Sunday, May 8, 2016


I looked skyward and with a smile on my face, mentioned that “today would be a perfect day to teach me a lesson” about being prepared. I had done everything wrong that afternoon. Left the house in Crocs, shorts, t-shirt and short sleeve shirt. Drove my friend's car and followed him in his truck to a shop sixty miles from home. His trip, his car, his truck for delivery. All normal and all went well. But I soon became well aware that neither one of us were prepared for any problems coming or going. Not even a bottle of water in either vehicle.

Throwing a BOB into his car would have been a life-saver and given both of us time to work out a road-side problem. Having nothing is not a good choice, especially for two older men.

Although a BOB was always with me in my truck, I had rarely thrown it in my wife's car when we tripped with her, and never in a friends car.

For the few past years, we have dabbled in having a few items in our respective cars “just in case.” We go through them during the month of May and then again in October or November to adapt to the seasons.

It is within the realm of reason that anyone of us can be caught in an event. Away from home, somewhat stranded and in need of basics to safely survive a day or two. This happened to hundreds of people across the nation this past winter. A bad snow storm, some ice and cold cold weather shut down miles of highway and stranded all who were traveling.

Pick up a newspaper or read a few headlines online today and apply the situation to yourself. The Fort McMurry fire, for example. Ninety thousand people having to flee. Area destroyed and fire growing.

If you knew the fire was coming and might have to leave, how long would you wait and would you make or have a plan? If you lived there, you would already know there were only two routes of escape.

After breakfast this morning, I emptied BOB on the bed and gutted it. All compartments cleaned out and a few items tossed. Several items never again to be a part of this bag due to size and weight. Now BOB is lighter and designed for three days' emergency travel. Just the basics. Any other frills or perceived needs will be stored in the vehicle or, I can adapt new travel behaviors to make sure other items of importance are always available to choose from if needed. Today BOB is designed for moving from point A to point B. Moving is the key word. Hydration is concern one and controlling blood sugar and nutrition number two.

BOB now.
  • Two 5 gallon black trash bags
  • two eyeglasses w/ repair kit
  • Ben's bug spray
  • mosquito head net
  • antibiotic ointment
  • sun block
  • potassium iodide tablets
  • redline flashlight
  • two hand warmers
  • sugar cubes
  • glucose tabs
  • thermal tent with rope
  • moleskin
  • benadryl
  • liquid bandage
  • water purification tabs
  • tootsie rolls
  • poison ivy pen
  • state map
  • sawyer mini water filter set
  • alcohol wipes
  • eye gel
  • bic lighter on neck lanyard
  • coated aspirin
  • survival kit in a can
  • small elastic bandage
  • multi tool
  • oral gel antiseptic
  • hand sanitizer
  • ibuprofen
  • watch
  • two raspberry drink mix
  • two tuna in oil packets
  • two peanut butter cups
  • three KIND nut bars
  • tin of sardines
  • plastic spoon
  • toilet paper
  • salt packets
  • compass
  • Imodium
  • Survival knife
  • trail mix (home made)

In a perfect emergency situation, I will hydrate, eat and dress from other items in the vehicle. Then set out on foot (if necessary) with this bag and a few other items that would be determined at that time. BOB compliments good hiking boots, seasonal clothing and Boonie hat. BOB will always be up-dated for improvement.

This morning I am again reading new articles on the Fort McMurry fire in Canada. This has turned into a life changing event for a large number of folks. I try to put myself into this situation. Leaving everything behind and losing it all. I know it is only things. Their lives are now in the hands of others and will be for some time to come.

Now is a good time to think and and act on preparing throw and go 5 gallon buckets, throw and go water and topping off several fuel containers.

Luck favors the prepared.