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Episode 153 S4-29

Cross Country Travel Kit


Special Guest:

Battle for the South Ch 29

James Hart

As the Battle for the South adventure continues, Bennet loads the crew up for a cross country trip back to Nevada. Traveling across the country can create a myriad of problems. Here to talk about what you should have in a cross country survival kit is James Hart, author of Urban & Wilderness Emergency Preparedness

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Traveling across the country can present many possible contingencies. The first thing you must do is a check of your vehicle. You may consider having a mechanic do this. If you are going to take care of it yourself, check:

  • All liquids, including: oil, transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, radiator (antifreeze to water ratio, flush it), etc.

  • Check tire condition (including spare), pressure, and wheel bearing grease.

  • Differential condition and fluid level

  • Belts - consider purchasing some extra for the trip

  • Hoses - consider purchasing some extra for the trip

  • Water pump condition - check maintenance log to see when it was last replaced.

  • Spark plugs

  • Engine freeze plugs

  • Your jack kit to make sure all the required parts are there.

  • Perform a total maintenance check. Know your vehicle and its limitations

For the trip you want to make sure to carry:

  • Extra fluid - windshield washer fluid, oil, antifreeze

  • Tools - electrical, wrenches, sockets, screw drivers, pipe wrenches. Consider carrying multiple sets.

  • Electrical wire

  • Water  

  • Chilton manual for your vehicle

  • Fuses

Always ensure you have at least a quarter tank of gas in your tank. Top it off when you see a good price.

Car rental is another option. Then the car company is responsible for the vehicle and you can always get a replacement.

There are some things that you should carry in your vehicle everyday.

Survival Car Kit:

  • First Aid Kit and manual

  • Class ABC Fire extinguisher

  • Weather radio and batteries

  • Non-perishable emergency food - make sure large food packs are resealable

  • Protein bars

  • Case of water

  • Bag of sand, shovel, coffee can with candles and cat litter (in the winter)

  • Sundry kit - with all your toiletry needs

  • Navigation kit - pencil, paper, compass, maps

  • Tissues

  • Pre-moistened toilettes

  • Plastic bags

  • Essential meds: Aleve, Tylenol, Aspirin, Anti-diarrhea

  • Flashlight and batteries

  • Reflectors/flares

  • Water proof matches & candles/buddy burner

  • Jumper cables

  • Short hose for syphoning gas

  • If you carry gasoline, don't put it inside the cab with passengers!

  • Blankets/sleeping bag

Be sure to check all concealed carry laws before you travel if you have your license to do so. Know the traffic laws of the state you are traveling through as well.

Carry a physical map. There are places your cell phone or gps may not be able to get signal. Consider purchasing a satellite phone or renting one for the trip. You can even get a physical locator device if you are planning to do hiking along the way. It make search and rescue's job much easier if you get lost.

If you are going to take a pet with you there are special considerations you have to take into account for them:

  • Bring a carrier if you need one.

  • Make sure you have leashes and collars.

  • May not be a bad idea to bring their vaccination information with you.

  • Carry food, water and treats for them.

  • Make sure you have bowls to give them food and water in.

  • Take frequent breaks and check their feet often. You may want to carry booties for them. You will be on a lot of hot pavement and gravel.

  • Have a pet first aid kit with tweezers, pet safe antiseptic and grooming supplies (comb, brush, scissors, toe nail trimmers, etc.)

  • Insect repellent for flees, ticks, and mosquitos.

  • Don't leave them in a hot car while you go in the store!! One person may have to stay out with the pet and then when the group returns they can go use the facilities, etc.

  • Bring a blanket or sleeping bag especially for your pet. You can use it as a ground cover to get them off the hot ground if needed.

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Battle for the South Ch 29

James Hart

A veteran of 2 tours of duty in Viet Nam, James began his survival training at the age of 7 when he was stranded in the Mojave Desert for 7 hours without food or water during a family move in 1954. Since then he has been through the scouting program where he attained Life scout, served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Venture Advisor, and earned the Badden Powell Award. An avid outdoorsman, he has winter camped in Utah and northern Quebec, Canada, snowshoed in upstate New York, Utah and Quebec, and camped in the Mojave Desert of California, the Uintah Mountains of Utah, and the Piney Woods of East Texas, among numerous other locations. James has traveled and been through 42 of the 50 states of the US. Three provinces of Canada, sailed the Pacific Ocean, and crossed the Equator and 35 countries from jungles of South America to the Himalayas of Nepal.


Having earned an Associates of Photography Degree from Houston Community College, he has beautifully captured many of his travels with his camera.


Now retired from a career with the Trinity River Authority of Texas, James resides in Dallas, TX, where he lectures on Wilderness and Survival Training. He is the author of SWET Survival & Wilderness Experience Training, Urban & Wilderness Emergency Planning, 35 other booklets on wilderness training, monthly articles for Survival Life Magazine, and a column and articles for The Garland Messenger Newspaper. James also does workshops and speaking engagements.

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