American Survival Guide - - GEAR GUIDE -

Ideally, you will have your sur­vival bag, but there are times when you won’t, such as when on a fam­ily va­ca­tion. If this is the case, here is a short list of what to have—no mat­ter what. • First aid kit: Make sure you have a good one with you. I pack mine in my checked bag­gage when go­ing on va­ca­tion or on as­sign­ment. Not only might there be a need to treat your­self and your fam­ily, but in some cases, you could be the only med­i­cal help avail­able to treat oth­ers.

• A Swiss Army knife or a mul­ti­pur­pose tool should be packed. The pos­si­ble uses of these tools are end­less. (This tool must be put in checked bag­gage.)

• A two-day sup­ply of non­per­ish­able food. I al­ways carry MRES, Moun­tain House or Pa­leo Meals to Go.

• A weather band ra­dio al­lows you to mon­i­tor emer­gency up­dates. These ra­dios are pow­ered by bat­ter­ies, so­lar pan­els or a crank. In fact, some units in­clude all three op­tions. Some also al­low you to charge small de­vices such as smart phones.

• Com­mu­ni­ca­tions: A cell phone, lap­top or tablet is a must. Make sure it is fully charged. How­ever, only use it to com­mu­ni­cate with the out­side world. This is no time to surf the Web.

• Some sort of light source should al­ways be on hand. I carry a Bush­nell Ru­bi­con recharge­able head­lamp, be­cause it al­lows my hands to be free.

The au­thor al­ways car­ries the Bush­nell Ru­bi­con head­lamp for his hands-free light­ing source.

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