Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Erin's Water Bottle Carrier Challenge

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
It's late, but here's what I came up with for turning a water bottle carrier into a small BOB. I'm not entirely happy with it, but this is the best I've been able to come up with in a week's time.

Erin's Amazing Expanding Carrier
What I'm most proud of is how I managed to fill the bottle with water without losing storage space. What I'm most upset about is that I know there has to be something I can affix to the top of the carrier with velcro, but I don't know what to put on it.

This is its stowed configuration.


Exterior Attachments
Attached to the front of the unit is a folding dump pouch. This is kept mostly empty (but see below) while the pack is stowed. When deployed, I plan to empty the contents of the water bottle into the pouch so that I can keep them handy while still having access to water. 

Attached to the sides are two MOLLE strobe/GPS/phone pouches, carrying bulky items that I couldn't get into the bottle.

Attached to the back is a Hawke Peregrine.

Inside the dump pouch are two lightweight objects that roll up easily: a 32 ounce Sawyer squeeze pouch and 25 feet of Parapocalypse cord. If I were building this kit for actual use rather than proof-of-concept I'd upgrade that to at least 50 feet.

Left pouch: an S.O.L heat reflective waterproof poncho and a hard-cased booboo kit filled with an assortment of band-aids, gels, 3 types of painkiller (Aleve, Tylenol, and aspirin), anti-diarrheal, Dramamine, Benadryl, and a sheet of steri-strips.

Knife pouch: a Speedy-Sharp and a Lansky Quadsharp.

Right pouch: a one ounce bottle of Gold Bond medicated body powder, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and a Tiny Survival Guide that I got as a present. It's slightly silly, but it takes up negligible space, has some useful info, and also comes with a fresnel lens.

Integral Gadget Pouch

This is the good stuff right here: a mylar sleeping bag (like a space blanket, only in tube form), a Gen 2 Firebox Nano ultralight stove, a disposable lighter, Pro-Knot cards, an UltraFire 300 lumen mini Cree flashlight, and 5 tabs of Wetfire fuel.

Water Bottle Compartment
This contains (surprise!) a Nalgene 32-ounce wide mouth bottle, which is exactly the same volume as the squeeze bag mentioned above. This is so that if I have time I can filter water straight into the bottle.

Also present are a stainless steel cup of unknown make and origin (seriously, it's featureless and I don't know where I got it), a simple cotton bandana, and a Coughlan's 36-hour survival candle.

Within the bottle we have, quite frankly, what I could fit inside it: a spork & spatula set (bought at Walmart, I think); an energy bar, powdered coffee, and powdered sports drink; a Swiss army knife; a container of safety pins; a Sawyer Mini filter; UST SparkForce striker; bottle of New Skin liquid bandage; a roll of duct tape; Adventure Medical Rescue Howler whistle and mini signal mirror; straw from the  Sawyer kit; travel toothbrush; toothpaste; and dental floss.

Biggest Failing
There isn't more than a snack's worth of food here. I tried, but food is big and heavy.

I am still annoyed that I couldn't think of anything to put on the velcro lid of the bottle carrier. No doubt one of the smart people who write for this blog will find a way to exploit that.

If I had the time and was serious about making this into a survival kit, I would probably find a way to mount gear to the strap... but then, if I were serious about this, I would use a larger bag.

Biggest Success
I managed to double the carrying capacity of the bag by adding the collapsible dump pouch. That way I have access to water and all the things I stowed inside the bottle.

Its empty weight is 6 pounds and it is very compact, able to fit underneath most car seats. Filled with water, it weighs 9 pounds and is still very portable.

If I pair that with my every day carry (which includes a pistol, a leatherman, a tourniquet, and wound bandages) I am pretty prepared for most things the world can throw at me.

All right, BCP authors. I've set the bar. Can you clear it?

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