sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Go-Bag

What do you keep in your briefcase?

Kifaru bag with a trauma bag. Ruler is 18"
I use a Kifaru bag (above) with an attached trauma bag. Kifaru (based in Colorado) makes durable, quality equipment and I'm proud to tout their products. Everything that they make is designed to last. I first became acquainted with their products when I did extreme 'sports' with the US Gov.

I'm not going to outline the entire contents of my go-bag, but for the sake of discussion, I will share the non-kinetic equipment. It goes with me almost everywhere, so if you meet me, you can rest assured that  I'll have stuff close at hand - because it's better to have and not need than to need and not have.

The load-out varies from country to country based on local regulations but this is the baseline stuff.
Eagle Talon Tomahawk

I'm old fashioned. If it's worked for 2,000 years or more, it is likely to work today. Axes are legal everywhere in the world and you never know when you will need an axe. My choice is the Eagle Talon by RJM Forge. In medieval Europe, they were war hammers, the Vikings called them "short axes" and carried them with great effect, and the American Indians found them useful. The RJM Forge products are simply the best available and they're carried by the US Military's SPECOPS people in the harshest environments on earth. They are very useful as climbing tools or ice axes, as pry tools or to chop wood. I've used this tool in extreme environments since RJM first produced it. The blade holds an edge suitable for shaving.

MPT titanium knife
In the 1990's the US Navy selected the titanium Multi Purpose Knife (MPK) as its knife of choice for the SEAL Teams after exhaustive testing. I participated in that testing and came to know Rick Schultz, the guy who made the MPK. He since sold Mission Knives and the successor company came out with the Multi Purpose Tactical (knife) or MPT, pictured above. I have an original MPK, and the MPT has a couple of features that I like even better, so that's what I carry. My personal knife is slightly modified from the version available on the civilian market. It's constructed of titanium, and once very sharp -- stays razor sharp with very little attention to the blade. Titanium doesn't oxidize (rust) under any circumstances and it's non-magnetic.

Medical Gear - I might need it for myself or I might need it for you.
I focus on trauma gear because most normal wounds can be stabilized without fancy equipment.
2 x Halo Seals (for sucking chest wounds. One for the entrance and one for the exit.)
2 x Celox (controls bleeding in moderate to severe situations where direct pressure isn't working)
1 x Tourniquet (industrial grade) for when Celox isn't working.
4 x Five Hour Energy (because sometimes you need to stay awake). I prefer the grape flavor.
Prescription meds - because I'm a mess and need pills to keep everything normal. (I'm aging)

Misc Gear - Adaptable components
50 ft. 550 Cord
Chem Lights (green, red, IR) because marking things for yourself and others is often useful.
Surefire flashlight
Spare Sunglasses
Black Watch Cap
Gloves
Pocket Knife (along the same general lines of the MPT above but you can carry it in your pocket)
Spare Batteries
Spot Messenger (because sometimes you need to send an SOS, or to just let friends know that you're OK.)
Energy Bars
Mini-Extreme Water Purification System w/collapsable cup
Small metal mirror
Pop-flares (military aviator issue)
Scissors (industrial grade)
Pens/paper (because it is a briefcase) Sometimes there is a Kindle in there too to keep me entertained.

I didn't list a cell phone/satphone because it wouldn't usually be in the Go-Bag. The same is true of a few other small misc. pieces of travel gear that I keep separate. I simply inventoried the bag this morning and that's what's in it.

Fully loaded the bag weighs - a lot. It's not intended as a backpack. It's just a briefcase that I can throw onto the seat next to me in a car and buckle it in as a passenger, or take with me on a trip. Naturally if I fly commercially, the sharps go into my checked luggage. Kinetics vary from country to country. It's not "survival gear". It's "getting by gear". There is a difference. It's what I keep in my briefcase.


12 comments:

  1. Great post! I carry a big kit in both our vehicles and a modified smaller kit in my work truck since I'm driving around in it for college 40 hours a week. One thing I have found useful is to keep a note card with the complete pack contents written on it somewhere easily acaccessible. It's surprising how easy it is to forget exactly what you've got in a particular pack. Also - replace consumable items immediately after you use them.

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    1. Don't know where the "college" came from above... It's been a looooong time since I was in college :)

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    2. I don't carry that many expendables in the kit. The energy bars are 'stale' for having not been eaten and if I'm slapping a seal on a sucking chest would, the replacement is a no-brainer. But having said that, the inventory list is always a good idea.

      At the risk of sounding a bit obsessive, I also have pre-packed packs, loaded out for particular uses: Winter Pack (featuring warm clothes), Black Powder hunting pack (seasonal clothing and supplies), Archery Pack (lots of camo), etc. And for the most part, they sit on their shelving in the garage. BUT when I want to use them, I simply grab and go.

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  2. I have a tea-bag, with an attached vitamin pill.

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    1. I take it that you don't drink "sweet tea"?

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  3. Replies
    1. I do my share of off-road adventure travel as well. Some people I know have poked fun at the equipment I bring to un-stick my rig when it falls in a hole or something. Those people don't laugh when it happens to them and they're not prepared to deal with the problem - and usually reach out to me for help. And I don't mind helping. The next time, they look as if they're loaded out for the apocalypse. One guy asked, "Why do you bring a full pack, two canteens and a rifle?" I said, "Sometimes if you're stuck bad, you have to walk out." You hope never to have to walk out. But if you do, better that you have shelter, water, food and the ability to defend yourself from coyotes or hippies.

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  4. Nice set up, and I really need to look at those tomahawks... I've got a cheep one in the truck.

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    1. Cheap works too. I also have a machete in the car (legal) for hacking down brush. Cold Steel machete = $30.

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  5. Been putting together a bug out kit for awhile. I like what you have included in you bag.

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    1. It's not comprehensive, just stuff to fit in a briefcase. I usually keep boots in the trunk of the car in case I have to walk somewhere and a jacket in the event that it gets cold at night. Modest defensive measures are always a good idea.

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  6. Interesting post. I see a few things that I don't have in my go bag that probably should be added. Funny the whole family has teased me for years about my go bag, yet I often hear "oh mom can fix that from her go bag" or "my granny, has what you need in her go bag." I think its a success as they at a minimum know enough to know what it takes to solve the problem and where to get it.

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