If you’re one of my regular readers, you may have noticed that I’ve had survival on the brain these days, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my EDC (Everyday Carry) has evolved into a compact survival situation – I’ve been referring to my handbag as my “apocalypse bag.” I’ve only been half-joking. It’s basically a smaller version of a 72-hour bag, which is, in turn, a smaller version of a Bug-Out Bag (BOB).
There’s room left in this bag when fully packed, but it isn’t light. To solve the problem of Callaghan wanting to put stuff in my bag (thus making it heavier), I’m considering getting him a Man-Bag, Dammit (MBD), so he can carry his things around in his NutSac.
That aside, my apocalypse bag is unassuming enough. We went to Target on Monday evening, and Callaghan took this pic of me in the parking lot just to give you an idea:
–See? You can’t tell that it’s holding everything AND there’s probably a kitchen sink in there somewhere, too.
–There’s an orangutan on the side because it’s a Kipling bag. I kept it there because why remove a perfectly good orangutan.
–Yes, that is my bra. No, I didn’t realize it was visible until I saw this pic. Thankfully, this top is only see-through when the camera captures me in the light of a brilliant Arizona sunset, and at this particular angle. Also because of the sunset, my black top, pants, bag, and shoes all came out in shades of orange. My hair came out red. I don’t usually filter my pics, but this was definitely a job for a filter. I went with the first one I tried (“vintage”), because in addition to kind of correcting the color, it lent a sort of noir energy to the pic, which I thought was apropos.
Here’s the apocalypse bag just sitting there:
Here’s how I organized it:
1). Front compartment: Keys. I keep a miniature pocket knife on my key-chain, along with a bolt snap.
2). Side compartment 1: Kleenex, gum, glasses lens wipes.
3). Side compartment 2: Earbuds.
4). Back compartment: Folding fan.
5). Middle compartment: This is my main tool compartment. It holds my folding knife, which I keep attached to the sewn-in key-clasp. My knife is a Victorinox one-handed lockblade Trekker; I covered the handle in gun grip tape for a more secure grip (pro-tips). This compartment also holds my Gerber multi-tool (mainly for its pliers, wire-cutter, and wire-stripper); portable phone charger; mini scissors; mini flashlight; spare batteries for the flashlight; lighter; nail clippers; tweezers; travel adapter for electrical outlets; pen; pencil; neon post-its. With the exception of the knife, pen, pencil, and post-its, everything is packed in protective pouches and plastic zip-loc bags.
6). Main compartment, which includes an inside zip pocket that holds my passport and emergency cash stored in a zip-loc bag. (Travel-ready, though I don’t know where I think I’m going with my bag that’s full of all sorts of tools and blades and scissors and whatnot. I always have my passport on me, regardless, so it’s just a habit.)
See how there’s still room left in there? There’s a ridiculous amount of stuff in this compartment:
Under the top layer (normal handbag-type things), I keep four protective pouches/zip-loc bags that hold: a). disposable rubber gloves; antiviral face masks; antibacterial hand wipes; face wipes; bandanna; gallon zip-loc bag for soiled/contaminated materials (or vomit); extra Kleenex; extra lighter; extra pen and neon post-its. b). toothpaste, folding toothbrush, dental floss. c). aspirin; upset stomach tablets; ibuprofen; Emergen-C packets; antibacterial wound spray; band-aids in three different sizes. d). protein bars, fruit & nut bars, peanut butter packets.
I can also put an empty water bottle that can be filled wherever there’s water. Sometimes I have it pre-filled. A double eyeglass case for glasses and sunglasses also fits.
Here’s the empty bag:
The bag is made of water-resistant nylon. It’s very light, which is good; the only weight I’m carrying is of the stuff inside. The canvas strap is thick and adjustable for length.
That covers it, for now. This is a work in progress! I’m going to add gauze, sterile tape, and some sort of thin, strong rope. I thought of adding pepper spray in case of dog attack, but I don’t like the idea of pepper spray in my bag. I also thought of a whistle, in case of drowning emergency. (I did learn something from Titanic.)
I just like feeling ready for basic emergencies. And if the apocalypse is a zombie apocalypse, I might be able to survive that with this bag, too. (But do I need a hammer? Must research.)