Τρίτη 15 Μαρτίου 2016

Essential Details in Choosing Gear for your BugOut Bag

There are some details on BugOut Bag items selection that can make the difference on real time use. Using them to rethink one’s selections will his gear reliability, adaptability and capabilities.
For the moment the ones we have located are:

We rarely see any provision for maintaining the ability to move for long, when one configures his BOB. As an example blisters can hinder the ability to walk considerably, if not totally  immobilize one.
So, advance care measures are in order, such as taping the usual hotspots on your feet, carrying blister care materials and talcum powder for both your feet and your crotch.

Image Source: Blister Taping

In most BOBs one will find an extensive fire kit with alternate means to light a fire. But usually we observe an over-reliance on hard to use methods like ferocium strikers which bring a lot of clout but no Fast Reliable First-Try Fire Lighting. (David Canterbuty is big on this).
So one should opt for an easy fire lighting method first of all, and that is done with maintaining a sure-shot flame using chemical fire starters. One can find various kinds of fuel tables, but you can go no further than the old Vaseline and cotton ball trick. It is cheap, readily available in your home, reliable to catch fire with any means, and quite waterproof.

Now, we are to challenge the 550 paracord rule and dogma. While useful and tacticool-sexy etc etc, the truth is that the realities of Bugging Out call for more rope than one usually puts in his bag. A 30-foot hank of paracord is Not enough to make an emergency lean-to shelter out of branches, cos each square lashing consumes 3 feet of.
Let alone that 550 lbs of strength is greater than the strength of any material you are to use for camp and shelter purposes, say, your poncho grommets.
So how about choosing the smaller diameter 275 paracord and getting more feet of length for the same weight?

Assuming that the norm is for one metal cup and a Nalgene bottle in the BOB, we wonder if these are enough to haul a day’s water for one. Let’s assume that you are  camping or waiting for rescue a few miles from a water. It will take at least two trips a day to fulfil your water needs. Much the same will happen if one is to boil his water for disinfection.
We believe that multiple containers should be available but that does not mean any extra weight if one makes some clever choices. Heavy duty ziploc bags in a sweater, a water bladder, a mylar wine bladder etc etc.
Personally we follow a bit different route. We pack our soft gear in ziploc bags, and our hard gear in an opened up milk 1Lit carton box, right where the factory thermally presses it shut. Adding a ready-to-drink (tea) can, gives us the extra option of laso packing a very light second boiling container.
So, there are easy options for upping your water carrying capacity, you just have to give them a look at.

Stored Energy
Today, in the power hungry devices era, carrying spare batteries should be a given.
And we are happy to see more and more people getting into the lithium battery world, especially the Energizer L91 & L92 non-rechargable lithiums.
For those that do not know of them yet, they are light years ahead of the alkaline batteries. For Less weight they pack several times the energy, they cannot leak, and they outperform any other battery in the cold. You can check this remarkable difference in this test.

It seems that every bag is good on cutting tools.  One can find two or three blades and not without a reason. Some people follow the “Big Knife-Small Knife” practice, some follow the motto “One is None” and some just love the implement.
But there is another reason to carry a second blade. It is a wise practice to keep your emergency backup blade Sharp, and use your other knife for all chores.

What has impressed and influenced us is that Cody Lundin has repeatedly stressed out the fact that under physical exhaustion or hunger, the blood sugar drops and that kills the ability of the brain to function properly and make the Correct decisions.
For that reason alone, we have added candy in our survival kit.

Of equal importance is the existence of Salt in our kit or food pack. That may be straight salt, salty ready to eat foods like trail mix, or a real (not Gatorade-like) electrolyte replenishment solution.
The reason is that under physical exertion a dangerous condition can happen, Hyponatremia. While it is always prudent to replenish the electrolytes (salts) loses by perspiration, the increased water consumption that is advised today can push us on the verge of this condition or beyond. It has been happening on athletes, and on the hiking trails too.

A BugOut Scenario will probably demand activity or even walking distances in the night.
Then, proper lighting becomes not only a convenience but a safety factor. A means to avoid small or larger accidents that can hamper one’s mobility.

A flashlight is always found in any BOB, but a headlamp is found less often despite being a better option for carrying out chores.
From the safety standpoint the combination of the two is the best solution for walking at night. Headlamps are good in lighting the region infront of your feet, but do not forget that during the night depth perception is compromised. A headlamp usually makes holes disappear. A flashlight illuminating the path well in front of you will cast longer shadows on uneven terrain by being placed much lower than your eyes. This you sort-of improves your depth perception and improves your treading.
And using the both light source option is not new, it is widely used by mountain bikers when trail running at night.

Even in Moto-Cross

One more thing we usually see in BOB presentations is the inclusion of a poncho, not only as a raincoat but for building an easy and fast shelter. The question is… If it is pouring with rain and you pitched your poncho as a shelter, what are you going to use if you have to make chores around your shelter, like re-tightening the hitching lines or going to the loo?
An easy option would be to use one of the contractor trash bags that are multifunctional. But as such, they do not really make good raingear, especially if wind comes with the rain. So one may consider adding a single use poncho/raincoat as a backup.

And while we are discussing use of nylon as a shelter, carrying some painters’ nylon will drastically reduce the time you need to make an emergency shelter out of sticks and branches.

Experimenting with a combination shelter. You only need to add enough branches on top to protect the nylon sheet from wind gusts.

Related to this, we will close with a question. How much a heavy duty contractor trash bag weigh?

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