Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bare Bones Bag - Optional Augmentation

Okay, let's assume now that you have all your gear assembled in your vehicle, and ready to go. You went through the effort to pack everything as neatly and tightly as you could, but somewhere along the way home, the unexpected happened: you lost your backpack, or someone stole it while you were sleeping. It could happen.

For this you need what I call a "bare bones bag." It is basically a small pouch that holds your most desperate of survival equipment. It should contain the following:

1. Energy bars. You won't be cooking this food. This food should require no preparation and should be loaded with calories, carbs, sugars, protein, and and other essential nutrients. No points for taste either.

2. Unopened water bottle. I packed one of those 16.9 ounce water bottles in mine and it fits without taking up all the room. It's not much water, but it is at least something.

3. First-Aid kit. Make it practical, yet small. Keep some pain relievers in there, anti-biotics if you can find em, imodium, slings, bandages, ointments, etc. I'll write more on first-aid kits in the next installment.

4. Flashlight with extra batteries/bulb.

5. Map of the area and a compass. They don't have to be fancy. They just have to work.

6. Thermal emergency blanket and an emergency poncho. Both will keep you dry. One will keep you warm. Carry both.

7. Small knife. Mine will be packed with a solid steel knife that I can wrap some para-cord around the skeletal handle with.

8. Fire starter and waterproof matches in a waterproof container.

9. Sunscreen (and sunglasses if you can fit them).

10. Wipes of some kind (baby wipes, anti-sceptic wipes, alcohol pads).

11. Survival Kit in a Can. It's redundant in a few ways, but it can be a life saver for when you are absolutely desperate. Plus, it will hold all the other little things that you may have never thought to pack, but will have when you need them.

This pouch should be large enough to hold all of this gear, yet be small enough to be carried on your hip if need be. I purchased one that has snap belt loops for either vertical wearing from the hip or horizontal across the small of my back. It's a used army surplus bag in nearly new condition. The webbing is very strong and the material will repel water to a degree.

The bag itself is part of your bug out bag, but it should be kept as close to or on your person at all times. Never lose sight of it. Should your main pack get destroyed, stolen, lost, or need to be abandoned, you still have this survival kit, and it may save your life.
 
Now, don't get me wrong here.  The items above aren't duplicates of anything that you would normally take along.  This pouch is just a place to assemble the stuff you will use the most to make it easy and convenient.  Plus, you can remove this from the main pack to keep it safe with you, should you need to rest or ditch your main bag.
 
-James

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