Tuesday, July 6, 2010
A friend of mine went on a rafting trip a while back. He was with a group of 25 people heading into some pretty intense rapids. A raft flipped...gear was lost...and they struggled to the shore to lick their wounds. The plan was to go home that night...but now they were way behind schedule and night was upon them. They were going to have to camp on the side of the river. My friend said "You know...out of those 25 people...I was the ONLY ONE that had any way to start a fire!" He went on to tell me that he always carries a lighter in his pocket. He is chastised by others for carrying it...as he doesn't smoke...but it is just such occasions when having a habit of carrying useful items could save lives...or at least make a miserable night more comfortable.
A foundational principle of preparedness is to keep available what you need...when you will need it.
The challenge arises...that if you were to carry around with you all of the stuff you might need...your pockets and purses might end up filled to overflowing! A compromise is to have things stashed...like a car kit...to be close when you might need it...or to have small preparedness items that are manageably carried from day to day.
An examination of many of our keychains would reveal that we currently are carrying keys that unlock who knows what...trinkets picked up from vacations...and other stuff we've accumulated over time. Our wallets and purses likewise also are collectors of junk...and could use a good purging from time to time to get rid of unwanted cargo. For people that drive...a keychain and wallet/purse...are some of the most important places to have preparedness items. Why?...because we almost always have them with us!
Here are some ideas about some things to consider putting on your keychain...or in your purse/wallet...
1. A knife - There are all kinds of options. For my everyday carry knife I have a Swiss Army Trekker. It has a few of the most important tools...without being what I consider too bulky or heavy. I have mixed feelings about the serrated edge on the knife...but I like the fact that it has a saw and an awl. This one even comes with a mini swiss army knife that would go well on a keychain.
2. Sharpener - A way to sharpen your knife! Here is a credit card sized option that fits in a wallet.
3. Firestarter - You could have a lighter like my friend. Another great option is to have a firesteel. They will produce thousands of fires...and you don't have to worry about getting them wet...or breaking them.
4. Pepper Spray - For subduing the bad guys...or animals.
5. Oil vial - For giving blessings to the sick. Personally...I see no reason why a woman can't also carry an oil vial. Prepared for her unprepared brothers.
Oh...one more thing I think is really important. Something that can allow for someone to return your keys to you if they are lost. I like dog tags engraved with my last name and phone number. Now...a person could get themselves all worked up wondering "What if they fell into the wrong hands!...A person would know where to go to rob me". While there is truth to this...I tend to believe that 99% of the time...the people that find your keys (granted you don't live in the ghetto) are prone to want to return them to you. I can't tell you how many functions I have been to where someone lost their keys...they were found...but no one had any clue how to get them back to the owner.
You might also consider having a carabiner like these to hold your keys. They allow for items to come on and off easily and have other potential preparedness uses.