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#5917 - 04/29/02 06:05 PM Survival pack comparison

OK I'm trying to decide on the best BOB bag. Most of my disaster preparedness plans consist of holing up in my apartment. I would, however like to have a little bug out kit. My 'bug out' scenarios are mainly getting stuck on the freeway (if that counts as one), or evacuating my apartment during a fire, earthquake (structural damage?). I wouldn't be going far as I wouldn't last a minute in the romantic 'head for the hills' type scenarios. I below average strength, so cannot carry a huge 40 pound pack. It was recommended that I take ALL the stuff that I plan to have with me when I bug out and put it in a corner BEFORE I purchase a pack, so I don't get a pack that is too big or too small. Also, I may join a volunteer ham radio operator emergency comms group, so I would like to have a survival pack with me while I am serving.<br><br>First some preliminary questions,<br><br>1, So if I DID bug out, where do poeple usually go? A shelter at a high school? In that case I wouldn't need a MASSIVE type bag?<br>2, Are hydration units overrated?<br><br>Here are my options, from basic to most fancy.<br><br>Jansport Big Student:<br>Pro's: Cheap, common, inconspicuous, decent amount of pockets.<br>Con's: No hydration unit, no internal frame option<br><br><br>Jansport Mozambique (or something similar):<br>Pro's: VERY large capacity, crapload of pockets for organizing junk, detachable daypack. Massive size allows for bulky but light items such as extra changes of clothing.<br>Con's: Expensive, no hydration unit or internal frame option.<br>[img]http://store2.yimg.com/I/outdoor-world_1635_687463[/img]<br><br>Camelbak Motherlode:<br>Pro's: Decent size, doesn't look TOO tactical and different from a student's daypack to the casual observer. Hydration unit.<br>Con's: Size may be limiting for those who don't travel light. Expensive for size. While not too conspicuous, is borderline tactical-looking. No internal frame (that I am aware of)<br><br><br>Eagle AIII pack:<br>Pro's: Lots of accessory options, large capacity, hydration unit. Accomodations for extra stuff like a sleeping bag.<br>Con's: Conspicuous. Expensive, ONE big pocket instead of a bunch of mid-size ones, makes difficult to organize junk.<br><br><br>Eagle Becker (or Becker Large) pack:<br>Pro's: Large, lots of pockets for organizing smaller items. Accomodations for sleeping bag and other cargo. Hydration unit.<br>Con's: VERY expensive. Extremely conspicuous, although military-style packs are popular with Socal youths such as skateboarders.<br><br><br>I don't have much in my pack other than water and 3600 calorie blocks of survival rations. I may go Camelbak as the best compromise, but still considering others.

#5918 - 04/29/02 06:30 PM Re: Survival pack comparison
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
Skunkability,<br>If you are going to be actively involved with your local Ham Emergency Response group, check out their web site to determine the sort of equipment they would expect you to have. This is my area ARES/ RACES site and their recommended personal equipment. As you can see it is a fair amount of stuff, so the pack(s) needed would be on the large size.<br><br>http://www.kb7tbf.com/Resources/Deploy.htm<br><br>I personally use a DANA DESIGN "Bomb" pack for my 24 hr BOB. I cannot squeeze a sleeping bag and pad into this however, so use a Gregory "SnowCreek" full-size backpack for my longer duration pack. <br><br>I have never used the hydaration systems. The "Bomb" has an external shovel pocket that can hold a hydration bag. This pack is designed for avalanche control by ski patrols, hence the shovel pocket and name. Probably not the best name to have emblazoned on the back of the bag given the current climate.<br><br>

#5919 - 04/29/02 07:39 PM Re: Survival pack comparison
Ade Offline

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 280
Skunkabilly,<br><br>I can't comment on any of your bags, I have not even seen any of them.<br><br>As for where to go...ideally you should a place picked out well in advance for most any emergency. I wouldn't even consider a shelter unless I had absolutely no other options. Where to go largely depends on a combination of emergency type and options. Tom Ayers wrote an exellent post on the subject many moons ago. I can't remember exactly which one, do a search on the site using AyersTG as the username and "school for the blind" as the search words and you should find it. <br><br>Ideally, one would "bug-in," that is, hole up at home and ride it out. That may not be an option for some emergencies. I would find a trusted friend or family member (or two, or three in different locations) near enough to you to get to safely in a reasonable time period and far enough away not to be affected by the same emergency. You would, of course, reciprocate for them. Once again, arrangements should be made well before an emergency hits.<br><br>You could also cache some things at the bug out location, thereby lightening your load.<br><br>Many emergencies will preclude you from using your normal means of travel (which I assume is an auto of some sort). Consider an inexpensive mountain bike. They can get in and out of places you wouldn't believe, and would dramatically increase your range, speed and carrying capacity (if properly loaded). Unlike many items purchased for emergencies, it is something you can use every day. <br><br>Take care <br><br>Andy

#5920 - 04/30/02 04:29 AM Re: Survival pack comparison

Hydration units are not worth all the fussing that they entail. Recycled plastic bottles make great, lightweight canteens - wide mouth Gatorade bottles are my favorite.<br><br>Packs are like knives - everyone's preference is different. This is a real distinction because our bodies are not alike. The most important aspect of any pack is how it fits you. In the store, load up the pack and walk around with it a bit to determine how it carries. It will feel a bit different at the end of the day if you have to carry it that long.<br><br>If 40 lbs is your absolute top limit, you need not look for a pack capacity of more than 4000 cu.in. There are lots of models in a wide range of prices available. You tend to ge t what you pay for. I don't personally regard the brands you are considering as particularly good, but I carry a pack a lot, in outdoors situations, and you are contemplating less frequent use, in emergencies only if I understand you right. Therefore, you might be able to get by with something less expensive and elaborate. Since you live in the Los Angeles area, you can't be too far from a branch of REI - they have a wide variety of packs that are at least decent quality or better - basically a good value for the money.

#5921 - 04/30/02 05:57 AM Stuff

Also, I had a few questions and I can not find consistent answers from my sources on the INternet.<br><br>1. Being in California, is a lambswool fleece covered by a nylon light packable parka adequate to stay dry and warm? Just in case I am outdoors when I have to evacuate and it rains...<br><br>2. How much water should I carry? Some say 1 gallon per day, some say 2 gallons per day, some 72-hour kits stocked by "survival" stores give you about 10 oz per day in those microscopic pouches.<br><br>3. How many calories? Survival rations sold by survival stores allocate 1200 calories per day. Some people say carry twice as much...and should how much food I pack (hard candy, jerky, granolies, etc) be based on the level of calories?<br><br>I am hoping to have a FULL change of clothes (pants, socks, outerware) in my BOB since I wear cotton most of the time, because I'm dry most of the time, but is cotton underwear and tshirt OK, because my parka and pants SHOULD keep them dry?

#5922 - 04/30/02 03:01 PM Re: Stuff

you can move your wardrobe slowly away from cotton. going out and replacing your whole wardrobe at once is quite expensive and unnecessary but if you replace your cotton when it wears out or goes out of fashion or for whatever excuse you use to replace them anyway. IIRC you live in So. Cal. as such you aren't likely to find too many really cold situations. Heavy wool is probably not soo important. I would think that light wool shirts would be a good item for the BOB light wool pants also. I also have a polypro union suit. This plus the wool shirt and pants is good enough for me down to about 30 if there is no wind. add a wind proof layer and I am fine to around 0 while moving and 20 sitting. You can replace the cotton skivys with silk or polypro depending upon your preference for feel against you skin. polypro will feel more like cotton. For damp I am firmly convinced that nothing beats wool. among the wools virgin merino for socks and skivys, hard worsted lambswool or sheltland for pants, & shirts and jackets, nothing beats alpaca for sweaters or blankets. Don't bother with angora - very warm but way too fragile. Wool works well in hot to cold weather and everything in-between if you are carrying the right weight of wool. light wool that isn't worsted is very wind permeable and will be quite cool and dry fast. Works great in warm weather. Heavy worsted wool will be fairly wind resistant and will keep you warm in the coldest environs even when wet.<br><br>Water? Carry as much as you need to stay hydrated between refill locations. If your in an urban setting you can refill your water carrier frequently then a quart soda bottle would be quite enough. If you are walking through the desert then discard anything you have to in order to carry as much water as you can. Don't let yourself become dehydrated it will make you stupid and dis-oriented and much more susceptable to hypothermia and other bad things.<br><br>Food. Don't worry about at all for a forced hike to safety. If you are less than a day from your destination and know that it is safe and stocked then just grab a small baggy of GORP and start walking. You won't want to slow down enough to fix a meal. Just get to your safe location and then eat the stock that is there. Carrying enough food for any length of time implies that you don't have a safe location and are meerly living on the move. living on the move will lead to hunter - gather behavior sooner or later - make it sooner and prepare the skills and knowledge of the local flora / fauna that will allow you to gather rather than carry food. 2000 calories is considered an adult intake as stated on the side of the morning cereal box. Recommended daily allowances are calculated from there. Nutrition is much more than calories. The nutrition needed while exerting yourself understressful situations carrying a pack and moving fast is vastly different from what you need while sitting on the couch exercising your fingers on the TV remote. Seek professional advise either in the library or at the Doc's office. Nutrition can also be quite personal. A diabetic needs different nutrition than a pregnant woman or a very thin athlete or a stocky middle-aged man such as myself.<br><br>As for packs I perfer an external frame with a big sack. The frame ensures that whatever I stuff in the big sack it will ride pretty much the same on my back, The big sack allows me to just stuff things in and go. I usually use smaller sacks in the bigger sack to seperate dirty from clean, kitchen from wardrobe, etc. I color code the smaller sacks and usually load them in a specific order. I tie tent, sleeping bag and mat, climbing ropes, extra footwear such as extra hiking boots, snow-shoes, skis on the outside rather than trying to have a large enough pack to hold them. IMHO, the strenghth of the packs construction is much more important thant the nifty configuration of pockets and accessories. That being said, I carry a camelback daypack on short hikes, a medium alice pack on overnights and keep some large military rucksacks packed for myself, my wife and each of our kids as BOB's <br>I envision the BOB's will hopefully be riding in the jeep but if things are bad enough to prevent automotive travel the rucksacks will be easier to carry than duffles. It will be heavy slow going but it will be going.

#5923 - 04/30/02 03:27 PM Re: Stuff
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Skunk, Have you been to Magic Mountain? two teenage boys missed their ride and were left stranded in the parking lot overnight. They died of exposure. Drive down to Pershing Square and look at what the homeless people are wearing. Then, at the normal freeway speed of either 20mph in gridlock, or 85 mph on the clear ones, "I love L.A." blaring from the radio go trade the cotton jogging suit for some real clothing ;O)

#5924 - 04/30/02 03:46 PM Re: Stuff
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
My thoughts on your questions:<br><br>1. It's a place to start, anyway. If you gain a significant amount of elevation you probably should have a little more than that. In my climate I would not be comfortable planning those clothes... yours is vastly different than mine. Spend some hours outdoors if/when you get some nasty weather and see if what you intend works OK for you.<br><br>2. Carry is not the same as consume. It's a very serious question you're asking... that should be part of your "evacuation plans" - how are you going to re-supply water? At the weight of water - roughly 8 pounds a gallon - I would try to avoid carrying more than a gallon/4 quarts/4 liters. But it's going to depend on a lot of variables. Having done both, I'd rather go hungry for a week than thirsty for a day... you may very well find that drinking a gallon is something less than you might need for optimum health and performance. But with care you can probably spin out a gallon for a couple of days without too much danger, although you won't be feeling fantastic. I for sure would not start out with less than 2 quarts/liters.<br><br>3. Calories? What calories? See MiniMe's comments... Doug has a nutrition link on ETS - a good place to start. Since water may be the long pole in your tent, try to avoid diuretic effects in your diet. Some foods require more water to digest. However... I don't think it's prudent to launch out into the unknown without SOME nourishment stowed away. My paradigm is to have about 3,600 calories in reserve - that's "just in case" rations. YMMV. It would not hurt me to go a week with no food... but two weeks would be bad for me.<br><br>If your cotton T-shirt is your only shirt (vs the fleece whatever), then no, I don't think that is very prudent. You should at least have a lightweight long sleeved shirt (generously cut - loose) for a number of reasons. If your t-shirt is part of your undergarments, sure <shrug> cotton has many advantages over most anything but silk in the heat. Cover your arms up and I think your cotton undergarments will be OK. Note that I am answering your question, not stating what is ideal. Personally, I abhore pure cotton in the field.<br><br>Hope this helps,<br><br>Tom

#5925 - 04/30/02 09:25 PM Re: Stuff
Ade Offline

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 280
Skunk,<br><br>All of this assumes a bug out situation of a <72hr period. If you had other assumptions ignore the following. <br><br>1. I don't know what a packable parka is, but it sounds as if it only goes down to your waist--maybe a bit lower. It also sounds warm. If the weather is wet, get something that at least goes down to your knees. Soggy feet are bad enough, a soggy butt/crotch is three kinds of bad news. I'd reccomend somekind of poncho if you're looking for something packable. They make insulated poncho liners if the weather gets cold, though I doubt you'll need it in California. They also make cheap rainsuits which don't take up much room.<br><br>2. Water. Most BOB's are "72 hour bags", intended to get you through 72 hours. FEMA suggests a minimum of two quarts per day. This assumes minimal exertion which, if you're bugging out, won't apply to you. Even if you double that to an even gallon, which is still inadequate, that's 1 gallon per day x 8lbs per gallon x 3 days= 24lbs. Provide some filled water containers (I like the hydration systems myself, btw), the water purifier of your choice and refill as you go. Again this assumes that you are bugging out. Weight and bulk are a much smaller issue if you're bugging in.<br><br>3. Once again, 1200 calories is a minimum reccomendation for low exertion times. It won't apply to you. Having said that, and keeping the 72hr assumption, you have two choices: Carry food or not. Most anyone can 72 hours without eating and still perform adequately. Most people will perform better with food. Lots of options here. You pays your money and you takes your choice....<br><br>4. Clothing: For that short a time period, assuming California weather, it shouldn't matter either way.<br><br>Take care,<br><br>Andy

#5926 - 05/01/02 02:43 PM Re: Survival pack comparison

For hydration unit I use a platypus waterbag of 1 quart (you also have bigger ones) with a drinking tube (similar to those of a camlebag) this drinking tube also fits on a reguler Coca Cola bottlle.

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