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#292180 - 04/16/19 12:27 PM Chaosmagnet's "modular" main emergency kit?
albusgrammaticus Offline

Registered: 07/18/17
Posts: 59
Loc: Italy
I seem to recall, from the years of lurking here on the forums, that our good sheriff chaosmagnet has a main emergency kit, divided in modules, each of them living in a separate bag to be put in his car when the need arises.

A quick look with the search function yielded only this post from 2016, in which he listed the various modules, but in this occasion he did not elaborate about their contents:


I wonder if I missed the thread in which he lists the contents of each module, or if he never wrote about it.

I the first one is the case, could you please point me to the appropriate thread, if you remember it?

But if he never provided a list, and I know we all love lists here grin, please do it now!

I find this concept very interesting and I wonder if I could take inspiration from it for my car kit.

Thank you very much.


#292184 - 04/18/19 01:17 AM Re: Chaosmagnet's "modular" main emergency kit? [Re: albusgrammaticus]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3190
Loc: USA
Correcting previous omissions in this color.

Rather than trying to find a previous thread, I'll share the summary inventory as it exists now. Where I use "pocket" there's a dedicated pocket of the bag for this module. Where I use "module" there's a pouch or sub-bag inside.

  • Flashlight and USB power pocket
  • Tools pocket
  • Shelter, shelter-tools and warmth pocket
  • Rapid access pocket (contains Trauma, First aid, and battery modules; firefighter drag strap (*1), Purel wipes, baby wipes, and a nice monocular), sunscreen and bug spray
  • Admin pocket (pens, markers, notebook, reference cards, limited maps, baseplate compass)
  • Survival pouch module (Ritter PSP, Heatsheets 2-person emergency blanket, aqua-pouch, backup knife, mini-Bic) (*2)
  • Steripen module
  • Sawyer mini module
  • Millennium bars
  • Worldband radio receiver module
  • Ham radio VHF/UHF module
  • Rain suit
  • Gun cleaning module
  • eye and ear protection module
  • "fire NOW!" module
  • car repair module
  • Hygiene module
  • Esbit pocket stove

I chose redundancy over compactness for flashlights and headlamps, fire-making materials, and the size of my first aid kit.

(*1 -- One of my medical instructors taught us to carry a 25' length of strong tubular webbing material to use as a casualty drag strap at need, almost innumerable other potential uses)

(*2 -- Designed to go into a pocket When Things Start To Go Wrong, in case the user gets separated from the main bag)

Edited by chaosmagnet (04/23/19 11:44 AM)
Edit Reason: Previous accidental omissions

#292188 - 04/19/19 09:05 AM Re: Chaosmagnet's "modular" main emergency kit? [Re: chaosmagnet]
albusgrammaticus Offline

Registered: 07/18/17
Posts: 59
Loc: Italy
Thank you very much chaosmagnet!

I have one final curiosity, if you would indulge me: how many bags does the whole kit takes? Just one?
I mean the main bags that go in the car trunk, not the pouches and sub-modules stored inside them.

#292189 - 04/19/19 12:15 PM Re: Chaosmagnet's "modular" main emergency kit? [Re: albusgrammaticus]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3190
Loc: USA
One large bag. It’s meant to be “wife portable” for at least a few hundred yards. My goal was to have a kit that is comprehensive, but easy to remove unneeded components if a longer movement on foot becomes necessary. I keep a light backpack that packs into one of its own pockets in my trunk that could be used to distribute the load if there’s more than one person in the car.

#292191 - 04/20/19 09:49 AM Re: Chaosmagnet's "modular" main emergency kit? [Re: chaosmagnet]
albusgrammaticus Offline

Registered: 07/18/17
Posts: 59
Loc: Italy
Thanks again,

I find this concept much more feasible and realistic than the "traditional" backpack style BOB.

#292192 - 04/20/19 01:25 PM Re: Chaosmagnet's "modular" main emergency kit? [Re: albusgrammaticus]
pforeman Offline

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 138
Loc: Iowa
I have been thinking I need to arrange my bag better and this is a very good idea and list. Along with all this information from here I got an add in my email just yesterday for the following pack:

I am thinking something like this may be adaptable to the whole "segment" idea and also make your stuff easy to sort/find when you need it. As it runs a bit over two hundred bucks for the bag, this is not going to be an impulse purchase - however, it does get me to thinking.

With some zip bags, colored tags/tape and maybe some specific types of pouches I can build my own "operator" back pack. While the advertised version I am sure is "low drag & high speed" I will settle for a home-brew version that has a less tactical look and still has the same functional concept. I'll have to spend some time with everything laid out and do some thinking...


Paul -

#292193 - 04/20/19 03:03 PM Re: Chaosmagnet's "modular" main emergency kit? [Re: pforeman]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6995
Loc: southern Cal
The bag you reference is way too small and way too expensive. You can walk into any REI or similar decent outdoor store and get a backpack that will be more suitable, cheaper, and more comfortable. I would suggest a bag with about 4,00 cubic inches (65 liters, more or less) with adjustable, comfortable suspension.

My basis for this statement is three decades of SAR experience, during which I learned to keep a pack ready to go with critical items already loaded for instant deployment. I also used a backpack doing field work in archaeology and many climbing/hiking trips for pleasure.

Situations and environments vary, so what specifically worked or me in southern Arizona may not be what you will need. This is something that only experience can teach and much depends on individual preferences and local conditions.

Even today, my hiking day pack is typically stocked with the basic essentials. I also have a CERT pack also ready to go, stocked with items more likely to be used in an urban environment.

Getting a suitable pack is not easy. If possible, rent a model first or possible borrow one. In the store, walk around with an appropriate load as you make your choice. Be sure the vendor has an acceptable return policy.

Modules are a great idea. The various containers should ideally be differentiated by both color and feel. All too often, you will be groping blindly in the dark, trying to grasp the right container.

I focus on backpacks because you can easily be reduced to foot travel, taking only what you can carry. Any available vehicle should be fully stocked with more supplies, fuel, rtc.

Edited by hikermor (04/20/19 03:07 PM)
Geezer in Chief

#292196 - 04/20/19 08:25 PM Re: Chaosmagnet's "modular" main emergency kit? [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5207
Concur, $219.99 is too much to spend on that pack. For that price REI has a number of packs by reputable manufacturers (Gregory, Osprey, et al) and their own REI brand, all with a great return policy. Get a pack bigger than you think you’ll need and fill the extra volume with lightweight packing matrial like sweaters, socks... For the 5.11 price point, check out the Osprey Exos 48 Pack.

REI Outlet backpacks has a number of packs at great discounts. Check out the Gregory Zulu 35 Pack, same size in liters as the 5.11, but way less $$.

My MYSTERY RANCH Scree Pack - 32 Liters came from REI Outlet for $124.93 (on clearance).

#292197 - 04/21/19 02:04 AM Re: Chaosmagnet's "modular" main emergency kit? [Re: albusgrammaticus]
Phaedrus Offline

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2376
Loc: Big Sky Country
I have a Scree, great pack.
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

#292215 - 04/22/19 05:00 PM Re: Chaosmagnet's "modular" main emergency kit? [Re: albusgrammaticus]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1112
Loc: Channeled Scablands
For a cheap pack I see lots of old frame packs at the second hand and outdoor consignment stores. Usually under $30.

I carried tubular web for a long time. Good for a deer drag and also an outside the boot support for a twisted ankle. Now I go a bit more ultralight and carry a piece of mule tape.

My wife's ski patrol chair lift evac kit was the 1" tube, about 70 ft of 6 mm prussic cord, and a locking carabiner. Fit in her first aid fanny pack.

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