If you look under my bed you’ll find three suitcases, a box of water, a box of canned goods (with some chocolate sprinkled in), one crate of camping supplies (gas, tarps, matches etc), an “Esquire” I bought at Gelson’s 18 months ago and somehow forgot to recycle, one blow up kayak I haven’t used in two years, not to mention the three bookshelves that support my bed frame, and the six cobwebs that keep the ants and other buggies away. One of the suitcases is so big I’ll probably never find a use for it unless I start dating Princess Vespa. The second was a wedding gift (for participation) and is just small/big enough to take to a gym if I ever make enough money to afford a membership. The final one is just right. The wheels are noisy, the frame is solid, and somehow the tan/fleshy exterior pops when in all other circumstances it should bore you to tears with all the beige. I got it at a thrift store in the Bronx when during an overnight layover on my way to Italy my airline lost my backpack and I was forced to buy new clothes and luggage on the cheap.
The case of water and the case of goodies are not exactly there for travel. They’re my disaster kit. Our big fear on the west coast is of the the mega earthquake that’s been overdue since the Roosevelt era. If the big one does come my entire house will probably fall with it and the survival kit won’t really be of much use anymore. The survival kit serves two purposes of course. One, to provide some sort of sustenance while we wait two weeks for the government to come and save us. But more important than that, it nourishes that boyhood delight of destruction and imagination. End of the world? Yeah, I can take that.
That nourishment is probably more important than any actual readiness. I have a friend who carries her road trip/camping trip/hiking supplies in the trunk of her car. Whether this is useful or possibly a little obnoxious is not for me to say. What’s clear, is that it nourishes that same idea of adventure. So there must be a lot of us. Some have our kits under our beds. Some in our cars. Some stuffed into backpacks that never leave their side. I like the idea of a little army of adventurers, ready to eat s’mores and march the woods in their over-sized hiking boots and creepy “shows-you-how-ugly-feet-are” vibrams. My kit is under my bed. You’ll only really see it if you get me drunk and we decide to build a fort together and we’re forced to scoop out all the gear. It’s totally worth it. The fort and the gear. Seriously. If you decide to come and help out bring beer and cereal.
© 2014 Christopher Dart