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Chaplain Bug Out Bag
By Danny Lynchard, CMC

The Chaplain Bug Out Bag

Each of you, as a chaplain, has spent plenty of time in classrooms and lecture halls learning emotional and spiritual do’s and don’ts. In this article I would like to include some information you may not hear about in other places. If you’ve done this job for very long, however, you’ll immediately recognize the need….a bug out bag for chaplains.

I keep mine in the trunk of my vehicle and update it once every other month. At the risk of being completely uninteresting, as lists can often be, I’m going to tell you what I keep in my personal bug out bag so you have a starting point for creating your own.

Here are things I keep in my bag:

  1. Notebook – iPads are great but nothing is more dependable than paper.
  2. TWO pens because only one of them will work.
  3. Cell phone charger, the kind that can be used with AC or plug into your vehicle power supply. You will have your cell phone. It will run down.
  4. Proper Identification.
  5. Business cards.
  6. Flashlight because sometimes it gets dark.
  7. Good pocket knife. You can’t imagine how you will need one until you need one.
  8. A stash of money. If not you, someone will need it. I usually keep about $40.00 inside my bag.
  9. Disposable rain coat. Takes up little room and will get you through until you can get your main gear.
  10. Box of rubber gloves.
  11. Small bottle of hand sanitizer.
  12. Small box of tissues.
  13. Reflective vest.
  14. Breath mints so you don’t re-traumatize victims.
  15. A good list of hospitals and phone numbers.
  16. Some small stuffed animal toys. Kids will love you for thinking of them.
  17. Some sort of snack and a bottle of water. You need to change these frequently, which is also a great excuse for eating them.

There you go. You will probably think of other things but this is what I have developed over time. The only problem you will have is that as you get older, you will have to remember you have a bug out bag!

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