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#226672 - 06/26/11 10:30 AM PSK- What is your limit?
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2174
Loc: Great Plains
Hello, all. I'm curious about just how much space and weight you're willing to devote to your PSK. Now I realize I'll quickly be snowed under by the "it depends" posts. So let me head you off at the pass by stipulating the max weight/space you'll tolerate for the activities you regularly engage in, in your climate & home turf, in the season you typically trek in. You have carte blanche- your environment, your comfort level and your skill set.

I ask this for many reasons. First off, many of us probably carry the Ritter/AMK PSP. It's a wonderful minimalist kit, and I have half a dozen of them! It's my practice to tuck a PSP into most of my larger kits. And of course, occasionally I carry just that kit (augmented with a few items). But I think Doug would be the first to say carry more if you can. And if you knew for a fact you'd get lost when you went hiking today you'd simply stay home and avoid the drama! grin

Secondly, you could design a 50 lb pack with a tent, sleeping bag, 2 GPS units, a stove, nine kinds of fire, some food, a portable kitchen sink, etc. But of course, we know where that pack would be when you got lost on a day hike: It would be in your garage because it's too much to carry!

So please chime in- how much "insurance" will you tolerate on a day hike? A three day trip? A week long canoe trip in the BWCA? Design your own scenario, but let me know how much your life is worth in ounces, pounds, and/or cubic inches. I'm not looking for an answer written in stone, just the ratio you allocate gear (that you know how to use!) vs pure luck (ie "I won't ever really need ______"). Long answers are great! Give me as much info as you like for each scenario.

Lastly, this is just your PSK. You may carry lots of other gear, but this is just what you'll carry in a package that's very unlikely to be separated from your person (eg. in your pocket, in a waistpack, on your belt, in a vest, etc). If you have an EDC package that's also secured to your person and always on you, please list it and explain how it dovetails with your PSK.

Thanks! I'm eager to hear your responses! grin
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#226675 - 06/26/11 10:59 AM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Well, a lot of it is just definition too on how you define "survival" kit versus "stuff I need to live" kit. I mean, realistically, a quart of water is needed to live if you're off on a 3-day backpacking trip, but few of us would call it that.

For example, I don't consider a jacket and lunch with 2 qts of water anything unusual for a dayhike. I'll toss in my altoid-tin PSK. If I'm on a 7-day trip through the Sierra Nevada's, typically my PSK is there too. Everything else is considered necessary for the trip - 10 essentials, clothing, food, water, tent, etc. So, to me, a PSK is truly a last ditch, holy crap where's EVERYTHING kit. Ie, I don't carry a 10lbs kit, I carry 10lbs of gear and a 0.5lbs kit.

The one exception I can readily think of is when I spent a month in Alaska. there I took a backpack on my plane rides, specifically as a survival kit. I figured I wasn't camping/hiking and it was designed expressly to keep me alive for a few days in the event of a plane crash. I didn't break it open at all the entire trip, until I left and used the bag as my carry-on.

In my car, I have a car kit, but even that has a smaller PSK. That kit is about 3-5lbs, but I don't carry it.

I guess your answer is, my PSK is worth my back pocket. Sometimes a bit of belt real-estate too. But it's rare that, when I'm out, my backpack isn't with me. If I'm on a long trip, almost always I'll have a few smaller pouches that I can stuff things into, if I'm not carrying a camelback (hate them). Does that answer your question?


Edited by MDinana (06/26/11 11:02 AM)

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#226681 - 06/26/11 11:38 AM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2174
Loc: Great Plains
Everything is an answer. The question was purposely nebulous, so your answer was great! grin I basically spelled it out that all your EDC that's mean to dovetail into your "PSK" was fair game.

I like your approach. I think most people that frequent a site called "Equipped To Survive" will carry more gear than your average day tripper. You somewhat answered my question. The failing is mine. I should have asked- at what point is your PSK large enough that you won't take it with you?
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“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#226682 - 06/26/11 11:41 AM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: MDinana]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2174
Loc: Great Plains
Originally Posted By: MDinana
Well, a lot of it is just definition too on how you define "survival" kit versus "stuff I need to live" kit. I mean, realistically, a quart of water is needed to live if you're off on a 3-day backpacking trip, but few of us would call it that.


BTW, I would call it that. You need water to live, and if you don't have it on you, you'd better have a way to obtain it. This goes back to the opening premise, and I'll shamelessly quote Mr. Ritter- If it isn't on you, it can't save you. So again, your PSK is just what can't be separated from you, and will be the gear you pin your life on.
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“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#226683 - 06/26/11 11:56 AM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Like MDinana, I carry a variety of things depending on my environment, activity and expected duration, always with back-up. (i.e. A dayhike means being prepared to be out for a night or two, depending on where I am.) My minimum carry, regardless of where or what I'm doing, is my urban and wilderness EDC. It's always with me and on my body. I migrate that gear between my "purse" for urban and an Obusform "Breakout" fanny pack (no affiliation) for wilderness or active urban activities. It weighs maybe a pound or two, more when I clip on a full 32 oz. water bottle.
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#226684 - 06/26/11 12:00 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
While I do believe in the PSK concept, because of my spontaneity I will often find myself with little more than my clothing, EDC items, and water (in some sort of container obviously). While not ideal, it's amazing what one can MacGyver up with a little know-how and creativity when necessary. With that said....I'm seriously considering getting a PLB. Just in case I find myself in an Aron Ralston kind of situation.

Otherwise, as I get older, I find myself not wanting to carry as much stuff. I'm not an ultra-light hiker, but I scrutinize what I carry a lot more closely than I used to.

Interestingly, the larger the group I travel with, the more gear I'm likely to bring. I figure, with more people, the pace is typically slower (so carrying a little more weight isn't too detrimental) and the potential need for extra gear sinply becomes greater. When I'm with others, I guess I just feel a certain burden of responsibility towards them, even if it isn't really warranted.

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#226685 - 06/26/11 01:20 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
Montanero Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1430
Loc: North Carolina
I generally use a modular approach, and usually based on Doug Ritter's PSP. I add water purification (Aqua-Pouch Plus from Survival Kit Component Specialists) and shelter always (Heat Sheet and poncho). The poncho can be clipped onto my bag or belt. I may carry more fire making tools and signaling tools as well. I will carry the survival necessities on my body (pockets) and other things in a fanny pack or day pack. Even when I am backpacking, I have a small packable day bag which I can pull quickly and go with. That is also where I keep my trauma kit, the basic first aid kit is usually attached on my backpack.

All that and dressing properly for the activity and carrying enough water for myself (and usually others) and I am prepared for just about anything.

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#226686 - 06/26/11 01:24 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1539
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
my inquiry into EDC started with a discussion in my Chem I class to the terrorist attack at Mumbai...it was for a remain overnight (RON) in a foreign country or get to the embassy kit...I had several students going to Africa (Kenya and Uganda)with a church group, and they had asked for some ideas...I was led to this forum by articles by Jeff Randall in Tactical Knives magazine... I had always carried a pocket knife, P38 on the key ring, couple of bandaids in the wallet, and later a Photon light..but mostly after the fact lessons learned when I didn't have what I needed...

I'm old, so my first addition to the key ring was a pill capsule for some aspirin for heart attack or stroke, then a plated brass whistle

an on body water carrier eluded me...condoms were iffy, and found some heavy duty zip top pouches that worked till I found the MRE hot beverage pouch...the pouches folded flat and afforded space to add some more first aid supplies..cloth knuckle bandaids,povodine pad,hemostatic gauze,OTC analgesics, and some ClO2 tabs,couple of feet of duct tape on a card and still not taking too much space (I had retired by this time)in cargo shorts... later added the mirror from an AMK kit

the TK magazine suggested the Vic Farmer (I carry a Benchmade Aries axis lock or Reeve Sebenza)so designed my additional kit around it...rather than carry a heavier multi tool, used the pouch for my on body kit...utilized heavy clear tape to minimize clutter...4 quarters in a strip, section of hacksaw blade with ferro rod, needle, and safety pins...15'mono for cordage, AAA battery (upgraded the Photon to Fenix E01)..tweezers, miniBic with button compass taped on, cut down stick ball pen...

tiny Leatheman PS4 has both mini pliers and scissors in pocket..bandana...KelTec 3AT in rounds out typical EDC

my GHB is built around a GI poncho, and a Sawyer filter bottle..like all, I try to re evaluate my original thought process, and refine and reduce the weight... still waiting for the "ah ha" moment I guess

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#226689 - 06/26/11 02:49 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2359
What I carry, in the order of most used to least used -- Note #7 &8.

1. Keys (with tiny button flashlight)
2. Cell phone
3. charge card/ cash
4. Water
5. Granola bars
6. Pen
7. knife
8. Latex gloves (never used in 3+ years)

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#226693 - 06/26/11 03:40 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
The Devil being in the details and in need of being chased out, I like to begin with definitions. I have an urban everyday carry or UEDC, an urban personal survival kit or UPSK that contains no metal, and an urban personal first aid kit or UPFAK that contains no metal except some foil packets.

These are sized to all fit easily together into pants' pockets, though best in some kind of cargo pant. My thought is that they are with me whether or not I am separated from whatever else i am also carrying.

I do have slightly beefed up versions which I carry in non-urban situations, where I feel free to add metal implements.

I do not consider water to be part of my EDC, UPSK, or UPFAK, though I have the means to carry and purify some water in both my UPSK and UPFAK.

Of course, I live in suburban California which is not friendly to things like knives and have often had to go through metal detectors.


Edited by dweste (06/26/11 03:42 PM)

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