Sunday, February 24, 2008


Since EE asked what knife I carry, I got to thinking about all the stuff I have on hand in case of problems. I'll try to work in some pictures later, but here's the basic rundown.

On me whenever I'm wearing pants:

  • Benchmade Griptilian - the old model, with the 440C blade. I don't know how much of an improvement the 154CM and other steels they're using more these now are, but the 440C is excellent, and I've never heard of Benchmade going downhill on a product, so they're likely to be every bit as good if not noticeably better.

  • Monadnock Persuader with my car key. Not just a weapon, it also keeps the key handy so I don't have to dig it out of my pocket. Since I rarely need to get into the house in much of a hurry, the house key is in a key wallet with lockbox and bike lock keys.

  • Photon II Microlight. This is also on the Persuader's ring for some quick light.

  • RayOVac Xtreme 3 Watt LED light. Uses AA batteries, so it's cheaper to operate than the Surefire, and not nearly as bright, but better than a Mini Mag by leaps and bounds.

  • Butane lighters. Usually at least two. Beats the heck out of flint and steel.

  • P38 can opener. It fits in my wallet, so I might as well never be stuck without one.

In my Coronado vest:

  • Taurus 605 .357 Magnum. The smallest (overall size) of my carry guns. Sometimes replaced or supplemented by either a Taurus PT-99 9mm or a Colt Government Model .45ACP

  • At least two reloads for whatever I'm carrying. I sometimes cut back to one with the 9mm, since the mags are 15 and 17 rounders.

  • Surefire G2 flashlight with P61 reflector assembly. At 120 lumens and a 20 minute battery life per pair of CR123s, it's nearly as close as you can get to turning cash directly into light energy.

  • Notepad and pen. This comes in handy way too often to not dedicate a vest pocket to it.

  • Pocket Constitution. Just in case I ever need to prove that I'm one of those subversive types that think the Constitution really should be the supreme law of the land.

  • Earplugs. More often than not, just because I grabbed them in case I didn't have my shooting muffs with me, and ended up leaving them in the vest afterward.

In the car:

  • Full canteen and water bottles. I've owned problematic cars before, and in a rural area, I might have a long walk ahead from a minor problem. Besides, it's nice to be able to wash up anywhere I happen to get dirty. There might even be enough to top off the radiator in a pinch.

  • Canteen cup. There's usually tea or coffee in the car, so it's nice to have something to boil the water in.

  • Trioxane bar and matches. Vacuum sealed to keep the matches dry, this provides fire to boil the aforementioned tea or coffee, and a really hot firestarter if there's wood available.

  • Chlor-Floc water purification tablets. The ones sized for a canteen, in case I need a refill and there's only questionable water available. Considering the nature of some of the disasters ARES provides communications for, these are a good idea. Considering the area's tornado count in the last few years, they could turn out to be a lifesaver.

  • MRE. At least one. Sometimes I don't have time to get food on the way to work, and the stuff in the machines is not exactly real food.

  • Towel. One of those spiffy microfiber ones from the automotive section at WalMart that comes in a tube. Compact and works well on just about anything (or anyone) that needs to be less wet.

  • 100ft of heavy rope and two 3500lb rated carabiners. I don't think I've ever bought rope with a use in mind, nor have I ever failed to find a use for it afterward.

  • Gloves. Necessary to use the rope in certain ways.

  • Various car repair and maintenance items. These vary by season and mood. Generally wrenches, screwdrivers, a quart of oil, gallon of premixed antifreeze and flares.

  • Two cans of evaporated milk. It's cheap, and helps disguise some off flavors in water. Besides, it's cheap.

  • Tarp. A small (8x8ft as I recall) one, mostly in case I need to crawl under the car while wearing something I want to keep clean, but it has a lot of other uses too.

  • Clothing. Rain gear, dry socks, extra jacket, etc.

  • CRKT M16-12Z. Not the best pocketknife I've ever owned, but durable as heck and good in a pinch when I've misplaced the Benchmade or just don't want to get it dirty.

  • Pelican M3 Xenon. 140lumens from three CR123 batteries. Much longer battery life than the Surefire, and bigger, but still fits easily in the odd little cubbyhole by the driver's left knee.

  • Box of green lightsticks. They were cheap, and could come in handy as path marker lights or something along those lines.

  • Extra ammo. Not so much intentional, but I think there's at least one reload for just nearly every gun I own rolling around in the car somewhere.

  • Slide rule. I was wondering where that got to.

  • Bag of miscellaneous food and first aid items. This just turned up one day. I think it was my wife's way of tidying up a few of the things that had been hiding under the seats.

  • A few cheap flashlights. Good for loaning to people who don't prepare for even the most basic emergencies. It makes them go away before I start throwing bigger things at them for not being prepared. Especially important when anyone says, "I don't carry those things because I can always borrow them from someone when I need them."

At the house:

  • 6 gallon water jug. There ought to be a 7.5 gallon somewhere too, but it may have ended up in storage.

  • Various drink mixes. Stored water tends to taste funny.

  • Vacuum sealed matchbooks and dried foods. There's another box of trioxane bars around too, for heat.

  • More flashlights. I'm not even going to try to count.

  • Guns and ammo. Suffice it to say I'm pretty much prepared to turn any animal in the western hemisphere into something resembling food (or a godawful mess if it's attacking and I don't need to eat it) if necessary. Most of the ones in the eastern hemisphere too. That's not to say I'd want to eat some of them, but a lot depends on how hungry I get.

  • Batteries and charger. I have a lot of stuff that eats AAs, and in a pinch I can briefly run my transceivers off of enough of them. I keep any that aren't being used fully charged.

  • Radios. Everything from shortwave receivers to VHF/UHFham gear. Most of it isn't hooked up in the rental place, but in a pinch I can rig it up pretty quick.

  • Strike-A-Fire firestarters. Think firestarter blocks with built in match heads. These things rock for getting a campfire or grill going.

  • Tools of various types. Shovel, mattock, saws, and other stuff to make repairs, build firebreaks, clear brush or dig a latrine.

  • First aid kit. Probably a bit overstocked, and focusing more on major bleeding, but then if it's not major, I just tend to wrap it in a paper towel and cuss at it until the bleeding stops.

That pretty much sums it up off the top of my head. Of course, we have the typical items around too, like fire extinguishers in the house and car, but I consider those more or less normal equipment.


EE said...

Former boy scout.

I can tell.

Not that that is a bad thing, hell, my fiance makes fun of me because of all the flashlights and such I have in my car...

EE said...

I'm surprised that you don't carry binoculars in your car though.

KD5NRH said...

Actually, my 10x32 Bushnells are sometimes in there. We keep a set of 8x25s at work, and one of my spotter scopes (8-24x60 or 20-60x60) tends to live in the car along with a magmount monopod, and the night vision is 3x magnification, though the binoculars are much faster to get into action than the spotter scope.

And there are no former Boy Scouts, only inactive Boy Scouts. :)

EE said...

Ah, makes sense.

And there are no former Boy Scouts, only inactive Boy Scouts.

True, pardon my slip up.