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Old 07-03-2016, 12:37 PM
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I wear a 25lb backpack all day at work where I go up and down ladders and steep hills all day. A 25lb backpack is nothing to me, a 35lb backpack I start to feel, 50lbs is easily do-able. And I've carried 80-100lb packs in the past. Not easy but do-able for a short distance.

Having said that, my bag is around 35 lbs with food and water not including a rifle. The higher in weight you go, the more likely you are to have a fall and once you have a good fall your done. Your 35lb bag may as well be 100lbs. I learned this the hard way.
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:55 PM
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My brother and I tested a few things out last year. Things went pretty well, but our bags were too heavy. Since we already have a destination, we decided to cache supplies that we don't want to give up in 7 gallon food grade buckets, but don't want to carry either. We did this along our route and at our location as well. I think part of the problem, at least for us is that we have young children, and feel the need to take certain "necessities" to make sure we can keep them warm, fed, dry, and safe for a few days. We'll be digging a few up along the way this month and seeing how they've faired after a year underground. I'm particularly interested in how the ammo held up. Any way, I'm sure most people who built BOBs have planned a route as well, so cacheing might be a good option to put supplies you may need, but not need right away.

My two cents.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kfilly View Post
Oh, I forgot to add a few things. Trekking poles are very underrated when hiking with a loaded pack. I am sold on them. I have not hiked with my rifle due to hiking in a fairly busy public park. That would be frowned upon. However, I have added additional weight to my pack to simulate the rifle weight that would be strapped to the pack.

^^This. They stopped making fun of my walking stick once the hike got steep; suddenly it seemed eminently practical.
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:04 PM
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Last winter, I tested my bug out route on my bike with a trailer. I set it up for worst conditions: 25 degrees at night. 65 miles from home to BOL. Mind you, this was solo. Doing it with a family would be a vastly different situation.

I started at 11:30pm, bivouacked alongside the road around 5:30am just shy of my BOL to try out my bivvy gear. I made the ride in 7 hours, ride time.

Ultimately, it took almost twice as long as I thought and it tested my endurance. I ride my road bike on a trainer 3x per week and riding a mountain bike with a trailer was much harder than I thought.

I used ultra-light camping gear, because I wanted to get to the BOL asap. All that gear worked great, but the entire kit weighed only 25 lbs., plus my 4 lb. AR-15, which I did carry.

I rode the route using NVGs about half the way. My route was partially-screwed because of road changes and Google Maps errors, so I learned a ton about the route and how to avoid bottlenecks. I'd do the route differently in the real event, so it was a very fruitful exercise. The NVGs were pimp. I was able to ride straight through private property without security having any idea -- it cut several miles off my route. However, I wouldn't take my family that way, so it's not much of a neat trick.

Takeaways: everyone should run their BO route because it will be different than they think, guaranteed. Every ounce of weight will murder you and you can actually carry about HALF of what you think you can carry (in most cases.) Run it at the worst possible time -- night will be safer than day, especially if you can run blacked out.
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by JOracle View Post
Last winter, I tested my bug out route on my bike with a trailer. I set it up for worst conditions: 25 degrees at night. 65 miles from home to BOL...
Well done. How did that night vision system worked out?

Just a comment from a daily bike commuter: Worst case for riding a bike is not a cold day but a rain storm. No matter what you do, you will be soaking wet after a short time. It's much(!) worse than hiking in a rain storm (and this isn't fun either)

If you ride bikes with your family what about using electric assisted bikes at least for those with less leg power? 65 miles is quite doable...
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dompamar View Post
Hello everyone!

Did you carry your BOB AND a Rifle?
You bring up a key point, don't test your total planned system in pieces.

For example I like to use the waist straps on my pack to take some weight off my shoulders. Because of this a gun holster on my belt line is a no go. While I experimented with running one on the actual backpack hip straps I didn't like losing having the gun on me when I took the pack off. As someone that has actually used a drop leg holster I know what all people who actually use them know...they suck and that's even when you don't where them way down at your knees. For me the solution for a Blade-Tech Drop and Offset (DOH) adapter to slightly lower the holster and kick it out a bit so it also now clears my chest rig. I also have a pack with no waist straps I run with my war belt which is a lighter overall setup.

The chest rig is another item that if you plan to bug out with it on you should test against your pack (you should also get plenty of range time with it on). I see a lot of guys with war belts or even chest rigs and/or plate carriers that have a bunch of crap on their back or rear belt line that makes throwing a pack over it difficult and uncomfortable. You'll also find straps get hung up on everything. You may love your pistol mag pouch where it is until you try to throw on your pack and realized the shoulder strap runs right over it.

This may not apply to your system but the point remains, test all your planned gear together in addition to separately. Even the order you put it on matters. What soldier hasn't rucked up and then slung their rifle over it only later to go to throw their ruck off and realize they are all hung up in the rifle sling that was overtop of it?
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by JOracle View Post
Last winter, I tested my bug out route on my bike with a trailer. I set it up for worst conditions: 25 degrees at night. 65 miles from home to BOL. Mind you, this was solo. Doing it with a family would be a vastly different situation.

I used ultra-light camping gear, because I wanted to get to the BOL asap. All that gear worked great, but the entire kit weighed only 25 lbs., plus my 4 lb. AR-15, which I did carry.
I'm sure haters are going to hate but I'm impressed with your set up! My BOL is 65 miles away and I planned to use bikes as an alternative method to driving if that were not an option.

Have you done a post on your AR 4lb build? The lightest one I once saw was a stripped down AR with carbon fiber barrel and polymer this and that and skeletonized everything and it was about 4.5lbs (that was without any sights or optics on it and of course no magazine).
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Old fart View Post
Ditto.....
Same........
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Old 07-16-2016, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dompamar View Post
Hello everyone!

How many of you have actually done a field test with your bug out gear? I have to admit, that I have not tested my actual BOB and its contents overnight. I have gone on some backpacking trips and have used a lot of my gear that is currently in my BOB...But I have not done a dedicated BOB Field Test.

I tend to take a slightly different approach than some people.
When I go to buy something for my preps, unless I have extensive experience with it already (or the deal is too short term to wait on), I tend to buy a single one or small assortment specifically to test.
I use the item the way I would in the field; simulating conditions in the back yard, garage, bath tub, and the like before I even think about taking it into real field conditions. I see it as my very own version of a Consumer Reports Lab. If they pass initial testing I buy more and they go into the kits.
Now, I am NOT one of those guys who tests gear to intentional destruction. I do NOT put it through stuff it will likely never experience in real, SHTF use (like some of the insane stuff people do intentionally to break things like knives on Youtube.
If they do survive the home testing, I take them out in the bush either camping or hiking and use them under real field conditions. And I do beat the heck out of them. Not all mind you. For example: knives. I do not see any reason to abuse the heck out of every knife I get just to prove they work. When I replaced almost all my fixed blades with BK-2 Campanions a while back all of them got the at home tests and new edges (just to make sure there were no factory defects) but only the first one caught the field beating to see if the make and model was worth acquiring.


I've seen a lot of people talk about testing and recommend it. But I haven't seen a dedicated thread that for people to post what they learned. So I thought I'd start this thread so that people with be encouraged to do some testing and then share what their results.

The main thing I have learned from the tests I have done is that testing is very needed for equipment you plan one day to trust your life with. I have had stuff fail under the least of stress, fail under storage conditions, found out many a great deal simply wasn't (if it's too good to be true, it probably is), and some stuff is just not worth the aggravation (high tech is not always best tech; K.I.S.S is better).

I think it will be good for many of us to hear some real stories from people who have actually gone out and tested their BOBs.

What items worked?

I am a big advocate of acquiring something that does the job NOW and upgrading as time goes on, rather than buying the bestest, most expensive of everything when you buy it and thus waiting on some stuff because of finances.

For one thing, this has taught me that some times the cheap version works just as good.

For example, I have purchased a number of different tinder products for fire starting over the years. I have found dryer lint with wood shavings made by a pocket knife works as good as anything I have bought except maybe hex tabs.


What items were dead weight?

See, here is another place I often disagree with people. Lots of people in the prep community declare "Take the BOB into the field and use it, then ditch anything you don't use". I disagree.

My thinking is the contents of a BOB are a function of your plans and skills. Depending on what you are planning for there will be more or less gear, and different types of items, than in another person's BOB.

There are tons of items in my BOB people would say no to. Thing is, I plan different than others.

For example, I tend to have AT LEAST three fire kits in all my BOBs and in different locations of the BOB. This is a direct response to the various survival courses I have been on and my diverse experiences with trying to light fire under terrible conditions, losing fire kits, and the like.


Did you really need 13 knives? ;p

The most any of my BOBs has is a multi tool, a fixed blade, and a lock blade. I am not into tons of the same item. I mean, at a certain point we are just talking about an INCH bag....

Did you carry your BOB AND a Rifle?

Here in Canada we cannot even do such a thing, so no. I have not even been hunting recently enough to have done that.

What challenges did you face?

One of the biggest in Canada relates to the previous question. Here, we have to be VERY careful carrying anything that even partially resembles a weapon and certainly cannot carry a firearm or ammunition in a BOB we take out in public.

Was your bag too heavy?

Often they start out that way and shed pounds as I upgrade gear and buy items that are more multi-purpose. This leads to reduced weight, greater functionality, and more space in pack.

Was it lighter than you thought and could you add more items?

So far, never. My lightest pack, my so called "Urban BOB" is well under weight, has loads of space left, and I still would prefer to lighten it more.
In fact, I am reworking my INCH as I discovered I cannot sit down wearing it and stand back up.


Were you not in as good of shape as you thought?

Actually, I am in exactly as bad of shape as I thought. Currently still a work in progress, but I am in fact making progress.

Is one type/brand of item better than another?

There are only two brands I really heavily "endorse":

Soldier Fuel Bars are a food bar worth every dime IMHO. Great company, great product.

SOL blankets and bivvies are AWESOME. Well made, well designed, well thought out. Well worth the money.


What items are overlooked?

Morale items are among the most important and forgotten of all.

Also, AM/FM type radios. They can provide invaluable information and such. Carry a means to increase antenna (they make antenna spools for such) and a set of headphones (for privacy and stealth).


Should you have brought water instead of soda? ;p

etc...etc...

What are some lessons learned?

PS: sorry if a thread like this already exists...I did a few searches and didn't see any.

Thanks
VERY nice to see a BOB thread not about telling others when to put in it.
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Old 07-17-2016, 12:38 AM
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Learned a lot as a boy scout. Learned more when "BOBing" close to home, close to my BOV in the desert in fair weather.

you learn what's important with actual experience. water, shade, warmth at night and food. everything else is variable.

BOBing in your backyard will teach you a lot.

spent a few miserable cold nights in an otherwise warm desert because-wet clothes, not enough dry warmth to wrap up in. learned the hard way.

water is heavy. 1 canteen is not enough. you can go through 1 gallon of water just lazing around in 70 degree weather. washing your face/hands becomes unthinkable when you're packing it all on your back !

get experience, dirt time. not total immersion, not yet. just backyard it to start.
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by kfilly View Post
Oh, I forgot to add a few things. Trekking poles are very underrated when hiking with a loaded pack. I am sold on them. I have not hiked with my rifle due to hiking in a fairly busy public park. That would be frowned upon. However, I have added additional weight to my pack to simulate the rifle weight that would be strapped to the pack.
You may not want your rifle on your pack where it might be easy to steal, attract unwanted attention, and/or impossible to employ immediately if you need it.

The alternative is carrying it in your hands, preferably with a tactical sling of some sort. Movement with a rifle in your hands is very different than with it on your pack. Try standing in your house (with the curtains closed) with your rifle in your hands. Walk around with your rifle still in your hands. How often are you having to adjust your grip? How long does it take before your hands get tired and you wouldn't be able to hang onto it if someone tried to take it? What about your wider profile? Try it for an hour. How do your hands, fingers, arms, back, and neck feel? Don't forget to try some stairs and faster movement to see how you do. Now add your pack and repeat the exercise.

Depending on your results, you may want to modify how your rifle is packed/carried/hidden, or your sling(s). And/or make sure you have a pistol for immediate employment should the need arise. Especially since you plan on using trekking poles.

$0.02
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Cephalotus View Post
Well done. How did that night vision system worked out?

Just a comment from a daily bike commuter: Worst case for riding a bike is not a cold day but a rain storm. No matter what you do, you will be soaking wet after a short time. It's much(!) worse than hiking in a rain storm (and this isn't fun either)

If you ride bikes with your family what about using electric assisted bikes at least for those with less leg power? 65 miles is quite doable...
Ive found good gear helps make riding in the rain more tolerable. Its still no fun, but a good under armor top and bottom mean at least you arent cold and miserable, just wet and miserable.
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:20 PM
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Lots of great replies! Thanks, everyone!
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:49 PM
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Some sound advice for sure, the one common thing I am hearing is what took me two years to figure out.
To much weight will kill you. I am constantly tweaking my kits for weight vs function and reliability.

With a family you can leverage supplies. Know your limitations.

So many people here crap on expensive gear, but as I evolve I have learned that shaving pound matters, and yes some of the titanium gear and high tech fabrics are grossly overpriced, but my family is worth it.

How much do you spend per month on movies, booze, etc. If you want it and care about it you find a way, it may take some time, but we can all afford it given enough time.

And a Big 1+ for the guy who said 13 knives is to many. Give me a break these are the guys who are armed to the teeth but don't have enough food to last two days (yea I will die before I eat warm tunafish) LOL. (5 ounce of tuna is about 160 calories) For five ounces I can eat something that is tasty and quadruple the calories (and my family eats everything that we have in the kits, boy that has changed over the years).

You cannot drastically change your diet or you will get sick.

Don't get me wrong I am a knife guy and a gear junkie and spend a lot more than I should on those hobbies, but the weight abuse of some of these kits is hilarious.

My kits are no exception. I think that they are all to heavy so I trim and try to whittle away more and more.

Practice with your food, and supplies. I still fail on some our family drills , we can do nothing but work on it to become better, and pray that we never need all this cool crap...
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:14 PM
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One obstacle I discovered was new gear for fiance and daughter. Things like new footwear that hasn't been properly broken in and two people completely unaccustomed to wearing even light packs for any length of time. It's not so hard to break in new boots but the training they both went through to get familiar with carrying packs and weapons.......still an ongoing process after three years.

Progress is being made but I can't bring myself to subject either of them to how I was raised and the training and experience I have from military service. I never realized how difficult it can be for people to move over what I consider mild terrain when they simply aren't used to the weight of a pack. And how awkward it can be to carry a rifle or shotgun comfortably. All things I sort of took for granted until I started prepping and running emergency drills with the family.

Don't ever assume a thing. Not even for yourself. Try out your gear, all your gear and get comfortable wearing and using it. That goes for family members as well.

Word of advice on packs. If you've never humped a pack, or your trying help outfit a family member that's never done it.......whatever you or they think they can comfortably carry while hiking....cut it in half and start there. It is a real morale destroyer to get a newbie out in the field with way more then they can carry. They will struggle and possible injure themselves which may cause them to lose interest in doing any of it. Set them up for success and go light at first. Work your way up and always double check their gear. This means pack contents,how it's loaded, what they are wearing including footgear. Keep an eye on them as you hike and pay attention to signs of fatigue. Take appropriate breaks and remember water and rations have to be part of the load. Water especially. Make sure they hydrate.

Look for signs of chafing around pack straps. Check for blisters. Treat these immediately as they will only get worse as the day goes on. And believe me, blisters on folks not used to hiking can end a trip.

Last piece of advice: when working with wives, children, or other family members keep the training as fun as is possible. Be creative but if you want folks New to it to keep at it, making the training fun is a sure fire way to keep them coming back. Drill instructor approaches and forced marches don't work on the ladies, or children. Or even some men, for that matter.
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by drray777 View Post
I have practiced camping and hiking with with some of my gear. I found that theory and practice have a wide disparity. That is why I have various options to bug out. Hopefully one of them will work, but if going on foot, I have a 240L wheeled trash bin with a flip lid to carry my bag in. It will keep things dry and allow me to carry more weight for a longer distance than with a pack. My wife has a 140L bin.
I am trying to visualize pushing or pulling a 240 L wheeled trash bin. This is what we have at our home for both re-cyclables, and trash. I have a tough enough time pushing then 75 feet to the street, especially thru the grass, if loaded--let alone along some trail. All of one's preps depend on their circumstances and routes. Are there large pneumatic tires? I agree with Jerry Young that a game cart would be a good platform if you needed heavy weights. I do love the cart idea, but it seems to me that a single wheel cart would be easier to handle on a trail, than a double or triple wheel cart???

I have not tried using just what is in our BOB currently--but I have done a lot of backpacking, and know that all items carry will work and have been individually tested. One advantage is that I started the outdoor adventures in the 1940's, so the gear improvement is offset by my being elderly, but not one would would ever give up! Our bags are about 30#,without water. But we live in area where there is an abundant water supply (with filtering and disinfection). We each have a 3 Liter bladder for our packs. But that does add 6.6 lbs to each pack for full water bladders.

I have mulled over the weapons. A min would be two 9mm semi auto-one for each of us with at least 100 rounds each. If I could carry openly long guns, then I would carry AR 15 variant, and the wife the Ruger 10/22 takedown, or 12 gauge pump action Mossberg. However, if we had to conceal, then one of my packs will easily carry the 10/22 takedown. For us, having to engage any human threat at a significant range, is very low the the list of scenarios. The 10/22 with 100 rounds in magazines, adds about 7 lbs. If we took a basic AR 15 with 3-30 loaded magazines, that would be closer to 9 lbs.

So each bag could potentially could weight 45 lbs (with water/guns/ammo)--and that is too much for our age. cut down--to one fixed blade (K-Bar) for me, and Buck 110 for my wife. Still keep one light weight Leatherman, I still need to cull down...

Thanks for the topic
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:02 AM
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I am trying to visualize pushing or pulling a 240 L wheeled trash bin. This is what we have at our home for both re-cyclables, and trash. I have a tough enough time pushing then 75 feet to the street, especially thru the grass, if loaded--let alone along some trail. All of one's preps depend on their circumstances and routes. Are there large pneumatic tires? I agree with Jerry Young that a game cart would be a good platform if you needed heavy weights. I do love the cart idea, but it seems to me that a single wheel cart would be easier to handle on a trail, than a double or triple wheel cart???

I have not tried using just what is in our BOB currently--but I have done a lot of backpacking, and know that all items carry will work and have been individually tested. One advantage is that I started the outdoor adventures in the 1940's, so the gear improvement is offset by my being elderly, but not one would would ever give up! Our bags are about 30#,without water. But we live in area where there is an abundant water supply (with filtering and disinfection). We each have a 3 Liter bladder for our packs. But that does add 6.6 lbs to each pack for full water bladders.

I have mulled over the weapons. A min would be two 9mm semi auto-one for each of us with at least 100 rounds each. If I could carry openly long guns, then I would carry AR 15 variant, and the wife the Ruger 10/22 takedown, or 12 gauge pump action Mossberg. However, if we had to conceal, then one of my packs will easily carry the 10/22 takedown. For us, having to engage any human threat at a significant range, is very low the the list of scenarios. The 10/22 with 100 rounds in magazines, adds about 7 lbs. If we took a basic AR 15 with 3-30 loaded magazines, that would be closer to 9 lbs.

So each bag could potentially could weight 45 lbs (with water/guns/ammo)--and that is too much for our age. cut down--to one fixed blade (K-Bar) for me, and Buck 110 for my wife. Still keep one light weight Leatherman, I still need to cull down...

Thanks for the topic
I would love to have a game cart, but they are not available over here in South Africa as far as I could find. I would most likely pull it if I had a hill and have been considering developing a harness, but again, it is hard to find things over here. I would like to find a M.U.L.E. and I believe there is one fellow over here who is currently making something like it available.
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Old 07-26-2016, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by drray777 View Post
I would love to have a game cart, but they are not available over here in South Africa as far as I could find. I would most likely pull it if I had a hill and have been considering developing a harness, but again, it is hard to find things over here. I would like to find a M.U.L.E. and I believe there is one fellow over here who is currently making something like it available.
D.I.Y. Doc.

As we say in South africa, "n boer maak n plan" where there is a will there is a way...

Sent from my E2303 using Tapatalk
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Old 07-26-2016, 02:53 PM
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America's Patriot America's Patriot is offline
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I've learned that I can't hump dozens of miles with the same heavy pack that I could when I was 20... take the bare necessities.
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:14 PM
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NCalHippie NCalHippie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drray777 View Post
I have tried various methods and using Vaseline and cotton is the easiest way to start a fire with flint or mag fire starters. They take up little space and work like the bomb. I have put together a small fire starter kit that I keep in my knife sheath that includes these. I am sure you may be aware of these but this will make the difference in a fire within seconds vs. struggle, so I thought I would mention it.
I make cotton balls with Vaseline on one side and wax on the other. Easy to start, but last longer. Dip the cotton ball in the wax about halfway, let cool and smear the other side with Vaseline, I carry a couple in my EDC FAK on my person at all times (anytime I am dressed).
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