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anatomy of my backpack

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This is just a list of things I keep in my backpack, which has a large, orange-and-black, military-style nametag declaring "STORMRIDER", which makes it easy for people to know that I'm actually doing humanitarian work during a storm. Since the weather is unpredictable where I live, it's generally with me everywhere, and it contains:

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

strapped over right outer pocket

  • a compact, blow-up air mattress

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"

strapped over the left outer pocket

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

left outer pocket

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

flat front pocket zip

  • my "peace, love, ubuntu" keychain

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

Yes, it's heavy, and yes, my pockets are really full

But it's worth it to be prepared. I'm not a prepper at all -- I don't subscribe to conspiracy theories about the downfall of the government and the invasion of the "others", who will bend us to their will unless we can hide in the woods. But I am willing to be prepared when "stuff" happens, which it will. Meh.

Changed 2023-03-02 Thu 14:36 in Crane Creek.
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