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Monday, November 22, 2010

Get Home Safe!

Millions of us will be hitting the roads this week to spend the holiday with family so what better time to cover that get home safe bag you have in your trunk!

You DO have a get home safe bag in your trunk, right?

I must confess that stocking my car with survival goods hasn't always been high on my list of priorities.  In truth, it probably didn't even make it close to the list just a decade ago.  Then 7 years ago we moved to the boonies and had 2 babies.  The fear of being broken down on some little one-lane backroad with 2 children under 2 scared me into action and I began keeping my car stocked with necessities.     

I drive a little sedan, so a large kit isn't practical.  There's just enough room in the trunk for a spare tire, a pair of old boots and a metal detector.


Doesn't everyone have a metal detector in their trunk?

Last year, just before winter,  I put together a very compact kit, one that will fit quite well inside a #10 metal can with a tight-fitting plastic lid.  #10 cans are great for this purpose because they're air-tight, moisture resistant and will nestle quite cozily in the pocket above your car's wheel well.   In one #10 can I can fit:

A partial roll of toilet paper, cardboard tube removed.
4 Capri-Sun type juice pouches
A candle and a couple matches sealed in a plastic bag
A bag of trail mix
A small package of peanut butter crackers
A couple pieces of hard candy
A sampler of wet wipes
2-3 small garbage bags

Yes, it's an extremely tight fit, but the essentials are covered: heat, light, water, food.  All the stuff contained in the kit has a good shelf life, and is fairly heat/cold stable.  What's more, these items can do double duty.  The candle can provide enough heat and light to survive, as well as melt some snow for water in the metal can if necessary.  The plastic bags can hold wet clothes as well as provide a water-proof barrier if you need to lie on the ground to work on your car.  See how that works?     

In a sturdy tote bag, I keep a change of seasonal clothes for the entire family including gloves and hats and lastly a couple blankets.  Think thick, warm blankets, not necessarily purdy ones.   They're great in the summer for spontaneous picnics and in winter, they just may save your life.  Roll them up tight and strap them with a belt to conserve space and keep them clean.   Throw in a small bag of salt/kitty litter/sand and a collapsible shovel and you have most of what you need to survive a short-term emergency on the road.  Make sure you check your kit at least once each season, to ensure that your food and drink have survived the temperature fluctuations and to swap out clothes for seasonally-appropriate clothes.

And a word to the wise: use plain, unscented candles in your Get Home Safe kit.  Smelly candles make everything taste funny.  Don't ask me how I know.  Just trust me : )

Naturally, if you're planning an extensive trip, bulk up on your supplies.  Extra water, extra food, road flares, a basic tool kit for on-the-road repairs and maybe even renew that Onstar subscription.  But for local trips, a small kit should provide everything you need to survive.

Is your Get Home Safe bag packed?     

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Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Hehehe! Oh man, do I need to ad a metal detector to my car? :)

Andrea said...

Never leave home without it, sister LOL.

Anonymous said...

Great Post! I had a little chuckle when I read the "think thick warm blankets, not necessarily the pretty ones." I have a tendency to keep old comforters for no apparent reason LOL and some are getting the bunched up matting on the inside due to too many washings, but now that I prep, I keep them all. Ya just never know and yes a couple have gone in the vehicles. :)

Andrea said...

I save my old bedding too, Shelly. My mom usually buys us all new quilts every other year for Christmas and I can't bear to throw away the old ones.

For my vehicle blankets, I cut up old blue jeans to make denim quilts. Denim on one side, flannel on the other. They're super warm and so nice for going to the beach :)

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