Monday, September 13, 2021

Erin's New GHB, part 4: the Shelter Pocket

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.

So after a trilogy of posts about charcoal, let's return to talking about my new Get Home Bag and how I've probably overpacked it.

The Shelter Pocket is to the rear of the main pocket on my bag. Since it's to the rear I've tried to fill it with lightweight items, and it just so happens that most of those are items which are related to putting up a shelter. As I might need to do that rather quickly to get out of the wind and rain, I like that I can access them quickly and with a minimum of digging. 

Here's how everything looked before I unloaded it. I took this picture not just to show you how it looks, but also to help me remember how to re-pack it because things never go back the same way twice for me. 

I'm going to divide the contents into three sections, with Front as the section closest to the top of the picture and Rear closest to the bottom. 


Top Row:
Why an inflatable vest instead of a fleece? Because I live in Florida and it's rarely cold here, and because a fleece will take up more space than the folded mylar vest, and because this is a Get Home Bag and if it's during the cold months I'll likely have a coat with me anyway. The aerovest is mainly to protect against hypothermia caused by getting wet. 

Bottom Row:
  • An inflatable pillow;
  • cheap aluminum stakes for the tent;
  • a spool with 100' of paracord;
  • zip ties, because those are handy for a variety of purposes, and these can be "unlocked" and reused;
  • better quality plastic tent stakes.
Why two sets of tent stakes? Because the aluminum ones are so small and so light that there's no reason not to carry them. They can be backup stakes, or quick placeholders that I use before I set up something more sturdy, or I can stake down other things, or maybe I'll get caught in a windstorm and really want to secure my shelter. 

You can't see these in the first picture, but they're in there: a waterproof 2' x 2' square with blaze orange on one side and camouflage on the other (I folded it over so you can see both sides) and a small UVPaqlite "jerky light" (so named because it's vacuum-sealed like a piece of jerky)

So technically the books are also in the middle, but I took a picture of them here, so I'll talk about them here. 

Background: a 2' by 2' piece of wax-permeated canvas. I can sit on it while using the blaze orange square to signal for help, or I can sit on one and use the other as a work area. Both are waterproof. 

Top Row:
  • A "Hideaway Tarpaulin", which is a poncho that can be converted into a tarp shelter (includes zippered bag for carrying);
  • Two lawn-size trash bags and two kitchen-size trash bags, good for a variety of purposes including impromptu weatherproofing & insulation
Bottom Row:

As you can see, this should be everything I need to quickly protect myself from the elements and set up a shelter. Since I live in central Florida, I need very little in terms of winter survival as it only dips below freezing for a few weeks each year at the most. 

Tune in next week for what I hope is the final part of this series. 

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