I recently went on a trip to Chicago so I thought a lot about my preps and what I could take with me. These are things I considered:

1) Operation Security: I have a tendancy to post things on Facebook about my trips and places I visit. This time, I went on information blackout. The last thing I want is for someone to know I was out of town and hit my house with just my wife there.

2) Baggage: It was a one night trip so I minimized the volume of stuff I took. Air security and prohibited items makes it difficult to take preps along, especially if you don’t check a bag. Even if you check a piece of luggage, there are still prohibited items subject to confiscation.

3) Threat assessment: I am not big into threat assessment, but I did consider a few things like crime, travel delays, flight cancelations, weather and shelter.

Considering all of the above, this is what I ended up taking.

-Checked bag. There is no way in hell that I am traveling to Chicago without Mace and “sharps”. So, that means checking a bag. I carried my Tailwind Tanto blade, a Husky razor blade knife, and my Leatherman Wave. Out of my tactical bag, I had to check a magnesium fire starter and light sticks and put them in the checked bag.

-Google Map: Since I had not been to Chicago since 2007, I printed a map and carried it to supplement my Blackberry GPS.

-Extra $400 in cash and extra energy bars.

-To deal with flight delays, I had my Kindle and iPod. Unfortunately, I forgot my ear buds, so the iPod was useless.

-I wore a good pair of walking shoes, just in case I ended up needing to hoof it.

-I brought extra toiletries just in case I got stuck, both in my back pack and carry-on. That way, if I got stranded without my carry-on, I could go 72 hours without toiletries.

After the trip was over, I wished I had done a few things differently.

1) Instead of a duffle bag, I wish I had taken a roller. Carrying both was cumbersome.

2) I started to think what would happen if I I had zero support for 72 hours. I clearly did not have enough food or water. Next time, I am carrying two empty, plastic water bottles to fill up after going through security. I will also take a Datrex 72-Hour bar, if only in the checked bag.

At the end of the day, if the SHTF while I was traveling, I would immediately be thrust into adaptation mode. Being miles from home with few preps beyond EDC/Tactical bag, relying on business associates and friends for support after 72 hours would be my only option. I really felt vulnerable the entire time I was there.

Any additions/subtractions from my strategy?

Complete Tactical Bag list:

Paracord 10 ft
Rite in the Rain Notebook
Rite in the Rain Pen
6 Led Flashlight
Monocular 10X25
Paper
Passport
Backup Credit Card
Cash = $240
Map Case
64 gb Flash Drive
Medication 5 Days
Five Multivitamins
Four Antacids
Two Halls
Aquimira Filter Straw
Bug Replellent
Sun Tan Lotion
2 Garbage Bags
Leather Gloves
Light gloves
Emergency Blanket
Rip-stop poncho
Bandana
Mace
Compass
Ball Compass
Small LED flashlight
Plastic Self-Defense tool
Sharpy
Zip ties (8)
Klean Canteen 18 oz
4 AAA batteries
First Aid Kit
Wet Wipes
Tea Bags (4)
Crystal Light (3)
Light Sticks (2)
Signal Mirror
Bic Lighter
Tinder
Mag Fire Starter
Candle
Digital Watch
Twelve snack bars X 140
Ranger Beads
Knot-tying Guide