Preparedness for Road Warriors and Vacationers

by David Morris on April 1, 2011

I’ve received several emails from readers since the Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunamis about what I carry when I travel.

Some people get to the point in their preparations where they never want to leave the comfort and safety of home. There’s nothing wrong with this if it works for you, but my wife and I are adventurers and made a conscious decision that we wouldn’t become a prisoner of our preparations. As a result, we travel whenever we can together. That, combined with business travel means that we spend a lot of time with only the items that we’ve got on our back or in our vehicle.

I have traveled a few times a month for business for several years (with 4-8 trips a year to DC) and this has been a constantly evolving list of equipment.

With the new airline luggage restrictions, I’ve pared my travel gear down considerably. I’ve now got the challenge of fitting everything I check into one bag that weighs under 50 pounds, including my sidearm (when not in DC), clothes, toiletries, work items, and preparedness items.

Here’s what I carry, broken down into the 4 major survival categories:

Food: It depends on the trip, but I usually carry a few packages of jerky, 5-10 Cliff bars, hammer gel, instant oatmeal, breakfast shake powder, survival/meal replacement bars, or whatever is decently healthy that I can buy in bulk at Costco.

I also carry two other items that are somewhat unique…fiber capsules and meal replacement capsules. The combination will allow me to function at about 85-90% for a few days without food and without feeling hungry. Best of all, they take up almost no space and weigh almost nothing.

When I combine a little bit of food with the fiber/meal replacement combo, it’s possible for me to carry a week or more of food in a VERY compact form.

Fire: I’ve got a few fire starting tricks with me, including two from the AMK mini survival kit, which fits into my cargo pocket sized first aid kit.

The two fire starters that are included in this kit are a Fresnel lens and a tiny orange stick with a “spark wheel” like you’d find on a lighter. Most importantly, they include 3 pieces of braided cotton to use as tinder.

I also carry a blastmatch. The blastmatch is a one-handed fire starter that uses a combination of 4 metals to create 1400 degree sparks. From a pure survival standpoint, it’s not necessary. The little orange “spark wheel” does just as well with the proper tinder, but I honestly just enjoy using the blastmatch.

Two items that I carry that double as accelerants for making fires are chapstick and fish oil capsules. Adding either to tinder makes starting fire so much easier that it is almost like cheating.

The laws on matches and lighters in checked/carry-on baggage seem to change so often that I don’t even bother with them.

Water: I carry a Sawyer 2 liter water purifier. It is guaranteed to purify 1 million gallons and is one of the VERY few mechanical filters that will filter out viruses. It’s truly an impressive purifier. I also carry the Katadyn carbon cartridge to filter the chlorine out of hotel water.

If needed, I can use my bandana or a cotton shirt as a pre-filter.

I also carry a Nalgene type bottle so that I have something to put the water into besides a tiny hotel glass.

Shelter: My shelter options are very limited due to size/weight restrictions, and so, while I do carry a mylar blanket from the AMK kit, a poncho, and a couple of contractor garbage bags, my primary strategy is to pack layered clothes and acquire/create shelter if necessary.

Medical: I carry a simple REI Day Pack first aid kit along with superglue, electrolyte replenisher, an extra triangle bandage, and some beefed up blister gear. I don’t carry any CPR gear, and frankly, don’t intend to do CPR on anyone other than immediate family while traveling. This kit is to fix myself. If I have to fix anyone else, I’ll use their supplies or supplies that I acquire.

That last point is VERY important. If I find myself in a mass casualty incident, I’m not going to be using my little pocket first aid & trauma kit on strangers. I’d use it on family, but if I’m working on strangers, I’ll use what they’ve got and/or cut and rip off parts of their clothing rather than use all of the limited supplies I have.

I also carry a bottle of prescription pain meds. I’ve learned the hard way that I have to jam-pack the bottle with cotton balls to keep the pills from dissolving from vibration. (I don’t take them and carry the exact same pills for months/years at a time, so the vibration of airline travel adds up)

Security/Tools: Some of the other items that I have with me are:

-A fixed blade knife. I carry an 4.8” partially serrated Gerber LMF II that I have abused enough in the woods & around the house to know I can trust it. To read more about this great knife, you can read the article I wrote about it here and see where to buy it.

  • A few zip ties of various lengths.
  • Multi-tool
  • 2 lights…a Surefire Backup and a Petzl Zipka.
  • backup batteries
  • 2 pepper sprays. (both a traditional “jogger” Saber spray and a Kimber Guardian Angel)
  • pocket/neck knives to the extent that they’re legal where I’m traveling.
  • Belt, boots, a bandana & a few cotton T-shirts.
  • A roll of black electrical tape.
  • LOTS of paracord.
  • Magnetic intrusion alarms.
  • A lock pick set.
  • Urban Survival Playing Cards from


I’ll usually throw in a couple of new things to test out each trip, but that’s the core of it. The best part about this setup is that, other than my knife, it’s all SMALL, light, and very usable.

I normally fly with a firearm a few times a month and have never had a problem with TSA. I’ve read several incidents of where people DID have problems with TSA, but my personal experience has been different.

There are times for me, though, where carrying a firearm is not an option. On a plane. On Amtrak. In DC, California, and other locales that don’t allow concealed or open carry. Even at amusement parks. During those times, I’m quite happy that I have solid empty hands fighting skills…specifically the skills that I’ve learned from Tim Larkin and Target Focus Training over the last 16 (almost 17) years. It’s the system that makes me comfortable and confident in situations where I can’t carry effective self-defense tools and may have to fight to be able to acquire an improvised weapon.

It’s not about striking someone with your fist that contains 27 tiny fragile bones. It’s about learning how to “flip the switch” and take a violent attacker to a non-functional state as quickly and effortlessly as possible…regardless of your size, age, or fitness level. And the training truly delivers like none other that I’ve seen or gone through. Tim’s instructors cover the physics, psychology, and physiology behind winning lethal force encounters.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I want to encourage you to do so by clicking here

Let me know what preparedness items you carry with you when you travel. How do you deal with the fact that you’re basically choosing to be unprepared hours or days away from your home, family, and supplies? What systems do you have in place should a disaster hit your family while you’re gone? As you get more and more prepared, do you tend to spend more time at home or have you figured out how to feel comfortable leaving everything behind?

Tell me by commenting below….

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1Stu Greenlaw
April 1, 2011 at 10:28 am

Sorry, it’s off topic. I have heard from other blogs that the Costco buckets don’t contain enough calories to sustain you. Is just a case of taking vitamins and/or using the food in buckets with canned stuff to make up the caloric difference?


Vote -1 Vote +1Atheist Revolutionary
April 1, 2011 at 10:35 am

One of your best to date. Thank you.


Vote -1 Vote +1Samuel M.
April 1, 2011 at 10:52 am

“fiber capsules and meal replacement capsules”
any particular source?


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1kenneth s
April 2, 2011 at 11:49 am

Hi Samuel,I used to get what were called fiber/vitamin emergency tabs.They came (if I remember right) 250 to a bottle.Now the bottle that they were packed into was configured in the shape of a mil-issue US canteen,but with a wider mouth.This allowed you to carry the bottle of tabs in a standard canteen carrier.A tough plastic zip-lock bag was provided in the bottle to carry the tabs should you ever need to use the bottle as a canteen.Of course,once the pills were gone,the bottle worked every bit as well as an issue plastic canteen.Just as tough.I used to get mine from Major Surplus and Survival in Gardena,California.You can Google them.They have an internet store.Hope this helps.Good luck.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Joe B
April 1, 2011 at 10:55 am

I always carry a Surefire 6pD defender flashlight with back up set of batteries. It goes easily through TSA and can double as a defensive weapon if needed. Plus it is great if the plane loses power.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I end up using mine on 1/4-1/3 of the flights I’m on simply to look under the seats to make sure I have everything.


Vote -1 Vote +1Nunya Bidness
April 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

Thanks! As I read the part about the medication I was reminded of a comment I meant to make to your “improved 72-hour kit.” Just like prescription medication, if you wear corrective lenses it would be a good idea to carry a spare pair of (up-to-date) glasses or contact lenses w/ travel-size solution and carrying case.

Thanks for all the great advice.


Vote -1 Vote +1FITZY
April 2, 2011 at 8:13 am

Speaking of corrective lenses, I just picked up an eyeglass repair kit for the home “stash”…I don’t wear glasses, but a couple people who I’ve told to get here immediately if the SHTF do and I damn sure want them to be able to see in that type of a situation! Now that I think about it, i’m gonna get another for the travel kit…it’s cheap/compact and could be a great aid/barter tool!

Speaking of barter, any of you non-smokers consider adding a pack of smokes to your travel kit? If you’re ever stuck with a group of strangers, these could help ya make a “friend” real quick…the “big scary guy” pacing is probably out!

Just a couple thoughts…


Vote -1 Vote +1Keith_Indy
April 1, 2011 at 10:59 am

I could have used these tips several weeks ago when my wife and I went to Cabo San Lucas for a company paid vacation (only way I’d have gone to Mexico.)

I had to pare down my preps to fit within air travel regulations (like taking the heaters out of my MRE’s.) One thing I did, since I couldn’t bring a knife on board, and wasn’t sure about bringing a survival knife down to Mexico, I bought a couple of Fisher space pens. These have a sturdy metal casing which can be used as a expedient weapon, without looking like the tactical pens that are popular these days (I do own one of those.)

Even having less stuff, I still felt confident in traveling to a foreign country, taking an ATV tour, and our flight back. Having the skills and knowledge are definitely more important then having the stuff.

Our flight back was our only hiccup in the whole trip. Flying into Indianapolis, we ran into a severe thunderstorm which had us diverted to Columbus, OH. The turbulence was bad enough that my wife was white as a ghost, and near a panicked state. I know I was starting to get queasy, even after taking Dramamine earlier. So, after sitting for 1/2 hour or so while the flight crew decided whether to head to Indy or not, we, and several other couples got off the plane.

We ended up renting a mini-van, and driving back through the severe thunderstorm back to Indianapolis. Another guy handled the driving, I was navigating. It was comforting to have the MRE’s, and a couple of 5 hour energy drinks ready in case we got stranded at the airport at 1:30 (everything was closed,) or if I had to take over driving. Having options was what made the decision to get off the plane an easy decision.

Turns out we made a good call. The flight took off in the storm, flew back to Indianapolis, where it circled in the severe thunderstorm for an hour before it headed back to Columbus. The airline finally got everyone and their bags onto a bus several hours later.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I haven’t ever had to test this, but I have always either taken dive knives when going to the Mexican coast or bought one once I get there.


Vote -1 Vote +1Keith_Indy
April 4, 2011 at 7:51 am

Yeah, that was a thought, but everything I’d read on the internet (with a big grain of salt) suggested that getting caught with anything that resembled a weapon could land you in jail.

Just wasn’t worth the risk for me. I’m confident enough in my hand to hand studies (TFT videos) that I wasn’t going there unprepared, just less prepared.


Vote -1 Vote +1james
April 1, 2011 at 11:00 am

thanks for the tip on the sawyer. i’ve always carried a katadyne but this appears to be the current state of the art.


Vote -1 Vote +1Mike
April 1, 2011 at 11:13 am

Tall buildings, old buildings need a smoke helmet. Other survival skills for cities where we work or are we toast?


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Eric Drayner
April 1, 2011 at 11:23 am

Dave, I faced the same dilema as you describe several years ago. We refuse to be home-bodies and we love to travel, so we got into the RV scene.
I bought a 22′ fully self-contained travel trailer that our Tundra pulls easily. The pickup has the trailer towing optional equipment on it, and an extra 30 gal. fuel cell. We travel more than most other couples we know, and love every minute of it. We can take our 3 year old German Shepherd with us, too.
The expense factor is very favorable, compared to airline or other commercial travel. We can stop virtually anywhere we choose, fix ourselves a meal, excercise the dog, or admire the scenery or wherever we find ourselves. We like freeway rest stop areas for overnighters when practical, and the nicer grade of RV parks when staying somewhere longer than just an overnighter.
Obviously, our survival gear can be about as extensive as we want it to be. I have a case of MREs that’s always kept in the trailer and a couple of cases of Mountain House dehydrated meals along with our “regular” food supply (after all, we travel with a refridgerator!).
I have a modified S&W 629 6″ .44 (+100 rounds), a scoped Ruger 10/22 (+500 rounds) and a scoped .308 (+100 rounds) among other things, that always go with us. We have a large and well equipped medical kit and a minimum of 36 gallons of fresh water (and a Sawyer filter kit!).
So far, in the last four years, we have seen most of the major US National Parks in the western US, among MANY other places. We aren’t NEARLY done with this.
If this sounds good to you, do a little research and give it a shot.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Been there, doing that, and we love it 🙂 Some day I’ll write about it.


Vote -1 Vote +1kenneth s
April 1, 2011 at 11:39 am

Your kit seems pretty complete.Virtually identical to one that I have carried for 25 years or more.There are only two or three items that I would add to your list.I hope that you won’t feel me presumptious.I have added these three items to my kit: a Quik-Clot Sport Sponge to the first aid kit.This item takes up a space of 2″X2″X1/8″.It will stop severe bleeding almost instantly.I had occasion to use one when I was stabbed in the inner thigh last month.Fortunately,he missed the femoral artery.The second item I recently added was a McNett Pocket Filter straw.You can actually stick one in your pocket.It will filter all cysts,bacteria,and some viruses and is good for about 200 liters.The third item is one that I made from a piece of flat tool steel 1″X4″X1/8″.I beveled one end to use as a small pry bar.The bar was then hardened to 56-58 Rockwell (slightly softer than a file) so that it could be used as a fire-steel.I now have a pry bar,fire steel,and weapon if I need it.I hope this helps. I use a Red River over the shoulder bag w/ concealed holster to pack everything into.Incidentally,folks might want to take a look at the Kel-Tec PMR30 pistol.It carries a lot of firepower in the same space as a 1911 Colt.The pistol is a polymer-framed .22 Magnum.Each magazine carries 30 rounds! That’s a lot of bang for a pistol.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Not presumptious at all…good stuff and I’m glad your quik-clot worked 🙂

I actually carry some more than what I talked about, but I don’t consider them vital….One of them is an iGo charging system. It charges my laptop, phone, iPad, MIFI, bluetooth, and other rechargible electronics and can use standard wall outlet power, 12 volt outlets, or even 2 AA batteries for everything but my laptop.


Vote -1 Vote +1tim
April 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

i carry a large version of the p38 can opener purchased at walmart ,2 for a buck on my keyring. it is lite,inconspicuous and when there is no power will open any can. also on my key ring i carry a miniled k3 flashlite by lenser purchased at a gunshow that gives out a lot of lite to scan the ground for snakes or tripping hazards and can even lite up the engine space.


Vote -1 Vote +1lee
April 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Antibacterial hand cleaner/gel does excellent double duty as a fire starter and accelerant. A mylar blanket doubles as a signalling device and a camo or earth-tone poncho doubles as concealment. These are in my go-kit, and have been for years.


Vote -1 Vote +1Chuck
April 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

You can carry a combat cane legally ANYWHERE. Training videos are available or you can search for certified instructors in your area. I don’t go anywhere without mine. Check out the website for more info.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Click on Chuck’s name to get to the website. He’s a frequent contributor and promoter of Canemasters. Even with a cane, I believe a solid foundation of empty hands skills should be a goal. That being said, if martial skill with a cane helps you walk without fear, then I’m in favor of the training.


Vote -1 Vote +1Rick
January 20, 2012 at 10:59 am

Is there any ‘hands/body only’ defense training that is less the $500? I know it may be worth the price but some of us don’t have that in this economy. Is there any info available on survival for the disabled?


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Tom Schuckman
April 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Doing two tours in Vietnam taught me that if you can’t carry everything on your back– it’s not important, except my Ram 4 by 4 Truck. There is no way a person can rely or depend on the gov’t to help and take care of you, and the Bible says that times will certainly get much worse in the near future. Invest in tangible silver and high quality knives right now [I suggest a Cold Steel Recon 1 knife]– and I learned a lot from reading this web site! The right water filter is very important too.
Thank you!

Tom S


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

You’re right about what you can carry on your back, but it’s a constant challenge for me as I am sure it is for many others. I’ve got TONS of useful stuff that I WANT to carry, but when you absolutely have to make weight good stuff gets left behind. It happens when running, fast hiking, backpacking, traveling by plane, driving, and even RV camping. It doesn’t matter how much carrying capacity you have, you’ve got to prioritize and leave some stuff behind.


Vote -1 Vote +1Leon
April 2, 2011 at 12:11 am

I’ve carried a Cold Steel SRK for about 20 years, and field-tested a Cold Steel Master Hunter last year. Both knives are fantastic choices for a survival knife. (check out my blog for the reviews:
Here’s a link to a story about what I carry on me at all times:
I also always carry a Swiss Army Classic. I was “disarmed” on the way to Hawaii, so one of the first stops was at a WalMart to buy a replacement. At the end of the week, I presented the Classic to a baggage handler!
This was a very well-written and well-thought-out post!


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Rich
April 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm

They don’t take any more room than two packs of butts, ( no smoker just comparing).
A set of mini-Cobra FRS/NOAA radios, reliable range of these units can be up to ten miles or better, some have a combo of replaceable or rechargeable power supplies. In the event of a National or area disaster NOAA will be the info station as well as knowing what weather is happening. These will recieve in locations not readable by cell or I-Pod/Pad units. Quality sets for under $100.00.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jonesie Tx
April 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm

All very good sugjestions guys! As it is a very personal thing the type of knife one carries. For me I carry Boker Companion(very simular to the LMF) it has a half serated blade with a full tang 1/4″ spine. To put it mildly it will tale beating and still be there when others fail. Retails for around $80.00 give or take a little. I also like my Cold steel Master Hunter companioned with my Leatherman Wave(daily carry) and a 2 1/2 inch bladed Cold Steel San mie lockback. I like the wave as all blades lock into place.retail $60 to $80. Check out garage sales and estate sales! I purhased a box of 32 knives at a estate auction for $50.00 because I spotted 2 Buck 110’s on the top. I found it also had a Vietnam Era Marine Kabar, the 2 cold steel blades, 5 Victorinox, 3 Wiener, and 10 Old Timer/Shrade 3blade pocket knives with 1 Sharp finger and 1 Dear Slayer!!! the rest were what I would call throw away knives. Not bad at all for $50 bucks!

Staying Alive In Tx
William (Jonesie) Jones


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

That’s an INCREDIBLE haul! I always hear and read about hauls like those and get inspired to go estate sale and garage sale shopping. It hasn’t ever panned out like that for me yet 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1Jonesie Tx
April 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I probably went to 200 garage sales and or estate sales befor I made this score. But don’t loose hart. Some other good deals I have LUCKED into are a very beat up Marlin 30-30 that only needed some TLC for $125 (and I have harvestd a truckload of game with it. An old Nylon 66 for $75 that my 3 kids 2girls and boy all learned to shoot with and several shotguns. However, the one that got away (brother in law snatched from under me) was a in the box Browning Sweet 16 Fetherweaght never been fired!! He stole it for $250! So, Keep on looking gus and gals. The bargans ARE out there and if we don’t go hunting we won’t find the treasures!

Stayin Alive in Tx
Wiliam (Jonesie) Jones
P.S. I just turned 50 and have been saling for 20 pluss years.
Never discount what you can find any given weekend!


Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Burns
April 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I believe that there are two kinds of luggage. Carry-on and lost. So whenever possible I head to the boonies with what I can fit in or on my sling bag. I carry clothes that I can hand wash at night and that dry quickly. I like my Steripen for pure water and my old P6 as well as a small Photon for light. For fire starting I prefer a small fire steel with some cotton balls mixed with Vaseline. I add in some magnesium filings and it’s just about foolproof. Obviously, I can’t take any knives so my first stops when I arrive in country are the pharmacy to buy a small bottle of alcohol (to sterilize tooth brush) and the nearest hardware-type place where I can buy a cheap but servicible knife. I wind up giving it to the taxi driver when I’m leaving for the airport. Paring down to carry-on is tough but for me it’s worth the hassle of finding out that my checked stuff (which I really need) wound up in a different country!


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Hey Dave,

It really depends on where you’re traveling. I travel (mostly in the US) enough to get “special” status on two airlines every year and I’ve only had a delay on one single bag in the last decade. I know that luggage gets lost, but the dataset of my flight history is just too big for it to be an exception rather than the norm. In other words, if you don’t have to pay for your first bag I wouldn’t worry about checking a bag.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill Meinhardt
April 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm

You can fly to any location where you are allowed to have a firearm and take your firearm with you. The FAA requires you to place your unloaded firearm in a hard case with a lock.
You can place the ammo in the case also. It must be carried into the airport locked in the case and you must tell the ticket agent that the case contains a firearm. You are required to have the key in your possession and to produce it if requested. Your locked case with your firearm will be placed in the baggage section of your plane and you reclaim it with your other baggage at your destination. You may not open it until you leave the terminal.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Alba
April 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm

good info but TSA requires 2 locks on gun cases or it doesnt go…Hubby works for TSA.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Hey Alba,

You and your husband are correct, BUT I have traveled a few times a month with a firearm for years and, incidentally, was on a flight when you posted your comment. I have had hundreds of interactions with TSA with my firearms and have never run into a problem with only having one lock.

Here’s where the confusion comes in…the case that you’re carrying your firearm in must be secured so that it can’t be easily pried open. With inexpensive plastic gun cases that can be pried open if you only lock one side, you need 2 locks. If you use a sturdy metal firearms case that is properly made for travel and security, you only need one lock.

The TSA has example pictures posted about this topic here:


Vote -1 Vote +1robert
January 13, 2012 at 10:22 am

roger that


Vote -1 Vote +1robert
January 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

It depends on the case, but 2 locks are generally better than one


Vote -1 Vote +1Dan
May 6, 2011 at 9:54 am

Ammo must be in either the original container or one of those nice plastic boxes…probably for safety. Up to 11lbs per passenger
Southwest required me to open the gun case at the counter to show them the weapons and had me walk them over to TSA, who made me wait until it passed xrays (what were they looking for? surely not guns).
then I had to go to the bag counter to sign for the case….
I thought it was very efficient and you can check a suitcase with a handgun in a handgun case inside the same way.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
May 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

I’ve also had success carrying ammo in magazines locked in the case with the firearm that they’re for. It seems odd to me, but I was late for a flight once and transferred my firearm to my case in the car on the side of the road off of airport property. When I got to the TSA agent, I asked him (before opening my case) if it was OK or if I needed to put the ammo in a box. He said it was fine as long as it wasn’t loose and I’ve traveled that way 20-30+ times since then without any trouble. That being said, I don’t know what their official policy is and if I’ll have to give up some ammo at some point.


Vote -1 Vote +1David
April 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm

try using a nine volt battery and some steel wool to start a wet fire. size o will get very hot fast and accually flame. Just do not put them together in the pack!!


Vote -1 Vote +1K West
April 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Do you ever carry an emergency radio?


Vote -1 Vote +1Dan
May 6, 2011 at 9:58 am

There are some awesome 2m/440 amateur radios that nobody should be without. The ones we should have are from the size of a pack of camels to the size of a waterproof cigarette case to the size of a police radio. Some use camera/phone batteries, many are proprietary batteries, get a 12v charger. They vary from $100-$500 a peace.
These have hundreds of available frequencies, have dozens of miles of range, hundreds of miles if you hit the repeaters…and guarantee you can communicate with your loved ones and get area reports when nothing else is working..
They work regardless of cell stations and traffic
Go with 6 meter if you want privacy for you and your group…almost noone is there.


Vote -1 Vote +1Ruth
April 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm

While the tool that is available for cutting seat belts & smashing windows is for the car, it could also be used for a hammer, to cut duck tape and perhaps a weapon, if nothing else was available. I also carry a collapseable cup when I travel and keep one in the car as well. Us gals need our “personal things” and in a crunch they could make really good bandages, also the collapseable hair brushes and combs, tooth brushes, folding nail files and scissors can be very useful for other things, as well and not take much room…of course these kinds of things should go in stow luggage for air travel but useful in many cases otherwise.small sewing kits, butterfly and stronger bandages in the First Aide kits, asprin for emergencies and the odd headache, not to mention a baggie with baking soda that can be many things as needed. And I have a small version ‘Swiss Army Knife’ that is super….just some thoughts off the top without thinking very hard….bubble wrap lined baggies help with securing things as well…..peace all!


Vote -1 Vote +1Ruth
April 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm

PS: One thing I forgot to add that I thought was a super idea that saved a womans feet and hands from frost bite……….she was stranded in her car during a very bad snow storm and was not found right away….she sliced into the foam of the seats in her vehicle and kept her feet and hands in the foam all night….(she also set a tire on fire for a signal) Saw once on tv that if you have some foam available to you to just wrap around your shoes etc that it will save your extremities in an emergency!! Of course good old duck tape is extremely useful for many things.. I realize these are not traveling helps per-say but if you are on the road in various weather it maight be helpful.


Vote -1 Vote +1Gabby
April 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Hey Tim, thanks for all the info. I also travel a lot and always take my CRKT folder and Leathermanwave with me everywhere. I take a pistol and 100 rds of ammo when I can. I can see I need to think better on what I need to carry.

All stay safe, prepare for the worse, pray for good times.



Vote -1 Vote +1Russ Reagan
April 1, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I was unaware or oblivious to the need for plans of survival until I read David Morris. He has opened a whole new view of what to do, who and what to plan for and the supplies I will need when the time comes. Thank you for opening my eyes. I may owe you my life.


Vote -1 Vote +1Chris
April 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Great information David, thanks.

Um…why not just buy a 5 pack of BIC lighters? They’re small, they work.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 4, 2011 at 11:06 am

Because as of this moment, the TSA says you can’t. As I’ve experienced before, this could change between today and tomorrow. You can only check 2 DOT approved lighters in a DOT approved case in your luggage. Ironically, you can carry on a lighter.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jonesie Tx
April 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Does any out there use a cane like I do? My cane is 3/4 ” solid Hickory with the clasic curve.
It can and does travel with me every where I go and is my FIRST line of defence at all times.
I realy don’t have to have it but got in the habit after a knee surgury. It always passes security and rides beside me even on planes. There are numerous web sites that can instruct anyone in cane self defence. say a bad person has aproched me and produces a knife, my cane tip is on the ground as he moves closer then I snap it upwards to eather strike his groin orthe hand arm withthe weapon grab the bottom f the cane as I slide my right hand downward and snap the handel end to his temple. Result is bad guy down.
with practise as wth al self defence it becomes instictual. what if there had been a cane on the 9/11 flights?

Stayin Alive in Tx
William (Jonesie) Jones


Vote -1 Vote +1Augusto
April 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Anyone familiar with the lifesaver bottle?


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1John
April 1, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Caffeine pills. In a real emergency, life may depend on being awake for 2 – 3 days straight, and you will NOT find an open Starbucks!


Vote -1 Vote +1sbrogdon
April 1, 2011 at 9:52 pm

“meal replacement capsules”? Never heard of them. What are they and where can I get them?


Vote -1 Vote +1Gab
April 2, 2011 at 1:03 am

Great info , I to have had no problem with tsa. But I travel with a firearm all the time and I leave the tsa cards in the pelican case under the foam. This way the TSA will see twenty of their cards and know that I am informed on how to pack and carry for travel . Your list will be helpful as I have always wondered what to carry under the circumstances . I like the idea of spray instead of gun if the sidearm can not be carried int a particular area of the country. Thanks for all you do. Gab


Vote -1 Vote +1Hujonwi
April 2, 2011 at 1:51 am

As for the caffeine pills, you can OD on those things real quick. As I have had to do in the past ya need to be able to draw on yourself to keep going for that long. As a Veteran I know that ya can do more than you ever thought if ya set your mind to it. You just have to have the ‘I will survive’ mindset.
Thanks lots of good info, retweaking both kits.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 4, 2011 at 11:02 am

Caffeine pills can take someone out of the fight in a hurry. When you take them, they act as a diruetic and cause you to urinate more…sometimes a LOT more. Then things go one of three directions:

1. You get dehydrated, stop sweating/cooling as efficiently, and bad things happen.
2. You have the ability to get or make clean drinking water and you keep replacing what you’re losing to urination. In the process, you flush the salts & electrolytes out of your system and get hyponatremia. Your body’s electrical system stops working properly, you start cramping, and you get a headache that may make you wish you were dead. I’ve gotten to this point a few times over the years and treated many people in this situation…in most cases, it was a result of taking excedrin or other caffiene based supplements.
3. You have the ability to get or make clean drinking water, an electrolyte mix to put in it, and you keep replacing what you pass. This isn’t a very efficient use of time, resources, or supplies.

I suggest keeping caffeine pills on hand in the course if your normal routine includes ingesting caffeine, but you only want to take as much as you need to keep from getting a withdrawl headache. In most cases, this is as little as 20-50mg, if you’re used to drinking a few 120mg coffees per day, but you’re going to have to experiment to find out what works for you.


Vote -1 Vote +1Ronald
April 2, 2011 at 6:33 am

Lots of good tips here. I’ve always thought that the most important thing about surviving any hardship is your health! I’ve invented a small (carry IN your pocket) Antibiotic generator for making your own supply of Colloidal Silver! This med will keep you well, and ready for anything. Also this antibiotic rejects and/or cures over 250 pathogens!!!! Sounds impossible doesn’t it?


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

I’m a big fan of silver, but not at-home silver generators. I’ll use one when I find one that ensures that you aren’t getting silver oxides, silver salts, and particles that are too large–or when I run out of my lab-produced silver and can’t replace it.


Vote -1 Vote +1Dawson
April 2, 2011 at 10:47 am

Dryer lint also makes great fire tender.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jonathan
April 2, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I carry much the same a you David, but I carry a US GI Gor-tex Bivy, and a poncho for shelter. Also why do you carry electrical tape, instead of duct tape? I carry 1″ gorilla duct tape.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
April 4, 2011 at 10:49 am

I’ve got duct tape in my mini-survival kit, but I actually use my electrical tape almost every time I stay in a hotel.

I’m aware of light, and particularly flashing lights, when I’m sleeping or trying to get to sleep. So, I put a towel under the door, use clothes pens to clip curtains together, and I’ll cover over all of the lights and bright clocks with electrical tape to get the room as dark as possible.

Kind of an aside, but another VERY nice thing about electrical tape is that it sticks to itself well, but doesn’t stick to hair as much as other tapes. I learned this when I went to watch my older brother play rugby…they wrapped electrical tape around their heads to secure their ears. I laughed at it at the time, but a few years later when I started playing, I quickly adopted the practice.


Vote -1 Vote +1Betsy
April 3, 2011 at 8:50 am

Thanks for some really helpful ideas for traveling. What brand are your meal replacement capsules?


Vote -1 Vote +1Bruce Bannon
May 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm

These are the ones I found at the site he mentioned.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Pete
April 3, 2011 at 11:04 am

thank you all for all those great ideas and most of all to David Morris that has the integrity to inform us to be the best we can be . … God bless you all and may we have favor preparing continually . I believe we are now living on borrowed time and being prepared for the worst is empowerment not fear. my relatives 3 years ago thought I was a nut job. but now they are having second thoughts . I have been trying to be prepared since 2006 and I have no regrets.


-1 Vote -1 Vote +1mary
April 6, 2011 at 7:14 am

Thanks, Dave for sharing your knowledge with us. I have learned a great deal both from your lessons and the comments of others on this site.
Does anyone know what’s going on with Mountain House foods? I saw in the Emergency Essentials catalog that Mountain House is not taking new orders from distributors right now beause of a recent increase in demand. This must be a really big demand!


Vote -1 Vote +1Dpittm
April 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm

The US Government is purchasing ALL of the ready to eat meals from every one they can. They’ve been doing this since about the middle of next year.


Vote -1 Vote +1Bruce
May 11, 2011 at 5:56 am


Why did you choose the 2-liter water filter; ? Why not the 4-liter system; ? Or the stand alone filter; with your own containers?

I don’t see the advantage of the smaller system. It may not hold enough water even when it’s full. The larger system doesn’t have to be filled to the top while moving but, it would be nice when you’re at a safe haven.

Just curious.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
May 12, 2011 at 9:45 am

Great question…

Although it may seem trivial, it’s for weight and bulk. It seems like my bag weight is usually 49.5 pounds and I have simply picked the smallest and lightest options that I can for travel gear.


Vote -1 Vote +1Scott B
May 31, 2011 at 3:14 pm

My suggestion would be when taking Pills, bars, real food and suppliments would be to stagger them. Not eat the food, then the bars, then the suppliments and finallly the pills. Staggering will make the entire group last a whole lot longer with less fatigue and retaining concentration levels.


Vote -1 Vote +1Papaswamp
August 10, 2011 at 10:14 am

I noticed a lot of food questions. For everyday carry Mainstay 3600 bars. Developed for at sea survival. They are heavy but not water dependent like so many freeze dried meals. I did a little review..


Vote -1 Vote +1Bret
March 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Hi David,
Thank you for imparting your wisdom & expertise. Do you have any recommendations type & category of vehicles & aircraft to obtain & prep for Urban Survival?


Vote -1 Vote +1Amazing Discount Jewelry
July 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Experimenting with rss subscriptions. I can keep current with your site from now on- what a neat feature


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