Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: bug out bag

Military Surplus Three Day Assault Pack

Three Day Assault pack

The Three Day Assault pack is a military surplus backpack that was designed for excursions lasting more than one day. It has a capacity of around of 1,850 cubic inches, which is enough room for the essentials.

The Three Day Assault pack has three compartments, large main compartment and an outer compartment. The outer compartment has a small storage pouch inside, and outside of it.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the United States military phased out the ALICE pack in favor of the MOLLE.

Three Day Assault Pack

The Three Day Assault pack is one of four backpacks in use by the United States Army:

  • Patrol Pack – Suited for day hikes, or lightweight overnight camping trips. No frame.
  • Three Day Assault pack – Large enough for a couple of days in warm weather camping. No frame.
  • Medium MOLLE – Slightly larger than the three day pack and has a frame.
  • Large MOLLE – Largest of the four packs. Suited for excursions lasting several days and has a frame.

Military Surplus Patrol Pack First Impressions

Patrol Pack

Overall, I found the patrol pack to be a well rounded and perfect addition to my backpack collection.

Call me old fashioned, if I like something, then I hang onto it. For the longest time ,one of my go-to packs for day hikes and even warm weather overnight trips was a Jansport black book bag. That pack was retired when I migrated to a Maxpedition.

For several years my go-to pack was a Maxpedition Condor II. The Condor II is a great pack that is perfect for day long excursions.

As with everything else, after using the Condor II for several years, I decided it was time to try something new. So where did I go to find a new pack? I went to Ebay and looked through various military surplus packs.

After shopping and doing my research for a couple of weeks, I found a military surplus patrol pack for $29.95 + $9.19 shipping.

Stoves For Bugging Out After SHTF

Single burner propane stove

In the prepping community, there is a lot of focus on stoves for a bug out bag, while stoves for events such as natural disasters are overlooked.

A stove for an individual bug out bag is different than a family sized stove. Do you need a two burner store, one burner stove, propane fuel, liquid fuel, will you be using a lantern? Do you need a stove for a car survival kit or a stove for a cabin off in the woods?

Before we begin, I want to make it clear I am not a big fan of liquid fuel. Whether it is Coleman fuel or gasoline, I feel liquid fuels can be dangerous in certain situations. Then there is the spilling issue with liquid fuel and fumes. However, Coleman fuel is more efficient than propane. Coleman says a gallon of liquid fuel is equal to something like 4 1/2 one pound cylinders of propane.

Everything mentioned in this article is for reference only. During the course of this article certain brand names and models are mentioned, this is not an endorsement. It is up to the reader to make the final decision on what is best for them and their family.

In this article we talk about several different types of stoves:

  • Family size
  • Liquid fuel
  • Propane
  • Blended fuel

Family Size Stoves

Thoughts on a Micro-Bug Out Bag

Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon-II

While working on my fighting load carrier (FLC) and thinking about an overnight kit that would fit in a fanny pack, I started thinking about a micro bug out bag. The idea for a micro-bug out bag came as I was thinking about a short range recon bag, basically a butt pack or fanny pack.

I live in a rural area. I was thinking about something I could grab and go walking in the woods with and it would contain basic items for an overnight stay. Then I started thinking, why couldn’t someone in a city use this to walk out of the city and to a suburban or rural area?

My fighting load carry (FLC) has:

2 triple military surplus magazine pouches
Bandage
Knife
First aid kit

If you have food for 24 hours, and someone can make it at least 24 hours without food, then we are up to 48 hours. How far could someone in a city walk in 48 hours on a deserted highway? That was one of my thoughts. Instead of having a fully loaded bag weighing 40, 50+ pounds. Reduce that down to a fanny / butt pack and make the person more mobile.

Camping Trip Load Out

Water bottle, Vargo stove and MSR pot

To get ready for an upcoming camping trip I decided to do a load out list. List like this help you see what your pack contains, and hopefully spot missing items.

For those of you looking at this list and wondering how I am going to pack off of this gear, the easy answer is “I am not going to pack it”. The camping trip is going to be on the banks of the Angelina River. This means the boat is going to be carrying the gear for me; all I have to do is load the boat up and go.

Backpack – Large MOLLE pack with internal sleep system, 2 sustainment pouches on the MOLLE pack. I was going to take my large ALICE pack, but my sleeping bag, food, fleece liner and poncho liner filled up the pack. This means I am having to store a lot of my gear in the sustainment pouches on the MOLLE.

Tent – Wenzel Lone Tree Hiker Tent, this item is hit and miss and might be difficult to find

Tarp – 6×8 foot for tent ground cloth.

Sleeping bag – Coleman Exponent Tasman X 32-Degree Hybrid Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bag liner – GI poncho liner and fleece sleeping bag

Sleeping pad – Coleman Max

Camping Trip Food

Bug Out Bag Topics

Over the years I have seen one topic that has been repeated over and over, and that is the topic of the bug out bag.

In reality, a bug out bag should contain copies of important papers, house title, car title, insurance policies, change of clothes, snack, or even 2 – 3 days worth of food, change of clothes, phone number contact list, and any prescription medicines you might be taking. The list will vary depending on the person and what they want to bring with them.

People that live close to railroad tracks or chemical plants might be asked to flee their homes due to a chemical release accident. The bug out bag is for people to grab, run, and have some basic supplies with them.

In fantasy, the bug out bag will be used to bug out to the wilderness when society collapses.

This video pokes fun at the different viewpoints on bug out bags.

Food Bag for a Bug Out Bag

Bug out bag food

Do you have a food bag in your bug out bag? For years, and I mean for years I have kept a food bag in my bug out / camping bag. For the most part the food bag contains a single burner stove for a bug out bag, pot for cooking, eating utensils, lighter and matches for the stove and for building a camp fire, hand sanitizer,,,, and other odds and ends.

The purpose of a Bug Out Bag is if you and your family have to leave home in an emergency, the bag provides a few days of supplies for each person. Lets say there is a chemical leak near your house and your family has to evacuate. Everyone grabs their bag, and heads to a shelter or friends house.

My main bug out bag use to be a large ALICE pack. But a year ago I bought a large MOLLE pack with internal sleep system, which is currently my main bag. To add a little more room to the pack, 2 sustainment pouches were added.

Lets talk about this food bag in a little more detail.

Main Food Bag

Ideas for a Get Home Bag

Maxpedition Noatak

Something happened to the main power feed for my town, and then the backup power feed failed. Someone said it was related to the wildfire about 15 miles north of here, but I do not have any proof of that.

First thing I realized was that we do not have a radio here at work that works off batteries. Once outside power is cut, we lose all communications with the outside world. My boss pulled out a hand crank radio, but the hand crank was locked up to the point where the handle could not be turned.

I thought about getting a $10 am/fm radio with some lithium batteries to keep at my desk. The power does not go off very often, but when it does it would be nice to get some news from the local radio station.

Second thing was that I needed a flashlight. I have a small AAA light on my key ring, but something a little larger would have been nice. My little AAA light does good for close in work, like plugging computer wires into the back of a computer, or lighting up a small room. To make sure the battery has plenty of life, I used an energizer lithium battery.

Stuff survivalist should not stockpile

From time to time I see discussions on the forums about gear and supplies that survivalist should invest into – like a berkey water filter, mountain house foods, or long term food storage items. For the sake of discussion, lets talk about stuff you should not invest into.

Before investing a lot of money into a project, there is a lot of stuff to consider. The first thing is “can you “really” afford it? It would be nice to have half a million dollars to drop into 1,000 acres in Alaska and a 2 story cabin. But the fact is, most people can not afford such luxuries. Next, do you really “need” the supplies? Or, are you buying the stuff just to have it?

Gear Review: Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack

Maxpedition Vulture-II on a hiking trip

Looking for a good quality 2 – 3 day pack? The Maxpedition Vulture-II be just what you’re looking for. Maxpedition has a reputation for quality, and the Maxpedition Vulture-II is no exception.

However, the pack is not without its issues, which we will talk about later.

One of the things Maxpedition does well is blend military standards with civilian products. In essence, take lessons learned from military applications and apply those lessons to a consumer grade product.

For example, Maxpedition uses 1,000 denier water ballistic nylon fabric, YKK zippers and then add military grade MOLLE webbing to the packs.

The Maxpedition Vulture-II is divided into three pouches:

Main compartment

Two outer pouches

Maxpedition Vulture-II

Thoughts on the Large MOLLE Pack

Large MOLLE Pack

After about 15 years of using the medium ALICE pack as my primary warm/hot weather backpack, I decided it was time for a change. So I got on Ebay and after looking through some of the listings, I decided to go with the large MOLLE pack with internal sleep system carrier.

There are 2 versions of this pack on the market – one where the main pack is separate from the sleep system carrier. And the one like what I bought, which is just one large pack.

First Impressions:

  • Large MOLLE is more streamlined then the large ALICE
  • Its easier to get into then the medium ALICE
  • It has more webbing then the large ALICE
  • The map case is larger then either the medium or large ALICE
  • The map case has a mesh bottom, so its easier to see the contents
  • The internal sleep system carrier has a zipper for easy access – lets talk about that just for a minute.

The way may pack is packed – the stuff to make camp is at the bottom of the pack. The ground cloth (6X8 tarp), tent, poncho loner or sleeping bag, hammock – all go in the bottom of the pack. When you reach camp you have to dig everything out of the pack to get to your camp gear. The bottom zipper access makes it easy to get your gear out without having to take “everything” out of the pack. Unzip the sleeping bag compartment and start pulling your gear out trough the bottom of the pack. Since the tarp (ground cloth) was put in the pack first, its the the first to go out through the bottom. Once the ground cloth is in position, its time to set the tent up, and spread the sleeping pad out. Once your finished getting everything out to make camp, zip up the sleep system compartment, and the pack is sealed up again.

Two things the large MOLLE is lacking – internal pouch and external pouches.

Bugging Out to The Wilderness

Bugging out to the wilderness

There is a theory that has been going around the survival community for decades, and at one time I subscribed to it, but not any more.

The theory goes like this – if there is some kind of wide spread disaster, I am just going to grab my bug out bag, and bug out to the wilderness. From there, my family and I will live in peace as society falls apart. When everything has passed, my family and I will return and help re-build.

Here are some of the reasons why I no longer subscribe to the bug out to the wilderness theory:

Ehrlichiosis
Lyme Disease
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Tularemia
E. Coli
Cryptosporidium
Dysentery
Vitamin Deficiencies
Culture Shock – that may not be the correct term, but its going to be used anyway
Frost Bite
Heat Stroke
Heat Exhaustion
Only to name a few,,,,,,,,,.

MOLLE Pack Versus ALICE Pack

molle pack vs alice pack review

“Should I buy, an ALICE Pack or a MOLLE Pack?” – that is one of the questions that I see a lot of on the forum. The answer is not a simple one. Before you can answer a question, sometimes you have to ask a few questions.

How much room do you need and how rugged do you need the frame? For example, the MOLLE pack has a plastic frame, ALICE has a metal frame.

A couple of weeks ago my son, nephew and I went on a boating / camping trip. We loaded up the gear, launched the boat and headed out to a camping spot on the river. While we were there, I decided to put together a video about the packs and do a little comparison.

My first exposure to the ALICE pack was way back in either 1992 or 1993. One of my good buddies had just came back from the first Persian gulf conflict, and one of the first things he did was buy himself a medium ALICE pack to replace the one he had been using in the ARMY. I liked the pack so much, I bought myself one. The difference between my buddies pack and mine – my pack was woodland camo, while my buddies pack was olive drab. After using the medium ALICE for a few years, I found it was a little so, so I bought a large ALICE pack in olive green.

My first exposure to the MOLLE pack was a couple of months ago after I bought 3 packs off ebay.

The three packs that my son, nephew and I brought on the camping included:

  • Large MOLLE with internal sleep system.
  • MOLLE II with external sleep system.
  • Medium ALICE pack.

One man tent for a bug out bag

There has been ideology going around the survivalist circle for the past couple of decades – if some kind of end of the world event happens, I’ll just load up my Bug Out Bag and head to the hills. If you go to just about any survival forum, there will be dozens, if not hundreds, or even thousands of threads about what kind of back pack would make a good bug out bag. One of the next most popular questions is – what kind of one man tent would be good for a bug out bag.

Here are some of the things I look for in a tent

Weight – how much does the tent weigh? The more the tent weighs, something else has be be removed from the pack to keep the overall weight down.

1, 2, 3 or 4 season tent – where are you going to be using the tent, will it be for hot weather, cold weather, wet weather, or something else? If you live along the gulf cost where it rarely snows, do you really need a 4 season tent? If you mostly go hiking / camping in hot weather, you want to make sure the tent breathes well.

Most of my hiking / camping is done in hot weather – so I look for a tent with a removable rain fly, and mosquito netting across the top of the tent. This allows a cross breeze to go across the person in the tent, and helps with the removal of collected body heat inside the tent.

Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger Review

Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger

The Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger is unlike a lot of other backpacks, as it only has one shoulder strap. Its designed so that the user can disconnect an under-the-arm strap, and then spin the pack so that its in front of them. Thus, making the pack easy to access without having to dismount it.

Maxpedition makes 3 packs in its gearslinger series – the Sitka, Noatak and the Kodiak. In this article we are going to be looking at the Kodiak.

The single shoulder strap supports the weight of the pack, while the under the strap helps to keep the pack in place.

The Kodiak Gearslinger has 5 compartments:

  • Place for the water bladder
  • Small outer pouch on top outside
  • Medium outer pouch on outside
  • Zipper pouch on outside of medium pouch
  • Main compartment
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