The Battle Prepper


The Flying Prepper

I like to travel. Even before I joined the Navy and roamed around the world, I liked to travel. My father drove trucks when I was a kid and once in a while, he would take me on short trips. So, I guess travelling was in my blood.  As a child it was up to my parents to make sure that I had everything I would need for the trip. “Did you pack your toothbrush?”, “Do you have underwear?” and so on. Like usual, when we got to our destination, I had forgot something. “Where are your shirts?” “How could YOU forget your shirts?” I was scolded.

As kid, I would not use my toothbrush unless told to. So, why was I responsible for remembering these things? Well that mentality converted to bad habits and there I was at 48 years old, arriving at my destination on a business trip and I had forgotten ALL of my shirts. Whether I was too old to change or set in my ways was not relevant. I needed to get a system in order to prepare for my trips and to make sure I had everything I needed when I travel.

The first thing I did was buy a set of travelling clothes and toiletries. I usually travelled for a couple of weeks per month, so I made sure I packed enough for me to do laundry midway through. I pack tide pods in a Ziplock bag, and I scatter the fabric sheets through out the clothes to keep them smelling fresh while the bag is tucked away.

I took photos of the labels on my medication and divided the pills into weekly pill dispenser. This saves space in the suitcase. Also, If I had to see a physician and they asked me what meds I am taking, I didn’t have to remember all the meds I take. I showed the Doc the pictures. The labels show the name of the medication, how much I was taking, how often I was supposed to take it, who prescribed the medication, when the refill is due, and sometimes the location it was picked up and phone number.

A perk for keeping medication in the carry-on luggage having a two-week buffer if you forgot to call in your refill and ran out of medication. On the downside, if your medication had an expiration date, you may forget to swap it out. For refrigerated medication, I usually bagged it up the night before with my car keys and stuck them in the fridge. Because yes, I have forgotten my meds before, and it was a pain in the butt to get new meds.

This was one of the many reasons I enjoy prepping. I wanted to be prepared for what I may forget so that I can keep myself safe and healthy. Speaking of health, I carried bleach wipes as well and wet wipes while I travelled. Even after I put some sort of barrier between my bum and the seat, I still felt like there was a possibility of me catching a zombie virus. Just kidding – maybe.

I also carried a mini first aid kit, a small cache of duct tape, pain reliever pills, and something to munch on (incase the flight got laid over or I did not have time to eat before the next flight). I carried a light jacket and a buff style head wear (I liked the air vent blowing down on me, but it gets cold on my bald head). I also brought along a portable battery charger, plug and cord for my phone and accessories.

My Every Day Carry (EDC) varied while I was flying. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) gave me a funny look, turn me away, or detain me for some of the things I normally carried. My EDC key set has everything allowed by the TSA. Warning sometimes items allowed from the TSA website or the person you talked to on the phone, would not be allowed through the check point. To add to the confusion, the rules seemed to change from airport to airport. There have been a few times when I had to go back to the airline terminal, recall my bags, and place the not allowed item in the checked luggage.

Do you have an item or group of things you pack away before you get started with your clothes?

I wear normal lace up shoes to the airport. Crocs, sandals, and flip-plops work great for slipping your shoes on and off while being cattle herded through the checkpoint. When TSA decides to do a “Random” search on you, making you rush to the gate, flip plops are a bad idea. For me, flip-plops and sandals will not work because they are not tactical or practical; plus, I have ugly feet.

I like wearing tactical style pants that are water resistant with lots of pockets. I like to wear a synthetic undershirt and a cotton outer shirt (nice and cozy). Yeah, I know “cotton kills”; when you are in a plane, gravity can kill too.

Tricks of the trade

– I used a backpack as a carryon. As soon as I was allowed to put down the tray table, I took my backpack from it’s under the seat and place it on the tray. Doing so gave me more foot room below and the backpack was a good sturdy pillow. As a big guy who sometimes got the middle seat, leaning forward to take a nap was way better than being shoulder to shoulder.

– Because I am paranoid, I used my portable charger to charge my devices. To charge my portable charger, I used the USB or plugs on the plane or around the airport.

– I filled my water bottle up for free in the filtered water fountains or ask the flight attendant to fill it up. I also use a barista to fill my water bottle when I buy a coffee or snack.

If it is a long flight or early (before stores open), I pack a peanut butter sandwich. Yes, I pack peanut butter.

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