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#298829 - 04/14/21 02:27 PM Kits I've Built
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3707
Loc: USA
Another thread gave me an idea. I enjoy building kits of all kinds, both on-topic for this forum and very much off-topic. I thought I'd share with you the kinds of kits I've built.

On Topic Kits:

  • Comprehensive car kits -- there's one in my car and one in Mrs. Magnet's car. They are designed to serve alone or as the core of our larger emergency supplies.
  • Emergency bins -- kept in our garage, designed to supplement the car kits in a bug-out or bug-in situation. Supplies are rotated through here: for example, I'll buy a new bottle of ibuprofen, put it in the emergency bin, take the one that was in there and put it in the bathroom when that bottle is empty, maintaining freshness for those items we use regularly.
  • Lightweight car kits -- Eldest and Center Offspring both own their own vehicles. I've worked with them individually to design lightweight, low-bulk kits for their cars appropriate to their needs and locations.
  • Laptop bag kit -- TSA safe and designed to be unobtrusive anywhere I can bring my laptop, but still providing me with tools to solve a wide array of problems large and small.
  • Hiking / outdoor range backpack kit -- This bag has plenty of room for water, lunch, and so on, while still giving me good tools for treating injuries, providing shelter, making a fire, and so on.
  • Gunshot wound kits -- carried on-body at the range, with a spare in my range bag. I've built a smaller one designed around day-to-day concealed carry, and I'm not entirely satisfied with it.

A couple of examples of kits that are less on-topic: Our close friend and neighbor is a single mom, and nobody in her family is what I'd think of as "handy." Over the years I've put together a bag of tools designed around the common problems I'm asked to help out with around her house. I also have a "go bag" for IT problems; I'm not an IT consultant any more but I am regularly asked to help the neighbor mentioned above and other friends with IT issues, so having a bag ready to go with All The Cables has been very handy.

#298832 - 04/14/21 02:41 PM Re: Kits I've Built [Re: chaosmagnet]
pforeman Offline

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 218
Loc: Iowa
Very interesting and it makes me think...

I've retired so the "get home" bag is slowly changing into a "bail out" bag which is a change in my thinking of what is needed and not needed in the "new" bag configuration. I'm also playing with the idea of a pre-packed (stuff in pockets) coat as well for in the car as a 'grab & go' idea.

The bin storage is great too - I've sort of tried it but never have got the idea to a really workable stage for us yet and the rotation of contents seems to be a "failure" point for me... gotta pay attention more I guess!

Thanks for the food for thought and kick-starting me to work on my own preps!

#298837 - 04/14/21 05:16 PM Re: Kits I've Built [Re: chaosmagnet]
Jeanette_Isabelle Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2750
Loc: Nacogdoches, Tx
Slightly larger than a regular purse, my EDC bag, also known as my 24 Hour urban survival kit, had morphed into what it is today, starting from when I was a child. Except for when I visit with a neighbor, I have this kit on my person every time I leave our yard.

Except for when I'm taking a shower, changing clothes, or sleeping, I have a "keychain kit" on my person at all times. That "kit" consists of a housekey, pill fold, whistle, and an electronic alarm. Though the electronic noisemaker is lounder and does not require lung power, I still keep the Fox 40 as a backup because it does not require batteries, nor would it break down.

My "bugout bag" [I use quotes because I don't think it meets the more rigid definition of the term] is an overnighter-size suitcase with a box of alcohol swabs, EDC bag refill items, plus the usual overnighter bag items.

My tool kit is a Harbor Freight tool bag with hand tools to work on computers, make simple car repairs, and disassemble/reassemble Dad's old drawing table that I now use as my computer desk.

Including my main medical kit and the FAK in my EDC bag, I've modified more first aid kits than I can count. I attempted to make a kit from scratch, but it seems I'm better at customizing first aid kits than building them from the ground up.

Jeanette Isabelle
“Birds of a feather sure know how to clip each other’s wings, huh?” Lutz, Ascendance of a Bookworm: Part 2 Volume 4

#298839 - 04/14/21 05:57 PM Re: Kits I've Built [Re: chaosmagnet]
Ren Offline

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 450
Loc: Wales, UK
Hiking kit built originally back when was a member of Ramblers Association over here.

Also was the first aid guy for a conservation group, though the few rucksacks (equipped the same) were originally built by a predecessor.
Just maintained. Were never remote or far from the group's van, as insurance if remember required had one onsite.
Tree felling, path work with hand tools (axes, saws etc).

#298840 - 04/14/21 06:00 PM Re: Kits I've Built [Re: chaosmagnet]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
When I became involved in SAR many years ago, I gradually began developing a backpack filled with goodies so that I could immediately respond to a situation. The urgency of the calls varied immensely - from "assemble tomorrow at 6 AM to continue the search" to "respond immediately to an injured climber." Duration of the operations lasted anywhere from 0 (on one callout a responder met the subjects of the search on the way to the assembly point) to at least three months plus (this case is still apparently active, 41 years later).

I found it better to respond with unnecessary gear, leaving the unwonted items in my car, that to try and stuff things in at the last minute. But basically, it was Wild West time - anything could happen, including consecutive, unrelated operations.

There were also occasions on recreational excursions where things went awry and having the right stuff available was a real good idea.

Today I am not as involved in SAR as I once was, but the idea of a backpack ready to go still has merit - witness evacuation from the Thomas fire a few years ago. If I have time, I can fine tune the contents, but I can pull through with what is always contained in the bag and my EDC.
Geezer in Chief

#300480 - 12/02/21 02:30 AM Re: Kits I've Built [Re: hikermor]
Famdoc Offline

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 150
Loc: PA
Here's an all-orange-colored buildable fanny pack option on Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools website:


I have a few of the the items, but am dismayed by the $20 price for what is essentially an orange trash bag.

#300507 - 12/04/21 05:31 PM Re: Kits I've Built [Re: Famdoc]
UncleGoo Offline

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 387
Loc: CT
Originally Posted By: Famdoc
Here's an all-orange-colored buildable fanny pack option on Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools website:


I have a few of the the items, but am dismayed by the $20 price for what is essentially an orange trash bag.

That bag is 1.5 mil, the one linked below is 4 mil. I did not compare sizes...


Standard disclaimer: no affiliation.

#300511 - 12/05/21 05:14 PM Re: Kits I've Built [Re: chaosmagnet]
Acropolis50 Offline

Registered: 11/20/19
Posts: 52
Chaosmagnet: I’m interested in what slimmed down “kit” u negotiated with ur kids. I had my son’s RAV-4 packed with a car emergency kit and 72 hr kit for him & wife. Now our infant granddaughter has thankfully attired. But , all extra space is at a premium for car seat, stroller, baby bag, etc. so their kits have been off loaded at my place, since they live in a NYC Apartment and so space is always at a premium.

Right now they have a upgraded. 4 C-cell , with xtra bright bulb module and glass breaker end, LM Wave and universal ratchet kit, some Gorilla tape in a flat roll, jumper cables, 4 chem light magnetic holders & 6 12 hr. Extra bright orange chem lights, a SPAX-16 toolin sheath (I love that tool! ) and a good first aid kit, I built for them.

My son is a good attorney, albeit not a repair savvy person, though he has soon first-aid / survival knowledge, a Black Belt in Sho-Ta-Kun “hard” ( Sp?) karate and is , as a trial attorney must be, calm under pressure. My daughter-in-law is a polymath computer expert, not trained in emergency skills , but she is super smart, has good common sense and is also calm under pressure.

So with that background, I’m trying to negotiate adding back asmall get home back pack and maybe some xtra car stuff ( fix-a-flat, etc). I’m a trial attorney-negotiator myself, but u know the old wisdom: ” No man is a prophet in his own home.”

So if u could share the contents list from ur kids slimmed emergency kits and perhaps discuss their concerns, likes, dislikes., it would be greatly appreciated.

#300512 - 12/05/21 11:19 PM Re: Kits I've Built [Re: chaosmagnet]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3707
Loc: USA
I changed note-taking platforms and can’t find inventories for those kits right now. When they’re back from college I’ll be able to do a physical inventory and update. Meanwhile, this is what I think they have:

  • Trauma kit — one of the College Offspring is trained to treat a GSW or similar wound, and the other (who has declined this training) might have someone with them that can
  • Boo Boo Kit
  • LM Rebar
  • Mora Companion (stainless)
  • Ritter PSP (one online retailer had several left in stock and I bought them out)
  • Heatsheets 2 person emergency blanket
  • Millennium emergency food bars
  • Water bottle with water in it
  • primary-battery to USB-charger gizmo, with a lithium primary battery in it
  • Spare USB to Lightning cable (each Offspring is required to leave such a cable in the cockpit of their car at all times)
  • Spare 12VDC to USB adapter (also required in the cockpit)
  • Spare 120VAC to USB adapter
  • Duct tape
  • Silicone self-fusing “rescue tape”
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bic lighter
  • A 2x AA flashlight with primary batteries in it
  • 4x extra AA batteries

The Ham Radio Offspring refused a ham HT in this kit, but does keep one at school.

I’m doing more and more with HF and I’m thinking about putting an HF transceiver kit in my car.

#300515 - 12/06/21 03:31 PM Re: Kits I've Built [Re: Famdoc]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1174
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Originally Posted By: Famdoc
Here's an all-orange-colored buildable fanny pack option on Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools website:


I have a few of the the items, but am dismayed by the $20 price for what is essentially an orange trash bag.

Price is for 10.

Lowe's hardware store has 100 for about $80

A 1.5 mil is more compact than 4 mil for those trying to keep their kit small.

Noticed the bright blue ones too which might be good for certain fall locations for signaling.

Edited by clearwater (12/06/21 03:41 PM)

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