Medium Alice Pack Is A Great Weekend Backpack

Good backpacks are hard to find.  I own several, and only a few of them actually get regular use.  Sometimes old school gear is the best and worth checking into.  So I was pleasantly surprised with a new purchase of a cheaply priced Medium Alice Pack.

I recently did some searching for a ‘good’ field backpack that I could use for weekend excursions into the woods for remote camping.  I didn’t need a big backpack, just something large enough to carry some basic camping supplies.  I have always been a fan of ALICE packs, so when I came upon a medium sized bag that was new on Amazon, and that had some good reviews, I figured why not buy and check it out for myself.

The bag came about a month ago and since then I have loaded it up and carried it around with me a handful of times for day hikes in the woods.  It carries all of my basic camping gear for roughing it under a tarp tent.  I can pack the needed gear, plus about three days of food and water.  We are finally getting some warmer temps in my part of the country, so this weekend I am heading out for a relaxing get-away into the woods.

If you are looking for a medium sized ALICE pack that is new and not used military surplus, these are worth checking out.  So far I am happy with the construction of the bag, and can see it being used for many years to come for my basic hiking/camping needs.  It would make a good bug out bag.

 

Bug Out Bag – Getting Ready

 

It always makes me happy when a friend or relative of mine gets interesting in prepping.  A few weeks ago I bumped into a friend of mine while out doing some hiking in a local State Park.  We bumped into each other about thirty minutes away from the closest parking lot inside the State Park, so not that far out from civilization by any means.  He saw that I was wearing a messenger bag slung over my shoulder and asked me about it.  I told him I always carried with me when I go into the woods a few basic items.  I then popped open my bag and showed him a small first aid kit, a bottle of water, some snacks, and a few other odds and ends.

My friend agreed it made sense to have something like that along, even when just out doing some local hiking and trail walking in the local parks.  Soon the discussion turned to how I also kept a back pack at home with three days worth of basic supplies and food just in case it was needed for a prolonged emergency.  He asked what kind of emergencies, and I went onto explain how blizzards can knock out power in our part of the country, and how tornadoes can demolish a neighborhood or town, and then I pointed out other large disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and how thousands and thousands of people were displaced  from their homes and how they lost important documents during evacuation.

Well, before too long my friend was assuring me he wanted help putting together a a bug out bag.

So here I am, sitting in my living room with a used ALICE PACK backpack and a large assortment of various gear to help somebody survive for three days on their own with bare minimums.  The picture below shows some of the bare minimum items, including potassium iodine tablets, which I think are a good idea to have on hand depending on where you live.

For more information on bug out bags and what to pack in them, check out some of the other postings on this web page.

 

Contents to be added to a Bug out Bag.
Contents to be added to a Bug out Bag.

 

Scout Rifle – A General Purpose Use Weapon

 

If you could only pick one gun to use for all of your defense and hunting needs, what would that one gun be?  For Jeff Cooper, one of the 20th centuries foremost experts on small arms, that answer would be what he called a ‘scout rifle’.  The scout rifle was a concept he created back in the early 80s around a particular rifle design and caliber “that will do a great many things equally well.”

Jeff Cooper went on to characterize his scout rifle concept as a bolt action rifle, chambered in .30 caliber (7.62mm), that was less than 39.4 inches in length, weighing less than 6.6 pounds empty, fitted with ghost ring axillary iron sights, a forward mounted long eye-relief scope, a ‘ching sling’ shooting aid, and accuracy out to 200 yards of 4 inches or less with 3 shot groups.  Cooper went on to define his goal of a scout rifle as being: “…general-purpose rifle is a conveniently portable, individually operated firearm, capable of striking a single decisive blow, on a live target of up to 200 kilos in weight, at any distance at which the operator can shoot with the precision necessary to place a shot in a vital area of the target.”

Cooper believed in being prepared.  His scout rifle concept is a valid one for preppers everywhere.  If you needed to have one gun that could put food on the table and be used defensively or offensively, then you should take a closer look at Jeff Coopers scout rifle concept.

I recently added a Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle to my collection.  While the AR platform seems to be the one that preppers reach for first, I can’t help but question that logic.  When I stop and ask myself if I could only pick one gun, and only one gun that I would have to use for the rest of my life to hunt with, defend with, that was light enough to tote around from point “A” to point “B” in a bug out situation, and of a caliber that could take care of most anything in North America. . . I am pretty sure I would reach for my Scout Rifle.

A Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle without an optic.  Jeff Cooper would approve.
A Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle without an optic. Jeff Cooper would approve.

 

 

Gear Review

 

It’s that time of year again when I sit and go through all my gear.  I do this to check expiration dates on time sensitive gear and take inventory of what I have.  Because if you have a need for an item in an emergency situation, then you should know if you have it and you should know if it going to perish over time and needs to be replaced.  Some of the things I check are: First Aid supplies (everything), vitamins, survival rations, batteries, etc…etc…

This includes checking bug out bags, vehicle emergency kits, camp gear, long term storage items, and of course any and all food set aside.

 

Survival Prepping – Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

 

Check out this news clip from Fox News, as this is what happens  when disaster hits and people are not prepared.  Don’t be the person that has to race out to the stores at the last minute only to find them cleaned out.  Survival prepping is a must.

 

“Frustration with gas supplies topped the list of issues causing tensions to boil over in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, the states hardest hit by power outages in the wake of superstorm Sandy. Residents jockeyed for fuel at the few stations still pumping, searched store shelves in vain for batteries, struggled with sporadic cell phone service and found themselves unable to buy necessities at supermarkets. Continue reading “Survival Prepping – Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late”

Survival Awareness – Hurricane Sandy Coming Ashore

 

In case you have not been following the news, Hurricane Sandy is finally coming ashore and threatens easily 60 million people on the East Coast.  I hope people affected by this storm took the time to prepare themselves with specific survival items such as water, food, backup power such as generators, first aid supplies, extra clothes, means of cooking food and heating water and a wide variety other survival gear essentials.

 

The East Coast is bracing Monday for the impact of a powerful Category 1 hurricane as it barrels toward the mid-Atlantic with 95 mph winds and a storm surge that forecasters called “life-threatening.”

Read more: Link removed

Survival Skill – Catch Rain Water

Fresh rain water can be an excellent  drinking resource during an emergency or after a disaster, so long as that disaster wasn’t nuclear or chemical where the air would be polluted with contaminates.  Being able to catch rain water for consumption and growing plant could be a lifesaver.

There are several ways to collect rain water, and the most common one I have seen is to collect it from a gutter downspout into a barrel around the house or tool shed.  I use such a system at my house and it works great.  However, for this blog we will focus on a more portable system for collecting rain water. Continue reading “Survival Skill – Catch Rain Water”

Survival Awareness – Email From A Reader

 

I have received an email from a reader of this blog, who will be referred to as Michelle moving forward, and decided to post it here to share with everybody.  Everybody has a unique/different situation when it comes to prepping, as you will see in Michelle’s email:

I ran across your blog site and found it VERY helpful. I’ve recently taken up prepping and have been reading every book I can get my hands on. Because I have a family with 2 small kids and 2 big dogs, I’m having a hard time with the BOB and walking to a retreat location. I have BOB for each family member, appropriately sized for the little ones, but I just can’t see them walking very far. Is it absolutely crazy to have a vehicle as our only way out? I also can’t fathom them ‘surviving off the land’ for any extended amount of time.  Also, because we live in a suburb of (deleted for security reasons), I am having a hard time trying to locate a retreat location. We have 2 separate family member locations, one 40 miles away, one 500 miles away, but they are in suburbs too. We are not in a financial position to purchase a real “retreat property” so what do you suggest we look into? Do we leave the dogs to fend for themselves in a yellow or red event? What type of bug out vehicle do you recommend?” Continue reading “Survival Awareness – Email From A Reader”

Survival Food – Survival Seeds For Thriving In A Long Term Survival Situation

 

Along with hunting, fishing, and foraging for food in an extended survival situation, being able to grow your own food could mean the difference between barely surviving and thriving.  Knowing how to manage a garden is an excellent survival skill.  Knowing how to preserve what you grow for eating during the non-growing season is another highly suggested skill to acquire.

When planning for an extended survival situation where you can benefit from having a garden you need to seriously take a close look at the types of seeds available for growing.  Luckily, for people like you and I who are of the prepping mindset, there are many companies out there that sell “survival seeds”.  However, Continue reading “Survival Food – Survival Seeds For Thriving In A Long Term Survival Situation”

Survival Awareness – Bio-security Officials Sound Warning, News Feed

 

This certainly is alarming news being reported:  Combined sources for the information below is CNN and FOX news online.

The U.S. government is very much concerned regarding reports that Dutch scientists have created a highly contagious and deadly airborne strain of bird flu that is potentially capable of killing hundreds of millions of people world wide.

The U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Bio-security is currently analyzing how much of the scientists’ information should be allowed to be published if any at all.  There certainly are immense risks of having the scientific findings fall into the hands of terrorists or rogue states.

Following is a quote from a Senior US Bio-Security Official: “The fear is that if you create something this deadly and it goes into a global pandemic, the mortality and cost to the world could be massive.”

Many scientists reacting to the news are questioning whether the experiments and strain alteration should have been done in the first place.

For more information on this news story check out your own various sources one line.

This is just another reason to try and be prepared.  Stocking up on survival supplies such as water and food can certainly help.  But also you need to educate yourself regarding influenza and how to best fight it without being able to receive hospital care.  If a strain this deadly and as easily transferable as the one being talked about ever went global, care centers everywhere would quickly be overrun and shortages of medicine used to fight influenza would occur quickly.  Something this deadly would certainly incur a red event with a collapse of society.

 

Survival Planning – Field Survival Kit

 

During the month of October and November, and even into December, many people take to the woods for hunting and hiking.  This happens in all states during this time of year, as autumn and early winter is when most states around the country have their annual deer hunting seasons and when trees start to turn colors.  I live in the Midwest State of Wisconsin, and most areas in Wisconsin are not overly remote where you are more than a few miles from a farm or cabin.  However there are regions within the state that are dozens of miles away from anything.  Hunting with bow or gun takes place in every nook and cranny around the state, and it does not matter how far out in the woods you choose to go, even if you are only planning on being out for a few hours for some small game hunting of rabbit or squirrel or the like, it is a good idea to have a field survival kit as part of your hunting gear.

I bring up this subject because I was talking with some people at my local gun club who were saying they travel light when they hunt.  I asked what they meant by traveling light, and the most typical answer was the clothes on their back, a gun (or bow), some rope, and a good knife for field dressing their wild game.  I countered back that I travel light as well, but that I also include a small pack with some survival gear.  I was asked Continue reading “Survival Planning – Field Survival Kit”

Survival Awareness – Drinking Safe Water

 

I have posted a few blogs regarding the need to have a survival retreat.  Those posts can be found here: part one, and part two.  However before I display my third post on that subject I wanted to take some time to talk about water.

Water in regards to survival/disaster planning is probably one of the most important things you need to think about.  A person can survive many weeks without food, but can only survive about three to five days without water.  Depending on your day to day activities you may need more water or less water.  Obviously laborious activity is going to require you to drink more water than laying around doing nothing because you are going to be perspiring more and need to replenish what water your body uses.  So survival water really needs to be at the top of your preparedness list when you are planning for any Continue reading “Survival Awareness – Drinking Safe Water”

Survival Preparedness – Make Sure You’re Ready With Survival Gear Checks

 

I’ve talked about three day survival kits, bug out bags, and survival retreats.  I’ve also mentioned storing some extra emergency food items as well as water.  With all that in mind, it is important to take some time to go back through all the survival gear you have been preparing.  This is something I usually do at least twice a year in early spring and mid-autumn, and sometimes more often if I need to switch out something that may have an expiration date and needs to be removed and updated.

I keep on hand in my home a bug out bag for each member of the family, a three day survival kit in each vehicle, a small pack that I carry with me when I go hiking or hunting that also contains some basic survival supplies, and several storage boxes that contain a variety of things such as; emergency food, extra clothes for all seasons, camping gear, extra shoes and boots, tools, etc… Continue reading “Survival Preparedness – Make Sure You’re Ready With Survival Gear Checks”

Survival Retreat Planning – Part One

 

Luckily large scale disaster events are few and far between.  Most survival situations run for a short duration and last less than ten days, and are referred to as a green event.  Most green events can be tackled by hunkering down at home with an ample supply of survival food along with survival water storage and some alternative cooking means such as a camp-stove.  Throw in some other basic survival gear, some common sense thinking regarding prepping and you are set to face a green event.  However, larger disaster threats are out there, and such events that fall into the yellow and red category typically spell bad news for entire regions and sometimes entire countries.  Worse case scenarios are world wide events, which is typically referred to as ‘the end of the world as we know it’ (TEOTWAWKI), or even the apocalypse.

You can pretty much count on a yellow (10-90 days) or red (90+ days) event having a complete breakdown of society. Continue reading “Survival Retreat Planning – Part One”

Preparing For A Green Level Disaster Event – Part Two

 

In Part One of this two part blog the things discussed for preparing to survive a green level disaster situation was water, food, and shelter.  In part two the topics will be geared towards first-aid kits and miscellaneous items that can be part of your survival gear.

First Aid Kits

Preparing for any survival situation should include a good first aid kit.  You certainly will want to have a personal first aid kit in your bug out bag, but you will also want to have a slightly larger kit for Continue reading “Preparing For A Green Level Disaster Event – Part Two”

Survival Knife Selection – A Guide

 

A survival knife can go a long ways towards making your life a little easier in any survival situation.  They can be used to easily help create fire starting tender, cut rope, webbing, para-cord, clean a fish, field dress wild game, create a spear by lashing it to a sturdy stick, and many other uses.

When looking to buy a survival knife there are a few key factors you will want to consider when making a choice that is best for you.  Those factors are Continue reading “Survival Knife Selection – A Guide”