As the nature boy taught us, the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return… but getting something for nothing runs a close second. There’s a good chance you’ve been ignoring or even throwing away free stuff that could up your Go Bag game. It’s time to embrace the free gear you never knew was waiting to make your prepper dreams come true.
5. Hotel Sundries
Some hotels have moved onto the more eco-friendly practice of providing package-free amenities, but many still offer individually packaged items that are the perfect size for your Go Bag’s toiletries kit. Need three days worth of soap? Stash that tiny body wash tube and the little facial bar! Don’t forget to raid the free drink station for the single-serve coffee.
4. Plastic Utensils or Chopsticks
If you have food in your Go Bag that you’d normally eat with utensils, you’re going to want utensils to eat it. Don’t spend any money on buying utensils; stash the ones that came with your take-out order. Wooden chopsticks have the added benefit of being more packable and versatile than standard utensils. Mid-apocalypse sword fight? Why not! Kindling? Yes please. Tourniquet windlass? Ok, we can stop now.
3. Plastic Shopping Bags
These hyper-storable sacks are always coming in handy, whether it’s the end of the world or just a Wednesday. (RIP, marine life.) Instead of letting yours find their way into the Pacific Garbage Patch, twist some undamaged bags into a tiny spot in your Go Bag and revisit them whenever needed. You might need to carry additional items, separate something wet from the rest of your gear, or put them on your heads to protect yourself from the elements (just make sure you can breathe!).
2. Condiment Packets
Shelf stable snacks don’t have to be totally solid! These babies are potentially VERY useful to you if your high calorie bricks are sustaining you in a flavorless way. Don’t be afraid to throw a few hot sauce packets into your Go Bag (safely contained in zip top bag) to make your life more bearable in the event of societal breakdown. The spice must flow.
1. Silica Gel Packets
Arguably the most useful thing we all regularly throw away, a silica gel packet is the gift that keeps on giving. Long after it has kept your shoes fresh and dry while they traveled to you from distant lands, the humble silica gel packet keeps sucking up moisture. If you’ve placed anything in your Go Bag in a zip top bag to keep it dry, put a silica gel packet in there with it. This is especially useful for your Important Papers Pack, which could become moldy if any moisture is trapped in there with it. Silica will sort you out.
Bonus – Polystyrene To-go Containers
Polystyrene containers (the clear, flat kind) are made of Shrinky Dinks! That is, you can use them to make your own Shrinky Dinks. Simply clean the containers thoroughly, cut out the flat parts, draw your designs with permanent marker, cut to size, and heat in the oven until Shrinky Dunked. If you want to throw in your Go Bag, we suggest immortalizing your Official Out of Town Contact’s phone number. Never leave home without it.