Showing posts with label survival kit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label survival kit. Show all posts

Friday, November 22, 2013

Gyver Gear IndieGoGo Campaign Launch!!!

Gyver Gear Co. has gone live with their IndieGoGo campaign entitled,
GyverGear: Survive Like a Navy SEAL”. The campaign is looking to raise $10,000 to build the ultimate everyday survival kits.
SAN DIEGO, CA - Created by a part-time entrepreneur and full-time, active duty Navy SEAL the GyverGearCo. has launched a campaign on IndieGoGo to support their newest products aptly named, GyverCan and GyverTin. Described as the “ultimate everyday survival gear” the product is small enough to carry yet powerful enough to count on in any truly challenging survival or emergency scenario. Crowdfunding support of $10,000 will fund the initial production batch due to be built in the founder’s hometown of San Diego, California.
The product was inspired by GyverGear’s founder after his return from a recent combat deployment. Upon return home he realized that no high-quality, “every day” commercial survival kits were available in the marketplace. He found that either the products available were either cheaply made or completely lacking necessary components. He wanted to bring a product to market that is similar to what the SEALS carry as a comprehensive emergency kit in combat; “Why not produce something that would allow civilians to have the advantage we have in field?” Thus, GyverGear was born.
Emergencies, disasters and potential survival situations are a part of daily life and we need powerful everyday survival gear to effectively combat them. Murphy (from Murphy’s Law), is ruthless: he strikes at the absolutely worst moments when we are unequipped, unprepared, and vulnerable. Our EDC (EveryDayCarry) kits are designed to ensure that Murphy moves on to find a more vulnerable victim” – GyverGear Founder
For more information please connect with us at:
GyverGearCo@gmail.com

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gyver Gear: Survive Like a Navy SEAL IndieGoGo Campaign Launched

Gyver Gear Co. has recently launched an IndieGoGo campaign entitled,
GyverGear: Survive Like a Navy SEAL”. The campaign is looking to raise $10,000 to build the ultimate everyday survival kits.

SAN DIEGO, CA - Created by a part-time entrepreneur and full-time, active duty Navy SEAL the GyverGearCo. has launched a campaign on IndieGoGo to support their newest products aptly named, GyverCan and GyverTin. Described as the “ultimate everyday survival gear” the product is small enough to carry yet powerful enough to count on in any truly challenging survival or emergency scenario. Crowdfunding support of $10,000 will fund the initial production batch due to be built in the founder’s hometown of San Diego, California.

The product was inspired by GyverGear’s founder after his return from a recent combat deployment. Upon return home he realized that no high-quality, “every day” commercial survival kits were available in the marketplace. He found that either the products available were either cheaply made or completely lacking necessary components. He wanted to bring a product to market that is similar to what the SEALS carry as a comprehensive emergency kit in combat; “Why not produce something that would allow civilians to have the advantage we have in field?” Thus, GyverGear was born.

Emergencies, disasters and potential survival situations are a part of daily life and we need powerful everyday survival gear to effectively combat them. Murphy (from Murphy’s Law), is ruthless: he strikes at the absolutely worst moments when we are unequipped, unprepared, and vulnerable. Our EDC (EveryDayCarry) kits are designed to ensure that Murphy moves on to find a more vulnerable victim” – GyverGear Founder


For more information please connect with us at:
GyverGearCo@gmail.com

Friday, September 6, 2013

"Battle Belt" And Overall Tiered Gear Rethinking

Max Velocity's Gear Philosophy Update got me thinking. First it rekindled last year's battle belt/ war belt train of thought. It got me to thinking. The idea of a more modular setup appealed to me. Being able to have a decent setup that can work for home invasions, a Katrina like event, training or as a base for a more substantial setup would be nice.

I used a system similar (a TT rig that was  probably not stiff enough) to a battle belt long ago and found it unnecessarily cumbersome. Granted gear has moved a long way in almost a decade but a big padded belt is still a big padded belt. Without being able to fiddle with one I am concerned the same issues will pop up.

One option I previously considered was just doing it on a rigger belt. The downside of this plan is that your gear does not stay securely in place. Some systems have come along recently that let you retain PALS type gear on standard belts. I fear the cost of that option would get silly fast and it adds another variable to go wrong. So I did some more looking. There are some PALS compatible single row belts out there. This one from SKD seems nice. Others are available from quality makers. Has anyone done a battle belt on a belt like that?

Then again enough really smart people who actually train with their gear (specifically John Mosby and I think Max Velocity) are pro battle belt that there is probably something to the general configuration of a 3 row PALS padded belt.

Regardless of the belt I'd basically do the same thing. My plan would be to put on a pair of HSGI double taco's, a compass, flashlight, pistol, knife, plus a small water bottle. I would probably use suspenders for every use except home defense.

This got me to having an overall gear setup. Right now my BOB/ ruck (Tier 3) is a commercial style hiking backpack. It's integral padded hip belt would not work with a battle belt. The simple solution would be to swap the pack out for an ALICE which is already on inventory. Since it's free that is easy enough. Not as comfortable but it's utilitarian ruggedness has some benefits.

So down the rabbit hole of gear reshuffling I went. Thankfully there are some nice tools and pieces of kit already on inventory. That means instead of a huge shopping list it's more about choosing what goes where. So basically I have no immediate plan to fund this trip down the gear porn road or an idea about what exactly the main component is going to be. Honestly I may have just written about it because so much time was wasted thinking on it.

Of course input is appreciated.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Schism of the Everyday Carry and the Get Home Bag

So like I said recently a new backpack last weekend at a garage sale. Wasn't actively in the market for one but at $20 it was an easy decision.

What I have been wanting to do is split my everyday carry and get home bags. That way I can keep some bare essentials in my everyday bag to let it have plenty of space for everyday stuff and stay light. There is also the benefit that my get home bag can be beefed up a little bit.

So what made the cut for my everyday carry bag? Well since you asked I will show you.
Metal water bottle. I would like to upgrade to a 1 quart wide mouth one at some point. The granola bars are for snacking or enough food to be reasonably comfortable for a day or so. The IFAK is in case I get caught in some sort of attack. The rest is pretty much a personal survival kit. The contents are my Rat 3, compass, lighter, fire starter. I chose a fixed blade because it gives me a few capabilities the EDC folder doesn't.

I am comfortable with this relatively light setup because a more robust setup is nearby. If I took public transit or rode in a car pool this setup would be a little bit light. So while it suits my needs it might not fit yours. 

Once I get it all sorted out the new and improved Get Home Bag will be discussed. What's in your EDC bag?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Naval Special Warfare Center Survival Kit Request

The Naval Special Warfare Center cough Seal Team 6 cough is looking to buy a bunch of survival kits. Their requirement list is pretty specific and interesting. Check it out here. Might just have to make myself a little kit. Between this article and TEOTWAWKI Blogs pocket survival kit series I have a pretty good idea on the direction to go in.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Air Travel and Preparedness

I hate flying. It is just a huge hassle. I really hate flying in America with airlines seemingly getting their customer service skills from communist Russia and the terribly irritating, disrespectful and utterly useless TSA. Having a little kid makes it worse. Given an option between flying with kiddo and getting kicked in the junk every hour on the hour for the same amount of time I would take the kicking.

Anyway the topic of preparedness and traveling by air comes up now and again. In various survivalist fiction it is a fairly common theme, typically showing a prepared person who gets caught unprepared. One answer which I sort of consider a cop out is to say that you live at your 'retreat' and do not travel. It is fine and dandy if that is how you want to live but many people it is not really an option. They need to travel occasionally for work or choose to see family who live far away (make no mistake if you move 2,000 miles to ideal survivalist land your friends and family are not going to all follow.) or just to have a fulfilling and interesting life.

It is not a big deal to be fairly well prepared when traveling. There is this magical thing called a checked bag. Take a well thought out selection of gear and put it into this bag. Below is a picture of various preparedness stuff that came along with us for this trip.

Contents:
Rocky boots, what I am wearing for work these days.
Sawyer water filter
Personal survival kit
IFAK
compass
lighter
cheapo flashlight
battery powered lantern
emergency radio
about 2-3k calories in food
the remaining stuff from my GHB
My TT bag
various knives-I didn't plan to go all John Locke here with the knives. A knife here or there plus a couple in kits sort of unintentionally grew to more than I might have brought when intentionally looking at all of them.

Not shown are some good serviceable clothing and a couple water bottles.

My experiences though brief, flying and carrying firearms have been positive. Unless you live in or travel to anti gun areas it is too easy to take a gun or two and some ammo along. This might be a good place for a fairly affordable gun sort of akin to a truck gun if you will. More a place for a $400 used revolver than your new custom $2,500 1911.

Yes checking a bag or two in the case of a gun, is a hassle. However it will let you land pretty well prepared instead of just relying on luck and your keen wits.  To me an extra few minutes and a small fee are probably worth it. At least worth thinking about anyway.

Something else to consider is keeping some equipment supplies and maybe even weapons in a place you regularly travel to. This of course would require that you can afford to take a small portion of your supplies (maybe a gun or two, a pair of boots, some clothes and maybe basic camping stuff like a pack, a tent and a sleeping bag, etc.) or have the money to purchase this stuff at the location. Also it would require a safe place to store this stuff or the establishment of a full on cache. This is an excellent place for fairly inexpensive (but still good) stuff like military surplus gear.






Thursday, September 13, 2012

Please Welcome Ozark Mountain Survival

I am pleased to welcome our newest advertiser Ozark Mountain Survival. This is a true family business with everybody involved. I have talked to Dad, Mom and a kid. You do not see that a lot any more and I like it.

Earlier today I was thinking about how it would be really cool to have some sort of a flint/ fero rod attached to one of these type bracelets. When putting up this ad I went ADD clicked into their site to the bracelet they call the MOAB (mother of all bracelets). This is leaps and bounds beyond the usual woven up hunk of 550 cord that fits around your wrist. The MOAB (shown above) has a fero rod, a compass and a saw blade. It is a pretty solid little survival kit that fits on your wrist. With the MOAB and a good hat (everyone knows 75% of your body heat leaves out the head;) you could survive anything.

Check out Ozark Mountain Survival and see if there is something that will fit your needs.

Edited to include: The other kid wanted us to know they are also involved in the business making it truly a family affair. Also note that the MOAB contains a mini fishing kit under the ranger band it also seems to include.  This thing is like the Swiss Army knife of bracelets!

Friday, August 24, 2012

EDC and Get Home Bag Thoughts

I have been walking around a lot lately. Aside from some low impact/ intensity gentle cardio this time is good for thinking. It is pretty easy to let my thoughts wander while walking down a strait sidewalk. All this time I have been carrying my EDC Tactical Tailor bag. It isn't really EDC like the knife and lighter that live in my pockets. It is EDC like when I need a backpack it is the backpack I grab.

[On a tangent I just don't have enough good things to say about that bag or the company in general. They do not seem to make the exact bag I have anymore though it seems to have been slightly updated as their modular operator pack. Also this is a darn good lesson along the "buy nice, once" school of thought. My bag cost $110 approximately 8 years ago (the comparable bag now sells for $200ish, another lesson maybe). I remember because it was a huge sum of money to me back then. That being said 8 years later I am still using it happily. Theft, loss or massive damage via fire or shrapnel damage aside I think getting about 10 more years out of it is likely. I have never had an issue with the zippers despite literally shoving the contents down with my foot and forcing them closed a few times. The straps have never had issues despite carrying far more weight than is reasonable for such a bag. Aside from a few dirt stains I am too lazy to scrub out, slight smoothing out of the little fibers on some straps and some scratches on the buckles it looks just like it did years ago. It has never failed me despite being pushed beyond the reasonable limits of what is essentially a beefed up book bag. (Not saying this bag is somehow inferior to anything on the market. Quite the opposite in fact; I would give it even money against all comers. What I am saying is that the "assault pack" category of bags are essentially overgrown beefed up book bags and we all need to have realistic expectations about what they will do. If you expect them to do what a 4,000 cubic inch bag with a full frame and heavy hip pad will do then disappointment is in your future.]

Like any company I cannot say every product Tactical Tailor makes is for you. I can say they do not skimp on any part of the process from planning useful well thought out gear, buying good material to properly assembling it. My only relationship with them is that over the years I have spend a few hundred dollars on their stuff. The reason I went on this tangent is to A) to mention that I really like this bag, B) point out the benefits of buying quality gear and C) to recommend a source for said gear I have been very pleased with. End Tangent.]

I have talked about get home bag's before 1, 2, 3and John Mosby chimed in on the topic also. No need to totally retread old ground. Check out the older posts if you have not read them already. Anyway like I said before getting all distracted I have been doing some thinking.

First after a lot of consideration I do not see any reason to spend a bunch of money on a bag that is basically just going to sit in my car. Especially since a very nice bag is usually there anyway. Even if money wasn't an issue it just doesn't make sense. My plan is to put together a nice little get home bag in the used alice pack I bought. I will take the basic packing list from my last one (things get disassembled when you move) and build on it to make a more squared away one. Not a full up 45 pound BOB but a bit more than a running home bag. Not exactly sure how that will crack out but that is a problem for another day.

As to the TT bag I EDC it can use some work also. I am just tossing out ideas here but if it has a personal survival kit,a steel water bottle and cup, an IFAK as well as a bandaid and asprin style boo boo kit, a poncho an all weather blanket (like the good space blankets), say 2k calories in food and a spare pair of socks that would be pretty awesome. If I do it right then most of the bag will still be available for everyday junk AND I will have a nice setup if I need it.  I envision it almost like a light long hunter/ bush craft type style setup.

Really the ideal situation for me (aside from living a charmed life where I do not need this bag at all) would be to transfer whatever everyday minutia and work junk is in my TT bag to the car or whatever and empty the contents of the ALICE bag into my preferred bag. That being said both my EDC bag (albeit as a much smaller system) and the GHB need to be able to stand alone. I do not want to depend on anything in the EDC bag because while it does come with me very often it stays at home sometimes too.

Anyway that is where I am with bags and kits today. As always input is appreciated.




Saturday, August 18, 2012

Random Thoughts From Lost

Wifey and I have been watching Lost on Hulu plus lately. Finally about to finish the series. I have observed some things both good and bad that are worth talking about. We will alternate good and less good. Otherwise there is no particular order.

Good: Most characters carry basic gear with them all the time. How everybody got a backpack I am not sure but they all seem to have them. Basically they all had the best survival kit they were able to put together. Contents are basic stuff like a water bottle, some food, as well as other useful stuff they might have like fire starting gear, a knife and a firearm if they have them.This stuff makes surprise events or unplanned trips much more comfortable than they otherwise would be. Also this lets them survive if they can't make it back to camp/ their supplies though since it is TV the nitty gritty is glossed over.

Less Good: Repeatedly I have been disappointed that the characters fail to use even the most primitive caches. [The only exception is Sawyer occasionally hiding the stuff he stole from the group] They get a bunch of food, medicine or weapons and then end up losing it all due to an accident/ explosion or needing to flee from an overwhelming force. Simply by putting a rifle with ammo, some food and gear in the most water resistance stuff you can find and tucking it under an overhang of a cave or a hole in an old tree they would be way ahead of the game.

Good: The importance of having medical skills in your groups was emphasized. It is awful convenient  that they had a bunch of Doctors on the island. The value of such skills cannot be overstated. Regardless of if you have a doc (lucky!) or not everybody needs to get as proficient as they can because Doc might be the guy who gets unlucky in a gunfight or cutting wood.

Less Good: The kumbaya  factor was a bit high. The fights and conflict in the beginning of season 1 are probably pretty realistic. People do band together in times of need but they sometimes go all Lord of the Flies.

Good: The need to be fit in a variety of ways is emphasized. Be able to run, swim, climb, lift stuff and if need be carry people. 

Less Good: The ratio of accidental/ illness to dramatic crazy stuff in terms of injuries was quite off. Granted it was a TV show but for every gunfight there are going to be a dozen cuts from inexperienced people using sharp tools, cases of the common cold or food poisoning or whatnot.

Good: The importance of skills was emphasized.There is a saying that the more you know the less you need to carry. That is really helpful if circumstances leave you less than ideally equipped.

Anyway I hope this gives you something to think about.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Vehicle Kits, Get Home Bags, Modularity and Systems

I have been thinking and talking about get home bag's lately. Part of the reason is simply because I was building one and since have been tweaking it. Also aside from whatever may be in your pockets this is the system I see folks actually using the most. Bug out bag's get all the love but I am way more concerned with getting Munsoned in the middle of nowhere than needing to leave home in a hurry or whatever. YMMV.

My get home bag tends to live in our vehicle because it is how I get places and I am rarely far from it. If riding in a carpool it and my normal EDC bag of junk like a coat, lunch, etc get combined and a few things might get stashed at work, like a spare functional set of clothes and footwear.

I do usually keep some stuff in our vehicle. There is a Rubbermaid tub with a flashlight, spare batteries, some tools, coats, some water, some oil and coolant, first aid kit, warning triangles, etc in the back. We also each have dedicated bags with things like a knife, light, lighter, etc. To be honest at some point I went a bit overboard. The back of our full sized SUV is almost full of "my crazy stuff" as Wifey calls it. Things definitely need to get pared down however considering our timeline here it is more like they will be reassembled leaner and meaner on the other end.

Honestly I focus a lot more on the 'kit' than the vehicle part. The vehicle is where this stuff lives as it is a good place to haul stuff and is usually pretty close at hand. I think the contents of a "vehicle kit" could be easily broken down into stuff for you and stuff for the vehicle. The contents of both kits should logically flow from your overall situation. If  you might get stuck for 4-5 days in the hinter boonies during a frigid winter a lot more kit is required than if you work 5 miles from home in balmy South Carolina. Your vehicle side of the kit's contents will depend on need and skill. If you are a mechanic who regularly drives a 30 year old truck in very isolated areas it would be hard to have too comprehensive of a kit. On the other hand if you aren't very handy and drive a newish reliable car on frequently traveled roads very little stuff is needed.

Back to Get Home Bags. John Mosby recently talked about a personal shortcoming in the GHB/ vehicle kit area. Definitely worth reading and if it applies to you taking action. Read about my GHB development here. I think the concept of a get home bag is sound. However, it's contents need to fit your situation and the distances you travel from home. My get home bag will shortly be put into a dedicated bag whose entire job is to sit vigilantly in my vehicle. Some basic survival stuff will still live in my EDC bag because I haul it around a lot. A knife, flashlight, lighter, matches, a few granola bars, etc do not take up much space.

My get home bag is really stripped down and minimalist. This works because I stick pretty near home far more often than not. If I worked 50 miles from home or regularly traveled long distances a more substantial kit would be necessary.

I think different kits might fit better for different situations. I have a stripped out assault pack right now just so I could be a  bit more comfortable on a long walk home. If I was going 50-100 miles from home something more akin to a backpacking setup/ BOB/ rucksack would make sense. The kind of thing that has a couple days of water, food for several days and enough clothing/ gear to meet all of your basic needs for a pretty long time. Maybe I don't want to keep that bag (and the one for the Mrs.) in our vehicle all the time since we really don't need it that often. If we went driving across rural northwestern Canada in the winter more gear would be prudent.

I think that using systems which already exist may be the best way to fit this need. No point in reinventing the wheel here. Sticking with EDC/GHB a la assault pack/ BOB aka rucksack somewhat layered systems may be a good way to fit a wide variety of potential situations/ needs.

Anyway those are my thoughts on kits today.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Get Home Bag, Walking and Life Update

I am not sure if it has been mentioned explicitly yet but our time in Europe is almost done. We are very happy to be headed back to the US. Travel and some experiences here have been great but a lot of everyday stuff is a hassle. Also the level of regulations, rules and such here does not mesh with my nature at all. We saw a lot of places and missed some good ones. Particularly we are bummed about not getting to Ireland but that is how things worked out. There is more travel here than we could have done even if time and money were not concerns. In any case it is about time to move on to the next chapter in our lives. We will be spending about a month catching up with folks in the PNW. After that we are headed to the Southwest. More on that later.

We have been walking a lot lately. The weather is good now and it is a solid way to get out of the house and doing something. I do not recommend walking as a form of exercise unless you are A) elderly, B) recovering from a serious injury/ illness, C) crippled or D) seriously overweight and or out of shape and working towards running a la couch to 5k or a similar program. However that does not mean walking is not without benefits. Most of the benefits are not really physical. Getting outside and spending time with your family in the area you live in is a good thing. If somebody told me they walk as a form of exercise who did not fit the above categories I would try to coach them towards a better path, potentially with some mocking involved. If somebody told me they walk regularly to get outside and for active recovery from more strenuous workouts like running or rucking or for some additional low impact/ intensity cardio I would say that was a great plan.

My get home bag setup needs some work. The primary issue is that I really like my Tactical Tailor bag and use it regularly. I like that bag for the task but it can't be in two places at once. This makes having it in the car with a variety of stuff loaded into it problematic. I have a couple of ideas. First a couple side pouches to hold 1 quart water bottles will help free up space in the main compartment for normal life stuff. (Regardless of what I do the bag needs this MOD anyway.) Second sooner or later I need to swap out that bag or get a replacement for normal everyday carry use. Something I have considered is putting most of the stuff that is in my GHB into something else like a wet weather bag or trash bag and then putting it into my TT pack if needed. Mostly this stuff is a full set of clothes with boots, socks, gloves and a hat. I keep this stuff in there because regularly I go on short trips in less than fully ideal clothing and the option to change into suitable clothes for walking is a good thing. I mulled this a lot but despite being an easy and ideal solution it came up short because while I carry the TT bag around a lot while using it as a normal bag it doesn't ALWAYS MAKE IT INTO THE CAR. Inevitably the day I needed it is the day it would be in the hall closet. So the question is what to do. The short term answer is pretty much covered. I ordered a used medium ALICE pack awhile back for $10. It will be a very inexpensive solution and such will likely fit for awhile. Not as nice or comfortable but for $10 instead of $150 that is to be expected. Still a rugged bomb proof pack. Down the road a nice high end bag like the TT or something from Hill People Gear would be great in this role but I will not be able to justify the expense for awhile. Likely I  would use the TT for a GHB and something a bit smaller for typical every day type use. Since I don't see any traction on this for at least 6 months or more likely 12 there is some time to think about it.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Warbelt Fun

As I set up the personal gear I want the topic of pistol belt/ war belt's has come up. Got to love the name these things got. Probably some marketing genuis, the old give it a cool CDI Rambo sounding name so folks will buy one plan. Basically the war belt is a padded, molle type belt or belt sleeve one which stuff like a holster, mag pouches, etc can be mounted. Anyway the ability to mount all manner of MOLLE stuff onto a belt easily would be nice.

Thanks to the joy of the internet I got to look at a lot of other people's setups. One of the more comprehensive and interesting threads is the Ultimate Battle/Scout Belt Thread; formerly Sigboy Scout Belt  over at Zombie Squad. Folks seem to go in two directions. Some basically do a modern version of the old school LBE. These folks are running 4+ rifle mags, 2+ pistol mags, a holster, a knife, some admin pouches, maybe a canteen or two. These folks definitely run suspenders, often big padded H type ones we remember from the LBE era. Other folks use it more as a beefed up pistol belt with some mags, a holster, etc. Depending on their body type and how many mags they are running these folks may go with a thin set of suspenders or not. These folks will typically use a chest rig or run additional pouches on a plate carrier if needed.


So I have been thinking this could be a good way to go. I am definitely going to fall into the second group. I will rock the gear but I am not so sure about the big ole MOLLE belt. I have seen setups like this on a normal rigger belt. Just a pistol, 1-2 spare mags each rifle and pistol and maybe a knife. To me the idea of having what basically amounts to a pistol belt set up for the range, home defense and times where I want a gun but don't need a full load out is appealing. Also something that would work as part of my overall setup instead of a whole nother rig appeals to my cheap side. 

I still have to do some thinking on the matter but this is my plan. An ATS or HSGI war belt, two double taco mag pouches (though the cheaper condor rig I just bought may fill the role in the short term due to cost), a holster probably from Safariland, a knife, maybe a small admin pouch to hold a compass, etc to fill out the level 1 kit, and possibly a minimalist trauma kit.

Are you running a warbelt? If so what type and how do you like it over just a pistol/ duty belt?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Running to the Store, Vehicle Kits and Cases

This evening we made a quick trip to the store. It was shortly after dinner and Wifey wanted a drumstick. So we headed to the store, pretty much in the comfortable at home clothes we had been wearing. I had a pair of shorts and a t shirt on with crocks on my feet. Wallet and keys were put into my shorts. I got to thinking about how I would be hosed if anything happened and maybe should grab a knife or something. Then I remembered that we have a pretty good set of stuff in our vehicle. We all have a change of good practical clothes and footwear. I have a good knife in the GHB as well as a bunch of other usefull stuff. Bliss washed over me and we went to the store for icecream.

I have had some serious good fortune to stumble into some quality cases lately such as a hardigg footlocker, and a genuine halliburton briefcase. The fundamental purpose of cases is, just like any sort of packaging, to contain and protect things. Different stuff has different needs. Ammunition and food need to be protected from moisture and oxygen. Ammo cans and big plastic buckets fill these needs nicely. Neither of these products are particularly vulnerable to impact or shock (like bouncing around the back of a truck, not electric) within reason.

However some items are and they require different sorts of containers. Of course you could say wrap an item in bubble wrap and stick it into an ammo can or pursue some other home solution. I can speak about pelican/ hardigg cases with some experience. These products are great but rather expensive. There are other companies like Otter that offer seemingly comparable products at slightly lower prices but I have not used them.

I look at containers as insurance for the items inside. As such it is worth paying attention to the costs involved. A $20 case to hold a couple hundred dollar camera makes sense, especially if the last camera and maybe one before that would still be alive if it had been in such a case. A couple hundred dollar case to protect a hundred dollar Mosin Nagant wouldn't make sense like it would for say a Steyre SSG with a Night Force scope.

Like a lot of folks I have accumulated a few fairly expensive electronics. A GPS, some radios and a solar charger to be specific, as well as the usual camera, video camera, laptops, kindles, etc. Probably a few thousand dollars in stuff and we don't have anything really cool like Gen 3 night vision, FLIR, etc (yet!). If we had to leave in a hurry during a nasty storm or whatever a big pelican case to put that stuff into would make the odds of our equipment surviving go up significantly. For small items that you want to use a lot like camera's a little case is pretty darn handy. Also they are lockable and fairly secure which could be useful.

Personally most of my case needs are met for the time being. I would like a nice rifle case big enough to squeeze a pistol and just maybe a second long gun in. Being able to securely move around a couple guns and have them take some knocks with minimal risk of losing zero appeals to me.

Anyway you might want to put some consideration into how you will protect valuable and useful but relatively fragile stuff under less than optimal conditions. A few cases may be in order.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Working on the Get Home/ Car Kits

Today we packed up a bag for Wifey. Also we added a fleece and a change of clothes for me. Nothing big really. Just looking at our stuff and filling some little holes while trying to prevent the good idea fairy from filling the whole vehicle with stuff.

The thing about having kits/ systems is that a lot of the benefit comes from the process of making the thing. In reality we do not have much in the car that we didn't before this. However I thought through what we really needed, made some lists and filled a few small but significant gaps. Also kits are a forcing mechanism to have the stuff that you might need where you might actually need it. There isn't much point in having stuff (not talking about stores, redundant items and such) at home in the basement. A jacket, knife, compass, poncho and pair of boots at home are far less useful than having that stuff in a backpack out in the woods or in the trunk.

My long term (probably 6-12 month range) way forward with kits is probably as follows. The kit I recently put together will get lightened down and be Wifey's BOB. One in a larger bag will get put together for me. On the bright side I already have most of the big ticket items lying around so the total cost will not be too bad.

Sportsmens Guide has used Alice Packs for $45. For some reason I have really been feeling a real urge to buy one. I don't really like them but if I had to go all Mad Max/ The Postman that is the bag I would want to carry. A pack that I will have for the long term would be worth modifying to make as comfortable as possible.

I am not sure exactly what I would use it for. Maybe a BOB but then again in some scenarios having a pack that does not look militaryish would be very nice. A scruffy guy carrying an (earth tone) commercial backpack looks like some hippie slacker not a crazy right wing evil wacist militia nutjob. If you want to go a little bit further, toss a peace symbol pin on this or that and make a cardboard sign that says 'damn the man, spare some change' or whatever. Depending on the situation switching contents between bags would be easy. Also at a bit under 50 bucks I would be more comfortable leaving an Alice in a vehicle than a more expensive bag that says "steal me, there is good stuff inside'.

Anyway that is what is going on with that.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Personal Survival Kit

First I have to note that I blatantly stole this idea from John Mosby. Since this isn't school there is no penalty for this. Anyway I wanted to give credit where it is due.  I didn't so much steal the general idea to have most of this stuff around as the idea of looking at it as a unique kit.

My personal survival kit consists of the following. A knife, in this case a Buck 110 though any good knife would be fine. A compass I had lying around, a couple lighters wrapped in ranger bands, water purification tablets, 550 cord and a small LED light. Also there is a flint and striker which I plan to replace with the much more compact Boy Scout model when I get around to ordering some stuff. I got the little pouch to put it all in. Figured either I could just slip the whole thing into my camelback or cargo pocket or take the stuff out and put it into various places. Either way it would stay in one place and be readily available. Probably not entirely necessary but it helped me put things together and worst case I can always use it for something else.

My kit varies a bit from the one JM described. Not shown is a handgun with a spare magazine because well I am in Germany right now. Also not shown are eye pro but I wear them in the woods. Also I added the small light because they are just really handy. Not pictured or mentioned is a water bottle/ camelback/ canteen. I thought about that for awhile. In the end I sort of consider it an implied item I would have anyway, sort of like how I didn't mention footwear or pants.

This little kit lives in my car and goes with me when I am in the woods or whatever. It is pretty small and as such could be carried during any sort of tasks. Anyway if you do not have some sort of kit like this then it might be worth thinking about putting one together.


Get all kinds of survival gear online at RV Ops.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Week in Preps, Free Downloads, Kits and Other Stuff

I couldn't quite decide what to write today. I didn't want to skip a week in preps/ what did you do to prepare this week but there is other stuff floating around my head also. Anyway you are going to get all sorts of stuff today.

This week I finished up the kit/ bag that I have been working on. That meant buying the last few things like plastic bags and granola bars, digging around closets and storage to find things and just taking the time to get it all put together. We will revisit this later. Also we put some more money into our emergency fund. In the last couple months we have increased it by about 40%. Mostly this was needed for the fund to keep up with our family and life situation.

Today I noticed that John Galt's The Day The Dollar Died blovel is being offered as a free PDF download. I really enjoyed reading it the first time. Being able to read it at my own pace, not all broken up, will be nice. I strongly recommend it. Now onto kits.

So like I said I got done building the kit I have been working on. It started out to be a get home bag. I am not exactly sure what it turned into. Maybe there was a sort of mission creep but it definitely got bigger, heavier and more comprehensive than I planned. While it fit into my Tactical Tailor assault bag it was too heavy for such a bag and carried badly. I put the contents into one of the smallish packs I got from REI awhhile back. What I have is sort of straddling the fence between what I would consider a pretty comprehensive and relatively heavy get home bag and a slightly minimalist bug out bag. It has stuff to purify water, change clothes, sleep in reasonable (spring/summer, winter would need a different module) comfort, treat a variety of injuries and all of that good stuff.

I am not sure if I am thrilled with it or unhappy. In any case it definitely did not fit the intended purpose. If I commuted 50 miles one way to work every day it would probably live in my vehicle. However I do not do that. I do like the setup but am not entirely sure what I will do with it. Maybe it will stay the same or change or get parted out. For the time being it will be my bugout bag. Down the road I think it might get slightly tweeked and become Wifey's bag.

After putting that bag together and realizing the problem we just talked about I immediately set out to making the sort of get home bag that I actually need. So I put together a pretty light get home bag.  One that fits my life. I was determined not to let it suffer from any sort of creep. Basically I took my TT assault pack, tossed in a pair of boots, socks, some water and a bunch of various bars to munch on.  Of course the usual suspects like a knife, compass, fire making stuff, etc are present. Much more geared toward a 25 mile walk than a multi day treck.

Thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

I may get around to doing posts on these. However I want to mull recent developments and maybe fill some gaps first. It might be awhile as I am lazy when it comes to that sort of posts.

Gas prices are down some here. About 30 cents from the high if memory serves me correctly. I noticed that gold shot up a bit recently but silver is still well under $30 which is a pretty good deal. It may stay there and may not, I can't say.

Anyway that is about all I have for now. Hope Monday wasn't too painful for anybody.



Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

I guess the standard thing to do is to write some post about sacrifice and duty and all of that stuff. I  don't have any desire to do that. My life has enough of that stuff that on the other 360 some odd days of the year. Quite frankly I find the whole thing depressing. I have lost people and don't feel like dwelling on it over a nice sunny long weekend.

We would have gone someplace this weekend but with my lingering illness it didn't seem smart. I am feeling decent and all but things can happen and I don't want to go to the hospital in some random country. It turns out to be for the best I think. It has been a very quiet weekend which is a good thing.

I don't know exactly why but I have been a crazy machine of productivity this weekend. Like the 1950's stay at home mom who had 5 cups of coffee and a handfull of uppers that cleans the whole house, organizes the garage, weeds the garden, makes a beautiful dinner for the family and does 57 projects before hubby comes home. Well except it is not the 50's, I am not a woman or on drugs. Anyway my point is that I have been really productive.

I cleaned the floors and reorganized the kitchen. A bunch of stuff that should have been in storage got moved there and junk got tossed. More cleaning occured in closets and other storage places. This included the kitchen closet which has been a black hole of chaos and unhappiness in our home. Our vehicle got cleaned out, vaccumed and organized.

We went shopping for some odds and ends. I didn't plan to get anything else but went through the usual aisles (outdoor, tools, etc) anyway. Inventory changes sporatically and sometimes sales come up. I saw 3 D cell Mag Lights for $13 and picked up a few.

Over the weekend I found a slightly used (marker and a bit of paint on it but totally functional) generic rubbermaid type tub. These bins are one of those weird things for me. I have it in my head that they are really expensive when they aren't. Well some of them aren't anyway. The one I got costs about $8 new. A half dozen tubs worth $60 would probably fix a lot of problems and maybe even change my life as I know it. It is pretty dumb I guess.

We keep the usual sort of stuff in our vehicle: kid things, a first aid kit, warning triangles, jumper cables, some tools, jackets, socks and boots for me (I habitually wear comfortable/ nonpractical footwear and am not changing), a blanket, etc. Anyway since I got the junk out I wanted to get everything organized. Prior to now everything has been just floating around. I cleaned out the tub and got it ready to use. Since our sweet free tub is kind of big I added some more tools, a bag with some spare batteries, one of the new mag lights and some other things. Anyway now everything is nicely organized and neat which is pretty nice.

No big plans for tomorrow. Another quiet day and probably some stuff with the kid. Going to try and tie up some loose ends around the house before going back to work. If I feel motivated there are a couple closets that it would be nice to get taken care of.

Anyway I am happy with the progress this weekend. Getting things done that have been bothering me is a good feeling. We have also had some pretty nice family time. It has been really nice.

I hope you have a great weekend. Relax and enjoy some time with friends and family. If you are so inclined try to get some productive things done.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Random Thoughts on Kits

I have pretty much pulled everything we have lying around or locally available for my GHB. Everything else will get ordered today or tomorrow. Stuff is chosen and funds are available but I am on the fence about a couple things that may go in the order. These new "sawyer"  water filtration systems look promising and for the price I may give it a shot.
I have noticed a few things about kits lately that seem worth discussing:

The name a person uses for a specific kit almost meaningless but we have covered that already. It's purpose is probably a lot more meaningful anyway.

There seems to two sort of schools when it comes to kits. There is the "generic" kit school and the specially designed school. The generic kit folks would say that a get home bag aka GHB should have these things. The specially designed folks would want to know a bunch of stuff like where you live, how far you are trying to go, what your plan is, etc. I think they are both sort of right. The generic kit folks are right in that they probably give a 75% solution for most people. Kits need stuff like a knife, fire, water and water purification, shelter (clothes and or sleeping), etc in varying quantities. The specialized folks are (outside of a rare person with terribly unrealistic plan) right in that kits should be driven by your skills, situation and plans. More often than not, excluding a rare person with a really unique situation, the specialists just end up adding and/ or subtracting a few things from the generic kit lists anyway.

In putting things together I have definitely realized you need redundancy in common items. I do believe in a sort of modular nesting concept where your EDC blends into a sort of survival kit, which flows into a get home bag, maybe all this contributes in some way to a BOB, etc. However life doesn't always work that way and each kit should be able to stand alone, certainly in key areas.

That means you probably need stuff like knifes, flashlights, water bottles, etc in some quantities. Not necessarily the same exact items but broad areas to fit different kits. The perfect flashlight to be on your key chain is not the one you want to use to set up camp at midnight. This means you probably want to think about the roles and expectations of tools in different kits.

To further complicate things you really want stuff in kits to be dedicated equipment. To me the whole point of a kit is having a thought through and organized set of stuff ready to go and in the right place when you need it. Otherwise you don't have a kit so much as a bunch of good stuff strewn all over your house, car, storage area, etc all. This means you either need to be really good about borrowing and replacing stuff, which nobody ever actually does, or have additional redundant stuff for common use.
The exact bar for what to get a spare of and what not to is based on our situation. For most people I think something like $50 or so makes sense. So that means the knife/ flashlight/ socks/ waterbottle/ etc all in a kit need to stay there. Certainly in the case of big ticket items like GPS's, guns, sleeping systems, etc common sense dictates some things may have to be added to the kit before taking it out or borrowed as needed. A big prominent tag on the front of a bag that says what to add and where it is located is a good way to make sure you remember those items.

Since most of the stuff we are talking about here is fairly inexpensive this redundancy really isn't a big issue. Also it is helpful with overall redundancy in that if you have 4 good knives the odds you will end up losing or breaking them all is slim. The process of figuring out what works well for each nitche could help the old "equip a friend" stash. A knife/ flashlight/ pouch which is slightly less than perfect for your situation is a lot better than no knife/ flashlight/ pouch.

Another thing that it is worth remembering is that you don't have to get the absolutely perfect best stuff on the market right away. I certainly do not recommend junk as it is alwys false economics. The thing is that you can replace servicable stuff with better stuff piece by piece over time. A $40 knife can be replaced by a better (or maybe just cooler if we are being honest) $85 knife around your birthday or a $75 on sale pack can be replaced by a perfect $400 pack when you have taken care of some other things and have the ever rare surplus cash lying around. This will also help with the whole redundancy thing and the "equip a friend" stash.

Even if you are not so worried about getting home or bugging out or whatever putting together kits is a pretty good way to really look at what you need in context instead of just a bunch of stuff on some big list.
In terms of general themes on the short term you are mostly looking at disposable stuff. You are carrying food to get you to wherever. Water is sort of an exception because it is so darn heavy. For just about any sort of plan you need to be able to make questionable water safe to drink. TP, baby wipes and generally stuff that is going to be consumed is the short term answer. All kits need some of this stuff if just for emergencies and convenience. However at some point a plan just cannot be supported by stuff on your back and you need to transition to things to get food, make shelter, etc.

Maybe you have a ridiculous cross country bug out planned. Of course you hope to use a vehicle and may even have some caches but the odds of that failing or needing to take substantial detours are high. In any case for this type of situation stuff like a .22 rifle, fishing gear, some traps, etc would probably be good to have. Even if you are super duper prepared and live at your "retreat" having a "grab in case of being overrun" bag is probably smart.  Anyway that is all I have to say about that.

Thoughts?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My EDC

You showed me yours, now it is time to show you mine. It is always better to do it that way;).

I carry the typical stuff like a cell phone, keys and a wallet with some cash. In terms of survival stuff I carry a knife, typically a buck 110,  a bic lighter and a tiny led flashlight. Often I carry a Cold Steeel push knife and when legal/ practical I also carry a Glock 19 with a spare magazine.

My everyday life takes place in a pretty small area. If it was more open a sniper with a .50 could just about cover the whole thing. As such I don't worry about EDC all that much. When I go further away I add items to supliment my EDC.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Every Day Carry

What do you actually carry every day on your person?

Please no BS. I am interested in what other folks actually carry all the time, not their opinion of what a perfect survivalist would somehow manage to haul around all day long. If you say that you carry a fullsized handgun with 6 reloads,  a backup piece with 4 reloads, a kabar, a .22 derringer in one boot and a boot knife in the other, a 4" folder, a folding saw, a leatherman, a GPS, binoculars, a night vision monacle, a water filter, 3 MRE's, and "mini" survival kit whose contents would barely fit into a shoebox and some other junk it will be pretty obvious that you are lying.
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