Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fighting Load Contest Entry #1 Prairie Patriot Part 2 of 2

Today I am pleased to bring you the first entry in our Fighting Load Contest. We'll be talking chest rigs and battle belts as well as guns and get home bags/ assault packs. Get yours together to win some great prizes including:
1st: Blackhawk 3 day Assault Pack ($90) AND a $50 gift certificate from LuckyGunner.com ($50 value) plus 2 copies of The Reluctant Partisan by John Mosby.
2nd: HERC stove from Titan Ready Water ($169 value) plus The Reluctant Partisan by John Mosby.
Note: Prizes 1 and 2 are really closely matched. As such the overall winner can pick the Lucky Gunner stuff OR the HERC. 2nd place gets what is left. 2 books will go to #1 and 1 book to #2.
3rd Place: 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles donated by LPC Survival ($69 value)
4th Place:  A Lifestraw donated by Camping Survival ($20 value)
5th Place: A pair of Gyver Gear survival tin's
6th Place: The Western Front (hardcopy) or 3x e books by Archer Garrett.
Wildcard: This one goes to whoever I want to give it to for whatever reason I feel like. It will be a grab bag donated by yours truly. The exact makeup is TBD depending on what I have lying around  and may include books, gear, medical stuff or even a couple silver dimes. ($30+  value).

For a good example of a post reference my EDC Contest entry or Max's  Battle Belt discussion. Those should give you a good idea what type of thing I'm looking for. I will probably do a full fighting load post some time after the new year.

The contest is going to run from today 16 December to  around1 February. Voting will start after the last entry is shown on the blog. Voting will run for about a week and will decide the winner's who get the prizes.

Read all the details here

This is taking off a bit slower than I wanted. Depending on demand maybe it will last longer or maybe I'll adjust next years goal downward. Anyway for you that means the odds of winning one of our awesome prizes are really high if you throw together a quick entry. Seriously at this point it would be foolish not to enter.

Prairie Patriot’s Integrated Systems to Get Home and into the Fight

 Read Part 1 of Prairie Patriot's Entry here

Everybody has a routine to their life.  Some folks commute into the office, work their daily grind and then commute back home at the end of the day.  Others are fortunate enough to be able to “tele-commute” and work from the comfort of their own home.  And some have the privilege of flying into entirely different cities to do their work.  I fall into this last category.

I have always tried to look at my level of readiness through the lens of what I do in my day to day routine.  Almost half of my week is spent in the Detroit Metro Area.  The other half is spent in my hometown of Kansas City, MO.  Therefore, I have two “get home” bags.

Escape from Detroit Get Home Bag

If the SHTF when I am in this area, then chances are likely that I will want to get out right away.  Detroit is about what most people imagine it.  A person does not want to be caught up in that mess if the shoe drops.  I want to try and get to my family back in Kansas City “right f’ing now”.

If the airport is still open, then the plan is to get on my flight home.  Otherwise, I will drive my rental car the almost 12 hour drive back to the KC metro area.  This is assuming I have been lucky and recognized the signs of urban unrest, sudden infrastructure collapse, etc before the interstates become parking lots.

Thus, my Detroit Get Home System relies on items I can comfortably carry with me on a weekly basis and also in conjunction with my cache that is on site

Swiss Gear Laptop Computer Backpack (not pictured) which contains:

·         40 oz Klean Kanteen – Stainless steel so that I can boil water in it in a pinch
·         Katadyn Micropur water purification tablets – When boiling is not an option
·         Butane lighter
·         Cliff Bars - As many as I can stuff into the remaining space in the pack
·         Altoid Tin Minor Boo Boo Kit - includes ibuprofen, band aids, alcohol wipes, and insect sting wipes
·         Blow Out Kit - Adventure Medical Kit with CAT Tourniquet.  The AMK contains a 25 g Quikclot sponge, (1) 5” x 9” Trauma Pad, Pair of Nitrile Gloves, (1) hand wipe, (1) duct tape 2” x 26”, (1) Bandage, Triangular, (2) Sterile Gauze Dressing 4” x 4”, (2) Sterile Gauze Dressing 2” x 2”, (1) Bandage, Conforming Gauze 3”, (4) After Cuts and Scrapes Antiseptic Wipes and the bag is re-sealable for bio-waste and sucking chest wounds.  The kit costs about $25 last I checked.
·         Craftsman Keychain Screwdriver widget – Has four different flat heads.  Has come in handy in several situations!
·         SOL Emergency Bivvy – About the only emergency shelter that is practical when traveling for business on a weekly basis.  It packs tightly down and weighs just a few ounces.
·         Suunto Vector – This has a built in compass, altimeter and barometer.  I have used the compass and altimeter in conjunction with a topo map when hiking.  I have confidence that I can navigate if I were to lose or damage my lensatic compass.
·         Paracord Bracelet – The bracelet unravels to approximately 10-12 feet of cordage
·         Paper Maps of the Detroit Metro Area – Picked these up as a AAA member for free
·         Cammenga Model 27 Phosphorescent Compass – If you do not know how to use a lensatic compass, then do yourself a favor and either read up, or, better yet, take a wilderness navigation course.
·         Garmin Nuvi GPS unit – Loaded with maps of the entire United States.  Always charged and ready to go.
·         Loratidine Tablets (Anti-histamine/Allergy) – Generally, I do not have bad allergies, but sometimes they do flare up.
·         Loperamide Tablets (Anti-Diarrheal) – I really hope I would not have to use these in a SHTF situation.
·         Nylon Cutlery – Used for eating pouched foods
·         Paper Napkins - multiple uses, hygiene, fire starter, etc
·         Fenix PD32 Flashlight – This has actually saved my bacon while in an electrical grid power outage at the hotel I was staying at.  The power was out for 12 hours.  While I do like this flashlight for the price point, I have a few concerns about it when used in a life threatening situation.  The tail cap is a clicky cap, meaning, that while the adrenaline is surging, it may be activated and stay on when I do not intend to.  Also, the bevel around the edge does not allow me to press the button against a flat surface.  This limits how I use it with my weapon.  I am looking at switching to a Surefire Fury that has the ridges built into the body of the flashlight for manipulation in conjunction with a pistol.
·         Hot Hands Chemical Warmers (when appropriate for season)
·         Handkerchief – Multiple uses including filtering out particulates in water, cold compress, etc.
·         Sunglasses – El Cheapo pair until I can afford something nicer.
·         iPhone (not pictured) – Assuming it still works, then this becomes a huge asset when trying to figure out how to make it home.  There are apps that crowd source real time traffic information that will allow for alternate routes to be plotted.  Obviously, this can work against you as well.
·         Wallet with Cash (not pictured) – I mention this only because if there is a infrastructure outage, then cash may be the only accepted form of payment in times of crisis.

The aforementioned cache is made up of the following supplies:

·         Gerber Ripstop II – Small, but wickedly sharp blade.  Also, extremely light weight.
·         Bottled Water
·         Non-Perishable Items including nuts, Cliff Bars, Protein Bars, Uncle Ben’s Pouched Rice, Pouched Tuna, Pouched Chicken
·         Michigan Road Atlas – This will get me to the southwest Michigan border once I am clear of the Detroit Metro Area.

As an aside, I have a good pair of hiking boots and weather appropriate hiking clothes with spare changes of socks packed along with my business clothes in my carry on duffel bag.  I never check my bag and have never had to plane side check it to date.

You may be wondering where my personal protection items are.  I have wrestled with this one.  I considered leaving a pistol on site, but the cache is in an office building and I do not have complete control on who accesses the office/building.  That leaves me with the option of checking the pistol every week.  I have heard some stories of firearms “disappearing” in the Detroit airport.  I simply do not feel it is worth the risk of losing one of my pistols and the hassle it takes to do this on a weekly basis.  That is just me.  If I had a way to secure the weapon on site and leave it, then I would.  I have considered purchasing a large knife and pepper spray to leave on site.  It would be better than nothing.

Thank God I’m Not in Detroit Get Home Bag

Let us say that I am fortunate enough to be in KC, but still away from my house when some bad stuff comes down the pike.  I then will rely on my kit that sits in the vehicle and goes with me all over the KC metro area.  This is much better equipped than the Detroit Get Home Bag since I am not as constrained by carry on size and, frankly, convenience/practicality.  Keep in mind that I have my EDC with me in addition to the below.

Eagle Industries A-III Molle Assault Pack contains:

·         Hiking Shoes (not pictured) – Merrell Moab Mid Ventilators.  They fit perfectly.  I am looking into a full on boot and am interested in the Merrell Sawtooth.
·         Smartwool socks – I wear these socks all year round.  They feel great on my feet and wick moisture away very well.
·         Pants – For the summer I have North Face hiking pants (pictured) that can be converted to shorts.  The material is lightweight and wicks moisture very well.  The pants have cargo pockets for additional storage.  In the winter, I pack Wrangler Riggs Workwear cargo style pants.  These are made from a heavy material and are resistant to ripping and abrasion.
·         Base Layer – In the summer I wear Underarmor boxer briefs and Russell athletic shirts.  These both wick away moisture very well.
·         Rain jacket (not pictured) – I have found that Columbia rain jackets have been breathable enough for me while keeping me virtually dry.
·         Winter Gloves (not pictured) – Heritage Ranch Winter Work Gloves are my all time favorite gloves for cold weather.  They are warm due to the Thinsulate 40 and waterproof.
·         Stocking Cap (not pictured)
·         Heavy Jacket (not pictured) – I wear a M65 style type heavy coat.  Plenty of pocket room and comes with a removable liner.  Perfect for up or down layering depending on the temperature and activity level.
·         Mid Layer (not pictured) – I prefer a zip up Patagonia fleece.  It has only one vertical zip pocket that I tend to keep my iPhone in.
·         Work Gloves – Leather work gloves are a must if you are on the go and you need to do any kind of hands on work that includes cutting, chopping, etc.
·         Shemagh – These have multiple uses.  Head wraps, cold compresses, etc.
·         Spork – I went all out and went titanium.  Hah!
·         1 MRE
·         Cliff Bars
·         Jerky
·         Nuts
·         5 hour energy drink – Got to stay alert on the go.
·         Klean Canteen (not pictured)
·         Bottled Water (not pictured)
·         Water Purification Tablets 
·         Emergency Bivvy (not pictured)
·         Spare mags for EDC pistol and rifle
·         Crossbreed IWB magazine pouch – To be honest, I am not a big fan when using this in conjunction with my IWB holster.  It tends to be too much around my waist.  But, if I needed to keep a low profile, then this would be better than going without.
·         Tom Tom GPS – I got this for free from a co-worker who didn’t want it.  Now it sits in the bag charged and ready to go.
·         Map of KC Metro (not pictured)
·         Cammenga Model 27 Phosphorescent Compass
·         Iphone 4S (not pictured)
·         Motorola Talkabout Two Way Radio – Be sure to agree ahead of time to channels that you will use with others you are trying to hook up with.
·         Signal Mirror – The one I currently have is plastic. I would like to get one that is made of actual glass which tend to be more reflective.
·         Flare – Can be used to signal for help or to mark a spot for others.
·         Whistle – This can be used to call for help or to communicate to others if need be.
·         Chap Stick
·         Benadryl
·         Ibuprofen
·         Altoid Tin Boo Boo Kit
·         Adventure Medical Kit Trauma Pak
·         Tourniquet
·         Chem Lights – Backup light source
·         Coleman Headlamp – This is lightweight and comfortable with three different intensity settings
·         Butane lighter
·         Matches – Regular and waterproof.
·         Toilet Paper – For obvious reasons as well as tinder
·         Cash
·         Chemical Hand Warmers (not pictured)
·         Sunglasses (not pictured)
·         Ball Cap
·         Skyline Kershaw Fixed Blade Knife with custom Kydex sheath – This blade is lightweight, thin and it came wicked sharp from Kershaw.  If you can find this still, then I highly recommend getting one.

End Entry

Ryan here. I like a lot about these bags and it makes sense they are both adapted to the specific environment/ situation they are for.  I am however a bit concerned that the Detroit bag needs to be part of a larger plan given the distances involved though admittedly that slips out of the scope of this contest. Additionally it might be worth considering storing or caching a cheap handgun up there. An old revolver or a S&W Sigma can be had for around $300. Sure there is risk to everything but if you get creative and tape/ texture/ paint it into a wall or something the risk of theft drops a lot. Also worst case you'd have a heater lying around in Murder Central. Just things to think about.

What do you think of these bags?

1 comment:

Prairie Patriot said...

Trust me, over the past year and a half I've been traveling to Detroit, I've wrestled with how I'd actually get the hell out if things went south.

The good news is that in about another month I'll be in KC permanently.

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