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.