Friday, December 12, 2014

My Bug-Out Bag: Part 2 of Many

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
In Part 1, I talked about what's in the sleeping bag compartment of my bug-out bag. For today's post I'm going to talk about what I have on the outside.

So, this is my bag as it currently looks:

You can see the Klymit Static V air pad, mentioned in last week's post, on the left of the sleeping bag compartment and the Adventure Medical Thermolite Bivvy on the right. Just above the Klymit is a Cold Steel Kukri Machete which I use as a universal chopping & hacking tool (and for $20, one of the best blades I've ever owned -- HIGHLY recommended). In the center is a UVPaqLite UVO Necklace, which I have tied around a fastener on the back so I can easily find my pack in the dark. If necessary, I can remove it to mark something else, like a campsite or a family member.

I've also added some compression straps to keep everything tight so that the center of gravity is closer to my spine.

This is the front of my pack. I have some useful things dummy-corded to the straps:
  • a length of paracord in a bracelet that never properly fit
  • an LED flashlight (not sure of the output, but it take 3 AA batteries and has a respectably wide, bright beam)
  • Condor MOLLE pouch, filled with things I might need to access quickly without taking off my pack. 
  • Two S-biners (in blue) that secure the "lifting straps", for want of a better term -- basically straps that attach to the top of the frame so that it's easier to stand up with the pack by pulling on them in my hands -- to the plastic D-rings on the shoulder straps. That way, I don't have to go fishing for the straps when I want to stand up, and extra carabiners are always useful. 

In the back pocket of the pouch:

1) a Hot Shot signal mirror with whistle.
2) a Coughlan's compass with light-up face. It's a fairly cheap compass, but I have a nicer one inside the bag, and this one self-illuminates.
3) two rolls of camper's toilet tissue, for use in the traditional manner, or as kleenex in case I need to blow my nose (and given my allergies, I need to do that a lot.) The third roll, along with the dispenser, is inside my Get Home Bag.

In the front pocket:

1) a multi-tool from Duluth Trading Company in a cordura pouch the same color and texture as the Condor fabric.
2) a tube of Blistex medicated lip balm/sunscreen.
3) a Sawyer Mini Water Filter (thanks for the Thankmas Present, John Kochan!) with 16-ounce collapsible drinking pouch. Since the filter and the straw are large, I have them outside the pocket and are held in place by the cords that tighten up the gadget pouch.

Left: Attached to a carabiner is a "Bug Out Band": a nifty USB drive integrated into a rubberized slap bracelet that came in the October Apocabox. I use it to store important documents (see my "Scan Your Stuff" post ) and being attached to my pack makes it easy for me to take it off when info needs to be updated.

The sheath of the Kukri machete is held in place by two Nite Ize Figure 9 carabiners hooked over a strap, with the 'biner part running through the sheath's belt loop.

Right:  The other side, just for completeness' sake. The odd bits of green are lengths of electrical tape, used to tie down lengths of errant strap.

Next week: What's in the pockets?

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