Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Purse as Bug Out Bag

I was joking with Mr. FC&G the other night that, should the zombie apocalypse come, many more women will survive than men.  My reasoning is that we will more than overcome any differential in strength with the fact that we carry bug out bags -- that is, purses -- on a daily basis.

At no time is this idea more relevant than during winter, when even a quick car trip could mean having to haul yourself out of a snow drift or walk unexpectedly when a battery dies.  Properly stocking your bag, while it might not be a hedge against zombies, could at least mean you are more comfortable in any one of several emergencies.

Now, many of the ladies out there probably have me beat as far as organization, but I thought it might be amusing to take a look at what I carry on a daily basis to deal with emergencies:

The Basics
  • bag
  • wallet
  • cell phone
I have a lovely new leather bucket-style bag that will hold a lot of stuff, but that means I can pack it pretty heavy.  Luckily, I also have a great wallet organizer that has room for all of my general wallet stuff, plus enough room for my cell phone.  If I'm making a quick trip into the Post Office to drop something off, I can leave my bag for a moment and just dash in with this satellite.

Foul Weather Gear

  • black wrap
  • gloves
  • fleece ear band
  • extra hankies
No substitute for actually wearing a proper coat and boots of course, but if I got stuck with a stalled car, I would be able to add a layer of warmth if I was walking to a gas station or sitting and waiting for a tow.  This kind of thing actually comes in pretty handy in the summer, too, when overzealous AC sometimes sends me digging for my basic black wrap.

The First Aid Kit

  • OTC medications, like pain relievers, allergy pills, etc.
  • any current Rx medications
  • bandaids
  • feminine hygiene
There's nothing I hate worse than being stuck in a car or an airport and not being able to deal with a headache or other bit of discomfort.  Since you don't always have the time or the ability to run to a convenience store, having the basics on hand is nice.

The Tool Kit

  • small knife
  • screwdriver with interchangeable "bits"
This is my work in progress, but I'm starting to carry a few basics that I could use in an emergency to pry, cut, or otherwise do minor repairs on things.  Although I carry a full tool kit in my car, you would be surprised how many times you wind up needing to open a box or something similar and not having anything readily on hand to cut open a seal.  Of course, I never carry the knife on a plane or any place prohibited.


  • protein bars
  • packet of instant coffee

One of my headache triggers is hunger, and one of my headache cures is caffeine, so I've taken to carrying a couple of emergency basics with me.  This came in very handy on a long flight back from San Diego this summer, when I found that I had no time to eat breakfast and nothing of any interest was available for purchase on the plane.  A couple of protein bars got me home.

Business Gear

  • business cards
  • writing supplies

Obvious, of course, but if you don't think ahead, it is easy to become the woman showing up for a meeting with a huge bag but no pen.  Embarrassing.

Again, I'm sure that many people have me beat with their prep.  However, I've been reading a lot about stocking a "bug out bag," and many of the plans focus on constructing a bag that may not be convenient to carry on a day to day basis.  But that's when emergencies strike.  At least, with a well stocked purse, I'll be able to handle a few situations -- and you never know when I can distract the zombies with a protein bar.

What are your favorite essentials to keep in your bag?
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  1. The "granny" purse, dowdy attire, no makedup and sensible shoes - all the perfect accessories of the successfull "gray" woman. I also make sure to have some "used" tissues artfully peeking out of the zippers, and one in my hand to keep "wiping" my nose. OPSEC on the camera'd streets.

  2. I find I have gotten a lot of use from a pair of fingernail clippers and a nail file (one with a pointy metal end). They are good for their intended purposes and also as tools. You have great lists there.