When Should I Be Ready?

In the self-defense and preparedness community, you always hear discussions about all of the things people have prepared and “ready”, but how much of that can be put into immediate practice?

What sort of readiness should we maintain on a daily basis?

As we frequently do on this site, let’s consult life’s ultimate tactical preparedness handbook, The Holy Bible:

“Be dressed, ready for service,

And keep your lamps burning”

Luke 12:35

Luke advises us to always be ready for action, but what does that look like?

I can’t answer this for you and your situation, but I can provide some information on my readiness.

Always Ready Items

First, I keep three bags always in my car and fully ready, so let’s go over those.  

The first is a first aid kit.  It’s a fully stocked trauma kit, complete with pressure dressings and a tourniquet, as well as bandaids and bandages for more minor injuries.  Your odds of needing a first aid kit are far greater than any other item, so keep this always stocked and ready.  If you use something from it, replace it immediately.

The second is an emergency bag.  This bag has a pair of tarps in it, a pair of boots, a sweater, a set of tactical pants and shirt (work clothes are not conducive to survival), a fixed blade knife, some fire starting gear, a couple of flashlights, a shovel, and some non-perishable food.  With this gear, I can survive for a few days, if needed. 

The third bag is my “Go Bag”, my everyday carry patrol backpack.  It’s stocked with a few small tools, another first aid kit, more fire starting gear, more emergency food, rain gear, a change of socks and underwear, optics, and other basic fieldcraft gear, including my poncho (as a tent) and poncho liner (sleeping bag).

Inside this backpack, I also keep my laptop inside a Premier Body Armor Bulletproof Laptop Bag, which protects my back from ballistic threats. (www.premierbodyarmor.com)

It’s important to note how these are packaged as well.  The first aid kit is in a waist pack, the emergency bag is in an overnight duffel bag, and the patrol pack is a backpack.  In an emergency, I can put the first aid kit around my waist, put the duffel bag on cross-wise, and then put the backpack on, and carry all three to leave an area on foot in an emergency, and still have gear.

All three bags are from outstanding gear supplier Highland Tactical (hltactical.com).

The 15 Minute Bag

At home, I also maintain the 15 Minute Bag.  The bag is named for the ability to leave with it fully stocked in under 15  minutes, because it’s always kept nearly ready.

My 15 Minute Bag is a USMC-Issue ILBE rucksack, with the assault pack attached.

Inside this bag, I maintain the following items:

  • Mummy Sleeping Bag
  • Camp Pillow
  • Several pairs of socks in Ziploc bags
  • Hygiene kit with soap, razors, toothpaste, toilet paper, wipes, and a towel strip
  • A set of USMC MARPAT uniforms in a Ziploc bag
  • Non-Perishable food for 5 days
  • Cold-Weather liner for rain gear
  • Changes of underwear/t-shirts in Ziploc bags
  • Flushable wipes (bio-degradable)
  • A tent and ground tarp
  • Camouflage tarp and stakes
  • Rope
  • Mess Kit
  • Camp Shower

The assault pack contains items like a full survival kit in 2 water-tight boxes, optics, fire-starting gear, and tactical gear,

With the 15 Minute Bag and the other items in the car, I could immediately survive indefinitely with about 15 minutes notice.

1 Hour Gear

The 1 Hour Gear is kept in a closet and it’s a couple of totes kept stocked with canned or dehydrated food, a waterproof bags with several sets of camouflage uniforms kept packed and ready.

This also includes 2 full ammo boxes of ammunition, one ammo box of radio gear, a tote of miscellaneous camping supplies, and a siphon kit.

The purpose of this gear is simply that if given enough notice, I can be a little more prepared.

Additional Gear

Given 3 hours notice, I would additionally pack up a stack of books and training manuals that would help, along with plenty of clothes and blankets.

A Final Preparedness Note

An often overlooked area of preparedness or “prepping” is clothing.  People just assume that their clothes will last forever.  

Always include sewing supplies in your preps. 

Also, buy & store extra undergarments….where will you get Fruit of the Loom if the economy crashes or there is an EMP?


Published by JD

I am the author of the Tactical Wisdom Series. I am a personal protection specialist and a veteran of the US Marine Corps. I conduct preparedness and self-defense training.

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