I don’t travel much and when I do its usually within about two hours from home. That’s not because I’m some shut in, I mean I am, and its also not because I’m all paranoid about the world ending while I’m away from home with all my stuff, which again, I am, but I don’t travel much because I like where I live. I live in an area that within two hours travel time I have all the stuff I like to do. Mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, plains… I’m not much of a beach goer and if i was, the closest ocean to me is seven hours away and generally 40 to 60 degrees year round. Most my family lives here, and the others who don’t that we do want to see live within 4 hours in either direction… so we only see them once a year or so. When I do travel, I have a few standards I take with me. One of those being an electronics gear kit.
This is not about a survival in the woods type of thing, this is an every day survival thing in this culture of electronic everything. Now I am not one of those people that feels naked and afraid without their cell phone, but it is a part of my life. It connects me to my family, immediate information, and hilarious texts when my buddy is on the toilet and runs out of toilet paper. And really, who among us hasn’t been unexpectedly stuck somewhere with your phone battery running low and wishing you could get an updated weather report… or play another game of bejewled?
So when I do travel farther than my normal day to day activities, I have a small, handy kit that travels with me. I try to keep it simple enough to not make it a pain to remember to grab or handle, because like a huge CCW pistol, you’ll opt to leave it home when you run to the grocery store for milk. My kit lives in a MOLLE compatible bag so I can attach it to any other bag/backpack that I happen to have with me. Its large enough to hold what I need it to hold, but small enough to be able to bury it in a larger pack too. I also added a thin shoulder strap in case I want to use it stand alone for any reason. This bag is purposeful and also necessary because I can’t afford to have duplicates of all this gear in each of my different kits, so this one bag goes with whatever other setup I take for that occasion.
Inside this handy carrying bag, I keep charging cords for both apple and android style devices, a USB 12 Volt cigarette lighter adapter, and a standard USB wall plug in adapter. This wall adapter came with an Ipad or something and is a 12 Watt 2.4 Amp charger which charges extra quick compared to a regular 1 Amp plug in. Those are the items that get used the utmost – although of course I have power cords and adapters that live permanently in my truck – but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t over plan. Also included is a hand held CB radio with its charging cord and an upgraded antenna, a hand held GMRS radio that can talk to the CB radio (because what good is only one radio when you need to stay in contact with someone in your group?), a small flashlight with a red lens that can can be put on (because I’m tacticool like that), a GPS unit, a traditional compass, a watch that reads barometric pressure, temp, altitude and oh yeah, time (it was on sale), a separate external battery for the Iphone, AA batteries for all the other electronics (because I like standardization), a push to talk microphone and ear piece for the GMRS, a write in the rain pad and pen for any notes I want or need to jot down, and a cheat sheet of my local frequencies to monitor.
Seems like a lot when I list it but really it all fits in a bag about 2/3rds the size of a loaf of bread.
I don’t have a scanner or a solar panel for this kit. My phone has a scanner app which is not much in an emergency I know, but the scanner I do own while its hand held, is big and heavy so it gets left behind to save bulk and weight in my bag. While I’m sure I’ll eventually buy one, I just don’t see needing a solar charger for my uses. If I’m in the woods where there’s no power, I’m not wanting my phone anyway. Besides the fact, in reality in today’s world, you can usually walk anywhere that has power to tap into in less than an hour. The other thing that I could add and haven’t is a USB thumb drive. I suck at encryptions so I simply haven’t tossed a drive together yet.
This kit is tailored to me with the smaller items mostly having been collected over the years or included with other purchases, so it didn’t take much to throw it together, but its already been very valuable and useful in my everyday carry travels.