Author Topic: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...  (Read 13238 times)

Offline Nick Ferguson

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I work 72 miles from home and my BOB is designed around getting home in the (extremely unlikely) event of a CME or any other event that disables my vehicle and forces me to walk home. I'd like to have my bases covered and I have plans for buying a mountain bike to keep at work just in case. I know it's unlikely but we're overdue for a massive solar storm and there are tons of other reasons my vehicle could be disabled or destroyed, or my driving route completely shut down to the point when it's faster to walk.

Terrain is relatively flat, 52 miles give or take depending on how straight a line I travel, and assuming I can bribe or sneak my way across the Lock and Dam on the river. It's the Red river in Louisiana, so pretty substantial body of water. Assuming I can't make it across there, it's an extra 20 miles added to the trek to cross a bridge. It could be swum but that could get dicey. I suppose crossing below the dam would be better and not too bad at all.. Once across the river it's Piney woods and coooooun-try all the way home.

I'm really fit and light. 28 yrs old, 135 lbs, muscle and sinew. Grew up on a farm so tossing 50# sacks of grain on each shoulder is no problem. (so don't assume the light weight means weak nerd haha) Dunno how many miles I could walk like that though... :P

I was thinking of an internal frame backpacking pack, but I really have no experience to pull from to tell me what I'd need to have for the hike and what kinds of problems I'd be likely to encounter. Right now I have a kelty daypack which is just a glorified book bag. I have some New Balance shoes, and some boots.

as for contents of the pack, things off the top of my head:

First Aid kit (I have a great kit put together with lots of multi use items so it's light but very versatile) in watertight box
3 extra pairs of socks (vacuum sealed in individual bags)
1 extra set of clothes(vacuum sealed in individual bags)
2 Instant campfire kit I built (1-2 minutes to roaring fire even in the rain)  (vacuum sealed in individual bags)
Rain gear
8" fixed blade
leatherman
Machete
Fire kit (blast match, 2 lighters, packet of matches, 4 packs of tinder, magnesium block with ferro rod (vacuum sealed in individual bags)
2 MREs field stripped
1# Biltong
1# Dehydrated vegetable soup mix (homemade)
Sport berkey bottle
Trash bags for keeping everything dry if I have to swim the river plus tons of other uses
100' parachute cord
Sleeping bag
15'x15' Heavy gauge tarp
2 qt pot for cooking or heating water
Wire
20 ga shotgun with 15 birdshot, 15 #4 shot, 5 slugs, 5 sabots

Mountain Bike for faster transportation 6-7 hrs by bike
about 17-20 hrs walking

Thinking about keeping a little inflatable raft like you'd use at the lake in case I had to cross the river, it'd be abandoned on the other side but sure would be handy if I couldn't walk across the dam.

I know my get home bag might seem a little excessive but I like to prepare for the worst and hope for the best

Any ideas or suggestions, alterations are greatly appreciated. I know there are tons of "what's in your bag" posts, but this is kinda situation specific and I wanted some insight from people who hike and might know something I don't..

Offline idelphic

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2011, 09:57:46 AM »
I work 72 miles from home and my BOB is designed around getting home in the (extremely unlikely) event of a CME or any other event that disables my vehicle and forces me to walk home. I'd like to have my bases covered and I have plans for buying a mountain bike to keep at work just in case. I know it's unlikely but we're overdue for a massive solar storm and there are tons of other reasons my vehicle could be disabled or destroyed, or my driving route completely shut down to the point when it's faster to walk.

Terrain is relatively flat, 52 miles give or take depending on how straight a line I travel, and assuming I can bribe or sneak my way across the Lock and Dam on the river. It's the Red river in Louisiana, so pretty substantial body of water. Assuming I can't make it across there, it's an extra 20 miles added to the trek to cross a bridge. It could be swum but that could get dicey. I suppose crossing below the dam would be better and not too bad at all.. Once across the river it's Piney woods and coooooun-try all the way home.

Any chance at moving closer - to work, or home?

I'm really fit and light. 28 yrs old, 135 lbs, muscle and sinew. Grew up on a farm so tossing 50# sacks of grain on each shoulder is no problem. (so don't assume the light weight means weak nerd haha) Dunno how many miles I could walk like that though... :P

While it's just my exposure, my brother worked for a copy shop, carried full cases of paper that way, he now deals with shoulder and back problems.  Nothing wrong with being able to shoulder that kind of weight,.. just be mindful of the physical damage it could cause.  Part of prepping is taking care of the body and mind.

I was thinking of an internal frame backpacking pack, but I really have no experience to pull from to tell me what I'd need to have for the hike and what kinds of problems I'd be likely to encounter. Right now I have a kelty daypack which is just a glorified book bag. I have some New Balance shoes, and some boots.

YMMV - some like the ALICE Pack, I've leaned towards a hikers pack.  While no where close to the top of the middle in construction, it should handle well.  A good pack should also have a place for a hydration pack.  Being able to hydrate without having to remove the pack can save a bit on times.. depending on the EandE needed.

as for contents of the pack, things off the top of my head:

First Aid kit (I have a great kit put together with lots of multi use items so it's light but very versatile) in watertight box
3 extra pairs of socks (vacuum sealed in individual bags)
1 extra set of clothes(vacuum sealed in individual bags)
2 Instant campfire kit I built (1-2 minutes to roaring fire even in the rain)  (vacuum sealed in individual bags)
---->>>Would you mind sharing building this in the DIY section?<<<---
Rain gear
8" fixed blade
leatherman
Machete
Fire kit (blast match, 2 lighters, packet of matches, 4 packs of tinder, magnesium block with ferro rod (vacuum sealed in individual bags)
2 MREs field stripped
1# Biltong
1# Dehydrated vegetable soup mix (homemade)
Sport berkey bottle
Trash bags for keeping everything dry if I have to swim the river plus tons of other uses
100' parachute cord
Sleeping bag
15'x15' Heavy gauge tarp
2 qt pot for cooking or heating water
Wire
20 ga shotgun with 15 birdshot, 15 #4 shot, 5 slugs, 5 sabots

Mountain Bike for faster transportation 6-7 hrs by bike
about 17-20 hrs walking

I might be inclined to par down a few things,.. do you really need a 15x15 tarp? You might be a little light on the food.  If you are EandE mode (Escape and Evade) then your times, at least in my opinion, are low, I could see it take a bit longer.  Now, given your physical level I could be totally off base there. If you have the time, you might make the run - have someone drop you off at work, and then try to make it home- in good weather and times. 

Thinking about keeping a little inflatable raft like you'd use at the lake in case I had to cross the river, it'd be abandoned on the other side but sure would be handy if I couldn't walk across the dam.

I know my get home bag might seem a little excessive but I like to prepare for the worst and hope for the best

Any ideas or suggestions, alterations are greatly appreciated. I know there are tons of "what's in your bag" posts, but this is kinda situation specific and I wanted some insight from people who hike and might know something I don't..

The raft is a nice idea in theory.. but the weight is more then one should worry with - especially for a one time use.  I would skip it, and make sure you have a good solid strong polu bag to store everything in.

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2011, 10:07:43 AM »
You might also want to consider something modular.  Have an EDC, but keep something car specific in the car and something for GHB and some extra food at work.  Just keep your essentials with you but having the extra to add in case of the right scenario would be key.  Also, give it a dry run.  Plan on it taking you twice as long to make it home.  And a bike at work is a good idea, but how much can you ride with? 

I have no idea how to get across the river.  Maybe having a smaller inflatable tube like the kids use for floatation and to hold your pack while you kick would be feasible.

Are you looking to follow roadways or avoid people all together?  If a CME occurs and everyone is stranded, you will draw attention to yourself with your large pack and look of confidence.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2011, 10:15:02 AM »
could you stash an inflateable raft at the river somewhere?  bury it in a bucket in the brush?  then you wouldn't have to carry it, but it would be there.

also, I second the dry run one day.

Offline Nick Ferguson

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2011, 10:19:59 AM »
You might also want to consider something modular.  Have an EDC, but keep something car specific in the car and something for GHB and some extra food at work.  Just keep your essentials with you but having the extra to add in case of the right scenario would be key.  Also, give it a dry run.  Plan on it taking you twice as long to make it home.  And a bike at work is a good idea, but how much can you ride with? 

I have no idea how to get across the river.  Maybe having a smaller inflatable tube like the kids use for floatation and to hold your pack while you kick would be feasible.

Are you looking to follow roadways or avoid people all together?  If a CME occurs and everyone is stranded, you will draw attention to yourself with your large pack and look of confidence.


the great thing is, from work to home is all back country and small highways. I'd be out in the country, in the woods before anybody knew what was going on... I can carry a good deal on a bike, and I've got a bunch of food at work already. I work for some uber rich people taking care of their grounds and I have a small building with an attic that I can store more things to pick and choose from depending on the situation.

I'll naturally avoid people with the most direct route home, it's seriously nothing but hunting leases, small farms, cows, and trees, little 2 lane highways, gravel and dirt roads. But +1 on the dry run. I really want to do just that... Might have my wife follow along in the truck as backup in case of anything going wrong.. Might video some of it too, that'd be a cool youtube vid!

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2011, 10:24:23 AM »
The only reason I asked about the bike is I have done more than my fair share of cycling, and carrying even with a small backpack get to be a real PITA after about an hour.  If you can get a beater bike that is more for touring, it will not only have better gearing for a variety of conditions, but will be able to accept racks so you can distribute your load better.  Better yet, maybe a small trailer.  I have done all three and a 20lb backpack beat me up worse that 70 lbs on racks.

Are the rich people into prepping at all?  Opens up alot of possibilities if they are. 

Offline Nick Ferguson

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2011, 10:35:28 AM »
Sorry idelphic, didn't see that at first, Yeah I'll try to do a pictoral or video build and use of the instant campfire pack I made. It's basically some finger sized 1' pieces of "pitchpine" or "richlighter pine" depending on where you're from. I take a bundle of those about as big around as your wrist, put some tinder in with it, wrap with some waxed twine to keep it tight, add a little bic lighter vacuum sealed in a little plastic bag to the bundle, wrap in newspaper, use some more waxed twine to keep the whole bundle together. Then put the bundle inside a heavy gauge vacuum seal bag and seal it up. Ends up being about as big around as a fist, to use it, slice it open, lay the plastic down if the ground is wet, then the paper, then tinder, then richlighter, then light. Blazing in seconds. Depending on the richlighter you use, it could burn for an hour just on the pine. Plenty of time to dry out and burn some wet wood that you found nearby. It's smoky though and VERY pungent. Not good for staying unnoticed. But then again you aren't always trying to be incognito.

The only reason I asked about the bike is I have done more than my fair share of cycling, and carrying even with a small backpack get to be a real PITA after about an hour.  If you can get a beater bike that is more for touring, it will not only have better gearing for a variety of conditions, but will be able to accept racks so you can distribute your load better.  Better yet, maybe a small trailer.  I have done all three and a 20lb backpack beat me up worse that 70 lbs on racks.

Are the rich people into prepping at all?  Opens up alot of possibilities if they are. 

I had just planned on putting a rack on the mountain bike cause it's some rough terrain I'd have to cross, even walking the bike over the tough terrain would be way faster and more reliable than a touring bike I think... I'll have to check into it though, good thinking.

And no, total grasshoppers. They eat at restaurants, and have Jenny Craig diet food DELIVERED weekly. Net worth in the hundreds of millions... and total grasshoppers

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2011, 12:02:52 PM »
I have a commute about the same distance, but mine is through a city.  I can go through one of the tunnels, over a tall bridge, around the city on the highway or on the city streets.  The other option is to make it a much longer trip, but onto all country roads.  The country roads are my choice, so I've been shopping for a bike to carry in the trunk since I can't really leave it at work.

I'll second the idea about bicycle panniers.  They are the only way to carry loads on a bike.  The backpack would be a killer.  I'll need to work on a way to attach a backpack as a pannier in case the bike is damaged half way home or if I need to abandon it for some reason.

I'd like to see more info on your first aid kit and even more on the instant campfire.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2011, 12:12:46 PM »

Mountain Bike for faster transportation 6-7 hrs by bike
about 17-20 hrs walking

Thinking about keeping a little inflatable raft like you'd use at the lake in case I had to cross the river, it'd be abandoned on the other side but sure would be handy if I couldn't walk across the dam.

I know my get home bag might seem a little excessive but I like to prepare for the worst and hope for the best

Any ideas or suggestions, alterations are greatly appreciated. I know there are tons of "what's in your bag" posts, but this is kinda situation specific and I wanted some insight from people who hike and might know something I don't..


Wow, I don't know how I missed this one.

I'm not going to quote/unquote everything, as that'll make this a bit unweildy.

So, let's go with this:

First off, 72 miles in 2 days on foot?  Not likely.

I don't care how wiry and sinewy you are. . .that's a pipe dream unless you do it frequently.  Let me put it this way: Have you ever heard of the Nijmegen Road March?  It was (is?) a 100-mile roadmarch done over 4 days by soldiers, airmen, marines, and regular civilian folk.  It's done over improved roads with food and water stations all along the way.  Even military personnel who are well-conditioned to forced marches consistently fall out.  This is under OPTIMAL conditions.  Light load, food you don't have to carry, water that is provided for you, improved road surfaces, and most train(ed) for this event.  They do 100 miles in 4 days.  I believe the 101st Airborne still does it's annual 101-mile march.  Ten to fifteen percent drop out consistently.

It's because of your feet, not because of your upper body or how little fat you have on you.  You'll want to pace yourself because (and trust me on this one) one blister or hotspot will slow you WAAAAAAY down, if it doesn't immobilize you, outright.

On foot, I'd suggest looking at 12-15 miles/day as a maintainable speed.   And that's if you can stick to improved roads and don't have to worry about avoiding other people.

Additionally, you're going to have to carry everything with you that you need.  Most specifically, your food and water. Water is something that sounds easier to address, in your case since there's obviously some water sources on your way.  While some will argue this, I recommend ditching the Sport Berkey bottle and getting a dedicated pump filter and back that up with iodine tablets, coffee filters, etc.  if the filter craps out  on you.  Add more water containers.  These might be a water bladder (least recommended) or a couple of stainless "canteens." You'll want the ability to carry at LEAST one gallon of potable water with you at all times.  Even if it's not hot, you will need to hydrate. . .a LOT.  Having the ability to keep a supply on hand means you'll have to stop less to get water. 

That Sport Berkey bottle is great. . .but it will clog up much faster if you don't pre-filter the water.  That's one thing the other bottles can be used for.  Use a coffee filter to first filter out the larger particles, then run it through your pump.  This will GREATLY extend the usefulness of any filter.

Most everything else looks good for where your locator says you are (Louisiana).

Were it me, I'd look first at the bicycle option.  Just make sure you have the appropriate repair kits and know how to use them.  The bike means you can, most likely, reduce your travel time  down to that 1-2 day window.  It will also allow you to carry more of what you need.

As to getting across the river, I'd go another way: You do have a tarp, if you're walking, and don't mind getting wet, you can turn that tarp into a float for your gear.  Simply place all your gear in the middle of the tarp, fold it over, roll the edge down and then roll the ends and tie them off with the 550 cord.  Tie those ends in the middle and you have an impromptu float (as long as the tarp is waterproof).  If it's warm enough, take off your clothes and put them in with your other gear and swim with it as a float across the river.

A 15x15 tarp SHOULD be large enough to fit your bike into and still have it work.  Just make sure nothing is pointy enough to poke through the tarp.

Some other suggestions: You make reference to "vacuum-packing."  I don't know if you mean just pressing the air out of a bag, or actually using a vacuum to suck it absolutely flat.  I don't recommend this, if it's the latter.  That space you save won't be there if you rotate your clothes since the vacuum is unavailable.  You may find you don't have enough room, later.

Go with an internal-frame pack over an external one, especially if you are going to wear it on your back while riding.  I'd recommend getting a solid rear-rack for your bike, if you can afford it, though, and a front one as well.

Here's my bike as the base, in this image, it's set up for heading to work.  The black Bontrager bag on the the rear holds a repair kit, a CO2 pump and a manual pump (CO2 is for when I don't have time to sit on the side of the road and pump air in, by hand), as well as holds my other stuff (usually, workout clothes, etc.).

#1 is the rear rack supported in four places.  The manufacturer says it will hold up to 55 lbs.  I've only put about 45 lbs. on it, though.

#2 is the front rack, limited to (again suggested by the manufacturer) 35 lbs.  I've only had about 22-25 on them.



Here is a 5-minute throw-together of how the bike would be set up to go, if it were my primary BOV.  Please note the pannier bags are empty.  I didn't want to haul everything downstairs which we have already loaded up.  It would take 5-7 minutes to get these out the door.



For reference:

#1 is an ultralight kit.  It has everything in it we need for a minimum of 96 hours.  No, we won't be happy, but it will work.

#2 and #4 would hold heavier equipment such as a larger shelter (a dedicated tent, in our case) and support stuff such as extra clothing, food, etc., as well as spare tires, repair kits, etc.  You can fit a LOT of dehydrated/freeze-dried foods into these.

#4 is actually the wife's BOB (we refer to them as PERK's for Personal Emergency Resource Kit).  It is only missing the side modules which hold a Trauma Kit, a personal maintenance kit (basic meds and footcare not related to trauma-based injuries), a "Looting Kit" and a full-blown medical Kit). I'm currently (as in, as I'm-taking-a-break-to-respond-to-this-post currently) checking the dates and upgrading the contents on her kit, so I just pulled it over to add to the photo.  This bag can be worn on the back while you ride.  Since it's an internal-frame bag, it won't shift around as much as you bike.

<sigh> Just for reference's sake, I went ahead and pulled my kit down to show what a our standard PERK's look like when fully assembled.



#1 is the Trauma kit.  The panel attached to the side of the bag has velcro on the outside so the pouch can be quickly ripped away from the pack body after unsnapping the fastex buckle.

#2 is a combination full first-aid kit and last-ditch/run-like-hell kit containing the absolute necessities to survive.  It is, basically, a satellite-antenna bag and slings over one shoulder.

#3 is where the Mini Looting Kit will go.

#4 is a Personal Maintenance kit.  It's easily accessible so you don't have to dig deep into your kit for basics such as aspirin, anti-diarrheals, foot powder, foot tape, etc.  It also has spare batteries, pens, spare compass, small flashlight, etc.  Basically, stuff you may need quickly and don't want to take the time (and trouble) take off your pack, unzipping and unsnapping everything, digging around, zipping and snapping everything back up, etc., just for some tylenol or spare flashlight.

Anyway, setting up a bike like this doesn't have to go to my extreme.  This set-up, with the addition of longarm,  shovel and axe, could hold you out for weeks, if not months without any explicit external support (i.e.,  you could go hide in the woods for an extended period of time).

Even doing something as simple as adding the rear rack to your bike lets  you carry an additional 35-75 lbs (depending upon the rack and the bike) that may come in very useful.

Now. . .this all having been said (and echoed, already, by others who have posted since I started), Carrying that 35-lb PERK on your back is a bear, when riding.  I've done so and wasn't happy with the outcome.  That's why the ultralight bag is on the pack, currently.  That U/L pack weighs in about 25 lbs.  What I want to do, eventually, is put together a platform that snaps onto that rear pannier that holds my full-sized kit.  I'd do it myself, but I suck at fine welding (such as the lightweight, tubular aluminum that I have in mind to extend the "tail" of the platform back and add horizontal "wings" to the sides for support, so it doesn't flop around.

But that's a project for another month.

Just some thoughts, hope they help.

The Professor




Offline fritz_monroe

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Offline Nick Ferguson

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2011, 12:47:26 PM »
Wow, I don't know how I missed this one.

I'm not going to quote/unquote everything, as that'll make this a bit unweildy.

So, let's go with this:

First off, 72 miles in 2 days on foot?  Not likely.

52 miles via bicycle 1-2 days no prob
52 miles about 20 hrs walking, 3 days walking for 7 hrs a day. 2.5 mph... I think that's reasonable, mostly improved roads, gravel if not blacktop.

No if I were going the 72 mile route walking I'd expect 8-9 days. Sorry for the confusion

I've got socks and extra clothes to make prefilters for the berkey, tons of water sources along the way, I wouldn't have to carry a gallon. Trust me, used to work pipeline fencing and inspecting, so my job was to walk horrible terrain in the same area I'm talking about traveling, and I would rarely go through more than a gallon of water a day doing that. Meanwhile crossing several streams and passing several lakes. I could get away very safely with filling my camelback and berkey bottle. But I like the idea of a stainless canteen. Good thinking. Man tons of good info in this response Prof.. reading on...

Vacuum packing the extra clothes is to save room and to keep em dry in the event I slip in a waterway or have to ford a deep creek somewhere along the way. If I need to change clothes the used ones get bundled and tied to the outside of the pack or hung to dry on the outside of the pack, so no worries about re-packing. They can always be ditched along the way if it's a real problem. Not a BOB just intended to get me home to the BOL where I've got all I need. Good info though, I'll keep that in mind for packing our bug out crates.

Nice setup on the bike, similar to what I was thinking about doing except a slightly toned down version as the goal is only to get home with a 1-2 day trip via bicycle. I'll keep it to one internal frame backpack that I can strap to the bike but still use in case the bike has to be ditched along the way. Adaptability.

Gosh thanks for all the info everyone, keep the killer ideas coming! I really appreciate all the time and energy y'all have been pouring into these responses! Lots of food for thought.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2011, 10:49:41 PM »
Huh???


Yep, a Looting Kit.

Oh, wait. . .let me rephrase that lest I bear the wrath of the feminine, irridescent Noble One's shiney Hatchet of DOOM!(tm).

Scavenging Kit.

<sigh>  This is one of those issues that I suspect will result in a thread-derailing of Biblical proportions.

Generally, this is a small assembly of items that will assist you in the procurement of supplies under questionable circumstances.  Please note: I am not advocating outright theft, rather, obtaining supplies from an otherwise secured facility for the sole purposes of survival.  While some of the tools may be mistaken for burglary tools, that is not their intended purposes.

In brief (and I may start another thread on this. . .hell, the ethics discussion may be quite lively just by itself), imagine coming across an abandoned house, storage facility or even a bunch of overlooked supplies. 

Of course, we're talking about a TEOTWAWKI-type scenario where you are moving because your life depends upon it.  But, here you are, BOB on your back, heading to Point B, and an opportunity arises.

First off, is the average person prepared to take in, say, another 3-4 cubic feet of food and supplies?  Most BOBs I've seen are already packed to seam-bursting status.  How do you take advantage of this bounty upon which you've just fallen?

For some, the only option will be to lose something which they already have to make space.   This is one option.  I am considering another one, though. 

I have created a kit that is small.  It fits into a pouch about 8" x 8" x 3" and it holds the following :

The Mini Looting Kit (MLK) is a very small, compact kit that should be kept with your Bug-Out Bag (BOB).  Generally, these are items used foreither opportunistic or sustainment looting if you’re facing a forced evacuation.
The MLK is relatively light and because of this, it’s not perfect for accessing  Hard Structure targets. It gives you the basic tools you can use to quickly enter Soft Structures, establish a basic level of security or warning system, get what you need and get out quickly.
While this is not really for a planned loot, many of the items can be used, if you have the time or if stealth is important.

A Top-loading backpack.

Even if you already have a backpack, such as the one you hold your evacuation gear in, you will want a small, durable, top-loading pack for looting use.  While other types of bags may work, in a pinch,  the toploading backpack is best because It gives you the most mobility over any other type.  By wearing it  backwards, on your chest, you leave your hands free to do other things such as climb over obstacles or dig through piles of items.  The top-loading feature lets you just drop what you find right into the pack and move on to the next item.  If you are surprised by someone in the target building, you won’t have to waste time grabbing a bag and trying to hang on to it as you respond, or worry about leaving it behind.  The one I use collapses and folds into it's own pocket which, itself, fits into the aforementioned pouch.

Mini-Hacksaw
An inexpensive, lightweight mini-hacksaw can be used in many ways to gain entry. Hinges can be sawed off, for example, or locking bolts can be cut much more quietly than with a crowbar or sledgehammer and chisel. What you gain in stealth is lost in time, however.  It will take you much longer to saw through an obstacle than it will to use brute force.  In some cases, your only option may be to saw through something.  Chiseling or prying through rebar, for example, may prove nigh on impossible.  Sawing may be your best choice.

Small prybar
You can find small prybars at any home-improvement or hardware store. What you’re looking for is a thick, well-built tool that can take a lot of punishment.  I would suggest avoiding the flat, bar-type prybars for the rounder ones, though.  The type I use can be seen in fig X.  It’s only 8” long and is strong enough that I’ve pried doorjambs open with some effort.

Low-powered  “hands-free” flashlight.w/colored lens
The best choice is for a head-mounted, variable-power LED version with blue, red or green lights. You want just enough light to navigate by and to see what you’re scavenging.  Colors such as red and green are less noticeable from a distance than white lights and also serve to help you keep your night vision. Blue is the least noticeable of the three.

Multifunction tool
No survivalist should ever be without one.  If you can find a high-quality Multifunction Tool (MFT), you can probably do away with several other items in your kit.  For example, I carry a quality MFT that has two different types of blades, a fully-serrated edge and a non-serrated edge, as well as a rather aggressive blade for sawing wood and another for filing or sawing through metal.  Knowing it’s quality and having tested each accessory thoroughly, I would have no problem not including the boxcutter and mini-hacksaw from my looting kit.  MFT’s are expensive, though, especially the high-quality ones.   You may not want to spend the extra money on one when you consider that a other tools can be purchased at a much lower cost.  In fact, you may want to include the other items in the Mini Looting Kit, anyway, just in case you lose or don’t have access to your MFT.

Box Cutter or Utility Knife
Obviously, this is for cutting things.  Get one that fits comfortably in your hand and has replaceable heavy-duty blades, not razor blades.  Many items come prepackaged in different types of material. You may have to cut through banding strips, twine, cardboard or plastic to separate them.  Some companies offer folding versions of these cutting tools.  Again, look at these with an eye towards quality.  A survival situation is the last place you want to have a cheap, folding utility knife collapse on your hand and cut your fingers. Y

10’ Aluminum Wire
I recommend aluminum wire mainly because it doesn’t rust if stored for a long time and is relatively strong.  This is one of those items with so many uses, it’s hard to list them all.  Basically it can be used as a quick method of tying or securing something .  As an example, you can use a length to secure a door after you’ve destroyed the locking mechanism, tie a fence back together so you don’t leave a gap, or any of a number of things.  A ten foot roll is lightweight and takes up little space.

Tube of SuperGlue
This is another item that has a variety of uses.  Not only can you use it to seal up a cut, if you don’t have time to bandage it, but it can also be pressed into service to semi-permanently seal locks (squirt it into the locking mechanism) to prevent someone from using it.  Put some on a doorknob and the next person who uses it will find their hand attached, which may give you some warning that someone’s approaching.  The uses are only limited by your imagination.

Leather or other cut-resistant Gloves.
Regardless of the situation, you will always want to protect your hands.  Depending upon the state of the building you’re looting and the nature of the disaster, there may be lots of sharp, pointy things such as wood splinters, broken glass, jagged metal, etc.  A good pair of sturdy gloves will reduce your chances of injuring yourself.

10’ Duct Tape and a roll of fishing line.
You can do a lot of things with Duct Tape.  Slap a strip across the locking bolt of a door, for example, and it won't close, fully.  Use it to wrap items together securely, seal a hole, etc.  You can do similar things with the fishing line.  Set trip wires for early warning, tie door handles together, etc.  The possibilities are endless.

Basic Lock Pick Set
You may not have the tools to open a door or lock by brute force.  A simple lock pick set and some practice will open, if you'll for give the pun, a lot of doors.

Door Wedges
These are simple, triangular pieces of wood that can be used to prop a door or window open, or closed.

Basically, that's it.  It gives you more options.

The Professor


Offline bartsdad

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2011, 11:46:16 PM »
Quote
Yep, a Looting Kit.

Oh, wait. . .let me rephrase that lest I bear the wrath of the feminine, irridescent Noble One's shiney Hatchet of DOOM!(tm).

Scavenging Kit.
:rofl:

I'm thinking a  looting kit thread is in order. ;)

Offline Zuladad

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2011, 08:56:06 AM »
Great topic, and, for me timely!

Just so happens that I awoke with a start this morning.  I had a very 'eyeopening' dream, literally.  Briefly: I was driving in my car, at night, on a country road; came to an intersection and waited for an oncoming car to turn.  In the blink of an eye, everything went black, my car and the car died; all the lights went out in the distant houses.  My first thought was, "EMP!"  And there I sat, a long way from home, and no get-home kit!  I got a sense of what it would really be like! And yes, I did read Lights Out.

So your topic really hits home!  My post doesn't add content to the topic, but perhaps a sense of context.

Offline USMCAllen

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2011, 04:52:08 PM »
Look at stores that sell kayaking or canoeing supplies for "dry sacks". They are waterproof bags to store your stuff inside your pack so if you have to float it across the contents stay dry. Look for a pack with a lot of foam padding on the back, will help with buoyancy. The stuff sacks have a one way valve to squeeze air out while packed. Before crossing, inflate the bags with as much air as possible. Bring 550 cord to tie bags together if they don't fit in the pack once inflated. Military combat uniforms are designed to seal better when wet, And they teach personnel to breath into it and keep it inflated to help float. Hard to explain in words how to do it though...

The techniques and products are available to cross a body of water like that. Do some research and I'm sure you'll find the answers.

And yeah, a run through (couldn't call it a dry run) is definitely advisable. Especially with someone watching you for your safety.

Offline PrepNow

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2011, 03:33:51 PM »

Now. . .this all having been said (and echoed, already, by others who have posted since I started), Carrying that 35-lb PERK on your back is a bear, when riding.  I've done so and wasn't happy with the outcome.  That's why the ultralight bag is on the pack, currently.  That U/L pack weighs in about 25 lbs.  What I want to do, eventually, is put together a platform that snaps onto that rear pannier that holds my full-sized kit.  I'd do it myself, but I suck at fine welding (such as the lightweight, tubular aluminum that I have in mind to extend the "tail" of the platform back and add horizontal "wings" to the sides for support, so it doesn't flop around.


Great info! +1

I'd be interested to know what bags you're using as panniers that have the molle attachments.

A case can be made for putting the bulk of the weight on the front of the bike and using a rack like this  http://cetmacargo.com/CETMACargoRacksHello.htm

Offline The Professor

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Re: Get home bag ideas needed. 52 mile hike with major river to cross...
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2011, 10:51:01 PM »
Great info! +1

I'd be interested to know what bags you're using as panniers that have the molle attachments.

A case can be made for putting the bulk of the weight on the front of the bike and using a rack like this  http://cetmacargo.com/CETMACargoRacksHello.htm

The larger bags are made by Maratac and can be found at http://www.countycomm.com/xleod.html*-see note at end.  I've had them for a while.

I like those front racks you referred, however, I don't think they'll work with my front shocks in place.  I'm tempted to get one to see if I can Gerry-rig them onto the back of the bike, though.

The Professor