Which gas masks?

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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Which gas masks?

Post by alfred10 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:59 am

I was wondering what the top gas masks are. Please list country and model. Which ones defend against which gases?

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by mantis » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:11 am

The thing with gas masks is that unless you're properly trained with how to use them, they aren't that useful. In most cases, it's the filter, and not the mask, that determines which agents it will protect against. It's also important to note that many agents including some nerve agents, blood agents and blistering agents can be absorbed through the skin so a mask alone wont provide much protection at all. For full protection, you need a mask with an appropriate filter, a chemical suit, proper gloves (sealed to the sleeves of the suit) and proper boots (sealed to the pant legs of the suit). Of course you must also be trained on how to use all of those things.
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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by thechin » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:40 pm

1000 CBR-RCA NBC mask (nuclear, biological and chemical). But yeah you need the whole gear to stay protected, but if you have the money you might as well get one of the best available. Mask alone cost a little over $300, but it's significantly lighter than other masks and easy to don quickly(with practice).
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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by Gatorfarmer » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:18 pm

Any quality U.S. made (or other first world nation) mask purchased brand new with new sealed filters will work. Don't buy surplus and don't buy Israeli.

MSA (Mine Safety Appliances) is reputable maker. However, if you can't get your mask properly/professionally fit (such as done in industry)... well then the situation is less than ideal.

You want something that takes Nato standard filters if at all possible.

Different filters will filter out different things. For maximum utility, you want one specifically designed for an NBC environment.

The main reason for having one that is practical is for protection against riot control agents and home brew chlorine gas bombs. Protection against nerve agents... well yeah, you need a suit and a way to decon yourself.

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by alfred10 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:43 pm

Just bought 3 like this. Any info on the GERMAN CIVILIAN ZIVILSCHUTZFILTER 68? What will they stop and how long do filters last? How do I know if it will protect against riot control agents and oc gas? Will filters go bad if you store in car? Which models were USGI?


http://cgi.ebay.com/GERMAN-CIVILIAN-ZIV ... 286.c0.m14" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by alfred10 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by Gatorfarmer » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:50 pm

alfred10 wrote:Just bought 3 like this. Any info on the GERMAN CIVILIAN ZIVILSCHUTZFILTER 68? What will they stop and how long do filters last?


http://cgi.ebay.com/GERMAN-CIVILIAN-ZIV ... 286.c0.m14" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

That looks like one of the dubious Israeli civil defense masks circa the first Gulf War. The Izzies had issues with them and unloaded them surplus. Your filter is around 40 years old near as I can tell. Many of the Izzy masks shipped with filters of German make (ironic I suppose) with dates of mfg around '68/'69.

Current filters have "best by" dates on them. Three to five years, sometimes a bit longer. I think somebody came up with one good for decade or just over. I don't keep up quite as closely as I used to.

You can use the mask for a Halloween costume or a fetish ball, but toss the filters. Oh, you could try buying new NATO spec filters, but I'd be very concerned about how good the seals in that mask were.

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by alfred10 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:31 pm

How do I know which masks take nato filters? Which filters are best? I might pick up an M17 A1 for me and a pack of russian or something for my familly. My main purpose is the riot control agent protection. how do these look?

http://cgi.ebay.com/3-New-Russian-Gas-M ... 286.c0.m14" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by raptor » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:48 pm

There are many kinds of gas masks and this question has been the subject of many threads.

There really is no one mask addresses all concerns. There are many that offer many varies types of protection.

Here are some links to review:

http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/view ... 34&t=37637" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... &view=next" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here is a link to the ZS wiki on the topic
http://zombiehunters.org/wiki/index.php ... ent_Attack" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by raptor on Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by alfred10 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:10 pm

Im guessing an outdated mask is better than no mask. Why do the filters go bad if they are stored correctly? I found out that Russian GP5 masks are junk.

How about the Survivair 150.00 model?
http://www.approvedgasmasks.com/survivair-optifit.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by mantis » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:30 pm

alfred10 wrote:Im guessing an outdated mask is better than no mask. Why do the filters go bad if they are stored correctly? I found out that Russian GP5 masks are junk.

How about the Survivair 150.00 model?
http://www.approvedgasmasks.com/survivair-optifit.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Not particularly. An outdated mask or one with poor filters is as good as no mask.

That mask that you linked to appears to be a decent mask provided that:

1) You know how to use it correctly.
2) You have the correct filters.
3) You're not dealing with chemical/biological agents that don't have to be inhaled in order to infect/contaminate you.
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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by Gatorfarmer » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:13 pm

The MSA Advantage 1000, which saw/sees a lot of LE use, esp before everyone started getting the better NBC masks post 9/11, is a good mask against riot control agents. Should run under 150 new. You need an adapter for it to take Nato style filters, otherwise it uses bayonet style filters. A slight plus is that, last I checked prices, the MSA filters specifically for riot control agents were cheaper than Nato spec NBC (yeah I know, now CBRN, hold habits and all that...) filters. Unless it has changed, you can buy filters right from MSA and cut out the middle man.

If you just want protection against riot control agents, the MSA is probably still a good value. If you get the adapter and a few - three or so - NBC filters, you should have protection against chlorine which is probably the most likely home brew post SHTF gas attack agent. (If you see it billowing and it smells like the swimming pool on a hot day, get your mask on.) I was around for the old MSU riots in the late 90s. Those riot control agents billowed and spread. That's why I'm believer in having a mask good for at least riot agents. In times of civil unrest, there might be clouds of the stuff.

The old M17 masks are going to be 1. old 2. have mostly outdated filters available and 3. you have to remove the mask to change the pork chop filters. Not the best design going.

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by alfred10 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:16 am

Could someone break down all the ratings that are avail. such as NBC? I know what an NBC filter does but what do the others use? Im guessing silicon is best since it wont melt off me?

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by Hatch » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:02 am

alfred10 wrote:Could someone break down all the ratings that are avail. such as NBC? I know what an NBC filter does but what do the others use? Im guessing silicon is best since it wont melt off me?
Go here, and browse to your heart's content: http://www.approvedgasmasks.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As has been said, stay the hell away from the M17 mask. It was the issue mask when I was in the Army, and I can confirm that it was a total POS and a PITA to change the filters.

Look for a mask that takes 40mm canister filters, which are the NATO standard. This will give you the widest availability of filter options.

If you want to test your mask, it's pretty simple. Don your mask, clear and seal, then go into your shed, bathroom, or any other enclosed space and spray the entire contents of one or two cans of mace into the air. Stand there and breath for a while. If you don't feel the effects, your mask works.

In actual use, filters go real fast so make sure you buy extras. Oh, and if you plan to be wearing one for any length of time, you might want to get a mask that has an integrated drinking system.

Finally, having a mask is only 50% of the equation. You also have to train to use it. You need to practice putting it on, clearing and sealing it (8 seconds or less). You need to practice wearing it for long periods (in the Army, we used to train up to 6 hours in a mask). You need to practice common tasks while wearing the mask. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to shoot, tie your bootlaces, or use the latrine while you're wearing a mask. It definitely takes getting used to. Most important with the 40mm filters, you need to train in how to change the filter with the mask on, which has to be done in the space of just one breath.

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by alfred10 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:17 am

I narrowed it down to the survivair Optifit or the optifit CBRN. Not sure why the one says CBRN and the other doesnt. Does anyone else have a Survivair?

http://www.approvedgasmasks.com/survivair-optifit.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Anyone use Scott masks? They look better and also cost less. Is the M95 the current issue?

http://www.scotthealthsafety.com/Americ ... e/m98.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by Gatorfarmer » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:48 pm

If possible, i.e. I don't know your budget, you want one that has NIOSH approval for protection against CBRN agents. You're going to need to request technical gobbledy goop and read through it to see which masks which which filters passed such testing. One that is pretty good, and NIOSH approved for CBRN is the MSA Millenium, though there are others - 3M's M40 was NIOSH certified, others might be by now, I don't keep entirely current. http://www.msanorthamerica.com/catalog/ ... 16927.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and available from many sources.

You adapt your Millenium to... how do I best put it in simple terms... you can adapt it to use the battery powered fan thingy that sits on your belt with the filters attached... For extra cost http://www.approvedgasmasks.com/msa-optimair.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; but other sources have it as well.

There's a banana oil test if you don't want to spray a bunch of Mace in your bathroom.

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by Stormrider » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:28 pm

If riot control agents become a concern, 2 or 3 bandanas and a pair of swim goggles would hold you. Not as good as a gas mask but it would be better than nothing. Keep a bandana in a plastic bag with half a lime. Obviously you can't just leave a half a lime sitting around in plastic bag or it will get all funky, but if it looks like you'll need it then you might want to invest in a lime. If not a lime, I have heard that vinegar (preferably apple cider) would work too;

Anyway you keep one acidic liquid soaked bandana in this plastic bag, and keep your dry backup bandanas and swim goggles on you, when the CS or tear gas starts flying take out the soaked bandana and put it on to cover your mouth and nose, replaceing the one you took out of the bag with a dry one so the dry one will soak and you'll have another one ready to go if you need. and more importantly the swim goggles on to protect your eyes. You'll probably have some shit come through the bandana to you nose and throat, but not nearly as bad. If you have time rub a little vaseline on the swim goggles on the part that goes on your eyes for a better seal. If your bandana starts getting saturated with riot agent, take it off in as safe a spot as you can, and replace it with the other one. A lime is desirable because rather than just filling the bad with liquid, you can just squeeze as much as you need out of the fruit.

You can put this setup in your pocket unlike a gas mask, and besides having a gas mask at a riot is like holding a sign that says "I'm the guy whos been throwing rocks at cop cars, club me in the face and detain me!". The bandana/goggles will probably not get too many looks, as long as you can look and act like you are just some unlucky guy who's trying to get away from the riot and not be a part of it.

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by Hatch » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:37 am

Stormrider wrote:If riot control agents become a concern, 2 or 3 bandanas and a pair of swim goggles would hold you. Not as good as a gas mask but it would be better than nothing. Keep a bandana in a plastic bag with half a lime. Obviously you can't just leave a half a lime sitting around in plastic bag or it will get all funky, but if it looks like you'll need it then you might want to invest in a lime. If not a lime, I have heard that vinegar (preferably apple cider) would work too;

Anyway you keep one acidic liquid soaked bandana in this plastic bag, and keep your dry backup bandanas and swim goggles on you, when the CS or tear gas starts flying take out the soaked bandana and put it on to cover your mouth and nose, replaceing the one you took out of the bag with a dry one so the dry one will soak and you'll have another one ready to go if you need. and more importantly the swim goggles on to protect your eyes. You'll probably have some shit come through the bandana to you nose and throat, but not nearly as bad. If you have time rub a little vaseline on the swim goggles on the part that goes on your eyes for a better seal. If your bandana starts getting saturated with riot agent, take it off in as safe a spot as you can, and replace it with the other one. A lime is desirable because rather than just filling the bad with liquid, you can just squeeze as much as you need out of the fruit.

You can put this setup in your pocket unlike a gas mask, and besides having a gas mask at a riot is like holding a sign that says "I'm the guy whos been throwing rocks at cop cars, club me in the face and detain me!". The bandana/goggles will probably not get too many looks, as long as you can look and act like you are just some unlucky guy who's trying to get away from the riot and not be a part of it.
I swear when I first saw this, I read it as "two or three bananas and a pair of swim goggles" and I said to myself, "I can't wait to see where this is going." :lol:

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by LowKey » Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:09 am

Hatch wrote:
Stormrider wrote:If riot control agents become a concern, 2 or 3 bandanas and a pair of swim goggles would hold you. Not as good as a gas mask but it would be better than nothing. Keep a bandana in a plastic bag with half a lime. Obviously you can't just leave a half a lime sitting around in plastic bag or it will get all funky, but if it looks like you'll need it then you might want to invest in a lime. If not a lime, I have heard that vinegar (preferably apple cider) would work too;

Anyway you keep one acidic liquid soaked bandana in this plastic bag, and keep your dry backup bandanas and swim goggles on you, when the CS or tear gas starts flying take out the soaked bandana and put it on to cover your mouth and nose, replaceing the one you took out of the bag with a dry one so the dry one will soak and you'll have another one ready to go if you need. and more importantly the swim goggles on to protect your eyes. You'll probably have some shit come through the bandana to you nose and throat, but not nearly as bad. If you have time rub a little vaseline on the swim goggles on the part that goes on your eyes for a better seal. If your bandana starts getting saturated with riot agent, take it off in as safe a spot as you can, and replace it with the other one. A lime is desirable because rather than just filling the bad with liquid, you can just squeeze as much as you need out of the fruit.

You can put this setup in your pocket unlike a gas mask, and besides having a gas mask at a riot is like holding a sign that says "I'm the guy whos been throwing rocks at cop cars, club me in the face and detain me!". The bandana/goggles will probably not get too many looks, as long as you can look and act like you are just some unlucky guy who's trying to get away from the riot and not be a part of it.
I swear when I first saw this, I read it as "two or three bananas and a pair of swim goggles" and I said to myself, "I can't wait to see where this is going." :lol:

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by ferretrodeo » Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:46 pm

Hatch wrote:
alfred10 wrote:Could someone break down all the ratings that are avail. such as NBC? I know what an NBC filter does but what do the others use? Im guessing silicon is best since it wont melt off me?
Go here, and browse to your heart's content: http://www.approvedgasmasks.com/
As has been said, stay the hell away from the M17 mask. It was the issue mask when I was in the Army, and I can confirm that it was a total POS and a PITA to change the filters.

Look for a mask that takes 40mm canister filters, which are the NATO standard. This will give you the widest availability of filter options.

If you want to test your mask, it's pretty simple. Don your mask, clear and seal, then go into your shed, bathroom, or any other enclosed space and spray the entire contents of one or two cans of mace into the air. Stand there and breath for a while. If you don't feel the effects, your mask works.

In actual use, filters go real fast so make sure you buy extras. Oh, and if you plan to be wearing one for any length of time, you might want to get a mask that has an integrated drinking system.

Finally, having a mask is only 50% of the equation. You also have to train to use it. You need to practice putting it on, clearing and sealing it (8 seconds or less). You need to practice wearing it for long periods (in the Army, we used to train up to 6 hours in a mask). You need to practice common tasks while wearing the mask. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to shoot, tie your bootlaces, or use the latrine while you're wearing a mask. It definitely takes getting used to. Most important with the 40mm filters, you need to train in how to change the filter with the mask on, which has to be done in the space of just one breath.

--Hatch

That was a great site. Bookmarked and order placed! Thanks!
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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by dmaxd03 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:11 am

UNless you plan on getting the full suit, training, the agent testing kits, etc. The CBRN Chemical bio, radiological and nuclear rated stuff is way overkill for all but military/ gov't use IMHO. Even the best masks don't stop blood agents (or was it nerve) and the ystem relies heavily on a group of people from intel (did we get sprayed?) to decontamination, to getting a good seal on the gear (buddy system putting it on).
Even if the training were free (hypothetically) I can't see the expense for such a small possibility that 1 you will need it and 2 you will have the chance to put it on before you are contaminated and 3 you will be able to move to a clean zone and decon before you run out of filters or two die of dehydration or drowning in your own sweat.
Now a mask for riot control might be handy. Thats just me though.

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by LowKey » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:31 am

dmaxd03 wrote:UNless you plan on getting the full suit, training, the agent testing kits, etc. The CBRN Chemical bio, radiological and nuclear rated stuff is way overkill for all but military/ gov't use IMHO. Even the best masks don't stop blood agents (or was it nerve) and the ystem relies heavily on a group of people from intel (did we get sprayed?) to decontamination, to getting a good seal on the gear (buddy system putting it on).
Even if the training were free (hypothetically) I can't see the expense for such a small possibility that 1 you will need it and 2 you will have the chance to put it on before you are contaminated and 3 you will be able to move to a clean zone and decon before you run out of filters or two die of dehydration or drowning in your own sweat.
Now a mask for riot control might be handy. Thats just me though.
Oh...really?

The suits are cheap compared to the masks, and not to difficult to don. I can teach anybody how to use the suit in 10 minutes or less. The mask takes about 30 minutes to an hour to learn to use. Your speed, as in all things, improves with practice. Mines 9 seconds masked, 2 minutes suited up.
The right masks stop both blood, nerve, and blister agents from getting into your lungs if you have the right filters installed. The time the filter is good for varies with the agent used and the concentration of the agent.
You don't need the intel boys.
You can:
1- Get an automated detector (a little overboard IMO unless you live in a VERY high risk area) that will sound an alarm.
2- You can learn to recognize the symptoms of nerve agent exposure, both in yourself and others. Big hint....if you see people 3 blocks away falling over and doing the funky chicken, time to mask up and get the hell out of there.

The buddy system is nice, but not needed to get a good seal. Say hello to duct tape...it isn't resistant to chemical weapons but it does help hold the suit top and bottoms in place with each other, not to mention bind the gloves and booties to the suit.

You have about 9 seconds to mask up when exposed. If you can get a friendly doc to write the RX you can get an atropine auto-injector for dealing with nerve agent exposure. It isn't an antidote, but it will help you survive.....I'd still advise seeking medical attention after the attack has cleared.

There are chemical test kits you can use to check both liquid residue and the air for chemical agents, primarily of use to determine if the air has cleared. Easy to use, the instructions are simple and printed on the test kit itself. Always use 2, if they disagree go to a 3rd for the tie breaking decision and have one person unmask first, wait 15 minutes and if he is okay everybody else can unmask. You can either choose who based on solid, logical, pragmatic grounds...which will result in a rather heated argument, or go with paper, scissor, rock. If your buddy looses...Yup....your buddy is the guinea pig :lol:

If you get a decent modern mask you wont die of dehydration as long as you have water in a chemical proof container (camel back makes a chem. agent resistant bladder, for example). The military masks have a drinking hose and tube in them for just this reason.

Changing filters isn't that hard. Again, practice a little and just stay calm. Better yet, use the time breathing through the first filter to LEAVE THE CONTAMINATED AREA!!! Sorry.....seems obvious to me that you should be getting the hell out of dodge.

Deconning...again, not that complicated. Buy the decon packets, which IIRC use Hydroclorite .05% solution.
More details can be found HERE and HERE and last but not least HERE
Wipes can be found HERE

Your biggest risk from the mask and suit themselves is heat injury. They, for quite obvious reasons, don't breathe very well. You get very hot, very quickly unless the ambient temperature is very low.

Oh....all that came out of my head in about 5 minutes time, from training I got around 20 years ago. It isn't rocket surgery.
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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by dmaxd03 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:41 pm

Cannister crackers must not have existed back then, or I am being lied to by our gov. Decon is either not that simple or again, I am being lied to by the gov. The mask in 9 seconds is easy. The suit with absolutely no gaps in the seal is a pain. I don't know what your concept of expensive is, but they cost more than i am willing to spend. Also as to practice, that means you need to get 2 suits as the opened life of the suits is on a relitively short timer once opened. Means you need one suit to practice and one in case of emergency. Again, just my oppinion but as one who has had to train to use the stuff but is by no means an expert, I am not bothering, at least until i have all food, transpo, weapon and other preps taken care of.

The being lied to by the gov isnt saying you are wrong, as the latter has happened plenty before.

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Re: Which gas masks?

Post by LowKey » Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:23 am

What are you calling a "canister cracker"? :?
Decon is either not that simple or again, I am being lied to by the gov.
Personal decon is relatively easy. Use the wipes, keep wiping for about 30 seconds(IIRC). If you don't have wipes you're going to have to go with soap and water....lots of soap and water. Using flour to absorb some of the agent on your skin first may be helpfull.
Try to pick up a copy of the Army's CCT (Common Tasks Training) handbook.
The mask in 9 seconds is easy. The suit with absolutely no gaps in the seal is a pain.
I don't know which suits you are talking about. Mine have metal snaps to join the pants to the top. Run duct tape tightly over all areas where the prtotective gear is joined(sleeve to gloves, pants to boots, pants wait to suit top)
I don't know what your concept of expensive is, but they cost more than i am willing to spend.
Then you aren't willing to spend it. Doesn't mean it isn't available.
Also as to practice, that means you need to get 2 suits as the opened life of the suits is on a relitively short timer once opened. Means you need one suit to practice and one in case of emergency.
True. Buy one new still sealed up. Buy another used one for practice. Try surplus shops...they used to be popular as cheap scent masking suits for hunters. This applies to filters as well.
Again, just my oppinion but as one who has had to train to use the stuff but is by no means an expert, I am not bothering, at least until i have all food, transpo, weapon and other preps taken care of.
Food, transportation, and weapons should have priority, no argument there. First Aid as well.

Another tip.
If you have a mask but no suit, you can get some protection from a poncho. Pull it on after you've masked up, pull the drawstring on the hood tight, and if the poncho has snaps along the sides, close as many as you can. Wear gloves...even leather gloves are better than exposed skin.
The idea is to delay/ reduce the chemical agent contacting your skin.
Very few chemical weapons are actually gas, most are liquid sprays or aresol vapors. Some are powder.
Think of fog, now think of the fog as poisonous. Now think of how to avoid letting the fog touch your skin or get in your eyes, nose, or lungs. Think of how to avoid letting the fog get you wet. Remember that fog doesn't usually float upwards easily.

Then get the hell out of the fog. It isn't good for you...:mrgreen:
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Kommando E
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Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Which gas masks?

Post by Kommando E » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:06 pm

Speaking of Gas Masks....What does everyone think of the MCU-2A/P Gas Mask? I believe it is USAF standard issue at the time. It is one of the three masks I own now...in addition to my GP-5 and my M17A2...which by the way really is a pain in the a$$ to change the filters

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