Whether it’s an inch of “wintery mix” shutting down the city, or our zany way of setting an entire interstate on fire, Atlanta is always going to Atlanta.
As the Transgender Hillbilly, I am always going to be ready, and I can help you do the same. The prospect of finding ourselves stranded in frustrating situations in Atlanta isn’t far fetched, but take it from a queer who worries about everything:
That doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice to remain in the city we love.
This holiday season, give your favorite queer Atlantan gifts that will always be in style: preparedness and survival.
Stuck in your car? Reserve gas for eventually getting home.
Extremely compact and lightweight. They fold to fit your pocket and look like an oversized piece of foil. Perfect for maintaining body heat, but can also be used to insulate your car. Buy packs of 5 or more and they’re generally under a dollar each.
Disposable Hand & Foot Warmers
Individually wrapped and sold in bulk, these easily slide into gloves or socks and provide 5 to 10 hours of heat.
Compact Sleeping Bag
In terms of comfort and storage space, a sleeping bag is the best bet for staying warm in sub-freezing temps. When combined with a space blanket, you’re good for most extremes.
First Aid Kit
Purchase a first aid kit with bandages, antiseptics, scissors, tweezers, and pain relievers. Supplement with travel-size items like Pepto chew tabs, cold and sinus meds, and antibiotic ointment. A portable urinal is a great “oh yeah, that’s going to happen” item.
Don’t Get Hangry
You can survive being stranded in a car overnight with no food or water, but it isn’t fun. It can inhibit the ability to make sound decisions and isn’t safe when there are other underlying physical conditions. A few gifts make going hungry unnecessary.
Insulated Storage Bag
Available in a variety of sizes, a good bag allows many foods to be stored without fear of spoilage. While most pantry items seem like they would be fine left in the car until you need them, think about both 95- and 25-degree days.
High Protein Snacks and Comfort Food
If you have any warning to pack at all, cured meats, nuts, dried raisins and fruits, peanut butter, aged hard cheeses still in wax, and other long shelf-life items, are great preps to keep hunger at bay and satisfy boredom-induced munchies.
Water Storage Container
The thing about emergencies is that you can never be sure they’re about to happen. It might seem easy to just put store-bought water in the car, but reusable containers are more durable, and you won’t have to worry about BPH leeching into the water on warmer days.
Save Your Energy
A portable power source can save car batteries and sanity, but it’s still important to be conservative when there isn’t a definitive end to the situation in sight. These items will keep you charged up and entertained.
Multi-Purpose Portable Power Source
With a variety of options, my personal choice is the NOCO Genius Boost Plus. It can fully charge a smart phone or tablet four times over, it can easily jump start a car, be used as a flashlight, and is compact enough to fit in your jacket.
Even with a fully charged power pack, you’ll want to reserve the battery on your phone. A battery-powered radio with FM bands keeps you informed and entertained.
Games & Other Distractions
Streaming Game of Thrones may seem like a great, on-theme idea, but it’s terrible for battery life. Keep busy instead with a deck of cards, books, trashy magazine, and compact games to get through the night.
Success is in the details. For instance, having a power pack, but no charging cables serves no purpose. Being able to see, open food packaging, and seal drafty car windows makes all the difference in the world. Assemble a small tool kit with accessories for all of those “what if” situations: battery-powered flashlight, multiple usb charging cables, duct tape, pocketknife, scissors, etc.
This article originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the full issue below.