Prepping while Traveling

Any experienced pepper has, over time, accumulated a lot of prepping resources at home: food, water, books, equipment and tools (for gardening, water purification, power and lighting), as well as home security options. Prepping at home is one thing. But what happens when you are on the road? I’m not talking about the drive between work and home, or a quick trip to the store. When you are traveling far from home for business or pleasure, prepping is still possible — but it is quite a different animal. You can’t rely on a vast amount of stored preps. If you are traveling by car, then you can include a bug-out bag or car prepping kit. But otherwise, you are going to be light on supplies. Even so, you can prep without all those supplies.


A good prepper does not only accumulate goods, but also knowledge. When traveling, you retain that knowledge. However, some topics are more applicable on the road than others.

Self-defense skills are very helpful when traveling, as concealed carry is often not an option. What you need is two sets of skills. First, the skill of avoiding conflict, and second, the self-defense training to protect yourself when violent conflict is unavoidable. Avoiding conflict includes knowing the area in which you are traveling, so as to avoid more dangerous sections of the city. And you should also have some training in de-escalating conflict, to avoid violence. A good self-defense course will not only teach you to fight, but to avoid a conflict if possible. See my previous post: Martial Arts as Self-Defense for Preppers

First aid knowledge is also useful, since you will be away from your usual health resources. I recommend taking the advanced first aid course, not one of the basic courses. The basic source is too simple; it’s all material you can learn on your from a few introductory books or YouTube videos. The advanced course is worth the extra time and effort. It’s a step or two short of taking an EMT course (which is what I did, years ago).

You can also cheat a little, on the knowledge front, by accumulating some useful prepping books, in Kindle format, available from your smart phone.


Have a plan. Have a backup plan. This saying applies all the more when traveling to an unfamiliar area. Make a contingency plan, in case your means of travel or your overnight accommodations fail. Know your options, and write it down. The biggest mistake that people make when traveling is to assume that everything will go as planned.

You might also want to make a plan for particular scenarios. If you are traveling to a hurricane prone region during hurricane season, make a specific plan. The same goes for an earthquake prone region, and for other possible disasters. Or you could make two general plans, a “shelter in place” plan (SIP) and a “get out of dodge” (GOOD) plan. And try to get an overview of the local resources, which you might use if disaster strikes.

Pocket Dump

You’ve probably seen many posts of this type on various blogs: the pocket dump. The point is usually to show what sort of resources a person carries on them in a typical day. And for the traveling prepper, the lesson is that you can carry a substantial set of resources on your person.

In your wallet: band-aids, gauze pads, steri-strips (for closing wounds).
In your pocket: different types of medications, such as pain reliever, allergy meds, TUMS, prescribed meds, etc.
In your coat: pocket knife, multi-tool, local map, extra glasses
In your smart phone: lists of useful local numbers, Kindle books, Map and location type apps, translator app, and check to see if your contacts list is up-to-date

Situational Awareness

It is always important to be aware of your surroundings, as a dangerous situation can unfold quickly and unexpectedly. But this is particularly useful when traveling. You will not be as familiar with the local places and circumstances. Stay alert and keep appraised of your surroundings, especially at night.

Hotel security is usually far from perfect. So be cautious even when you are in a hotel room. Here are some sage tips on hotel and motel security.

Yes, you can prep while traveling far from home. In fact, that may be one of the better times to prep.

– Thoreau

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