Rural Lifestyle Blog

Life in Rural America

Tag: bug out bag

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. Continue Reading….

Thoughts on a micro-bug out bag

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? Right now my fighting load carry (FLC) has: 2 triple military surplus magazine pouches Continue Reading….

Maxpedition Condor-II Backpack

Product Features Dramatically improved second generation of our military-style daypack Y-shaped top compression strap and 4 lateral compression straps Upper front pocket approx. 9 x 5.5 x 2 Lower front pocket approx. 9 x 8 x 2 with pen organizer Breathable ergonomic shoulder straps From my review at Amazon As with all Maxpedition packs, the Condor II offers top notch quality, expandability and quality workmanship. The pack is a top loader, so you can cram in your gear until its full, stomp on the top, then cram some more. The bottom of the pack has lash points so you can attach a bed roll or sleeping bag. I used a couple of nylon straps and attached a 32 degree sleeping bag to the bottom. The Continue Reading….

Camping trip load out

Water bottle, Vargo stove and MSR potTo 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 in the list.

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.

Pack – 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 Continue Reading….

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.

Continue Reading….

Hastily assembled and ill equipped survival plans

SHTF Survival ForumScience channel Saturday morning of July 30, 2011 had a program on about Kublai Khan, and his doomed fleet that tried to invade Japan.

During excavations of the ocean floor, scientist discovered that most of the ships in the fleet were flat bottom river boats. River boats do not have a keel like what ocean going ships have. The keel helps ocean going ships weather large waves, while flat bottom boats will capsize.

It appears that Kublai Khan was in a hurry to invade Japan, so he ill equipped his navy with the wrong type of ship. This short sight meant the fleet was lost in a storm.

How does the example of Kublai Khan apply to survivalism?

Those that do not take the time to properly prepare are doomed to fail. The key word there is “properly” prepare. Kublai Khan had his army, weapons, armor, supplies, ships,,,,,. But the ships were the wrong type of ship, they were not ship designed for oceans, they were designed for rivers.

In the survivalist community, there are a lot of people that plan on grabbing their bug out bag, bugging out to the wilderness and living off the land. There are lots of problems with that situation, such as being able to find enough food, diseases, illness, vitamin and mineral decencies,,, only to name a few.

Back in November and December of 2010, a buddy of mine and I spent 3 days on the Angelina river camping and trying to live off the land. During those 3 days I did not see a single wild hog or whitetail deer. Some deer came close to the camp site at night, but I did not see anything during the day. We caught a few catfish, but not enough to feed a group of people with. In order to catch enough fish to live off of, we would have had to have people fishing all day long.

Continue Reading….

Food bag for a bug out bag

Bug out bag foodFor 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.

The main bag is made of a brown cloth, has a drawstring at the top, when empty laying flat on a table, the bag measures 18 inches tall, 15 inches wide and has a 7X9 rectangle bottom. In a bag this size, someone should easily be able to carry at least 3 days worth of dehydrated food.



Continue Reading….

Ideas for a get home bag

Get Home Bag Ideas

If I had to walk home, here are some items that I would like to have in my get home bag.

32 ounce water bottle
Rain poncho – even a light duty one
LED light, something like a Surefire G2X Pro
Mainstay rations
Road map
Phone number / contact list
Rope – 550 cord
Multi-tool
Small first aid kit
Paper, pen and sharpie / felt tip magic marker
Money – at least $20

One of the first packs that comes to mind is the Maxpedition Noatak

Continue Reading….

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? Continue Reading….

Maxpedition Vulture-II

Looking for a good quality 2 – 3 day pack? The Maxpedition Vulture-II might be just what your looking for. When your looking at backpacks, there seems to be small, medium, large and super large.

Small – good for day hikes and short trips

Medium – good for day hikes or overnight trips

Large – good for 3 – 5 day trips

Super Large – good for 5+ days trips (think expedition)

The problem I have, I need a pack that fits right in-between medium and large. These are the ones where you can pack enough for a 1 – 3 day trip, but not too big or too small.

This medium sized pack is where I’am trying to fit the Maxpedition Vulture-II. I need something for warm / hot weather camping, and just big enough to carry some food, one man tent, rain poncho, hammock, poncho liner,,,, but not too big that I’am tempted to carry gear that is not needed. If your like me, and if there is spare room in your pack, your going to find a way to fill it up. A half full pack just does not look right.

Before a pack is taken out on a hiking or camping trip, it needs to be loaded, tested and checked out. So before my Maxpedition Vulture-II was taken on a real hiking / camping trip, it was loaded up and taken on a trip to the deer camp. Inside the pack I was able to fit – hammock, one man tent, 3 legged stool, couple of MREs, compass, map, and topo map compass.

Continue Reading….

Thoughts on the 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:
Its more slimlineed 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.

Continue Reading….

Bugging out to the wilderness

Remote bug out location

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: Continue Reading….

MOLLE Pack VS ALICE Pack

“which one 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
How rugged do you need the frame? – 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.

Continue Reading….

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.

Continue Reading….

Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger Review

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 on it:
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

Some specs from the maxpedition website:

* Single shoulder backpack designed to maximize utility when rotated towards front of body
* Main compartment: 17 high x 10 wide x 4 thick with internal organization
* Top front: 4.5 high x 9 wide x 2 thick with internal organization
* Bottom front: 10 high x 9 wide x 2 thick with internal organization
* Approximate Capacity: 1100 cu. in.
* Fits up to 15.4″ (diagonal screen size) laptop computer.
* Bag can be worn in front and contents comfortably accessed while sitting down
* Water bottle pocket sized to fit 32oz Nalgene bottle
* Compatible with 100oz hydration reservoir
* Theft deterrent devices built-in to capture zipper pulls
* PALS modular webbing throughout to for attaching accessories
* Top and side handles Continue Reading….

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