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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 11/19/2012 4:38:36 PM EST
I own a small business and would like to get my employees a Christmas goody bag/car kit for minor SHTF.

I am not looking for something in the TEOTWAWKI or Zombiepocalypse category. I am looking for something in case they end up off the road in a blizzard, stuck somewhere, whatever. All three of my employees are women who are bright, but not real "prepared". We are in New Hampshire, so cold weather issues are the most likely to arise.

My thoughts are:

1. Mylar Blanket (survival blanket) to help keep warm in case they get stuck during a snowstorm. What makes a good survival blanket? Any suggestions as to what to get or avoid? What about these: Linky

2. Inexpensive LED Flashlight along with some spare batteries (like what Lowes & Home Depot sell on black Friday).

3. Pocket Knife with windshield breaker & seatbelt cutter (like this one: Linky).

4. Chemical Hand Warmers?

5. ??????????????

Looking to spend between $25 and $50.00 each.

Thank you for your expertise.


Link Posted: 11/19/2012 4:45:08 PM EST
glow sticks
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 5:01:05 PM EST
For survival blankets i've had good luck with Adventure Medical Kits brand. They have a few different bivy's available aswell as the regular blankets which gives you options.

I would include a nalgene bottle, couple granola bars, Bic lighter, and a small basic first aid kit.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 5:25:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2012 5:32:06 PM EST by Skibane]
Originally Posted By mcornell:

2. Inexpensive LED Flashlight along with some spare batteries (like what Lowes & Home Depot sell on black Friday).


If you can swing the extra expense, lithium batteries will store much, MUCH longer in a vehicle than alkaline or carbon-zinc batteries.

The Energizer lithium AA cells are superb - They pack a lot of capacity, and will probably last at least a decade in a vehicle.



The Rayovac "Indestructible" 2AA flashlight has a very enthusiastic following - It's a very substantial flashlight for the money.



A can of Fix-A-Flat would also be worthwhile - Could avoid having to change a flat tire in the middle of nowhere.



Link Posted: 11/19/2012 7:17:29 PM EST
in addition to already mentioned items, you might consider

long burn time bees wax candle, and couple of Bic lighters
wool watch cap
water in heavy duty bottles
high visibility green/orange emergency vest
good plastic whistle
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 8:02:21 PM EST
I would include some instructions. Stay with the car, don't run the battery down either in the car or the cell phone, etc. Knowledge can be as important as supplies, and in this case is definitely in the "better to have it and not need it," category since it costs nothing but a piece of paper.

I googled and found this from Denvergov.org, but I imagine there's something better out there than this.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 11:15:49 PM EST
-Fix a flat
-small first aid kit with emergency blanket
-flash light Amazon or LED headlamp
-that EMS knife glass breaker as above
-hand/body(the larger ones) warmers
-bottles of water + some cliff bars
-flairs handheld.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 12:44:02 AM EST
Get the Red Cross to come out and teach an emergency preparedness class, first aid, CPR, etc...
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 12:56:17 AM EST
#5 water and a few food items
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 1:11:03 AM EST
I'm more interested in if you're hiring. My employer never gets me Christmas gifts. Well, I take that back. He gave me a $5 Dunkin' Donut's gift card last year.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 3:36:45 AM EST
A cell phone car charger could also be very handy during an emergency.

There are "universal" models that sell on ebay for around 6 bucks.

Link Posted: 11/20/2012 4:56:16 AM EST
Put the candle in a coffee type can with the lid. Much safer to burn the candle inside the car this way and the can can be used to melt snow if needed. Tool bags also make for great car kit bags like this and they can be had for pretty cheap and carried with a shoulder strap if needed.

Great idea by the way and very thoughtful.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 9:01:15 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 12:27:32 PM EST
One of those emergency phone chargers that runs on batteries would be a good addition. I might also include a folding shovel
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 1:42:27 PM EST
Those mylar blankets are as effective as a trash bag in keeping warm.... 15 minutes spent in those will convice you quickly. The Adventure brand is the best of this type, but desn't even come close to the warmth of a cheap fleece blanket.

The two most common car troubles are dead batteries and flat tires, which is why thos portable battery jumpers/ inflators do so well. I gave one to a friend and she has used it 3 times helping stranded travelors.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 2:56:01 PM EST
A big thank you for all of the ideas. This has been extremely helpful. I will be seeing what I can put together and stay within the price point I mentioned. I will definately add some Lithium batteries for the long term storage, along with a bunch of other items listed above.

And ArmaNotSoLite, sorry, I am not hiring. But to make you even more jealous, I am also giving everyone at my office a small mason jar of homemade brandied cherries.

Anyone else who sees this thread, feel free to post your ideas. I am really excited about this idea and think my staff will really like this gift.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 4:19:43 PM EST
Originally Posted By mgunner9:
Those mylar blankets are as effective as a trash bag in keeping warm.... 15 minutes spent in those will convice you quickly. The Adventure brand is the best of this type, but desn't even come close to the warmth of a cheap fleece blanket.

The two most common car troubles are dead batteries and flat tires, which is why thos portable battery jumpers/ inflators do so well. I gave one to a friend and she has used it 3 times helping stranded travelors.


Then why would you say, is similar material used to insulate against the temp extremes found in space? They reflect heat pretty efficiently.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 6:03:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 6:09:26 PM EST by Bubbatheredneck]

Originally Posted By raimius:
Originally Posted By mgunner9:
Those mylar blankets are as effective as a trash bag in keeping warm.... 15 minutes spent in those will convice you quickly. The Adventure brand is the best of this type, but desn't even come close to the warmth of a cheap fleece blanket.

The two most common car troubles are dead batteries and flat tires, which is why thos portable battery jumpers/ inflators do so well. I gave one to a friend and she has used it 3 times helping stranded travelors.


Then why would you say, is similar material used to insulate against the temp extremes found in space? They reflect heat pretty efficiently.

In a perfect vacuum, heat is only transferred by radiation, not convection or conduction. So a thin reflective shield is all that is needed.

Down here, conduction (need for a sleeping mat on the cold ground) and convection (north wind blowing) are very important when trying to stay warm.




Anyway, back on topic.

I would definitely get a commercial kit. Some homemade collection of stuff will get you a behind your back, no matter how good your intentions. Plus, you have to accommodate for the lowest common denominator.

A couple of ideas





Link Posted: 11/21/2012 2:29:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By mcornell:
A big thank you for all of the ideas. This has been extremely helpful. I will be seeing what I can put together and stay within the price point I mentioned. I will definately add some Lithium batteries for the long term storage, along with a bunch of other items listed above.

And ArmaNotSoLite, sorry, I am not hiring. But to make you even more jealous, I am also giving everyone at my office a small mason jar of homemade brandied cherries.

Anyone else who sees this thread, feel free to post your ideas. I am really excited about this idea and think my staff will really like this gift.


I'm all alone....no one here beside me...
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 4:28:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By ArmaNotSoLite:
Originally Posted By mcornell:
A big thank you for all of the ideas. This has been extremely helpful. I will be seeing what I can put together and stay within the price point I mentioned. I will definately add some Lithium batteries for the long term storage, along with a bunch of other items listed above.

And ArmaNotSoLite, sorry, I am not hiring. But to make you even more jealous, I am also giving everyone at my office a small mason jar of homemade brandied cherries.

Anyone else who sees this thread, feel free to post your ideas. I am really excited about this idea and think my staff will really like this gift.


I'm all alone....no one here beside me...
IM me your address.

Link Posted: 11/22/2012 7:07:29 AM EST
Gloves? rubber and/or cloth. Warmth and cleanliness for something like changing a tire.

Brightly colored for visibilty too? even orange ones for cleaning the oven
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 8:19:21 AM EST
Nagaline gloves
N95 Mask
Dump Kit (TP, Handi-wipe single packet, sample size hand sanitizer)
A lighter
Mittens / Hat
Plumbers candle, tea-light candle, candle lantern (something like that)
Two contractor garbage bags (The 3+mil ones)

Or just one of those "emergency car kits" that comes with all the car stuff; jumper cables, lights, gloves, fix-a-flat, FAK

I personally found my nagaline gloves very useful when I had to help my GF flush as much steering fluid from her car as I could. (Got water in it.) A potential nasty mess turned into "slip the gloves off and throw them away" easy.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 8:37:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By raimius:
Originally Posted By mgunner9:
Those mylar blankets are as effective as a trash bag in keeping warm.... 15 minutes spent in those will convice you quickly. The Adventure brand is the best of this type, but desn't even come close to the warmth of a cheap fleece blanket.

The two most common car troubles are dead batteries and flat tires, which is why thos portable battery jumpers/ inflators do so well. I gave one to a friend and she has used it 3 times helping stranded travelors.


Then why would you say, is similar material used to insulate against the temp extremes found in space? They reflect heat pretty efficiently.

In a perfect vacuum, heat is only transferred by radiation, not convection or conduction. So a thin reflective shield is all that is needed.

Down here, conduction (need for a sleeping mat on the cold ground) and convection (north wind blowing) are very important when trying to stay warm.


"Space Blanket" mylar blanket:

Blocks wind
Blocks rain
Reflect heat from candle or other source (so, lean to or fire reflector)
Reflects radar
Reflects light at night and easily spotted from the air during the day
Light enough to move in little wind for easy visibility in signaling
As a ground tarp can reflect heat back to an injured person and keep moisture off them
Reflects infra-red heat back at someone loosely wrapped
Can collect rain water
Can be used as a tarp to butcher game and keep the parts cleaner

And can fit in a bag or back pocket and be forgotten about because it weighs almost nothing. It can be carried in addition to whatever else you carry, and if you want, you can have one with you ALL the time.

My parents got a huge roll of the stuff (about two miles long, four feet wide) back in the 70's. We wrapped Christmas presents in it and did all sorts of stuff with it fooling around as kids. In a house, wrapped up in it, you will very quickly start sweating.

Is it a cold weather sleeping system? No. Might it save your ass from dying of shock in a stranded car after a mid winter night slide off accident? Yes, it just might.

For a few cents each and an ounce or two for all this? I think I'll ignore the naysayers.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
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