Showing posts with label Kit Bag. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kit Bag. Show all posts

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Emergency Use Vs Longer Term Survival, System Compatability and Overall Gear Thoughts

Imagine if you will a continuum between the shortest term emergency we can think of (say an hour or two) all the way to a true Hatchet style long term survival situation.

Shorter term situations inherently lend themselves to carrying just the things we need.

Example, lets say I work 10 miles from home and am a pretty fit guy but not a marathon running champion (a reasonable description of me). Something happens, say a disaster in which a bridge a half mile from work goes down or is blocked. Thankfully this being Louisiana and not near the Mississippi it's not a huge water obstacle. Lets say it is the dry season so the water is shallow enough to walk but vehicles aren't getting through. There are no reasonable alternative routes so I'm walking home. Well what do I need? A comfortable set of seasonally appropriate clothes with a hat, good broken in boots, and a couple quarts of water. Some munchies to replace a meal or four would be nice. A weapon would be good as I just might need it for self protection. A flashlight in case it gets dark before I make it home. Really I do not NEED anything else for this scenario. I'll be home in under 3 hours hoofing it and that's if I can't hitch a ride with somebody.

On the other hand there is a breaking point where you simply cannot carry enough consumables to rely on them. One can't carry enough food to walk hundreds of miles or live for months as well as the other stuff they will need. I hesitate to say there is an exact breaking point but it is more of a gradual transition from consumables to tools and equipment to gather food, traps, fishing stuff, etc all. For example I do not carry trot lines, a cast net, 110 conifer traps, an ax and a cast iron frying pan all the time, though I would if I was going to the woods for a year.

On the low end I still like to be fairly tool heavy (as Dave Canterbury said). To me there are two primary reasons for this. First of all I like to keep a variety of capabilities all the time, cutting stuff, starting fires, carrying water, heating up water/ cooking, etc. The basic stuff to do this is within arms reach at work being a Power Point Ranger getting ready for some briefing. Second short term emergency situations can very easily turn into longer term ones. Situations start out bad then get worse. Lets say a violent conflict makes it so I cannot get back home and there are no good options in other population centers (Partisans in Central/ Eastern Europe during WWII come to mind) so I'm headed to the deepest darkest woods in the area. All of a sudden I need tools more than another box of granola bars.

Based on this my kits tend to include: a good fixed blade knife, some sort of container I could cook in, cordage, flint and steel (lighters too of course), some sort of shelter plan, etc. 

System compatibility is important. All your stuff needs to work together in it's intended pattern of use. This means your holster, fighting load (if applicable), ruck sack, etc all have to fit together. Carrying a handgun with modern type hiking backpacks that rely heavily on a big padded hip belt is difficult. Your options are to put the gun in a fanny pack, strap it to your pack's hip belt, put it in the pack or employ a chest rig/ hill people gear kit bag. A normal holster simply is not in the cards.

Honestly this is what led me to the current tiered system I am employing. I redid my fighting load into a war belt plus a plate carrier with (to be determined) pouches or the TAP. I have an assault pack/ get home bag as my level 2.5. It lives in my car but could be attached to the ALICE (which would suck a lot) or configured as needed based on the mission. Lastly is my Bug Out Bag.

Not saying the way I did it is the only way. There are a lot of ways to skin the proverbial cat. What matters is that your gear is compatible with the stuff it is going to be used with. Testing it is really the way to figure out of it will in fact work together.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Concealed Carry While Running

I received a question about carrying a gun while running today.

Carrying while running is reasonable and prudent but you have got to be realistic about what it will be.  A compact or subcompact pistol of a fairly light flavor like the various aluminum/ titanium/ whatever or polymer gun will carry pretty well. A full sized steel pistol, specially a big N frame is not going to carry well for running. Also a lethargic 2 miler around the neighborhood/ lake is different from 5 or 10k or even longer, especially if you are concerned about speed.

There are lots of options out there and I have not bought then tried them all. I immediately discounted anything on the waist or in the crotch. Also a shirt which the gun is held with Velcro into does not seem like a good option. Suppose a light gun in a fanny pack might work but haven't tried it.

I have carried running in two ways: a camel back and a hill people gear kit bag. Can talk about each of them.

The camel back I used is one of the ones with a couple pouches on top of the bladder compartment. I think it is the MULE but am not sure. The gun I carried was a little lightweight .38. It carried very well. I like to have water for longer runs and I didn't notice the bit of extra weight from the gun. The downside is that it is not at all close to a quick draw. You would have to take it off 1 shoulder, pull it around to the front then unzip the pouch.

The Hill People Gear kit bag is another option I have tried. It's review is overdue but basically it is a chest rig that instead of having a mag pouches has a bag with a main compartment, a smaller front pouch and a dedicated pouch to carry a handgun. I like this option a lot. Packed properly for running (pretty light) and adjusted properly it is pretty comfortable, especially if you are used to wearing chest rigs. Not as comfortable as slipping it into a pouch on the camel back but still quite acceptable. The up side is that the weapon is safely on your torso and the draw is pretty decent. Far better than fumbling around with something on your back. Personally I hook the kit bag (they call it docking) to my camel back for I go trail running. In the kit bag there is a pistol (either an airweight .38 or Glock 19), a reload, a knife, a lighter and some other similar items.

Anyway that is what I have tried and how it has worked. If you carry a gun while running, especially one of the non uuber tiny .22/ .25/ Kel Tech .32/ .380 type variety please share how you do it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lifestraw Initial Impressions

Camping Survival was nice enough to send me a lifestraw to check out. It is a pretty neat little product. Very simple and priced around $20 so you can have one in the car, another in a kit, a third in your EDC type bag or whatever. Also they weigh like 2 ounces which makes carrying one an easy decision. They are a bit long but they are thin enough to easily fit just about anywhere. 

The Lifestraw was designed for disasters and such in the third world so they are simple and easy to use. There is really nothing to break unless you crush the thing or light it on fire. They are said to be good to filter a thousand gallons of water.

My concept of use for this item is for outdoor trips, short term emergencies or as a backup to another system. I will fiddle with it some more and do a full review in due time. As of right now it's place is in my HPG Kit Bag.

If you are looking for a light and affordable filter the Lifestraw seems like a solid option.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Yeah it is Wednesday. I sort of forgot to do this earlier in the week. PT and the usual stuff happened. Some dry fire training also. Picked up a few extra household items to stash away. Also got another 200 rounds of CCI Mini Mags which is nice. Can never have too many good .22 shells.

At the store I stumbled into 2 more of the Energizer LED lanterns that we just love. These came with inserts to run on AA's instead of D's. This is significant because it should mean we can run AA's in the D inserts with the other ones we have. I have got to test them and see if they work with rechargeable batteries.

Been fiddling with the loadout for my HPG Kit Bag. I use it rucking and trail running more than I planned so have lightened it up a little bit. Still reading Max Velocity's book Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises. It just keeps getting better. Almost done and a review will follow shortly.

Anyway that is what has been going on here. What have you been up to?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Niche Gear

Do you have something that isn't used often but sometimes it is just right?

For me a shoulder holster is a great example of this. I generally do not like them as a way to carry. To conceal it you have to wear a pretty heavy over garment so you could pack OWB on the belt anyway. However for long car trips a shoulder holster is the ticket. Far more comfortable and accessible than any other on the body option. The one I am using these days is a Galco Miami Classic which was previously reviewed. A great holster but pretty spendy which drives a lot of folks away from them. Once upon a time I had a Blackhawk Shoulder Holster. You will not mistake it for a Miami Classic however it worked just fine at a cost I could afford at the time.

Another nitch item I have is a Hill People Gear Kit Bag. I haven't really reviewed it but TEOTWAWKI Blog did a solid review awhile back. This piece of gear is the answer for concealed carry with a heavy pack. However that isn't something I do much. Probably shouldn't have bought it when I did but oh well. They are a cool company and it is a good product. In coming years as the kids get older and we are more active in the outdoors it will earn it's keep. Still really want a Mountain Sarape. It seems like a woobie on steroids that can do a lot of things.

What is a niche piece of gear for one person might be a key EDC item for another. A longtime co conspirator carries his High Power in a Miami Classic every day. On the other hand a leather IWB holster like I use all the time is rarely in his rotation. Different lifestyles and situations make some items more important and others less so.

Common sense says you should not put much energy or money into nitche items until the more everyday ones are addressed. However at some point it makes sense to get a few useful items even if they are not useful all the time. While I do not like throwing money at problems sometimes there is just a right tool for the job and it makes sense to have that tool.

What nitche items do you own and use?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I ran a lot this week. Something like 15 or 16 miles. Also hit the gym once. Lifting once a week seems to be how things often come out for me. I am going to experiment with it some but doing 2 big lifts (mil press and deadlift (I work cleans in here sometimes) or Bench and Squat) once a week might be the ticket for me. Especially since I am more interested in endurance these days anyway.

Pulled the trigger on the PMAG order. 10 of those wonderful magazines will no longer suffer the fate of being owned by somebody other than me. This pretty much rounds me out for AR mags. Really I was fine before just a bit lighter on PMAGs than I wanted to be.

After taking everybody's advice into consideration I made a decision about what to get for gun stuff/ gear this month. I realized that a Hill People Gear kit bag is probably the best option out there to carry while running which is a good thing. In the past I have either not bothered or stuck a pistol in the big pouch of my camelback which probably isn't the best option. Also I saw a video of a one of the Evans Brothers from HPG running with a kit bag 'docked' to a camelback. This option appeals to me because it would be sufficient for a long trail run or a light hike. Also more to the point it would let me do what I want to do for no additional cost (aside from the kit bag). Down the road a runners harness and a tarahumara would be great but that is about another 200 bones I don't want to spend right now. Even if I had another $200 (I wanted) to spend on camping/ outdoor gear it would go to a Mountain Serape anyway.

I went with the full sized kit bag instead of the runners kit bag. I can always just load it light (G 19, spare mag, keys wallet, small knife, lighter) for runs but want to be able to have my personal survival kit but with the substitution of a small fixed blade knife, as well as headlamp and maybe a GPS in the outdoors which the runners kit bag probably wouldn't support. Also picked up the running stabilizer strap which is basically an elastic band.

My remaining cash will go towards a Safariland holster for the Glock. Likely this will be purchased in a couple weeks or a month. I thought about getting a leather OWB holster (I do have an OWB kydez holster anyway) but they don't really conceal well anyway and it would be another holster I don't use often. Also a Safariland, probably the 1.5 inch drop model, would do anything a leather belt holster could but not visa versa.

We are a little bit closer to getting out of here which is cool. Most of my time and energy has been put towards getting out of here, walking around and doing stuff with the kid and running.
Also we decided to put more money into food storage albeit at the expense of PM's. All in all not a bad week.

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