#19 – Host a Go Bag Party. Check.

My 35th birthday is this week and while I typically sing karaoke or play bingo with my friends, this year I went for a different approach. While I still wanted to gather with a few friends, I was hoping that instead of basking in the glow of my birthday, we could all come out with something special.

Hence, The Go Bag Party.

I’ve searched the internet and as a far as I can tell, this is my original idea and am laying claim to the Go Bag Party creation. On a Pinterest search, I did run across a few kids’ “disaster-themed” birthday parties, but they were more about lava cakes and running around with squirt guns – nothing educational (shame on you, parents!). Here’s how we went about it:

THE INVITE: “Here’s how it’s going to work – everyone who is coming will leave with a relatively complete survival “Go Bag” for emergencies. Sign up for an item listed below and bring enough for everyone who RSVP’s. On the party day, bring an empty backpack (or some sort of functional bag) and fill your bag with one of everything that is brought to the party.”

I provided a basic list, and as everyone signed up, I made sure to update the list:

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Then last night, 12 of us got together and spread our items out on the dining room table. Since buying one or two of a lot of little things can be time-consuming and expensive, this seemed like a great way to divide and conquer.

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The question became how do we easily distribute everything easily so that we all fill our bags without it being a total mess (especially since you would get more than one of some items)? Instead of setting up stations and moving around the table, I put my friend’s 8 year-old daughter to work and she quickly passed everything out one-by-one.

Since some items came in boxes of 15 or 20, we then divvied out the extras and talked a little bit about what else might be added to the bags later. The 8 year-old decided that she will keep her go bag in her cubby at school (genius!) so I really think that adults and kids should try this “party” out.

My bag was already set-up with some basics (which really did get put to the test during our epic snowstorm) and I have a relatively extensive kit in my car, but I knew that my bag needed a more comprehensive stash. This morning, I reorganized the old and the new:

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I love a bag with lots of straps and pockets, and organized several items into sandwich bags to keep them together and safe from moisture.

Once we were all done, we ate cheese and drank wine and gossiped. I would say the party was a success, no?

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