I know, it’s a pessimistic title. But as someone who grew up in Hurricane Alley, I’ve always been taught to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The peace of mind in knowing you have the basic necessities on hand in the event of anything unexpected is absolutely priceless, so enter the “Go-Bag." Whether you’re facing an oncoming tropical storm or an unplanned sleepover — here are 12 things to consider keeping in the trunk of your car or tucked in a backpack in the event of a quick getaway.
- The Backup Fit
No one should ever be caught out without the comfy and versatile Backup Fit. A loose black tee and a pair of comfy leggings give you easy-to-match options in the event of an unexpected wardrobe malfunction. And don’t forget your basics: a pair of cotton underwear and an extra pair of socks can go a long way in terms of comfort and cleanliness.
- Sewing Kit
Pop a button? Snap a spaghetti strap? A tiny sewing kit (or even just a couple of safety pins) can save you from a number of wardrobe snafus.
Waterless brushes like Wisps are a great option for on-the-go. A bit of floss wouldn’t hurt either.
- Baby Wipes
Baby wipes or other wet wipes are a decent way to keep yourself sanitary if you don’t have access to a shower.
- Portable Charger
Solar-powered, if you can swing it, and with extra batteries either way. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the middle of a power outage with your phone at 1%.
- First Aid Kit
“Better safe than sorry” is the attitude to take when preparing your first aid kit. You can either purchase a pre-filled kit or build your own, but bandaids, alcohol wipes, ibuprofen, feminine hygiene products and tweezers are a solid place to start, along with a couple of days worth of any necessary medications.
A decent swiss army knife or a similar multi-tool is a convenience that shouldn’t be exclusive to Boy Scouts. A pocket knife, a screwdriver and a bottle opener all in one pocket-sized tool will ensure you’re never stuck searching for the tool kit again.
- Water & Snacks
Having water on hand is probably the most basic survival tip in the book, so I hope this doesn’t require any further explanation! Whether you’ve got mid-road trip munchies or find yourself stranded on the side of the road, try to keep long-lasting, nutritious and ready-to-eat snacks like granola or protein bars on hand.
- Paper Map
While it might sound old-fashioned, if Apple Maps is unusable or your battery dies, a spare road atlas can be a lifesaver! You can even order a free Florida Transportation Map from VISIT Florida, so there’s no excuse not to have one in your glovebox.
- Rain Poncho & Boots
We live in one of the wettest climates on Earth, so you have to be prepared for a downpour at any moment. A rain poncho is a favorite for its compact size and full coverage, but any raincoat or umbrella is better than nothing. And navigating a flooded road in flip-flops isn’t the smartest move, so a pair of rain boots is an excellent investment (Also, no more wet socks!).
Whether stargazing on the side of the road, napping on a long ride home, or crashing on a friend’s couch, keeping a small fleece blanket in the trunk is small comfort that goes a long way.
- Duct Tape
You really thought any emergency kit wouldn’t include duct tape?
Carrying what sounds like a small convenience store in the backseat of your car may seem extra, but looking out for your future self is one of the highest forms of self-care and self-love you can practice. Better yet, you might have just the thing on hand to help out a friend in need or even save a life. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully, it’s enough inspiration to get your Go-Bag on its way. I'll leave you with an aphorism that's been burned into my memory, whether I like it or not: “The man who sleeps with a machete is a fool every night but one.”