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Part 7 in a series.

  • Fill the gas tank - obviously. You're not going to want to have to freeze your buns off pumping gas at 0530 in -10 winds. 
  • Top off the wiper fluid - not everyone thinks about this.  Snow, salt, mud, schmutz; it all ends up on your windshield, especially when your workplace becomes a high intensity construction zone.   

You're going to accumulate a lot of crap during shutdown.  I tend to accumulate empty storage ware, coffee cups, V8 cans, energy shot bottles, tissues, baby wipes, bandage wrappers, and excessive tape/prewrap in the cabin.  Everything short of dead bodies ends up in the trunk.  Most of the time, I keep a few plastic grocery bags in the car to keep the disaster down, but during shutdown, all bets are off.  Clean out the car now, add a few trash receptacles, and hope for the best.  


Now that your trunk is clean, stock it.  Make sure your tools, hi-viz wear, PPE, and anything you take home every night is in the trunk.  Don't forget a few extra pairs of safety glasses, extra ear plugs, a personal first aid kit, and an extra hi-viz vest/shirt if you have one.  
  • Pack your winter travel supplies: scraper, snow shovel, salt/ice melt, and roadside emergency kit.
  • Finally, pack your duffle bag of extra clothes and toiletries (from Part 6).


Trunk is full, now for the cabin. 
  • Car chargers and adapters - do you have them all? I keep mine in a makeup bag, in the console.  I always make sure to have a generic USB/DC convertor, and spare charging cables for phone and laptop.
  • Make sure to have an umbrella or poncho for those nasty cold winter/spring rains.
  • I also pack a fleece blanket, because my car does not have seat warmers and it's a good 10 mins before the engine is warm enough to kick the heat on.  
  • In the summer, my must haves include sunglasses, towels for seats, and a reflective window shield for the front windshield.  The last thing you want is to burn your buns on hot seats or your hands on the steering wheel.


Now that the car is packed, time to get ready to start the vacation from your life. 
  • Make sure your home computer is on a UPS.  Just like leaving town, the major electronics should be on surge protectors and the computer on a UPS (especially if you have a home network or server set up).
  • Have a charging station set up.  Most people have one of these.  I don't (despite my best efforts to do so - it gets dismantled whenever someone needs to steal the power strip, sigh).  In general, know where you're going to charge your work-related electronics every night.
  • Set DVR as needed for the duration.  You don't want to miss a minute of the X-Files, right? 
  • Set multiple alarm clocks.  If you have trouble getting out of bed, like me, set an alarm clock on the other side of the room, and the bathroom, and the living room…


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