Having done years of back country patrol at Grand Canyon, I take this stuff seriously. I've helped recover the bodies of several that weren't prepared
. I also found out just how quickly you can find yourself in a survival situation. A routine vehicle patrol out to the Tuweep area found us stranded for 3 days when a flash flood washed out the only road in and out. Had we not been prepared, we would have been in big trouble (too far from the nearest repeater for radio contact).
Since I have a capped pick-up, storage space isn't a problem, so it's no big deal to pack the kitchen sink. Well, maybe not that, but most everything else
. For the truck, along with the usual tools, I have a tow strap and a manual come-along, jumper cables, 400 watt inverter, 12 volt air compressor, hot patch tire repair kit, and spare fan belt and radiator hoses, along with a tube of Silver Stallion radiator hole patch.
Water is always a first need, so I always have a Sweetwater Guardian filtration system. It's smaller than a beer can and is more effective than iodine tablets (no Giardia is better than dead Giardia
), plus it filters out chemicals, silt, algae, etc. and the water tastes MUCH better without the pills. MSA and PUR also make great and effective filters. When I did back country patrol at Grand Canyon, a plastic drop cloth was also a must for use as a solar still.
I always have a complete change of clothes for all weather conditions, including a comfortable pair of hiking boots, and Winter will find my EMS down sleeping bag rated to -40, a compact 2-man North Face tent, an emergency "space blanket" along with a couple of GI wool blankets, half a dozen wax fire logs, chemical heat packs, and a generous portion of waterproof matches. Remember, I have plenty of room for all this, and as they say, "better to have it and not need it....")
Some of the other more unusual things I carry are 300' of Bluewater II rope, carabiners, a caver's "rack" and "figure 8" descent systems, Jumars, 8mm Tenstron for Prussic knots, and a Texas rig climber's harness. Also two carbide miner's lights & a couple of pounds of calcium carbide. I guess I should say that I have a lot of this stuff for recreational reasons along with possible survival reasons.
Chow-wise, no MRE's, but I do keep at least three days worth of canned goods along with a GI mess kit and a Svea mountain stove (VERY compact and VERY hot!) and a 2-liter flask of white gas.
Holding a lot of this stuff is my Kelty frame pack in case I have to ditch the truck, and some of the other camping stuff includes a folding shovel, a lightweight cruiser ax, several knives, a cable saw, a Silva Ranger compass, USGS 7.5 minute topo maps of the areas I frequent, and a Magellan Meridian Gold GPS receiver. Signaling equipment (goes back & forth between the truck & boat) includes a 12 gauge Olin flare pistol & 6-pack of flares, hand-held marine flares, and two military smoke grenades.
That's all off the top of my head; and I have all the usual stuff as well.... fire extinguisher, 1st aid kit, etc. Hey, I'm not only ready, I intend to be darned comfortable as well!