Daily Carry for the Brooks Brothers Brigade
And a few ideas for the rest of us.
Rich “Raspy” Shawver

For those of you that have chosen the rapid pace and business suits of the city over the bucolic life style and dungarees of farm life. Being a dedicated prepper or even a new comer to disaster preparedness you have taken steps to be ready. Or have you? Your house or apartment is stocked. Your car has a Bug Out Bag. You may even have a stocked and ready trailer to get out of town. With your foresight there is a small pack of essentials stashed in the office just in case. All these thing are great. Now here comes the big but. What do you have on your person?

In this situation your best bet is to carry as much gear without appearing to do so. Since it would be considered politically incorrect and clash with the general dress code to wear belt pouches and multi tools at work. It is actually surprising how much can be carried if broken down into a number of micro kits tucked here and there.

The DISASTER has struck. Whether it is a terrorist attack, riots, natural disaster or full out war it can happen at a moments notice. With no warning any gear not on your person may not be readily accessible. Home preps are at home. Due to parking the car is left at home not at work or may have been destroyed. You were at lunch or at a business meeting so the office stash is across town. As you can see unless you have it in hand there are no guarantees.

What might you be facing? Weather: In northern states in the spring and fall there can be 30 to 50 degree temperature changes from day to night. Toss in wind chill and rain that nice T-shirt and shorts day could turn into a nightmare of hypothermia. The power grid is down. No lights, no air conditioning no phones. But I have a cell phone it has a battery. Sure but the cell tower needs power for the system to work. Even if they have backup power they tie into the regular Phone Company lines to link the cells. No phone lines you might be able to reach someone in the same cell but that is about it. The water and sewer systems pipes can be broken. They also require power to run their pumps. That means no guarantees of free flowing uncontaminated drinking water. Roving gangs of looters. Unless your job allows you to be armed, most do not, and even if you are armed it is best to just fade out of sight.

Time to equip our intrepid adventurer. This is not going to be a real list of what goes into a kit or kits. This is more some of the options available with some specific ideas thrown in to get the creative juices flowing. A survival kit needs to be tailored to the individual that will be using it. As different skill levels, availability, price and personal choice will dictate exact choices to be included.

The thing that will take the longest to pack is also the thing that is the lightest thing you will carry is knowledge. The skills you acquire and stuff between your ears over a lifetime are what will really make the difference. Tractor-trailers full of gear would mean nothing if you do not know how to use it. But skills can accomplish anything by using what is around you. The first portion of any kit to consider is the clothing you will be wearing. This is your everyday interface that protects you from the harshness of the world. Dress for the worst case you can expect to encounter. As with any kit item choices based on maximum versatility and multiple use. The true function of the equipment that you carry is to buy time. While all the things you may need can be fashioned this takes time. The time this takes could mean the difference in survival.

What tasks will you need these tools to accomplish? Fire to provide warmth and light. To purify the water and to cook the food that you get. The means to get said food and water. Shelter to protect you from the elements. In other words the means to sustain life until you get out of the mess you are in.

Let us start from the ground up. You are standing in the middle of the street. The world has come crashing down. How are you getting home? Taxi? Most drivers are going to be trying to get to their own family. Public transportation? Even if the roads and rails are clear and undamaged by the happening forget the schedule. Some kindly stranger willing to give you a ride. OK, OK you can stop laughing and get up off the floor. That leaves shanks mare. The best would be top quality hiking boots. That would go over real big with a three-piece suit. What compromise is available between the needed look and the practicality for rugged walking? Fortunately there are shoes designed for uniformed people such as the police, postal workers and hospital staffs that are designed for being on your feet all day but look somewhat fashionable. There are also those upscale yuppie-walking shoes. The final option is the most expensive but more in the range of a suit wearer is custom-made shoes.

Pants and the belt to hold them up. If you can afford it custom tailoring is always an option. Dockers currently have a pair that is sort of a set of dress up pants. They are sort of like inside out BDUs with the pockets inside rather than out. Multiple pockets designed to hold the gear of the modern urban warrior. Such as palm pilots, PDAs and cell phones without showing. This appears to be a very interesting innovation. To bad the probably will not catch on and the odds are they will be discontinued. The belt that I suggest can not be bought, you have to make it yourself. It consists of a buckle combined with 550 cord woven using the Slatt’s knot found on the web at:
Since it is a DIY it can be any length and width you need. This will give you a long length of multi use very strong cordage in a small convenient package that is with you as long as you have your pants on. If done using black cord it looks like a black woven belt that would go well with a suit.

In conjunction with any belt here is an idea I have come up with to carry long slim items. Such as wire saws, trash bags, zip lock bags ETC. This concept is based on the idea of a money belt. Construct a pouch slightly less than the width of the belt. This is so that it will ride behind and be concealed by the belt. As to length that will depends on waist size. It should be at least 4 inches shorter than the minimum waist size to prevent interference with buckling the belt and the operation of the front of the pants. The largest zipper found at a local shop is 30 inches. This should be fairly typical without resorting to special ordering. Extending the pouch more than 2 or 3 inches beyond the zippers length might cause some problems in removing items that end up in the ends. To make open the zipper and sew it to the edges of the pouch material. Fold it up so that it is inside out then sew up the ends. Turn it right side out and zip closed. You now have the pouch. To keep the pouch firmly connected to the belt. Attach narrow loops to the pouch. These are sort of reverse belt loops. If care is taken in regard to spacing and positioning when the belt and pouch are positioned around the waist the pouch loops will fall behind the pants belt loops. If set up right the pouch will be virtually invisible.

Shirt, vest and jacket while it might be tempting to wear short sleeves in warm weather. Do not do it. Go with long sleeves only. The long sleeves will add at least a slight measure of protection to the arms not only from heat and cold but sun exposure and abrasions. The best material for a shirt is silk. It has good all round thermal characteristics and is a strong material. Most vests have several small pockets that should accommodate various knick-knacks. Make use of the jacket pockets to carry even more. Just do not fill them so full it looks lumpy.

Many of the clothing selections will work with little modification for the feminine contingent.

Now a few suggestions on ways to maximize your carrying capacity and a few items you may want to consider including in your kit.

I have seen many suggestions adding a few things to your wallet. That seems OK but most wallets are already stuffed with the day to day city survival equipment. Such as phone and credit cards, phone list, business cards, et cetera, et cetera. Most men wear their wallet in a rear pocket. Since you have 2 pockets why not a second wallet? This one dedicated to survival gear. This will give a balance and a more equalized seating surface. Many guys have back problems from sitting at an angle produced by the wallet. Although you might want to add some emergency backup cash and/or phone card to the wallet kit.

For the women in the crowd I have seen many that carry purses that hold more than the average daypack. ‘nuff said.

I have found three wallet knives. These are designed to fit in a credit card slot. Of them my personal favorite is the Tool Logic because it also includes several other tools in the package. The other 2 are the Spyder Card and the Rainbow Titanium Credit Card Knife. They can be found at:
Tool Logic
Spyder Card
Rainbow Titanium Credit Card Knife

How do you pack light cordage in your mini kit? One way is to coil it and tie it up? Sure I have tried that. The results were a tangled mess. Just what is needed on already frazzled nerves. Wrap it around a pencil stub. What pencil? The one you included to write notes on how you got into this minor difficulty. So that when rescuers can notify the next of kin and use your experience as an object lesson after they find your bleached bones. Maybe small disposable butane lighter can be wrapped. Many recommend using a sewing bobbin. Personally I don’t really care for them. I feel they take up too much space for the amount of line they hold. I like a variation on the wrap around a piece of cardboard theme. A better product is a plastic credit card. It is thinner, stronger and waterproof. The card can be used whole or cut into strips sized for specific needs. The card can be V, round or square notched. A little heating from a candle flame, butane lighter ETC. will smooth rough edges. When using a full card along with several types of cord you can attach sewing needles, tape or whatever you can come up with. A card rigged this way not only works in a mini kit it will also fit nicely in a wallet. Where to get the card without the money hassles? I am sure that you like me, and every other person, get those endless mailings of pre-approved credit cards. Many of these ads contain a replica card. Throw the paperwork away save the card for better uses. It is free and a means of recycling something that would be thrown away anyway.

A self-contained survival information package no larger than a credit card. Provides essential field survival information on three waterproof cards to help you if lost, hungry, hurt or cold. Also includes patented floating disk compass and Fresnel magnifying lens.
Found at.

Duct tape for a survival wallet. Take a piece of waxed paper the width of the tape and about 6 inches long. While other things will work the waxed paper will release from the glue on the tape and allow the use of all the tape. Wrap the tape round and round to form a packet of tape that will fit into the bill compartment of the wallet. Each full wrap, both sides, will give a foot of tape. 5 or 6 feet of tape will give a packet that will fit nicely. Much more and it will be to thick to fold.

Carrying more than a minimum amount of gear. What is the one item that has some size that a businessman does not look out of place carrying? A briefcase. Along with the day to day papers you can tuck items in various nooks and crannies in the case. OK TSHHTF. What to do with the case? It can be rigged as a backpack. Makes it a lot easier to carry than just by the handle. A couple of 2-inch straps and some buckles make a carry harness. Straps cinch around the case with other loops to act as shoulder straps. The choice is do you keep or trash the paperwork.

A couple of recommendations on items that can be tucked into a briefcase. A good set of work gloves. These should be leather palmed or all leather. While these will help if cold their prime purpose is protection. Chances are that getting home will require scrambling or digging through rubble. Because the hands are very important to survival a way to minimize even minor scrapes and cuts is a good idea. Half or a whole ace bandage. It should be 2 to 4 inches wide. It can be used to support strains and sprains. Tie splints. Hold dressings on wounds. Anything that might need wrapped. Just a couple of things to think about.

2 ideas that I am working on that will work for anyone are knit bags. One is designed to hold a half or a 1 gallon zip lock bag as a canteen or water carrier. The other is a backpack. I am studying macramé and fish net techniques to see what might work best. The concept is to make both bags using small diameter, thread size, cordage to make them in a mesh size of about ½ by ½ inch. The idea is that being mostly air the bags could be compacted into a very small package for storage. The mesh would support the plastic water bag. The backpack may not seem on the surface a needed item. The reason for it is to carry the supplies you have but also for things that are scrounged. It could be used as is or maybe lined with those 30-gallon garbage can liners.

Is this gear necessary? No. You may never have a problem. It might only happen to the other guy. But remember, To me you are the other GUY. If you train enough and practice long enough you can do without any gear. But the gear that is carried gives you time.

So between the gear you carry, things that you have cashe and the foresight to have prepared your chances have improved.
When in danger or in doubt
run in circles scream and shout

And always remember TANSTAAFL