No sooner did I become gainfully re-employed than an F1 tornado roared through southwest Florida, ripping the roofs off houses and causing general mayhem. The tornado struck while I was at work, and while I had my usual accoutrements with me in my car, what I actually had within easy reach was much more limited in scope and effectiveness. We spend up to a third of our adult lives at work, and yet we fail to consider that something bad might happen there beyond failing to put a cover on the TPS reports.
Fortunately, that’s something that’s easy to correct. The trick is, though, to get the gear you need to deal with life’s little ups and downs without looking like you’re getting ready to be deployed to Khandahar after your shift is done.
For me, creating a bug-in/bug-out bag has always been about prioritizing what’s needed to stay alive and how soon help might arrive. Unless you work in a ranger station in Nunavit, you probably won’t need a week’s worth of food in a bug-in kit, but I’ve found that office first aid kits are pretty much useless for anything beyond accidental stapler discharges.
I built this kit as a way to keep myself up and running for 24 hours after a major weather event, social disruption, power outage, whatever. The point of all this gear isn’t that it’s enough for me to go full Rockatansky for years on end, it’s enough to keep me secure in my cube for 24 hours. That should be more than enough time for help to arrive, and if it’s not, well, that’s what the go-bag and the trunk gun are for.
Inside an this innocuous waist pack is a surprising amount of stuff. To be honest, it’s a bit over-stuffed: If I were to do this again, I’d get a slightly bigger pack.
Inside the bag we have, clockwise from upper left:
- Berkey Water Filter Bottle
- Pocket Trauma Kit
- Emergency Rain Poncho (because Florida)
- Gerber Crucial Multitool (A disappointment. I think this one is better.)
- Paracord bracelet with whistle and flint
- Hand Sanitizer (I need to find a smaller bottle)
- Disposable toothbrush
- Phone charging cords
- Snack bar
- First Aid Kit (A trimmed-down version of this kit)
- Mylar Poncho
- Extra Batteries (Lithiums, because they last longer in storage)
- Flashlight (This SigTac, which is actually surprisingly bright)
- Extra cash
- iPhone charger battery (This one is a bit bigger than most, really curious to see how it works)
The nice thing about this kit is that most of it, aside from the multitool, is 100% compatible with so called “weapons free” environments, and add in this tool and you have a formidable self-defense gadget as well.
As it now, though, I have a useful, lightweight, inconspicuous way to stay safe in my office for a full day, no matter what may happen.