Years ago, I was fortunate to be able to attend an Arctic Survival Course in Alaska. I was surprised to hear the instructor say that many Alaskans drive to work wearing polo shirts, lightweight pants, and casual shoes WITHOUT bringing a heavy coat or a change of clothes with them. They venture from their heated homes to climate-controlled office space. Most follow this routine with no problems, but a traffic accident or basic car trouble could cause serious problems for unprepared travelers in frigid temperatures. The lesson motivated me to consider what I SHOULD be carrying in the car. Every situation and trip is somewhat different, so below are some broad categories and examples that I like to use as a guide (these are not in order of importance or priority.)


-Communication and Signaling – cell phones, flares, etc …


-Personal Protection and Multi-use items – pepper spray, firearms, knives, flashlights


-Shelter – perhaps a sleeping bag, blanket, tarp or tent, depending on the type of trip – appropriate clothing, such as coats or heavy boots or walking shoes


-Water – bottled water, iodine, and/or a handheld purifier


-Fire – matches, metal match strikers, articificial tinder (hexamine, trioxane – some even carry firelogs)


-Food – large quantities of food are not necessary on ordinary trips, but could be for longer drives


-Navigation – GPS, paper maps, compass, smart phone


-Family Specific items – diapers, bottles, medicines, etc…


-Medical – band-aids, gauze, alcohol swabs, CPR mask, etc …


What items are part of your Every Day Carry and your Long-term Carry?


By John A. Heatherly, Source 

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