Home ~ Start Here ~ Computers ~ Communication ~ Organization ~ Family Photos

anatomy of my backpack

Stuff I keep in my backpack, because hurricane zone and swamp.

on the outside

carry handle

  • my "boodle bag", which holds pocket stuff and jewelry when it's not on me; this is tied with a clove hitch to a carabiner; it contains/i carry:
  • * a compact, non-vented, viral mask
  • * an ostensibly-clean handkerchief
  • * my passport
  • * my key-keeper (an old-fashioned, 70's style with hooks inside a snapping leather wrap
  • * my wallet
  • * a pen-knife with a roughly-ground edge, for sawing and scraping, especially if i'm eating wild game or fish
  • * a large, sharp, folding knife that clips to my pocket
  • * a combination whistle, compass, thermometer, and magnifier that clips on a carabiner on my belt loop
  • * a tube of chap stick
  • * a small, rectangular pill case with emergency migraine and dizziness meds, just in case (stuff happens when you're stuck in the woods)
  • * a lens cleaning cloth, and two lens-cleaning wipes (i wear glasses)
  • * two challenge coins: an Ubuntu challenge coin from my company, and a Navy Brat challenge coin (OBO my two Navy dads)
  • * two collapsible, rite-in-the-rain pens
  • * a thin, four-inch Milwaukee flashlight with a very powerful beam
  • * a second zipper-wallet, containing two SwissCards, a monkey-tool, and a large (6x4) band-aid; the tools available include:
  • ** a keyhole flashlight
  • ** two short knives
  • ** a pen
  • ** two pairs of tweezers
  • ** a pair of scissors
  • ** several screwdrivers (four slot, two phillips)
  • ** a serrated knife
  • ** two bottle and can openers
  • ** two magnifiers
  • ** three rulers
  • ** a butterfly wrench
  • ** a manual direction finder
  • ** a short sawblade
  • ** several nut/bolt wrenches in varying sizes
  • ** a flint-and-steel
  • ** a button compass (but it doesn't seem to work very well)
  • * my jewelry, which includes:
  • ** a 200ft paracord bracelet
  • ** a tool bracelet, which includes:
  • * five socket wrenches, in varying (common) sizes
  • * five slot screwdrivers, from jeweler's to large
  • * three phillips head screwdrivers, with three different pitches
  • * four allen wrenches in varying (common) sizes
  • * two wide-blade allen wrenches (rare, but useful)
  • * one glass-breaking tip
  • * two wire-cutters in large and small sizes
  • glow-at-night wire wrapped around the handle so i can find it in the dark (also on all zippers)

right-side back strap

  • a small first aid kit; this will handle 20% of average first-aid needs
  • my large swiss army knife and pouch; this will handle 90% of my typical tool needs; includes:
  • * three pieces of rite-in-the-rain paper
  • * a morse code and knot guide
  • * an extensive first-aid guide
  • * two small band-aids
  • * a large fishing kit
  • * a signal mirror, with the center hole (which is essential for it to do any good)
  • * a whistle with a waterproof message compartment (and paper)
  • * a rite-in-the-rain pencil
  • * a really-good map compass, rule, and scale
  • * a small sheet of magnesium foil for field welding
  • * a magnifier
  • * a phillips-head screwdriver
  • * large and small slot scredsrivers
  • * pliers and wire cutters
  • * large scissors
  • * a large sawblade
  • * a fish scaler
  • * a ruler (heh -- attached to the fish scaler, go figure that one)
  • * a three-way file
  • * long and short knife blades
  • * a can opener
  • * a bottle opener
  • * a corkscrew
  • * a jeweler's screwdriver
  • * a straight pin
  • * a leather awl
  • * a weaving hook
  • * two chisels
  • * a pair of tweezers
  • * an ink pen
  • * a toothpick
  • a small pair of tasco binoculars

left-side back strap

  • a small-but-tough flashlight, clipped to a built-in loop
  • my portable Yaesu ham radio, carried when we're in hurricane mode

flat front pocket zip

  • my "peace, love, ubuntu" keychain

strapped over the left outer pocket

  • a 100', 800lb rope
  • four 350lb carabiners
  • assorted non-weight-bearing carabiners

strapped over right outer pocket

  • a compact, blow-up air mattress

on the inside

right outer pocket

  • a multi-function camp hatchet; this has some built in tool functions (e.g., large bolts), as well as an included flint and steel and a bunch of orange paracord
  • an inflatable camp pillow
  • a silver emergency/camp blanket
  • a tarp large enough to make a "tent"; it's also orange, so my preference is to use the paracord from the hatchet to string up the "tent"

left outer pocket

  • a small bottle of hand sanitizer
  • 2l collapsible water jug
  • water filter straw, does many, many gallons

flat front pocket

  • a usb-to-mini-d-shaped short charging cable (fits most of my equipment)
  • a bag of mesh stuff bags
  • a small amount of US and EU currency (enough buy water and snacks)
  • a neck strap for the water filter straw
  • two vented anti-viral masks with PM 2.5 filters

front large pocket

  • spare phone charger with wall plug
  • spare socks and underwear
  • keychain with some old keys i haven't matched to locks, a keyhole flashlight, and an Ubuntu LTS USB drive
  • two orange, belt-style, heavy rubber straps with pin-thru-hole closure
  • two rolls of US quarters for vending machines, laundromats, etc
  • a back-up bottle of prozac, a med i do better with than without
  • short and long combs
  • two collapsible, rite-in-the-rain pens
  • a small bottle of aleve
  • a small rite-in-the-rain notebook
  • a small copy of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence
  • a Humalog injector with needle attached

middle large pocket

  • a package of flossers, which i'll carry at least until i get my tooth fixed
  • a wind-it-generator AM/FM/WB radio, with a large flashlight on one end
  • a second, larger camp pillow
  • a small zipper case with USB drives; some of them have stored documents and photos
  • a zippered "power and data" pouch, which has:
  • * my spare phone
  • * an EU plug adapter
  • * a collection of adapter tips for my computer adapter
  • * a small battery that will power a cell phone for an extra cycle
  • * a much longer phone USB charging cord and wall adapter
  • * a leather-bound tape measure (6ft, maybe?)
  • * a 2TB backup hard drive with USB cable
  • * a large first aid kit, which will cover 80% of your field needs; anything much worse, and you need a paramedic

back large pocket

  • a circular case with survival tabs: at least enough to last a couple of weeks
  • a nylon stuff pack with five bags of trail soup; each bag feeds two people for one meal
  • a black hard case with meds, including:
  • * gasx
  • * tylenol
  • * aleve
  • * benadryl
  • * lens cleaners
  • * santizer wipes
  • * eight days of my regular medicines; eight days is far from enough for a direct hurricane hit, but within a week, there will be volunteer medical teams that can give you 30-day prescriptions in most situations
  • a clear hard case with basic camp needs, including:
  • * waterproof matches
  • * another flint and steel
  • * a paracord bracelet, handy to wear in the field when you're doing disaster work
  • * a compass in a metal case; i also wear a reliable button compass / thermometer on my belt in normal times
  • * two ring and chain saws, in a plastic bag so they don't abrade everything else
  • * two small wind-it flashlights with keychain clips
  • * a fire-blowing tube (for getting fires to start)
  • * a small slug of duct tape on a metal hanger loop
  • * a bit of paracord for short tie-offs
  • * a combo mess spoon-fork-knive with whistle
  • * a couple of collapsible cups (coffee capable)
  • * a credit-card-sized, unfoldable guide to field work during a disaster; has a magnifier with it -- this helps a lot more than you'd think, because it has lots of checklists for different situations that you wouldn't necessarily have through thru
  • * a bottle of electrolyte tablets (comes in a lot handier than you'd think for people who've been dehydrated for a while; prevents medical intervention often)
  • * quick-reference guides for:
  • ** fire-building
  • ** primitive cooking
  • ** paracord usage
  • ** knots
  • ** way finding (including the "radial search" method of staking yourself to a center point and spiraling out, which is absolutely awesome when searching for injured survivors -- you set up a base camp (tent, etc), stake yourself to it, and then fan out in a spiral; anyone you find, you move them back to base camp as soon as possible, where others on your team can care for them
  • ** shelter-building -- for when you're stuck in a disaster area for 3-4 weeks, and you need to set up a somewhat more durable shelter with latrine and cook areas
  • a basic ubuntu laptop with a large battery and charging cord with wall plug; you wouldn't think of this right away, but again, usually within three or four days, someone official will show up with a generator, and the person with the laptop is always tasked with managing rescue and recovery via simple spreadsheets, so it's almost always useful
  • a package of dude wipes; these come in handy for sooo many things
  • an extra spork and camp knife, both plastic, in case i need to share with somebody
  • a list of my daily routines, so i don't neglect basic hygiene and mental preparation during disaster times; again, handier than you might thing

Worth the weight

It's worth it to be prepared. Not a prepper; don't tell me conspiracy theories. Just prepared because stuff hits the fan.

Copyright (C) 2020-2023 by Stormrider.
All rights reserved.