Friday, July 13, 2012

Survival Kits

The last time I went book shopping at BAM I also found an odd little survival kit:

How many items useful for survival purposes could you fit in a sardine can, anyway? To find out I brought it home and popped it open:

It's cute, but from my ex-military POV it's not really practical. The matches, compass, razor blade and the can itself are okay, but I'd probably dump the rest and replace them with a decent Swiss Army knife, water purification tablets and as many high-calorie food bars as I could fit in the can. Or I'd give up all of it for a knife, a comprehensive medical kit and a functioning personal locator beacon.

When I travel I always take the things I can't live without while I'm away from home in my own personal sanity survival kit: my camera, a journal, a notebook, a variety of pens, a paperback to read, a small sewing or quilting project, music CDs or an audio book for the car, a partial manuscript to edit and a smart keyboard. I can usually fit all that into a small tote bag, but if I have to sacrifice anything I'll give up the paperback (as long as I know I can get to a book store at my destination.) If I have extra room, I'll add a research book or a new magazine.

What do you need to survive when you travel? Let us know in comments.


  1. I definitely need my Ipod, a couple of novels, my notebook and a selection of pens, camera, phone and if I can carry it my laptop.

    As for the sardine can, I'll take the tootsie roll and the liptons. The rest I'd dump.

    We have some funny stuff in the shops near us. Such as a one night stand survival pack. Always worth a giggle on a girls night out.

  2. First my camera, then my cell phone (personal locating beacon of sorts), MP3 player, Kindle, notebook and pen, and snacks of some kind: crackers, fruit bars, dried fruit. I can easily get these things in my roomy purse which always has my Leatherman, a lighter, first aid and sewing kits, small packet of tissues, aspirin, and antiseptic wipes in the zippered pockets.

    I'm pretty much ready for anything when I travel.

  3. My list is similar to yours though I have Sudoku instead of sewing or quilting and several books because hubby doesn't look for bookstores when we are on vacation.

  4. Oh such a complicated question. I've been doing too much traveling, and have consequently started carrying less, but gotten much pickier about certain things. At my lightest I'm off with 1 change of clothes, small bottle of lotion, Camera, iPod, nook, laptop, and in a cold climate, a coffee mug because I hate cold coffee in stupid paper cups. All in a large tote. But it has to be the right tote... I said I've gotten pickier, right?

  5. I like just about everything in your sanity kit, Lynn. (I never was a fan of Tootsie Rolls.) I haven't traveled much lately, so I have to think about it every time. But I do carry my trusty Swiss army knife everywhere. And I have to keep stashes of food around: nuts, raisins, breakfast bars.

  6. Fran Kane3:33 PM

    A book & my tablet along with my glasses so I can read my book and use the tablet! A bottle of water. Toothbrush, toothpaste moisturiser, a spare pair of knickers and I'm good to go!