I’m not the most organized person in the world. I’m scattered brained and like to play things by ear. This can be both a blessing and a hindrance. It makes dealing with situations that pop up easy but bad for when I overlook something important. The later occurred while I was on vacation. I was all excited to do some guerrilla camping in my trek light hammock. In fact I had been highly anticipating getting to sleep in it and get a review done. When about half way into an eight hour road trip to New Orleans I realized that I did not bring either of my two hammocks. I packed quickly without using a checklist and ended up spending three cramped nights sleeping in a car with two others. I am still cramped and sore.
In addition to my vacation blunder I can only imagine how bad that would be in a disaster evacuation or bug out where you have time to pack some items. Having to leave and then realize that you forgot something crucial. Your wallet, sleep system, food or some other vital item you will impact your survivability. I’ve decided that some things are best not left to chance and a simple checklist of needed items takes little to no time and could make the difference between life and death.
For me nothing beats paper on a clipboard with an actual check mark on it. This will be my preferred method from here on out. I will make a checkmark list on the computer and print it out. I’ll do this from now on for every vacation to make sure I’m swinging in a hammock and not curled in a ball on the car seat. I will also be making a huge checklist for my Bug Out Bags, Get Home Bags and other kits. These I will laminate and keep either in or around the bags themselves. This will make routine checks on them easier. I like to go through every few months and check for what needs replaced, replenished and has become outdated. With the laminated checklist I was use a dry erase marker to go down the list and check them off. When I’m done anything without a checkmark will get replaced then the sheet can be erased.
As a backup to the printed checklists I will keep a copy on my Evernote account. This will be synched with my phone so I will always have a copy of my checklist. This will make it easy if I have to go out and buy a replacement. It will become a shopping list that i always have and wont forget. I can check off the items on Evernote and transfer that information to the psychical list when I get home. Evernote combined with paper and clipboard make an unbeatable combination.
Hopefully you can learn from my uncomfortable nights and make a checklist. I love sharing stories of lessons I’ve learned so that maybe it will help out someone else.
Do you make checklists? Have any horror stories on forgetting something? Let me know in the comments!
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