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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