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How do you pack your parachute? | Blair Christie - HQ Insider
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How do you pack your parachute? | Blair Christie

How do you pack your parachute? | Blair Christie

ShopHQ host Blair Christie returns to share how he helps to keep his family ready for anything!

Way up North here in Minnesota, we need to be prepared for a variety of things.  Bugs, bad weather in both summer and winter, too much or not enough precipitation, and in parts of the state…wildlife (bears).  Even in my suburban backyard I have had contentious moments with some surly turkeys. 

At some point we all say to ourselves “would I be prepared if…”. 

For me, the idea of a storm/tornado (or the derecho thing that hit Iowa…what the heck was that?!?!), civil unrest, an exceptional blizzard or just about anything else my mind could conjure up at 3am got me thinking I should get better prepared for those events, just in case. 

In my youth (before smart phones), I spent a night or two buried in a snow drift covered car, bugged out of an apartment building that caught fire, and first on scene for a variety of incidents…ever since, I’ve been better prepared, but with a wife and a couple of kids around, I’ve dialed it up a bit. 

If you hang around up North or anywhere there is bad winter weather, you likely have a decent idea of what to keep in the trunk or back of your car, especially if you are headed on a road trip.  Blanket, small shovel, ice scraper, protein bars, some warm weather-proof clothing and outerwear (especially gloves) and a jumpack/jumper cables and a way to charge your electronics etc.  Pre-pandemic my wife spent much of her work life traveling on the road around the surrounding states, so I made sure she was prepared for most situations by stashing a box of these supplies in her car at the end of each October.

With mega fires and drought in the west (we’re thinking of you BTW!), and the South and coastal regions are well into hurricane and tropical storm season.  I cannot tell you how to prepare for those specific events, but if you live there and are not perfectly prepared, you should investigate this ASAP.  No better time than now!  Seriously. Do. It.

I use the expression “Pack your own parachute” a lot.  To me it means being able to rely on yourself, no matter the situation, and no better person to do it than you.  For whatever reason…What would I do if I had to rely on myself/my family to survive any two-week period all on our own?  Here is what I did. 

  • No matter what happens, my first plan is to hunker down, but if that is not an option then I have a backup plan (always have a backup plan). Pack a “go bag” for each member of the family (backpack works best).  
    • Copies of all-important documents in a waterproof bag (license, will, passport, credit cards, prescriptions etc).
    • A supply of medications handy.
    • First aid kit.
    • A thumb drive and a paper copy of contact information of friends and relatives in waterproof bag.
    • A change or three of clothes appropriate for the area’s weather.
    • Protein bars, dried fruits and nuts as well as water.
    • Games and toys for kids, books for adults.
    • Camp soap and toiletries.
    • A lighter and matches, perhaps some chemical tinder or fire starter.
    • Water purification (I have life straws for everyone).
    • Cutlery, plates, multi-tool and a good camp knife is always handy.
  • Keep the gas tank mostly full, oil changed, tires and brakes checked.

To assist in hunkering down…

  • Enough water for each person to have a gallon to drink per day plus+. We happen to live in a state noted for the number of lakes around.  I keep about 10 gallons of water in jugs and bottles.
  • A 2 week+ supply of food (I’m more comfortable with a month’s supply). And please…only store food your family eats.  I keep it all in Rubbermaid tubs just in case I need to take it with me.  I also track the expiration dates and “rotate” the supplies on occasion picking up things when they go on sale.  Make sure you aren’t getting overly salty and sweet provisions. 
    • Pasta and sauce (many varieties, some with meat others without)
    • Rice and beans
    • Canned fruits and veggies and can openers
    • Packs of protein like salmon or chicken in those envelopes (hello Seabear!)
    • Protein bars, dried fruit and nuts
    • Cooking oil, flour, baking supplies etc.
    • Condiments and spices
    • Vodka (yes…for a variety of reasons!)
  • Seasonally and pandemic appropriate preparations.
    • Bug spray, sunscreen
    • Rain gear
    • Masks, sanitizer, soap, UV wands etc.
    • Paper towels, duct tape, perhaps a collapsible saw.
  • Cooking implements and camp stove.
  • Tent and sleeping bags in a handy area just in case.
  • Cash

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it should get you started.  It helps me sleep a bit better at night knowing I am prepared to help my family the best way I know how.  

Oh yeah…Toilet Paper!!!


✨ Who is Blair Christie? 

This once shy “prairie boy” from North Dakota has traveled the world and worked with hundreds of celebrities since beginning his career in home shopping over 30 years ago. He is quick witted and perhaps a bit mischievous at times, but he takes his role seriously as a steadfast problem solver and loyal customer advocate.


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