New member - my SHTF bag

Posted by: 2005RedTJ

New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 03:06 AM

I got my new backpack in today from IMS-PLUS. It's the HSLD 3-Day Combat Pack. The thing is extra beefy and has more pockets than I care to count. And it was only $68. The material is at least as tough as my US Navy seabag was. It appears to be extremely well-made.

Here's the list of what I have in it right now:

1 - Buck camp axe w/ 50' of paracord wrapped around the handle
2 - fixed blade knives (Cold Steel Recon Tanto and a Gerber Mark I)
1 - folding knife (Gerber Gator Serrator)
1 - knife sharpener
2 - small compasses (one has an LED light and thermometer, one just has a thermometer)
1 - magnesium fire starter
1 - BIC lighter
1 - pack of waterproof matches
100 - water purification tablets
1 - wire saw
3 - space blankets
1 - poncho
1 - fishing kit (several sizes of fish hooks, lead, 100' of 6-pound test line)
1 - first aid kit
20' - duct tape
20' - electrical tape
4 - contractor bags (2 mil thick)
3 - 13-gallon kitchen garage bags
6 - gallon ziplock bags
10 - paper towels
4' - aluminum foil
6 - coffee filters
1 - roll toilet paper
4 - 20 ounce bottles of water
24 - 4.2 ounce emergency water rations
3 - MRE entrees
18 - emergency food ration bars
8 - Quaker chocolate chunk granola bars
1 - big coffee can (boil water in, etc...)
1 - pair gloves
1 - pair long underwear pants
1 - long underwear shirt
2 - pair hiking socks
1 - pair underwear
1 - fleece hat
1 - boonie hat
1 - small travel toiletry kit (razor, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shave cream)
50' - more paracord
1 - Starflash signal mirror
1 - Fox 40 whistle
1 - flexible 1-quart canteen
1 - sewing kit (needles/thread/safety pins)
2 - "AAA" LED penlights
1 - "AAA"x3, 12-LED light
8 - extra "AAA" batteries
1 - pencil
1 - ink pen
1 - Sharpie
1 - pack baby wipes
3 - 9-hour candles
1 - US Army Survival Manual

Carried on person:
1 - Smith & Wesson combat folding knife
1 - Leatherman
1 - another BIC lighter

Need to add:
1 - Thermo-Lite II bivvy sack
1 - fleece sleeping bag
1 - fleece pullover with hood

Any suggestions as to anything that should be added or left out?
Posted by: Blast

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 04:05 AM

Welcome to the fire, newguy!

Looking at your list I have to ask what are your plans for it? I mean, where will you go with it? It looks like it is set up to spend some time in the woods...

Also, how heavy is it, water and all? How far have you walked with it?

Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 04:29 AM

The current weight is 32 pounds. I offroad a lot in my Jeep and get a long ways from pavement. My main goal is to be able to survive at least a week in the woods. Our temperatures here rarely get much below freezing in the winter, but I'm trying to have the bag set up to be good for any season.

I will be using this bag just like I was using my old one, keep it in whatever vehicle I am in or in the house if I'm inside. I also drive a company van all over Alabama and a lot of the time I'm in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone coverage. Our vans get no maintenance done on them with the exception of oil changes and flat tires replaced, so I factored that in the situation also.

I haven't tried it out yet as far as walking with it, but I carry a ladder, toolbag, cordless drill and everything else around all day long at work up and down stairs. So I don't think the current weight of the bag will be too much.
Posted by: OldBaldGuy

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 04:41 AM

Welcome Newguy!!!
Posted by: Rodion

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 05:11 AM

What kind of a first aid kit? What kind of Leatherman?

Also, I'd swap the survival manual for a first aid brochure any day. wink
Posted by: Lono

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 05:23 AM

Welcome TJ!

Howabout you take it out in the woods for one week and tell us what you want o leave in or leave out? Seriously, the closest reference I have to this is a 1 week backpack for wandering in the woods near home (Pacific Northwest). This looks alot like that.

A few observations:
- put the Fox 40 whistle on your person, on a string of paracord around your neck works fine. You can't signal for help if the Fox 40 is separated from you if you're lost and hurt.
- do the 24x4.2 oz water rations work for you? You drink one, you have a packet left over; you drink 24, are you leavintg the packets behind, or policing your area as you go? Another collapsible Nalgene water container would hold at nearly or as much water to begin with, and be refillable. No mess, no fuss.
- I've never camped out near Alabama, if I camp out near here I need to be ready for cold and wet almost any time of the year. Anything I set up for an intentional week in the woods would include a sleeping bag, shelter (Tarptent Rainbow), water filter, cook stove and fuel, and more food than this. I believe my setup would weigh less than yours, but not by much. I love my comfort. This appears more in the Rough It mode, that's okay if you're okay with it.
- I'm getting lazier the older I get, to stay out of rain I bring an 9x10 foot nylon tarp on most outings and hang it over my living and cooking area, it keeps me dry and out of the sun. You might have the same with the poncho, but it could be fairly confining day in and day out in the rain. YMMV
- speaking of comfort, granola bars, rations and MREs as a treat 3 times a week. Live a little! Pack food you like, it may like you too.
- I would ditch the candles, but I'm used to dark, have flashlights when I need them, and have a fear of setting my tent on fire with open flame.
- are the gloves work gloves, or are they built for warmth?
- I don't see anything to write on with that Sharpie, maybe leave that out (are you labelling corpses and wounded? :-)
Posted by: leemann

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 06:11 AM

Welcome to the forums sir glad to have ya. One thing I'd get is heatsheet blankets better than spaceblankets.

Posted by: Stu

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 11:23 AM

Welcome New Guy,
A interesting list you have there. I'll look at it in more depth as my time permits.
Posted by: bigreddog

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 12:38 PM

I'd replace one of the smaller compasses with a larger one, and add maps. Getting out is a lot easier that way.

Also bug repellant is a good thing I think

Agree about whistle on person - I think a blade, light, firestarter, whistle and maybe a heatsheet and some cord should be on person at all times out in the woods - easier to lose your base camp than you might think - even a twisted ankle can strand you just out of reach of your gear.

And emergency cash is handy if you do stagger out of the woods.
Posted by: dropout

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 04:37 PM

I've always heard you can survive in your car in arctic temps heating yourself w/ nothing but a candle. I keep a box of 10 in my car at all times. This may not work in your tent however. But i swear candles are a life saver if you are stuck in your vehicle.
Posted by: Blast

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 06:25 PM


Ah, now your bag makes a lot more sense. As another member pointed out bug spray even a bug-proof headnet would be a good addition. What are the 13gal garbage bags for? They seem small and redundent in light of your other gear.

Weight-wise it sounds really good.

Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 09:37 PM

This bag is more for if I end up camping when I wasn't planning on it (say I break the Jeep bad enough I can't fix it on the spot), or if I get lost, or if the crap hits the fan and I need to actually bug out, it's a dual-purpose bag.

I'm preparing for cold and wet even though it doesn't get near as cold here as it does up North. I figure the 4 contractor bags can make a decent tent, I'm pretty resourceful (used to be a Boy Scout back in the day too). I'm picking up a Thermo-Lite II Bivvy tonight to throw in there and possibly a fleece sleeping bag too.

The first aid kit is a Sawyer #1164. It has some basic first aid instructions inside it and I want to keep the survival manual too.

The Leatherman is a cheap Winchester one from Walmart. It's decent for what it is, but I plan on upgrading it to a Gerber Suspension or something similar very soon.

I just put the bag together over the last couple weeks and haven't had a chance to try out the water rations yet. I may end up carrying another bottle instead of them or I may just carry 12 of them in addition to the 4 20-ounce bottled waters I carry on the side pockets. Once I drink a water packet I'd throw the empty back in the pack, I always clean up while in the woods. I think I'm going to carry less water and just source my own (boiling or purifying of course).

I think I could do with just 9 of the lifeboat food rations and the 3 MRE entrees also instead of carrying 18 rations, those things are heavy.

The gloves are just work gloves, they'll provide a little warmth but be more for protecting my hands. The candles were dirt cheap and last 9 hours, so I just threw them in. I think the Sharpie is kind of pointless, also, but I had one laying around and it weighs next to nothing.

Good call on the larger compass and maps, I need to add those.

Don't know what I was thinking when I threw the 13-gallon kitchen garbage bags in there, I really don't have a use for them.

The wire saw may do okay, it may not, but I have a Buck camp axe in there anyway. I might need to cut stuff to build a shelter that would take forever with the saw.

I forgot about bug spray, need to put some in there. Good call on the whistle being on my person. Thanks for the welcome guys. I just got started on the BOB/SHTF bag quest about a month ago and started actually purchasing supplies to go in it a couple of weeks ago.

Nighthiker - I was a DPSN on the USS Wasp, LHD-1.
Posted by: JohnE

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 10:06 PM

I think you might find that a saw, particularly a decent small folding saw, will cut the sort of stuff you'd need for a shelter much faster than a small axe or hatchet will. A folded up Sven or Gerber saw in your pack would be a much better choice than any of the wire saws I've seen.

With a lot less chance of injury too.

Welcome to the fold.

Posted by: epirider

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/07/09 11:50 PM

Welcome newguy and fellow TJ owner. I too have a pack that I haul around in the back of my jeep. The only thing that stood out to me is I have a Austrian mess kit in my pack. It is a alcohol stove, windscreen, and 2 pans. It sure does make cooking/boiling water/ making coffee etc... a whole lot easier and more convienent then a coffee can. Just something to think about. Keep the canvas up and the greasy side down.
Posted by: ironraven

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 01:13 AM

Hello new guy, pull up a rock.

*looks at your bag*
*cracks my knuckles and stretches*

-HSLD 3-Day Combat Pack.
Knock of one of the bigger Camelbaks, good design if you don't overload it. Problem- Condor's knock offs are decidedly middlin in their build quality. Watch fleabay, you can get good deals on a similiar size pack if you are patient. This will do for now, but I wouldn't take it to do rough stuff.

-Cold Steel Recon Tanto
Tantos aren't the best utility knives, at least the chisle ground ones. *shrugs* personal call.

-Gerber Mark I
Double edged and a short blade... Again, not the best choice. I'd think about upgrading to one (1) good, drop or clip point blade at some point, but again, personal call.

-2 - small compasses
All well and good, but they can't perform as well as a larger one. And if you have maps, a larger one becomes even more useful. The size of these two combined are probably similiar to one good, small but full sized orienterring compass.

-1 - BIC lighter
Take two, they are little. And wedge the plunger.

- wire saw
Uhm... someone suggested a folding saw. Let me suggest it once and twice more.

- first aid kit
Saw what you had, have you augmented it and checked to make sure it has everything in that it claims?

-3 - 13-gallon kitchen garage bags

-4 - 20 ounce bottles of water
-24 - 4.2 ounce emergency water rations
Not a fan of either type of package. You've got 180 ounces here, assuming that none of those little packets break. I'd rather carry less water in a container that I know won't break- if you aren't scared of bad unscience, you can buy lexan nalgenes for about 4-5 bucks each.

-18 emergency food ration bars
Are they a 1200calorie bar? 400s? Granola bars?

-8 - Quaker chocolate chunk granola bars
Chocolate in an emergency kit should be well packed and limited to M&Ms, IMO. Having had to clean a melted chocolate bar out of a pack was a one time thing. :P

- big coffee can (boil water in, etc...)
YEAH!!!!!! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one. smile

- sewing kit (needles/thread/safety pins)
Better is keep the safety pins, and pack good needles. You've got 100 yards of ok, heavy thread in the fishing kit.

- US Army Survival Manual
Ah, the 21-76. Not my first choice- it is trying to be global, but isn't big enough to do the job. As a result, it is mediocre everywhere.

- Leatherman
You said your multitool was a wallyworld, winchester name-rent model. Certainly a start, and absolutely a place to grow from.

- Thermo-Lite II bivvy sack
- fleece sleeping bag
Very good combo.

A good start. But it has room to grow.

Things I'd like to see added:
Zip ties
Dental floss
Maps, even if it is just a Delorme atlas
for a week, you are very light on food

I think you've got a lot of those little water packs and food bars, but they are high bulk/low value in my opinion. I'm not even sure how it all fits into a 2500-2600ci pack.

Good start, not great but good.
Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 01:45 AM

I changed it around a little tonight. Added another 100 Potable Aqua purification tablets and removed 12 of the 24 water rations. I figure with a means to boil water, 200 purification tablets, 6 coffee filters, and a 1-quart military canteen - I believe I have the water thing covered (though I do plan on switching the canteen out for a good wide-mouth nalgene bottle.

Those are the 1200-calorie-per day food rations, so I figure if I remove half of them, I still have 3 days worth of rations plus 3 MRE entrees plus 8 granola bars. I know it won't be like a steak dinner with a baked potato every meal, but would it do to survive on?

The Recon Tanto was free, I've grown pretty used to it and it's full-tang and tough as nails. It's one of the original, old-style Recon models. Not the one they sell nowadays. I removed the Gerber Mark I, don't really see a need for it with the Tanto in there.

In addition to the one BIC lighter in the bag, I always have one in my pocket.

I need to get a folding saw, I was just at Bass Pro Shop and forgot to check on one. They were also out of the Thermo-Lite II Bivvy as well as the fleece bag I wanted. May have to check back or just buy them online. Also need to pick up a better compass.

I removed the kitchen garbage bags, don't know why I had them in there. What would be a better book to keep in there than the FM 21-76? Also, I have checked the first aid kit and have put a few more things in it, not much yet though. What else would be good to have in the first aid kit?

The granola bars are individually wrapped and kept in a ziplock bag so I'm not too worried about meltage. I need to grab some zipties off the company van. I shouldn't have forgotten those, I use a ton of them every day.

After removal/replacement of some items, the bag now weighs 26 pounds. Still need to add sleeping bivvy/fleece bag, and a fleece hooded pullover.
Posted by: ironraven

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 02:09 AM

OK, from the number I was thinking they were those 400cal Meelium bar things or cliff bars. I can't comment on anyone's love Mainstays- I do a happy dance when I think one is getting a bit worn and should be replaced. (I know, I'm sick. I put cheese and peanut butter in the same sandwich, to.) I try to have one of those per day, and either an MRE entree or a MH Propak or similiar per day, along with some granola bars and slim jims.

Then again, I'm also not planning on living off the land after 7 days. My plans are hiking 100 miles in the warm, loving embrace of a Vermont winter if I have to. *laughs*

If you are looking to order gear, I like, but then again, I live two miles from the retail site and they are half way between two of my favorite book stores... They have good prices, and in the store they are clearancing their lexan nalgenes (standard and half sized, wide and narrow mouth), so grab them while you can if you are going to grab some. The Triton bottles have failed to impress. And failed to pass basic impact test (size 13 boot).

Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 02:33 AM

Ironraven - I'm currently wondering if a 3600 calorie package of Mainstay's, plus 3 MRE entrees, plus the 8 granola bars is enough. I might throw a few more MRE entrees in there. The Mainstay's are very heavy.

I don't really plan on being stuck anywhere for 7 days, but in the event of a natural disaster I just want to be able to cover pretty much any scenario for about a week. Bass Pro Shop had some decent prices on the Nalgene bottles, I'm looking at the 32-ounce wide mouth one now online.

I'm also thinking I might go with the Snugpak Travelpak Lite instead of the Thermo-lite II Bivvy. I'm still planning to carry a fleece bag also.

I don't know a whole lot about the bag, but the info with it lists it as a Voodoo Tobago Tactical Cargo Pack. The buckles all say Voodoo on them also. It's a lot better than the Walmart backpack I upgraded from, that's for sure.

Epirider - My Jeep is also my "bugout vehicle". I have lockers front and rear, a 8.5k winch, good mud tires, and a bunch of tools and recovery gear. It gets me everywhere I want to go, no matter what the conditions. I still play too hard in it sometimes when rock crawling and break parts, that's how I know what needs upgrading.
Posted by: ironraven

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 03:33 AM

I like the 1200cal rations better than 3600s for one simple reason- if you wear a hole in the wrapper of one of three 1200s, you are out 1200 calories, but the other two are fine. Wear a hole in the one 3600's wrapper, and you are potentially hosed. And since I do one 1200 per day, it makes it easy to portion out. *shrugs* YMMV.

As for going with a loft based sleeping bag rather than something like the Thermo-lite, there are pluses and minuses. Plus side, it will be warmer probably, due to the loft. Minus side is, if you leave it packed in your rig all the time, the loft gets compressed. Even if it can be refluffed, it won't be quite the same, at least not for a while. The Thermolite, so long as it doesn't have a hole (duct tape to the rescue) it will work, no long how long it has been packed. No loft issues.

And myself and others aren't saying the bag is horrible. We we are saying is it can be a lot better for not a huge amount more if you roam ebay and the like.
Posted by: Desperado

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 03:55 AM

Welcome to the fire...

The bag itself is ok. I have the same one with an Under The Gun brand label on it. Just watch the zipper pulls. The part you actually grab tends to break or pull off. The 550 cord loop can fix that, but the attachment point isn't a completely closed loop. This can cause them to pull off easily when unzipping.
Posted by: Blast

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 04:03 AM

I still play too hard in it sometimes when rock crawling and break parts, that's how I know what needs upgrading.

Best line in a long time! laugh

Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 04:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Blast
I still play too hard in it sometimes when rock crawling and break parts, that's how I know what needs upgrading.

Best line in a long time! laugh


Keeping it rubber-side-down isn't much fun. grin
Posted by: Desperado

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 04:40 AM

Originally Posted By: 2005RedTJ
Originally Posted By: Blast
I still play too hard in it sometimes when rock crawling and break parts, that's how I know what needs upgrading.

Best line in a long time! laugh


Keeping it rubber-side-down isn't much fun. grin

DW's jeep has a front window decal that is upside down when the jeep is right side up
"... If you can read this...roll me over..."
Posted by: epirider

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 01:31 PM

The beauty thing about jeeps is they will get you out of most places you shouldnt have been in in the first place :o). I have done a few things to my jeep that I think you would be VERY interested in and if you like, I would be happy to send you some pics. I just dont think the rest of the forum would be interested in Jeep stuff. I like what you are doing with your bag and the folks on this site have a ton of GREAT information. Just remember the best way to figure out what you need is to take your bag out and try it out. Replace what you used and like, change what you dont! I am not over the HILL but I like my comfort as I am enjoying the view. Do what will work for you, listen to ideas and advise and allow your pack to grow and develop.
Posted by: KenK

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 03:17 PM

I'm assuming you're bringing gear to help unstick a stuck jeep??

You might bring either some Vaseline-covered cotton balls for tinder, or some commercial counterparts. You could use the TP, but it probably wouldn't burn very long.

I'll second the suggestion for a tarp of some kind - at least kept in the vehicle. I'd make it a very bright one so you can make getting found easier. sells bright orange plastic tarps (like the blue ones, but very bright orange). They're nice.

Don't forget to tell a trusted sole exactly where you're going, when you'll be back, that you'll contact them when you return, and instructions on what to do if you're not heard from. Or ... buy a PLB.

I do like the idea of throwing a sleeping bag and a cheap sleeping pad into the truck. In another thread Chris recently mentioned that his sleeping bag is his primary survival item ... given that you've got a truck, I think that's a good call. Could turn a very cold night into a nice night's sleep.

One of the problems with have 100 purification tablets (Micropur?) is that they expire after some time. That is why I went with the MSR Miox.

I'll second the head net recommendation and the insect repellent. The Outdoor Research head net is my favorite - and happens to be the one Doug Ritter puts in his big aviation kit. When the boys in my son's Scout troop go on survival overnights, the two biggest issues are staying dry (tarp above & below), warmth (sleeping bag & pad), and dealing with the bugs.

Ken K.
Posted by: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 03:24 PM

I'm also thinking I might go with the Snugpak Travelpak Lite instead of the Thermo-lite II Bivvy. I'm still planning to carry a fleece bag also.

Good idea, even better though if you go for the Snugpak Softie 3 Merlin and forget the fleece sleeping bag which is very bulky and heavy for the warmth it will provide.

Rather than including materials to make an improvised shelter (takes a lot of time and energy to construct and will most likely be inadequate if the weather changes for the worse) why not get a much more flexible shelter system such as the Golite Shangri-La 3 Tarp Shelter.

It is very flexible and can be used in a wide range of weather conditions even up to low level winter conditions. It is also very spacious especially for 1 person.

An inflatable mat such as the Thermarest Prolite 3/4 is recommended and the additional weight easily outweighs any idea of not getting a decent nights sleep whilst sleeping on pine boughs or dirt for a week.

A titanium cooking pot is lightweight and much easier to clean than a coffee can. The Primus Eta pots are excellent and very efficient as well especially if used a lightweight gas stove. A 500 gm butane/propane canister would easily last more than a week. It would also allow food and beverages to be prepared inside your tent or shelter when conditions outside would be difficult.

It might sound like a campers list of items but then when ever did the military know anything about getting a good comfortable nights sleeping in a warm and dry environment.

Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/08/09 10:14 PM

Yeah, I carry plenty of recovery gear and tools in the Jeep.

I do need some kind of tinder, I was thinking at least some dryer lint until I put something better in there.

The website for Potable Aqua claims a four year shelf life, that's why I went ahead and put those in the bag.

I'm going to look into a tent, but for right now I'll just leave the contractor bags in the kit. I'm kind of going back and forth between the Thermo-Lite II w/ a fleece bag, or the better Snugpak bag. The Thermo-Lite II and fleece bag would be better than nothing, plus I already have 3 space blankets in the bag.

My primary goal with the bag is more emergency camping/bugout than planned camping, I carry a ton of stuff with me for planned camping trips (regular sleeping bag, EZ-Up canopy, tent, large cooler, air mattress, gallon of Captain Morgan's, cases of Cokes, food, camp stove, propane heater when it's cold, etc...). This will be to survive if I find myself in an unexpected bad situation, not necessarily be comfortable.
Posted by: oldsoldier

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/09/09 12:10 AM

2005, welcome! I have an 06 wrangler X. One thing I use to store gear in my jeep is one of these. I keep food, military compass, swedish stove kit, flashlight, FAK, and a wool blanket (tied to the bottom), all in it, and its all right behind me. Easy to get to. Definitely helps with storage issues in a jeep. But, hey, its a jeep!!
Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/09/09 12:25 AM

Originally Posted By: oldsoldier
2005, welcome! I have an 06 wrangler X. One thing I use to store gear in my jeep is one of these. I keep food, military compass, swedish stove kit, flashlight, FAK, and a wool blanket (tied to the bottom), all in it, and its all right behind me. Easy to get to. Definitely helps with storage issues in a jeep. But, hey, its a jeep!!

Holy crap that thing is awesome. I may have to get 2 of those. I currently carry most of my gear in the Jeep in ammo cans. I have 3 of the SAW cans and 1 20MM can. I also have a military surplus mechanic's toolbag and keep all my wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers in tool roll-ups. The 20MM can is mostly for stuff that's too large to fit in the smaller cans (universal joint press, grease gun, universal joints, spare unit bearing, spare rear driveshaft, etc...). I had to remove the rear bench seat and put a racing bucket back there due to all the gear I carry.
Posted by: oldsoldier

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/09/09 12:37 AM

Yeah, I like mine. I was gonna get a second one, but I put other gear in a small ruck. My toolkit sits behind my passenger seat. Once it warms up a bit, I'll take the back seat out & get some pics
Posted by: Yuccahead

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/09/09 05:47 AM

Jeeps need ammo cans to feel loved. In my '78 CJ-7, I have the tools stowed in a 9"x10x22" ammo can that used to carry 81mm rounds. It's a wonderful box. The problem is, when I go over some trails around here that are mostly volcanic rubble, it's like a monkey is sitting behind me gleefully smashing two frying pans together. I have got to find a way to strap that thing down.

I've been drooling over those seat covers as well but right now I feel I should stick with my sheepskin covers.

As for things to consider adding to your equipment, I have been thinking about adding 2 things to my own equipment that you haven't listed (though you may have). First is a 2nd battery system and the other is a a SPOT or PLB.

Other threads and Doug's reviews have addressed those in some detail so I won't go on about each device. However, a couple of weeks ago, I was on a solo trip through some of the more foresaken parts of New Mexico. Thanks to some inattention while trying get something to drink while trying to shift, I stalled and then flooded my engine. Though I was only a 10-15 mile rocky hike back to a well patrolled road, I had a few minutes to think about how it might have been nice to have a SPOT if I could never get the thing started and how nice it would have been to have a 2nd battery in case the main battery failed while trying to start a flooded engine.

I also carry some survey tape which can be written upon to leave messages for people trying to find or follow your trail.

Finally, I also carry a large tarp to serve most importantly as a sun shade -- critical in the desert -- and also to make me more visible from the air.
Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/12/09 03:14 AM

I've updated the bag a bit more, removed some things and added others. I threw in a cheap Walmart 8'x10' blue tarp until I get an Equinox 8'x10' tarp to keep in there.

Also I removed the pen, 2 of the contractor bags, one of the flashlights (leaves me with one penlight LED and one micro keychain compass/thermometer/LED), the 12 water rations (still have 4-20 ounce bottles of water). I have a 32-ounce wide-mouth Nalgene bottle on the way to replace the canteen (be able to store things inside the Nalgene bottle to save space, plus it'll be lighter).

Yuccahead - My tools rattle around a little too, I just consider it part of owning a Jeep.
Posted by: Yuccahead

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/12/09 04:33 PM

When you get your new tarp, check to see how much sun comes through. Where I live, I would keep carrying the blue tarp. There are no trees here that could provide total shade.

I had the pleasure of riding in a 2007 Jeep over the same bumpy trail that I took my '78 CJ on just a few weeks ago. The difference in ride smoothness was amazing. The newer Jeep was a 4-door Rubicon with stock suspension and tires. Not only was the ride smoother, but we made the same trip in about 75% of the time since we didn't have to slow down as much for the smaller ruts. I need a new Jeep.

Also, I took some bungee cords and wrapped them around my tool box so that they would serve as some cushion between the metal box and the metal floor of the jeep and I think it will help a lot.
Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/15/09 12:26 AM

I replaced my canteen with a 32 ounce Nalgene wide mouth bottle. I also ordered a Thermo-Lite II bivvy sack, an Equinox sleeping pad, and 6 Vargo titanium ultralight stakes yesterday.

And I'm upgrading the Walmart blue tarp I had put in there to a Silnylon one thanks to OldSoldier having a spare one laying around. The bag is coming along pretty nicely in my opinion, I may have to break down and update the original post to reflect what's in there now.
Posted by: jdavidboyd

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/15/09 04:34 PM

Originally Posted By: ironraven

Maps, even if it is just a Delorme atlas

Hey, not a bad idea. Even one for the entire US, based on every state, would be way better than nothing...
Posted by: ironraven

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 01/15/09 11:57 PM

With the DeLormes, the trick is to be razor happy with them- the covers, the in-town maps in the back, the touristy stuff, get rid of it. The rest gets stowed in a reinforced freezer bag or two.
Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 09/10/09 04:08 AM

Updating the thread with pics, bag is still a work in progress. I figured since I posted pics on ZS, I should here too.

Adding pics - I know a lot of this stuff isn't high-dollar or Tacticool, but it's what I had on hand at the time and it's all getting upgraded as time goes on. The bag is a lot larger than the pictures make it look. It holds all this easily, with room to spare.

The bag - HSLD 3-day combat (AKA Voodoo Tactical Tobago)

The only thing that's on the outside of the bag - an LED flashlight/compass/thermometer zipper pull.

Water bottle pockets on the sides:

2 - 20-ounce bottles of water

1 - Gallon Ziplock bag
200 - water purification tablets
coffee filters
1 - 32-ounce widemouth Nalgene

Contents of the Nalgene:

1 - bottle hand sanitizer
25 - waterproof matches in matchsafe with 2 strikers
1 - StarFlash Ultra signal mirror
1 - lighter
duct tape rolled around pencil
signal whistle
magnesium fire starter
knife sharpener
thermometer/compass zipper pull
wire saw
6 - "AAA" batteries (in medicine bottle)

Lower (fanny-pack position) outer pocket:

2 - ponchos
3 - space blankets
LED flashlight (crappy, need to buy a better one)
sewing kit (needles, thread, safety pins)
fishing kit (6-lb test line, hooks, lead, Rooster Tail, 3 worms)
LED penlight
disposable wipes

Outer top pocket:

first aid kit (has been added to a little, needs a lot more)
spare sunglasses (I can't stand squinting)

Middle top pocket:

Small, medium, and large zipties

Main large pocket:

boonie hat
ThermoLite II bivvy sack
roll of toilet paper
2 pair socks
long underwear
fleece hat (need to add more clothing)

3 - 9-hour candles
Buck camp axe
Cold Steel Recon Tanto
6 - 20-ounce bottles of water
Posted by: 2005RedTJ

Re: New member - my SHTF bag - 09/10/09 04:11 AM

Col Steel Recon Tanto closeup

personal hygiene kit (razor, soap, shampoo, etc...)
coffee can of food stuff
2 - MRE entrees
titanium tent stakes
8 - granola bars
50' - OD 550 cord
50' - white 550 cord

contents of coffee can:

21 - Mainstay rations
1 - MRE entree
4 - packs Tapatio hot sauce (free, so I threw it in)
3 - spoons
3 - packs Texas Pete hot sauce (free, so I threw it in)
2 - instant coffee
3 - hot beverage bags
3 - MRE heaters

Back of backpack, thin pocket:

3 - contractor bags (quick makeshift tent)
paper towels
aluminum foil
FM 21-76 Survival Manual

EDC stuff:

Taurus Millenium Pro .45acp (10+1)
extra magazine (10)