Friday, January 16, 2015

My Bug-Out Bag: Part 4 of Many

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Welcome to Part 4 of what I now think will be a 6-part series. Today I'm going to show you what's inside the quick-access pockets of my backpack, or as I like to call them, my "overhead compartments".

As you can see from the photographs, the zipper for the front pocket sits right behind my head, so I have packed it with soft padded things. I don't want to give myself a concussion with my own bug out bag!

These are all items that I might want to access without having to take the pack off:
  • A shemagh, which belongs in every prepper's gear. 
  • Mosquito net for my face. 
  • Cooling bandanna. 
  • Roll-up sunglasses, like you get from the optometrist after they dilate your pupils. 
  • Gardening gloves. 
  • Fleece gloves, still in wrapper to keep them dry.

Further back: a tube of Vaseline, can of bug repellent, and a tube of high-SPF sunscreen.

Way in the back, least likely to be needed: 20 feet of 550 cord, a card on common knots (in case I can't recall how to tie one) and a small binocular.

I'm currently debating if I should move my blister kit and spare socks to this pocket, or if I'd be better off taking the pack off if I need to care for my feet. Suggestions?

There is also a top pocket, but it is both smaller and harder to get to. I use it for things that I don't want to have rattling around loose in my pack.

  • Plastic sheet in International Emergency Orange that can be used as a shelter, a ground sheet, or a distress signal.
  • Knitting needle with yarn, in case I need to repair my backpack or clothing.
  • A pot gripper
  • Wooden clothespins; can be used for laundry, for attaching a tarp to paracord lines, or as kindling in an emergency. 
  • Cordial of Jim Beam. 
  • Roll of electrical tape.
  • Roll of 1" wide Gorilla tape

This is probably going to get me some raised eyebrows: a GoalZero Nomad solar panel. GoalZero occasionally has some clearance sales and I got this one at a ridiculous 50% off. I have it mainly for the 5V USB output; with this I can charge a smartphone, a tablet computer or e-reader, or a battery to store the power for charging the above later.

Yes, this is a luxury item. But I have lots of knowledge on both my iPhone and Kindle, and they weigh less than books. Also, they will help keep me from being bored out of my mind, so I regard this as useful for morale.

Also included: various charging cables, an extra set of earbuds, a lens cloth for cleaning the solar panels, two packets of oral rehydration salts, and two tubes of Zip Fizz: one orange, one berry. Hey, if I'm a refugee, I deserve a little treat!

Next:  The main compartment, which will likely be divided into 2 segments. 

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