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A new kind of list...
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Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
A new kind of list... on 03/05/2010 09:51:10 MST Print View

The unexpected and unfortunate happened to me last week - I happened to be in Santiago, Chile during the earthquake. While I was very lucky to be in a well made hotel, most of us slept out side for several days until the airport was able to re-open and get us out. I happened to be traveling for business, so didn't have my usual gear, but did manage to take a few things I often pack for international business trips -

- Silk bag liner
- Small first aid kit (probably needs some work)
- Patagonia down sweater

While it can get to 90F during the day, it can drop into the low 50's at night, and the sweater really helped.

In hindsight, there are other things I should have had with me, but didn't - like:

- Flashlight or headlamp
- Water purification tablets

So - here's my question...what is a decent list of gear to take on a business trip that you have with you should something like this happen? And given all of the crazy weather/geological events happening in the world, I no longer believe "it can't happen", because it can.

Any and all input is appreciated - thanks!

Lucas Boyer
(jhawkwx) - MLife

Locale: 38.97˚N, 95.26˚W
Re: scott on 03/05/2010 10:19:28 MST Print View

Scott, I'd always include a button down polyester, breathable tech shirt that could double for a nice shirt for dinner or hiking, etc. The same could be said about a khaki non-convertible hiking pant. Both items can be washed in a hotel sink and dried overnight.

Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
Re: Re: scott on 03/05/2010 11:57:52 MST Print View

Good call Lucas...I agree, and was lucky enough to have had a pair of EMS trekking pants, and a Columbia OmniDry shirt. Both were fantastic for the exact reasons you mention...

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: A new kind of list... on 03/05/2010 13:11:14 MST Print View

Medical- first aid kit, identification
Shelter- heat sheet
Fire- waterproof matches
Hydration- purification tablets, straw
Communication- whistle, pencil/paper
Navigation- flashlight, button compass
Nutrition- lifesavers ; )
Insulation- warm jacket, hat, gloves
Sun Protection- use heat sheet if necessary
Tools- blunt tip scissors, bandana

Edited by jshann on 03/05/2010 13:12:29 MST.

Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
Re: Re: A new kind of list... on 03/05/2010 13:16:14 MST Print View

Good ideas John - definitely a few things there I had not included.

Would anyone go to the trouble of packing a small tarp or light sleeping bag for int'l travel? Seems extreme, but having just come thru this I may be thinking overkill...

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: A new kind of list... on 03/05/2010 16:23:22 MST Print View

I travel a lot, but not internationally.

Light, I have a Photon on my car key chain. I park the car at the airport and take the keys with me. This often comes in handy, especially when getting into a rental car with controls I am completely unfamiliar with.

I have a small toiletry kit with sewing items and hand sanitizer. I have a small bic lighter. So with a coke can or other convenience I could build a fire and boil water, but I have never thought about it. With some travel my clothes are in the suitcase on hangers. If I am going lighter, I bring one wire coat hanger in case the hotel doesn't have any (it does happen). I like the coat hanger for things like breaking into my rental car if I left the keys in it (hopefully my suitcase is not in it too :). Maybe I should start taking a little bit of duct tape though.

When traveling I usually wear some sort of a jacket on the plane, because I can get cold. But even not, if I am traveling for a period of time, I have several changes of clothes. So I could wear a couple pairs of pants, more than one shirt, sport/suit coat etc. etc. I always bring attire to be able to go out at night. I can use my extra socks as gloves or even wrap one around my neck to help keep warm.

I think I could be resourceful enough to handle a lot of situations, without bringing emergency gear. But your post has gotten me to think about what I might bring just in case.

Better yet, maybe I should buy some re-runs of McGyver and watch them. :)

Kevin Kerstens
(kjkerstens) - MLife

Locale: BC Canada
ID Poncho Tarp on 03/05/2010 17:16:41 MST Print View

I travel a fair bit and usually carry my ID Poncho Tarp with me. It packs very small, about the size of a pop can and weighs very little. I use it mostly as a simple rain poncho but have on occasion used it as a tarp, once as a rain shelter watching the kids play soccer and once for shade when the only tree on the beach was taken.

One other thing to consider is a candle, I was recently travelling and the hotel I was in lost power. Being a hotel they didn't sell candles in the gift shop (afraid people will burn down the building I guess), so I was kind of stuck. I had a small lighter in my first aid kit but you can't sit around all night holding the lighter. Since I got back I have added a couple of tea candles to the e-kit.

Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Travel Kit on 03/05/2010 21:03:01 MST Print View

I too have thought about the same kind of travel kit.

A few things I always take are the same Columbia Silver ridge shirt, some good convertible hiking pants, and a decent hat.

For a sleeping bag, for 3.6oz the Adventure Medical Kits Heatsheets Bivvy is nice. They pack down very small.

Add a Petzl E-Lite headlamp for less than a ounce.

A 1L collapsible Platypus bottle would be ideal for hydration along with the purification tablets.

A lightweight pack towel may be convenient at times.

Carry all these things in a small stuff sack that could double as a pillow stuffed with whatever is handy.

I suppose the Heatsheet that others have mentioned could also be used as a tarp, add some lightweight line to pitch it.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
A Different Approach on 03/05/2010 21:29:14 MST Print View

Traveling is my favorite thing to do. Over the years, I've learned that for hosteling (i.e. traveling within civilization -- cities, towns and villages, with day trips out to the wilds) -- all I ever need is a day pack to travel indefinitely to anywhere, and in most all weather conditions.

My pack is a 28L day pack, with total pack weight of around 12 lbs. For temps 32F and up, my pack is just over half full -- so plenty of room to stash up for colder temps when needed.

Just as many 'traditional' hikers turn themselves into pack mules unnecessarily, the same goes for many travelers as well.

But for us UL hikers, it should be a cinch to morph into UL travelers (except for certain business trips and more specialized, gear-intensive trips). So in lieu of thinking up a separate "travel kit" in addition to the rest of your luggage -- why not just incorporate both into one 'grab and go' day pack -- and not be encumbered unnecessarily in your travels?

Last year, I went on a solo seven-month round-the-world trip. If anyone is interested in looking at my gear list, please click here .

Edited by ben2world on 03/05/2010 22:35:42 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: A Different Approach on 03/06/2010 02:48:49 MST Print View


Nice insights. Actually on my last few business trips I have used my TNF Rucksack as luggage and carried my laptop in a small computer bag. At the end of January I had a meeting in Irvine CA in the morning, and took an afternoon flight LAX to Detroit. Had meetings the next day. And flew back the third day. When I landed in Detroit that night it was 8F.

This is how I did it. Wore a suit to my Irvine meeting, and on the plane. In my rucksack were extra dress shirts, socks, underwear, Montbell Ex UL down jacket, cap 2 tops and bottoms, wool socks and watch cap, glove liners, toiletry and a few other items. Had room in my pack for two fairly large books which I finished reading in the air. When I got to the airport I layered up with my clothes and it was pretty warm. For my meeting I had a fresh dress shirt and the suit was good to go. I have done similar on longer trips with milder weather. It sure is nice going through airports and shuttles with just a rucksack and small laptop, compared to what I did a few years ago.

I am so disgusted with the airlines, I am not going to give them a penny for any extra luggage :) even though my company pays for it.

James Byrnes
(backfeets1) - M

Locale: Midwest.... Missouri
I know.... on 03/06/2010 03:32:22 MST Print View

I know its heavy, but I travel with a Leatherman juice multi-tool Cs4. Have mainly used the pliers, knife and saw blade and on occasion the corkscrew. Rewired a faulty lamp in hotel, fixed zippers, and made a series of Pieut dead-fall traps to rid a rental cabin of a thieving rat.
I also carry and often give away the small eyeglass screwdrivers sold by Swiss army (stowed in corkscrew). Eyeglass issues are more common to travelers than one might think.

Jarrett Lambright
(jlamb) - F

Locale: Western PA
Knife on 03/06/2010 20:46:36 MST Print View

Personally, one thing I would want in an emergency situation is a knife. I am not up on the airline restrictions on knives (can you bring one in your checked luggage?)but I think a knife is about the best survival tool there is- it can provide food, shelter, protection, and many many other uses.

James Ayres
(traveler) - F

Locale: SoCal
OK in Chile? on 03/08/2010 18:37:34 MST Print View

Hello Scott,

Are you still in Chile? Are you OK?


Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
I'm home..... on 03/08/2010 19:02:49 MST Print View

Got out Wednesday night....first international flight out after the airport being closed for four days. Quite the week, to say the least.

James Ayres
(traveler) - F

Locale: SoCal
scott on 03/08/2010 23:26:33 MST Print View

Hello Scott,

Glad to hear you got home OK.

I wonder if you would care to share some of your experiences. How were things there? Where did you sleep when you had to leave your hotel? Was there food available, water? Did aid arrive quickly, or were people on their own?

I travel six to eight months a year, have done for thirty years or so. Worked in over thirty countries. Got trapped in a high rise fire in Manila, and all the usual stuff that happens when you don't sit around in front of the TV.

I'm always interested to hear traveler's tales.

Best regards,


Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
Chile Earthquake... on 03/09/2010 05:03:41 MST Print View

Jim - I'd be glad to, but am not sure if this section is the right place. As long as it's OK here, I can post a brief report I wrote for my company.


Edited by WinterWarlock on 03/09/2010 05:05:35 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Chile Earthquake... on 03/09/2010 11:24:54 MST Print View


Posting your Chile report here under Gear List -- a lot of interested readers will likely miss out.

I recommend starting a new topic in the 'Chaff' section -- where anything goes and where many like to lurk.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Carrying a Knife or Blade or Multi-Tool on 03/09/2010 11:34:46 MST Print View

Whether or not one wants to carry a knife or similar is obviously a personal choice.

I always carry a multi-tool when hiking out in the wilds. But when hosteling, I never do -- for two reasons: it's seldom critical and doing so nowadays can restrict your travels quite a bit.

Not a critical need -- In my 15 years of travels (hosteling not wild camping) -- I have never once needed a blade and regretted not bringing one. In terms of risk assessment, it's both low occurrence and low magnitude. Mostly, it just saves you the trouble of asking someone for a bottle opener or screw driver or such. When you are in civilization, a blade or multitool serves as a convenience and not a life saver.

Real Hassles --

1. Need to check your bag if you've got a blade in there. If you love to pack a lot and need to check your bags anyway, then no issue here -- but if you travel light -- then it makes little sense to carry a blade and force yourself to check your bag(s) and subject yourself to additional wait time and risk loss of luggage!

2. More and more places public places now forbid tourists from entering with blades of any kind! I personally witnessed an American family denied entry into St. Peter's. Papa got so irritated that he insisted the whole family skip St. Peter's altogether -- just because he was carrying a knife and didn't want to give it up. To go to the Vatican and miss out on St. Peter's is a real shame IMHO.

One "compromise" -- bring a lightweight multitool if you just can't live without a screw driver, corkscrew and scissors -- but yank out the 'offending' blade itself.

Edited by ben2world on 03/09/2010 11:55:02 MST.

James Ayres
(traveler) - F

Locale: SoCal
Scott on 03/09/2010 22:01:49 MST Print View

Hi Scott,

I'll watch the forum Benjamin suggested. Or, if you want, send me an email. Would really like to hear your experiences. I worked in threat management for some years. Now i write.




My website of you want to see a little of my work:

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Hikers and disaster situations on 03/12/2010 05:47:27 MST Print View

Hikers are better prepared than many for handling disasters because we have a kit that can sustain us in primitive conditions and allow foot travel over long distances. We understand clothing needs, navigation, fire making, water purification, first aid, simple shelters and more.

I remember having some discussions after the Katrina hurricane disaster and the scenario of just walking out of the afflicted area. I live in earthquake and volcano country and be prepared is important to me. Carrying basics in my car is an easy thing to do. Having a little food, water, extra clothing layers and rain gear, gloves, walking shoes, a fleece blanket and signal gear isn't much of a challenge if you are used to organizing regular trips into the back country. A poly tarp, some rope and an old sleeping bag will cover you for some fairly extreme conditions. Google "bug out bag" to see how some people prepare a portable survival kit.

Covering "urban survival," my messenger bag has a flashlight, hard candy and granola bar, small first aid kit, sunglasses, bandanna, Leatherman tool, and small compass, gloves, hat, and a tiny FM radio. I went to long lengths to find a messenger bag with water bottle pockets and I head out with a full 27oz Kleen Kanteen every morning. Stainless steel water bottles have the option of being used for water purification as boilers, along with using MicroPur tablets. A can opener is a very good thing to have. Most Swiss Army knives have one, or an army style "P-38" can opener is tiny and cheap. The classic Altoids tin style survival kit is perfect for an always-with-you backup.

I do carry a survival keyring all the time. It is a small Versalink with a micro firesteel, Victorinox Classic, Fenix AAA LED flashlight, aluminum whistle, a micro spy capsule with daily medications, and another spy capsule with tinder quick tabs. The whole works is 2.6oz and it is the same one I carry for hiking. I also carry a Benchmade Griptilian folding knife.

Traveling with a knife is difficult if you don't check a bag. One option is to just buy a Swiss Army knife or other small folder when you arrive. You can mail it home when you leave if it is something you want to keep. I would expect to keep it at the hotel when visiting sensitive areas like St. Peters, the White House, etc. I remember going through security at the White House in 1993 and they didn't blink at my 3.5" pocket knife. Try that now!

I just got a Steripen which would be big on my list of travel gear.