So where were we...oh yes....pictures and how I can carry all that expensive crap.....assuming I actually have anything on that list...
First, my BOB list has the following columns
In My Bag?
Where Is It?
M=Must Have O=Optional
Must Have Weight (oz)
Optional Weight (oz)
Depending on how I am outfitting my bag or what I am trying out, the weight fluctuates. For example, I am currently running 6 MRE's. No need for stove/fuel.
Let's get something out of the way quickly as that seems to be the focus of some folks here. All of my stuff is expensive. I like quality and quality costs. I've spent more on BOB crap than some people have spent on their entire prep....big deal. It doesn't mean I am better prepared. It means I have more stuff. Not everyone has that luxury. I've been blessed and I acknowledge that every day. Now the upside is that all the 'extra' crap can always be traded/bartered if need be.
As I said before, I buy and try. I build different bags just to tinker. I enjoy just tinkering with something, seeing how rugged/flexible it is, whether or not it performs and in some cases I see something and I just have to have it. Also, I err on the side of mil-spec and because of that I wiggle my way into/build relationships that will get me things that wouldn't otherwise be available to civilians of which I am now one.
How I pack is generally modular so some of these pictures will highlight that....Frankly I've never understood people who just toss things in a bag. You have to be able to find your stuff in the dark and modular/compartmentalized thinking is the way to go (IMHO).
So here are some pictures of my crap....Water
I can't stress enough the importance of taking purification seriously. There are some great brands out there. In my opinion, Steripen, MSR and Katadyn are the best. I have elected to go with the Steripen products. My primary BOB has the Protector. My landbased EDC has the defender. I say 'landbased' as I have a EDC bag for when I fly.
You can't go wrong with a pen that uses UV Light and destroys in excess of 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% of viruses and 99.9% of protozoa. It purifies a liter in 90 seconds without any pumping, timekeeping, chemical taste or smell etc etc. Oh and the lamp has a life of 8,000 treatments.http://www.steripen.com/military2
Yes I have a 3L bladder mounted on the back of my pack but I am not into humping a bunch of water. I know how to find water, and I have the means to purify it.Food Module
So I am packing 6 MRE's Total weight is 8lbs after stripping away all that packing material. I have courses separated in ziploc bags and then it is all put inside a Sea to Summit Dry Bag(Red).First Aid Module
Another area I didn't skimp on is First Aid. If you buy something from your local Wal-Mart, you are throwing money away. Build a kit based on legitimate lists.
This is a Blackhawk Emergency Medic Roll. I like it because once opened I can see everything inside very quickly.
It rolls up nicely as well.Shelter/Sleep Module
While this is enough for me, I am not sure my wife would agree. She has an aversion to under the stars sleeping so I would have to throw a tent in there. No biggie. For me, It's a auto-inflating thermarest pad/cover with inflatable pillow(not in picture but included below as it is attached to the pack), a couple camo tarps, a Recon 4 sleep system, a 10' x 18' multicam radar diffusing camo netting from camosystems[url](http://camosystems.com
)[/url]. Just a quick digression, here is a pic of netting I set up at a kids camp where I was teaching chess.
The Hennessey hammock is my off the ground option. Note the NiteIze 'Knot Bone' & 'Rope Tightener'. These are great fast attach systems.Clothing Module
This is another area in which contents fluctuate depending on season. Suffice it to say I have everything I need to survive the harshest conditions. I'd have to hire a sherpa for some of that stuff though. Layering is critical here. I stay away from jeans and all cotton products. I like for items that are breathable, waterproof/resistant, water-wicking, light, fire/flame resistant, dry quickly etc.
I'll start with the boots. Choosing the right footwear makes all the difference in the world. I bought these a while back and they are my go-to boot now. These are Under Armour SpeedFreek Boots. They are the best boot I have ever purchased. They are 100% Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable. I wear these every weekend when I am out and about. I love em. The only downside is they are only made for men so I am still trying to find something similar for my wife. I have some good leads there....
I have several different options here but this is what I have in my bag at the moment. I am using both Under Armour Cold Gear and Massif Nomex undergarments. http://www.massif.com/military.html
. Again, all of my clothing is in Dry Bags(Green)
My default trousers/blouses have been EOTAC Operator grade stuff but I have just placed my first order for Vertx Tactical Pants. They are appealing as they have lots of pockets(can't have too many of those) and they have a concealed pocket. We'll see. Anways, I like these as they are durable, earth tone pants that are very comfortable. Riggers belt fits nicely in the loops. All in another Green Dry Bag
I always have multiple headgear options in my bag depending on conditions. In this Module I have a Blackhawk Nomex balaclava, 'doo-***' baseball cap and boonie hat. I've included an overside poncho which is large enough to cover both me and my pack as well as Under Armour cold weather gloves.Tools Module
Here I include the following: SOG Hawk(can't seem to get away from hawks), Pepper Spray(kinda like a tool?!), Leatherman Charge Ti Multitool, CRKT Desert Cruiser Knife, Saw, folding shovel with serrated edge, sharpener, and a MercWorx Equatorian Chili. http://www.mercworx.com/products/Equatorian-Chili.html
Like Dundee said, "That's not a knife....this is a knife!"Light/Fire Module
Here I have my light and fire stuff. Personally I think Petzl makes some of the best headlamps out there. The Petzl in the picture is a Tactikka XP. I have a Surefire Porcupine there and yes that is a 'beveled edge'. Anyone who holds it comments on that first. It's downright nasty. My friends in the defense community call it a 'compliance tool'. I happen to believe that Surefire, Streamlight and Fenix are the leaders in flashlight technology. I also include here a little Brinkmann light. It's a throw away but it has turned out to be the little flashlight that could. Just as the headlamp comes with red, blue and green filters, this flashlight also has a green filter option which is nice when light discipline is a concern...and of course when working on someone who's bleeding a red filter won't cut it.
For fire, I have lots of options here including a nice little torch which has a compass on top(from bass pro shops), NATO Matches and a Coleman torch. I pick and shoose between sweedish steel and my trusty little Nano Striker. http://www.uniquetitanium.com/Exotac-Nano-Striker_p_34.html
. Both throw sparks well so its a toss up though the nano striker shaves off a little weight. I keep the striker and some tinder in a tube vault. These little vaults hold a lot of my goodies. They are super strong yet very light. I am a fanatic about organization and these really help. I label the lids which is another visual queue as to the contents. Fi = Fire, Fo = Food, Wa = Water, Re = Repair etc. It's my own anal retentive system.
This is my Crocodille Dundee version of a flashlight. Dang thing has a shoulder strap. I am sure when on it can be seen from space. Light just goes on forever....Costco <$50.Repair Module
So this is my fix it kit. Nothing special here...some mini biners, assorted zip ties, some little locking hoops, kevlar thread, wire, a tube vault with sewing kit/safety pins inside, and duct tape wrapped around the tube vault.
I also include my Otis cleaning kit(again a top pick) and a weapons parts kit for all those little parts that could fail in the field.Navigation and Communications Module
So this is an ever changing module. I play with different radios and here I have a Midland base Camp Radio as well as 2 midland handhelds with PTT accessories. I keep 1 of my Rino's in this bag as well as my EDC kit. It's loaded with TOPO 411. The Suunto GPS watch is a backup. Personally, this watch has never made me happy. The X10 is better than the X9 but the battery life still sucks. I include a whistle and tin foil for signaling, a laminated map which I can write on and then erase. I also include A Silva Ranger compass. Frankly if you don't understand basic land nav with map and compass, you should at least get the basics under your belt. I threw my phone in here with the Tactical NAV application displayed with red filter on. I see this phone replacing lots of other gadgets. I've downloaded 50+ apps dealing with everything from GPS to survival, first aid, ballistics calcs, police scanners, etc. Great stuff.Survival Module
This is a 'Pro-Survival Kit' from Amron Internationalhttp://www.amronintl.com/pro-survival-master-pro-survival-kit-with-pouch.html
. It contains the following:
Lightweight Combat Casualty Blanket (Olive/Silver)
One pack of Wind and Waterproof Survival Matches
Stainless Steel Commando Wire Saw
Fire-Flash Flint/Steel Fire Starting System
Twelve "Tinder-Quick" Tabs from Four Seasons Survival
Leatherman® Squirt® P4 Mini Multi-tool
Dozier Designed KA-BAR® Folding Lock-Blade Knife
Rescue Flash Signal Mirror
Fox 40 Rescue Howler Whistle
Suunto Baseplate Compass
Photon II Lithium Powered MICROLIGHT (white light)
Lansky® Ceramic Knife Sharpener
Two 17oz. Water Bags with Closure Caps
Fresnel Magnifying Lens
1 pair of Roll-Up Sunglasses
1 bottle of Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets
Pencil and Four sheets of Waterproof Paper (4.25 in. x 5.5 in.)
Flosscard® (36 ft. of Floss for sewing, fishing, snares, lashing, oral care)
20 ft. of "Parachute Cord"
20' of Stainless Steel Snare Wire
Heavy-Duty Canvas Sewing Needle
6 in. Saw Blade
Two Scalpel Blades
Four Safety Pins
18 in. x 18 in. Heavy-duty Aluminum Foil.
Four #2 Fish Hooks
Four #4 Fish Hooks
Four #6 Fish Hooks
One 4/0 Hook (for use as a Gaff)
One 1/2 in. Tack (to attach Gaff Hook)
One Panfish Jig; One Stainless Steel Leader
Sixty feet of 15 pound test line (Two 30 ft. lengths)
Leader Knots and Hitches Instruction Sheet on Waterproof Paper
One Quart Ziplock Bag
2 ft. of Electrical Tape
Four 3 in. Zipties
One foot of Surgical Tubing
Four 1 in. x 3 in. Bandaids
Two Butterfly Closures
One Large Bandaid
Two Iodine Prep Pads
One Alcohol Prep Pad
Two Extra Strength Acetaminophen Packets
One Electrolyte Tablet Packet
Two First Aid Cream with Aloe Packets
Two Triple Antibiotic Ointment Packets.
Two Bouillon Packets
Two pieces of Hard Candy
Survival Instruction Sheet on Waterproof Paper Food Prep Module
As I mentioned previously, I am running with MRE's so I ain't cooking. There are a couple items here that I did include in my pack. First, the Sea to Summit 5 Liter Kitchen sink. Light as a feather and great for hauling water, washing body, shaving whatever. Also, I have included the TAD gear folding Titanium spork which is super strong/light, has a bottle and can opener. http://coolmaterial.com/gear/tad-gear-folding-titanium-spork-2-0/Storage Module
My pack as you can see is an Arc'Teryx LEAF(Law Enforcement/Armed Forces) Tango Expedition. I love it because it gives me everything I want in a pack. The frame is internal and offers great support as does the waist belt. Because MOLLE covers the bag, there's really no place I can't add on a pouch.
Everything has a place and everything is in its place:
Bottom - Thermarest
Bottom Center - My repair kit sits on the back at the base
Center - hydration carrier
Lower left - hygiene module (Sorry folks I didn't include pictures but hey at least the TP is easy access as is the Gold Bonds foot powder and bug juice. I also keep headgear with netting in here.
Lower right - Radio/charging stuff
Main Compartment - accessible from the sides(which is awesome as I don't have to undo anything) and top has shelter, clothing, Food, First Aid)
'Crusader area' - Yeah I can keep my shotgun here which is relatively discreet
Top Compartment - is a 'cutaway'. In a pinch I can shed the larger pack and go with just this. I didn't take any pictures but this has the following:
DryBox with some goodies
SnackPack(Energy Bars, Hard Candy etc)
Steiner Predator Binoculars
256-Bit Encrypted Flash Drive with everything on it
When discretion is important, I just through my Arc-Teryx Backpack cover on this and it looks like a trash bag.
Anyways, hopefully this show and tell establishes veracity where there was doubt. I can't just publish my 'tabs' as I would need to clean them up and sanitize where appropriate.
As for tactical gear....It is just like my BOB...and that's a post for another day....when I am not so tired....
Peace and Semper Fi!
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