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#23233 - 01/15/04 10:47 AM Re: double up, or depend on your PSK?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Everyone has their own approach.

I currently have 3 PSKs, one for EDC (suburban, currently), one for the woods and a third for on the water (sailing). They're all small enough to slip in a pocket. Of course there is more gear in my vehicle, in packs, in my desk at work, in the boat, whatever.

For me, the PSK is intended to be a last-ditch backup only, never a set of primary tools. I've been known to take day hikes, up to say 11 miles or so, with just what's in my pockets, but around here, 5 miles down the trail is most often less than a mile out in some other direction, and there are other hikers, and cell phones, park rangers, roads, campgrounds- a literal "walk in the park", generally. You'd be hard pressed to get yourself in real trouble. I've had sudden, unexpected weather many times, and failures of footgear, found out the water I packed wasn't potable once, and been a mite disoriented once or twice, but I've certainly never had to bother the rangers.

On the other hand, in more rugged terrain, I might well have an emergency bivvy kit in a day pack for a 3- mile walk... certainly some sort of foul-weather gear and insulation if it's cool, in addition to the PSK. I guess I just tend to pack the minimum I think necessary for a near-worst-case scenario, like breaking an ankle at the furthest point in the hike.

On those more ambitious trips, or across water, I think everything in the PSK is, or should be, just a backup for some other piece of equipment, and usually the second backup... the minimum that I don't want to be without if I'm separated from my pack, can't get back to my vehicle, or office- I can't get to my primary gear.

Personally, I'd consider any time I really have to "raid" the PSK in non-life-threatening situation a failure to prepare properly otherwise. Nothing to beat myself up about, but a clear message that I did something wrong. It's not for routine use.

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#23234 - 01/15/04 01:55 PM Re: double up, or depend on your PSK?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I see a philosophical difference here in the way some prepare. While I agree with PL on the PSK being a backup for other equipment in every planned situation I also find that there are often unplanned events that occur that are not life-threatening. The scenario described to start this thread wasn't life-threatening but to avoid using the PSK items they would have had to call for help getting off the island. I also carry a pocket FAK which I consider a backup to other expected / planned preparations. If I am at home I will have my pocket FAK (PFK) in my pocket (where it belongs and always resides) but I will go to the medicine chest to get a bandaid rather than invade my PFK. OTOH, If I am out for a walk I don't hesitate to invade my PFK for non-life threatening incidents. I don't reserve the bandages in the PFK for major bleeds but use them whenever I nick myself as well. Likewise the dramamine, tylenol, immodium etc that I carry there.

If I found myself suddenly stranded somewhere - that's what my PSK is for.

My EDC goes beyond my PSK and PFK. Because I cannot ( or will not) take the time to do a full risk analysis and planning session on the way out the door every morning I take the approach that my EDC should be sufficient for an overnight stay wherever I may be planning on going + outside in current weather. By always having this capability in my EDC I am far more prepared for anything than most. And I rarely if ever need to invade my PSK. The PSK is second backup to the other EDC items. But not everyone is willing to EDC 5 - 7 pounds of gear in a geeky vest. (or figure out how to transfer it all into a suit that still drapes well and doesn't look like you're packin' when you go out stylin - this is doubly hard for folks wearing dresses and skirts.)

So.... in the scenario given, I wouldn't have carried anything more than my EDC + a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for the trip accross the stream to my friends campsite for dinner - fully expecting to get a ride back to allow me to go home for the night. Once finding myself stranded I would have strung up my poncho tarp (5'X8' of silnylon poncho from campmor), layed down a ground-cloth of trash bag, curled comfortably into my space - bag and brought out my head-lamp (Photon II with velcro hooks stuck to the back for adhereing to available wool, fleece, velcro or other knappy fabric) and my portable magnetic chess set and had a nice game with my friend whilst sharing a decent cigar. All of this out of my EDC without invading the PSK. If there had been a need for busting up some kindling or up-to wrist sized firewood I would have been able to accomplish that with my Leatherman Wave. If my friend had no interest in chess there would have been cosmic-wimout dice to use or a book of budist philosophy to pass the time individually if I couldn't sleep.

Yes, All of this and more is in my EDC Vest. I have a wool one for all but the hottest months and a nylon one for the heat of july and august.

If I am in the house or car or office and need any supplies I don't reach immediatly into my vest but rather check the supplies there since my vest should only be a first backup to the supplies presumed in any civilized structure.

If I am planning on taking a hike or intentionally going somewhere I will be expecting an increased potential of overnighting outside then I will take along much more stuff and the Vest is relegated to first backup to the planned gear.

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#23235 - 01/15/04 05:11 PM Re: double up, or depend on your PSK?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yup, fundamental phlosophical difference.

I don't carry nearly that much stuff EDC (and already resent the weight, bulk and nuisance factor of what I do carry). That being the case, I don't expect to be able to bivouac with my pocket contents (it's COLD out there right now), and darn sure will have a pack with me if expecting to either cross water or spend the night.

Overnighting with EDC seems like an interesting exercise, but I frankly don't have much interest in carrying that much gear all day, every day. Here in the 'burbs it doesn't seem to make much sense (well, to me) to have a whole lot of outdoor stuff in EDC- you're never unexpectedly that far from shelter on foot, and a credit card or cash will solve a LOT more problems than any equivalent weight in gear. In real wilderness, both are quite useless. Different areas, different scenarios.

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#23236 - 01/16/04 01:34 AM Re: double up, or depend on your PSK?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I agree with your approach on this. I have my stashes of key gear in my car, home, desk, briefcase, and a survival vest of contents if I had to walk from my car, so an EDC kit is not necessary for me. Use of a PSK can mean something was not planned for properly but does not mean that one would not feel comfortable carrying a kit of some sort.
You have to weigh the pros and cons as they impact you and do what makes you feel comfortable.

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