I have spent my amazing 64.5 year American Dream life one way or another sharing and promoting my love for independence and readiness with everyone everywhere in my public and private life, emphasizing the critical instinctual mindset to survive and be prepared.
When one is properly prepared for life’s unforeseen but mostly predictable challenges, we can be an asset to our family and friends and to a great degree, everyone around us. Failing to be prepared lands us squarely in the liability column of life, and that is just plain lame. The sheeping of America will go down in history as a most embarrassing failure.
In a recent column I outlined the common sense logic of our rugged individualism and how I have lived it forever, and quite honestly, how very simple and very gratifying it is to accomplish. I have always joked, more seriously than humorously, that if you want to go to a knife and gun show I only have to lift my shirt or open my jacket.
The basic gear I have on my person at alltimes represents the pragmatism of why God created pockets and belts. In a life of nonstop adventure, much of it wilderness adventure, my brain developed early on a conclusion based on the possibility of a truck breakdown or God forbid, an emergency aircraft landing, and my insistence on being able to survive with what is on me at the time.
Beyond my mobile belt and pocket laden hardware and sporting goods store, there are other means of preparedness that can be adhered to by anybody, anywhere, anytime. Though some jurisdictions in America and beyond sadly deny basic 2nd Amendment rights, criminally infringing on our rights to keep and bear arms, individual efforts and choices must be made to determine to what extent you are willing to arm yourself based on the laws of the land in which you travel. To each his own.
Beyond my “on person” gear, I also have a fat shoulder bag full of yet more goodies that fulfill a thoughtful and responsible utilitarian game plan.
As I write this, I am 40,000 feet up in a lovely jet, zooming to another night of blistering soulmusic with the greatest band on earth, on tour all summer long 50 plus years nonstop. Say Hallelujah!
It really is rather amusing the list of gear I have sitting next to me and on the jet with me right now because I am more loaded up than usual since I will head to our Michigan cabin for the duration of the Midwest leg of our tour.
It just so happens that a fully automatic M4 machinegun and over 1000 rounds of loaded hi-capacity magazines reside in the seat to my right. Plus there are bows and arrows and an assortment of specialty gear for our upcoming Canadian bear hunts, so this vehicle is about as prepared for anything that anyone could possibly imagine. To say I feel very good would be an extreme understatement. (the M4 and handguns will be legally stored prior to Canada!)
In upcoming articles I will delve into the extensive gear I always have in my plane, touring wardrobe case, trucks, vehicles, barn, home, garage and cabins.
For now I will stick with identifying that which I carry in my Drago heavy duty ballistic shoulder bag. It could be considered a quickie “bugout bag” for sure, but somewhat limited for any extended survival emergencies.
In it I have substantial first aid, additional pistol magazines and my backup 10mm, two water bottles, some high energy granola type bars and water purification tabs, two survival type wrist rope bands, a bundle of heavy duty plastic lock-ties, some heavy duty freezer type ziplock plastic bags, extra flashlight and batteries, another spare lighter, throat lozenges, spare knife and sharpener, backup reading glasses, this laptop and two spare batteries, an ATT wireless devise for Internet connection, a small sewing kit, elastic braces for knees and wrists, spare sheriff credentials, spare large handkerchief, small camera, important papers including passport and copies of all family members passports, a good supply of strong paper napkins, alcohol wound cleaning pads, obviously more guitar picks, datebooks and phonebooks, a supply of heavy duty paracord, sunglasses and various business paraphernalia.
I also have a bunch of Spare Bladders, an amazing product we use to pee in when in our treestands. It is a strong zip top plastic bag with a powder that de-scents and solidifies urine. I can’t live without them when flying private of 300+ days in trees!
Combined with my daily carry supplies, I never give it a second thought knowing that long ago I made certain I would always be capable of taking care of myself and those around me that I choose to assist.
Though to some this list of daily gear may seem burdensome, obtrusive and complicated, it has never represented any compromise in my mobility or comfort. To the contrary, having what I need readily available at all times is indeed extremely comforting.
I’m glad more and more of us are sharing our survival information and ideas, but I am convinced that we must all put forth adequate effort to educate and inspire our family, friends, co-workers and neighbors beyond the choir that preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. Thanks to all the people who care, it is encouraging to know that more and more people are upgrading their responsibilities in this natural function. It can only be good for everyone.