Appraiser Preppers

jeep-buried-in-snowstormThis could have been me. As I reached the turn-off for Teton Pass (connecting Jackson Hole, WY with Victor, ID), the large, lighted sign began to flash. “Hwy 22 Closed. Return to Jackson.” Bugger! As I got more information from the local news, I learned there had been an avalanche on the pass. The setback caused me to take the long way home that night. This was the picture from the scene the next morning. Thankfully, the driver was not killed or even seriously injured. Just shaken up.


During the winter months, I carry a large, military-style duffel bag with me in the car. In the Rocky Mountains (and especially with some of the places I go as a real estate appraiser), you just never know. In my bag, I carry the following:



⦁ Sleeping bagappraisertools
⦁ Extra clothes (including wool socks)
⦁ Snow clothes
⦁ Extra Boots
⦁ Toothbrush, deodorant, and other incidentals
⦁ Water
⦁ Food
⦁ Cash

My bag is designed to keep me warm if I slide off the road and cannot get help till the morning or set me up in a hotel room if both passes are closed (it does happen). What about you? Do you carry gear to assist you if find yourself in an unplanned situation? Comment below with some ideas.
I may have returned home after 8 PM that night, but at least I returned home.

28 thoughts on “Appraiser Preppers”

  1. Pingback: Appraiser Preppers - Appraisal Buzz

  2. Yup, indeed! Not only am I another appraiser that drives a Jeep Wrangler like in the photo above, but I also carry an amply supply of gear and equipment to last me a few days and nights in winter, in the event of the unexpected.

  3. Me too. Only I carry a towel and a bathing suite here in Charleston, SC in case I should appraise a multi-million dollar estate where the owner is out of town and they tell me where the key is to access to property. They usually add the comment ” the place is all yours”. After all, I have to make sure all the utilities are on and working, even the Jacuzzi 😉

  4. I do keep an extra jacket and blanket in my spare tire well; but I’m not quite as prepared with food. Thanks for the reminder, I’ll have to upgrade my survival pack. I do have snow shoes in the winter to do appraisals. We don’t get many avalanches here in NY since our snow is much more wet and not many steep mountain passes but I’ve had to wait it out for a snow plow a few times. We’ve been lucky since the past few years have been quite mild in our immediate area (they have been hit harder to the north and east). Hope i didn’t jinks myself by saying that : )

  5. We just finished checking my “Doomsday Kit” over the weekend and adding some additional items. I’m always in the outlying mountain areas of Colorado. I keep supplies for year round camping not just only winter events. I’ve yet to have to stay the night in my Yukon but, if ever the time comes, I have supplies for 4-6 people. When there are road closures, vehicles are sometimes stuck in groups and I’d rather make us all a bit more comfortable. In addition to tents and sleeping bags, clothing and food, I keep extra mobile devices with different carriers in an attempt to eliminate “spotty” coverage. I have multiple shovels, 80 lbs of cat litter, cooking fuel, lighting and of course the fun stuff like fishing gear and other entertainment. Might as well make the best of the situation.

  6. I must hand it to ya’ll that was one part of appraising I have not thought of…..I am very lucky I work in the Greater Houston Area and that type of weather does not happen here. If there is any ice on the road the city will close all roads, for the folks around this town do not know the first thing about driving in cold weather. To all of you that make your living in this type of weather, all I can say is be as prepared as much as possible, and I wish you safety and good luck.

    This article made me realize how luck I really am. Thank you

  7. I live in an urban/suburban/rural area of the Southeast. I carry several extra extra bottles of water that I rotate out once a month, power bars, tools including power tools, small fire extinguisher, weather radio with spare batteries, two flashlights, lace up boots, emergency blanket, rain suit, and two days of dry food/trail mix. Plus protection with extra rounds. Still appraising lots of vacant foreclosures and you never know what the situation is going to be including what the neighbors think about you being there.

  8. You may or may not know the meaning of the word “bugger” but my British wife would have a problem with it ;). Glad to see someone else thinks a weapon/ammo belongs in the kit.

  9. Amen! Prepared in WV is a necessity. I’ve only been stuck out by weather overnight once but the emergency kit kept me comfortable. Always leave a time in and an expected time out of a backwoods site. Carrying protection is essential. Add a saw, a come along and stout rope to the above and you have the perfect kit. I have had to cut saplings and build a bridge after a piece of back road collapsed under the truck. Took me four hours to cut, build a pad for the jack and pull the vehicle ahead. You just never know.

  10. Great idea if you’re in snow country, but in Tennessee, as the old saying goes, “if you don’t like the weather, stick around cause it will change”. We went from record
    high’s on Christmas Day (around 75degrees) to a chili 32 for a low within 24 hours! So as a result freezing temps are not a concern, I carry a few essentials for Tennessee appraising – hiking and mud boots for muddy, new construction, job sites, an extra tape measure, my iPad and iPhone and a battery charger, a cooler with water, a snack or two, a rain suit and my conceal carry for those challenging areas (rural and urban).

  11. I live in Phoenix, AZ and I don’t have to deal with the weather, however…I do carry a change of clothes, shoes a blanket and jacket. I’m rethinking about the ammo though…lately it seems more necessary than ever!

  12. I’m in California, so having a gun and amo in my car can be prosecuted as a felony and can therefore result in possible revocation of my appraisal license. Can’t get a concealed weapons permit without having been the victim of a violent crime either. They make it impossibly difficult to the point that getting a concealed carry permit is harder than winning the lotto. The newest law also makes it a crime to have a clip with more than 7 or 9 rounds (I forget which) even when the gun was manufactured to hold 14 rounds.

  13. S Millbern
    Depends what county in CA your in… yes gun laws are out of control, but ccw is possible and being a license appraiser is a very good cause. If you live in LA or SF forget it. And the
    Law is 10 rounds in magazine.

  14. I’ve come very close to spending the night, in the snow, in my car, in the middle of nowhere while out on appraisal assignments. I should have a survival kit. Thank you for making me think about it again.

  15. I used to carry my rollerblades, a beach towel, workout clothes and gloves, sunglasses, and my protein bar and water bottle …just in case I got caught near the Santa Monica Pier around rush hour (which is all the time), and had to wait it out, suffering … blading (back when it was in style) near the sand, and working out on the bars and rings, waiting out the traffic to die down, and then trying to rush home to beat the frigid CA weather (60-65 deg in winter …brrr…brrr).

    Sorry, couldn’t resist, we are spoiled here in SoCal, although, I’m a little further from the beach these days. I feel for all you that have to del with “real weather” while working, be safe and prepared!

  16. Wool blanket, extra blue jeans (in case I fall on a bad site), rubber boots (including heavy socks), extra pullover shirt, toothbrush, water, granola bars, cash, road flares, 12 ga. flare gun and flares, jumper cables, motor oil, tranny fluid, small tool kit, knife, ratchet straps, rope, comalong, extra tape measure, 12v cell phone charger, hand towels, gloves, flashlight, rechargeable 2 million candlepower spotlight, 12v air pump / light combo, fix a flat goop, wire, twine, and a few other things I won’t list here.

    I frequently go to rural areas and “problem areas” alike, so I have always had a concealed carry permit and pack the appropriate “tools” and a spare mag.

  17. Hats off to all you rural/mountain/cold climate guys/gals…seems like alot of additional planning goes into an inspection…er I mean, observation. Yall be safe.

  18. I keep “Get Home” bags in both cars. They are designed to sustain me for 3 days, in the event that I am stranded, or need to abandon the car and walk home (clothes, food, water, toiletries, shelter, first aid/trauma kit, communications, personal protection and other survival items) . These are in addition to my standard EDC bag, so there are some redundancies, but two is one and one is none 🙂

  19. Wow. Over 20 comments on survival, two by one person on communication. Pogo said it right: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  20. As a San Diego appraiser I have been to the beach in the A.M. to do work (and surf), been to Mount Laguna to do work (and snow sled), and went to the desert to work (and play) all in the same day. I to carry a change of cloths, but based on the diversity and the complexity of this SINGLE COUNTY, my change in cloths are a wetsuit, snowsuit, and a tank top.
    Seek the truth.

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