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Thread: Go Bags

  1. #51
    Site Supporter Peally's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
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    Wisconsin, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe S View Post
    I really second/third everyone check out the Listening to Katrina blog, and make a realistic assessment of their risk factors. A lot of people tend to think of having to run and gun from Ivan (WOLVERINES!) or survive in the backwoods after al-Shabab takes out the power grid, but the documentation and comfort stuff will be sorely missed if your house burns down but society is intact.

    Also, really be honest about the capabilities of anyone else involved. When my living situation changed from an apartment with a couple of former hard-charging Marines to my very-civilized lady and a cat, it changed my game plan for nearly everything A LOT.
    These threads always go from reasonable 3 day flood evac plans to preparing for the end-times sexpocalypse.

    I recommend stashing supply and weapons caches underground around the state personally.
    Semper Gumby, Always Flexible

  2. #52
    "I would highly advise anyone packing a go bag to ruck that bag however many miles you think it'll take you and see what works.

    Also understand how far you can move on foot and how long it takes."

    +1

    Background - I get my jollies by backpacking for a couple of months most summers, and I've been doing that for four decades. I've lost track of how many 100+ mile walks I've been on, so I'm pretty finely attuned to the tradeoff between how much I'm carrying, what the terrain is, and how far and fast I can go. That's why I saw half the handle off my toothbrush :-).

    I'm sure there are lots of people who build go-bags who also have that knowledge, but my sense is that there are also lot of people who have never actually carried the weight they plan to carry over the distance and terrain they plan to cross. I think those people may be in for very rude surprises. Many people seem to plan on carrying a lot of stuff. If you throw that stuff out halfway to your destination, you've wasted a lot of time and effort.

    And if you don't know your personal weight/time/distance equation, I'd think it's hard to make good bug-in/bug-out decisions. If things in the metro area are getting dicey enough you plan to leave, you'd darn well better be able to actually exit the metro area in a timely manner. Otherwise you might end up involuntarily bugging-in somewhere less optimal than your house.

    If your plan is to walk 20 miles to a relative's house, that's easy to test, just walk it. If the plan is to walk 100 miles in 5 days, and you've never done anything like that, I'd at least try to do 40 miles in a weekend and see what happens.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by whomever View Post
    "I would highly advise anyone packing a go bag to ruck that bag however many miles you think it'll take you and see what works.

    Also understand how far you can move on foot and how long it takes."

    +1

    Background - I get my jollies by backpacking for a couple of months most summers, and I've been doing that for four decades. I've lost track of how many 100+ mile walks I've been on, so I'm pretty finely attuned to the tradeoff between how much I'm carrying, what the terrain is, and how far and fast I can go. That's why I saw half the handle off my toothbrush :-).

    I'm sure there are lots of people who build go-bags who also have that knowledge, but my sense is that there are also lot of people who have never actually carried the weight they plan to carry over the distance and terrain they plan to cross. I think those people may be in for very rude surprises. Many people seem to plan on carrying a lot of stuff. If you throw that stuff out halfway to your destination, you've wasted a lot of time and effort.

    And if you don't know your personal weight/time/distance equation, I'd think it's hard to make good bug-in/bug-out decisions. If things in the metro area are getting dicey enough you plan to leave, you'd darn well better be able to actually exit the metro area in a timely manner. Otherwise you might end up involuntarily bugging-in somewhere less optimal than your house.

    If your plan is to walk 20 miles to a relative's house, that's easy to test, just walk it. If the plan is to walk 100 miles in 5 days, and you've never done anything like that, I'd at least try to do 40 miles in a weekend and see what happens.
    This is better worded than what I posted hastily earlier.

    In 2018 I competed in a 50 mile ruck challenge: 20 hours to ruck 50 miles while carrying a 20lb weight(as in a useless piece of steel, sand, or bricks). Whatever else you needed was on top of that weight. My final ruck weight was ~28-30 lbs. You had from 9pm Friday to 5 PM Saturday.

    I did lots of training leading up to it. A lot of it was physical conditioning, but an equal amount was just figuring out how to do it:

    -How hard/fast can I go for how long?
    -How often do I rest?
    -How do I rest?
    -How much food and water do I actually need?
    -How do I deal with rain?
    -Which parts of my body break down first?

    For me I learned (the hard way) that my 50 mile pace was a great deal slower than my 30 mile pace. Seems obvious, but it was hard for me to understand the difficulty until I did it. I also learned I needed a lot less food and water than anticipated.

    There was no shortage of guys and gals who gave up due to bad hip flexors, shin splints, blisters, knee pain, etc. Some quit at 20 miles, others at 40. Everyone has a different weakness and it's good to know your early warning signs.

    I suppose what I'm trying to to say is this: on PF we always advocate for training and competition to develop proficiency with firearms. Apply that same mindset to your go bag - get some miles on it and try using it overnight. Figure out your physical capability as well.

  4. #54
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Alabama
    The points made throughout this thread about test-driving (walking?) the bags brings to mind a personal experience. A few friends and I decided to test our BOBs one weekend. It was spring time, but forecast to be unseasonably cool during the night. We ran the gamut in mistakes. All the packs were on the small side. Some of us crammed those packs to overflowing and then started lashing shit to the outside. Others, had tiny little messenger-type bags that were half empty. Hmmm, we can't both be right.... (turn out we were both wrong). Hilarity ensued.

    Us kitchen sink types suffered, not so much from the weight of the pack, but from the lack of legitimate suspension - we were all runnign glorified day packs of some sort. That, and all the crap lashed to the pack swung like pendulum with every step. Suckage. The dinky bag crew was chortling at us all along the trail. Then we made camp. I have a distinct recollection of laying in my sleeping bag inside my tent and being awakened off and on all night by the sounding of cracking limbs. Yup, the dinky bag folks were freezing their arses off and tried to keep the fire going all night so as not to die. When I crawled out of my tent the next morning, two guys were "sleeping" propped up against a tree and were using a tarp for a blanket and another guy was curled up on a space blanket next to the dying fire. They had taken, "Fight light, freeze at night" to a new level. They were... miserable.

    Lots of lessons learned that weekend, and we all tweaked our set-ups as a result. For myself, I have reverted back to an old-shool pack frame to which I strap a waterproof duffel bag. The night before we departed it got pretty interesting because some of us who previously had very minimal gear, when faced with the prospect of living out of the bag for a couple of days, started adding odds and ends, this and that. Not non-essentials mind you, just stuff we "needed". And the bags were not sufficient for the resulting load. So yeah, the divergence between theory and reality can be significant. It pays to actually try things out.

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