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Old 08-17-2019, 07:06 PM
Survival Sam Survival Sam is offline
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Default Gear I recently ditched from my BOB (shovel, camp stove, etc.)



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I've taken a few BOB trips recently to test my gear and decided to ditch gear that I either didn't use or didn't REALLY need.

-E-Tool: Only thing I ever used this for was digging holes to crap in. I could do this with a stick and save myself 2 lbs...

-Camp stove and fuel canister: It was one of the backpacking isopro ones. Initially I wanted it to stay low key, not have a fire, but then I decided a water filter I had with me provided me with clean water to drink without fire, as did water purification tablets, and I packed food that didn't need cooking, such as GORP. Weight saved, 2.5 lbs. I still have a stainless container for cooking, but would only do so if the coast is clear.

-Kukri machete: this helped me chop two HUGE trees that had fallen over the road when car camping years ago, but other than that I've never used it. Weight saved, 1.5 lbs.

-Becker BK2: I carry a Mora companion in my vest and a pocket knife. 99% of the time I use my pocket knife with the Mora as a backup. I also have a multi-tool. I don't plan on batoning wood, it's a dumb use for a knife anyways.

-0 degree sleeping bag: unless it's winter, I did just fine with mylar blankets overnight. I was toasty warm all night. They are loud AF though....Weight saved, 5 lbs.

-Hatchet: Not as good as a splitting maul and wedge, and risky when you're tired, cold and hungry. Don't want to risk injury. If I needed to split wood, I'd rather have this than a knife that I risk breaking, but it's not necessary IMO. Weight saved, 2 lbs.

My BoB weight is now 20 lbs including the pack weight (Blackhawk 3 day assault pack at around 4 lbs) and 7 lbs for survival vest. Weight saved, 13 lbs. This does not count ammo, NV goggles (separate kit).

I'm debating taking magazines and NV gear and attaching to the outside of my BOB so that I just have ONE bag. Only beef with that is my "tactical" pack is much lighter than a BOB and designed purely for fighting (water, gloves, IFAK, mags, monocular, etc, batteries, etc.)

Or I can use a slightly larger pack to store it all, but my concern with this is maneuverability.


Thoughts?
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Survival Sam View Post
I've taken a few BOB trips recently to test my gear and decided to ditch gear that I either didn't use or didn't REALLY need.

-E-Tool: Only thing I ever used this for was digging holes to crap in. I could do this with a stick and save myself 2 lbs...

-Camp stove and fuel canister: It was one of the backpacking isopro ones. Initially I wanted it to stay low key, not have a fire, but then I decided a water filter I had with me provided me with clean water to drink without fire, as did water purification tablets, and I packed food that didn't need cooking, such as GORP. Weight saved, 2.5 lbs. I still have a stainless container for cooking, but would only do so if the coast is clear.

-Kukri machete: this helped me chop two HUGE trees that had fallen over the road when car camping years ago, but other than that I've never used it. Weight saved, 1.5 lbs.

-Becker BK2: I carry a Mora companion in my vest and a pocket knife. 99% of the time I use my pocket knife with the Mora as a backup. I also have a multi-tool. I don't plan on batoning wood, it's a dumb use for a knife anyways.

-0 degree sleeping bag: unless it's winter, I did just fine with mylar blankets overnight. I was toasty warm all night. They are loud AF though....Weight saved, 5 lbs.

-Hatchet: Not as good as a splitting maul and wedge, and risky when you're tired, cold and hungry. Don't want to risk injury. If I needed to split wood, I'd rather have this than a knife that I risk breaking, but it's not necessary IMO. Weight saved, 2 lbs.

My BoB weight is now 20 lbs including the pack weight (Blackhawk 3 day assault pack at around 4 lbs) and 7 lbs for survival vest. Weight saved, 13 lbs. This does not count ammo, NV goggles (separate kit).

I'm debating taking magazines and NV gear and attaching to the outside of my BOB so that I just have ONE bag. Only beef with that is my "tactical" pack is much lighter than a BOB and designed purely for fighting (water, gloves, IFAK, mags, monocular, etc, batteries, etc.)

Or I can use a slightly larger pack to store it all, but my concern with this is maneuverability.


Thoughts?
Not sure what all you planned to do with your BoB, but diching the heavy hardware makes it sound more like a light wt travel bag, which probably makes sense for many.

I have a super light GHB based on a 2L hydration bag. It gets used a lot for the hydration. The most used remaining items are the military rain poncho, leatherman wave, first aid kit, DEET, and the flashlight.
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:54 PM
Survival Sam Survival Sam is offline
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Not sure what all you planned to do with your BoB, but diching the heavy hardware makes it sound more like a light wt travel bag, which probably makes sense for many.

I have a super light GHB based on a 2L hydration bag. It gets used a lot for the hydration. The most used remaining items are the military rain poncho, leatherman wave, first aid kit, DEET, and the flashlight.
Well I have shelter, water, food covered with the rest of the kit, as well as the rest of the 10C's.

A shovel, machete, cook stove, etc. aren't essential....For example a Mora does just fine and I use my pocket knife for almost every task camping/testing great and it works just fine. I have the Mora and multi tool as backups. Why do I need a 2 lb knife???
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:04 PM
Daniel8 Daniel8 is offline
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I have a pretty base line set up.
Small med pouch
Fire pouch
water purification pouch
knife
Flash light
water bladder
some warm under gear
simple emergency bivvy
and bug net / military poncho I can make a tent out of or wear if raining.

But I'm not bugging out either. I'm getting home.
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:57 PM
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Great post. Reducing weight is essential.
I've an SOL bivy, woobie, poncho, also carry heat tabs just for emergency.
Sawyer mini. SAK with saw. Steel water bottle.
Winter is different. Calls for more such as my full length wool
overcoat.
I'm more interested in traveling fast to a safer locale than living in the woods.
Once I'm in a safer haven I'll try to make myself useful....that is, find a job.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:08 AM
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My thoughts are what do you envision bugging out for...to....and for how long?

Because for me, a disaster so devastating that I had to leave home to avoid, would also be one where I would be very unlikely to survive very long at all with just 20lbs of gear that I walked out my door with.

Maybe okay if you have a fully stocked location 20 miles away...but if something so terrible is coming for you that it seems wise to leave behind your home and everything in it save for 20lbs of camping gear....it seems unlikely you will even be able to get far enough away from such a dire threat fast enough on foot, or that you could survive it for very long at all with so little.

20lbs sounds more like a big get home bag to me.

Now, if your just prepping for a tornado, forest fire, etc....you don't need camping gear or bushcrafting stuff at all, you need your phone, ID's money, any medications, good clothes, etc. because there is a whole country to take care of basic needs once you get to safety.

You see where I am going with this? Bugging out is not just going camping. Its the circumstances of WHY you are bugging out that dictate what you need.

And for most things that could possible reduce you to the level of wilderness survival out of a backpack, it's really a situation so dire that you need a truckload of stuff....and a truck to have any chance of a bug out being better than a bug in.
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:17 AM
Henrykjr Henrykjr is offline
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For me my bugout bag and my get home bag are one in the same. I am set up for a 120 mile range and am packed accordingly. I pray that I would never have to walk that far because that would suck.

Most people will struggle walking 20 miles a day loaded. I would be one of those but.....my pack would get continually lighter as the water is consumed.

Last year I did the same exercise. My pack was 36 lbs all in with water. I was able to get it to 30.
Some of the things I did were to swap heavier clothes for lighter weight clothes.....I went with a layering option. That itself cut almost a pound.

I switched flashlights from AA battery versions to AAA battery versions and then bought the longer life Lithium Energizers. When looking at the flashlight and battery weight difference it was huge.

Yup the shovel left my bag but the Kukri Machete stayed....it's just too darn useful.

A lot of the triple redundant stuff left also. 4 light sticks went to 2.

A really good source of info here are the ultralight backpacking blogs.....they guys wanted around in the wilderness with 6-8 lb packs. Always an interesting read because they also have ways of doing meal planning that saves time and weight.

HK
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
My thoughts are what do you envision bugging out for...to....and for how long?

Because for me, a disaster so devastating that I had to leave home to avoid, would also be one where I would be very unlikely to survive very long at all with just 20lbs of gear that I walked out my door with.

Maybe okay if you have a fully stocked location 20 miles away...but if something so terrible is coming for you that it seems wise to leave behind your home and everything in it save for 20lbs of camping gear....it seems unlikely you will even be able to get far enough away from such a dire threat fast enough on foot, or that you could survive it for very long at all with so little.

20lbs sounds more like a big get home bag to me.

Now, if your just prepping for a tornado, forest fire, etc....you don't need camping gear or bushcrafting stuff at all, you need your phone, ID's money, any medications, good clothes, etc. because there is a whole country to take care of basic needs once you get to safety.

You see where I am going with this? Bugging out is not just going camping. Its the circumstances of WHY you are bugging out that dictate what you need.

And for most things that could possible reduce you to the level of wilderness survival out of a backpack, it's really a situation so dire that you need a truckload of stuff....and a truck to have any chance of a bug out being better than a bug in.
Agreed. One should not assume everything will go according to plan, during a disaster. Everything will go wrong, and you will need that extra gear and more.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:15 AM
Survival Sam Survival Sam is offline
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Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
My thoughts are what do you envision bugging out for...to....and for how long?

Because for me, a disaster so devastating that I had to leave home to avoid, would also be one where I would be very unlikely to survive very long at all with just 20lbs of gear that I walked out my door with.

Maybe okay if you have a fully stocked location 20 miles away...but if something so terrible is coming for you that it seems wise to leave behind your home and everything in it save for 20lbs of camping gear....it seems unlikely you will even be able to get far enough away from such a dire threat fast enough on foot, or that you could survive it for very long at all with so little.

20lbs sounds more like a big get home bag to me.

Now, if your just prepping for a tornado, forest fire, etc....you don't need camping gear or bushcrafting stuff at all, you need your phone, ID's money, any medications, good clothes, etc. because there is a whole country to take care of basic needs once you get to safety.

You see where I am going with this? Bugging out is not just going camping. Its the circumstances of WHY you are bugging out that dictate what you need.

And for most things that could possible reduce you to the level of wilderness survival out of a backpack, it's really a situation so dire that you need a truckload of stuff....and a truck to have any chance of a bug out being better than a bug in.
The light weight is based on SKILL and experience, not just buying gear that sits in it's wrapper with tags attached dreaming I'm going to carry an 80 lb INCH bag around for hundreds of miles.

The more skill you have the less gear you need. I don't need anything but the basics to survive. I can improvise even the 5C's, but I still have them. That's the core of the kit and for fire, water and food, there is triple level redundancy. Heck, my GHB is 10 lbs.... Nobody is going to survive in the woods forever. What happens when your hatchet breaks? Your steel pot is damaged? Your compass is lost?

I can navigate from my watch, the sun and stick method and the stars. Yeah I can make a burn bowl and a hatchet out of natural materials. But living the life of a homeless person isn't living...
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:17 AM
Survival Sam Survival Sam is offline
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Originally Posted by Hick Industries View Post
Not sure what all you planned to do with your BoB, but diching the heavy hardware makes it sound more like a light wt travel bag, which probably makes sense for many.

I have a super light GHB based on a 2L hydration bag. It gets used a lot for the hydration. The most used remaining items are the military rain poncho, leatherman wave, first aid kit, DEET, and the flashlight.
So to you success equals heavy??
The heavier the better? Tell me how often you actually go out and TRAIN??? I'm betting never unless you try to BS your way through it to save face.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:22 AM
Survival Sam Survival Sam is offline
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Agreed. One should not assume everything will go according to plan, during a disaster. Everything will go wrong, and you will need that extra gear and more.
So please explain how a 2 lb hatchet, 2 lb shovel, etc. will help you when your tarp shelter goes bunk? You ever actually try walking around the woods. I find a half a dozen natural shelters EACH and every time. I've also built a few with not tools. Just my hands. Tree bark and branches over a fallen tree. Layered like roofing shingles. The level of experience here seems really lacking. Seems like most here rely on buying gear they've never tested.

I can improvise rope, bowls, navigation, etc. I've slept in a mylar blanket. It freaking WORKS. Bet there are few here that can HONESTLY say that.....
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:27 AM
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I thought you did a nice job paring down weight you didn’t need. The only thing that surprised me was getting rid of the machete, survival knife, and hatchet. I would’ve thought you’d keep at least one item for chopping, unless you have something else to fill the role.
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:24 AM
Comcamguy Comcamguy is offline
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I think everyone is ****ing and moaning over what they expect a BUg Bag to do and how much this or that weight is too much and “I can do this with only”

Mission drives the gear train

Is the bag supposed to tide you over for the 3-5 days it will take for you to get somewhere, or is this the ultimate start life over.

Different missions require different tools

If the goal is just survive for x amount of days with the least gear, good on you, great game to test your skills and gear.

I have slept out with k
Just a Mylar blanket, and not all of those are created equal even.

I spent a week in Iraq winter (it actually gets cold there at night) with just a shemag as a blanket.

These days, because of such things, I have a small 40 degree down sleeping bag that is smaller than a Nalgene. This, combined with a casualty Mylar blanket has served me to around zero degrees. Is it what I want to do? No. It’s my winter get home bag items. My Bug Bag if I am at the house is my tiny RV. Where I am at, wildfire or people are the only foreseeable big out instead of big in at this point.

Mission drives the gear train. What do you want, what do you need to accomplish it. Work backwards from there.

Is my gear solution right for somebody else? Don’t know.

Axes are great but a folding bow saw is lighter and easier to work large wood safer. If I just take the blade, I can make a frame.

You can do small jobs with a big knife more than big jobs with a small knife

Never underestimate what all you can do with the old school Swiss Army Knife
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:42 AM
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So please explain how a 2 lb hatchet, 2 lb shovel, etc. will help you when your tarp shelter goes bunk? You ever actually try walking around the woods. I find a half a dozen natural shelters EACH and every time. I've also built a few with not tools. Just my hands. Tree bark and branches over a fallen tree. Layered like roofing shingles. The level of experience here seems really lacking. Seems like most here rely on buying gear they've never tested.

I can improvise rope, bowls, navigation, etc. I've slept in a mylar blanket. It freaking WORKS. Bet there are few here that can HONESTLY say that.....
When I was a kid, I spent a huge amount of time in the woods.
One time all I had with me was a cheap hatchet. A cold front blew in and it started raining like crazy. Got under some nice pines, and quickly made a wonderful shelter with a springy fresh pine bough bed. It was so nice I didn't ever want to leave. the pine smell, the air flow beneath me, and it was pretty dry even though the top was only a bunch of pine branches angled and stacked above me.

But you do what you want. I was just suggesting you have some tools with you in an emergency, but if you can use your training to make a stone ax or something, nobody is stopping you. If you choose an ax with an eye, it can be rehandled without too much trouble. Especially if you also brought a knife.
However, advising others who maybe don't have your claimed skills to venture out naked with a survival blanket and some gorp might be somewhat dangerous..
By the way, an ax is also good for defense.

In an emergency, time is usually important. Having a few tools makes your use of time much more efficienct.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Survival Sam View Post
So to you success equals heavy??
The heavier the better? Tell me how often you actually go out and TRAIN??? I'm betting never unless you try to BS your way through it to save face.
I don't think that's what Hick was saying, just an observation. These are always hard as everyone has a different opinion of SHTF, both environment and timeframe.

It's always a balance of weight and versatility, but skill, knowledge, and experience play a significant role in kit choices. I'm in the "less weight, the better" camp. I've found a small fixed blade and folding saw (something like Silky) are far more handier than larger tools; even more so if you already have your shelter as part of your kit.

Food is my biggest issue. For my location, anywhere in about a 500 mile radius, water is available (but needs a filter/purifier). If trekking on foot, I average about 10-15 miles a day, terrain dependent, and I consume about 1.25-1.5 pounds of food per day (giving me one cooked meal a day)...this is my planning for backpacking.

I did a 105-mile test run back in May on the AT. No resupply, pack-weight was just shy of 40 pounds and very much my max target weight. That was total weight of 9 days of food and maintaining about 2.5 liters of water on-board. Temps on the first morning were 38 degrees and it heated up to the upper 80's when finished. I did the 105 miles in 7 days and a wake up (about 3 hours that morning of the 8th day). With that in mind, I still had about two days of food remaining.

The value of actually getting out on extended trips or more primitive outings is to evaluate your needs, test your skills, and improve your experience levels. What gets used and what doesn't; what's a "want" verse a "need"; are you packing a "fear" or is it a "comfort" item. Many sit on a couch and "what if"-wargame every scenario, but the reality is you just can't pack for every contingency. A certain level of risk assessment is necessary and it should be measured with your own skill, knowledge, and experience. I have found I can pack for about 70% of every scenario; proper planning, good decision making, skill, and experience will take care of the other 30% that my "gear" didn't cover. I'm okay with that.

My backpacking gear is pretty lightweight (base-weight about 13-14 pounds), but isn't quite SHTF-focused (although it could suffice). This next week, I'm looking at building a different setup with more of a bug-home or short term bug out mentality in a less permissive environment.

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Originally Posted by Dread11 View Post
I thought you did a nice job paring down weight you didn’t need. The only thing that surprised me was getting rid of the machete, survival knife, and hatchet. I would’ve thought you’d keep at least one item for chopping, unless you have something else to fill the role.
Location and season is important. I could see a machete being a top choice in some of the swampy/dense places I've been to in the SE, and I could see a quality pack-axe if heading to or through a boreal type forest or navigating a wintery landscape where you may need to chop through ice. I have just never found the necessity to "chop" anything large. A small fixed blade and folding saw can easily build me a shelter, help me process even wet wood to get a fire going and once going well enough, the fire will "process" larger logs on its own. Chopping has only show benefit if I'm actually building a long-term shelter, but I just can see that value if on the move.

A compact shovel is very much a personal decision. I've seen some use something like the Cold Steel shovel and really maximize the capabilities. I have and use them on occasion, but it's not something to put in a pack if I'm trekking or backpacking long distances. I do have smaller "trowels", and I really like a titanium trowel that's a little larger but can be fitted to a longer handled stick...other than digging cat-holes, they come in handy maneuvering hot coals around the campfire if that's your primary source of cooking, boiling, and heating. If out working on the wild edibles identification, they are far more efficient and easier to use than a digging stick. Again, much depends on the user and location.

Once you start backpacking 30, 60, or up to and over 100 miles, you really start to criticize and evaluate ever single item in your pack to include stuff sacks, extra lengths of strapping or cordage, etc. Also, the more trips you do, the less prone you are to packing your fears or every "what-if" contingencies you dream up while sitting in the recliner.

Lessons learned are valuable and worth the effort.

ROCK6
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:23 AM
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the man with the most toys does not always win. You must be able to arrive at your destination. If you have no destination, you have already lost the battle. If you pack is so heavy that you spend extra time to arrive at your destination, you are exposed to what is out there, be it weather, thirst, bad guys or whatever. A doctor at work told me" the thing with these rare diseases is that you rarely see them." Same with emergency prepping. You can't prepare for everything, just look at the issues and do your best. If possible move with a friend, spouse or relative. One axe will do, not everyone needs to carry one. Same with other items
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Survival Sam View Post
So to you success equals heavy??
The heavier the better? Tell me how often you actually go out and TRAIN??? I'm betting never unless you try to BS your way through it to save face.
I no longer train at all.
Thats because after working in aerospace for 32 yrs, I retired and moved to a remote ranch in the Ozarks.
Now days I simply live and work in the wilderness.

Now if I may, your various posts, and your reaction to our generous responses, demonstrate you already believe that you know it all.
Good for you sport. I wont bother you further.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:46 PM
Rural Buckeye Guy Rural Buckeye Guy is offline
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I did a stay-cation 2 years ago and did my estimated 4 day walk home (was 8 days) for 72 miles walking. Ran out of food at noon on day 6. Everything ACHED by day 3. Stashed half my crap for a return pick up. Now: stashed more food, more pain relief. Bought a used mtn bike in good shape, do a lot more cardio and peddling after work. Mostly energy bars. Went to tea packets and sugar. Done the trip three more times now. Day and a half. Learning water spots for power naps while water purifier works. Learning to avoid long hills. Added wire cutters for easier cross country travel to avoid choke points. Did one last winter: wiped out twice on black ice, added an army blanket poncho and a zippered and grommets poncho liner to the pack, and an empty plastic flask for hot water to tuck inside my outerwear for naps. Very nice. Did it in late Feb. A bike is definitely better. Added a couple used mtn bikes to my BOL security set-up. Need some more portable deer stands too and repeaters. Getting cheap binos too.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:49 PM
Rural Buckeye Guy Rural Buckeye Guy is offline
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12# summer, 16# winter.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:58 PM
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You shaved some serious weight! As a minimalist by nature, I'm always looking to retool my BOB to just the essentials. Keep what you need, nothing you don't.

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Originally Posted by Survival Sam View Post
I've taken a few BOB trips recently to test my gear and decided to ditch gear that I either didn't use or didn't REALLY need.

-E-Tool: Only thing I ever used this for was digging holes to crap in. I could do this with a stick and save myself 2 lbs...

-Camp stove and fuel canister: It was one of the backpacking isopro ones. Initially I wanted it to stay low key, not have a fire, but then I decided a water filter I had with me provided me with clean water to drink without fire, as did water purification tablets, and I packed food that didn't need cooking, such as GORP. Weight saved, 2.5 lbs. I still have a stainless container for cooking, but would only do so if the coast is clear.

-Kukri machete: this helped me chop two HUGE trees that had fallen over the road when car camping years ago, but other than that I've never used it. Weight saved, 1.5 lbs.

-Becker BK2: I carry a Mora companion in my vest and a pocket knife. 99% of the time I use my pocket knife with the Mora as a backup. I also have a multi-tool. I don't plan on batoning wood, it's a dumb use for a knife anyways.

-0 degree sleeping bag: unless it's winter, I did just fine with mylar blankets overnight. I was toasty warm all night. They are loud AF though....Weight saved, 5 lbs.

-Hatchet: Not as good as a splitting maul and wedge, and risky when you're tired, cold and hungry. Don't want to risk injury. If I needed to split wood, I'd rather have this than a knife that I risk breaking, but it's not necessary IMO. Weight saved, 2 lbs.

My BoB weight is now 20 lbs including the pack weight (Blackhawk 3 day assault pack at around 4 lbs) and 7 lbs for survival vest. Weight saved, 13 lbs. This does not count ammo, NV goggles (separate kit).

I'm debating taking magazines and NV gear and attaching to the outside of my BOB so that I just have ONE bag. Only beef with that is my "tactical" pack is much lighter than a BOB and designed purely for fighting (water, gloves, IFAK, mags, monocular, etc, batteries, etc.)

Or I can use a slightly larger pack to store it all, but my concern with this is maneuverability.


Thoughts?
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