Two Letters Re: How to Travel as a Prepper When You are a Road Warrior

Dear Mr Rawles,
I would like to comment on the letter entitled, “How to Travel as a Prepper
When you are a Road Warrior.”
I commend him for trying to be prepared when traveling, however I think he can easily be better prepared.
When I travel I carry the following in a backpack.
1) LifeStraw portable water filter. This is for emergency use only.
2) Bottle of Polar Pure water disinfectant. Polar Pure is based on Iodine Crystals.
Polar Pure never expires. It can purify up to 20,000 gallons of water. Note however, that you only want to use it for 3 weeks max continuously as your body does not like too much iodine at one time. I have
used Polar Pure on numerous wilderness trips and I understand it has been taken to Everest. I carry it with all the time, whether or not I am traveling.
3) Three coffee filters for partially filtering dirty water if needed.
4) One bottle of water
3) One MRE. Note: do not try to fly with an MRE pouch that has a heater in it. Remove the Heater. Note that the TSA might have an issue with the individual food packets. If so, then leave it with them.
4) One 12 oz package of high calorie food ration.
5) 100 feet of #550-cord (paracord)
6) One partial roll of black duct tape. (The duct tape can be used for wrapping your shoes in winter to partially protect them from walking in snow in wintertime.
7) Three folded heavy duty garbage bags (These can be used to sit on or sleep on wet ground. In a pinch they can be used for partial rain protection of your torso by cutting the right holes for arms and neck.
If you find  yourself in the position of needing to walk in deep snow for any distance or time, the plastic could be wrapped around your lower ankles and up to the knee and fastened in place with either duct tape
or paracord to make a temporary pair of gaiters.
8) One Pak-Lite LED flashlight mounted to a 9 Volt battery.
9) A Eton emergency wind up flashlight/solar powered radio
10) Portable handheld HAM Radio. If you are a licensed HAM, you can carry your portable radio. You also might want to carry the pocket guide for all nationwide repeaters.  If you are not a licensed HAM operator, become one. Obviously it must be powered off and I remove the antennae.
11) One folded plastic poncho for rain protection.
All of the above items are not heavy and do not consume a lot of space.
As they say, preparing is a journey. There are several items I would like to add that do not consume much space and
could prove to be useful.
1) Small handheld compact binoculars
2) Compass
Other items can be carried based upon the season. In winter I carry a balaclava in addition to my parka shell and gloves.
There are many good articles in Survival Blog about common items that can be used for self defense should the need arise. These include pens, rolled up magazines, briefcases and walking canes. My favorite is the fellow in Los Angeles that placed ballistic fiberglass into his aluminum briefcase!
I hope this helps some of the road warriors. – James S.

Thanks to S.S. for a thoughtful reminder that it is prudent to be prepared when traveling.  I, like S.S., am a road warrior, although my travel is much less frequent than his and the vast majority of my travel is by car.  I, too, keep a bugout bag in my trunk with things I would need should I find myself in a situation requiring me to abandon my vehicle and walk home, a trip that could easily exceed 300 miles.  Fortunately, as I am a resident of Kentucky, I have no problem also packing along a .22 caliber rifle or even sometimes a semi-auto 5.56mm rifle.

One aspect of travel that S.S. did not mention, and one on which I would like to add my thoughts, is staying in hotels.  Prior to my preparedness mindset, I would put the “Do Not Disturb” sign out for the entirety of my stay and if I ever needed fresh towels I would trade the dirty ones directly with the housekeeper.  Now, however, the first thing I do when I get into a room is to put the giveaway soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, coffee/tea packets and condiment packets into my luggage and then, when I return at the end of the day, new ones have magically appeared to take their place. 

If I happen to be staying at a hotel which I deem to have less than trustworthy housekeeping staff then I will still put out the “Do Not Disturb” sign but every day I approach a housekeeper in the hallway and ask for refills of the above items.  Then, when I return home, I put the hospitality items in my barter box.  The coffee, tea and hot chocolate packets go into a ziploc with a desiccant packet.

Some people might consider this less than honest as these items are intended for use during your stay but, considering how much hotels charge these days, I figure that the cost of the items is included in the price of the room and I do have a couple of guidelines to which I adhere.  I never ask for more than one of each item per day and I would never, ever take anything off the housekeeper’s cart without first asking.

Who knows, six months into a TSHTF situation that little bottle of shampoo that most people leave behind might be worth a couple of rounds of ammo, a chicken or some other nice-to-have goodie from someone who hasn’t showered in a month. – Ken, A Prepared Kentucky Paratrooper

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