Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Recent Survival Gear Additions

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The summer of 2010 was not only a great summer that will never be forgotten (at least by me anyway), it was also the summer that a lot of new survival gear was added to my inventory.

1. Large MOLLE pack – after much debate, I figured it was time to jump on the MOLLE pack bandwagon. Instead of hauling my large ALICE pack around on camping trips, I have switched to a 4,000 cubic inch Large MOLLE. I miss the outside pockets of the ALICE pack, but that has been fixed by adding a Maxpedition clam pouch and a couple of sustainment pouches. The only thing I need now is an internal radio pouch, and everything will be good to go.

Picture of the Angelina river near Jasper, Texas

I have a lot of backpacks, but only 3 in the 4,000 cubic range – a Kelty, large ALICE pack and now the new large MOLLE pack.

2. Magellan sleeping pad – after sleeping on the ground for almost 30 years, its about time that I got a sleeping pad. The Magellan sleeping pad I got folds in half, and then rolls up about the size of a cantaloupe.

Back around 1995 or 1996 I bought a rather cheap
sleeping pad, but it was big and bulky. Even though I have owned it for 14 – 15 years, its only been on maybe 6 camping trips. I wanted something that was small enough to fit inside my pack folded in half, or outside my pack not folded in half.

3. Eureka solitaire one man tent – my previous one man tent had been a Wenzel starlight biker tent. After using the biker tent for about 15 years, I figured it was time for a new tent – something that is a little more open across the top and breathable in hot weather.

Eureka solitaire tent on a camping trip

Eureka solitaire tent on a camping trip

The only problem I have with the Eureka solitaire, its so compact its difficult to move around in, and impossible to sit up in. Even to get a drink of water you have to twist your head around.

4. Vargo hexagon wood stove – The stove that I was bringing on camping trips was, was a single burner and powered by a 1 pound propane bottle. Even though it could bring a canteen cup of water to a boil in about 2 minutes, it weighed a lot and took up a lot of room.

The vargon hexagon folding stove on the other hand is lightweight, folds up nicely, and with a can of sterno it can bring a cup of noodles to a boil in about 10 minutes. The sterno also fits nicely into my MSR cook pot.

5. MSR cookpot – the USGI canteen cup might be a good all purpose cup, but without a lid its not very efficient at cooking. So while my wife and I were at Academy sports and outdoors in Beaumont, Texas I picked up an MSR pot.

The MSR stainless steel cook pot, being made out of stainless is a little on the heavy side, but it does a great job at cooking. The long handle ensures that you do not burn burn your fingers when you take the pot off the stove.

6. Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger – the largest pack in the Maxpedition Gearslinger series, its kinda in the middle between a day pack and a warm weather overnight pack. One thing for sure, if your going on a day hike, there is plenty of room for all kinds of stuff.

7. A bunch of lures. There is not much to say about lures, except you catch fish with them.

8. Katadyn Vario water filter – My current water filter is a rather “old” PUR water purifier. It uses an equally old iodine filter – as the virus goes through the filter, the iodine is “supposed” to kill it. The problem is, I don’t know what the self life of iodine in a filter is. Also, the iodine leaves a rather disagreeable taste to the water.

9.  Several cases of MREs – A couple of months ago I dropped by the house of a buddy of mine.  It just so happened that he was outside in his shed going through some of his survival gear and supplies.  We were standing there talking, and I was looking through some old ASG (American Survival Guide) magazine when he turns to me and says “You want those MREs?”  I’am like sure, I’ll take anything I can get.

So I backed the SUV up to the shed and we loaded up 5 or 6 cases of MREs.  My buddy had some heater meals and offered those to me as well, but they were expired.  So I had to decline his offer on the heater meals.  If they had not been expired I might have taken them, but not in their current state.

10.  Aluminum boat – This has opened up a whole new world of adventure.  No longer am I limited to where I can go on a 4-wheeler, or where I can drive or hike to, now I can reach remote locations along the local rivers.

Aluminum boat on the Angelina river

A special “Thank You” goes to my dad for the boat.

This is not my first time to have a boat.  Back around 1994 or 1995, my dad gave me a smaller 14 foot aluminum boat.   He upgraded his boat, so he gave me his hand-me-downs, which was great with me.  My buddies and I used to load up our ALICE packs and head off into the bayous around Bridge City for a couple of days at a time.  We would launch the boat in a housing division just outside Bridge City, Texas called “Victory Gardens.”  The boat would be loaded down with 2 or 3 gas cans, 2 or 3 ALICE packs and other various gear.  There were times I thought that little aluminum boat was going to sink we had so much gear loaded in it.

Life was good back then.

But sometime in 1998 or 1999 the motor – a 25 horse power Johnson – trolling motor, q-beam, paddles, gas cans,,,, everything on the boat was stole one night.  That put a halt on going out on the bayous.  The boat did not have any insurance on it, so I could not recover the expense of the stolen items.

So now that I have another boat, life is good again.

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Kevin Felts was born and raised in southeast Texas, graduated from Bridge City high school Bridge City Texas, and attended Lamar College in Port Arthur Texas. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family. In his free time you may find Kevin working around the farm, building something, or tending to the livestock
Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018