Showing posts with label systems. Show all posts
Showing posts with label systems. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Organizational Fail- Where the Heck is My 9mm Ball Ammo?

Writing about our failures is never fun. It is always more fun to talk about a cool new toy or something awesome we did. This is not one of those posts.

I needed 500 rounds of 9mm ball ammo today. The reason will be clear later,  that isn't what this post is about. I went to the first place I thought I would find 9mm ball ammo in quantity and it wasn't there. Went to the next place and it wasn't there either. Went back to the first place and really looked.

I thought for a second and went to a third place where I found a can of 9mm ball. Winchester white box from probably 2008. Good solid ammo. Wish they had prices on them to show what I paid.

Anyway this was a big ole ball of fail.  The bottom line is I currently have serious organizational issues beyond the home defense set up level. Access to ammo  isn't a realistic problem it is just a canary in the coal mine. We talked about ammo which I am not really concerned with. In my bedroom I think there are 5 loaded AR  mags between my fighting load (hd) and a sort of active shooter bag. Also at least 3 spare glock  mags. That more than meets any home defense needs I could possibly have.

My stuff both preparedness and otherwise needs to get better organized.  I really don't have any excuse except laziness for not doing this. Currently I don't have anything big going on for most weekends so I could easily put in 3-4 hours 2 days a week working to fix this. Just need to get off my ass and do It.

So what are my goals:
1- MOP-After this weekend which is busy I want to spend st least 6 hours a week (probably on the weekend) on sorting and organization.  The girl I'm seeing works weekends so I have the time. I plan to do this until the organization is done.
2- MOE- Within 30 days have full fighting load, bob and bug out stuff separated, organized and ready to go.
3- MOE Within 60 days have all prearedness related stuff organized.
4- MORE- Within 90 days have all of my various possessions organized. Donate a lot to good will, unneeded camping stuff to local Boy Scouts or survivalists,, sell some stuff and organize the rest. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Vehicle Gear #1 A Conceptual Discussion

Our recent post Urban E&E/ Get Home Kit got me thinking about this. It also works conveniently because that is the current push in my personal preparations. My initial goal was to beef up the first aid kit there but I decided it was as good a reason as any to re look all the stuff in my vehicle.

I say 'all the stuff' instead of implying it is a cohesive system because there are multiple somewhat independent systems in play instead of one large system. This is complicating for at least three reasons. First because we have to figure out what all we want this stuff to do. Second instead of being sub systems we really end up with different systems that live in the same place instead of say sub systems in a larger cohesive system. Third we have to be cognizant of unintended redundancy/ duplication between the largely independent systems that live in the same place.

In a most basic sense the stuff in our vehicles can be broken down by vehicle stuff or people stuff.

Vehicle stuff would be spare fluids, tire and jack, tools for basic repairs, etc. Depending on your automotive skill set, vehicle reliability and access to repair assistance this could be a little or a lot. If you have some skills and drive a less than reliable vehicle on empty roads a lot a very comprehensive kit would make sense. On the other end of the spectrum a not so handy person with a new ish car might just have jumper cables, a spare tire/ jack, a couple road flares, some fluids and a few basic tools.

People stuff is a bit more nebulous. Personally mine is roughly broken down to the following:
Overnight bag-  A change of clothes, sleeping gear, shoes, toothbrush, etc. Alternate title is 'ho bag'.
First aid- A mix of emergency first aid trauma stuff with everyday type things like band aids, pepto, aspirin etc.
Get Home Bag- Kind of a bug out bag that lives in my car.


Misc- There is some stuff in there that defies ready categorization. For instance a ziplock bag with a spare Glock mag, 50 rounds of 9mm, probably some .22lr an maybe even a .38 speed loader.  Also a set of bolt cutters and a big ole crow bar. I could arguably say it is part of one of the 4 general systems I laid out but I don't really care to.

There are other plausible systems a person could have. They might have a long gun with ancillary stuff or a robust wilderness survival set up. Folks who are often in wild places in cold winters need a sleeping bag, heavy coat, gloves, hat, boots, etc. Nothing else comes directly to mind but other options could certainly exist.

Now we have to talk about constraints. What are the constraints to stuff we keep in vehicles.
-Space. Obviously less of an issue if you drive a full sized truck with a canopy or a Suburban but more problematic in say a little sports car. In any case space is still finite and using it for emergency and preparedness stuff competes with your normal everyday use.
-Cost. If you need to purchase stuff for these systems it obviously costs money. If you pull stuff from elsewhere it is a loss there. Anyway stuff costs money.
-Risk of loss. Vehicles get broken into regularly. An awesome bug out bag with all the coolest gadgets like night vision, FLIR, sat phone, cash and weapons could easily cost several thousand dollars. For all but the richest the loss of that would be very hurtful. 

My intent is to look at all of these systems. First alone and then together. I intend to do posts on each of them.

Your input is welcome now and later if/ when I do future posts on the topic.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Urban E&E/ Get Home Kit

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How Much Stuff Do We Need- A Rational Systems Based Approach 2- A Comment and the Cost Of Not Using This Approach

Yesterdays post

How Much Stuff Do We Need- A Rational Systems Based Approach 

received a comment I thought should be addressed. It also lead to a larger issue. The comment was:

What's the causative event? Duration? Any secondary or cascade failures? What geographical area? Season? Localized, regional, or nationwide? Just John, or does he have his young son for the weekend or aging parents to care for?

Whatever you guess you're most likely you're going to be wrong, so "P for plenty" here. Can't make a plan until you can define the problem(s), but once the problem(s) are known it's often too late to stock up on the gear/supplies to execute the plan.

My response is as follows:  First of all thanks for taking the time to comment. To the first paragraph I was attempting to do something fairly generic. By region we can take a pretty good swag at what the threats are. The gulf coast has hurricanes and the west coast has earthquakes. In the middle are some mountains and a lot of rivers that flood. Obviously if John lives in the inland PNW say in Spokane, WA his winter gear will be very different than if he lives in south Texas. We know what family members we have. I'm not saying every person has the exact same needs though I think if we really look at it aside from regional weather and family size needs differ very little. The question of how much we can and want to prepare is an open ended one. 

To the second paragraph I have to disagree.

 Look at it like this. You are going to the grocery store but forgot the list. You need to shop now for some reason so you can't go get the list from home. Do you 1- try to remember the list? 2-Make a new list? Or 3- Do you just throw random shit in the cart and to make up for it being totally random buy a lot of it? No sane person would do #3. If you would not grocery shop that way why would you possibly prepare that way?

To paraphrase Eisenhower 'plans are useless but planning is indispensable'. What are you buying? Why? How much? How did you decide how much? The honest answer is most people are pulling it out of their butts.

More to the point I want to talk about the downside of haphazardly buying more and more stuff.

Everyone has limited resources and space. 

 If you spend money on stuff that does not fit into cohesive and logical systems you are not using your resources as efficiently as possible. Either you are buying one thing when you should be buying another or you are unable to afford something because you bought another thing instead. Two examples here.

First is an older Southern Man I know. He is a serious survivalist with an enviable set up. The thing is he doesn't have body armor or modern night vision. He described them as ruinously expensive. This is ironic to me because the man has a massive gun collection. He has to have 50k in guns, probably more like 100K. He could sell a Colt 1911 he never shoots, an M1A he wouldn't miss and one of his HK 91's and buy a NOD for him and body armor for his whole family while still having way more guns than he could ever use. His resources are miscalculated. This is partly because he just kept buying guns instead of building cohesive systems.

 The other is anecdotal to me working on my own systems. The things I need multiples of are often unexpected ones. I DO NOT NEED a bunch more guns but I do need another couple of gun belts and weapons cleaning kits. Footwear is also a theme that keeps coming up but not usually Army boots, actual stuff I would wear in real life that I can comfortably walk all day long in. Hygiene kits as well. These are all things I would not have thought of unless I started looking at systems.

 That new FLIR Scout TK is $600 (I want to see some reviews vs the normal Scout model and stuff but in principle I am really excited as its solidly affordable) and I want one. Instead of buying some items I might not actually need I could add this really cool capability to my BOB. 

Even if you have a lot of them its still limited. To paraphrase Jim Rawles of Survival Blog "For $500 I could fill my garage with toilet paper". Obviously if your garage is full of TP you can't store 5 years of Mountain House goodness in it. 

Finally it is not that I am against having a lot of stuff. By all means keep developing systems to suit your worries as far as your finances and space allow. If you want and can afford a fully stocked doomsday bunker then get one. My concern is about using the money and resources you have as efficiently as possible. To get the most out of your dollars and space by planning instead of just going about it haphazardly.

Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

How Much Stuff Do We Need- A Rational Systems Based Approach

I have been working, albeit slowly, on trimming down the amount of stuff I have. Eventually the elephant in the room of survivalist stuff has to be confronted. Otherwise it would be like talking about the US budget without touching entitlements, totally pointless.

Part of the first look will be easy. Unnecessary older junk. What may have been a better than nothing back up for a college kid may not be necessary for me now. Also if I just toss the random junk in a dozen boxes it might go far enough to eliminate a box. You get the idea.

What to do with the significant accumulation of stuff is a more pressing issue. This made me ask myself "How do I figure out how much stuff I need?"

I want to have the right stuff in the right quantities. Space is limited and will be a real issue for some of my upcoming plans. So the P for plenty plan doesn't work. If you have a big house with a barn and a shop then then space not likely a concern. However even if space isn't an issue money, to some degree or another, almost surely is. So while you might have a lot of space to store stuff that doesn't fit into your plans it would still be better to spend your limited money on the right stuff.

What I realized is that I was looking at this from the wrong angle entirely. Instead of arbitrarily deciding how many of a given item I need to keep around what if I look at it from the other side.....systems.

The realization I had was that I should decide what systems I want to have and then figure out what stuff is needed for them. This way instead of a wild assed guess on how many pistols or multi tools or knives or backpacks I need I could actually have a number that comes from somewhere.

I am still working on this one for myself. Honestly I'm not sure how much of it I would wnt to share anyway so lets instead discuss a hypothetical persons set up.

Lets say John is a survivalist. A pretty normal guy who lives in a mid sized town. He has a normal job and makes decent money. 

EDC light- concealable pistol, folding knife, light, etc.
EDC heavy- full sized pistol, robust folding knife, spare mag pouch, light, etc.
Fighting Load- EDC heavy plus rifle, body armor, chest rig, hydration system and light day pack.

Get Home Bag- lives in vehicle. Usual get home stuff. May include a hand gun.

E&E set up. Change of clothes, cash, pistol, day pack, etc.

Light bug out set up- Bug out Bag plus fighting load weapons. Suitable clothing and footwear.

Heavy bug out set up (vehicle based)- Think car camping on steroids with stuff to sustain for awhile.

Operational Cache- A rifle and pistol, chest rig, hydration system, medical gear, day pack.

JIC go to war set up- One EDC light pistol, two full sized pistols, two rifles, a pump shotgun and a precision rifle. Decent amount of ammo, mags and all the usual nylon, leather, etc. This would ideally be at some sort of bug out type location.

JIC survival set up- Think mountain man. A deer rifle, shotgun and a .22 pistol with ammo. Ax, shovel, saws, seeds, salt, shelter like tarps, cordage, etc. Buried where you can see your self going for a Plan D if things go all Zombie Apocalypse.

Another persons systems might differ. They might have 2 E&E caches and no JICC go to war set up. The exact quantity and make up of their systems could differ based on their needs/ wants. Also obviously I did not try to list the entire composition of every system.

The point would be to decide how you want to be set up and make that happen instead of just getting more and more stuff.

Thoughts?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Importance of Inspecting Bags

These days my Rucksack just stays packed. We do not go to the field every other week or something but I use it for road marching once a week and just like to keep it ready to go. At this stage in my career I have accumulated enough spare socks/ t shirts/ etc that the ones in my ruck can just stay there. For the latest round of field time I almost just grabbed my ruck and took off. Decided it would be a good idea to look in it and I am glad I did.

I was missing a couple key things:

For whatever reason I didn't have a sleeping bag or a woobie or anything like that. Granted this is Louisiana in the dog days of summer so the gore tex bivy could have worked and just sleeping in my clothes would have kept me alive but some sort of insulation makes for a comfortable sleep. I put in my HPG Mountain Serape.

Also for reasons that escape me I have one pair of socks in my bag and they were mid weight and made of wool. When I took out the rest of the winter module I must have missed them. While wool can be worn in any season all but the lightest garments are punishing in this heat. I kept that pair of socks and added 3 lighter pair.

There was a bottle of anti inflamatory pain killers in my ruck. The gel tablets had melted together into a big ball. So those need to be replaced with non gel tablets. 

Those additions made my ruck pass a quick initial inspection.

During the field problem I identified the lack of a medical kit in my ruck as an issue. Granted there is one in my level 2.5 get home bag but that was not with me. Need to add at least a basic boo boo kit. Those supplies can back fill stuff in my level 2.5 GHB when they are used together. Picked up the stuff for a boo boo kit today.

The point is not to assume. For systems you use semi regularly you really need to inspect them /at some interval, and before every major use.

Thoughts?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

My Level 2.5 Get Home Bag Update 4/11/2015

I talked about my level 2.5 system awhile back and did a full breakdown. Since then I acquired a new bag and have trimmed the system down to a more manageable size/ weight. Anyway somebody asked for a full breakdown so here it is.
 From top to bottom:
-Burner phone with charger. I keep this as a back up to my normal phone. I'm not worried about the Gubmint listening in on me but like the layer of anonymity when buying/ selling things. 
-Little tan bag with some cash in it. Enough to buy a tank of gas and a few meals as well as to have cash to flash to buy a ride if I need to. "I will pay you a hundred bucks to take me in the general direction you are already going" type thing.
-Glock 19 with 2 spare mags loaded with Federal 115gr JHP ammo. It is in my trusty Bianchi 100 professional but there is a little Raven Vanguard 2 just in case some time I put it in the bag and forget the holster.
-IFAK. TQ, Israeli bandage, compressed gauze, nasal breathing tube and needle.
-Boo boo kit. Band aids, mole skin, athletic tape, liquid bandage, etc. Recently added some caffine pills and peptol bismol.
-Benchmade Bushcrafter knife. 
I ended up putting this knife back in. I think a full tang knife that can be pushed pretty hard has value that makes it's additional weight worthwhile.
-Piece of VS 17 panel and a whistle for signalling.
-Headlamp and extra batteries.
-Nalgene bottle and stainless nesting cup.
-Compass, map, protractor, notecards and pencils
-Sawyer water filter.
 -TP and spare socks. Not real sure why they share a bag.
-Nomex flight gloves.
-Fire kit. Lighter, matches and a couple little candles.
-Food. A couple things of tuna, some peanut butter, a bag of M&M's, some instant coffee and 5 cliff bars.
-My Tactical Tailor Removable Operator Pack.
-ECWCS wind jacket
-Poncho with stakes and 550 cord.
-The woobie this photo is taken on is also part of the system.
Not shows
-A small bag of 550 cord I overlooked in the bottom of the bag.

 The bag fully loaded.


Of course no system is ever completely finished.
Things I need to add:
-A larger (smaller scale so bigger coverage) map
-A couple freeze dried meals to beef up the calorie count a bit.

 Things I am considering doing:
-Swapping out the woobie for a thermal/ casualty blanket at least for the summer. This would save some weight and considerable bulk.

Things I would like to do but have not yet funded.
-Titanium cup
-Snugpack jungle blanket. Smaller and a bit lighter than the woobie and I suspect warmer.
-Potentially a lighter knife that is still full tang.

On an unrelated note out advertiser Lucky Gunner has Glock 23 magazines on sale for $22.95 instead of the usual 28-30. Glock mags practically never go on sale so if you have a G23 jump on this deal.

So anyway that is my bag. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Assault Pack/ Get Home Bag AKA Level 2.5 Load- Including New Comments and Discussion

Awhile back TEOTWAWKI Blog did an everyday carry bag contest. Both to support that excellent blog and provide something I felt was lacking to the conversation I participated. Have been meaning to cross post that discussion here and today seems like as good a time as any.

 This is the bag I carry basically everywhere. It is a merger of my everyday carry bag, survivalist 'get home bag and military assault pack. It has plenty of room for the usual civilian EDC lunch, laptop, paperback book, etc all for when I go someplace. Admittedly the ratio of stuff in there to spare room is pretty high but the stuff in there already covers many of the anticipated needs I would be putting stuff in there to fill the bag with anyway.
This system presumes I am carrying my normal EDC stuff and have servicable clothing/ footwear. I keep some clothes and footwear in the vehicle in case I get caught in swim trunks and flip flops.
My system is carried in a Tactical Tailor backpack. It is about a decade old so names and models have changed but I think they still make a similar bag. This thing has been used and abused and just keeps kicking. There is something to be said for buying nice once. I attached a water bottle holder, want to say Maxpedition brand.
The whole system is shown on my HPG Serape.
Generally from left to right, grouped by rough system:
Food: I set this system up with the home made MRE day of food (oatmeal, ramen, tuna, granola bars, peanut butter) in the ziplock bag but ended up puttiing a bunch more stuff in there, plus an MRE plus a small baggie of granola bars and snacks that sits in the front pouch for easy snacking access. Without doing calorie math this is probably enough food to replace energy/ calorie loss in a high output environment for roughly 2.5 days. There is also a 5 hour energy shot in there. Also pictured are a plastic spork and a metal spoon.

Clothing: 2 pair of boot socks, a pair of nomex fliers gloves, a t shirt and underoos. Also there is a lightweight poly pro top and a fleece beanie. In putting this together I toyed with taking them out as well it is June in Louisiana but they are pretty light and small. Might be good to have in case I get wet and the temp drops a bit or something. The clothing currently rides in a white plastic trash bag in case my backpack gets moist.I would like to replace this with a USGI wet weather bag or similar civilian equivalent.
Over on the other side rolled up is a multicam soft shell type jacket. They are comfortable, breathe well and are good for wind as well as moderate rain.
Lighting: Shown is a Petzl headlamp and a little LED light. In making this my daughter got to messing with the small light and I found out it doesn't work..Next to it is a small bag with a variety of batteries (AA, AAA and CR2032) plus a bic lighter.
Tools: Ka Bar. I wanted a good fixed blade knife for this system and it seemed like a decent candidate. Certainly it was the best candidate already in my inventory. It is there for heavier survival type tasks my folder might not be ideal for. Also it is sharp and could hurt someone if needed. Given that this bag is often lying around here or there I want to stick to tools that are fairly low priced. Would be hesitant to keep a $400 Busse TGLB in here but a $50 Ka Bar is an acceptable risk.
I am looking at shifting up to a slightly beefier more survival (vs fighting/ general) type knife specifically one of those beefy British MOD Sheffiield survival knives or some sort of Ontario offering.

First Aid: I have a 'boo boo kit' with band aid's, tylenol, moleskin, liquid bandaide and athletic tape. The goal is to keep me walking and treat minor injuries. There is also a chapstick in there. Next to it are a pair of spare glasses and some ballistic eye pro.
Weapons Cleaning: A small cleaning kit plus a ziplock bag with an old toothbrush and some pipe cleaners. This is mostly because I use the bag for military applications as well as general/ survival use. Still being able to clean a weapon is a handy thing.
Honestly I dislike this kit and prefer the older ones with solid metal rods but well this one was handy.
Shelter: The system is shown on my HPG Serape. It is expensive but a real useful do a lot of things piece of kit. There is a generic casualty/ thermal type metalish blanket in the  middle and a survival solutions OPSEC poncho over on the right. Next to the poncho are 4 lightweight metal stakes wrapped with a wad of 550 cord and 2 bungie cords to aid in shelter making.
Between the poncho, serape and casualty blanket I have a decent 3 season solution for the South.

Communication: A couple 3x5 cards and a variety of writing implements. Also a piece of VS-17 panel for signaling.
Navigation: Compass, a Silva base model I've had for half my life. It still points north and is light n easy to stick anywhere. The 1 gallon bag has my navigation stuff which consists of a couple maps, a protractor and a couple pencils.
Water:a 1qt steel bottle with nesting lid. For resupply I have a Sawyer Mini water filter and a bottle of purification tablets.
Hygiene: I have a roll of TP for obvious reasons. 
Cordage: There is a wad of 550 cord in a small ziplock bag.
Self Defense: This system presumes I have my normal CCW pistol. Shown are 2 33rd Glock magazines and a G19 mag. They are empty currently. Also 100 rds of 9mm ball is there. I'm still sort of feeling this one out. Honestly I'm not too concerned about firepower but the idea from Ed's post to keep a couple extended mags seemed sound, the G19 mag is just in case I forget to bring a reload or otherwise need a normal sized mag. The ammo is enough to load the Glockamole mags and the spare G19 mag plus reload my 2 edc mags.
Honestly in my area if things developed in such a way I needed them there would be plenty of time to load them. I carry 2 mags for CCW so this is not a huge concern.Got to figure this part of the system out.
To Do (at some point or another):
Replace small LED light
Purchase USGI WW bag.
Get mag pouch to hold 2 extended glock mags. Probably load said mags. Figure out how I want to carry any extra ammo.
Replace plastic spork and metal spoon with 1x metal spork.
Replace cleaning kit with a better one.
Relook food and maybe remove some through attrition.
Add an IFAK for trauma. I have the stuff, just need to put it together and toss it into the bag.
Add a pair of cheapo foamy ear plugs.
Put a bit of cash in there. I typically carry $150-200 USD in my wallet but $40 in mixed bills with a few quarters wouldn't hurt.
Get a stuff sack for the stakes, cord, etc.
I am toying with putting a hydration bladder into this system. It would boost the water capacity a lot and be handier on the go. I have a minimalist camelback and a couple spare bladders so it will not cost me anything to try.
Discussion:
My concerns in rural Louisiana are not the same as many peoples. As such you can see it is far more outdoor survival oriented than on more urban concerns of riots and such.
This bag is rather militaristic and full of multi cam as well as various USGI stuff. That is because I am in the Army and A) this setup is dual use for comparable military and civilian applications.  B) It was largely put together of stuff on hand. Aside from duplicates (headlamp, water bottle, etc) the only stuff purchased intentionally for this kit were the bag (about a decade ago for Army stuff) and the HPG Serape. The rest was already on inventory.
If I was a civilian the bag would likely be a quality Kelty/ REI type day pack in an earth tone. Ditto for the multicam being replaced with green and the USGI stuff with civilian equivalents.
If folks were interested in setting up a similar system I would recommend they focus more on type/ capabilities of stuff than exact make/ model. No real reason you should get a basic Silva compass like mine over say a comparable Brunton model that is on sale. 
Edited to include:
Part of the reason I wanted to to do this is because this bag is going to receive some attention in the near future. My goal is to make it a bit more versatile to a wider variety of more modern concerns. As such I wanted to document the original and then look at/ talk through the changes that will be made. More to follow in coming weeks. 

As always your thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

Edited to include:
I was going to write a couple of lengthy replies so it made sense to bring them up to the main page. Comments will be in italics and my replies will be bold.

Anonymous Commander_Zero said... (note Zero replied to my thoughts so my original words are normal, his are in Italics and my reply to his reply is Bold.
"Purchase USGI WW bag." - Whats a WW bag? Wet weather bag.
Get mag pouch to hold 2 extended glock mags. - I use the Maxpedition MP5 mag pouches, or the Blackhawk 3x MP5 pouch.
Noted, Though the 2x melee mags might be a casualty in the new revision.
Replace plastic spork and metal spoon with 1x metal spork. - I went with the Titanium spork. Practical yet tacticool. I have a Light My Fire Titanium Spork  in the BOB. Reviewed them awhile back. Actually I think there are a couple floating around our various kits. The downside of multiple fairly redundant systems is that I end up needing a few of the same thing. Another will get tagged onto an order in the near future.

I am toying with putting a hydration bladder into this system. It would boost the water capacity a lot and be handier on the go. I have a minimalist camelback and a couple spare bladders so it will not cost me anything to try. - Im playing with the military ones from Source and am so far pleased, esp. with their little 1-liter that will fit in a GI canteen pouch and lets me refill without taking the bladder out of the pouch.

Tossed a  CamelBak Hydrobak 50oz Black that was already on inventory into the rig. That way I could take it with and have the option to put it into/ on the bag or use it independently. Will fiddle with this system more to see how well it works.Those Source ones are nice. I had one at some point but think it got thieved by an Army buddy.


October 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM
Delete
Blogger TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf said...
Ryan -

Thanks for the kind words about T-Blog. Looking forward to seeing where you're taking your bag.

October 14, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Alexander, The general trend will be adapting it to have some more urban type capabilities. A full set of clothes in a naked bag, burner cell phone, maybe some little E&E gadgets and potentially a multi tool.
Delete
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Good article!

We have been working on our get-home bags, recently.

There is always room for improvement. I am still adjusting the food element/clothing element of our bags. It is an ongoing process.


I find our systems are rarely static. 

October 14, 2014 at 9:26 PM
Delete
Blogger tweell said...
I've added a bit more hygiene for mine - a hotel soap and a couple wet alcohol wipes, along with a comb. The comb is handy for combing cactus off - here in the SW that can be a problem.
There's just hard candy in my bag for food. Empty calories, but non-perishable and doesn't require extra water. 3L water, because this is a desert. A multi-tool, since I can't carry one at work. 


Tweell, I often rock wet wipes exclusively for hygiene though a tooth brush would be a good idea. The multi tool I am really on the fence about. In the woods not that awesome but in town a pair of pliers and some screwdrivers can be darn handy. May include one if I can find a place to trim some weight off.

October 14, 2014 at 10:50 PM
Delete
Anonymous riverrider said...
nice setup. this is pretty much what i was talking about using with my enhanced lbe setup. been looking for a knife sheath that drops a couple inches to clear the pistol belt and/or ruck belt. i liked it better when there wasn't any choice of gear. it was alice, suck it up. now there's too much out there to choose from i suffer from decision paralysis.
October 15, 2014 at 9:25 AM

RR, Great minds think alike. For your knife problem it is hard to give a good answer without knowing all the variables (knife, sheath, what it is attaching to, etc). Generally speaking SPEC OPS makes a pretty decent looking Spec-Ops Brand Combat Master Knife Sheath 6-Inch Blade (Coyote Brown, Short) or for Ka Bar length knives the Spec-Ops Brand Combat Master Knife Sheath 8-Inch Blade (Coyote Brown, Long). Of course they are one size fits most but if it's along fairly general utility/ fighting knife lines it'll probably fit. Another option is a dangler to go on your existing sheath. A third option depending on your budget to gear snob ratio is to rig up something with either 550 cord or zip ties. Hope that helps.
Delete

 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Things On My Mind

1) Adjusting my systems to factor in both rural and urban type considerations. Having system(s) that will work if I get stuck in the woods or have to crash land in a city. Obviously regional considerations apply. Zero in Montana does not need subway tokens in his bag and a guy in Arizona probably does not need snow shoes. However to say that everything is situational and individually dependent is a cop out. That is the 'everyone is great' of preparedness.

There are certainly right as well as wrong answers. The real question is how to balance competing demands to fit the various scenarios you may face.

2) Toying with getting some sort of a .40 S&W probably a Glock to beef up the Operational Cache. While the .38/.357 DA revolver is the standard for one group of people I am in at home my friends there seem to have unintentionally standardized to .40 S&W, specifically Glocks. Not high on the list bit it is something on my radar if a deal pops up.

3) Got my hands on some Brad Thor adventure/ spy type books at a garage sale for .50c a piece and am working through them. Enjoyable stuff for sure. Some reviews and thoughts will follow in due time.

4) Think we are taking the first real (not just Walker and I in the back yard) family camping trip next month. Should be an excellent forcing function to get some of our stuff relooked and then test it out.

5) The AR Folding Stock Adapter has intriguing possibilities, especially for a shorter AR. You do have to open it to fire more than 1 shot but still being able to get an AR into a (fairly) normal sized backpack opens up a range of possibilities.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Just A Quick Trip To The Store

Today after making a nice dinner of beef fajitas it came up that somebody needed to run out to the store to pick up an item. So I got ready to go to the nearest place that offered said item, a five minute drive away. Put on a belt, stuck a subcompact handgun (in holster) in a pocket, a reload in another picket, grabbed my wallet, phone and keys then threw on the first footwear I found and was out the door.

Since I was planning for the next day at work my usual knife and lighter were in the gym bag.

I got to the store and in a typical survivalist way thought "what would I do if something happened right now." Lets ignore the fact that I could easily walk home barefoot from there. Well I had the basic capacity for self defense, almost surely sufficient for a small town store at 7pm on a Thursday. My footwear were iffy, I didn't have a knife or a lighter.

However all of these things were in the modestly sized but fairly thought out set of stuff in my vehicle. My GHB, a pair of running shoes I no longer use with socks in them, a good knife, fire, food and water a plenty (I often forget to bring lunch to work or can't leave so I keep a few cans of food, some oatmeal, ramen, etc above and beyond the food in my bag) if needed.

These sorts of events happen in life and when you least expect is is when you are inevitably slammed. Establish and maintain systems to help cover for human shortcomings that inevitably occur.

Friday, June 13, 2014

RE: Deep Thoughts: EDC Bags At TEOTWAWKI Blog

TEOTWAWKI Blog is running an EDC Bag Contest. In this post he discussed the issue at a conceptual level. I find it interesting and honestly am too worn down (seriously I think it is the humidity) to put in the effort to do one of the posts I have in the pipeline so you get my thoughts on his post. So in no particular order here we go:

1) Obviously the exact makeup of a bag type kit is going to vary from person to person based on their situation and what sort of concerns they have. A college student in Vermont will not need exactly what a cop down in Ole Mexico like Ed Wood needs any more than a subway commuter in a massive urban center will need all the things I carry down in empty Central Louisiana. You get the point.

2) While #1 is true the real variance in well thought out decent kits is a lot less than you might initially think.Any well thought out methodology such as E&E or SF Survival Doctrine (John Mosby mentioned SMOLLS-E or something, I cannot find the post though) or Dave Canterbury's 5 C's is going to have a lot in common. An EDC type kit (on body stuff plus bag if applicable) is going to include a knife, a way to make fire, a container to hold water, some food, some first aid stuff, etc. It is sort of like recipes for say wheat bread. A dozen good recipes will all be slightly different but it is in small ways such as the ratio of wheat to white flour or seeds added or exact amounts of sugar and salt, the addition of butter or raisins, etc. The point I am making is that at their core good kits are going to be a lot more alike than different. So if your kit looks radically different from that of smart, capable people with a generally similar concept of use I would recommend you rethink it and potentially consider further education/ retraining on the topic.

3) The ratio of space allocated to preparedness type items is something worth discussing. I think this depends a bit on your bag needs and a lot on your worst case scenario combined with the bags concept of use.

If you want a normal sized backpack to carry a lunchbox, a big thermos of coffee, a water bottle and a book there is not going to be much room left for preparedness related gear. So you can either be happy with a modest but well thought out kit in the smaller pouches on the bag, downsize the non prep stuff you carry daily or get a bigger bag.

4) Generally speaking for whatever amount of space I chose to allocate in said bag the categories of stuff are going to basically be the same type of stuff with larger kits getting bigger items or more stuff to meet the same basic needs. A personal survival kit could fit in any bag and I would have a water bottle for general use. A box of granola bars or comparable food plus a pair of socks and a fleece watch cap could easily fit someplace in most bags and is a pretty decent setup in and of itself. 

5) Personally to the maximum extent possible is to use preparedness functional items for everyday type use. Instead of a cheesy plastic bottle I use a stainless steel one with a removable lid. I keep some food in there that could be used in an emergency or just to replace a forgotten lunch.

This is admittedly a lot easier for me as a service member because 1) Overtly tactical type stuff is acceptable as well as common place and 2) My military as well as generally wilderness/ rural movement type concerns largely overlap. A lot of the stuff I would need for a no notice long day or overnight in the field is pretty similar to what I would need for a day and a half to two day long forced march home or a couple days stuck someplace. We could debate the exact place one type of bag or system stops and another starts. Honestly this is somewhere Alex and I see things differently.

As you will see when my entry hits the TEOTWAWKI Blog EDC Bag Contest mine is a bit more comprehensive in some areas than most. That being said.

6) Alexander is absolutely right there is serious potential for 'mission creep'. I personally had this the first time I really set up my current EDC bag for preparedness. It weighted 40 pounds, was absolutely jam packed and I was looking at tying a darn sleeping bag onto it!  Quickly I realized that while 40 pounds of stuff fit into my TT glorified day pack it would carry like doo doo. I ended up putting that stuff into an internal frame pack and it became my BOB.

While I fully recognize the problem I am not entirely sure I have an answer to it. Personally I solved my problem by establishing, or trying to anyway, a tired system of everyday carry, fighting load, level 2.5 assault pack/ GHB/ EDC and my BOB. Eventually I would like to firm up a heavy vehicle based bug out system. Knowing there is a kit that meets a more comprehensive specific need lets me accept that another system is a bit lighter in certain areas.

7) Multi functional gear makes a lot of sense here given the relative size and weight constraints. When space is limited items, especially bulky and or heavy ones being multi functional is ideal. That is why despite the expense and relative bulk I love the HPG Serape.

8) #2 and #7 being said you have to look at potential (or actual) items for what you use in the field or whatever type situations your bag is set up for while keeping items needed for contingencies. Example, After some consideration I decided not to include a multi tool in my EDC bag (or on my person). I simply do not use them often enough to justify one in these systems. Many folks look at that problem differently and I do not fault them for it.

9) Talking about gear, kits and systems is fun.

10) I am bored of writing so it is time to end this.

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.



Friday, November 15, 2013

James Yeager Bug Out Experiment #4 of 7


James Yeager is a pretty polarizing figure (to say it mildly). He makes a lot of brash points, many of which are right or at least have some legitimate points. Anyway enough about him and onto this series. This video series has been quite interesting. It has touched on concept of use and names of bags, survival vs bush crafting, the importance of systems that work together and all kinds of other stuff. I am probably going to touch on those topics, among others, soon. Anyway I am eager to see where the next 3 videos go.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Gear and Stores Organization: An Open Discussion

Today I want to have a dialog about how we store and organize gear, food and various other survivalist type stuff. Generally speaking I think organization is the difference between having a useful collection of stuff that fits efficiently into a minimal amount of space and giant piles of junk everywhere. The difference between the two extremes is truly huge for our real ability to manage inventory and get to stuff in a timely manner.

Containers: Generally speaking I like rubbermaid type totes. They are just great for all sorts of things.

Racks and Shelves: While they can get spendy these really help you use the space available as efficiently as possible. Also you can get to the stuff on the bottom easy, while in a pile it might be an hour.

Hanging Stuff: A relative put up nails in the garage to hang (mostly empty) backpacks from.  This got them off the floor and out of the way. Space along the upper part of an unoccupied wall is often available.

Like Items Together or Apart? Items that currently have a purpose go where they need to be to suit that purpose. So the flashlight in the kitchen goes in the kitchen; the one in a ruck goes there, the one in a cache goes there, etc. On the other hand the spare flashlights that do not have a current purpose should probably be together. My thinking behind this is that I can go to 1 place and see what the replacement/ spare/ not currently allocated inventory is. If stuff is all over the place I could spend half the day looking for a specific light.

Inventories: I could certainly improve here. Some stuff such as ammo and food merit inventories while other items of lesser importance and lower counts (which means it is easier to rely in memory) might not be worth the hassle.

Those are some of my general observations on organization. What has worked for you? What do you wish you would have tried earlier? What has caused you problems?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

BOB Weight, Concept of Use and Bag Selection

Editors Note: I received a comment worth talking about here. Seemed easiest to answer it point by point in the letter. My answers will be in italics. End Note

@Ryan, out of curiousity, any idea what your bag weighs to give an idea?

My bag weighted 42 pounds wet (with water) and 38 dry when weighted a few weeks ago.


As well, I'm by no means new to this stuff, but one thing I definitely don't have right now is a BOB. I've got large kits in the car, weapons, and the skills to go with them all from hunting to bush living but I'm trying to understand the purpose of a BOB. Is it solely if you had to ditch somewhere on foot? Basically a dedicated emergency backpacking trip bag in stupid terms? Just trying to figure out the reason behind it so that way I can start building it to my specs!

When it comes to kits there is a serious lack of continuity in naming/ concept of use/ contents within the survivalist community. I talked about this and my thoughts on it as the 'tiers' of gear relate to military and civilian kits not too long ago. To briefly recap I think it is probably more important to talk concept of use and a brief description of the list of components than go by some arbitrary self imposed title. The primary reason I even call this a bug out bag here is because that is what the cool survivalist kids on the interwebz call them and thus what people like to read about. 

My 'BOB' AKA ruck is a 3rd line sustainment load. Concept of use varies person to person based on their own concerns and environment. Personally my primary concerns are 1) Getting Munsoned in the middle of nowhere. 2) A short notice evacuation type of situation like a chemical spill or something. 3) Last is as a ready to go "Grab the backpack and a rifle then run for the woods" type kit. 

My kit is set up so it is man portable for the long walk home or run to the woods scenario because it is possible to have that capability for those unlikely scenarios while covering all of the more likely ones. In reality of we ever "Bug Out" odds are very high all we will need is enough fuel to get clear of a regional disaster and a visa card to get a room in a hotel then order pizza when we get there. That being said things could be worse like a wider scenario, we could get stuck someplace, etc all. The way I look at it we can have a bunch of great survival gear sitting in the corner of a hotel room with the only downside being I need to carry it into the room. On the other hand if we leave with just a visa card and get stuck on the highway in the middle of nowhere we have big issues. Sort of like you said my bag is a dedicated sustainment load geared towards emergency situations.
 
Not to mention, how do you choose the pack, because if you're anything like me you've got some nice packs and a older one as well. I'd rather put it in one of my 2 nice 2500-3k in bags to ruck with rather than the large old, external aluminum frame one I bought from my dad. I use both my medium size good ones for school and mil but the big one is always empty. Anyone/Ryan, do you have this predicament? Thoughts? Thanks!

Choosing a pack is a complicated issue. A bag needs to be durable and in earth tones for sure. Other than that options are almost endless. Using a bag you already have that fits the bill is a fine option.

Between the bags you have I think we need to take a step back to look at concept of use. A kit designed to comfortably sustain a person during winter in rural North Dakota for 4 days is obviously going to be substantially larger than a 2 day kit for summer in the South. I figured out the list of stuff for my kit then put it together to see how much bag was really necessary. Basically if the stuff you want fits in a nice smaller bag, otherwise put it in the larger bag. If you are comfortable using the older bag just keep it, otherwise consider a more modern replacement when finances allow.

As to the bag vs bag dilemma I did have that in building my 'get home bag.' My Tactical Tailor assault pack could not simultaneously fill two roles. The way I solved it was to get a budget but quality (mine is a nicer model bough used but basic Jansport bags run $25ish and are just fine) to carry books, my lunch, etc all leaving the bombproof TT bag for my 'get home bag.'

Hope that helps,
-Ryan

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bug Out Bag Component List

I have been halfway meaning to do something like this for awhile. Part of the reason I haven't is that so many people have done their slightly different take on the same thing that my particular flavor would probably not bring much to the overall conversation. The other part is that it will be a bit of a hassle to pull everything out and catalog it. Honestly the reason this is getting done is that a friend asked me for a list. Not like an internet acquaintance (though I love you all) but a real 3 in the morning shotgun, bag of lime and shovel type friend. So here we are.

Before getting going it is worth touching on my concept of use for this 'Bug Out Bag'. My intent is for a bag that can sustain a person (not including all water) for at least 72 hours under situations they are likely to face. Obviously the winter BOB of a person living in North Dakota will be considerably different than one for a person in Florida. People in all but the mildest climates would be well advised to have a winter module to add to their spring/ summer setup.

 I am going to break this down into different sub systems. Will then list my opinions of what is necessary per sub system. You might disagree with a particular widget but think hard before leaving out a whole sub system.

Carry Containers
-Large bag aprox 3k cubic in size. Mine is an older REI brand model that luckily came out in earth tones. There are tons of great bag options from several hundred dollar brands like Kirafu or Mystery Ranch down to the terrible to carry but durable Alice for $30ish. Just get a good earth tone bag you will practice carrying.
-Hill People Gear kit bag to carry my survival load. Survival load components are bold and put in their individual categories. In a more kinetic situation the stuff currently in my kit bag would go into the fighting load.

Sub Systems

Tools- Pathfinder trade knife in survival load, Cold Steel trail hawk, leatherman multi tool, Lansky diamond rod sharpener.

Fire- Survival load: Lighter with rubber bands around it in small ziplock,  rod and steel. Fire kit containing 1x bic lighter with rubber bands around it, match case full of matches, 4x tea candles

Navigation- Compass in survival load. Maps. 1x 1:50k of my immediate area. 1x state map with as much detail as possible. Protractor and 2x pencils. All in 1 gallon ziplock bag. Wrist compass as backup.

Water- 2x 1qt water bottles, MSR bladder (empty) in ruck, water purification tablets in survival load, Sawyer water filter

Food- 72 hours worth of food broken into 1 day bags, Bag of hard candy

Cooking- Stainless steel canteen cup, Solo Stove with Solo Pot 900 (conspicuously absent from the bag today, MIA from the move I guess)

Shelter- Swack Shack for shelter, woobie for warmth (obviously a light system for summer in Arizona then Louisiana), Heavy duty space blanket just in case.
Spare clothes- Boonie hat, Gore Tex jacket, polypro top (waffle type), long sleeved shirt, short sleeved t shirt, pants, fleece hat, 2 pair of sock, leather gloves

First Aid- My first aid gear is broken up into an IFAK and a boo boo kit. The IFAK is my trauma stuff. The Boo boo kit is more of a kit designed to keep me moving and as comfortable as possible.

IFAK- Tourniquet, Israeli bandage, compressed gauze, Needle for chest decompression, Nasal airway tube, Glow stick in case it is dark when I need this stuff.

Boo boo kit containing bandaids, mole skin, duct tape, pain killers, liquid bandage, athletic tape, neosporin, crazy glue and yet another glow stick

Hygiene- 1x roll of TP in ziplock bag, wash cloth, bar of soap, toothbrush, floss (w/ large needle inside for emergency repairs, chap stick

Lighting- Headlamp in survival load, Glow stick left side pouch, battery powered glow stick in right side pouch, cheapo LED light in top pouch, glow stick in IFAK. Basically every pouch has some sort of light in it just in case.

Signaling- Whistle in survival load, strip of VS-17 panel, weatherproof notebook and pencil

Self Defense- This one gets a lot of play. Honestly aside from wanting to have some spare ammo it doesn't get much play in my bag. I carry 2x G17 magazines, 50 rounds of 9mm ammo and 50 rounds of .22lr. Obviously guns to go with these cartridges are implied and ammo is as a backup. I could certainly add to this admittedly minimalist setup if the situation dictated. That being said the lions share of that would go in a fighting load. At most a couple of spare bandoleers of ammo would go into my ruck.

Misc- Aprox 20ft of 550 cord in survival load, 1x heavy duty contractor type black plastic bag, 6x AAA batteries for my headlamp (2x replacements), 2x replacement batteries for the battery powered glowstick. Also in a bug out type situation I would add our important document folder, emergency cash and precious metals. That stuff does not live in the bag because it goes in the car on long drives and such.

Discussion: First and foremost obviously needs will vary by the scenario(s) you are worried about, your skill level in different areas, region and season. Also there is a reasonable degree of individual preference. For example I currently have a medium sized belt knife and a tomahawk while another person might carry a large knife and a folding saw. You get the idea.

I am not going to say my system is set, let alone perfect. It is sort of an evolving thing that I am not quite done with. Need to add more 550 cord beyond the survival load, build some skills then add a food procurement system of fishing stuff plus some traps. Second this also reminds me to take a look and maybe rotate out some pain meds, etc. Along with this I need to get moving on adapting the kit to Louisiana, getting local maps, probably adding some bug spray, etc.

Hopefully this helps my buddy and maybe a few other people. What is in your bug out bag?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Road Trip 2013 Preparations

We are gearing up for the move. Road tripping across a couple states is fairly simple. Toss in a couple of very young kids, a big shaggy dog and trailer full of stuff then things become a lot more interesting.

I got to thinking about it from a preparedness standpoint. Obviously maps are very important. A GPS, while it does not replace maps, is so useful, especially when detours or mistakes lead you off track. Water is a particular concern down here in the South West so carrying plenty of it is a sound move. Some extra fuel, oil and coolant plus a few basic spare tools are prudent. More stuff makes sense depending on your skill level and vehicles needs.

As to guns a few will be readily accessible. A full sized pistol and a CCW piece for me, Wifey's .38 and some sort of long gun. Haven't decided on what for the long gun yet, probably a rifle of some sort. This may be one of those places a folding stock AK which fits into a duffel bag has a role.

For carrying the full sized pistol I'll be using a Galco Miami Classic. Part of the drive to stay legal I'll need to open carry anyway so why not have the benefits of a full sized handgun. The small one could go AIWB or pocket depending on the situation.

Since I have gotten a lot more organized with systems our gear, food, etc is a lot easier. BOB's will go someplace we can grab them fairly fast and that covers it. Just grabbing a bag and knowing we are good is very comforting and much easier than grabbing random individual pieces. Am going to make sure there is a spare Solo Stove in Wifey's bag (I've tried hard to keep it real light) and the Camp Knife will go into my bag where it's going to live anyway. That'll pretty much cover it.

We aren't going to be driving too far per day which should help with the kids. Basically we are going to hop onto 10 then not get off till Houston. Looking forward to seeing New Mexico and a lot of Texas, more than the brief glimpse I had some years back. Hoping to check out the Alamo if we have the time to spare.

Over the next couple weeks blogging will be catch as catch can.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Putting Together Bags and Systems

Alexander Wolfe has been talking about the Good Idea Fairly lately in terms of how it relates to different things, in this case hygiene kits. In choosing what to pack/ carry there are always choices. Sometimes there is an element of personal selection within a given category. A guy I know carries a big knife and a folding saw. Personally I am more of a medium sized knife and hawk/hatchet guy. Both are fine options and personal preference can dictate the choice. Assuming relatively similar capabilities and weight it doesn't matter what people choose.

To some degree I think personal preference can dictate some smaller items that one chooses. Maybe some playing cards, a book, smokes, a pint of booze, whatever. However the amount of weight that goes to discretionary non essential items does need to be seriously managed. 10% probably isn't a bad fraction. 

There are inherently choices to be made. The problem is that inexperienced people who do not actually carry or use their stuff tend to choose everything. Hygiene kits that would take care of a model for 2 weeks, seven cutting tools, 4 full changes of clothes, etc. These folks end up with huge bags full of excessive, redundant stuff, they are too out of shape to actually carry any distance. In a fully catch .22 they never use the stuff to get past the point of inexperience. Implied task, start carrying your stuff and using it!

This discussion combined with Joe Fox's book (which I owe a review on) and my general desire to do something productive got me looking at my bags. Part of the change in my setup was transitioning to summer stuff. Since I'm in Arizona the low's this time of year are not exactly low so one doesn't need much warm stuff. On the plus side the weight dropped down some. It went from almost 60 pounds to 44 wet/ 40 dry. I would like to shave a bit more off so it's closer to 40 wet. Went through things looking at what I would be comfortable taking out and did not come up with anything. Maybe a complete bag dump and relook in the next couple days will help me find some stuff to ditch.

Took the new leaner and meaner bag out for a ruck today. While I could carry the heavier one fine the lower weight was sure appreciated.

Anyway I'm not sure where this is going so it's time to wrap it up. In coming days I will be talking more about my gear. Maybe it will give you some ideas or at least make someone go over their stuff.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts