Travel Preps

by Prepperjim on August 4, 2011 · 3 comments


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
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
Ball Compass
Small LED flashlight
Plastic Self-Defense tool
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
Mag Fire Starter
Digital Watch
Twelve snack bars X 140
Ranger Beads
Knot-tying Guide

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe August 4, 2011 at 9:21 am

As someone who travels occasionally for work, I find myself in the exact circumstances you’ve described. It’s a dilemma. To check or not to check a bag. In the end I’ve checked more bags so that I can take a few extra items that are prohibited from carry-on.

Being caught 1000+ miles from home with little more than an overnight bag and an EDC kit is worrisome.

But I prepare as best I can and hope for the best.


millenniumfly August 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I would say you did fairly good with your strategy. Heck, at least you’re making a well-informed decision based on forethought, which is better than most of us.


AuricTech August 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I would add an AM/FM/NOAA Weather Band radio to the mix. You could do far worse than the Eton Scorpion, which features solar and dynamo power, digital tuning, an LED flashlight, IPX-4 water resistance and (in case an inability to open bottles of imported beer threatens to precipitate TEOTWAWKI 😉 ) a built-in bottle opener.


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