I write this from the very bleeding edge of Abbotsford’s evac zone as Sumas lake re-emerges from the pages of history. The last thing I did at the shop before heading home to take care of my family was source a specialized winch line for a friend. He snapped his old line while recovering his Jeep from one of the many landslides that have sealed-off the lower mainland from anyone but our American neighbors. His friend’s Jeeps are likely gone now; just another line-item on the tally of destruction. Atmospheric River seems like a gentle term for this amount of destruction.
Let’s talk about emergency preparedness gear. Not just for Overlanders & 4x4 enthusiasts; basic gear for everyone:
- A good headlight: When things go wrong, you will need to see and you still need your hands. Strapping a light to your brain box ensures everywhere you look is lit with good, usable light. This is essential if you are caught out after sunset, If something gets jammed up under your rig, or you just need to see into some dark corner of the universe. A good headlight is infinitely usable. Check out our selections of Lithium powered LED lights from Claymore.
- First Aid: It’s so easy to get hurt playing outside. Our playground is sharp, slippery, precarious, and that’s before the storm blows in. If you are playing outside, an armored, watertight first aid kit from VSSL can go anywhere you do. If you have a little more space, the Rapid Response Kit from Swiss Link can handle more serious trauma. We hope you never need to use any of this equipment, but make sure you know how. Basic first aid could save a friend’s life, your own, or it might just make the best of a bad situation. Being prepared is the best investment you will ever make.
- Emergency Power: You can see and you are patched-up, now we begin to think about our mid-term situation. An emergency power bank or solar generator provides much-needed longevity to your headlight (if it’s a rechargeable unit from Claymore). It can refill your phone for that critical 911 call, or it might keep your home, cottage or campsite running until help arrives or power is restored. Maybe it kept you alive, or maybe it just kept the freezer going and saved your bacon. Check out a variety of portable and non-portable power units from EcoFlow and Goal Zero.
- Basic recovery equipment: Help might not be able to come to you. This is where your backup plan should kick in… hard. Most people’s first experience is being stuck on a backroad. Step one, increase traction to those spinning wheels. Maxtrax jam under the wheel to establish grip between your tires and the earth. Still not enough to get out? A shovel can re-shape the problem and move minor obstacles. Ground too hard to dig? A Hi-Lift jack is a multi-function tool you can use to jack up your vehicle, give yourself a push, or a tug when paired with a recovery rope or tow strap. Adventuring with friends? A tow-strap shackled to your trailer hitch can literally reverse a bad decision (once they finish teasing you).
- Recovery gear for Bigger Uh oh’s: Have you made a big mistake, or have events compounded into a really bad spot? Your winch is the centerpiece for self-recovery. Winches are sized to the vehicle. If you can reach a solid tie-off your winch can pull you out. Recovery equipment like snatch blocks and tree straps give you even more options than just pulling you straight out. Winching is an art form worth learning if you are headed into more advanced places. Warn, TrailFX, and Bullydog are good options.
- Extra fuel and water: Nope, You’re stuck out here. When your last resort is waiting it out, packing spare water and fuel can give you time for help to arrive. Your kayaking adventure could be pinned down by a storm. Spare fuel and water keep you drinking and eating. If you are stuck in your 4wd, that rooftop tent or awning will help shelter you from the storm. Treeline, Roofnest, and Rhino-Rack are good brands to consider for shelter. Rotopax, Front Runner, Leitner and WaterPORT make great fuel and water solutions.
Do you have a piece of gear for our list? Reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org