In 2017, a record-breaking 107 million Americans traveled for the Christmas season. This is a time of the year that we all look forward to sharing time and gifts with family and friends. On top of that, we typically eat really well during this season. It’s something that we all get excited about regardless of your background or beliefs.
So this during this holiday season, disaster or emergencies are typically the last things that we are thinking about. However, with that many people on the road, there is the potential for things to go wrong. It can be minor emergencies like a flat time or more extreme like being mugged in a back alley.
With that being said, being prepared is something that we need to practice continually even during the holiday season. When looking online for holiday safety tips you typically see the same regurgitated information. Most of the information is just plain common sense. However, there are things that preppers specifically should do to be prepared during the holiday travel season.
5 Prepper Holiday Travel Tips Others Don’t Mention
Check the conceal carry laws
Gun laws are constantly changing every year. Most of us are only familiar with the laws in the state where we live. However, if you are not paying attention then you can end up miss seeing Saint Nick while being stuck behind jail bars.
Some states do not allow you to drive with a gun in the vehicle without it being locked in a case. Others are not as strict. So before leaving, you will want to do some research on the updated laws in the states that you are driving through. For the states that do require you to lock your gun in a case, I typically recommend a biometric safe for handguns. I’ve had to use it a few times while driving through states like Virginia.
Some states will show leniency if you are just driving through and don’t make a stop. However, it is better to be safe than sorry. You should check those updated state laws on firearms while planning your travels.
It is also a good idea to have concealed carry legal insurance especially if you are traveling. I recommend USCCA because they provide affordable coverage and have a huge network of pro-second amendment attorneys. If you have a car then you need to have car insurance. Then if you have a gun then you should have concealed carry legal insurance. You never know when you may need it especially with so much anti-gun rhetoric going on these days.
Setup a get home bag
If you are traveling hundreds of miles away then you are not going to be able to pack enough to get home directly. You will need to have supplies prepared to get you to a destination that will help you get home. For example, you may need to pack just enough to make it to a family member’s house who can help you get home.
As with your other survival gear, you will want to build this bag beginning with the Rule of 3’s foundation. You should pack enough food and water to keep you hydrated and fed. You can typically go 3 weeks without food.
However, with a get home bag you are packing enough to help you survive up to 72 hours or until you can get to a safe spot. The food, in this case, is really designed to keep you energized through the journey. Another thing about having food is that when you are digesting it your body will begin to produce body heat to keep you warm. When I go cold weather camping I like to pack peanuts. This is because they have extra fat that your body works harder to process and in turn producing more body heat.
Dress warmly but also prepared
In a previous post, I discussed some important winter survival clothing layers that we should all have. These layers are not only designed for camping or survival situations. They should also be incorporated on a daily basis as part of your EDC if you live in the north.
You don’t have to dress like you are heading out into the woods. You can dress casually, comfortably while being prepared for the worst. There are three specific layers that you should have on you or near you during holiday traveling. These three include the base layer, middle layer, and outer shell.
The base layer is really designed to keep your body dry especially during cold weather. Unchecked perspiration can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. So you will want to have a layer that wicks away that moisture.
The base layer is typically comprised of synthetic materials. I typically like to wear Under Armour as they are made of great quality material that fits well. There are even athleisure type clothing that looks great but also serves a purpose.
The middle layer is designed to be an insulation layer to preserve your natural body heat. They are typically made of polyester, fleece and wool materials. Other materials like cotton don’t trap in your body heat as effectively. Cotton is also a killer because it doesn’t dry as quickly as fleece or wool. This is important when you are trying to stay dry in the winter. You would be surprised how quickly snow can melt into your clothing.
For this layer, I typically wear Under Armour’s Cold Gear thermals. However, you can have two items for your middle layer. I will typically combine the thermals with a wool sweater or fleece jacket.
The final layer is the outer shell. This layer is designed to block the cold air from infiltrating your body. Polyurethane-coated fabrics are typically a good option for this. I prefer the Free Country Dobby Colorblock Soft-Shell Jacket. It has kept me quite toasty in the 10 to 20-degree weather in Ohio.
You will also want to be sure to cover your extremities as well. Extremities include body parts like your face, hands, and feet. They are typically the most vulnerable because you have to use them more frequently. Be sure to get a wool hat and gloves.
Research where you are staying
There are websites like communitycrimemap.com where you can find up to date statistics on crime in the area where you are staying. It goes without saying that you would probably not want to book a hotel room in high crime areas. You will also want to plan restaurant and shopping trips in safe locations. Another way that you can collect Intel is through family and friends who may live in that area.
Put together an emergency plan
Using the same information from CommunityCrimeMap.com you will want to develop an emergency evacuation plan that avoids high crime areas. You will want to identify choke points in that city and develop a plan that goes around them. You can typically use Google Maps to see the traffic for certain times of the day in that area. I would set the time frame around rush hour traffic. This will give you a good idea of where the choke points are going to be.
I also recommend downloading a family locator app for you and your family’s phones. That way if you are split up when SHTF you will know where they are. The app will map their location through GPS. If you are going to be in different areas while traveling then you will want to designate a rendezvous location where you all can meet in an emergency.
These would be my tips for traveling during the holidays safely. If you have any additional suggestions then leave them in the comment section below. Your feedback helps the community prepare the smart way now so that we can thrive later.