Re: Car Winter Go Bag

Paul Butzi (W7PFB)

As Mel suggested I’m reviewing our car bags (which are, in fact, actually ‘get home’ bags). Each year it seems the contents of the bags shift a little bit.  Paula and I have doing a modest amount of running races where the distance is considerably longer than a marathon, and that’s both changed our ability to cover distance on foot and changed our understanding of what we need to do that.

For long runs which are unsupported even if we are being very minimal we carry what we call an ‘oh, sh*t’ bag - a quart ziplock that contains things you might need.  Not quite a first aid kit, but along those lines, augmented with stuff you might need if things go wahoonie shaped.

Anyway it occurred to me that even if you have limited space you could throw such a bag in your glovebox and if you’re forced to abandon your vehicle you could then just stuff the ziplock in a jacket pocket and carry on, and the contents might make quite a bit of difference.

* a Petzl e+lite headlamp.  Powered by two CR2032 batteries it can give you enough light to move easily in the dark.  15 lumens for 12 hours or 50 lumens for 9.  Batteries good in storage for 10 years.
* a few band-aid gel blister bandages.
* half a dozen twist top lancets like those used for blood glucose meters - useful for lancing blisters.  If you’re not regularly walking/running long distances, you *will* get blisters.
* a sheet or two of Tegaderm bandage.  (basically just plastic film, can cover a large area).
* one or two Gu carbohydrate gels.  100 calories per gel.  
* a hothands chemical hand warmer
* a modest amount of ibuprofen for normal aches and pains, and several oxycontin for more severe issues.
* a 1 oz squeeze bottle of sunscreen
* lip balm
* lube (we use Bodyglide) for chafing, either clothing on skin or skin on skin.
* a very small knife (we use the Gerber LST Ultralite)

-p W7PFB
73, Don’t forget to smile and have fun!

On Oct 3, 2019, at 5:15 PM, Lindy KG7IFA via Groups.Io <lindyforbarclays@...> wrote:

Good info Paul.  Also, I just received this useful link from WSDOT:

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Butzi (W7PFB) <w7pfb@...>
To: snovarc <>
Sent: Wed, Oct 2, 2019 8:56 am
Subject: Re: [snovarc] Car Winter Go Bag

Thanks for sharing your lists, Mel!

My comments on emergency bags in general, and not at all directed at Mel’s arrangement:

* It’s really worth identifying what scenarios you’re trying to address *before* you start making lists and assembling bags.  Is the bag intended to be the resources you need to shelter in place, or is it the resources you’ll need to get home if you have to abandon your vehicle?  (The bags Paula and I have in each vehicle are ‘get home’ bags).

* Anything that requires skills to use is useless if you lack those skills.  So: tools are useless unless you can use them to fix things (and tools are generally heavy).  A commercially available first aid kit probably contains things you don’t know know how to use.  I’ve tried to light fires using a spark stick thing and concluded it’s just dead weight for me.

Things that are in our bags that I generally don’t see in other people’s bags:
* collapsable bottles to hold water for purification.
* chemical handwarmers - I’ve had frightening brushes with hypothermia.  A handwarmer can be a lifesaver.  The ‘Hothands’ brand is our preference.
* Heatsheets Bivvy Sacks - more robust and better than mylar blankets
* vetwrap tape.  
* large trash bags - can be a poncho, can be a groundsheet, generally useful and lightweight.
* an inventory list of what’s in the bag.  Trust me, six months from now you will not remember what the heck is in the bag.  Resources you don’t know you have are essentially useless to you.
* in our bags items are grouped in ziplock bags, with each bag labeled (e.g. “light/heat”, “food/water”, “hygiene”, etc.) to make it easy to find stuff.  If you use the bag you’re going to be stressed and easily frustrated.

And finally: skills and fitness are more useful than gear.  It’s better to take a first aid course than buy a first aid kit and throw it in your trunk.  It’s better to get fit enough to walk home than it is to put together a get home bag in the unreasonable expectation that you’ll be able to carry it home if the SHTF.

-p W7PFB
73, Don’t forget to smile and have fun!

On Oct 1, 2019, at 1:56 PM, Mel - N7GCO - Cheney, WA <teammel@...> wrote:

A couple of months ago I shared a presentation on Emergency Preparedness with the Spokane ARES group and the Inland Empire VHF clubs. My system is modular. As part of the system each October 1st I add to each vehicle my "Car Winter Go Bag."
The Contents are:
  • Sweatshirt
  • Pants
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Jacket (Fleece)
  • Jacket (wind and rain)
  • Gloves
  • Stocking Cap
  • Yellow emergency vest with reflector tape on it
  • Headlamp

I also add Car Tool Emergency bag in winter:
  • Shovel
  • Cat litter or Sand for traction
Whether you use a system like mine or not, you may want to think of adding a winter go bag to your cars.
I attached the handout I shared if you were interested. Miss all of you.

<Emergency Modules.docx>

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