As I was out walking the other night, entranced by an amazing sunset, my mind had time to be free and wander. I was thinking over a comment on Instagram about what was my favorite item carried in my EDC (everyday carry). It also didn’t help that I had just finished reading Full-Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, an amazing book on earthquakes in the Pacific Rim (and the world).
This is a must read for anyone who lives or visits the PNW region. Unlike recent articles on the “big one”, it isn’t fear mongering, it is a book about the science of why we have them, how so much was discovered and how we can survive the next ones. I experienced the last major quake, in 2001, and between that and living through a volcano going off, I have a healthy respect for our Earth. That doesn’t mean I’d move elsewhere. I love it here. It is my home. But it does mean over the years we have made choices: where we live (not in lahars paths, not on a river), being prepared at home and in our vehicles. But there is one major area I get lazy with:
An everyday carry. Sure, I carry stuff. But do I carry enough? Well….I threw open my backpack purse and looked. And made some corrections as well. At the end, I have some notes on where I failed – things I should have along. In the end, my goal is: What do I need to be OK for a while, if I had to leave my car behind, in an urban setting. If I did have to abandon my vehicle, I’d strip it of food, water and other essentials that I carry in it. An everyday carry is not only sound planning for a what if, but also for bad weather planning. Ever had to hole it up for day or three due to snow? (I have!) Being prepared for the base things can make life a lot easier if you can’t get home – or out.
Note: I have young children so I carry items many wouldn’t have. Although, I have the advantage I can carry a small backpack and no one thinks it is odd 😉 Bonus points for being female.
- Backpack (while not a full-scale backpack, it is well designed by REI, for women)
- Wallet (Always have cash)
- Bag with diapers, unscented wipes, garbage bags (stored in a gallon freezer bag)
- Epi-Pen set (for youngest child’s severe allergies, wrapped in gallon freezer bag)
- Bottle of Benadryl w/ drinking spoon (for youngest child’s allergies, wrapped in quart freezer bag)
- Hard sunglass case w/ prescription sunglasses (If you can’t see without glasses, a second set is an essential)
- Sandwich bag with 3 uses of toilet paper, plus 2 single packs of wet wipes, and 2 extra bags for trash
- Bag with tampons and other female products, 2 days worth, plus bags for trash
- Power bank for phone, with cord (1 full charge)
- Leatherman Micra multi purpose tool
- LED flashlight
- Green Baggu bag (I use this daily when shopping, it is ultra light but very strong. If needed it would make a great carry bag, up to 50 pounds.)
- First aid kit, in hard case, wrapped in bag. Contains ointments, bandaids, blister band aids and more.
- Natural chapstick (can also be used on exposed skin on face in cold)
- Toothbrushes (The tiny single use ones, they can be reused if needed)
- Repair kit for dental crowns
- Pain killers
- Headband and hair-tie (really important if you have long hair)
- Gloves (In winter I swap them out for full finger)
What is missing:
- Water (I have side pockets, I should be carrying it with and not just on hot days! I rely on my car having a stock.)
- My prescription medication (I should have 2-3 days)
- Snack food (I rely on my car having lots of choices)
- 1 pair of low-cut Injini toe socks (since I am often in sandals, even in late fall/early spring, this would make walking a lot more comfortable.)
- Hat. In winter I carry a small-packing hiking beanie hat.