumps and bruises. I am starting to carry a little extra food, just for those times.
My truck, 2006 F150 with the 5.4L, is getting up in years and mileage (109,000). A week ago, the motor blew a spark plug completely out of the head. Good thing was that a Ford dealership did the plugs because they are know to break on you when you are replacing them (they broke 3 of mine). After reading about the situation, this seems to be a design flaw by Ford. I had to take it back to Ford this past Friday because of a check engine light. She is getting old but she still needs to last longer, so repairs are in the future. If you know me, I HATE letting others do what I can do, but I do want the warranty on the repairs.
I have not really put together a BUG OUT bag. Although I am falling behind on this, I usually have enough gear in my truck to get me home if something does happen. I usually have a duffle bag full of clothes, from shorts to balaclavas, because you never know what weather you will get here in Texas. I coach and teach for a living and I need to make sure I have enough gear for any type of weather. I usually have a jar of peanut butter in my lunch bag because I eat a banana and peanut butter on my long trip home everyday instead of stopping off at McDonalds. Addition to the gear bag, I do have my backpack for my school gear. A laptop will not do much in survival, but the information on it is invaluable. In the near future, I will do a post on a bug out bag.