I’ve worked 9 or 10 events already this summer in various capacities including security, safety and transport and one thing that has struck me already this summer is how many staff show up to events completely unprepared for what is ahead of them. I’ve written about the importance of bringing an event bag and some tips in a previous article but I wanted to be a little more detailed here. Before I set off on Saturday morning this week I prepared my event bag on Friday and took some photos. I this article I want to go through the contents and explain why I bring them. My bags by no means perfect but it works for me. If anybody out there has any additional tips please feel free to post them in the comments.
- Wet gear
- Packable jacket (light and waterproof)
- Spare socks
- Spare t-shirt
- Sun cream (factor 50)
- Large torch
- Emergency medical kit
- First aid kit
- Hygiene kit
- Antiseptic spray and wipes
- Work gloves
- Licence holder
- Stain remover
- Spare notebook and pens
- Spare earpiece and hearing protection
- Disposable camera
- Energy gel and Berocca tablets.
- Shoe shine
- Cable ties
- Bin bag
Now that might seem like a lot but it all fits into a backpack which weights about 6.5kg. This stuff is in addition the regular security operative equipment I carry on my person of course.
My bag is a 5.11 Rush12 backpack. I’ve had it about 8 or 9 years and it still works perfectly. Its waterproof and has loads of pockets and compartments in it. I always attach a bright luggage tag to it with my contact details in case I either misplace the bag or leave it somewhere stupid and somebody thinks its suspicious.
Food and Water
I always try to wedge in a 2 litre bottle of water. While water is normally available at events it ca be hard to come by and the dehydration is a huge cause of illness among event staff . I also usually throw a zip-lock bag with food in there. Usually some cereal bars, nuts,seeds and fruit. Stuff with good nutrition. I keep some plastic cutlery in case I’m lucky enough to find hot food somewhere close.
I also keep and energy gel sachet in the bag in case I’m really struggling. Long distance runners will tell you how effective these are. Stick to one though unless you have packer extra toilet supplies. There’s Berocca in there as well to replace a lot of the minerals lost through sweat for the day and give an energy boost.
Now most companies at events feed their staff but everybody is busy and you may be late getting fed. Whining about it makes you hungrier so just bring some of your own.
Events are serviced by Portaloos and by midday the toilet paper can be like gold dust and the toilets can be lets just say unpleasant. I keep a zip lock bag with toilet roll, tissues, antiseptic wipes and hand cleaner in a bag just in case.
I also have some deodorant so that I dont smell like a herd of wild animals heading into a debrief or moving to a new position.
There is always medical cover at events and if there is an issue then its always best to leave t to the professionals. However in an emergency there may be seconds to spare when professional help is minutes away. I firmly believe that anybody serious about a career in security should have first aid training at a minimum. Once that is sorted you should have the equipment to support your training. I keep a medical emergency kit in my bag for serious and imminent emergencies and a basic first aid kit (not for use on attendees) for smaller stuff where I get hurt myself. The basic kit has the usual selection of bandages and band aids along with a range of medication like painkillers, anti diarrhoea tablets, Dioralyte sachets, blister treatments etc that might be needed.
One of the best feelings in the world is a change of socks around 3/4 way through the day at an event or for the drive home. It does wonders for the mindset. Same with a t-shirt change before the drive home. I also keep a packable waterproof jacket and wet gear for the inevitable Irish weather changes.
I’m the worlds worst for forgetting to apply sun cream usually leaves me with a scorched head (downside of being bald) by midday. I also cant stand hats otherwise Id have one in my bag, I had factor 50 on all weekend and still got burned so its by no means impossible but there more you can apply the better it will be for you the next day.
Nobody wants to look like Rambo at an event with gear hanging off them all over the place. However nobody wants to be hungry, thirsty wet or sunburnt either. i think having an event bag is a happy medium. I believe in never ever abdicating responsibility to anybody else for your own welfare and safety at work and this forms part of that ethos. Get an event bag and pack it for what you need. It might not look like mine and as long as it suits you that is perfect. As the saying goes if you fail to prepare you better prepare for failure.