How We Choose The Right Gear

Packing the proper gear is an important aspect of having a pack as is keeping things organized.  I would like to take this time to share with you how and what we choose for our packs.

Having a pack full of all the latest gear is great, but if you don't know how to use any of it prior to a survival situation it really isn't going to do you a whole lot of good.  Also, having a pack with all the essential gear and having it just jammed in your pack will not help you in the event that you need to find something fast.  Two of the biggest things we want to express is knowing how to use and use well what you have in your pack and to keep your pack organized and things together in a way that you will remember where to locate things quickly.

In the video below, I will talk to you about what I carry in my short term pack and why:

Contents of my short term survival pack:  http://youtu.be/5_b6Rq6eajU

As you saw in my above video, I carry an Alaska Guide Creations front pack that was invented by my good friend Jaret Owens, for my essentials.  It keeps my hands free which is important to me and I carry an Alice pack on a Bull Pac Frame for comfort and the ability to be able to expand what I am carrying if necessary.  It is also great to have when hunkering down in the wild to pack your firewood back to your shelter, an elk or deer that you may have needed for food, water from a near by stream.

Here is a review of the Bull Pac Frame by the Mountain Man if you are interested in more information:  http://youtu.be/XXajHSwwZhE  I highly recommend them because of the quality of the frame – you will not need to worry about comfort or the pack ever bending on you.

We all make it a point daily to carry on our person, a lighter, a pocket knife and a multi-tool, a large knife, a  paracord bracelet or a small roll of paracord in our pockets and our water bottle of choice is either a stainless steel or aluminum bottle so we can sterilize our water on the fly, need be.  This way we are already ahead of the game while cutting firewood away from the house or even working on the homestead and something were to happen we would have our essentials.  We are always packing here as well because of the mountain lions and wolves.

Now something else we do is repurpose things to utilize in our packs, taking great care in keeping things organized and being creative.

We include the essentials for fire, water purification, building a shelter, a compass and topo map of our area, wool blankets which can also be used to make clothing, tools for all our needs such as trapping our food, small fishing kits, medical kits, but our mind has been set by our traditional and primitive lifestyle to utilize a lot of what is in our surroundings for our survival.  Such as a tree branch for a splint, a small sapling for a snare for food, harvesting our meat with the deer and elk in our surroundings and having the know how to turn that hide into clothing by brain tanning it, utilizing much of that same animal for tools, cordiage and food.

Because our day to day is already geared a lot to traditional and primitive aspects in life our survival packs may not be as glamorous as some would expect.  We do not have all the latest and greatest gadgets and our goal and mindset is to pack as light as we possibly can without neglecting our well-being and our safety and taking on a frugal approach to our purchases and needs as well.

We forage from the wild and I have added what I feel is an essential part to our survival packs and that is heirloom seeds.  Heirloom seeds do not take up a lot of room, but will provide our family with varying vegetables and fruit which would not typically be available in the wilderness and the beauty is that you can take those seeds and save them.  In doing so you will have an endless ability to provide food for your family.

Because we already eat a whole foods diet we are used to foraging and harvesting our food from the wild.  Remember this takes special knowledge in identifying your plants so this is something you should practice well before you need to utilize such a skill in a survival situation.  Most plants have what we refer to as an evil twin which is poisonous so we highly suggest finding someone locally that you can learn to identify the safe plants in your area and there are many good books available as well.

We also look for multi-purpose tools and useful tools that are compact.  I and the Mountain Man carry a Gerber tool and the Mountain Boy carries a Leatherman.  The Mountain Man's mind is always spinning on new inventions and things he can fabricate himself which led us to manufacturing two of his inventions initially and a 3rd was invented this year.

Let me introduce you to our MultiFlame Tool and MultiFlame Mini Tool with a review that was provide by William Myers of Mantis Outdoors.   The Mountain Man's tools provide you with a fire piston, gun cleaning tool, a 1/4″ bit driver and an auger adapter to drill holes exceptionally fast in the wild.  We have built chairs, tables, etc. super fast and easy to which has made our camping experiences a blast so imagine what it could provide for you in a survival situation.  Especially one that turns into a long term situation.

The Mountain Man's additional invention from this year that Jamie Burleigh from One Foot Into The Wild helped collaborate on was the Trayer Fire Tool which is made from an old rasp.  Providing the a baring block, a flint and steel, a flat head screw driver, a sharp edge for use in varying things, a file and an aggressive file.  Below is a video review on the Trayer Fire Tool by Jamie Burleigh.

Below are some unique things the Mountain Man has made for his packs:

How To Make a Fishing Kit:  http://youtu.be/62ysBmhh2m4

How To Use An Old Cigarette Lighter:  http://youtu.be/FfT1OMJB2r0

How To Make A Paracord Donut:  http://youtu.be/8zkvk5e5QdY

Here is a video of the contents of the Mountain Man's short term pack:

A Trek and Contents of the Mountain Man's Pack:  http://youtu.be/NAm18P5PRv0

Now let us break down a list of the things we feel are essentials:

In regard to food, we typically do not pack a lot of food because we know how to forage and harvest from the wild, but the food that I listed above in our list will help sustain us in the meantime.

As far as a tarp or shelter system, we chose not to break the bank for a long time and have just used a tarp or even our reusable space blanket, but below you will find two locations that I recommend the people behind the products as well as the shelter systems they carry:

Something else to keep in mind, if you have small children it may be best to say put versus heading out on foot if you don't have to.  If you do need to hit the trail be sure to have a bag for each child with their specific needs.   Keep it light, but be sure to have their essentials.  Heading off on foot sounds great, but if you are not accustomed to even camping I would highly recommend taking the time now to explore this new realm and not just brave it in an emergency.  We head out to the wild regularly setting up our own shelters, campsite, etc and practice this regularly as a family to perfect our skills and learn our immediate surroundings and the Idaho countryside.  Also being able to teach your children at a young age about camping and the outdoors will help you in the event of a survival situation.  Teaching them the importance of staying together, that they are not alone in the wild and incorporating them in building shelters, carrying their own gear, teaching them how to light a fire and explaining how all these things matter and how they can save their own life by knowing these things adds great excitement for a child.  Even camping in the backyard is a great start.

So remember not overloading your pack with unnecessary items is important and being sure that the things you have included are useful in more than one way.  Not only the contents of your pack, but your knowledge is key as well.

In addition to the contents of our pack, we all carry an axe and we may also have a folding shovel attached to our long term pack.  We will be producing a video upcoming which will share with you the full contents of our long term survival pack and there will also be a series on Yarns of the Cabin where we build a long term shelter and share how we do it and also how we live off the land.

Be sure to join us and subscribe to our YouTube Channel at TrayerWilderness.

I hope this was helpful in some way to you…

What is your favorite kind of pack?

So you don't have a pack yet, what questions might you have to help you move forward in getting yourself more prepared?


Thanks for joining the Prepared Bloggers as we work our way through 30 Days of Preparedness. September is National Preparedness Month so you will find everything you need to get your preparedness knowledge and skills into shape.

Take one post each day, learn as much as you can about the topic and make it a part of your preparedness plan.

Day 1 – Ready, Set, Get Prepared! Welcome to 30 Days of Preparedness from PreparednessMama
Day 2 – The Family Meeting Place and Escape from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 3 – I'm Safe! How to Communicate with Family in an Emergency from PreparednessMama
Day 4 – Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan? from Home Ready Home
Day 5 – Preparedness For Pets from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 6 – The Escape Exercise from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 7 – It all Falls Apart Without Mental Preparedness from PreparednessMama
Day 8 – It's a Matter of Emergency Kits from A Matter of Preparedness
Day 9 – Nine Great Emergency Light Sources Other Than Flashlights from Food Storage & Survival
Day 10 – Cooking Without Power from Mama Kautz
Day 11 – The Importance of a Shelter & Staying Warm and Dry from Trayer Wilderness
Day 12 – The Importance of Having The Right Tools In Your Pack from Trayer Wilderness
Day 13 – Practice Living Without Electricity from Food Storage Made Easy
Day 14 – How We Choose The Right Gear – (including the MultiFlame Tool) from Trayer Wilderness
Day 15 – Water Storage & Purification from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 16 – Food and Water for a 72 Hour “Go Bag” from Homestead Dreamer
Day 17 – 8 Foods You Should Be Storing and How from Melissa K Norris
Day 18 – Planning Your Pantry from The Organic Prepper
Day 19 – Stocking Up on Non-Food Items from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 20 – Dutch Oven Cooking: Off-Grid Before Off-Grid Was Cool from The Backyard Pioneer
Day 21 – Pressure Canning the Harvest from Timber Creek Farm
Day 22 – Personal Protection & Awareness from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 23 – KISS First Aid from Herbal Prepper
Day 24 – Mommy, I have to go Potty! from Mom With a Prep
Day 25 – Fire Starting 101: The Why and How of Lighting a Fire for Survival from Food Storage & Survival
Day 26 – How to Filter and Purify Water from Prepared Housewives
Day 27 – How To Make A Shelter from Trayer Wilderness
Day 28 – Put Your Preps to the Test with 24 Hours Unplugged from The Organic Prepper
Day 29 – What Is Char and Why You Should Have It To Start A Fire from Trayer Wilderness
Day 30 – How To Utilize Bushcraft Skills and Forage From The Wild from Trayer Wilderness

Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my time spent blogging and educating, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.