We have published a few articles highlighting vehicle loadouts, but most of those are wrapped around the concept of bugging out. In this article, I’m referring to my backpack as a Batman bag. The term Batman Bag is coined from Pat McNamara’s Sentinel course. One of his breakout sessions deals with vehicle preparedness and the concept of the Batman Bag. The bag can be used as a go-bag for yourself or to assist others that may need roadside assistance with finding a lost person, immediate medical care or any other host of possibilities.

This is your emergency escape and response vehicle; if it’s not ready for an emergency, you aren’t” – Pat McNamara (Sentinel)

I prefer to use a backpack versus a tool bag because you may find yourself having to travel by foot depending on the situation. The backpack I’m currently using is the Direct Action Dragon Egg Mk2 backpack. I chose this pack because of the organization and ruggedness it offers. The pack contains just the right amount of pockets for the Batman Bag concept. It’s also a mid-size pack, so you’re not going to be bogging yourself down while walking with it on. Typically, the bigger the pack you choose, the more shit you’re going to end up carrying and not needing. You need to contingency plan, but not go overboard with the planning. It’s really easy to get carried away with contingency planning and pack way more than you need. This pack / Batman Bag is meant to sustain you for a few hours; that’s it.

Let’s dig into the contents of my Batman Bag:

  • Two water bottles. One for me and one for another person. It’s a good rule of thumb to carry a 2nd water bottle because more than likely you won’t want to share your water and risk getting sick or picking up germs from someone you don’t know.
  • For signaling, I’m carrying a signaling mirror and road flares. My flashlight and headlamp can be used for signaling as well.
  • First Aid and Trauma. I carry one of each because I need smaller first aid items on more of a regular basis than I do Trauma care supplies. By carrying both a first aid kit and trauma kit, my bases are covered for any immediate medical needs. I also have a small bottle of ibuprofen inside the pack.
  • Paracord and tubular nylon are my choices for rope or cordage. Paracord has many uses while the tubular nylon can be used for a hasty rappelling line. With that said keep a carabiner attached to your pack as well.
  • Other smaller tools include a handheld flashlight, headlamp, Gerber multi-tool, Gerber folding knife and a roll of 1″ Gorilla Duct tape.
  • A 5×7 emergency tarp. This has multiple uses. You can use it in conjunction with the paracord to construct an emergency shelter, use it to wrap around someone or you can construct an emergency litter by using this blanket and some long poles or tree branches.
A rough layout of the kit. Top left is my vehicle trauma kit. Bottom left is my survival kit which contains duct tape, fire starting supplies, rite in the rain notebook, folding knife and multi-tool.

A few other pieces of emergency kit I keep in my car are not part of this bag, but still worth a mention.

Flat tires are a pretty common thing and relatively easy to fix if you know how. Although this may not happen much to you, you can use these supplies to assist others who may have a flat tire.

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  • Tire plug kit
  • Can or two of fix-a-flat
  • 12v air compressor

In addition to the tire repair supplies, I also carry a pair of jumper cables and a portable jump pack for jumping a dead battery.

Think of your vehicle as the Batmobile. Put together a small kit that stays in your vehicle at all times. Be ready to assist others that need help as well as yourself.