Monday, February 02, 2009

Lightening the Load

Before I attended the last BoB soirée I hefted my BoB and decided it was too heavy. I knew it was too heavy last year – I carried it okay but it just felt bad. Reminds me of a conversation from The 13th Warrior:

Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan: (Ahmed is given a Viking sword) I cannot lift this.
Herger the Joyous: Grow stronger.

Well, I figured I’d do what “Eban” did with his sword and just lighten it up a bit.
I don’t have a scale but I know I removed several pounds of gear. Here’s what went away:

Pistol, Ammo, Earplugs and Waist Pack
I carry another pistol and spare mags anyway so I really don’t need this. I don’t think I’m going hunting while bugging out and if I absolutely have to kill a squirrel or other small furry critter I’ll do it with a full power round. I wear a combat harness (LCE) with two canteens, ammo pouches, K-Bar and first aid pack and have earplugs in the little pocket on the canteen pouches so I didn’t need another set. I kept a lot of EDC stuff in the waist pack along with the pistol but I would transfer it to my pockets anyway so the waist pack was really to tote the .22.

Knife Sharpener, Pocket Knife, 550 Cord Lanyard
So redundant. All my knives are sharp; they won’t get overly dull within the bug out parameters for which I designed the BoB; I’m constantly removing and replacing the EZ Lap sharpener from my BoB during hunting season (I like it and I use it a lot) and it’s heavy. The pocket knife has a cool saw and bottle opener – so does my Leatherman Super Tool. I have lots of cordage in the BoB – this little bit won’t be missed.

Vaseline Cotton Balls, Candle, Lighter, Heat Tabs
Redundant – I have plenty of each still in the BoB.

Canteen Cup, 2-Quart Canteen and Pouch, 1-Quart Canteen Pouch
I used to have these strapped to the outside of my ALICE. I have a bladder in my new ruck so I figured I could ditch the 2-Quart. I had some survival supplies tucked into the pouch but those were redundant to what I carry on my person anyway. I still carried the 1-Quart canteen but inside the BoB so I didn’t need the pouch. I carry a German mess kit so the cup was redundant – but I am fond of it – it’s been there and earned some T-shirts.

Sling Rope and Snap Link
I’m not going to do any Ranger assaults while bugging out. I don’t have a 120’ rope anywyay… 550 cord that I do carry is plenty strong enough. In the end, I put the snap link back in the BoB and used it to hang it from a tree to keep it off the ground and at a height that made it easy to get into and out of while camping. I’ll probably take it back out – I don’t need it to hang the BoB.

Lens Cleaner, Camo Stick, Fire Starter
I’ll just wipe my glasses off if they get foggy like everyone else does. I probably don’t need to camo up and if I do – I’ll don the head net in my LCE or use a bandana, or use mud, or… The fire starter is big and redundant.

Waterproof Bag, NOD, Compass, Constitution, Toilet Paper, Head Net, Spoon
The bag is durable and heavy – I replaced it with a large trash bag. The pouch contains a night vision device I got from Rob at JRH Enterprises and while it could prove very useful for bugging out, the actual chances I’ll use it while doing so are slim. I have given it a new home in some other contingency gear that I use more than my BoB anyway. The compass is rugged and heavy and makes a great flail weapon – I replaced it with a Silva. I could make a comment about how our Constitution is starting to resemble toilet paper and redundancy but I’ll just leave it at - they were redundant. Okay, I can't leave it...Have you read the Bill of Rights lately? .Gov is violating most of them. If you haven’t read your Constitution please do so – it is short and easy to understand. I have a head net in my LCE and a better choice would be a net with no eye holes – so you could use it as a dip net for minnows and such. I have one I carry in my USRSOG gear but I use it a lot so it is not in my BoB. The spoon was redundant.

Al Mar SERE Knife and Trash Bags
The bags were redundant. The knife is an old friend from “back in the day” but it’s heavy and redundant. Besides, now I can carry it around and use it instead of keeping it tucked away in my BoB.

Mini Maglite Holster and Camo Net
I carry my flashlight in a shirt pocket or in an outside pocket of the BoB and my ruck is already camo.

So there ya go – that’s what I removed before this last trip. I didn’t regret leaving any of it behind. Am I done? Is the BoB now perfect? No way. Like me, it is a Work in Progress.

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. - Psalm 55:22


If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America


At 4/2/09 19:21, Blogger G said...

Indeed. As an avid backpacker the process of refining the load is a continuous process. A lot of the gear you have pictured seems very durable yet heavy. If you haven't already check out some of the gear from the ultralight backpacking sites. I plan my bob for around one week so a lot of my gear doesn't have to be heavy duty bombprof. I'm in reasonable shape (squat 350ish) and I cannot carry more then 45 pound over rough terrain for more then 3-4 hours without a lot rest without over taxing my body and sweating a lot.

At 10/2/09 20:10, Blogger Humble wife said...

Thanks for such an informative blog. I have spent a bit of time reading this and that, as I am in the mode of believing that times have changed forever since the stimulus passed.

I have started a simple series of prep, although my concerns are to be upfront and honest with how I view things but still remain cautious.

I have totally been building up the stockpiling learning medicinal herbs etc.

Thanks for making me feel that others are out there.


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