Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The CSK, or Car Survival Kit (part 1)

In a conversation last week after Erin's post about her Get Home Bag, I was asked if I had something similar.  The answer:  "Not really.  Kind of."  Erin asked to see it, so I figured I'd share with everybody.

My environs are a bit different from the rest of the crew here, with the exception somewhat of the good Chaplain.  Whereas the others spend their days in a concrete wilderness*, I'm as likely to be out of cell signal as I am to be on pavement. Walking home is a bit less of an option, and in many situations, staying with your vehicle is a better plan.  (Note to self: expand on this some other time.)

With that in mind, let's break down my gear.

This is the main guts of it.  The most important stuff is in one bag, so I can grab it and go, if I have to leave the truck.

The little orange pocket you see?  This is what it holds.  Two ponchos, two mylar space blankets, a pair of chemical hand warmer packs, a whistle (with an LED light, a passable compass, a thermometer, and a signalling mirror) and a fire bar.

The contents of the main pocket, clockwise, from upper left: A Seychelle water filtration bottle and spare filter, an emergency tent, six 1200 calorie food bars, a Sterno stove and fuel can, a bag of sports drink mixes (electrolytes, baby!), a pair of cut-resistant gloves, utensils, a dynamo-powered flashlight and radio, dust masks, an LED headlamp and battery, glow sticks, and SPF 50 sunblock, because Uncle Loki tans like a lobster.

The water bottle and filter.  Claims to be good for 200 gallons per filter, using a 2 micron carbon and iodine filter combination. Should keep most water I'll find in the sticks from killing me.

My first aid kit (and the knife I forgot to include in the big picture).

Included in the first aid kit:
  • Tape
  • Small medical scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Small lockback folding knife
  • 2 rolls of 4" gauze
  • Antacids
  • Ibuprofin
  • 5 3x3 gauze pads
  • Baby wipes
  • a 5x7 dressing
  • dental floss
  • various small band-aids
  • 5 hemostatic gauze pads
  • matches
  • antiseptic wipes
  • alcohol prep pads 
Somewhere in the past couple years, my triangle bandages have ended up "not in this bag."  I need to add some more.  I tend to keep them around in lieu of fancy new-fangled tourniquet kits. They're somewhere between cheap and free, and I was taught old-school, when they were all we had.  While the CAT and SOF-T are excellent pieces of gear, I have a tendency to fall back on what I know.  In addition, triangles are great for general bandaging, splinting, slings, and a whole host of other roles.

The whole bag rolls in at about 9 pounds, plus I have a box of freeze-dried food in the truck that puts on another 3-ish.

This comes in SUBSTANTIALLY lighter than Erin's GHB.  There's a reason for that.  This is the grab-and-go part of my kit.  You'll notice, with the exception of the knife, there are virtually no tools in this bag.  There are no weapons in this bag, except the knife. I'm not carrying toiletries, or much by way of firemaking gear.

There's a reason for that.  Those things are carried either in my tactical manbag (Call it Zone 1.5, in Erin's Zones) or in my truck itself, be it in the cab or in the toolbox.  Next week, I'll break open the toolbox, and show you the far less portable parts of a Car Survival Kit.


* Erin adds:  Hey now!  I live in a rural suburb, thank you very much!  I have miles of woods in my back yard. My wilderness is only partly concrete. :P

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