I have been doing this already. I use a portable version of Dropbox to sync to the thumbdrive. Inside the Dropbox container I have a portable version of Truecrypt with a passphrase over 25 characters long, a hidden keyfile, and Serpent+AES+Twofish encryption. Within the Truecrypt volume I keep a full copy of the Bitcoin client along with my BTC.
I have 3 of these thumbdrives, one I keep on my person, another is stored in a hidden location at work, and another is stored in a safe with my car title, will, emergency cash, passport, etc.
i have 4 Ironkeys with which i would like to do this exact same thing. but how did u get a full version of Bitcoin client to run off the USB? is the entire Bitcoin Directory inside the USB as well? can u direct me to an easy reference about how to load portable versions of Dropbox and Truecrypt onto the USB? this is exactly what i've been looking for.