A retired Alaska trooper penned a refreshingly candid primer about vehicle kit preparation a couple weeks back on the Maxpedition Field Blog. We like it, but then we don’t need a trigger warning either. You will note there are no Tide Pods on the list.
Although this article specifically addresses winter driving, most if not all of it applies to all driving. Why should you pay attention? It’s mid-April, and there is still heavy snowfall across the northern tier. Tens of thousands of people are without power or blocked in by wreckage in Virginia and the Carolinas due to storm damage. Do you really want to be the crayon-eater in the middle of all that in nothing but gym shorts and a tanktop?
As author Jeff Hall says,
“Too many people today jump in the car and head from Seattle to Minneapolis with a bottle of water and a granola bar, wearing shorts, flip-flops, and a t-shirt in the middle of November. They don’t think about wind, rain, snow, breakdowns, crashes or anything else that could happen en route. After all, they have a smartphone or iPad with them, so they can call, text, or email if anything goes amiss. I call that driving stupid, and every year people die stupid.”
Hall suggests there are 7 boxes to be checked when you prep your vehicle (and note this is just a basic list, as you’ll see when you read his article. This also doesn’t address his rules of driving (which are also in the article). More detail about each point can be found in the article.
- Water. He carries 2 gallons in his truck, and keeps a water filter and bottle handy on hand too.
- Sleeping bag(s), compacted in a stuff sack.
- A stove, like a small backpackers model (not to be used in the car, obviously).
- Food. The breath mints down between your seats and little ketchup packets don’t count.
- Lights. Lantern, handheld, batteries, etc.
- Clothing. Your dirty gym clothes and the wank sock you forgot about don’t count.
- Tools. A good multi-tool should be the minimum. He carries an axe and a shovel as well.
Read the article in its entirety, Preparing Your Winter Vehicle Kit.
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