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#228096 - 07/20/11 10:30 AM Re: Ditch Bag for a 4x4 Rig [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
THREE very strong suggestions:

1)Drive a diesel powered truck. Diesel does not burn the way petrol does.
2)Store an extinguisher on the OUTSIDE of the truck.
3) Give serious consideration to storing everything that is vital in a flood and fire-rated container. So that if the truck does drown/burn you have a much better chance of recovering your gear.

Sorry: Make that FOUR suggestions:

4) Attend a fire fighting course and learn how to use an extinguisher properly. I have actually watched a bloke try to put an engine fire out and fail, because he did not use it properly. He kept on using it in short bursts and ran out of suppressant. If he had given it the whole load in one substained burst, he would still have a car.
I don't do dumb & helpless.

#228098 - 07/20/11 11:54 AM Re: Ditch Bag for a 4x4 Rig [Re: Leigh_Ratcliffe]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: Leigh_Ratcliffe
THREE very strong suggestions:

1)Drive a diesel powered truck.

That's easier said than done in the states. blush

#228758 - 07/29/11 05:21 AM Re: Ditch Bag for a 4x4 Rig [Re: NuggetHoarder]
Mark_M Offline

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
Hi NuggetHoarder, and welcome from one 4WD'er to another.

Sounds like you have a JK, as I do. So let me start by making a few suggestions for your rig if you haven't already done so:
  1. Add an auxiliary cooler to keep the transmission from overheating.
  2. Add an auxiliary cooler to keep your power steering fluid from overheating
  3. Replace the stock radiator fan/shroud for better general cooling (~$300, jkowners.com write-up).
  4. Cut/Remove the front inner-fender liners and/or add vents to the hood to improve low-speed cooling performance.
  5. Add the three critical gauges Jeep omitted from the JK:
    • Engine Oil Pressure (requires spin-on oil-filter adapter and gauge/sender combo)
    • Transmission Oil Temperature (install the sensor in the transmission oil pan)
    • Battery Voltage
  6. Skid plates: add an engine/oil-pan skid; consider replacing the weak OEM skids for transmission, transfer-case and fuel tank.
  7. Extend your axle, transfer-case and transmission breather hoses to clear deep water
  8. Consider a dual-battery setup using high-capacity deep-cycle/starting batteries and an automatic isolation circuit that will disconnect your starting battery before it discharges too low to start the engine (about 11.2V for the JK).
  9. If you are crossing water deep enough to be concerned of getting washed-away, you should consider a snorkel (if you don't already have one) or know the procedure for dealing with a hydrolocked engine (look for two posts from BumpInTheRoad in this thread)

Edited by Mark_M (07/29/11 05:22 AM)
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

#228759 - 07/29/11 05:36 AM Re: Ditch Bag for a 4x4 Rig [Re: Mark_M]
Mark_M Offline

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
I assume since you are an experienced solo expedition-style off-roader, you have the proper recovery gear, tools, spare parts and fluids stored securely in your rig to deal with most trail disasters. But for the benefit of any novices who come across this thread:

Recovery Gear
  • Frame-tied recovery points (tow hooks, rings or d-shackle tabs)
  • Quality Winch or Come-Along, 2X capacity of your loaded vehicle
  • Winch extension cable/rope (can also be used to replace broken primary line)
  • Winch line safety weight (can use a heavy blanket, towel or jacket)
  • Snatch block, 2x tree saver straps, 3x 3/4", 4.75+ ton WLL d-shackles
  • Full-size shovel (not a cheap folding shovel)
  • 20"+ folding bow saw (or 12"+ chain saw)
  • Hi-Lift Jack or similar farm jack
  • Jack platform for use in loose soil/sand/snow (12"x12"x3/4" plywood works)
  • Sand ladders (if appropriate)
  • Leather work gloves
  • Two fire extinguishers: a 2.5-pound unit mounted within driver's reach (outside of seat bracket is a good place) and 5-pound unit mounted in the rear. Use secure metal retaining brackets or quick-release brackets.

Spare Parts and Fluids
  • 1x Gallon anti-freeze (concentrated, not pre-mixed)
  • 5x Quarts engine oil (can run 1 quart low in an emergency)
  • 7x Quarts transmission oil (trans, transfer case, power steering)
  • 2x Quarts gear oil (differentials)
  • 1x Quart brake fluid
  • 5x Gallons (minimum) potable water (in addition to appropriate drinking supply)
  • 2x Plastic clips for JK transfer-case linkage
  • 12x Plastic JK fender clips
  • Serpentine Belt
  • Upper and lower radiator hoses
  • 2x Wheel studs and lug nuts
  • 2x Brake caliper bolts
  • Drive shaft U-Joint
  • Axle shaft U-Joint
  • Minimum 12-feet each of 18, 14, 12 and 10-AWG insulated, stranded wire.
  • Spare air hose and connectors if using air lockers
  • 2-feet each 3/16" and 3/8" high pressure hose
  • Assorted crimp-on electrical connectors
  • Assorted heat-shrink, adhesive-lined tubing
  • Assorted wire zip-ties
  • Spare headlight, turn/brake-light, and aux light bulbs
  • Spare fuses
  • Assorted pipe clamps
  • 2x 3" exhaust pipe clamps
  • Assorted screws, bolts and nuts
  • 6x spark plugs
  • 2x Spare valve stems and cores
  • Super-Seal Emergency Repair Tape
  • Duct Tape
  • JB Weld
  • RTV gasket/sealant

    Now we get to the big items, which you need to decide risk vs. cost/weight
  • Front and rear drive shafts
  • Front inner- and outer- axle shafts
  • Rear axle shaft
  • Water pump
  • Starter
  • Alternator
  • Engine cooling fan

  • Tire repair kit
  • High-output air compressor, on-board air or CO2 system
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Tire deflators
  • Screwdrivers (1/8", 3/16" 1/4" slotted, P0, P1, P2 phillips, T10, T15 Torx)
  • Replaceable-bit Screwdriver handle w/bits (slotted, phillips, torx, nutdriver)
  • Combination wrench set, Metric, with added 13mm, 18mm and 21mm
  • 3/8-drive ratchet w/SAE & Metric sockets
  • 3/8-drive 10mm, 16mm & 19mm deep-well sockets
  • 3/-drive 3" and 6" extensions
  • 1/2-drive torque wrench
  • 1/2-drive extending breaker bar
  • 1/2-drive sockets in 3/4" deep-wall and 35mm
  • 1/2-drive 3" extension
  • 10" adjustable wrench
  • 10" channel-lock pliers
  • 10" vise grips
  • 6" long-nose vise grips
  • wire cutters
  • electrical crimping/stripping pliers
  • 14" pipe wrench
  • 14" pry bar
  • Large C-Clamp
  • Magnetic parts retriever
  • Leatherman Surge multi-tool
  • Hand axe (can be used as a hammer)
  • Jumper cables
  • Welding rods & goggles (if you have dual-batteries)
  • Butane Soldering iron, solder & fuel
  • Measuring tape
  • Blue Loc-Tite
  • Safety goggles
  • Nitrile shop gloves
  • Gortex/suede shop gloves
  • Zip-Lock bags (fluid/parts storage)
  • Trash bags
  • 5'x9' poly tarp
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

#228763 - 07/29/11 08:37 AM Re: Ditch Bag for a 4x4 Rig [Re: NuggetHoarder]
Mark_M Offline

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
As for a ditch kit, I have my standard "GHB" (get home bag). When I'm off-roading, I move the bag from behind the driver's seat to behind the passenger seat, hanging off the seat by its shoulder straps and secured by two velcro straps so it can't easily go flying if I roll the Jeep.

I prefer a bag that is functional and organized, and use a Level III bag myself. In an emergency I don't want to loose seconds digging through a single, huge compartment for critical items, and I'm willing to give up comfort for rapid access.

I carry a lot of stuff. The intent is that whether I'm stuck 50 miles from civilization while off-roading or 50 miles from home at work, this bag, along with a good set of hiking shoes and the weather-appropriate clothing on my back, is enough to get me home. At 2MPH average gait for 8 hours/day that's at least 3-days walking. The only thing I think I'm missing (and do correct me if I'm wrong) is a firearm, but that isn't possible where I live.

The top outer-pocket of the bag is used for trauma first aid supplies:
  • Pair of nitrile gloves
  • Mylar emergency blanket
  • 50g Quick-Clot sponge
  • 5"x9" Trauma Pads, x2
  • Israeli bandage
  • Soft-T tourniquet*
  • Asherman Chest Seal*
  • CPR mask with valve/filter (key-ring case clipped to molle)
  • Tick-Key Tick Removal Tool (attached to CPR mask keyring)

The rest of my first-aid kit is in the lower outside pocket:
  • Tweezers
  • Magnifying Lens
  • #10 Disposable Scalpel, x2
  • Petzl e+Lite (clipped to molle)
  • 2oz hand sanitizing gel (clipped to zipper pull)
  • N95 face masks, x2 (flat-storing style)
  • Nitrile exam gloves, x2 pairs
  • 8"x16" Water-Jel Burn Dressings, x2
  • 25g Quick-Clot sponges, x2
  • 1"-wide Medical Tape
  • 4" x 36" SAM Splint
  • 3"-wide roll gauze
  • 3"-Wide Elastic Bandage
  • Chemical Cold Pack, x2
  • Chemical Hand Warmers, x4
  • Large safety pins, x4
  • Assorted self-adhesive bandage strips and patches
  • Small and Large Butterfly Closures, x8 each
  • 3" and 4" Gauze Dressings, x2
  • 3"x4" Non-Adhering Dressings, x2
  • Sterile Eye Dressings, x2
  • Wooden Tongue Depressors/Finger Splints, x2
  • Moleskin Sheet
  • Mini Roll of Duct Tape
  • Thermometer Strip
  • 4oz Sterile Saline Eye/Wound Wash
  • Alcohol wipes, x12
  • BZK wipes, x4
  • Providone-Iodine Wipes, x4
  • Providone-Iodine liquid packets, x2
  • Triple antibiotic ointment packets, x4
  • Sterile cotton swabs, x2
  • Lidocaine Wipes (after-bite), x4
  • Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen tablets
  • Pepcid Complete antacid tablets
  • Loperamide tablets (antidiarrheal)
  • Diphenhydramine tablets (antihistamine)
  • Pseudoephedrine tablets (decongestant)*
  • Cough/Sore-Throat Lozenges
  • Electrolyte Tablets
  • Honey Packets
  • Emergency medical info and contacts card

    (* Carry/use only with appropriate knowledge/training)

The middle pocket holds:
  • Rain Poncho/Tarp (extended-length)
  • Rain pants
  • Thinsulate deerskin gloves
  • Ball Cap
  • Buff
  • Orange Bandanna
  • Large AMK Heat Sheet emergency blanket
  • SPF30 Sunblock, sweat/water-resistant
  • 3M Ultrathon insect repellent lotion (33.4% DEET)
  • Prescription Eyeglasses
  • Non-prescription Sunglasses
  • Contact Lens Solution
  • Pre-Moistened Hand Wipes (Wet Ones Big Ones)
  • Backpacking-size toilet paper roll, x2
  • Folding hand shovel
  • 1-Liter Platypus soft bottle
  • Katadyn MP1 water purification tablets, x8
  • Brunton 15TDCL Compass (on lanyard)
  • Signal mirror (on above lanyard)
  • Signal whistle (on above lanyard)
  • Firesteel & striker (on above lanyard)
  • Tiny zip-bag of cotton-ball/vaseline tinder
  • Maps
  • Photocopy of passport ID page plus 2 passport photos
  • Duplicate drivers license, registration & insurance cards
  • Spare credit card
  • $200 in small denominations plus $2 in quarters
  • Clif Energy Bars, x3
  • Clif Energy Gel Shots, x3
  • Storm-proof matches & striker in waterproof case
  • iPhone cable and AC adapter
  • Ka-Bar Short knife, attached to outer molle
  • Fenix LD20 LED flashlight attached to outer molle
  • Counter-Assault Bear Spray, attached to outer molle
  • Goal Zero 4xAA-rechargeable emergency cell-phone charger
  • Sanyo Enelop AA rechargeable batteries, x4
  • Energizer AA Lithium Batteries, x8
  • EMT Shears (tucked in-to molle and on a coiled key-leash)

One thing the Level III bag is lacking is side pockets for water bottles. I solved this problem by attaching a couple of molle 1-Liter water bottle pouches to the sides. Each pouch holds a full 1L Nalgene bottle of water, one bottle is nested with a GSI stainless steel bottle cup.

The main compartment, from bottom to top, contains:
  • Clothing dry-bag containing:
      • Mid-weight base layer
      • Synthetic, long-sleeve hiking shirt
      • Synthetic, long cargo pants
      • Synthetic short pants
      • Synthetic T-shirt and underpants
      • Wool hiking socks and synthetic sock liners (x2 ea)
  • Bathing trunks (in zip-bag)
  • Sea-to-Summit shower bag
  • Toiletry kit
      • Liquid camp soap
      • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
      • Dental Floss
      • Travel-size deodorant
      • Disposable razor
      • Travel-size Moisturizing lotion
      • Comb
      • Contact Lens case & cleaning solution
      • Extra contact lenses
      • Listerine breath strips
      • 4-days supply of prescription medication
      • Ear plugs
      • Unlubricated condoms, x3
      • Mini sewing kit w/spare buttons, safety pins
      • Large backpacker towel (clipped to toiletry kit)
  • Mylar emergency sleeping bag
  • Sea-to-Summit +15-degree sleeping bag liner
  • Cooking pouch, including:
      • Trangia Stove
      • Windscreen/pot-holder
      • 8oz Everclear grain alcohol
      • Mini-Bic
      • Swedish Fire Steel
      • Tiny zip-bag of cotton-ball/Vaseline tinder
      • Titanium Spork
      • Sharpening Stone
      • Katadyn MP-1 water purification tablets, x12
      • 1-gallon zip bags, x2
  • Meal pouch including:
      • Granola bars, x4
      • 3600-calorie emergency "lifeboat" ration bar
      • Instant oatmeal packet, x4
      • Microwave rice packet, x2
      • Beef jerky, 8oz
      • Tuna salad snack pack, x2
      • Instant coffee & creamer packet, x4 ea
      • Tea bags, x4
      • Propel sports drink packets, x2
      • Chicken Boullion packets, x2
      • Splenda packets, x10
      • Pepcid Complete antacid tablets, x4
  • Trash Bags, 2x 30-gallon and 2x 13-gallon
  • 1-gallon zip-bags, x2
  • MSR Miniworks water purification filter
  • MSR 2-Liter water bag
  • Micro-fleece zip hoody
  • Aluminum tent stakes, x8, in zip-bag
  • Paracord, 50-ft, in above zip bag
  • 5'x9' lightweight poly tarp
  • 15" Sven Saw (slid inside along the right side)
  • Ka-Bar Cutlass Machete (slid inside along the left side)

On my person I have:
  • Cash (usually at least $200)
  • Wallet with ID, credit cards, medical info and emergency contacts
  • Analog wrist watch
  • Leatherman Surge in nylon sheath on belt, with:
      • Countycomm Maratac AAA flashlight tucked-in the elastic loop on one side of sheath
      • Small case w/storm matches, striker and ferro rod tucked-in the other side elastic loop
      • Bandaids (x4) and antibiotic ointment packet tucked in back sleeve with the screwdriver bits
      • Button compass attached to cover
  • Doug Ritter PSP+ with some added first aid items (in pocket)
  • McMurdo FastFind PLB (in pouch on belt)
  • iPhone
  • Mini-Bic lighter
  • Keyring with
      • Car key/remote
      • House key
      • Office key
      • Countycomm Maratac AAA flashlight
      • Victorinox Swiss Army Compact knife

Edited by Mark_M (07/29/11 08:49 AM)
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

#228764 - 07/29/11 10:46 AM Re: Ditch Bag for a 4x4 Rig [Re: NuggetHoarder]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Nice kit Mark! I especially like your on-body carry. Seems like a smart plan, especially if you can't get to your ditch bag.
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

#228777 - 07/29/11 03:01 PM Re: Ditch Bag for a 4x4 Rig [Re: NuggetHoarder]
NuggetHoarder Offline

Registered: 07/01/11
Posts: 145
Loc: Appalachians
Nice setup Mark_M. You've hit the nail on the head with everything you've written. I'm almost right there with you, except I don't have room to carry spare driveshafts.

Do you know how much your backpack weighs when fully loaded out?

#228812 - 07/30/11 04:50 AM Re: Ditch Bag for a 4x4 Rig [Re: NuggetHoarder]
Mark_M Offline

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
Thanks for the kind comments. I learned much of it from you guys and gals on this forum. Not necessarily the specific parts and tools, but the knowledge to look at potential situations and risks, and plan ways to survive them.

I'd like to carry more on-person, but it's uncomfortable to sit with too much bulk your pockets when you're bouncing around on the trails. I've also lost stuff out my pockets on the trails, sometimes right out of the Jeep when doorless. I think I'm up to around $300 worth of sunglasses and a $350 camera so far.

I don't have the spare axles yet either, (or the alternator or starter), still saving for those upgrades. But when I do, I know the axles will fit under the rear seat. Just wrap in a blanket (good for warmth, too) and ratchet-strap to the seat brackets to avoid getting bopped on the noggin if I roll.

As for the backpack weight, I'm guessing somewhere around 25-30 pounds with 2-liters of water. I haven't had a working scale since I moved from a North Face nylon day pack to the Level III molle, and I've beefed-up the first aid kit and added some food and other items during the transition. The previous bag was 22 pounds with 2-liters of water.

Edited by Mark_M (07/30/11 04:51 AM)
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

#228851 - 07/31/11 12:31 PM Re: Ditch Bag for a 4x4 Rig [Re: Mark_M]
gimpy Offline

Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 27
Loc: PNW
I guess I would start back on 'choice of vehicles'. Start with one that doesn't have a propensity to self ignite.....
I agree with the diesel idea and, it sounds like you'll need a pickup to haul all the additional gear mentioned here :-)
I realize that option depends on how $$ capable you are, but with being way away from 'friend assistance' a lot of the time, reliability is a major issue, especially if you are chasing nuggets in the backcountry.
Let me reinforce that there is a LOT of good advice on this thread for any/all of us who venture into the backcountry.


Have you looked at a 'Mog' (Unimog) by MB? There are older ones out there and they are 'anvil' reliable and available in diesel. (Spend your kids inheritance before they have a chance at it.) :-)
Of course parts are NOT available at NAPA, which is a consideration.....

Edited by gimpy (07/31/11 12:54 PM)
Edit Reason: specified 'Unimog' for search purposes

#228877 - 08/01/11 12:36 AM Re: Ditch Bag for a 4x4 Rig [Re: NuggetHoarder]
Aussie Offline

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 205
Loc: Australia
What a great list of equipment. Thanks Mark_M. Its interesting to be able to look through your very detailed list.

Just a couple of thoughts, things which you may have but didn't specifically mention:

- Tree Protector for the winch - prevent damage to the tree or anchor point, and to the winch cable
- Spare cap(s) for the battery. Iíve had the caps come loose, and a friend actually lost one.
- Battery water
- In the tyre repair kit, I assume you would have a spare inner tube (you can fit these even to a tubeless in necessary) and some tools specifically to take the tyre off the rim (I have a Tyre Plier kit which is good and Iíve had for years, but I think that there are a few more alternatives on the market now which would be worth exploring)
- Spark plug removing tool / spanner + feeler gauge to adjust the plugs. Often it is impossible to remove the plugs without the extra long head on the spanner.
- FYI welding goggles are great, but to save space you can just buy a replacement mask lens and stick it in an improvised mask, like taping it onto a sheet of cardboard.

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