Katie S

Recent Posts

7 Gifts For New Parents That Are Ridiculously Useful

Posted by Katie S on Jan 15, 2020 10:56:55 AM

Ridiculously Useful Gifts For New Parents

There is little in this world more intimidating than becoming a new parent. And frankly, there’s only so much one can do to truly prepare emotionally for the sleep deprivation, endless diapers, and overwhelming feelings of love to come. Fortunately, there are a few useful items out there that do make the logistics of it all a bit easier. So, whether you’re looking to get equipped for your own baby’s arrival, or you’re shopping for a traditional baby shower gift (or for a manshower gift - yes, it’s a thing now), check out our suggestions for innovative Nite Ize-inspired presents for parents.

 

1. Pimp Their Ride

Nite Ize Your Stroller

No, I don’t mean the minivan. Every new parent’s saving grace is their stroller. Screaming baby? Time for a stroll. Need adult interaction? Time to stroll with a friend. Day or night, movement is the key to baby sleep, and sleep is key for parent survival. So, stroll. You can have the coolest whip in town with Nite Ize accessories. The HandleBand or Steelie Bar Mount keeps phones securely in place right on the handlebar. Oh you think I mean for texting and calls? No, no – that’s for the white noise app that will be soothing the baby to sleep along the way, and inevitably for then taking photos of the sleeping baby. Throw in a Radiant 125 Rechargeable Bike Light that attaches to a stroller handle or side bar to light the way on those late night walks. And lastly, throw in one of our super-sized S-Biners  – the easiest way to clip shopping bags, hats, water bottles and just about anything for quick access on the stroller.

 

2. Brighten Their Late "Nite" Activities

Radiant 100 Mini Lantern

Most parents share their bedroom with baby for at least the first few weeks for convenience of feeding, changing, rocking, shushing, and all those newfound middle-of-the-night hobbies. A nifty fact for new parents is that red light won’t disrupt you or baby’s night vision, and it’s less likely to wake up a sleeping partner. The cute, squishy Radiant 100 Lantern with both red and white light settings is a great option, or you can opt for a headlamp that also has red and white LED settings.

 

3. Make Diaper Clean-Up A Little Cleaner

Pack-A-Poo

Changing babies at places that aren’t really optimized for it can be awkward. When you’re somewhere that doesn’t have a diaper pail or easily-accessed outdoor trash can (e.g. an airplane, restaurant, or friend’s fancy house), it’s great to have poo-bags on hand to contain the smell before tossing the diaper. They're not just for dogs! The Pack-A-Poo clips easily to a diaper pad and is equipped with biodegradable bags. It also has a rotating core, so when baby inevitably grabs ahold of the bags and pulls them out, it’s easy to reel them right back in.

 

4. Kick the Baby Monitor up a Notch

Steelie Pedestal Mount

Steelie is great for attaching your phone to stroller handles, but isn’t exclusive to phones. You can use the Steelie Pedestal on your baby monitor or on the camera to help you get better angles.

 

5. Secure Everything

Secure everything with Gear Ties and S-Biners

With Gear Ties and S-Biners you can give all those oh-so-important toys and bottles easy attachment points to grab them quickly and not worry about losing them on the go.

 

6. Contain The Mess

RunOff Medium Packing Cube

Let's face it. Baby clothes (and parents' clothes for that matter) get dirty – often multiple times per day. When spit-ups or blowouts strike when you're out of the house, toss the soiled article in a RunOff Medium Packing Cube. The RunOff line of waterproof bags are best known for keeping water out, but they also do a great job of sealing messes in!

 

7. Just Hitch It

Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether

With the Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether, your phone stays attached to you. You can also clip the Hitch like a handle to hang a phone from your wrist when your hands are full. Later, it’s a great way to protect phones when toddlers reach that “grab-and-throw-things” phase.

Phone Hitch + Tether in action

New parents have always relied on advice from those who have gone before. Please help our community by sharing tips and tricks you’ve learned and your favorite Nite Ize parenting-hacks in the comments section below.

Topics: Mobile Device Accessories, Home, LED Products, runoff, Steelie

Gift Ideas for the Hard-To-Shop-For Guy

Posted by Katie S on Dec 4, 2019 3:40:23 PM

Gift Ideas for the Hard-To-Shop-For Guy

No matter how well you know a guy, sometimes you just haven’t had that moment of inspiration when it comes to finding the perfect gift. Or maybe you need a gift for the guy who already buys himself everything, or one who says he wants nothing. Don’t panic, we’ve all been there. And, we’d like to help you out with recommendations of some of our favorite products that make for superbly unique gifts for men – or pretty much anyone else in your life!

 

1. Give That Beat-Up Old Wallet A Serious Upgrade

Financial Tool RFID Blocking Wallet

With a Financial Tool RFID Blocking Wallet, he gets protection for his cards and the added bonus of 10 integrated multitools.

 

2. Steelie: Give Him The Gift of Hands-Free Safety and Convenience

Steelie Windshield Kit

If he’s not already using a Steelie 360 Magnetic Mount, you’re going to blow his mind with this car phone holder. With easy, quick, sleek magnetic mounting technology, Steelie lets you attach your phone to your car dash, to a desk pedestal, or to your fridge in a snap.

 

3. Supercharge His KeyChain

Key Chain Accessories from Nite Ize

He’ll feel like MacGyver when you upgrade him to a slimline SlideLock Key Ring, a DoohicKey Keychain Multitool, and the unique write-anywhere INKA Key Chain Pen.

 

4. Give Him The Ultimate Handheld Flashlight

INOVA T4R Flashlight

Flashlights make great gifts for just about anyone. They make you feel a little more prepared, and with the INOVA T4R LED Flashlight, he will be prepared for just about anything. This tactical, rechargeable flashlight packs 850 lumens, can be cradle mounted, has five different modes, and is crush-proof, shockproof, and water resistant. This is a gift that never fails to impress.

 

5. Illuminate His Beverage Of Choice With the Nite Ize SlapLit Drink Wrap

SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

Bring a little light and fun to his favorite drink with the SlapLit LED Drink Wrap – keeping hands warm and spirits bright all year long.

 

6. Help Him Travel and Adventure Smarter

RunOff Waterproof Bags

No one can resist the appeal, functionality, and sleek design of our new RunOff Waterproof Bags. Whether he’ll use them to shoot the chutes down a favorite river or to protect his belongings on the next beach vacation, he will love his newfound travel-organizing waterproof bags. The RunOff line consists of a Waterproof Wallet, Pocket, 3-1-1 Pouch, Toiletry Bag, and Packing Cubes in two different sizes.

Need more ideas? Take our gift-finding quiz here! What’s your favorite Nite Ize gift you’ve ever given or received? Let us know in the comments section below.

Topics: Holidays

Holiday Decorating Made Brighter And Easier With Nite Ize

Posted by Katie S on Nov 26, 2019 9:48:19 AM

Holiday Decorating Made Brighter and Easier

It’s the hap, hap, happiest time of year! Let the holiday decorating, caroling, cocktail parties, and family gatherings begin. As everyone knows, with all the fun also comes stress. So, we’ve put together a few of our favorite Nite Ize tips and tricks to make sure you sail smoothly through this holiday season.

 

Perfect Light Placement Every Time

Gear Tie Foam Reusable Twist Tie

Sometimes getting those lights and garlands hung just perfectly can be an art. Make it simple with Gear Ties or cut-to-length Gear Tie Foam Twist Ties to attach those lights just about anywhere. Also, pro tip if you get a warm weekend in November, hang your light then! You don’t have to plug them in, but when the chilly weekends of December roll around, you’ll be glad to already have the job done.

And if you do get stuck hanging lights on a chilly day, just remember: nothing warms you up like a cold beer. With the Traveler Drink Holster, you never have to work without a beverage close at hand.

 

Dual CamJam Tie Down System
Don’t Be That Guy Who Leaves A Tree On The Highway

Twine is an imperfect solution for strapping trees to the roofs of cars. Don’t chance it with user error or failed twine that leads to a Christmas disaster on the highway. The easy to use Dual CamJam Tie Down System is easy to use and lets you achieve the right amount of tension to confidently keep your tree snugly in place for the drive home – no matter how far you have to go.

 

Trees Won’t Be The Only Thing Getting Lit

Light Up Your Punchbowl with NiteGems

Light up your holiday punch bowl with the floating, waterproof NiteGems. They can be set to a variety of colors so you can reuse them throughout the year for all your other holidays too or when you just want to add a bright pop to your beverage. If you want to get really fancy, make your own garnished ice cubes to float alongside your NiteGems, like these cranberry-and-rosemary ones:

Light Up Your Beverage with a NiteGem

And don’t forget about your beer and other-beverage drinkers – keep some SlapLit LED Drink Wraps around to keep hands warm and spirits bright all night long.

SlapLit LED Drink Wrap

 

Fill The Stockings, Then Light Those Up Too

Add SpotLit LED Carabiners to the stockings to color-code them or for a fun pop of color. You could even color code everyone’s gifts with their stocking light color as a creative theme.

SpotLit Carabiner Light

 

Save Your Future Self A Headache

When it’s time to clean up after the holidays, take a minute to wrap and organize your lights with Gear Ties – it’s worth an extra minute so you’re not sorting through a mangled mess of lights next year.

Organizing with Gear Ties

Share your holiday tips and favorite uses for Nite Ize products in the comments section below.

Topics: Gear Ties, Home, LED Products, Holidays, decorating

Travel Tips: Take the Headache Out of Holiday Travels

Posted by Katie S on Nov 19, 2019 1:32:18 PM

Take the headache out of holiday travel

Let’s be honest, the glamour of air travel has long faded and flying these days is mostly a logistical slog – dragging lots of bags around and waiting in line after line after line. But hey, then you get to sit in an overly small seat that makes you question if your lunch choice was a bad decision, all the while breathing in recycled air ripe with the aroma of your fellow passengers. Add in a couple kids and the most crowded airport days of the year, and you’ve literally created many people’s worst nightmare.  It’s not exactly a relaxing send-off into a holly jolly holiday, but more a necessary evil. Because it’s unavoidable for many of you, we’d like to at least help make it a little easier and more enjoyable for you this holiday season. I’d like to think you could also title this blog post “How To NOT Lose or Ruin Anything While Traveling” – it’s all about those little victories.

 

1. Pack Smarter

RunOff Waterproof Packing Cubes

Are you headed somewhere warm and sandy? Somewhere cold and snowy? Whatever the elements, you’ll want an easy way to keep your electronics, clothes, and gear protected and dry. The innovative RunOff Waterproof Bags do just that, while also helping to keep your luggage organized. While the larger packing cubes and smaller wallet and pouch protect your stuff from external elements, the RunOff Toiletry Bag will ensure that any exploded bottles inside stay contained. Another added bonus is that being air-tight, the RunOff Bags can be used to compress your clothes so you’re not only packing smarter, but also packing smaller.

 

2.  Secure Everything

Traveling With Kids

There isn’t much that feels worse than realizing you’ve left something important in security or on the plane. Your favorite water bottle rolled out of your bag. Your phone slipped out of a pocket. One of the kids dropped their favorite lovey without you noticing: game over. The good news is that with travel accessories like Gear Ties and S-Biners, you can essentially create a handle for just about anything and have a way to clip or strap it to you, to a bag, or to a stroller. For your phone, use a Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether to give you a convenient attachment system and prevent drops, loss and theft.

 

3. Gear Ties, Gear Ties, & More Gear Ties

Gear Ties and S-Biners For Travel

If you are an over-packer, or if you’re traveling with kids and all the car seats, Pack N Plays, bags, and bottles that come along with them, and especially if you are one of those saint-like people traveling with small children by yourself, Gear Ties will be your saving grace. Use Gear Ties to secure smaller bags on top of your bigger ones, use them to strap unwieldy car seats on top of wheelie bags to get them to bag drop, use them to strap toys to kid bags. Heck, use them to strap kids together – just kidding! …sort of.

 

4. Maximize Your Electronics

Steelie Pedestal Mount

One of the best parts of flying these days is getting to watch good movies to pass the time. (Unless of course, you’re a parent of small children, then there is no best part. At most you might get to watch the latest animated film that you’ve already seen a thousand times while your toddler splashes milk onto nearby passengers.) If you’re lucky though, you’ll be on a fancy plane with built in screens and easy viewing. But let’s be honest, most of us won’t be that lucky and we’ll be craning our necks and holding our phones at funny angles trying to get comfortable watching them for hours on end. Enter the Steelie Pedestal. Using Steelie magnetic mounting technology, this pedestal securely holds your phone for you all flight long. And, with the magnet on the back of your phone, you can then conveniently also use the Steelie Bar Mount on your stroller, and the Steelie Vent Mount on your rental car for easy hands-free use on the go.

 

5. Organize Your Electronics

CurvyMan Cord Supervisor and Gear Ties

As wireless charging and Bluetooth technologies are evolving, we may not be far from a cordless existence, but at the moment we all travel with whole mess of them. But don’t worry, there’s an answer for that too and I bet you can guess it – more Gear Ties! Between Gear Ties and our Curvyman Cord Supervisor, we can help you keep those unruly cords and headphones neat and organized on the go.

Topics: "travel", Holidays

National Preparedness Month: How To Build A Home Emergency Kit

Posted by Katie S on Sep 25, 2019 1:45:03 PM

How to Build A Home Emergency Kit

Regardless of location, everyone should have at least a basic home emergency kit. Power outages are the most likely reason you may need back-up supplies, but your kit should be customized for the types of disasters most common in your area. With major disasters, public alerts or emergency personnel will tell you whether to evacuate or shelter in place – always heed these warnings, they truly are in your best interest.

My kit is built for four people for 72 hours, and it’s kept in our basement near the camping equipment which can be used to supplement it. When disasters occur, emergency services are overwhelmed with calls. The best way you can help them is by not becoming another emergency. Have the supplies needed for you and your family to get by for at least three days.

1. Water

I like this style of water pouch as it is packaged for a long shelf life and makes it easy to determine and regulate how much each person should get – two 4.4 oz packs a day. then I have the 25 gallon Aqua-tainer filled for washing and cooking. If you have a heads up that you’re likely in for a power outage, it’s a good idea to also fill up a bathtub with water. Then you have additional water to flush toilets and use for hand washing.

2. Food

Canned goods for emergencies

Ideally you have a stocked pantry when the power goes out, but it doesn’t always work out that way. For emergencies lasting longer than our pantry’s contents, I keep canisters of Mountain House freeze dried meals and a camping stove + plate and utensil sets in our kit. Mountain House has assortment packs for specific numbers of people for 72+ hours, but since we have food allergies in our group, I just picked a few individual ones that work for our needs and don’t sound like they will taste too bad with just boiling water added.

3. Crank Radio/Charger

I like this one from Eton, it’s the same one I keep in my Car Emergency Kit and it can be charged via the solar panel or the hand crank. The radio will keep you informed on the status of the disaster in your area, and it can also be used to charge your phone and flashlights.

4. Lantern, Flashlight, Headlamp + Batteries

Radiant 400 Lantern

Nothing makes a power outage feel scarier than just sitting in the dark. Keep your lights and lanterns charged or with spare batteries nearby and keep at least one of them in a spot that you can easily find in the dark. I have the Radiant 400 Lantern which will run for almost 800 hours in low mode (and no, that’s not a typo!). I have the Radiant 300 Rechargeable Headlamp for hands-free use for whoever is cooking (or dealing cards), and then two 3-in-1 Flashlights so the kids can have their own and feel more empowered as well.

5. Warm Sleeping Gear

How to build a home emergency kit

We have our camping sleeping bags in the basement, but I have added SOL Escape Bivvies to our kit. They can be used on their own or layered with your sleeping bag to increase its warmth rating.

6. First Aid Kit & Manual

Hopefully you won’t need this but if you’re injured during a disaster situation, emergency response teams can be delayed or unable to reach you, and you’ll be glad to have a comprehensive kit with instructions on hand.

7. Hygiene Items

Bath Wipes make a great addition to your kit so you don’t have to use much or any of your water stores for basic self-cleaning. Also handy – a 5-gallon bucket with a toilet seat, lid, and TP. Ideally you’re not stuck in your basement, but if you might be and if you don’t have a bathroom down there, you’re going to need a bathroom solution – enter, the bathroom bucket.

8. Entertainment

How to build a home emergency kit

A deck of cards or a travel game set can do wonders to keep everyone calm and distracted.

9. The Extras

A knife or knife multitool for utility, duct tape to seal windows and fix anything that breaks, and a GearLine and extra Gear Ties to keep you organized in an unfamiliar situation.

10. A Sturdy, Well-Labeled Container 

How to build a home emergency kit

I have our kit in a large wheeled bin with a handle. Most importantly, I have bright yellow labels on it and have communicated to our family members where it is, just in case I’m not home if it is needed.

 

I hope you found this information useful and that you will move “building my kit” to the top of your to-do list. If you have suggestions for items to add to this list, please note them in the comment section below.

Topics: Emergency Preparedness, Home

National Preparedness Month:  Building Your Emergency Car Kit

Posted by Katie S on Sep 18, 2019 9:30:59 AM

A few years back I wrote a post here about preparing your car kit for winter. As National Preparedness Month is in full swing, I find myself looking back at what I wrote and recognizing the need for an update. As one of my good friends in Indiana brought up, not everyone is preparing for winter driving through snowy mountains into spotty-reception areas, and my original kit might be a little overkill when that’s the case. I assured her that it is beneficial for everyone to have at least a small emergency car kit, and that is the inspiration for this new post where I’ll provide suggested items for your kit – both “full throttle” and “light” versions.

So here you go, first up, your full throttle car emergency kit for those who frequently drive in remote places, inclement weather, and through spotty cell reception.

CarKit-Full

The Full Throttle Car Emergency Kit - What to pack:

1. A Sturdy Container

Emergency Car Kit

Once you have all your items, you’ll have a better idea of what size this should be, but make sure it’s something you can close like a rubber bin or sturdy nylon bag that zips shut. You can also use a good backpack in case you need to carry it, however it’s important to note that if you are stranded on the side of the road, it is NOT recommended that you leave your car. Your car is the best protection from the elements and where rescuers are most likely to find you - so, hunker down for the long haul. If you are in an accident on an icy road, you also should NOT leave your car, if an icy patch made your car spin out, it’s very likely that other cars will do the same. If possible, move your car out of that trajectory.

2. Lights – Headlamp, Flashlight + Lantern

Most references tell you a flashlight - I may go a little overkill, but I have three lights – each of which is rechargeable through my car’s USB port. A headlamp in case I need to be hands-free for looking under the hood or under the car. An INOVA T8R handheld light which has an SOS mode with 782 Lumens behind it, and lastly a rechargeable lantern which conveniently clips under the hood of my car.

Radiant314-Car

3. Visibility Vest

In the case that I do need to get out of my car on a roadway, you better believe other motorists are going to see me.

4. Chargers

If you have cell reception, your phone will be your lifeline, but it won’t do you any good if it has a dead battery. There are classic chargers to plug into your car or innovative external batteries, and battery-integrated phone cases that can be life-savers in a pinch. I also keep this eton weather radio which is solar powered (and has a hand crank option) and from which you can also charge your phone and your flashlights.

5. Shovel and/or Kitty Litter

If you are stuck somewhere safely away from traffic, a shovel to dig yourself out and kitty litter or sand for traction can help you get moving again. If you don’t have either of these things, you can try wedging your floor mats under your tires to help them gain traction.

6. Blankets or Bivvies 

Wool blankets are a classic staple for a reason: they are really warm. I keep a heavy wool blankets in my car – it’s never been used in an emergency but has come in handy for many a road-trip naps and as extra layers on camping trips. The one downfall of wool is that if it gets wet, it’s miserable. That’s why I also keep two Escape emergency bivvies in my kit as well (so my husband and I don’t have to have that awkward conversation about who gets the bivvy to survive the night). These bivvies reflect 75% of body heat back to you, but are also breathable so you don’t get sweaty which is a pitfall of traditional mylar. In general, I recommend staying away from mylar blankets and bivvies as they shred very easily and are flammable - it’s worth spending a couple bucks more to get a durable upgrade. Along the lines of warmth, I always make sure that I have a hat, gloves, hand warmers, and extra socks in my kit - even in the summer months here in Colorado it can drop below freezing up high at night, these don’t take up much space and are probably at the top of the list for most used items in my kit.

EmergencyPrep-AMK-SOL

7. Other Warming Items

I keep fire starting supplies in my kit (fire cubes and a sparker in case I need to start a fire outside the vehicle). One family in Nevada survived two days in sub-zero temperatures, building a fire inside their spare tire to help keep warm. Some people suggest using emergency candles as well for warmth and light inside the vehicle, though I’m noticing them mentioned less and less on recommended lists, probably due to safety concerns. If using one, you should crack your window to avoid possible asphyxiation, and ideally burn the candle inside a coffee can or something similar because many parts of your car (and your kit) are flammable.

8. First Aid Kit

This is essential, don’t bother with kits that are just chock-full of Band Aids, take your time researching kits and find one that meets your needs – and be sure to customize it further if you or any of your family members have special medications or needs. As someone who does a lot of camping and fishing in the backwoods, I carry an Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Kit which has comprehensive medical supplies in case of an emergency including QuikClot, and most importantly, the kit includes a book on how to use all the supplies in it.

9. Water

For drinking, for wound cleaning, for staying alive - I keep a gallon of human-water in an unopened jug. If you have a dog who’s usually your copilot, be sure to keep an extra jug for them too. I keep a RadDog Bowl clipped to my kit which is great pop-up bowl for the pup.

10. Food

Food isn’t essential for short term survival (you can theoretically go for three weeks without it), however, eating does allow your body to produce more heat, and it can make a huge difference in your mood and attitude which will often determine how well you handle an emergency situation. I go for the classics like jerky, energy bars, and dried fruit, and then swap them out annually (or if you just plain get hungry and eat them then replace as needed). A good rule of thumb is to go for items with a long shelf-life that are high in protein, and that you actually like. If you have an ever-hungry dog like mine, make sure your food bag is securely enclosed in your kit, or they might just rip open your kit and gleefully eat all your jerky when you’re not looking.

11. Car Essentials 

Jumper cables, Fix-A-Flat, ice scraper, a siphon (hopefully you’ll find a friendly motorist who doesn’t mind sharing fuel), flares and/or glowsticks, a tire iron, and jack are some basics that I keep because honestly, those are probably the only tools I would know how to use in a break-down situation.

EmergencyPrep-Car

12. A Knife and Cash

You won’t find this on most lists, but my grandfather taught me that the most useful item you can have on you at any time is a knife, and throughout the years it’s a piece of advice that has served me well. And so, I am passing it on to you. Cash, well cash is just handy depending on the type of emergency too, whether you need to pay for gas or a hotel room.

13. Add-Ons

A few other items have accumulated in my kit over the years: Duct Tape (need I say more?), a hatchet which most often doubles as a hammer, a poncho, CamJam Tie Down Straps and Bungees, Gear Ties because they are just too useful not to have a handful, and lastly, a quality whistle for signaling in an emergency.

Pre-made kits and other helpful tips for safety on the roads:

There are pre-made kit options on the market as well, some are decent some are very cheap and not worth the money. Do your homework, and if you do go with a pre-made kit, remember that you will still need to personalize it to you - if you are frequently on the road with your spouse, kids, and a dog, you need to remember to add supplies for them. If anyone in your family has a serious medical issue, always pack extra medication and supplies - you never know when a quick trip can turn into an overnight on the side of the road. Know the risks in your area, if you live near frozen lakes, keeping a window breaker easily reachable in your console is advisable.

Alright, so if that seems overkill for your lifestyle, here is my recommendation for a condensed version:

CarKit-Light

The “Light” Car Emergency Kit - What to pack:

  1. A backup phone battery or solar-powered charger
  2. A blanket or bivvy
  3. A small survival kit like this one
  4. A headlamp or flashlight
  5. Glowsticks
  6. Small first aid kit
  7. Duct tape, Gear Ties, and Bungees
  8. A Multitool/Knife
  9. Jumper cables

Other helpful resources:

American Red Cross, What do You Need In a Survival Kit?

The CDC, Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

Chicago Tribune, Tips to Keep You Going When Your Car Stops

 

That’s all I’ve got! I hope you found this useful, I hope you won’t need it, but I know you will be glad to have it if you do. Let me know the most useful items you’ve found for you kit in the comments section below.

Topics: Emergency Preparedness, LED Flashlights, Visibility and Safety, Gear Ties

National Preparedness Month: How To Build An Emergency Go Bag

Posted by Katie S on Sep 11, 2019 1:53:48 PM

Building Your Emergency Go Bag

A Go-Bag (also commonly referred to as a Bug-Out Bag) is a pre-packed bag that will be your lifeline in case of an emergency evacuation situation.  Unfortunately, I found out the hard way exactly why a Go-Bag is an essential item to have packed and ready in your home. It was the middle of December about ten years ago when I found myself standing outside our Bay Area apartment building with 60 other families watching flames chew through the wooden siding and smoke billowing in every direction. With all of our cars trapped in the building’s basement garage below, we had nothing to do but watch. I was wearing hot pink fleece pajama pants, rain boots with no socks, and a too-light jacket for the unseasonable cold winter we were having. Heat from the flames notwithstanding, it was a chilling moment in every sense of the word. Somehow, despite living in earthquake country and working for a company that specialized in medical and survival gear at the time, I had just never gotten around to building a Go-Bag – it was somewhere near the bottom of my to-do list. You can bet, it immediately moved to the top.

So, here are my recommendations for your Emergency Go-Bag. Mine is built for four people (two adults and two kids) for 24 hours. Given the type of disasters that are most likely to occur where we live (grass fires or floods), we should be able to reach a friend’s home or red cross shelter in 24 hours on foot. If you live in earthquake or hurricane territories, I recommend having enough supplies for all family members for 72 hours as those disasters can take out a much larger area of infrastructure at once. A coat closet near the front door or other place that you would pass on your fastest way out of the house is the ideal spot to keep your bag.

Without further ado, here is the list:

1. Water

I like this style of water pouch as it is packaged for a long shelf life and makes it easy to determine and regulate how much each person should get – two 4.4 oz packs a day. I have water carry bags as well as water purification tablets in case we need more than the pouches I’ve packed.

2. Food

RunOff Waterproof Pocket snack bag

If you are only packing a 24-hour kit, food is not technically essential, however eating can help you stay warm and keep you mentally and emotionally stronger. Plus, if you have kids, you know that snacks actually are essential for everyone’s sanity. I like the classics like energy bars and dried fruit, they have to be replaced more regularly than emergency ration bricks, but they are significantly more palatable.

3. Emergency Radio and Charger

I like this little one that Eton makes for the American Red Cross because it doesn’t take up much space in your pack and it has radio functionality plus you can charge your phone or rechargeable headlamp from it, just make sure you have the correct charging cords packed.

4. Lights

Nite Ize Headlamps

At the very least, pack a rechargeable headlamp like the Radiant 300 which can be recharged as you go using the Emergency Radio from item #3 above. I also have the Radiant 2-in-1 Lantern which pulls double duty as a flashlight and lantern, and the 3-in-1 Mini Flashlight so the kids can feel in control with their own light as well.

5. First Aid

First aid kit

I keep the UltraLight Watertight .9 Kit in my bag because it doesn’t add much weight, but it’s packed with high quality, well thought out medical tools, and has enough room for me to throw in a couple items to customize it for our family. I also keep N95 respirator masks in my kit. In the case of major fires or earthquakes, air quality often deteriorates to harmful levels. If your biggest concern is the next Superbug, these can also help you rest easier.

6. Survival Essentials

Again, weight is a consideration so items that are multifunctional in small packages are key. You have to be able to carry all of this on your back. I keep the Pocket Survival Pak Plus which kills a lot of birds with one stone. It has fire starting tools, a whistle and signal mirror, knife, water-purification tablets, duct tape (for gear repair, clothes repair, really anything repair), and much more.    

7. Emergency Blankets + Bivvies 

I have two emergency blankets and two emergency bivvies so everyone can wrap up warmly if we are sleeping out for a night.

8. Emergency Shelter

Prep2-shelter

I recommend a lightweight, heat reflective tarp that can act as an extra blanket or as a shelter. Make sure to get one with grommets (like this) and pack nylon cording so you can easily rig it up.

9. Extra Layers

RunOff Waterproof Bags

Your emergency blankets can be wrapped to keep everyone warm on the go, but I recommend packing up an extra set of clothes for everyone. I use a Large RunOff Waterproof bag that acts as a compression sack and keeps all of our extra layers dry in the pack.

10. Cash

Emergency cash

There’s no guarantee that you’ll have the ability or wherewithal to grab your wallet on the way out the door, keep cash in your go bag so you can purchase essentials or pay for a night in a hotel/motel if you can.

11. Emotional Support Items

Emotional support items

When thinking about survival, your mind probably goes to the food, water, shelter basics, but the truth is your mental state is equally important. Something as simple as a deck of cards can be a great way to calm your mind and bring levity if you’re holed up in a red cross shelter for the night. Disasters can be particularly difficult on children as they have a harder time processing the rapid change and understanding why this is happening. Our kids are still little and they each have cherished “loveys”. We have extras of these for traveling, laundry time, etc, but we also have an extra for each of them packed away in our go-bag along with one of their favorite books. I have no doubt that these items would bring immense comfort to them in an emergency.

12. Hygiene Items  

Bath wipes, a roll of TP, and dog poop bags…not just for the dog. Let’s just leave it at that, and you’ll be covered until you can get settled into a shelter or friend’s home.

13. Rain Protection

In a worse-case scenario, everything you own is now being carried on your back. Don’t let it get soaked in a rainstorm to boot. Throw in ponchos and make sure at least one is big enough to cover you and the pack. I also keep certain items in waterproof RunOff bags inside the pack for extra protection like my cash, batteries, food and clothes.

14. A Sturdy Pack…or Two 

Prep2-backpack

Once you have all your items laid out, you’ll have a better idea of the pack size you’ll need. Ideally you have an old one in the basement that would love to be given a new life as your Go-Bag. Because ours is packed for four people and pretty heavy, I keep a second smaller bag rolled up and clipped to the side of the pack. This way, assuming my husband and I are together, we can get clear of the emergency and then split up gear into the two packs or cut leg holes in the smaller pack to use as a kid carrier. I also have a bunch of S-Biners, Carabiners, and Gear Ties clipped and strapped to the pack so if we have time to grab extra items, I can quickly clip or strap them to the bag on the way out the door.

If you have suggestions of what to pack in a Go-Bag based on your experiences, please leave them in the comment suggestion below.

Topics: Emergency Preparedness, LED Flashlights, Home

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