Carrying your Emergency Kit
The whole idea
personal emergency kit is that it is small enough, light enough, and
unobtrusive enough for you to carry it with at all times when you are out of
the house. This includes at work (you do not want to die in an office building
or factory warehouse because you are unable to pry open a stuck window or
door), the doctor’s office, at concerts, in the grocery store, and so forth.
All of these places are potential death traps if an emergency occurs and you
have no tools to help you with your egress.
This means that the kit must fit into a
backpack, fanny pack, or purse conveniently, and still be readily accessible.
The kit should be placed into its own container within whatever you are
carrying it inside – you don’t want the contents rattling around loose inside
your purse or backpack. This means that you could lose precious minutes groping
around in a tangled mess of objects for the one that you need, and might end up
spilling everything out on the floor – a disaster for you in the darkness of an
Get a ballistic nylon or other tough fabric bag, preferably
one with several pockets, and use this to store your
emergency kit within your
usual carrying container. The bag will help both to keep the items safe and
accessible. You still need to pack them in the correct order, which is just as
vital as getting the items themselves or
Alternatively, you can get a purpose-designed emergency kit
pouch to wear on your belt or on a shoulder strap like a messenger’s pouch or a
sword on a baldric. These tend to cost a bit more than a simple bag, but they
have several advantages. Since they strap onto your body, you can keep your
hands free while still carrying your emergency kit with you.
Wearing your emergency kit in this way also keeps it
convenient at all times --- hanging at your hip, attached
to your belt, or even
buckled to your chest, you can reach into in a moment, yet it doesn’t impede
your movement. The main drawback is that it is not a very good fashion
statement, but when survival is in the balance, who cares about "haute couture"?
When packing your bag, the items you need least frequently
should go at the bottom, while the most useful should be at the top. This means
that the flashlight should always be the topmost item in the bag – it is
impossible to do anything without adequate light. Your
smoke hood should be
directly beneath it, and your multi-tool under that. After that, prioritize your
remaining items and put them into the bag according to how often (or how badly)
you’re likely to need them.