Go Bags: Why you need one, the gear you should have inside & why Qore Performance® belongs in yours

Why You Need One

You never know when an emergency situation will arise where you need to be somewhere, ready to get to work, in a moments notice. If you are a teacher, this might mean you need to be ready for an earthquake, wildfire, Active Shooter or a tornado.  If you are in the military, you may be assigned to a QRF.  For LE, it could be an Active Shooter, social unrest or a regional disaster.  As a parent, you’d have the added responsibility of taking care of your kids too.  No matter what your role in life in this great country we call America, there is a possibility you will need a Go Bag and there is a high probability that if you are reading this blog post, others around you are going to look to you for leadership in a time of crisis.  You have a responsibility to them and to yourself to be ready to respond.  As a Qore Performance® customer, you are a leader.  Act accordingly.

Last year, I was on a business trip in Texas when wildfires broke out in San Diego County.  The first of these wild fires burned within feet (yes, literally within feet) of the home where I grew up in North San Diego County.

As I walked through Austin-Bergstrom Airport, my phone started to buzz with texts and calls from friends back home asking if I was ok and if my family was in danger. I started to mentally put my response together in case I got the callout from the Sheriff’s Department activating my Reserve Team. My duty gear was ready to go and sitting in its usual spot along with my uniform. However, I realized that it was inaccessible due to evacuations.  I only had time to grab my Go Bag and then fly immediately to San Diego and go 10-8.  Whatever was in my Go Bag was what I would have from when I hit the ground until I could get to my gear at my house.

Gear That Should Be in Your Go Bag

I currently have four Go Bags of varying sizes: one for the trunk of my patrol car, one at my house, one at my office and one in the trunk of my POV.  Each one is configured a bit differently. On this occasion, I could only take the Go Bag from my office.  The bag itself is an Osprey Exos 38 – an ultra-lite through-hike pack designed for things like the PCT, but absolutely awesome for this type of application.  I had a pair of Under Armour Valsetz desert boots, socks, a full Nalgene bottle, a climbing helmet, Oakley A-Frame Assault Goggles, Mechanix and Oakley gloves, food stores, a Pelican light, a Stremlight ProTac 2L, emergency meds kit/IFAK, a pair of photochromic Oakley sunglasses, and a change of clothes (one pair of Columbia hiking pants and a Nike DriFit t-shirt).  My kit is set up for hitting the ground running; your kit should be configured for your “mission” – whatever that may be (parent, teacher, cop, warfighter, office manager, etc.).  At a minimum, you need the basics outlined above.  

However, due to my travel, I had to modify this kit quickly and remove the items with which the TSA might take issue.  This included a Springfield XDS (backup gun), a spare mag and a Buck Vantage Pro.   Then, I put my MacBook Air, associated power cables (so I could work in the event of travel delays) and my Qore Performance Slider Short and Full Arm Sleeve Systems inside and headed for the airport.  Once I was airborne, I would later figured out that I forgot to switch out the iPhone cable in my Go Bag for the new Lightening adapter – woops.  That was a major oversight and a good reminder to always update your kit whenever you have a structural gear change (like a new iPhone that requires a new type of charging cable).

Wait, your Qore Performance® what again? Why Qore Performance® Should be Standard Issue for Every Go Bag

You’ve probably heard about most of the gear above, but the Qore Performance® Slider Short and Full Arm Sleeve Systems may be new to you. Don’t worry, that won’t be the case for long. The conditions in San Diego were atypically brutal: 90F on the water, 100F + inland (where my station is) with four fires burning around North County at the time.  Humidity was in the low single digits, but the wind was 30+ mph.  On top of that, I would be in full duty gear, armor and all, plus our fire suits.  This would make for one miserable callout.

I love the Sheriff’s Department.  I don’t love our uniforms.  They are antiquated and outdated pieces cut according to design theory and materials that haven’t been updated since Jimmy Carter was pretending to be POTUS.  Even the thought of mixing these conditions with our uniforms is enough to make anyone start sweating, and is precisely the reason I came up with the idea for Qore Performance gear in the first place – we have a job to do, lives are at risk, the conditions are tough and I have to somehow stay frosty. But before Qore Performance, there was no mobile and lightweight technology that enabled us to keep hydrated and help us perform at our best. If ever there is a time when First Responders need to be on their game and conserving their energy for the mission at hand, it is when major regional disasters like the San Diego Wildfires of 2007 and now 2014 strike.  

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