Wilderness Survival Bag (AKA Woods Bag)
This is a guest post by Dave.
Based on more than 20 years of experience as a law enforcement officer and my experiences in deployed environments and through a few pretty tough life lessons, I know that you just never can tell when an “emergency” situation will happen. Based on this I (like many others) maintain a Bug Out Bag (also called a 72 hour pack or a BOB) just in case I need to leave my home in a hurry due to a weather disaster, fire, terrorist attack, etc. I also maintain a Get Home Bag in my vehicle. The Get Home Bag has everything I would need in it to “Get Home” in case I have to go on foot or simply survive if my vehicle is stranded for a few days. When I was in the military I maintained an Escape and Evasion bag (E&E bag). When I was a cop I had an Active Shooter Bag. All of these bags are pretty common. What I would like to present in this article is what I call my “Woods Bag”.
For a look at JJ’s Get Home Bag, take a look at this post: http://www.realitysurvival.com/get-home-bag/
For me a Woods Bag (or whatever name you give it) is a bag designed specifically to carry while hiking or working in the woods (or any wilderness area). The Woods Bag, smaller and less obtrusive than a full back pack and is quite simply a kit that holds your standard wilderness survival gear. It can be a fanny pack, a shoulder strap bag, small back pack, or even a small personal survival kit designed to fit into a cargo pocket. The woods bag is nothing more than a small bag dedicated for survival in the wilderness.
The bag I choose for my Woods Bag is the Maxpedition brand Versipack http://www.maxpedition.com/?gclid=CI6dt5OavbICFdEWMgoddzIAyg/. Maxpedition makes great gear that will last a life time. The Versipack is a satchel style shoulder pack. OK, let’s address the elephant in the room right up front shall we? Yes, it’s technically a man purse. That said, I checked with the Official Man Card Referees and this does in fact get a pass. The Maxpedition Versipack is “tactical”, nearly indestructible, comes in rugged colors (mine is OD green), and can carry a pistol. I feel pretty secure in my manhood wearing this pack in the wilderness (even so I still don’t wear it to the mall just to be safe).
I have the version of the Maxpedition Verispak that hangs on my left side since I usually carry a pistol on my right hip, a rifle in my right hand or a compound bow in my right hand. When I am in the field with my bow I generally carry my pistol in one of the pouches of my Versipack. I like everything on my left side while shooting my bow so that my right side is free of obstructions. The inner pouch (what I consider the gun pouch) is capable of concealing a rather large handgun. I can easily conceal my Ruger GP100 (.357 Mag) with a 3 in barrel, which happens to be my woods gun. If I feel the need to step up in power, the Maxpedition Versipack can also accommodate my Smith &Wesson 629 Mountain Gun (.44Mag) with a 4 inch barrel. However, it is a pretty tight fit and the draw is a bit cumbersome. In addition to a handgun (if you so choose) the Woods Bag can carry all the emergency items that you may need to keep you alive in the wilderness for a short period of time as well. For a look at the items in my Woods Bag please watch the video below!
Contents of My Woods Bag
One Liter bottle of water in the side pocket.
One D ring and one photon light clipped to the outside.
Top pocket: Flashlight, glow stick, matches, lighter, metal match
Flap pouch: Poncho, paper, pen duct tape
Front Pouch: Med kit, mole skin, heavy duty space blanket/shelter
Side Pocket: Monocular, water purification tabs, CRKT knife, Coleman towel
Main Pouch: Gloves, Sterno fuel, compass, headlamp, 550 cord, whistle, room for food
Like I said before, having gear and a plan is important but the best item for preparedness is knowledge and common sense. Anyone can buy a bag full of gear and walk into the wounds and still perish. A resourceful person with a good understanding of bushcraft and wilderness survival skills can walk into the woods with only a knife and survive for a good period of time. Give that same knowledgeable & resourceful person a bag full of gear and he will be living in comfort.
What Do You Guys Carry in Your Woods Bags?
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Last but not least, if you are a shooter you may also want to Click This Link, that will take you to a page that provides FREE plans for building an awesome Portable Shooting Bench from one single sheet of plywood. Or if you are an outdoorsman and you spend time in the wilderness you may also want to Click On This Link, to go to a page where you can download my FREE mini-ebook that describes all of the most important steps needed to affect your rescue if you were lost in the wilderness.
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