Putting the GO in go-bag
Every ARES® member should have a go-bag ready for an emergency.
You can’t carry everything and everyone has a different opinion about what is important. Unfortunately, you have to guess what kind of emergency you’ll be dealing with and which tools will be most helpful.
My Go kits
Here is what I have in my go kits, which is very much a work in progress. In fact, I find that it is currently both too heavy and is missing too much. I’m attempting to keep the total weight low, so I know I need to sacrifice many useful items others include in their kits. I’m not that concerned about a carry, to old and not the best of health. I will be depending on my trusty auto.
Flexibility and redundancy
Remember these rules always, and you’ll be fine:
1. BETTER TO HAVE IT AND NOT NEED IT, than to NEED IT AND NOT HAVE IT.
2. WHERE THERE IS TWO, THERE IS ONE….WHERE THERE IS ONE, THERE IS NONE.
These are military and scout codes you must live by. Number one is self-explanatory, number two makes you think. If you have 2 of something, 1 will break and leave you with 1. If you have 1 of something, it will still break and you’ll have none.
Ideally, the contents will be adjusted for the season: bug repellent isn’t really needed in the winter, for example. Clothing needs are also season dependent.
This is an ARES® go bag, so the primary focus is to provide communications.
Every Day Carry
Minimal equipment always carried. I find my pockets too full as it is, but I’d like to squeeze in some more items.
Always in my pockets
Wallet with ARES® ID, FCC ID
Small flashlight on a key ring
Pocket knife 3″ Kershaw or CRKT
Common sense & good attitude (let me know if you find a good supplier for these)
I love my shoulder Pack it is my EDC
Dual band HT Preprogrammed with CARES / regional Frequency
“Tiger tail” counterpoise and antenna, SMA adapter
Extra radio battery pack/ extra radio?
Power supplies, chargers
Antennas with mounts
SWR bridge (VHF and HF)
Other Stuff in shoulder bag
Matches AND lighter
Hand sanitizer (can double as a fire starter)
First aid kit
Water purification tablets and 1 qt container
550 parachute cord 50′
1 week’s meds/Prescriptions
let’s start to load down the auto
backpack/ rubber maid tote kit
Emergency poncho (doesn’t take much space, but flimsy)
Emergency “space” blanket (ditto)
Snacks and water
Pen, pencil, sharpie
Change for phone
Snacks, 1 MRE
Drinking water germicidal tablets
LED headlamp (Very handy to be able to use both hands. Be sure to get a headlamp that has both white and red LEDs — the red light attracts fewer bugs.)
550 parachute cord (the good stuff is apparently the 7 strand MIL-C-5040H Type III)
I’d also like to add in, among other things:
Appropriate clothing, depending on season
Extra AA and AAA Batteries (standardizing on one would be better)
Safety goggles, dust mask & work gloves
Paper and various message forms
Portable stove, mess kit with cleaning kit
Electrical and duct tape
Shelter (tent and sleeping bag)
Foul weather gear
4-day change of clothes
4 day supply of food
4 day supply of water — 4 gallons of water, which is about 25 pounds!
Paperweights, to keep all the forms and other papers from blowing around.
Shure glad to auto is a van
There is no doubt that having a car opens up a lot of possibilities. Keep in mind that what you put in your car will have to handle baking in the summer sun and freezing in the winter.
Mobile radio and mag mount antenna /
Temporary antenna anchor /drive on and or tripod yoke
Painter’s pole/ mast kit
J-Pole / 40m 80m dipole as guys
First aid kit, tools, food, water, etc.
And at least half a tank of gas in the car
Soldering torch, fuel (small can) and solder
Extra AA batteries (for 2-meter) and extra AAA batteries (for FRS)
Some basic tools (screwdrivers, needlenose pliers)
2 pairs of work gloves
5 pairs of latex gloves
5 dust masks
multi qt thru 2 gal zip top bags (one for the masks and latex gloves)
Whatever else you might have in your kit, add one more thing: an inventory of the kit. It reduces searching and makes it easy to restock. You can also record when supplies (food, for example) should be replaced. If nothing else, the back side makes good scratch paper, and it can be used as a firestarter.
and, and, and What else ?? George K, n0zed
toss in your 2 cent worth