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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