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Showing posts with label Survival Bug Out Bag. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Survival Bug Out Bag. Show all posts

Monday, January 16, 2012

SHTF Bug Out Bag, Latest and Greatest

A buddy of mine sent me a new rucksack to evaluate as a Bug Out Bag or general patrol rucksack. Thought I had seen them all and nothing would surprise me, but this did. For the individual that has to have the latest gear,…we call them “gear pigs”,……the new MARPACK from Force Protector Gear (FPG) is a must have. This is one of the best small rucks on the market. I think this ruck is being issued to MARSOC units, hence the name, MARPACK.

The shoulder straps are padded and ergo-metrically placed so they are not only comfortable, but push back and fold away so the zipper to the padded compartment can be easily open. The padded waist strap is well thought out as well and uses a larger fastex buckle for closure.

The padded compartment is not only the pad that provide wear comfort, but can be zipped open where the pad becomes a fold out thermal ground pad for very hot or very cold environments. This is great idea! This pad is connected to the ruck with three pull snaps and can be removed or detached from the ruck for any reason.

The bag has, of course, molle webbing on the outside for the attachment of additional bags or equipment. The ruck main flap opens up to a roomy compartment that can be closed with a cord lock. There are two mesh pockets on the inside that run the length of the inside compartment.

Two Fastex buckled straps on the outsides of the ruck allow to secure equip with two elastic pockets that would hold a one quart canteen on both sides, or a large water bottle, or Nalgene bottles.

A smaller zippered pouch is located on the back of the ruck with a separate inside pocket. The MARPACK does not come with a hydration bladder, but has the re-enforced hydration bladder straw hole in the top so it is compatible with common hydration bladder – a 100 oz Camel-Bak bladder fits well. Lastly there is a smaller zippered pouch on the very top of the ruck flap suitable for holding easy to get to food; a map and/or compass; fire starting gear; etc.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Survival Bug Out Bag and Planning Review

I was sent a video of a Bug Out with the person describing each and every object in his BOB with explanations on the contents and how he intended to use it or how useful it was. The sender wanted me to review the video and comment on the contents.

I jotted some notes down and gave the sender a reply in person a day or so later and my reply went much like this:

The BOB was a orange and blue-purple Alpine type rucksack. Greater for climbing - stays close to your back, and good for if you are lost and a helicopter was looking for you,...but would require a cover if you were moving through the brush and wanted not to be seen so easily. Plus the bag did not have a hydration bladder. There are many excellent rucksacks with hydration blivets to based your BOB around such as Camel Bak, Spec-Ops, etc. You should have an in the pack water blivet of 70 ounces,..100 ounces is better, if you BOB does not have one, then buy a Camel-Bak replacement blivet and place it inside your BOB.

In fact this BOB had only two quarts of water! I think a minimum of 2 gallons is more like it.

This BOB had a 7 lbs tent. Now I think tents are good as they can protect you from the elements, and being wet in the cold is a big danger. But I would put my money (and weight) into a good sleeping bag system. An old army poncho (OD green in color) and individual camouflage net would be my next two items along with the sleeping bag. I just think a tent should be auxiliary gear carried in your vehicle but not necessary for the BOB and takes up room and weight for more important items.

This BOB on the video had three MRE type meals and beef jerky in his food sack portion of the BOB. They take up a lot of room. I think the food value for the space and weight could be re-done giving more value. Main-Stay bars, soups packets, mixed nuts and other light weight foods that provide fats and carbs.

The BOB had a pocket sharpening tool that is only usable for a thin bladed knife. I think combination stones (coarse on one side and fine on the other) is of much more use and applicable to sharpening axes, scissors and other bladed tools besides thin bladed knives.

The last thing in this BOB I wanted to comment on before my main point was the 50 foot of rope. This rope selected seemed to be of a 5/16 inch diameter. I would suggest smaller diameter rope (more bang for the buck) and I highly suggest at least 50 feet of para-cord which is a hollow nylon hose type line covering multiple strands of 55 lb test that can be gutted and used for many, many things.

But my main comment is that I cannot really review the applicability of the BOB unless I knew the gent's Bug Out Plan. After all, the BOB has to be oriented to support the execution of the Bug Out Plan.

It is, of course, a great idea to consider valid and likely contingencies an to carry things that you know would be valuable for use later on during the crisis, but it is unreasonable to think that the Survivor will be living out of his BOB for months and longer. The idea is to facilitate survival movement to the Safe Location and those contingencies you have identified enroute.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Urban Survival Equipment - Reader Comment on 5.11 Tactical Pants received this comment from Outlander777 on the recent post concerning 5.11 Tactical Pants,...."I have not worn the 5.11 tactical pants. I have though worn their class (a) police office uniform pants. I have recently purchased several pairs of their class (B) officer duty pants for winter wear (camping/hiking/fishing/treking and for my Bug Out Bag). They are 60 poly and 40 wool. Great weight for winter and when colder just add long johns under them. They have taken a lot of abuse and just wash them and wear/dry them. The crease stays in they don't scream military or cop just look good. So with you review I will purchase a pair of the tactical pants and give them a try. Thanks for the review. (side note 5.11 is having a clearance on many items. I got my pants for 5.99 each)."

UrbanMan replies: Outlander 777 I hope you think the 5.11 Tactical pants or the TDU pants are worth it,...I think at $5.99 you got a deal. I get mine free as an issued item, but don't wear them too much. I like your comment "they don't scream military or cop", as I think this would be an issue during a collapse with various agencies and organization running around; groups or mobs maybe looking for government targets, etc. Just doesn't pay to draw attention to yourself.

I also think plain old Wrangler or Levi pants in tan, brown or green are good choices for durable wear as well. Just not a whole lot of big pockets!

A little know fact is that recon teams in Vietnam used to wear blue jeans dyed black due to their durability in heavy brush as well as the black color maybe giving them a second or two of cover when they ran into their black pajama clad enemy counterparts on a remote trail.

I have a set of green 5.11 TDU pants vacuum packed and in my BOB. I rolled up a set of good socks and a t-shirt inside the pair of pants then used a food saver to vacuum pack them to reduce the size. This works well.  Be safe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 6

Okay! Now I feel like I have accomplished something. Although I am not necessarily buying into the whole “the World is going to Crash” scenario, I AM practical enough to have a plan just in case something does happen. My Survival Bug Out Bag is now complete, or at least to a stage where I am comfortable having something ready to grab as I run out the door. I’ll continue to add Survival Gear and Survival Tools as I become aware of them and find value in them, not to mention if I can afford them!

Have not yet heard back from Neomi. I’m going wait for her to call me. If she wants to be prepared, I’ll help her, but I am not going to be placed into a position where I have to talk her into it.

I went to the local Bureau of Land Management Office and bought maps to cover my route from home to my survival safe location in case at any point during my movement to my Survival Safe Location (the family cabin), I will have some navigation aids. Next I need to learn how to read a map and navigate better.

I also bought another rim and spare tire for my Toyota Rav 4 vehicle, so now I have two full up spares. I also went to a local military surplus store and bought what is called a “shelter halves”, which is a light weight green canvas tent, and a section of netting, called a ‘Light Weight Camouflage Screening System or LWCCS in military jargon”. I’ll keep all this in my garage until circumstances will key me to start loading my vehicle in a higher level of readiness.

The shelter halves will be used to place over my Toyota’s front and rear windshields if I have to stash the vehicle or hole up in the forests or in the desert - this will reduce the shine and reflection off the glass. I can roll down the other windows. The camouflage netting I can use to drape over my vehicle. After all, my vehicle is red! The Survival guys told me that I can use or make wet dirt or mud and “paint” my vehicle with that as well as to use green duct tape to reduce all the shiny areas such as chrome trim, etc.

My next step is to find the best spots from my house to the Survival Safe Location to hole up at, whether I’m driving or walking, and water sites like streams, lakes or ponds. I will be carrying 100 ounces of water in my Survival Bug Out Bag, plus four additional quarts of water, plus a couple of Energy drinks (not the commercial sugar laden kind but a healthy energy drink I buy from a buddy of mine).

If I can make it out of the city, pickup my son at college and make it out of that small town, then I will have about 140 miles left to travel to get to the cabin and could make it in seven days, which will require me to pre-load seven days worth of Main Stay Survival bars in my Survival Bug Out Bag. (click here to see the Product Review on Mainstay Survival Food Bars).

I’ll also put together a package of food and water to rapidly load in my vehicle for my Bug Out plan, so I’ll have food and water during my trip to the Survival Safe Location and not have to touch the contents of my Survival Bug Out Bag.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Urban Survival Preparation– Wargaming the Bug Out Plan

The Urban Survivalist in Planning having completed his basic Survival Bug Out Bag, needs to develop the when the “S@#* Hits The Fan”, know by it’s acronym of SHTF, Bug Out plan.

The Urban Survivor will have to develop a decision matrix or otherwise have an idea on when it is he needs to leave his urban environment for his safe haven.
Human nature being what it is, that is hoping and expecting things to get better – hoping that the government will fix things, may hold the Urban Survivor back from leaving or delaying the departure to a point when it becomes riskier.

Without stocks of food, the ability to provide security and defense and a source of water, the Urban Survivor cannot afford to wait.

The Bug Out will need to be wargamed. Wargaming is a process of “what if’ing” the plan. It is used to determine the problems and develop solutions. For example:

Time to put the Bug Out Plan into action, I need a full tank of fuel to get from the house to the safe haven.
Problem: What if I only have a half tank and the ability to get commercial fuel is not longer an option?
Solution: At an appropriate time when things are getting worse, you would need to ensure that you stock fuel at your house which will require fuel storage tanks such as 2, 3 or 5 gallon containers available at Wal-Mart or a Surplus store.
Problem: Fuel stored for a long time will go bad.
Solution: Routinely replace the stored fuel and/or use Sta-Bil fuel additive to prolong the usability of stored fuel.

Problem: The vehicle has a mechanical problem during the movement from your house to the safe haven.
Solution: Carry parts and tools for common problems that are within your ability to fix such as a broken serpentine belt or flat tire. In fact, having two full spare tires complete with rims are a good idea.

Problem: The primary route from the house to the safe haven becomes clogged with traffic or otherwise too dangerous to drive.
Solution: Plan Alternate, Contingency and Emergency (remember PACE?) routes on less traveled roads.

Problem: May have to stop and hide the vehicle during darkness as driving during the night with lights on is a very bad idea. Solution: Need a canvas or earth tone tarp to cover the windshield and a camouflage net to drap over the vehicle. Need green or brown duct tape to cover exposed shiny parts of the car.

Problem: Route becomes impassable and there is no option to take another and/or the vehicle becomes disabled.
Solution: Plan to walk overland to the safe haven. You will probably needs maps and have areas selected along this foot route that would be tentative safe areas to hole up in for a day or two. If you need maps, you probably need some map reading and land navigation training. Can you carry enough food, water (water is more important) in your Bug Out Bag to make the trip on foot? If you are initially traveling in a vehicle, you should drink and eat stocks placed in your vehicle rather than use it from your Bug Out Bag. Remember your Survival Bug Out Bag is your last ditch option for when you are on foot or on the run.

If you carry Wargaming through to arrival at your safe haven, you would need to plan how you are going to approach and identify yourselves to people at the safe haven. You may even have the forethought to pre-place supplies and material at the safe haven, either stored openly at a safe haven that is full time occupied or cached. A cache is a hidden store or equipment, supplies or material. We’ll be writing about that later. In the mean time, sit down and think about your trek from your house to your safe haven and imagine what can go wrong. This will identify what contingencies you need to plan for. Remember Murphy’s Law,…….What can go wrong, will go wrong.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Urban Survival Skills – Recognizing and Treating Cold Injuries

The ability to recognize and treat cold injuries can often mean life or death for you or anyone who is in your survival group. Obvious the best way to avoid having to deal with cold injuries is to prevent them from happening by implementing precautions. One of the best methods for this is to utilize the buddy team concept where everyone is responsible for one other.

One of the lesser injuries incurred during cold or extreme cold weather is dehydration because thirst is reduced during cold weather. Dehydration can cause constipation because people may eat more in the cold weather as they are burning more calories to produce body heat. A preventive measure would be using the mandatory drink rule where every so often, say 30 minutes, everyone drinks X amount of water, say 4-6 ounces.

Frostbite is a common cold injury resulting from frozen skin, usually digits such as feet, hands or sometimes ears. Mild frostbite is where only the skin that takes on a whitish pallor and will be cold to the touch. Severe frostbite is where the skin freezes to a deeper level below the skin. The skin will be frozen. Symptoms of frostbite include loss of feeling usually in your hands, feet, nose and ears. You may experience “tingling” before you actually lose feeling. Tingling would indicate a pre-frostbite condition.

Preventive measures are, of course, wearing adequate clothing including gloves, suitable footgear and watch caps or coverings for your ears. A scarf around your mouth and nose would also be good for extreme cold weather. Moderate movement in extreme cold, providing adequate footgear will usually prevent cold injuries associated with frostbite.

Treatment of frostbite includes re-warming a mild frostbite, use your hands or mittens to other dry pieces of cloth to warm your face and ears. Place your hands under your armpits. Place your feet next to your buddy’s stomach. A severe frostbite injury, if thawed and refrozen, will cause more damage to the skin and circulation and that patient would have to be hospitalized soon.

Hypothermia is the more dangerous cold injury and is caused by the lowering of the body temperature at a rate faster than the body can produce heat. Causes of hypothermia may be significant exposure, sudden soaking from water such as falling into a river or being doused with other liquids.

The initial symptom is shivering. This shivering may progress to the point that it is uncontrollable and interferes with an individual’s ability to care for themselves. This begins when the body’s core temperature falls to about 96 degrees F. When the body core temperature further falls to 95 to 90 degrees F , incoherency and irrational behavior may occur. A core body temperature of 90 to 86 degrees F will usually result in muscle spasms, rigidity, and unconsciousness. A body core temperature below 77 degrees F results in death.

Without the ability to access professional medical help using conventional medical treatments such as warm water baths or enemas, the Urban Survivor will have to resort to wrapping the victim in sleeping bags and heavy clothing for insulation. Warm sweet liquids such as cocoa would be good, but be careful of warming too fast as it can cause circulation and even heart problems.

Again, the best way to prevent cold injuries is to be prepared for it with adequate clothing and planning. Your Survival Bug Out Bag should have the small sleeping bag, a tarp or ground cloth and fire making devices so there will be no excuse not being able to treat cold injuries is your clothing, planning or actions failure you.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 4

Man, sometimes it seems like I can’t get Survival topics of my mind. I hope I don’t turn into some paranoid freak!

Now my bug out bag is almost complete. When I went back to the gun store to buy some more gun cleaning supplies I picked up a cartridge belt so I can carry extra 12 gauge shotguns shells around my waist since I am using the shotgun as a primary long gun I’ll need access to more ammunition. The boys told me not to keep shells loaded into the leather belt and loops,…something about the oil or tannin in the leather oxidizing or corroding the shells.

I stopped by Lowe’s and bought another pack of re-chargeable “AA” batteries and a 5 x 7 foot tarp that I will put into my Survival Bug Out Bag to use as a shelter or ground cloth. The last couple of things I need are a Survival Radio for weather and emergency broadcasts and a couple small lanterns which I’ll order soon.

The boys sent me a pdf copy of the U.S. Army Survival Manual, FM 3-05.70, but told me that the SAS Survival Manual by Wiseman is an essential item. My last conversation with these guys centered around clothing items. I own some blue jeans and sweat shirts, but for the most part my wardrobe consists of casual and formal business attire. From their point of view, I need to get some heavy duty clothing like Carhart or Wrangler items in earth tone type colors,..brown, green, dark tan. The boys said that camouflage clothing may actually be better suited for moving and operating in the field, but in and around the city they’ll bring too much scrutiny. I agree. In the next couple of days I’ll buy a pair of Wrangler brown jeans and a Carhart, insulated shirt.

The coolest thing happened two days ago. I was at the local sporting goods store looking for some mini “AA” battery type lanterns to see if I could buy them locally cheaper than from ordering from Amazon – I couldn’t, but anyway, I ran into a friend of mine, Neomi. I have been helping her out with some website development for her home based business.

Neomi is hot! Several years younger than me, used to dating athlete type guys and such, Neomi calls me regularly to complain about how some guy treated her bad, etc. Did I say she is Hot!!?? Anyway, Neomi asked me what I was doing in the Sporting Goods store. I told her I was looking for some “AA” or “AAA” powered small lanterns. She asked why and I gave her the “I just preparing a kit for emergencies,..yada yada yada.” She wanted to know more. She lives alone in a duplex about five miles from my house, but she is still well within the city. She was late for a Pilates class but wanted to know more about my "Disaster Preparedness". So I told her I would come by her house later as I had a also had an update for her web site I needed her to take a look at.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Urban Survival Tools – Pocket Multi-Tools

The Urban Survivors Kit will not be complete without a pocket Multi-Tool. These tools are commonly referred to as “Leathermans”, however Leatherman is only one of the companies that manufacture these must have items.

Having used several versions of Leathermans and other tools, we have the opinion that the two best multi-tools on the market are from Leatherman and Gerber. You should feel adequately equipped with either.

Leatherman 830038 New Wave Multi-Tool

Excellent multi-tool; easily open and handled; with many tools for common functions such as: needle nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutters, hard wire cutters, clip point knife, serrated knife, saw, scissors, wood/metal file, diamond-coated file, large bit driver, small bit driver, 2 double end bits, large screwdriver, ruler, bottle/can opener, wire stripper, and lanyard attachment . Comes with Zytel contoured handle/grips in a leather sheath. Weight is approximately 8.5 ounces. Leaf spring type tool locking on the handle.

Gerber Compact Sport Needlenose Multi-Plier 400

Another excellent multi-tool providing the following tools: Needle nose pliers with wire cutters, crimper, serrated drop point blade, scissors, bottle opener, crosspoint (Phillips) screwdriver, large, medium, and small flat tip screw drivers, and can opener. Comes in a black ballistic sheath, weighing approximately 7.4 ounces. Spring loaded tool locking function on handle.

Whether or not you carry one on your belt or in your Survival Bug Out Bag, this is an essential piece of kit. We give a slight edge to the Gerber in terms of price and ease of opening/closing the tools, plus the scissors appear to be more robust.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 3

Got a Shotgun! A Mossberg Model 500 Tactical. Mine is a standard blued model, but you can buy them in Mossy Oak or similar camouflage. To tell you the truth I can't remember the difference between Woodland and Mossy Oak or whatever. I remember the Survival guys telling me to stay away from camouflaged items as they tend to stand out and bring more scrutiny, particularly from persons of authority. I also purchased 25 rounds of #8 shot birdshot, 25 rounds of 00 buckshot and 10 rounds of 1 ounce Slugs to start. I plan on buying additional ammunition every month,…25 rounds here and there until I have a basic load. I also bought a 12 gauge brass bore brush but neglected to buy a cleaning rod, solvent and oil which I’ll pickup tonight on the way home.

I got to say having a shotgun in the house makes me feel a lot safer. I realize that I need to not only start shooting it regularly but to also get one of my Law Enforcement pals to give me some pointers. I really like the shot shell carrier on the collapsible stock of the shotgun where I can store six additional rounds of 12 gauge, as I am only loading three rounds in the tubular magazine as per guidance from the Survival guys. I am also going to order a V-TAC padded Tactical Sling from

I picked up a Camel Bak Talon backpack with hydration bladder to serve as my Survival Bug Out Bag. Added six of the MRE’s I was given and my extra flashlight batteries, but could not decide on storing my flashlight inside the Bug Out Bag or keep by my night stand. I understand now when I was told that a person needs multiple flashlights, a re-charger and a good store of re-chargeable batteries.
Until next time - stay prepared!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Urban Survival Tools - Guns Cleaning Kit

Firearms maintenance is essential if you would like to have a gun that functions when you need it to. This means regular cleaning and maintenance and for that you need firearms cleaning kits.

We feel you need several kits all capable with tools and material to service all your guns. We’ll concentrate on two of these kits; a small portable kit for your Survival Bug Out Bag and a larger kit for your house. The Bug Out Bag Weapons Cleaning Kit ensures you have the tools and material to service and clean your firearms when in the field, on the run or when just mobile. The Main Weapons Cleaning Kit is the kit you will routinely use at your house during periodic maintenance or when you come home from the range.

We are not fans of the duel purpose solvent-lubricants. We believe you use a dedicated solvent for cleaning and separate, dedicated oil for lubricating and protecting your firearm. If you use an all-in-one solvent-lubricate, you’ll get less than optimal results in cleaning and lubricating.

On a trip to or to your local gun or sporting goods store you should see many decent and inexpensive gun cleaning kits that usually consist of sectional rods to put together to make a longer cleaning rod; different end pieces such as a bore brush (to clean the barrel) or patch jag (to hold patches as you push down the bore/barrel after your clean it); bore solvents or cleaners; lubricating oil; general nylon cleaning brush (looks like a toothbrush); and patches. Add a general mechanics rag to your kit and this is basically what you minimally need to perform routine cleaning and maintenance on your guns.
Outers and Hoppes (as well as others) manufactures small, inexpensive cleaning kits for specific calibers and type of guns (e.g.. pistols or rifles). Ensure the kit you buy has sectional rods long enough for your barrel(s) and has separate solvent and lubricant.

For the Survival Bug Out Bag we like the small compact kits like the OTIS Deluxe Law Enforcement Cleaning Kit. This kit comes in a small round zippered bag that contains a plastics coated flexible rod section with extenders; several different sizes patch jags; four bore brushes; and unfortunately a combination solvent-lubricant called O-85 cleaner-lubricant. However, in a pinch, we would not hesitate to clean then lube our guns with this product, it’s just better if you could add two small bottles, one of solvent and one of lubricant to this kit. There are many good solvents and lubricants, however if we narrow down our choices to which ones are in compact, plastic bottles then we would recommend Hoppes Elite Gun Cleaner or Remington Bore Cleaner as your solvent and Hoppes Elite Gun Oil or Remington Rem-Oil as your lubricant.

The OTIS Deluxe Law Enforcement Cleaning Kit is designed to clean and maintain 9mm through .45 caliber handguns and .223 caliber to .308 caliber rifles and 12 gauge shotguns. Brass scraper and handy picks will help you get the carbon and junk out of hard to clean places. A really handy item is the cut down toothbrush that is used with an extension rode. First class kit!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Urban Survival Bug Out Bag Medical Kit

The Survival Bug Out Bag Medical Kit is necessarily a fairly small Medical Kit as it needed to fit inside a bug out bag. Items that should be included are, but not limited to, small, medium and large bandages for cuts, gauze pads, antibiotic ointment, Betadine and alcohol pads for cleaning wounds and cuts, couple rolls of medical tape, self sticking ace wraps, disposable rubber gloves, CPR Mask (protective barrier to give CPR rescue breaths on a patient without body to body contact), bandage scissors, tourniquet, quick clot powder or bandage, Vaseline bandages for burns, eyes ointment and eye patch bandages, aspirin and/or Acetaminophen tablets, possibly some Ibuprofen (Motrin) tabs as well, any medications you may need, like allergy tabs or bee sting kits, tweezers (excellent for pulling thorns or cactus spines out of people).

When in a survival mode, you should treat even the smallest cut as the potential for infection is too great to take a risk in assuming that you are needing the kit since the current infrastructure including medical care have all but disintegrated.

A great idea would be to invest in some medical training as well. Such as a CPR course, local Red Cross or YMCA first aid course, as well as a good medical reference book on hand.

We prefer to make our own first aid kits and in fact have several kits, each of which complements each other. However if you are inclined to buy a ready made kit, a good buy would be the Elite First Aid M3 Medical Bag with Supplies, GI Style Issue and also buy two of the Adventure Medical Kits QuikClot Sport - 25 Grams that we are highlighting in the Amazon link below: