Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Agent_Jaws
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Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Agent_Jaws » Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:51 pm

It was once again time to re-test my BOB and see if my bag load was up to snuff. This is sort of a follow-up to THIS thread where I took my bag out for a simple overnighter in the local area. Well for this time around I made a couple of quick changes, then went out and did it again. According to my Wii Fit the total pack weight came in at 60 pounds, which was a target weight for me and I wanted to see how tough of a go this would be. Here is a packing list of what I was carrying:

Pack
Kifaru MMR w/ XTL
Kifaru large pod
Kifaru 2-quart pouch (attached to waistbelt)

Electronics
1 x Princeton Tec EOS Rebel headlamp
1 x Custom 3 x CR123 light w/ Malkoff M60L lamp

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1 x Pelican Battery Case containing
- 17 x CR123 batteries
- 6 x AA batts
- 6 x AAA batts

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Clothing
2 pair Columbia Falmouth II wool socks ( = Smartwool medium hikers)
1 pair ExOfficio synthetic underwear
1 pair ACU-style pants
2 OD cotton/poly t-shirts (generic)
1 TAD Gear wool beanie
1 set Bass Pro synthetic long underwear (top & bottom, made with Polartec Power Dry fabric)
1 TAD Gear Stealth Hoodie v3.0 (Shark Skin, lightweight)
1 pair nomex gloves
1 pair Jack Daniels board shorts
1 pair Guinness slippers

No pics of clothing, sorry but it's mostly just basic stuff.

Fire
1 x LightMyFire Swedish FireSteel fire starter
6 x Ultimate Survival Wet Fire Tinder cubes
1 x Bic lighter
1 x vial wind & waterproof survival matches by Pro Force Equipment (25 matches)

Image

Camp Kitchen
1 x MSR Alpine Classic cookset
2 x GSI Lexan Deep Plate (9.75" diameter)
1 x GSI Camp Gourmet Telescoping Spatula
2 x MSR Packtowl Original (small)
2 x Light My Fire Spork
1 x Coffee mug

Image

Hydration
1 x MSR Miniworks EX water filter
2 x wide-mouth Nalgene bottle
1 x 102 oz Camelbak Omega Reservoir

Image

Sleeping
1 x Kifaru Regulator Slick sleeping bag w/ stuff sack
1 x Thermarest RidgeRest sleeping pad
1 x Coleman Fossil Creek tent

Image

Cutlery
1 x Ka-Bar knife
1 x Snow & Nealley Hudson Bay Camp Axe
1 x Gerber Multi-tool
1 x Kershaw folder

Image

Misc
1 x Wind Storm All-Weather Safety Whistle
1 x Pack wet wipes for wiping my ass
1 x spray tube hand sanitizer
1 x USGI non-tritium compass

I was too lazy to assemble this stuff for a pic :D

Food
2 x cups rice
1 x can tuna
3 x cups oatmeal
1 x 1.5 lb porterhouse steak
4 x granola bars
2 x single-serving packets of gummi bears
2 x packages beef jerky

FAK
Sorry don't have a breakdown of contents right now.

Weapon
Ruger P89 w/ Hogue grips
16 rounds Winchester hollow-point ammo
4 rounds 9mm snake shot

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Put it all together and it looks sorta like so:

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One piece I added to my kit that was a great help were the trekking poles. They are Leki Makalu poles and made a big difference in the speed at which we were able to move. My wife and I were able to make the trek in almost exactly 2 hours this time, increasing our speed by about 20%. Stability was noticably better as well, but the biggest improvement came when trying to climb uphill with all this stuff. Despite that I was carrying more weight than last time, I had an easier time getting up the hills because I was able to use my arms to help pull myself up with the poles, instead of relying on pure leg muscles. Great thing to add to a kit if you're carrying a lot of weight, and makes it easier to cross streams too :D

Once we got to camp we decided to test our survival knowledge and see if we could build a shelter. We decided on a simple shelter and tried to use as few tools as we could get away with. We ended up using the camp axe and worked this up:

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Starting off as a simple thing, I cut some green wood for a top pole and used the bark to tie it all together. It worked a little better than I had expected it to:

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Some other dry sticks were leaned up against one side while my wife cut some greenery to lay on top of it, ending up with this:

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We spent a total of maybe 20-30 minutes working on it and, if we needed to, we probably could've built one more complete or larger. We just kinda said "ok we got the concept, let's find something else to do" at that point. We were going to try to catch some more crawfish but had a hard time finding them. I thought maybe we should wait until after dark and try again, so instead we just built a fire and got to cooking:

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I had heard it would be difficult to cook rice over a camp fire so I wanted to try it out. I like rice as a food and it's pretty healthy, so may as well know if it'll work out or not. I cooked it in one of the pots of my cookset, just mixed it up like for my rice cooker at home and set it on the grill for a while. Came out pretty well:

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We also had a can of baked beans that my wife brought, so we cut the steak...

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And made our plates:

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Of course I didn't want my Kabar to rust, so I cleaned it off promptly:

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Last time I went out I barely used the Kabar, but this time I used it quite a bit. Used it for everything from cutting brush and small branches to cutting dinner. I was going to try and use it to open a can but I got lazy and too hungry to mess around with that (good thing the wife brought a can opener). Of the cutting tools I didn't use this time, the Kershaw folder was still on the list. I think that unless I am planning on getting fish, I'll consider leaving that at home instead. The axe is a definite keeper, the Kabar has merit as a good knife, and the multi-tool gets used for knifeing or the pliers, but the folder has yet to show me anything cool. Heck even my wife found a use for her Kabar, she sat around most of the afternoon carving spears (I don't know why either, but I know we were protected from vampires).

Later on that night we decided to try for crawfish again, so we went down to the creek with our headlamps and crawfishing gear. Turns out that crawfish are nocturnal, the creek was virtually swarming with them but they would try to run away from our lights. Despite that, we were able to snag a few:

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Snagged 6 before we called it quits, but there were plenty more available. We got all these literally within about 50 feet of our tent, mostly from the same spot that wasn't anything special. We weren't really hungry at this point due to the filling dinner but wifey wanted to cook them up anyway:

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I also tried cutting open a cactus while we were out to see if it was full of candy like I was told, but turns out it was just solid throughout with the texture of a watermellon rind, only not as wet (I was hoping for skittles). So what did we learn on this trip?

1) The desert is still friggin hot, and water weighs a ton
2) Shellfish hunting may be best done at night
3) You can build a house with just an axe, at least a temporary house
4) Trekking poles help a lot
5) Starting a fire in windy conditions is still hard
6) Nomex gloves are friggin great for helping you get to your food while it's on the fire, just get in and out quickly

Sucky thing is this was likely my last trip for a bit, looks like a vacation to the sandbox is in the cards again. I feel that this is a good weight load and in a survival situation I would probably swap the steak out for more rice/beans/oatmeal or possibly survival rations. The rest is a good fit, and while I could go lighter it would likely cost some comfort or durability that I would rather just get in better shape to keep. Hopefully while I'm in the desert I'll be able to get in better shape to make this sort of thing even easier.

So that was this trip, tonight it's chili, Guinness, and UFC 99.
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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by liberty45 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:34 pm

Wow very nice write up! Love the pictures!

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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by ninja steve » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:45 pm

The baked beans and rice sound pretty tasty. Be careful on your vacation.

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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Milkboot » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:47 am

-1 for Cactus not having skittles in them! >.<

+3 on the post :D

Did you put the crafish on the coals? noticed they looked like they had some charring on them.

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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Sckitzo » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:18 am

Hmm forgot we had crawfish in AZ :lol:

Good write up though man.

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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by mega-hertz » Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:21 am

i hate to sound like a douce :x :( but you should'nt mess with any cacti, unless it's life or death. a desert ecosystem is very fragile.
tread lightly friend :wink:
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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Agent_Jaws » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:16 pm

mega-hertz wrote:i hate to sound like a douce :x :( but you should'nt mess with any cacti, unless it's life or death. a desert ecosystem is very fragile.
tread lightly friend :wink:

Yes I know, but some cacti are edible and some less so. I didn't destroy the whole plant, just cut a small piece off. Now that I've done it once I'll never have to do it again to figure out 1) it's not full of water like the cartoons and 2) the rock moss is probably going to be more edible.


As for cooking the crawfish, we just threw them on top of the grill like the steak. Part of the cooking fiasco was to see if it really was hard to cook rice or if it would make a legit survival food. All testing indicates that there is no good reason to avoid rice since it packs small and provides a good supply of carbs. Plus it expands in water so it'll help fill you up faster. Of course the steak and crawfish side helped round things out :D
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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by ninja-elbow » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:09 pm

Nice :!:

Cactus is not full of bottled water? *I cry* :(

What kind of "rig" did you used for the crawdads? When I was a kid we'd use fishing line, a big bass hook, a chunk of meat and a flashlight with our baseball caps. You walk along the creek at night and spot your crawdad. You toss the meat out and drag it close and slow to the crawdad until it goes "hmrrrh?" and grabs onto it. You slowly pull it close and scoop it with you baseball cap.

I have used traps since then but I remember those days fondly.
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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Milkboot » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:33 pm

LOL the bayous behind my house use to have the lil mudbugs in them all the time,now nothing lives there. But we use to just tie edible stuff to the end of some string and pull them up. Never did it at night, we could always catch them during the day time. Was always to play with them. Never eat them. They were always small :P

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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Agent_Jaws » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:32 pm

We used pretty much that exact method to catch them, just took a strand from inside a piece of paracord, tied one end to a stick, the other end to a rock with a piece of meat attached. Then drop it near them until they decide to grab it up. We found that letting the little ones try to eat it would almost always attract the bigger ones, and catching them really was as easy as it is on tv.

When I was a kid we used to catch one, then rip the tail off and stick it on a wire (like a clothes hanger). We would then use the tail from the first one to catch the others, they don't really care what kinda food is there so long as it used to be an animal it seems.
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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Woods Walker » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:45 pm

Yea the trekking poles adds about 20% to distance and maybe an additional 5% on top of that if going up hill. Also it is harder to fall with 4 legs. I have included them with my BOB and INCH bag. For the makeshift shelter add another side to the lean-to and you get an A-frame. :D During last weekends family car camping trip I used my Ka-bar to open a can. Works good but everyone got the willies watching me. Crawfish are good eats.

Great write up.
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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Keith B » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:57 pm

+1 on the poles, I have one and am now going to add another.
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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Agent_Jaws » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:59 pm

Special treat for you guys if I can get this to work right, the wife put together a video of some of the crap we did, enjoy:

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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by The Highwayman » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:57 pm

Nice write-up man, and +1,000,000 to your missus for enduring like a champ, plus a bonus +5,000 for the video. I wish I could get my wife to do more than trek around the local state forest nature trail, but alas her mantra is "if the toilet doesn't go 'whoosh', I don't go" kinda limits her outdoor adventures.

Also, if God forbid you are headed back to the sandpit, Godbless, thank you for your service, and get your ass back here soon in one piece, to do some more awesome write-ups.

Godspeed, brother......
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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Stormrider » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:06 pm

I recently got the same cookset, cept mine is the Alpine Gormet that comes with the teapot, which IMO is awesome. Not only for tea but if all your packing is mountain house & oatmeal...just bring the teapot to heat your water in. You can get them seperate so if you ever have the spare change I'd highly recomend it.

I have not had mine for very long so I haven't gotten to use it much yet, how's yours? Any tips on using it?

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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by northernxposure » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:50 pm

Fantastic filming! Sense of humor required when that far from home, looks like you both had a great time.

To be honest I'm worried about the next trip out - you already made a significant jump in weight on this trip - I'd hate to see what else you could stuff into that pack!

:shock:


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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Agent_Jaws » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:15 am

The cookset works great, but it does take quite a bit of heat to get the water boiling good for some reason. Aside from recipies the only real tips I have are to use the cookset as a container for other things like some of the food while packing. The other thing I recommend is some type of glove (I use a nomex flight glove) for use in getting the pot on/off the fire. If you're using some kind of stove then it probably won't be too bad, but over an open fire there's a lot of heat and the glove will help protect your hand from losing hair or worse.


I think I've pretty much maxed out my load except for possibly additional food as I can't think of much else I would need/want in the field. Unfortunately the next time I get to pack up to go somewhere is when I head out to Iraq (for the third time) in a couple of weeks, but that's a whole different packing list really.
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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Mags » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:58 am

AJ, awesome write up, pics, and video. Thanks for allowing all us to tag along.

Just a reply to your gloves for fire cooking comments. I normally bring the white or tan leather military issue leather work gloves for use as my work/fire gloves. They protect my hands while working whether it's digging, cutting or gathering wood etc. They also have worked well for me when it comes to adjusting logs in the fire, cooking on coals, and retrieving pots and cans from the fire. I keep them mini-binered together and bring them along regardless of the season. On all of my packing list's I call them my "fire gloves." I figure it's much better to have them than get burned or even drop my chow in the fire cause my knuckles got burnt.

Figure your doing this already but, when I'm out on a "shakedown" hike or outing I always take out my notebook and keep tabs on what I use VS what I'm not using VS what I wish I had. I like to get it down on paper while it's fresh. Otherwise I'd forget the details and it's all in the details.
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Re: Ramping it up - 60 lbs over 7.5 miles and 2 days

Post by Cyanide41 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:26 am

Jaws.. where in AZ is that? I often go hunting near Arivaca.

That's awesome that your wife is such a trooper. My GF has never even been camping (though she is eager to rectify that).

The video was cool, but it would have been better if you cut out the music when talking.

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