I had to do some traveling for work a few weeks ago. Good trip, excited to go. I packed my one bag, tossed it in the car and off I went. The weather was pretty mild, and I hadn’t thought of much else. Let alone a what if. I really let my situational awareness down in my excitement.
My epiphany was on the drive home, it was raining and the temperature had dropped a good 15 degrees. I said to my partner that I forgot to bring a jacket of any kind. He causally mentioned he didn’t either, and we continued to solve all the worlds problems as we continued to drive and talk. I had a back pack, but the only thing I had in it was business casual clothing, and a pair of running shoes. That’s about it.
6 hours away from home, I was not in my own vehicle and thinking I have no coat, its 55 degrees with a cold rain coming down and I don’t have anything that I normally carry in my car in the event of something happening. No bug out bag. Quite a feeling of vulnerability. In hindsight I didn’t even have a knife. Granted nothing happened as I am here writing this, and it was a pretty well traveled interstate in the event if something really happened so help was not far away. It sure would have been a pretty cold walk in the rain though without a good pair of boots to trudge in either. Let along changing a tire in the rain.
So what do you do? Carry that extra bag and just take crap from your travel mate for having any extra bag. Or suck it up and kick yourself for being stupid? I sucked it up and kicked myself.
The real irony is not a few days before I read an account of a German couple that took a wrong turn while site seeing in Death Valley. One of those stories of the map saying one thing and the situation on the ground dictated another. The entire story can be read here at OtherHand.org. This is not so much of a story of survival but a story of a amateur sleuth who after the authorities gave up on not only on searching for the lost couple but in his helping to find some sort of closure for the immediate family. In the end he was able to piece together enough info to write his story.
My next trip? I am not going to make the same mistake as my last. I’m carrying an extra bag.