Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This, That and the Other

Well, the new year is well-upon us. We've already celebrated Lee-Jackson Day in the olde Dominion, which means the march towards February draws ever nearer.


You know, it's kinda crazy. I am almost more excited about bags than my wife these days. I picked up a new EDC bag, an Everest Sling Bag in black, and I'm digging it. In fact, it is roomier and more functional than I had initially believed, and for $22 shipped, it was a deal.

My operator's bag and Bauer bag served their purpose, but were ultimately unwieldy for me. The Bauer bag looked cool and was durable, but lacked form and swung around everywhere when I walked. The pockets were always a concern, since they remained open and if thrown around would lose their contents. The Operator's Bag was spacious and bulky, but ultimately looked like a computer briefcase and was not something I wanted to continue using. Carrying it over the shoulder was a chore usually and it was unhappy to open and close all the time. I stopped wanting to carry it because it seemed to lend itself to gathering junk and the zippers started to break.

Enter the sling bag. Over the shoulder and tight to the body--it comes with an optionally used waste belt to keep it put. It's not too big or too small, but just right, and one could fit a decent amount of gear in this thing fairly simply, including Dave Canterbury's 5 C's. The top flap actually unfolds and reveals a pocket on the bag, perfect for a set of gloves and a bandana or cap to hang out in and be grabbed in a hurry.

Overall, I like the bag and like the way it rides. I hope to do a video review in the future of the pack and its contents, just for the hell of it and because I have the itch. There's aren't a lot of people I know locally who dig gear and Bushcraft, so I guess you could say I need to find other ways to express my enthusiasm.


You know, there's a lot of hype on a 72-hour kit, and outdoor survival, EDC and all the rest in the prepping world, so now that I have my thoughts somewhat organized on the matter, I am going to put them
out there for the record.

First, I think the best approach to emergency gear is a tiered approach: 1.) What's on your person; 2.) what's within arm's reach (your EDC bag); 3.) and what's in your pack and other gear that may be available, either in your car or homestead/camp.

A decent EDC bag eliminated the need for a fanny pack approach to carrying stuff. My daily on person EDC now consists of two knives, (a FERO rod shall be ordered shortly, 'cause Bass Pro Shops sucks nuggets--a topic for another post), wallet, phone, and sidearm. Everything else I need for immediate 72-hour survival goes in the sling bag with room to spare.

This negates the need for a traditional "Bug Out Bag" loadout, which I now pproach as my overnight bag with changes of clothes and other items as needed. Frankly, the only place I am generally buggin' out to is my in-laws. Only in the worst possible scenario would I be camping in the woods or elsewhere in an emergency situation, in which case my EDC should be able to get me through.

This isn't to beat a dead horse, but I think the philosophy of carrying a minimal but solid EDC (with an overnight bag in the car if you commute far away) is a good way to go.

Back to the main subtopic.

Re-discovering Bushcraft has opened my eyes to a number of things. The first is that not everyone has to become a Bushcrafter to learn how to survive a 72-hour or minor emergency-type scenario. It helps, but is not necessary. Some basic skills, knowledge, and gear will do the job.

But if you are obsessive, like me, Bushcraft is the next logical step after basic and advanced preparedness. At some point, you are still "a prepper" or "homesteader" but want more primitive skills,
and the Bushcrafting world is where you end up.


After refinancing our property, I am more content to work on being here, where I am at. I have no ambitions to leave our 1.3 acre property anymore, except perhaps to camp or whatever. That said, there's
plenty to do here, like cutting firewood and building a fence, among other things.

How does this relate? Well, I'm starting to see this place as my permanent camp set-up. My house is mix of rural cottage and quasi-cabin. It will retain that blend moving forward, but seeing it as such--instead of just another fixer upper--gives me the motivation to continue what I've started and make the place a more happy and liveable longterm structure.

With that, I am considering doing some video for the hell of it on my latest projects. I spend too much time on the internet

Over and out, Peep(s). God Bless.


1 comment:

Martin Schap said...

Your bag looks sweet. I have often considered that shoulder strap setup, as a messenger bag is not comfortable to carry very much, and a backpack often gets in the way of my pistol. It seems that we are at the same place in terms of our EDC bag vs. BOB thoughts. I am a big fan of the "vehicle kit" concept as a way to keep a little more gear and more heavy duty gear near by to supplement the EDC bag. As to carrying a ferro rod on your person- check out the Exotac Nano if you haven't already. I've had one on my keychain for a while now, and it's a nice piece of gear. I still keep a big fat Swedish Army model in my HPG kit bag, but for the pocket the Nano is great.
Thanks for the video. I need to watch more of that series.