This is a partial response to the questions I received after people learned we had an off-roading mishap. This is the bag I take when traveling whether it be off-road or otherwise. Most of the time, if I am more than 30 miles from home, this bag goes with me. I know I can take care of basic needs for myself and my family as long as I have it. This bag is not packed for backpacking/hiking. I could use it for that, but I would take out some things and add others. Depending on how far I had to travel, I might work to lighten it. It weighs just under 20 lbs as it is. It has another bag that attaches to it which I will explain later.
In addition to this bag, we also had our "Garage Bucket." I will share what is in that in another post.
Clint has a trunk of tools he always takes with us and had an inverter, power tool battery charging station, and battery-powered tools. We were staying in motels on this trip, but we took a few extra blankets, camp chairs, and our 12-quart Dutch oven with us. We also had a cooler and a box of food. We also had traction boards strapped to the top of our Suburban. Clint took down the full-sized shovel we keep on the suburban and forgot to put it back. W had to use the back up--the folding camp shovel.
We also have a very nice first aid kit that has been beefed up with several trauma kit items and also contains several OTC meds. It also has scissors and nail clippers. I also added saline solution to rinse debris from eyes and wounds. That stays in the suburban at all times.
Brandon has this identical MOLLE backpack which he fills with much the same and keeps in his car. To help us differentiate them, I have an extra attached MOLLE bag and have my initial in red on the top.
hiking poles (one has a good measure of duct tape wrapped around one Pole for blisters-works better than a bandage for me), telescoping fishing pole (recent gift from my husband), black bag with white zipper contains new and used paracord, six headlamps, multi-tool, 4 lighters, sweatpants, shirt, shemagh (useful for SO many things!), hat, underwear, socks, 2 pair of gloves, knife, large poncho that can be used as a tarp or tent, ground cover, fishing kit (burgundy/white container), first aid kit, pocket saw, magnesium bar, überleben Zünden ferro rod (not visible in picture-in a pocket I missed!), firestarter aid (petroleum jelly in cotton balls in recycled pill bottle), sanitation kit (bar of soap, 4 washcloths, hand sanitizer, razor), five mylar blankets, Sawyer mini, P51 can opener (in the bag with the filter), water purification tablets, collapsible canteen, instant coffee and electrolyte packets, five protein granola bars. I also have a flashlight clipped to the side of the bag (not easily visible in picture). The flag item is a bandana with cooling beads. I also have carabiners in different sizes on the outside of the bag. I also have a clear plastic compass but it was not with the bag because I had broken the one I had and had to buy another to replace it. A CPR mask is attached to a zipper on the back of the bag.
The fishing pole will probably get zip tied under the hood of the suburban. My reel is not pictured because the pole is new and the reel is on the way. I live around the water, so if I have my pole, I can take advantage of it.
The poncho is the same one pictured in the Mishap post. I have added one to the garage bucket since the trip. One worked great but having a bigger sidewall to the tarp we put up as a rainfly would have trapped more heat to help us dry some clothing quicker.
I don't always take a Dutch oven, so I'd like to find a small, lightweight pot to add to my pack or the garage bucket.
This is the bag that attaches to the MOLLE system at the top of the backpack. With a smile and a twinkle in my eye, I call the whole thing "my purse," but this has more girly items. My phone has a wallet-style case that contains my money and ID, so that is about all I take into a store. The big bag pretty much sits in the suburban until I need something out of it. I do find I need things from it more than I thought I would. I take it into the house with me when I return home.
Fun story: I use to keep the machete inside the big bag. It zips up fine with it inside but I like saving that space so I stick on the side now. Clint and I were somewhere working a job, and he looks at me and asks without any hope: "You wouldn't happen to have brought a machete, would you?" I told him to hand me my "purse." He smiled so big when I pulled it out of the bag. He bragged about it to the guys at work the next day, and they think I am one cool chick. :-)
The smaller bag contains makeup, essential oil (my kind of perfume), another lighter, another flashlight and headlamp, snack, keys, gum, nail clippers, a small microfiber towel, etc. There is another CPR mask attached to the zipper. I've not weighed this one, but it is fairly light.
I've kept a bag like this since about 2015...almost 8 years. I inventory and make changes every few months. Clint has a similar bag that he has kept in his car since 2015, but he has different tools. I made a backpack similar to this for all of our children that year too. Most of them keep them in their vehicles. Some of them have upgraded or added new items. One of them lost theirs.
So, this pack combined with the stuff we had in/on the suburban and in the "garage bucket" kept us very comfortable despite the unexpected situation.
Dear Reader, I know I am "weird" in what I keep with me, but I have learned from many experiences that life can change in a second. I've never fit in any box (category) people tried to put me in any way, so why should I start now?! :-) I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. That way of thinking really paid off for us recently!