I know most of us have discussed in one form or another the things needed to perform the duties of a gate guard. Even so, I continue to get questions and continue to share my thoughts on the subject. Today we were placed on a gate and; oddly enough, as we wound down this seeming endless caliche road, my phone rang. It was the service person in front of us and he half seriously queried whether we had stocked up on groceries, given the distance we had covered. When an experienced person makes a comment like that, you know you're in the boonies. I replied that we were indeed prepared and had at least a weeks worth of groceries and more on board. I didn't even have to think about it. If we are not going on time off and have a day or two between gates we always shop and prepare ourselves in case we get "the call". It's second nature. We shop, we clean and we relax. We try to eat healthy; but that can be difficult, given the distance we sometimes are from stores and fresh food. Some guards buy in bulk, some buy freezers and stock up, some buy prepackaged/dehydrated foods; the options are endless. We like the meals in a box and have a small freezer we lug around. All the equipment in the world is not going to help slake your thirst or quell your appetite. Just as a quick example, we always go to a gate with a case of water, a five gallon jug of water, a variety of juices and teas, fresh bread (we sometimes make our own), a wide variety of canned goods, frozen dinners and vegetables, snacks, dairy products-including milk, and boxed meals. (Don't forget the PB&J LOL) We stretch the on board foodstuffs by occasionally purchasing fresh goods, including something to put into the smoker. We then split that into several meals. We rarely go into town between paydays or every two weeks or so. It's a lifestyle and it requires discipline to implement. Once you are forced to do without or travel 100 miles or more to get to the market and back, you'll start to figure it out. After a while it will become second nature and you to will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are prepared.