What's in your onboard tool kit?
The things you have in your console and in your vehicle reflect a lot about you. Preparedness is everything to me. I like to be prepared.
Even before I was a Marine, I was a Boy Scout. And their eternal motto "Be Prepared" is a lifestyle that lends itself
to always expect the unexpected. So with that in mind, I am going to share with you the goodies I have in my center
console and stashed in the other "storage places" in my Land Rovers.
As you can imagine, nothing is worse than having BBQ stuck between your teeth. Unless that would be a bit
of peanut or celery from your second favorite dish, Kung Pao chicken.
Okay so maybe your second favorite dish is not Kung Pao chicken. But it is very handy to have some dental floss around. You
can use it for more than just your dental hygiene in a pinch. You can sew large wounds shut with it, sew up a rip or tear in
your overcoat. It's strong and durable.
Another totally obvious item is the generic sewing kit. There are many kinds of this important item. Some are really
small like the ones you get at a Holiday Inn. But I prefer the kind that is just short of a surgical kit. I have sewn
up basketball jerseys, tacked a loose hem, and reattached the strap on my Cherokee bag at a reenactment with my sewing kit.
I haven't had to sew anyone's wounds up yet, but if necessary I'll be ready.
US Issue Pocket Knife
Avaiable in nearly every Army/Navy Surplus store in America for three
saw bucks, perhaps less if you are a good
shopper. Mine was given to me by my dad, when they probably cost 5$ in a surplus store. Or he liberated it from it's
service to the US Navy. I'm not sure. This is just a really handy thing to have around. It's got a beer bottle opener,
can opener, screw driver, leather punch, and knife blade. You won't be whipping it out to defend yourself or to dispatch
an enemy sentry. For that you will need USMC Fighting Knife.
I don't carry mine in the Rover normally. For all the jobs that require bigger blades I have the handy dandy
WW2 US Army issue machete. Also inherited from my dad.
Ever try to get out of your Rover after you've crashed in to a deep body of water whilst your windows were up?
Me neither. But if you did and had the presense of mind to grab this tool it will quickly dispatch any window you
employ it on. I've often wondered if I would even be able to find this tool if I needed it. I mean once the enevitible
freezing water hits you, PANIC has probably already set in and right thinking is gone quickly just like your last gasp of breath.
Finger Nail Clippers
Almost as important as dental floss in your on board tool kit, is the most amazing tool in the universe. At one time
these were one of the most feared tools on the surface on the earth. So awesome that the TSA even banned them from being
carried on to an airplane. They've relaxed a bit and nail clippers are
now acceptable. But
whether or not you choose to carry it on a flight you need this handy item right near you. You can fix any hang nail,
clean out grease and dirt from beneath your finger nails, and clip those annoying
Irish pennants off your clothes. I did
this a lot in the summer of 1982.
Eyeglasses Repair Kit
I imagine I've purchased at least a dozen of these things over the years. If you don't wear glasses or nicer
sunglasses you've probably never encountered screws of the size they use on optical wear. I've needed to fix a
fair number of glasses of my own and friends so having one of these around is pretty awesome.
First Aid Kit
Similar to me getting a bicycle for my pet fish, my wife bought me a first aid kit for the Rover. When we recently
went on our trip out west, she bought me another one. So now the back end of the Discovery is equipped like a
forward aid station. If I could secure
a nicer stethoscope and an operating table I could setup a M*A*S*H unit
at our campsites. I want everyone to be clear on this, I wouldn't have any idea what to do with half the stuff inside those kits.
Short of a merit badge and some training in the Marines to stop sucking chest wounds, anyone under my care is probably doomed.
These don't even need to be mentioned. Since you've driven a
Lucifer Lucas wired automobile you've needed
a set of jumper cables. Splurge a little bit and get a nice set. It wouldn't do to have them melt on you when you are jumping a
particularly difficult vehicle out in the bush.
Wisk broom's are very handy to have. This one was made by convicts in our Oklahoma State Prisons. It has worked well for many years.
The Center Console
Most surfaces in the Land Rover are going to have bits of kit that the owner has felt inclined to purchase to make
his or her life easier. This picture shows a cigar lighter adapter to run TWO items instead of just one from that auxillary
power port. It also has a pair of 100% UV blocking OU sunglasses. It also has a cell phone charger. The buttons with RovErica on them
are not designed to make life easier, in fact we bought them to show everyone how proud we were of her being a film girl for our local
High School Football team. Go T-Wolves. And secretly we bought them because we knew she would hate it if we wore them at football games. And we do.
The Center Cubby Box
Probably designed to store gloves and such the center console becomes the catch all for many items. Each item
is strategically placed in the cubby as you can see. Visable are a calculator to calculate the 10-14mpg I get. Eyedrops and a
bottle of ibuprofen are also visable. These are to quell the normal aches and pains of riding with a wife and children. A
paint brush which I use to dust the vents on the dash when they get dusty. Enough pens to ensure not to ever be without a
quality writing utensil. Coupons for food restaurants, my fingernail clippers, a set of keys to my mother's house. And way to
the right some Land Rovers Only bumper stickers round out the contents.
The Door Storage
The door storage on a Discovery, I believe, was not well thought out. It is ample in it's space but once you close the door you cannot
access anything in the back end of the well. In the pockets I store my
birding book, a bible, maps, some tissues, my pocket knife, my wisk brush,
and a few other things.
The Rear Storage
The Land Rover Discovery models that don't have 7 passenger seating have a storage bin on the right rear. In mine you will
find some tools, recovery straps, hold down straps, rope and a couple of sets of leather gloves.
The Cargo Area
Being an "on the go" parent does not lend to forgetfulness and lack of preparedness. So in the back of the Discovery a
plethera of items reside depending on the season. You can see in this shot my umbrella, which all british automobiles must have. My
machete for taming the bad, bad bush. Two stadium seats to ease the stress of watching games. A blanket for taming the ever
present Oklahoma Wind. A variety of "watch caps" to warm the ears. And a pair of my son's friend's running shoes, which I'm still
wondering why I'm hauling around.
Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.