Everyone should have a go-bag: a backpack or small duffel that is always packed and can be grabbed in an emergency or last-minute situation. Let's say your friend invited you on a spontaneous overnight trip to Atlantic City, or you have to go on the run because you're being framed for murder, or the zombie apocalypse hits - either way, you'll be prepared with a properly packed go-bag. What should you pack in this go-bag? Find fourteen essential items below.
1. Versatile clothes
If your situation is dire or simply unexpected, you'll need a good outfit to have ready. A t-shirt and jeans combo is always a good move, with maybe a sweatshirt in case it gets cold where you're headed. These clothes should be comfortable enough to spend the day in and also sleep in if it's necessary. If you can fit it, also bring a nicer outfit just in case.
2. Comfortable shoes
Maybe you're wearing four-inch heels or flip flops when disaster strikes. Good thing your go-bag has a pair of sneakers.
3. At least two pairs of socks and underwear
It might seem excessive, but you will be thankful to have the option of more than one pair - especially if you will be spending a lot of your day walking or running (from zombies or the authorities).
4. A hat
Never underestimate what a good hat can do for you. Bring something casual, like a baseball cap, that can shield your head from the sun/rain or your face from cameras and law enforcement.
You want to look cool wherever you end up, sun or no sun. Plus, the hat and glasses combo adds extra anonymity when traveling in public.
6. A portable battery for your phone
They sell them everywhere now and they come in adorable prints and colors. Get yourself a highly rated portable charger and, if you're extra ambitious, a cheaper one from your local dollar store. You'll be glad to have the extra in case anything happens.
7. Extra cash
We all know that some places still don't accept credit cards. And, if you're in hiding, you don't want the authorities tracking your card activity and figuring out where you're headed.
8. A good book
Whether you're on the beach, in the mountains, or hiding out under a bridge, you'll probably have some downtime. Bring a book that won't bore you, but also one that you won't get too emotionally invested in because you might have to burn the pages for warmth.
Earphones come in handy for all sorts of situations. If you are taking a long car ride, you'll want them to listen to music or podcasts. In public, put them in your ears but don't play anything so most people won't bother you, but you can still be aware of your surroundings and potentially eavesdrop.
Snacks are incredibly important for the go-bag. They should be light but substantial, high in protein and energy, and easily disposable. Examples are fruit bars, packs of assorted nuts, small bags of chips, and beef jerky. That last one is not for your own consumption, but in case you need to throw flesh-eating zombies or search dogs off your trail.
11. A small toiletries kit
Some retail brands actually sell pre-made kits that include floss, wipes, aspirin, breath freshener, and other small items in a handy little purse. But, it's very easy to make your own. You should definitely include a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, band-aids of assorted sizes, a pack of tissues, hotel-size bottles of shampoo and body wash, deodorant, lip balm, and extra contacts and solution if you need it. It helps to be able to see when you're on a trip. Then again, glasses might also serve as a good disguise if necessary.
12. A notebook and pen
This can be used for a number of things - journaling, recording important information, writing letters, drawing, origami, and so on.
Just handy to have in general. You never know when you'll need to start a fire to stay warm or as a diversion.
14. Swiss Army Knife (or something similar)
A helpful tool that contains scissors which people don't usually carry around but often need. Can also double as a weapon if you end up cornered and have to fight your way out to survive.
With these items, you've created a solid go-bag that can sustain all your needs. But, if there's more room, more underwear never hurts. Good luck!