Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bad Things Happen to Good People Bag, some assy req'd

After a pretty serious amount of interest (at least on MY scale, Thanks Tam!) in my version of the ready bag (choose your favorite nickname! Heck, you can call it Flobert for all I care) I thought I'd put together a real post, pictures and everything! So here's my new Go-Bag.

Here's an overview of my ideal: I'm building a bag that I can have with me at basically all times. I need it to be well organized, convenient, and full of things that I will PROBABLY need. This last requirement is where I shift away from the traditional Bug Out Bag. I have noticed that there are people in the world that are building these Bug Out Bags that have absolutely no concept of how hard it is to carry an 80 lb pack. I HAVE carried an 80 lb pack, and it SUCKS! More to the point, it is nearly impossible, without serious training (yes, I'm looking at you, USMC) to 'grab' an 80 lb backpack and just walk away. Yes, I know the hardcore will excoriate me for not including 17 loaded 35 rd magazines for my M4gery, but I don't even have one of those, so it's a moot point.

What's NOT  moot point, is that this bag is not a 3 day zombie invasion bag. My battle rifle is at home (don't muck about, I am pretty good with stripper clips, and I'm pretty sure I can lay effective fire from the SMLE as fast as the next totally untrained random guy) and that's where I'm trying to get to. If you've waited until you have 8 minutes to duck out before the fall of man, a 3 day bag won't do you any good. So this is a 24 hour bag. It contains a junk-drawer cross section of all the things I think would come in handy if I were REALLY stranded, as well as a few things that I know come in handy on an irregular basis. You all know the chassis I chose (if not, click here) so this is a rundown of the stuff I put in it.

First stop, exterior. As you can see, my hatchet rides quit nicely on the MOLLE webbing that covers the face of the bag. This is just an ordinary hand axe from Gerber- lightweight, stays sharp, handy as all hell. I chose the long handle hatchet, but to suit other needs there is also a compact handle (about 7in) and a camp axe (about 24in) available.

Next, front interior pocket.

As you can see, this pocket has a lot of organizers, which I like.This one contains some of the various school standards, such as pens, pencils, scratch paper, and various patchcords for phones and music, etc. Nothing too exciting here. I have added small bottles of mouthwash, shampoo, and contact solution (and a spare contact case) for some basic hygiene.The first two forms of fire are here, a standard Bic lighter and some strike anywhere matches. I generally prefer to have at least 2 or more means of starting a fire on my person. Two is One and One is None; this applies to fire sources more than others, since they are relatively fragile.

Main Pocket.

This one, as you can well see, has A LOT of pockets. Remember, this is built as a tool bag, so each one of these pockets would hold a wrench, ratchet, or etc. This is great for organizing. Which is also great for me, because in this portion I have, in no particular order: A can of Stearno, roll of duct tape, 3 road flares, water purification tablets, a sewing kit, extra socks, work gloves, ziplock bags, batteries, a hunting knife, sharpening stone, rubber bands, zipties, a small roll of twine, wet-wipes, and two packages of tissues. Whew! Say that 5 times fast! I'm not going to go into the utility or reasoning behind these items, as I'm sure that most people can spot that pretty easily, but I'm going to mention one that most seem to leave off the list: dry socks. You know what the difference is between jungle rot and athlete's foot? You guessed it, dry socks. Also, one will notice that I have rather a lot of items included that are for sanitation. This is not a theoretical inclusion- wet wipes are in there from personal experience. Whether filthy from fire or flood extraction or from gutting a deer, wet wipes can make you feel like an entirely new person. Tissues, by the way, handily double as toilet paper, and there's a reason that fireline crews call that stuff 'mountain money.'

Next up, Blowout Kit(s)

I say multiple kits because I keep a handful of these around at all times. The main portion of my kit in this bag is not actually included, but attached to the outside. That is the small, camerabag looking 'Husky' item that you can see clipped to the waist strap (shown on far right). I keep it thusly because I firmly believe that Blowout kits should be something one does not have to dig for. If you need it, you generally need it when every second counts. Inside that kit, I have the usual bandages, wipes, tweezers, tape, etc. but I also have added an Isreali Battle Dressing, a packet of Celox styptic powder (don't be stupid with this stuff) and a small tube of Super Glue (see previous disclaimer). My booster kit (shown to center) contains extras of several items, including tape, ointment, gauze, and another IBD. This booster kit occupies its own dedicated pocket, which will shortly have a First Aid label applied to it.

A last note on things I haven't added yet. There are a few items that I still have to add to this particular Go-Bag, but they are redundancy items, for the most part. I am going to add a permanent resident flashlight, (two is one and one is none) as well as a spare Leatherman tool (to supplement the one that lives on my side full-time). Some paracord will be added shortly (it's around, just not in the kit yet). The last item is one that I'll have to chase down; a solar/dynamo radio, with USB plugs for charging electronics. Just think how far we have come that I'm trying to figure out how to power my cell phone with a hand crank...

Anyhow, there you have it. That's my Bad Things Happen to Good People Bag. Handy, ever present, and weighing in at a current 13 lbs. After all, if the first rule of gun fights is to have your gun with you, then the first rule of survival is to have your tools with you. An 80lb 3 day pack does you no good if it's safe, at home, cause the damn thing's to heavy to move around.  Stay safe!

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