Monday, February 23, 2015

Guest Post: Gear Levels

by hightecrebel

(Editor's Note:  in reply to my Bug-Out Bag series, hightecrebel said "I also have a different breakdown of my gear levels than most, normally having Get Home Bag, Grab & Go, Bug Out Bag, Bug Out Kit, and Screw You, I Ain't Leaving levels."  Intrigued, I asked for a breakdown of each of those levels. This article is his answer to that request.)

Because Erin asked...

I don’t have access to most of my stuff right now, since I’m in the process of switching coasts (and climates), so some details may be sketchy. I know I'm missing items from the kits, but those are the ones I can remember. However, here is a general breakdown of my prep gear levels.

Fire Kit
I realized a while ago that most of these just boil down to a few variations on the same thing, but mine were all different items. I decided to have standard items & amounts in their own kit, and just add them as needed to the various levels. Each of these is in a Coghlan’s waterproof pouch.
  • Contents: 1x Waterproof match case/tube, 2x Coleman match boxes, 2x Bic mini lighters, 1x flint striker (basically the wheel & flint from a lighter done in a way that throws lots of sparks), 12x fire starters, 3x trioxane (I think…) solid fuel bars, 2x Wet Tinder .

Get Home Bag (GHB)
This sits in the trunk of my car.
  • Clothes: a pair of sneakers/boots, pants (black jeans or khaki cargo), belt, socks, thermals (if winter/cold location), t-shirt, and a button-up shirt (either ‘nice’ or flannel).
  • First aid/survival: Compass, fire kit, water treatment, 2x Israeli Bandages, 2x CAT tourniquets, gauze, self-stick wrap, chewable pepto bismol, small ibuprofen bottle, small excedrin migraine bottle, small antacid bottle, signal mirror, 2x emergency poncho, 4x survival blanket, drink mixes (hot & cold), toilet paper, bug repellant wipes, sunscreen wipes, 1x emergency stove w/ fuel tabs.
  • Other: Belt knife, hand/body warmers, small shovel, East German surplus cutlery, finger light, head lamp, trail tape, 4x stripped MREs.

Grab & Go (GNG)
This is near the door at home. It’s meant to be used if there’s an emergency that requires getting out of the house, but not completely out of the area and not hardship living.. think house fire, temporary evac due to earthquake/tornado/moron in a backyard busting a gas line, etc. I expect to have a GHB to supplement it.
  • Clothes: One partial set for each family member, spare underclothes/socks.
  • Water: Two screw-top aluminum water bottles, water treatment tablets.
  • First Aid: 1x tourniquet, 2x bandage, 1x splint, assorted bandaids/gauze, chewable pepto bismol, small ibuprofen bottle, small excedrin migraine bottle, small antacid bottle.
  • Survival: Compass, signal mirror, fire kit, drink mixes (hot & cold), toilet paper, 1x emergency stove w/ fuel tabs.
  • Other: USB drive w/ scans of important documents & contact information, trail tape, food pouches (tuna, chicken, dried fruit, trail mix, etc).

Bug Out Bag (BOB)
This hangs up in the garage where we can grab it and toss it in the Jeep. Supplemented with GHB and G&G, and BOK (below) if we’re with the Jeep.
  • Clothes: Two full sets, three spare under clothes changes, good boots for each adult, full-cover footwear for each child, hats.
  • Survival: 2x Fire kit, 2x Swiss Poncho, 6x emergency poncho, 6x emergency blankets, drink mixes (hot & cold), toilet paper, 1x emergency stove w/ fuel tabs, signal mirror, emergency strobe light, bug repellant, sun screen.
  • Water: Two screw-top aluminum water bottles, two camelback bottles, water treatment tablets.
  • Shelter: Two person tent (I know, small and stuffy, haven’t found a 3 / 4 that is light, compact & affordable), 2x two-person sleeping bags (yay compression bags).
  • Other: USB drive, bath poof thing (you know, the mesh scrubber thing), soap, 2x microfiber towels, bug spray, trail tape, food pouches (stripped MRE’s, freeze dried food, tuna, chicken, trail mix, etc.), 2x belt knives, leatherman, hatchet .

Bug Out Kit (BoK)
This also sits in the garage, and is packed in a Pelican Storm Case trunk (don’t remember the number offhand, I was issued a couple of the medium trunks in lieu of the rolling duffel bags that wouldn’t survive more than one deployment). It’s basically a ‘vehicle camping’ kit.
  • Clothes: Three more sets for each
  • Blankets: Two wool, two fleece
  • Cooking: Coleman propane single-burner (used, purchased at an AF MWR auction/sale for $5) & two bottles, two pots, one pan, set of metal cups & plates, cutlery,
  • Shelter: Four person tent (way too bulky for the bag, but works for this
  • Keep-the-kids-happy: Box of graham crackers, bag of marshmallows, little hershey bars
  • Other: Solar Shower, camp soap (bar & liquid), additional towels, sleeping pads, box of strike- a-fire fire starters, LED lanterns, canned food, toilet paper

Screw You, I Ain’t Leaving (SYIAL)
This is my bug-in plan. Access to all of the above, plus a fully stocked pantry, water, and everything else in my house.

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