(Always) "be prepared" --- Girl Scout Motto

Even though I don't remember much about my girl scout experience besides selling lots of cookies every year and wearing the uniform, one thing has always stuck with me.  The Girl Scout Motto - from the 1947 Handbook -- "BE PREPARED."   The trunk of my car is a testament to this statement for better or worse.  

Whether it is pulling together a gear list for a backpacking trip, organizing a drop bag for a 100 mile race, or packing for work travel, I try to think of everything that could come up and bring along a simple solution.  Here is a sample of 7 items I always take with me on the road beyond my usual outfits.Some of these items cover basic needs but others are particularly great in an emergency.  I can think of a ton of things that could be made out of duct tape like an ankle brace or a drinking vessel or a clothes line. It is super versatile and cheap. This is just one example.  There are actually books on thousands of uses for duct tape. For the other items, there may appear to be only one use but my mcgyvering mind sees lots of possibilities. Hopefully, you will too in a pinch.  I am happy to share my complete list or provide a consultation upon request.


  1. Duct Tape                                            
  2. Puffy Jacket
  3. SmartWater Bottle/Water Filter
  4. Headlamp/Light/Lighter
  5. Phone/Camera/Backup Charger
  6. Snacks
  7. Coffee

Ultra/Trail Race

  1. Liquid Calories
  2. Hydration Vest
  3. Phone/Camera
  4. Buff
  5. Electrolyte Tablets
  6. Desitin Cream
  7. Coffee

Work Travel

  1. Comfortable Shoes
  2. Big Scarf for cold rooms
  3. Safety Pins
  4. Lavender Oil
  5. Phone/Camera
  6. Lysol To Go
  7. Coffee