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#226772 - 06/27/11 01:06 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
Phaedrus Offline

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2122
Loc: Great Plains
Good info, but way beyond the normal scope of a PSK! You could of course add items for any imaginable medical emergency, but eventually you'll need to pull your pack on a sled and need a team of ER docs behind you!

If you have special medical needs then obviously you should keep them with you. But a PSK normally just addresses the Rule of Threes. It's tough enough to deal with that without making up medical scenarios.
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

#226777 - 06/27/11 03:15 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: NightHiker]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4833
PSK for me is a Pocket Survival Kit. Pocket carry for me is stuff I use; none of it is preserved for a survival situation -- daily carry and used as needed. My limit here is the capacity of those six pockets. Generally those pockets will carry a billfold (ID, DL, cash, credit cards), Mission Wallet (SAK Farmer, Leatherman Squirt E4, Peak 1xAAA LED, ID, ferro rod), small FAK, locking folder, cell phone and sometimes Leatherman TTi on belt. That's all.

The next level up will be my backpack. I'll have water, a 2xAA LED flashlight w/ four spare AA batteries, another locking folder, FAK, spares socks, wool Tee-shirt and room for more stuff as required.

The next step up from the backpack is my truck. In a survival/emergency situation, the PSK and backpack are to keep me going until I can get to the truck -- food, water, shelter, tools and transportation.

#229281 - 08/05/11 10:19 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
In my system, there is no MAXIMUM limit for survival equipment - there is just the right compromise between season, location (How far to civilization? How rugged terrain? What kind of activity/risk level do you plan for?) and how much you're willing to carry. I strive to find the MINIMUM size and volume for each trip.

In my climate, clothing is absolutely essential to my survival - even in summer. (Even more in summer, because the temperature may drop from 80's to the 50's at no notice at all). Usually, extra clothing takes MUCH more volume and weight than what the ETS community would typically consider my "PSK proper".

My typical outdoor clothing will include the Doug Ritter PSK (tweaked a bit, see the "PSK sharing center" thread for details), a fixed blade knife, a heavy duty thrash bag and a rain poncho. For fire I have a lighter and some vaseline cotton balls. This all goes into cargo pockets on my trousers. My anorack (goretex equivalent shell jacket) includes a whistle, a ultra-minimalistic first aid kit and minimum a merino wool buff (usually gloves and a wool cap as well).

Except from my local jogging trips, I always bring a daypack. "Daypack" may be anything from some el cheapo satchel the size of a small shopping bag to my 55 litre Bergans pack - or a small hip pack. The size of the pack is dictated by whatever else we're bringing and how much extra clothing/equipment that is needed. Obviously, I bring much more during winter than on a hot summer day.

The survival contents of whatever daypack-of-the day is at the minimum my bivy bag, which is too big to fit comfortably into a pocket, some warm clothing and whatever food or drinks I care to bring that day. (Drinkable water is everywhere where I live, although in solid form during the winter - in which case I need to prepare for that).

How can I possibly separate my pack into "comfort" and "survival" components? I will put on the extra layer during breaks - but the same extra layer of clothing will be absolutely paramount to my survival if I must spend an involuntary night out in the woods.

In my view, the question of what MINIMUM gear to bring is much more interesting. But I guess that is just rephrasing your question.

I guess the closest I come to answering your question is the contents of my cargo pockets (lighter, cotton balls, knife, modified Doug Ritter PSK) and my bivy bag. But that is nowhere near my maximum limit for the sum of gear + clothing + food/drinks I'll bring.

Edited by MostlyHarmless (08/05/11 10:50 PM)

#229286 - 08/05/11 11:18 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
DanC Offline

Registered: 04/29/11
Posts: 11
Loc: Kentucky
ok, I read thread and am considering my EDC, also my "search bag". Having done SAR for years I lightened my bag to allow prep yet be able to do "hasty searches" without overload. The usual stuff...
2-1qt canteens (1 treating water, 1 drinking water),
small alcohol stove (homemade cuz I'm cheap, and I made it to fit inside of the mess kit),
minimal trauma/FAK,
heavy-duty "space-blanket" (not the thin mylar) to double as backup shelter,
LED headlamp (I now also carry the UV blacklight headlamp, message me if you're curious why),
2 MRE's and extra foil packages of tuna, ham or chicken,
homemade fire-starters carried in pocket (see thread on EDC tinder) and other parts of pack,
trail marking tape and floursecent (sp?) string,
pencil/paper, road map of the state I'm working in,
of course navigation tools such as compasses and a ruler,
signal mirror,
but most important 8oz of instant coffee..;~)
Please notice I did not mention brand names or types, because you do the best with what ya got. "Keep it r.e.a.l. and keep it s.i.m.p." is the motto I always teach. Train yourself in emergencies to "Realize Everything is Always Lost" when ya need it, so learn how to adapt and survive with just the "Stuff In My Pockets". REAL & SIMP ;~)
lol...(Living On Less)
simp...(Stuff In My Pocket)

#229288 - 08/05/11 11:30 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: DanC]
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
My PSK and EDC kit is all modular. I mostly did that for ease when traveling. Now all I have to do is remove the sharps and firemaking stuff and its ready to go anywhere. Having to rebuild kits after every trip was a pain and I'd wind up forgetting to put something back in.

#229291 - 08/06/11 12:29 AM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
NuggetHoarder Offline

Registered: 07/01/11
Posts: 145
Loc: Appalachians
I've come up with the following system based on what I've learned on this forum. Please keep in mind that my main activities are 4 wheeling, prospecting, hunting and fishing, and I go to some very, very remote areas, and I go often. I'm in the wilderness at least 180 days a year - soon to be 250+. I also range all over the place from Alaska to Canada to Florida and the western states. (I quit doing Mexico a couple years ago).

First I carry some items on a neck lanyard. This includes about 24" of paracord and the following items:
"split pea" peanut lighter
small capsule with vaseline, cotton balls, and jute twine
small capsule with 6 water purification tablets
Photon Freedom micro light with hood - Red LED
Sun Mini Comp II compass
Boker Plus Subcom F Camo neck knife

The above is lightweight enough that I rarely realize I'm wearing it and I wear it all the time 24/7 even when swimming or in the shower.

Next I wear a paracord bracelet. It's a king cobra weave that has about 20' of paracord. In the weave, I've incorporated a 1/8"x2" ferro rod and a 5" piece of jute twine and I can wiggle the ferro rod and jute out if needed without unraveling the bracelet. I plan to incorporate some kind of striker into this but haven't figured that out yet - maybe a cut down P38. I don't wear the bracelet if I'm dressed up.

I wear a leather cowboy hat while in the outdoors and it has a fairly wide brim to shelter me from rain and sun.

I wear a watch either a nice Seiko when dressed up or a Casio Pathfinder PAG240-CR1 while in the outdoors and this has a compass, barometer, altimeter.

In my shirt pocket, I carry my PDA phone. I get about 5 days of standby from the batteries so I don't usually carry a spare battery for this. Plus where I go there is rarely cell coverage. My PDA does have a lot of maps in it and I have a sky mapping program for night navigation. It also makes a handy flashlight.

In my wallet, I have a Tool Logic credit card companion that has a knife, compass, magnifying glass, etc. I carry a very small wallet - it only has a couple credit cards and some business cards. I carry cash separately, plus car keys which is a minimal key ring with only a few keys.

I carry a knife but it depends on what I'm wearing. I carry either a small swiss army pocket knife in my pocket when dressed up, or a Buck folding 110 in a leather sheath when dressed down (but still in the city).

When I'm doing some outdoor activity like camping or trail riding, I wear a paracord belt that has 50' of paracord and I'll switch to a much bigger Becker BK7 knife and I wear a 4Sevens Quark 2AA flashlight in a pouch and sometimes another small pouch to hold bug repellent. I also carry a sidearm, usually a Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 mag revolver and a little pouch with 12 rounds. If I go into town, I drop the BK7 and switch to my Buck 110 folding knife and drop the revolver. My concealed carry pistol is a Sig Sauer P229 with crimson trace laser grip in an inside the belt holster along with one extra mag in a belt pouch but I don't carry concealed much - it's too heavy. I only carry concealed if I'm going into a bank or if I ride into town for groceries and the neighborhood that the grocery store is in looks scary.

Also while out in the woods, I carry a PSK in one of the cargo pockets of my pants. It is a Maxpedition Fatty Organizer 7x5x2. In this PSK I have a lot of items and it weighs 1 lb 9 oz. which is definitely my upper limit of how much I will carry in a leg cargo pocket.

The Maxpedition organizer contains these items:
Maxpedition Fatty pocket organizer 5x7x2
10' paracord bundle woven onto the outside handle
Reward if found notice and phone number on a small biz card
20 Micropur MP1 tablets
heavy duty foil 2 sheets
paper for writing
oven bag for water
clear 30 gallon 2mil trash bag
"Aqua Pouch" Kit - bag plus coffee fliters
extra Amex credit card, 5 $100 bills
mini bic lighter
USB drive - encrypted - copies of important docs
mini comp II compass
AMK Rescue Flash Signal Mirror Mini
Aquamira Frontier Pro - Military Version 1.25x5.5
Aquamira Frontier Pro Straw
6' of duct tape wrapped around old card
fresnel magnifier wallet card
Ben's 100% Deet 1.25 ounce
Mini Leatherman pliers
victorinox pocket knife with writing pen and other tools
Petzl E+Lite headlamp
vaseline and cotton balls in baggie
survey tape spool
Fishing Kit in Aloksak bag
fishing hooks
fishing weights
beetle spin lure
30" nylon black shoelace
20' of nylon #18 green cordage
fishing line
balloons for fishing floats
First Aid kit in Aloksak baggie
hand sanitizing wipes
butterfly bandages
neosporin packet
pepto bismal tablets
alcohol pads
Bayer Aspirin
Burn Gel
Electrolyte Tablets
Possibles Aloksak bag containing:
razor blade
Aquamira extra prefilters 3 each
sewing kit
snare wire 20' 24 gauge brass
commando wire saw
2 extra photon freedom red LED - CR2016 batteries
mixed safety pins
2 8d nails
1/8x2" Ferro Rod
12' Crest Glide trial pack dental floss in dispenser
2 mini zip ties 3-3/4" long
2 large and 2 small paper clips
4 each CR2032 for Petzl E+Lite
a few salt and pepper packets

Also while wheeling, and in my other leg cargo pocket, I carry these items:
AMK bivy bag (the little one)
Platypus Plusbottle
McMurdo FastFind 210 (soon to be a ResQLink)
Orange bandana
small vial of Break-Free CLP
mosquito head net (sometimes)

All of the above are carried on my person. Is it heavy? YES!!! Especially the firearm and ammo. I may have to start wearing suspenders in addition to a belt!!! I will say that you get used to it so it's not a big deal. I used to carry a small altoids PSK in my cargo pocket and from the suggestions on this site, I upgraded to the Maxpedition Fatty with lots more stuff and started carrying the PLB in my pocket at all times. That added about 2 lbs to what I carry but it's not unbearable. I do think that I am at my upper limit though.

I also have a small backpack that I call a ditch bag that I keep next to me while 4 wheeling that has much more stuff like a tarp and a full medic kit, satellite phone, solar panel, GPS, saw, food, stove, signaling equipment, etc. It sits in the front with me in case I were to lose my whole rig suddenly from fire or flood while trail riding. The backpack weighs in at around 18 pounds and all the items in it are "ultralight" versions of whatever the item is.

The main idea is that the really critical items I might need are on my person while out on the trail. Everything is kept in waterproof containers or Aloksak bags because I tend to be in wet environments from rain or standing in creeks while panning for gold or fishing. If I am lucky, I'll be able to grab my ditch bag and that would provide me with quite a bit of luxury over the items I carry in my pockets and has enough provisions that I could probably do my own self rescue (long hike out to pavement). Without the ditch bag, I'm not sure I could make an 80 mile hike, but I do carry a PLB so I would probably use it if I couldn't get to my ditch bag.

#229298 - 08/06/11 01:53 AM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: MostlyHarmless]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3599
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: MostlyHarmless
In my system, there is no MAXIMUM limit for survival equipment - there is just the right compromise between season, location (How far to civilization? How rugged terrain? What kind of activity/risk level do you plan for?) and how much you're willing to carry. I strive to find the MINIMUM size and volume for each trip.

I think along the same lines, Harmless. It usually finds me rethinking my carry every season as the pack gets too heavy.

I'm currently working on PSKs for the friends I go fishing with every year. I want something small and unobtrusive for them so that their eye rollling isn't followed with them leaving their PSKs onshore. I need to figure out the maximum so they'll stick it in their pocket when we hit the water, as well as the minimum to actually make it effective. (Without me breaking the bank either.)

We all carry water bottles, full tackle boxes (with line, lures, hooks, pliars, filet knife, etc.) and a travel mug with coffee.

So far I have assembled the following in small digital camera bags:

-disposable rain poncho
-mini bic lighter
-vaseline soaked cotton balls
-led keychain
-mini FAK with bandaids, polysporin and a few gauze pads
-micro pur tabs
-small multi-tool

EDIT: I'd like to add a container for carrying water as well.

Edited by bacpacjac (08/06/11 02:06 AM)
Mom & Adventurer

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#229310 - 08/06/11 05:15 AM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
Phaedrus Offline

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2122
Loc: Great Plains
Wow, lots go good answers! Yes, in a way asking what the minimum is will be the same question. We may strive to take the least gear we can get away with, but then it really must still be enough to give you a decent chance to survive if things truly go pear shaped. But as you add just one more thing...and then another...at some point you have a pack you'll be tempted to leave at home given the excuse.

Thanks a lot for the comprehensive lists! Pictures would be cool, too. When listed it looks like a ton of stuff; it would be nice to have visuals to put things in perspective.
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

#229325 - 08/06/11 01:20 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4833
Not mine, but the official pics of the Mission Wallet are at: http://www.bladeart.com/catalog/KnifeDisplay.aspx?MakerID=363

#229469 - 08/08/11 11:20 PM Re: PSK- What is your limit? [Re: Phaedrus]
JerryFountain Offline

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 418
Loc: St. Petersburg, Florida

When you are out walking you need to carry that kit somewhere except your cargo pocket. The extra effort of carrying stuff that you have to lift with each step is like carrying two or three times the weight on your belt or back. Cargo pockets are great when in a vehicle but should not be used on foot.



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