By Jason Vincent
I consider myself a subject matter expert on…nothing. I know a lot of experts in the hunting, fishing, shooting, and general outdoor communities, but in any one of the disciplines, I’d probably rate a six or a seven on my best day. But there’s one very isolated area that I rate myself as above an eight: packing a vehicle for the unknown.
For the last six years of my law enforcement career, packing a vehicle for less than ideal circumstances was a necessity. Some loadouts needed to be capable of supporting one to two weeks of living in natural disaster areas, and some simply needed to support me when I got a call at 3 a.m. and had to immediately leave the state for one to three days of work in an urban environment. Trips longer than a few days during this part of my career usually included plenty of time for gear planning, but it was the basic requirements for the unknown that shaped how I travel today.
When I put law enforcement in my rearview mirror, our country seemed relatively stable. Then, over the course of a few years we saw massive riots, Covid lockdowns, and a nationwide increase in civil unrest. The whole world got a lesson in what military and law enforcement personnel already knew—that tough times cause society to unravel quickly and oftentimes help, when needed, will not come in time…if at all. Sometimes, you’re all you’re going to have, so be ready.
A vehicle-based go-bag is a must-have for everyone who travels more than just a few miles from their residence no matter how often these trips occur. Regardless of where you are or where you’re going, you should be relatively well equipped to make it to safety if the world around you falls apart. While you can’t be prepared for every scenario, you should plan for the obvious and be ready to rely on your resourcefulness for the rest, including the long walk home. You need a go-bag.
While there are a million experts on this subject and 10 million keyboard experts, I’ll just stick with what my pack looks like and let the rest of them moan about it. My bag changes from time to time, but this it what’s in it now (keep in mind, it’s summer, and items will change with the weather):
- Ready water – Yeti 36 oz bottle already full
- Water filtration – Rapid Pure Filtration
- Hydration and energy packs – Protekt
- Knife – Winkler Blue Ridge Hunter
- First Aid – FE x Uncharted quick pack
- Tourniquet – Uncharted Supply Combat App
- Snacks – Granola without melting additives
- Sleep system – ENO Hammock w/tarp
- Rain gear – KUIU Northridge bottom & top
- Sidearm – Walther PDP 9mm + Aimpoint Acro with 3 topped off spare mags
- PDW – Q Honey Badger SBR 300 BLK with 3 topped off spare mags + Eotech optic, Reptilia/Surefire light, & Armageddon Gear sling
- Balaclava – plain black, remove all visible tags
- Chest pack – The Tacticlassy FE x Hill People Gear Collab
- Flashlight – Surefire Stiletto Pro
- Portable charger – unknown brand
- Map – steal a local one if needed
- Cash – $500
- Multitool – Leatherman. Included in FE x Uncharted quick pack
- Wet wipes – private
- 2 lighters – Bic
- The bag – Mystery Ranch 3 Day Assault
It needs to be noted that I also keep a separate Uncharted Supply Co SEVENTY2 Pro under the rear seat in my pickup that I can rob from if needed and time allows. It’s a full system designed to support 2 people for 72 hours during an emergency.One final item stowed in my bag is a badge from my old law enforcement days—in case things really go to shit and I have to impersonate an officer.
These items should get you moving, but if you’re a long way from your destination, you’re going to need more. How you accomplish this is up to you.