Bug-Out-Bag Revisited, viz Hunting

The Hunter Education class covered the issue of self-preservation and lost-hunter survival, so that brought to mind the Bug Out Bags and a need to re-visit their status, review the contents, and update their condition.
Also the bags seem to have grown overly heavy somehow. I want to figure out where and how the weight-gain has occurred. Since the whole purpose is to travel light and leave no footprint, how have I over-packed? I’m guessing it’s just me and my kitchen-sink approach.
Maybe I need to separate-out the 72-hour rescue-camping stuff from the rest. That means Shelter, Fire, and Water are one unit, and First-Aid is a separate entity. One area of Shelter is bedding, and maybe the cheap fluffy sleeping bag is heavy – for sure it takes up a lot of space. It’s not a four-season bag or anything like that either, and it doesn’t pack-down, so maybe some compression sacks are in order – and a smaller, more versatile unit.
“Two is one and one is none” is a great utilitarian philosophy, but it also begs the question of weight and sustainability. Three of everything adds up very quickly on the scale. This ain’t no Army with a deuce and a half to haul stuff. How much can you really carry, how much can SHE really carry, and how do we shrink the overall load? If we get separated, which is likely given two different houses – each needs what they need independent of the other – and we’re not even talking guns and ammo yet. So what is the minimum?
As far as First-Aid goes, snakebite up here is a real possibility and the main culprit is the Pacific Coast Rattler. Don’t even THINK to do the cut-and-suck thing, unless you’re over six-hours out from Medical – but especially not if you have anything “going on” in your mouth. But if you’re dealing with a chest-area gunshot wound you need TWO halo seals, one for entry and one exit. And tourniquet.
Finally for the hunt I need some binoculars, because the mounted scope makes a poor resolver of vision and identification issues and a spotting scope is a big-ass lug-item. I don’t know whether I’m gonna be snoozing in a blind or still-hunting, but definitely not reaching out across some canyon. Things here are vertical and close and bushy, so “canyon hopping” could mean a 1,000 foot descent followed by a 1,000 foot ascent – all in a 500-foot, as-the-crow flies distance. Down and Up. That’s not how I want this to proceed, not what I’m in shape-for, and also not how I figure it will work-out. I’m thinking a 70-yard shot from a blind at most. Probably a smelly-nasty blind with tattered windows too…

About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

12 thoughts on “Bug-Out-Bag Revisited, viz Hunting

  1. Weight can be addressed by shopping where the serious backpackers shop. That is REI or Erehwon (No where spelled backwards) Cabela’s and Bass Pro and the like have great stuff, but they always assume you are traveling by ATV, SUV or pickup truck. Backpackers count every ounce. There are cooking pots designed for using small twigs as opposed to white gas or propane. Though they won’t do a lot. For freeze dried food, all you need to do is boil water.

    Depending on the age of your pack, you might look at these as well. The new packs are fairly good. Get one with a built-in rain fly. The internal frames that are popular today take a bit of getting used to.if you are used to external frame packs.

    There are cooking pots that will charge stuff when they are hot. Always advertised for phones etc. But there should be some lights that they can charge. Or other batteries.

    Epirbs are way cheap today. Personal locators are less than 500 bucks, though the batteries are only good for 48 hours. SPOT is also interesting. A decent GPS will keep you from getting lost. Do you have maps for your area? The .gov has decent topo maps you can download, or they will sell you paper copies.

    Sleeping bags and pads are not what is weighting you down. Or they shouldn’t be. Is cold an issue? Mummy bags are smaller, lighter and warmer than rectangles. North Face 40 degree bag weighs in at just under 2.5 pounds. A zero degree bag will add another pound.

    Tents are where backpackers leave the rest of us behind. The weight of the tent will also depend on how large it is, and if you really need a 4-season tent. Camping in the snow is no fun, but you may have to do it in an emergency.

    Don’t forget water filters. The Life Straw is relatively cheap. Small, light and will protect you from most stuff.

    Do you have to travel strictly by pack? The terrain will determine. Cabela’s has a nice “game cart” for hauling your kill back to the truck. Could carry a lot of gear if they terrain cooperates.


    • I used-to be a backpacker! Those are all really good points, the pack is pretty new, a Deuter internal frame – I need to pull everything out and look at where the weight is coming from and maybe invest in Titanium. 🙂 We have inch-scale topo maps of all the local grids at the general store.


  2. It’s always the trade offs that get you… Figure out safety first, then absolute survival minimums, then ammo. Any left over gets ‘creature comforts’… IMHO…


  3. Just put mine on the scale. With the big Swiss Army knife and my EPIRB, and the bag it all lives in now, mine gained a pound to 2.54lbs.

    I can send you a picture of the whole thing exploded, if you are interested (or really, really bored).


  4. I grew up spending a ton of time outdoors, almost always away from any kind of easy assistance or rescue from other people. Because of that, I have always carried with me a minimum “remain overnight” kit. When I have to spend a night out, I want it to be an inconvenience and maybe uncomfortable, but not a disaster. Surprisingly little gear is required to bridge the distinction between disaster and discomfort.

    I use a wilderness emergency kit that I always carry with me. Smaller than a shaving kit, weighs about a pound and a half, not very sophisticated, and based around the “10’c of survivability.” you can look them up easily online.

    Knife. if you’re hunting you probably already have one on your belt. I carry a very large Swiss Army knife. I like having all the little tools.

    Contractor garbage bag. This is your emergency poncho, rain shelter, water still, ground cloth. Don’t leave home without it.

    Bivvy bag. I use the Sol two person emergency bag. It’s about the size of a can of coke weighs about an ounce and a half. It’s good for about two nights, or one night sleeping on gravel. Also works as an emergency blanket.

    Small Bic lighter.

    Small AAA headlamp.

    20 feet of paracord.

    Emergency whistle.

    Oversized bandana (because of my huge, melon shaped head.)

    Golf pencil with 10 feet of duct tape carefully spooled on to it.

    The last one third of a roll of toilet paper, inside a ziplock bag. Take your first aid items and stuff them in the tube and then squeeze it flat.

    48 hours worth of prescription and other medication, including prescription pain medication if prescribed so that you can walk out on a twisted ankle or such. Don’t forget Tylenol, ibuprofen, imodium, potassium and magnesium pills, and antihistamines.

    32 ounce single wall stainless steel water bottle. Cheap and cheesy is the answer here. You want to be able to fill this with nasty murky water from a stock tank, which you have filtered through your t-shirt or your bandana, and set the whole thing in your small campfire and when it starts to boil you have clean water.

    I also carry a tube of Carmex, which, when smeared on a square of toilet paper makes a great fire starter. Another luxury is a small mosquito net hat, because those things drive me insane. The last specific item for myself is an EPIRB, which my wife insists I carry because of my heart condition.

    Less than 2 lbs, about half the size of a shaving kit. First thing in the bottom of my day pack. In addition, always carry a coat, hat, gloves, and a few high calorie snacks, and you’re good for a night or two away from civilization if you have to.

    I’ve had 5 or 7 unplanned overnights, and none has ever turned into a crisis. the people I go with know that if I don’t come back at night it’s not a problem, but if I’m not back by the second night it is.


    • Overseas we always just removed the TP tube, and rolled up in a “lungi” rto sleep – and if a cobra didn’t get you you were fine. But the temps often stayed around 90 throughout the night and dipped to a chilly 80 in the early mornings…


  5. A friend has his bug out bag sorted into various Rubbermaid containers, labeled as to the contents. I believe there are four of them set up for different levels ie walking away versus getting in your car and going somewhere safer.

    Keep in mind that compression sleeping bags aren’t supposed to be stored compressed so that would require some sort of space where they were hung and then packed when the time came to leave.

    I would be interested in more on what you have and what you change as I haven’t gotten around to putting anything together. It keeps seeming like sort of a daunting task that can be put off for some other time.


    • I’m thinking soft-bags for organizing, but Rubbbermaid works and could double as food-gear/eating utensil!
      I don’t want to have to wait around because I dither, so packed in advance is best for me. Point about compression bags is good and taken. I think the sleeping-bag itself is the single biggest issue at the moment – and an insulated pad to put beneath it.
      The (emergency) bivvy-sack might work – and I think I have one, and there seems to be a variety of them, from those that breathe and those that don’t – but somewhere I have heard they are pretty much a one-time use-item and hard to get back into or fold/roll-up and return to their package…
      Also, personally for cover I like a tarp/rain-fly that can be strung six ways to Sunday and is lighter than a tent – but that might be a bit hard to get right in a two-up situation.
      I have to get further into this, to get out of it!


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