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Errrrr
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5,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alright so the holidays are coming and I am working on building my sorta kinda girlfriend a B.O.B. She is a tiny little thing at 5'3. She is also (looks around in fear :xeye:) older at 40. We recently went on a hike in Yosemite and she loved my Camelbak Mule so I bought her the exact same pack.



She told me she can't/will not carry over 35 pounds. I want to take this pack and build her a pack that will allow her to hike but can also double as a GHB or very spartan BOB.

I really need help here. I have personally gotten so far past initial preps that making a starter kit has become :eek:.

I want her in this pack to have space for; food, medical, camping comfort, etc. However, keep in mind we are limited on space.

Let's say I am budgeting 500 bucks for this. I have very limited space though...

Keep in mind I am only building her a starter kit with this and will build her a full on camping/shtf kit along the way.

Until then I need light weight and compact options that cooperate withe the MULE.
 

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Eclectic
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1,894 Posts
Women are built different than men. Women have hips. I have set up my BOB to be modular. I have a primary pack which is my basics. This pack is a waist pack.




http://www.fieldandstreamshop.com/p/field---stream-savage-run-fanny-pack/15fnsufssvgrnfnnyapa?camp=CSE:GooglePLA:15FNSUFSSVGRNFNNYAPA:14031739:Backpacks&CAWELAID=120226720000011737&CAGPSPN=pla

This pack does not work well for men, because they don't have hips to hold it up. For a woman, however, it works really well and allows the weight to be supported on the hips rather than on the shoulders. In this waist pack, I carry all my basics including a small fishing kit, a small first aid kit, a small pill kit with several medications, a fire starting kit, a Sawyer mini, water purification tablets, a 5x7 backpacking tarp, a fishnet type hammock, a multi tool, 50 feet of paracord, 6 metal tent stakes (nail type), small bottles / spray cans of insect repellent, after bite, and sunscreen, chapstick, an extra pair of socks and underwear, a mosquito head net, a rain poncho, a couple of bandanas, a couple of biner clips and key rings, a couple of N95 masks, toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, nail clippers, a knife sharpener, a commando saw, an SOL emergency bivy, a roll of camping toilet paper, a pack of gum, Gorilla Tape, and several Kind bars.

I figure if I have to start dropping weight, this waist pack has everything I need to continue on my journey. The next pack I have is a smallish backpack. For me, the backpack rests on the waist pack, thereby putting a portion of its weight on my hips instead of on my shoulders. This backpack carries the Camelback, and more equipment, clothing, and food. I also have two separate add on packs that are about 10 inches high and 4 inches deep and 6 inches wide that can be attached to the mollys of the backpack, or can be set up for carrying on my thighs. One of them is a full FAK / trauma kit, and the other carries a camp stove and cooking gear.

I find this modular system really excellent because I can carry much more weight by placing most of it on my hips instead of on my shoulders. It keeps my center of gravity low and that helps my balance. I think that a waist pack like this could be used along with the Camelback Mule for your girlfriend.
 

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Renaissance Man
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7,503 Posts
A petite 40 year old woman? I'd stick closer to 15lbs. Maybe 20 if she's pretty athletic and used to hiking.

Water is the most important thing, after that proper clothing, her personal stuff, etc. If she's going to be with you, you can plan on carrying the majority of the food, shelter, etc. Give her enough to survive for a bit should you become seperated; like maybe let her carry the rain fly for the tent while you carry the rest. And something she can eat without heating up like energy bars or something, while you carry the stove, fuel, and bulk of the food.

Considering the AO, 4-6l of water is going to weigh between 8-12lbs, so it doesn't leave room for much else.

If she likes the pack that's great, but if she really is going to be carrying 35 lbs, you need to get a real pack that fits her and puts all the weight on her hips. It's not a big deal with 10-15lbs, but it makes a huge difference in comfort with 35.

And make sure she knows how to do everything... set up the tent, purify water, start a fire, cook, etc. Skills are of significant importance as well.

Az
 

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Errrrr
Joined
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5,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Are you asking about a pack or stuff to go in it?
Stuff to go in the Camelbak Mule I got her. She loves the pack and wants mine...but I love that pack too so I just got her one.

I want to get her some basics that are not really personal preference items but necessary.

TRyan those are good suggestions. I'll pick those up this week.

In this waist pack, I carry all my basics including a small fishing kit, a small first aid kit, a small pill kit with several medications, a fire starting kit, a Sawyer mini, water purification tablets, a 5x7 backpacking tarp, a fishnet type hammock, a multi tool, 50 feet of paracord, 6 metal tent stakes (nail type), small bottles / spray cans of insect repellent, after bite, and sunscreen, chapstick, an extra pair of socks and underwear, a mosquito head net, a rain poncho, a couple of bandanas, a couple of biner clips and key rings, a couple of N95 masks, toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, nail clippers, a knife sharpener, a commando saw, an SOL emergency bivy, a roll of camping toilet paper, a pack of gum, Gorilla Tape, and several Kind bars.
Your post was helpful.

Here is what I'm thinking so far:

Sawyer mini
Purification tablets
Streamlight or Surefire
A couple BIC lighters
550 Cord
Space blanket
Bivy (good idea egad!)
TP/Baby wipes
poncho,
Leatherman Micra
Knife
IFAK (I will custom build this for her and teach her how to use its components)

I will leave out food sources, and probably everything else I will just help her decide what to get as she desires. I want to leave room for it to grow with her personal prefences.
 

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Eclectic
Joined
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1,894 Posts
Here is what I'm thinking so far:

Sawyer mini
Purification tablets
Streamlight or Surefire
A couple BIC lighters
550 Cord
Space blanket
Bivy (good idea egad!)
TP/Baby wipes
poncho,
Leatherman Micra
Knife
IFAK (I will custom build this for her and teach her how to use its components)
If you are going with just a space blanket, and not a tarp, I would suggest this one:

http://www.cabelas.com/product/the-original-space-174-brand-s-all-weather-blanket/713345.uts?searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3FrecordsPerPage%3D18%26No%3D0%26N%3D0%26nl%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dspace%252Bblankets%26search%3DSearch&No=0&Ntk=AllProducts&Ntt=space+blankets

It's 5'x7', very heavy duty, and has grommets If she needs to stake it. It comes in red (if it's a survival situation and she wants to be found) or olive drab (if its for bugging out and she wants to avoid detection).
 

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Semper Fi
Joined
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8,962 Posts
If you can't pare down the weight then you will need to find a better pack. One that is designed to allow women to carry weight and has a properly designed waist belt to allow some of that weight to be comfortably carried by the hips.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
Joined
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33,622 Posts
Sawyer mini
Purification tablets
Streamlight or Surefire (Suggest an eveready headlamp).
A couple BIC lighters
550 Cord
Space blanket (Suggest a grabber aluminized tarp.
Bivy (good idea egad!) YES!
TP/Baby wipes
poncho,
Leatherman Micra
Knife
IFAK
Button compass and Silva ranger. And a Map.
Either an ACR or other brand personal Distress Satellite beacon. (or a SPOT)
Spare power for cell phone. (couple spare Batts, charged up recharger).
Dental floss.
Couple dry flies, fly leader, some spider wire, on a line winder, couple split shots, couple hooks and swivels, and a ferrule for a makeshift pole
Ball cap
100% DEET little spritz bottle
head net
good hiking shoes, wool socks, mechanix gloves. Couple clothing items per the weather.
mole skin, a little duct tape on a credit card,
SWAT tourniquet, alcohol and benzalconium towelettes, sting relief wipes, Benedryl tabs, sinus tabs, Naproxin, Aspirin, Bandaids, Gauze, Neosporin, Super Glue, eye wash cup and some eye wash solution. Baking soda, toothbrush, Needle, thread, safety pins. Ferrocium rod, Leatherman Rebar, Victorinox Night Manager.
very lightweight sleeping bag. SS round canteen cup. metal water bottle.
2 Bandanas.
Small AM/FM radio with ear buds.
Hiking stick.
Nice washcloth, small towel. Soap, mouthwash.
Whistle, mirror, mag glass, tweezers,
2 MREs. 5 hour energy shots. Instant coffee packets. Couple things of Instant Oatmeal.
 

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Registered
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16,146 Posts
I have set my "Mule" set up as a 3-4 day survival pack with Sawyer mini (including the bladder and back-flush syringe), original bladder, 5'X7' reflective tarp, hammock, bivy bag, paracord, two Mountain House meals, two packages of Spam, a tin with fishing gear, a tin with fire starting cotton balls, an aluminum plate, a spoon, a small package of tissues, and a frog-tog rain poncho/tarp.

It is filled to the max and weighs in at just under 8 pounds, although it is also augmented by my EDC which consists of a magnesium fire starter, three blade pocket knife, 5 function flashlight, multi tool , skull cap/bandanna, and a reasonable amount of cash.

Also, if I am setting out with my survival bag, I will be carrying my military canteen with cup and stove base and a bic lighter.

All together, I think I have less than $300 into everything.
 

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Errrrr
Joined
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5,680 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
A petite 40 year old woman? I'd stick closer to 15lbs. Maybe 20 if she's pretty athletic and used to hiking.

Water is the most important thing, after that proper clothing, her personal stuff, etc. If she's going to be with you, you can plan on carrying the majority of the food, shelter, etc. Give her enough to survive for a bit should you become seperated; like maybe let her carry the rain fly for the tent while you carry the rest. And something she can eat without heating up like energy bars or something, while you carry the stove, fuel, and bulk of the food.

Considering the AO, 4-6l of water is going to weigh between 8-12lbs, so it doesn't leave room for much else.

If she likes the pack that's great, but if she really is going to be carrying 35 lbs, you need to get a real pack that fits her and puts all the weight on her hips. It's not a big deal with 10-15lbs, but it makes a huge difference in comfort with 35.

And make sure she knows how to do everything... set up the tent, purify water, start a fire, cook, etc. Skills are of significant importance as well.

Az
I don't think the MULE is big enough to even get that heavy, but I just remembered she said that. She handled my pack which weighed probably 15-20 pounds without problems including the water source. She is actually in better shape than many women half her age. I think she can crack walnuts with her legs! We did a 4 mile hike in Yosemite and it barely phased her. And she did it barefoot!

I'm not trying to build her the end all be all pack, just something she can use camping, hiking, and in an emergency. I am not buying her a sleeping system or tent anything. I am thinking of getting her the old school USGI poncho that works great as a poncho, tarp, or tent.

If you are going with just a space blanket, and not a tarp, I would suggest this one:

http://www.cabelas.com/product/the-original-space-174-brand-s-all-weather-blanket/713345.uts?searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3FrecordsPerPage%3D18%26No%3D0%26N%3D0%26nl%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dspace%252Bblankets%26search%3DSearch&No=0&Ntk=AllProducts&Ntt=space+blankets

It's 5'x7', very heavy duty, and has grommets If she needs to stake it. It comes in red (if it's a survival situation and she wants to be found) or olive drab (if its for bugging out and she wants to avoid detection).
That looks great! Thanks, I might pick up one for her and for myself as well!

If you can't pare down the weight then you will need to find a better pack. One that is designed to allow women to carry weight and has a properly designed waist belt to allow some of that weight to be comfortably carried by the hips.
I noticed she doesn't use the waist belt on packs. Personally I think she should as that would help a lot, but with this pack we are not trying to build the end all be all INCH bag. This is really for a hiking, GHB, light BOB, and a starter for her camping gear too.

Yall I appreciate the awesome input here, good stuff.

Currently
 

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Eclectic
Joined
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1,894 Posts
Streamlight or Surefire (Suggest an eveready headlamp).

Ball cap
I picked up a ball cap that has LED lights fixed under the bill. It has two sets of lights, one is regular white light, and the other is green light to preserve night vision, and for blood tracking in the dark. I find it a lot more comfortable than my headlamp, and can wear it all the time. If I need light, I just reach up and squeeze the little button under the bill.
 

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reluctant sinner
Joined
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17,545 Posts
She needs to decide what to pack after she puts in some miles on the trail. How far/long is the get home trip? What weather and is there any water resupply along the way? Datrex 3600 cal. bars store well and are compact in size and 2#. 1 per day is stevedore calories, or every 3 days for laying about calories.

I'd pay extra for all the titanium and down ultra light weight stuff. Better to have stuff she can and will carry than stuff she throws away to lighten her pack.

I have had my Ti Spork forever. I got this cookset, haven't field tested it yet. I like the double boiler option - I plan to use it for makings saves and meds.
http://www.amazon.com/HealthPro-Titanium-Lightweight-3-Piece-Cookware/dp/B00MV6WAE0
 

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Patiently Waiting
Joined
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6,039 Posts
In my hiking experience, these are the most important things to have in your pack - Simple but well stocked FAK, minimum 3L of water plus a filter straw, spare socks, warm top, poncho (even a $1 emergency poncho will suffice), 6 muesli bars, fire kit, decent headlamp/flashlight with spare batteries, bug spray/sunscreen and a whistle.

There's plenty of other things you can take with you if you want, but for me, I simply don't go on a trail if every item I've listed isn't in my pack, even if it's just a one hour hike. All of that will fit in a small (20L) back pack and you can walk all day without even noticing it until you take it off.
 

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Banned
Joined
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46,784 Posts
The back pack story :D:

Wifey and I aren't spring chickens anymore :confused:

Sooo in the beginning of the summer we go for a hike / walk w/ our BOB's --

After about 5-ish miles --

"Its to heavy" :mad:

"Its as heavy as it needs to be" -- "Its about 3 miles back to the Jeep - if I carry your pack to -- I'll get a mile ( lie ) -- then you'll go alone -- don't get lost" ?

"Ok - I'll try" :mad:

When we got home --

"Take some crap out of it" ! :mad:

"I dump her's on the living room floor next to a cardboard box -- the first thing I pick up - explain in painful detail why she / we need it --

"OK - put it back" :thumb:

The box was empty at the end of my little lesson -- the next time we went out - I added 4 cans of soup and didn't tell her --

Then I went to hiding bricks in the bottom ------- 6 months later she was humping about 15 lbs. more -- 15-ish miles :thumb:

And for me --- us -- I never tell her how much it weigh's ;)
 

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Semper Fi
Joined
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8,962 Posts
.....I noticed she doesn't use the waist belt on packs. Personally I think she should as that would help a lot, but with this pack we are not trying to build the end all be all INCH bag. This is really for a hiking, GHB, light BOB, and a starter for her camping gear too. .....
A waist belt is mandatory if she is going to carry any real weight, as otherwise the shoulders get beat to death way to early.
 

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Banned
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3,000 Posts
Andrew Jackson, I have been using my Camelback MULE for over 10 years now, mostly for hunting in the mountains. This bag should work great for her, i highly recommend it!



If you wish to expand the carry capacity, you can add on a MOLLE pouch, like this 5.11 brand 6 X 6 pouch to the MOLLE panel on the lower pack pouch:



http://www.511tactical.com/66-pouch.html

As for what I would put in her pack:

- sheath knife, appropriate size

- Leatherman Wave with bit kit

- good LED flashlight with spare batteries. try one with red lens filter

- 2 - 3 chem lights, red, preserve night vision

- stryke force ferro rod & two bic lighters

- SOL reflective survival bivy http://www.surviveoutdoorslonger.com/survival-1/shelter/survive-outdoors-longer-escape-bivvy.html

- energy bars & water purification tabs

- 4 emergency water pouches (the lifeboat type, emergency drinking water) this is just in case her water tank in the Camelback got a hole)

- 25 - 50 ft paracord

- metal cup or aluminum baking pan that can be folded & stored easily to save room

- Gerber Mil-Spec Concertina Wire Cutters to assist with E & E through barbed wire or chain link fence.


- FAK with blowout kit (quik clot, large pressure bandage, tampon)

- an 8X or 10X monocular to help finding a safe path ahead.

- compass & map of the area with 3 plotted routes home at least.

- handgun/ammo/spare mags

- trash bag (poncho/2ndary shelter)

- small two-way radio to listen to radio traffic, with ear bud for silent listening. plus could contact you as she gets closer to home.

- 4 to 5 ft bailing wire coiled up small, this stuff comes in surprisingly useful at times for many things.

- small squirt bottle of lighter fluid. used to start warming/cooking fires. Also, can be used to set grass/buildings on fire to slow down pursuers.
 
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