Well, the Americans often talk about “ The Apocalypse “ even referring to “Zombies”.This has spawned a concept known as “The Bug-Out Bag”.Simply this involves packing bags and keeping them in readily accessible places in case something goes wrong. There is a certain amount of paranoia in “Merica” that has spawned numerous movies and TV shows. However back at the ranch we just get on with it.

I am clearing my garage and moved a good deal of equipment to our training facility, I did take a view that I would need to retain certain essentials in case of an emergency. Then I looked at what I may need should we do a trip.

In the past, I successfully repaired a few vehicles on trips and became an advocate of duct tape, cable ties and self-annealing tape. My large tool kit is rarely used and is designed for overlanding.

A small socket set helped me remove a large plastic cover over my vehicle’s engine allowing me to refit a turbo pipe that had blown off. Arriving at the SANparks accommodation at Mapungubwe I refitted the cover having detoured to Pont Drift to drop my son off where he was simply allowed to walk across the border to meet friends and spend a week in the Tuli Block with them.

As soon as I had fitted the cover a guest asked me to look at his rear wheel which was making a strange noise. I removed the wheel and the brake drum cover to find the hardest piece of wood I had ever seen which was causing the noise. Everything was replaced and we went into the main house which was named “Rhodes Drift House” Numerous famous people have stayed here over the years. Supper was served and as we all had an early start we cleaned up and hit the showers before bed.

After two wheel changes on separate trips ( Kenhardt and Sutherland ), I gave Ian our CEO a section of roof timber to use under the vehicle jack. It did not have sufficient travel when used and we had to improvise, using rocks and digging holes under the rear wheel to get extra space.

Fast forward to my garage! I decided the plank was not the only item that would be required for emergencies and decided to make my version of a bug-out bag for local trips.

I found a suitable soft bag and then went about deciding what to pack leaving enough room should I wish to add items( think first aid kit on top). The first items were a small axe and a lighter. On one trip we struggled to find kindling and matches. The fire starter worked but in a very iffy fashion – so a lighter was a necessity ( matches are still first prize in my opinion ). Be careful when packing the smaller stuff as things can break on rough roads so put them in a small tupperware or similar container to protect them.

This bag is not the place for a compressor as they are fairly heavy so that would travel in a separate case. The next piece was a 3.5 metre webbing tow strap which could also be used as a tree protector for winching off a suitable anchor. Add to this a few shackles otherwise the strap would not be much use. To protect my hands I added in a pair of leather gloves which can serve multiple functions around the vehicle or campsite. A section of roof truss for jacking was added as well, it fits nicely in the base of the bag.

Two mini tool kits gave me a few spanners, pliers as well as small sockets, screwdriver bits and a driver. These have all proven themselves to be invaluable over the years. Then add to the mix jumper cables and a can of tyre inflater and sealer – then you should be good to go and travel safely. I have space for more stuff which I will put in a tool roll – the most important being a shifting spanner as it is so useful.

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