The words of the intrepid Boy Scouts of America ring in my ears every hour of every day: "Always be Prepared." And though the scouts stole that motto from yours truly some 100 years ago, I still take it to heart and as such I continue to carry a possibles bag over my shoulder wherever I go.
What's a possibles bag, you ask? Simply put, it's a sturdy leather bag filled with the essentials I might need to provide for my safety or comfort at any moment. I can't tell you how many times this little kit has saved my very bacon (hint: it's a lot of times). To make everyday carry more convenient, possibles bags aren't large, so smart packing is vital. As a public service, here are 5 must-have items to include as you build your own bag.
Item #1: A Firestarter
Nothing saps your strength like the cold and if you're stuck out in the elements, the cold will find you fast. The best way to fight the cold is with a roaring fire and if you don't have matches handy, the best way to start a fire is with a magnesium and flint. These items are small and inexpensive and is probably the first item you should include.
Item #2: Bandages
Accidents happen in life. It's just the way of things. But accidents can quickly turn to disasters if you're unprepared. Take a simple cut, for instance. If not properly bandaged, that cut can become infected and then you're in for a heap of trouble. That's why I include a selection of bandages in my possibles bag, suitable for anything up to a Grizzly mauling.
Item #3: A Sharp Knife
A knife is a tool first and weapon second. You'll need it as a tool most. Make sure you knife is sharp and large enough to accomplish a variety tasks. Knives that include a serrated cutting blade can be especially useful.
Item #4: Water Filter
Water is heavy, so it's impractical to pack and carry around large amounts of it. Instead use a lightweight water filter capable of turning polluted water into potable water. That way you'll have access to drinking water everywhere but the most arid deserts (and frankly, if you're stranded in the desert, there's not much I can do to help you).
Item #5: High Protein Snacks
Food can also be heavy, but it's obviously a necessity. That's why I recommend you carry high-protein, lightweight snacks, like, oh... I don't know... delicious beef jerky
. If you need help tracking this item down, tell me. I know a guy.
It's Not Complicated
Friends, these are five very simple items, but in the right situation they could quickly become your most valued possessions. And remember, nothing will be possible if you forget your possibles bag at home, so buy one you like and carry it with you everywhere. You might thank me some day, though I hope it never becomes necessary.
All My Best,