Emergency Preparedness, Part 3: Jack Stowage’s Fully Loaded Getaway Vehicle
My friend, “Jack Stowage,” is one of those larger-than-life characters with tales so tall you wouldn’t believe them if you read them in a book. Thing is, Jack’s got the credentials and is hardcore enough that I’m pretty sure his stories are true.
Here’s the bio he sent for me to publish:
Jack Stowage is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he served as a communicator, close combat instructor, and team leader in a scout/sniper platoon. He has worked as a Weapons and Tactics instructor and a private contractor. He is currently a sworn peace officer serving as a Sniper/SRT Team member for a major metropolitan police department.
What follows is - in Jack’s own words - the thorough description of the emergency kit in his car. I’ve edited for grammar, spelling, and punctuation in a few places, and anything I’ve added is in brackets. Oh, and I’ve linked up some of his items to my Amazon store - when appropriate. I’ve tried to approximate Jack’s gear as closely as I can; in the case of a discrepancy, I’ve chosen the item with the best Amazon ratings and reviews.
Remember, if you click through my links, I get pennies for your purchases!
Jack’s Getaway Vehicle
My BOB [Bug-Out Bag] is actually a 2004 GMC Yukon. Having a well stocked vehicle kit eliminates the need for multiple kits. The car is always in the garage when I’m home, so I don’t need to have a ‘home’ kit as well. It has room for me and the wife/kid unit, 4WD, heat, AC, and a DVD player: I’m not planning on riding out the Apocalypse without being able to watch Lonesome Dove.
Actually, since I’ve had the young’un, it’s forced me to re-evaluate my response to the various scenarios that could force me to un-ass my firebase and seek high ground.
With the addition of the Boy, it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to just ruck up and head out on foot to fight the ChiComs if things go crazy. Most likely I’ll have to hunker down, wait out the civil unrest and then make limited excursions to re-supply.
I have 2 major rivers (Deschutes and the Crooked River) within walking distance of my house and if things go bad long-term, I can always abandon vegetarianism and start hanging meat.
This is my front yard…seriously:
This is my living room:
My main threat up here (Central Oregon) is forest fire. My house is surrounded by miles of Nat’l Forest and I have 70ft. tall pine trees about 15ft from my back door (and front door, for that matter).
So, if things start burning, I’ll have to grab the wife-kid and haul ass. This means spare clothes, toiletries etc…not so much cammie paint and tripwire.
Secondary to that is the threat of being trapped on one of the three mountain passes between me and the coast. We frequently travel to Portland/coastal Oregon and there is always the chance of avalanche/rock slide/losing control and plummeting over the edge(!) or being snow-bound in the middle of a 10,000ft. mountain range.
To deal with these issues I have the man-wagon loaded with the essentials, food/water/shelter/fire/signal gear/clothing for me and the wife-kid.
This pic shows the back of my vehicle on a typical day. Kid seat in the middle, rear seats removed to make room for the K9’s.
Immediate-needs first aid kit is carabiner’d to the headrest. This is for everyday bumps and owies. Inside the warbox is a larger, more comprehensive kit that doesn’t get opened for the routine scrapes and kid-related stuff.
(Under the rear passenger seat, not pictured: Full-size, round-nose shovel. 2 Fire extinguishers. 3 veggie MREs. Meal replacement energy bars for my k9s. Leather gloves. Hiking boots. Flightsuit. Ice scraper for windshield. Toys and cookie crumbs…)
I keep a tow chain on the front bumper of my truck for towing myself or others (or moving disabled/abandoned vehicles out of my way and clearing downed trees or large rocks from my path).
I keep the warbox loaded with everything I might need to survive if I stay with the vehicle. If I have to leave the vehicle, there is a backpack inside. I can add/remove things from the backpack depending upon the scenario.
Tucked into the dead space behind the warbox is an old climbing rope. It’s past its prime, so I’ve cut it into sections (2x25m and 1x50m):
More chow for me and wife-kid. 6 MREs total in the vehicle. Baby food is good until 2012. Large EMT-style 1st aid kit.
Spare Gortex. Fleece cap. Extra wool socks (for cold weather and also makeshift gloves for Boy since he can’t pull them off when they’re up past his elbows…
Fresh water, 12” chemlight, orange duct-tape, and some zipties.
L. to R.:
Backpack. (We’ll cover the contents in a minute.)
Gortex, fresh water, chemlight, zipties, 6mm. rope. Hi-vis orange duct-tape, M3 flashlight, UK LED divelight (AA batts), SERE [Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape] kit (contains mirror, water tabs, compass, snare kit, E1 light, water proof bag, etc..), snow shovel, road flares, wrecking bar, axe with sharpening file.
Tan backpack. Made by a pal of mine, so it’s not a “name brand” pack. Camelbak inside, SureFire E2D LED and whistle/flint/compass/match holder on outside.
4” wide OD duct tape in an outside pocket.
From left to right:
- Katadyn water purifer
- Snow Peak titanium mug/lid
- GSI Dualist cookware kit
- Fishing line spool
- empty pack
- White HC smoke grenade
- Henry Arms takedown .22 w/100rds. of Winchester Hi-Velocity
- Glock 26 w/5 mags/holster (9mm SXT Ammo, to be specific)
- OD duct-tape
- 2 Integral Designs solo bivy shelters
- GI poncho liner
- Leupold spotting scope
- Nitrile gloves
- Large Ziploc w/paper, pencils
- SureFire spares [batteries] carrier
- Tin with lighters, chapstick
- Strider DB
- Strider BT
- Roll of reflective marking tape
- Multi-tip screwdriver
- Leatherman Squirt
- More wool socks
- SteriPEN Adventurer UV Water Purifier/extra batteries
- AquaMira Water Treatment Drops
- 1” webbing
- Strike-a-Fire Firestarters
- Oakley eyepro kit
- Strike anywhere matches
- Sunscreen Towelettes
- Baby wipes
Integral Designs solo bivys:
Snow Peak GigaPower Stove with spare canisters:
GSI Dualist cookset made from anodized aluminum, so food doesn’t stick like titanium. Small, lightweight and enough for 2 people. Lid with strainer. Stay-cool handle.
When unpacked, it has 2 cups (insulated for hot liquids). 2 bowls. 2 plates/lids. And room for another stove and large spare canister.
Unbreakable axe with sharpening file:
In the winter, I also throw 2 sleeping bags in the back. I like the USGI 3-piece bags. (It’s a green intermediate bag, black insert bag for colder weather, and the waterproof Gortex cover.)
It looks like a ton of stuff, but the reality is, it fits in a single Rubbermaid box. I also have to consider the possibility that I’ll have to leave wife-kid in the vehicle while I hike out for help. That means I have to factor in a bit of redundancy in my load-out.
I also have this PDF saved on every computer I own: “Where There Is No Doctor.” 500 pages of very, very comprehensive medical information spelled out in layman’s terms. [You can also download - for free - titles like, “Where There Is No Dentist,” “A Book for Midwives,” and many others; some translated into Spanish, French, and other languages.]
Finally: Don’t listen to the “end of the world” kooks. The world will not deteriorate into a Mad Max scenario.
No matter how dire, or cataclysmic, order will be restored. After the Watts Riots, the Rodney King Riots, the Draft Riots, the Northridge Quake, Katrina, etc… Order will be restored.
Help your neighbors.
People will talk of stockpiling gold, ammo, and guns etc, but it’s a foolish endeavor. If you think you can start loading your shotgun and stacking bodies on the front lawn, you will go to prison when order is restored.
You can keep reading at Part 3.5: Heidi’s Real Life Bug-In Report!