What Did You Do Today To Prepare?

February 12, 2009

  • Worked out for an hour (I’ve worked out an hour a day, every day, since January 5)
  • Started studying the online Missouri Hunter Education course. I don’t know if I could shoot an animal, but it’s better to have a hunting permit and not need it than to need one and not have it.
  • Grabbed my “go” bag out of the closet and took a look through it.

That’s the point of today’s post. My “go” bag is my backpacking backpack, and I’m going on a trip soon, so I need to switch out some of the gear. As it stands now, I have it set up as a survival bag for at least 3 days (but it would do for far longer than that). Here are the contents:

  • It’s a Kelty Red Cloud backpack (with pack cover)
  • REI Chrysalis tent
  • Thermarest 3/4 length sleeping pad
  • Clipped to the front with a carabiner is a sheathed Air Force Survival Knife (I call it the Mick Dundee) with a whetstone
  • Synthetic mummy sleeping bag rated to 30 degrees in a stuff sack
  • Notebook and pen, with 20 feet of duct tape wrapped around pen
  • One hundred dollars in small bills
  • Compass
  • Whistle with compass, thermometer, and magnifying glass
  • Leather glove
  • Small sewing kit
  • Headlamp
  • Hand-crank cell phone charger with LED light
  • Small fishing kit–line, frog gig, bobbers, hooks, various lures
  • Tin with safety pins and wire saw
  • Fire kit with incredible redundancy: 3 lighters, 3 packs of matches, two tea light candles, tinder in waterproof case, magnesium block with flint striker, Coghlan’s fire paste
  • Wire
  • GPS
  • Six AA batteries
  • Four AAA batteries
  • Candle lantern with three candles (and yet another lighter!)
  • Katadyn Hiker water filter
  • Mesh bag
  • Laundry line
  • Two little Coleman red clip-on lights
  • 50 feet nylon line
  • Mini Maglite (with another 10 feet of duct tape wrapped around)
  • Inflatable ball
  • Deck of cards (entertainment is important)
  • Black plastic garbage bag
  • Waterproof windbreaker with hood
  • Toilet kit: Plastic trowel, TP, hand sanitizer
  • Empty 2-liter Camelback
  • Camp stove and gas bottle
  • Three MREs
  • Six Mainstay bars
  • Flexible cutting board
  • Nalgene bottle stuffed with four bandanas
  • Three pairs underwear
  • Three pairs socks
  • Hygiene kit: Dr. Bronner’s soap (like Mark Spitz!), comb, wet wipes, small deodorant, small toothbrush and toothpaste and cup, lip balm, small Gold Bond powder, nail clippers, small mirror
  • First aid kit one: two large safety pins, lots of potassium iodide (about my only slightly paranoid item), iodine, gentian violet, extras of my prescriptions (sleep aids–I have insomnia), Sawyer Extractor
  • First aid kit two: Standard Target-purchased first aid kit with gauze, tongue depressors, cold compress, wound irrigator, moleskin, shears, tape, cotton, Q-tips, alcohol cleansing pads, antibiotic cream, lots of band-aids of various sizes, emergency/survival blanket, SAM splint, sterile suture kit, burn gel, various OTC painkillers, two pair nitrile gloves (allergic to latex), large gauze pads, eye patch bandage
  • Mess kit: Plastic coffee mug, small nesting skillet/bowl/1-qt saucepan with lid combo, inside the saucepan is a baggie of sugar, salt, pepper, curry powder, garlic powder, small sheets of aluminum foil, and small bottle of Tabasco
  • Ziploc bag with fork, two spoons, small bottle olive oil, two more little Tabasco bottles, cheese spread packet out of an MRE, instant coffee, tea, powdered drink mixes

All this survival-y goodness comes to about 35 pounds (I will carry much less on the backpacking trip, ironically, because I will be with others). Depending on the season, I include bug spray and sunscreen.

That’s a more substantial “go” bag than most, but I consider it good insurance.

Edited to add: I just tossed an older Leatherman Kick tool into there, and realized it’s not much of a “go” bag if I don’t keep my leather hiking boots in the same closet. You learn something every day…or at least you should.


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