Thursday, March 13, 2014

On Being Prepared

Hey Kids!

Sometimes (surprisingly often), I get emails asking me about this and that.
Rarely are these questions about deep philosophical or metaphysical stuff.
Well, actually never about deep stuff.

One question I have gotten many times is about  .......... 
take a look at the title of this post.

Yep, being prepared.
Makin' it up as I go along is more my style.
So ....... I consulted the experts.
I sought out the most 'prepared for anything' people I could find.

Who would that be?
Well, that would be the 'Big Ass Daypack' (BAD) people.

Sidetrip .....
You're out and about.
Up ahead you see 3 or 4 people wearing panama hats. (possible gringos)
Or ..... big daypacks. (probable gringo)
Hats and packs ....... bingo!
Really, I have never seen so many old turds with huge overstuffed daypacks.
I have often wondered what they are toting around.

So, anyway, I go to a gringo hangout and ask a few BAD folks what are in their BADs.

I took these 3 pics all at the same time, same place.
Literally just turned in different directions,
without moving. Snap, snap, snap. 5 seconds.
Sooooooooo, here's what I learned.
I was a tad overwhelmed, so I have tried to categorize some of it.

Medical Emergency:
- snake bit kit
- insulin
- nitro glycerine tabs
- extra oxygen bottle
- Aleve
- Xanax
- anti-psychotics (gotta have those)
- ace bandage
- gauze
- antiseptic
- band aides
- adult diapers (there are all kinds of emergencies)
- duct tape 

- machete 
- stun gun
- pepper spray
- telescoping baton
- brass knuckles 
- trench knife
- duct tape

Health, Beauty and Personal Hygiene:
- make-up bag
- sunhat (Panamas .... the good one's roll up.)
- sunscreen
- lip balm
- halazone tablets 
- bug repellent
- dentures …. in the BAD?
- sunglasses 
- spare glasses
- bottle of water 
- bar of soap
- toilet paper
- kleenex
- wet wipes / butt wipes
- toe nail clippers
- tooth brush
- toothpaste
- floss
- duct tape

WTF? :
- viagra 
- condoms  (seriously? condoms?)
- duct tape
(I was a little surprised here.  They looked like such sweet old gals.)

Travel Aids:
- electronic translators
- English-Spanish dictionaries 
- safari vest
- maps
- Lonely Planet guide
- passports
- compass
- peanut butter
- duct tape

- umbrella
- spare socks
- pith helmut (OK, I made that up.)
- tablet computer
- phone and tablet chargers
- rope 
- flashlight
- spare camera battery
- $$$$$$
- pen/pencil
- little spiral notebook
- business or calling cards with contact info
- dog biscuits 
- soy sauce (the soy sauce in the chifas SUCKS)
- matches
- candy bars (2)
- handkerchief 
- magnifying glass
- binoculars (bird watching?)
- duct tape

I was going to ask this guy about his BAD.
I didn't.
So, mystery solved.
That's what's in those BADs.

If you have any other questions, I'm your guy.

Life is Sweet,

PS:  "Be Prepared" is the Boy Scout Motto.


  1. How many rolls of duct tape are needed? I have an open roll that I will bring. Maybe, after reading this, I should stock up. If I buy too many and appear to be running out of room, I will have to take out the JIF.

    USA 05/19/2014 7:45 a.m.
    EC 05/19/2014 5:30p.m.

  2. Good stuff Clarke ... I feel so inadequate now !

  3. So, are you saying duct tape is The Expat's Secret Weapon?