You’re on the road to nowhere at sunset in late October. Your car stops in the middle of the highway just like all the other vehicles around you. A fine mist begins to fall. People begin to exit their cars and exchange ideas of what might be happening. Has a solar pulse or EMP occurred (electromagnetic pulse caused by solar flare or nuclear explosion in the atmosphere above Earth)? Where are law enforcement and other first responders. All the more reason to have a backpack ready to go.
Everyone will have a different idea of what should be in their backpack. I keep one in the back of my car. There are a lot of reasons you should keep one for emergencies.
- Stranded because of flood, snowstorm, and other natural disasters that might delay you from getting home or maybe you are trying to escape home to a safer location.
- Maybe you can survive just fine, but what if you have children or elderly with you?
- The interstate is shut down in both directions because of an accident and you are stuck.
- You are on the run with a hunky (or beautiful) FBI agent who is trying to protect you from a mob hit, kidnapping, corrupt government official, or a game show host who took offense at you knowing all the answers.
- A spurned lover or spouse who thinks he (or she) is your ticket to paradise.
- In-laws who want to make you drink some funky, orange juice which they claim will make you fertile. (I’m just going to let you stew over that one a minute.)
- You made a bet with Bear Grylls that you could survive with only your backpack—just let you out anywhere. (I would highly encourage you NOT TO DO THIS. We just don’t know about his sense of humor. You have a better chance with the in-laws.)
- Everyone in your town has turned a strange shade of green, drags one leg then begins to dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. This is not a good sign.
- A train derails in your town, spilling toxin whatever and you have to evacuate. Hopefully it isn’t the town with everyone turning green and dancing to Thriller.
- A solar flare (more likely than a few of the others) has knocked out the power grid, electronics in your car and basically your life. You’ve got to get home. Are you prepared? Because you’re walking!
Mini Filtration System
Sharp Finger Nail File
Emergency Blanket (looks like foil)
Gloves, Hat, Socks
Disposable Facial Cloths
Tea Bags/Instant Coffee
Trash bag/Plastic Grocery Bag
First Aid Kit
Medicine (What do you need?)
Antibiotic Crème Water Bottle
Metal Clips/Clothes Pin/Paper Clips
Hand Lotion Finger Nail Clippers
Paper & Pen
Extra Ziploc Bags
Extra Walking Shoes
Weapons (baseball bat, switchblade, gun, slingshot, brass knuckles, whatever you feel can make an impact so you can escape a bad guy or zombie if the time comes.)
As you can imagine some of these are placed in Ziploc Bags to keep them organized and in the same category. It doesn’t hurt to have an extra pair of clothes in another bag, especially if there is going to be a long walk out to your destination or you go over a waterfall with the hero like in Romancing the Stone.
I also have a little make-up bag (YES! I’M PRISSY!) with toothpaste, toothbrush, make-up samples, a razor, To-Go Wipes, samples of moisturizer and lipstick. There are cotton balls, small brush and a hair scrunchie too. Add soap and eyeliner and you have the beginning of being chosen for that last spot on the truck that will take you to…well, wherever you write the story, I guess.
I’ve watched enough disaster movies to know that Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Tom Cruise, Will Smith or Bruce Willis show up in the nick of time. Just because I’m a wreck doesn’t mean I have to look like one! Am I right? He saves me, we end up on Ellen to tell our story, I get a book deal from Simon & Schuster, I go on the speaking circuit for Preppers Who Love Me and life is good. (Well, except for that whole end of time thing which might be going on. Note to self: Make sure Ellen’s tv show has been hardened against EMPs and other world problems. Who wants to live without Ellen?)
Remember every backpack is different. Will there be two of you? Have the appropriate number of items if there are more than one of you. You don’t want to be fighting your partner or kids (that probably is inevitable) for the last protein bar or rain poncho. (Remember that hunky FBI agent?) Also make adjustments if you’re going to be on the road for any distance. If you usually stay pretty close to home then it is easier to prepare, unlike me who travels a lot. I also need a map for alternate routes. No GPS with Darth Vader’s voice saying, “I find your lack of confidence disturbing.”