Alfonso Faustino: What’s in your pack? (EDC & Bug-out Items)

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My North Face Router Charged 41 Liter Back-pack with T55 Joey Battery Charger is my bug-out pack.  I can fit all the stuff I need from my all-purpose Fischer Space Pen to my Sig Sauer P226R 9mm sidearm and its case.

Before I get started with the items in my EDC (Everyday Carry) and bug-out (emergency items) pack, I’d like to mention the importance of training, knowledge, practice, and learning.  No EDC or bug-out pack can replace training, knowledge, practice, and learning of combat and survival techniques and skills.  I’ve been in two major city catastrophes; and, in both instances, I did not have my bug-out pack — my training was the key element that got me to safety.

My father’s survival training, my wilderness survival training from other instructors, and my 18-month strategic and tactical combat training course in Virginia, are more useful to me than my bug-out pack; hence, my bug-out pack is just a small pack of tools that supplement my knowledge, experience, and training.

My brain is my greatest asset, and my body is my most important tool and vehicle.

It is important to train without stress and with stress.  Training without stress allows you to repeat your procedures in order to gain muscle and mind memory — my instructors mentioned it takes 1000 repetitions or more of a specific behaviour in order for long-term muscle and mind memory.

During my 18-month strategic and tactical combat training course in Virginia, we were taught various procedures, and we trained and repeated those procedures many times — over and over again.  We spent countless hours and run-throughs of breaching a door in various formation: 1-man, 2-man, 3-man, and 4-man. We spent countless hours and run-throughs of clearing out a jammed cartridge in a sidearm, run-conceal-cover exercises to acquire the target and discharge a sidearm, and many other types of procedures.

Then, we had to repeat those procedures in a stress-induced environment, night and day, such as discharging my weapon under fire against moving targets — believe me, shooting paper targets at the range is NOTHING compared to shooting moving targets that were firing back at me while I had my instructors yelling at my back about status reports and time lapses.

The reason I mention this is because under stress, we revert to our most comfortable behaviours programmed into our mental and muscle memories — those behaviours have been repeated many times throughout our lives.  It is important to replace those inefficient, ineffective, and unsafe behaviours with new behaviours during an emergency and catastrophic event.  During an emergency and catastrophic event, all my new mental and muscle memory behaviours from my training courses will automatically kick into action under severe stress — at least that’s the hope and goal.

In addition to these behaviours, I had to adjust my attitude about people.  Prior to my training, I was open and friendly to anyone that wanted to talk.  After my training, I’m cautious and guarded. I NEVER under-estimate anyone I encounter; hence, I always take the position that the person I encounter is smarter, more trained, and more dangerous than me.  This is especially true during a civil catastrophe where the structure of law and order might be non existent.

I never under-estimate the people I meet; and, that mental disposition forces me to continuously train, learn, and practice; so, that I can protect myself in any circumstance.  (This reminded me of my competitive tennis days — my father always told me never under-estimate my opponents — treat them with respect and the position that they are faster, more accurate, and more powerful than me; and, this disposition forced me to train and practice hard and smart.)

If you have proper training and practice during non catastrophic and non emergency times, then you will increase your chances of survival if and when the emergency and catastrophic time come.

Also, don’t ever carry or use a sidearm without being properly trained and having significant practice in using it for self-protection.  If you carry a sidearm without training or practice, it can be more dangerous for you and others; because, your threat might be able to disarm you and use your sidearm to kill or injure you; or, you might end up causing injury and death to an innocent person during a negligent discharge or having a bullet pass through your threat’s body and hitting an innocent person behind your threat.

Training, education, knowledge, and practice will lighten the weight of your EDC and bug-out packs; because, you won’t need a lot of stuff — you will be able get the stuff you need from your environment and manipulate your environment to your advantage — both in combat and survival.

North Face 41 Liter Router Charged Back-pack With T55 Joey: $249

Several years ago, I came across the North Face 41 Liter Router Charged Back-pack with T55 Joey.  It was perfect for me; because, it had lots of organized sectioned spaces and pockets to pack all my stuff in an effective and efficient manner.

Moreover, the Router Charged was ergonomically designed to fit a person’s body and efficiently distribute the load; so, that it feels light and comfortable even though I have a bunch of heavy items in the back-pack.

I use my Router Charged as my EDC and bug-out pack.  So, hereinafter, Router Charged will be referred to as my, bug-out pack, and bug-out pack will also mean, EDC-pack.

I believe in blending into my environment; hence, my bug-out pack looks like a regular back-pack.  If you saw me on the streets, you would never think that I’m carrying my bug-out gear: sidearm, water purification device, and so on.

The bug-out pack is fully adjustable to ensure the perfect fit for any body.  The two harnesses at the top of the shoulder straps adjust the distance between the top of the back-pack and the shoulders — stay away from back-packs that don’t have these straps — these straps are important to ensure the proper alignment of the back-pack to your neck, shoulders, and lower back.  The two harnesses at the bottom of the each shoulder strap adjust the ride-height of the back-pack and the height of the waist-belt.  The waist-belt is fully adjustable as with the sternum strap — the sternum strap is also an important feature to a back-pack.  All these straps make the bug-out pack fully adjustable to get that perfect fit.

The total weight of my bug-out pack, fully loaded, is 23 pounds, according to REI’s scale; and, it matches my math calculation of individually weighing every single item in my bug-out pack — 23 pounds from my math calculations and 23 pounds according to REI’s scale.

Like my gun and knife, I practice using my bug-out pack and engage with it on a daily basis.  That way, I know the location of stuff at the time I need it — time is critical when experiencing an exigent situation due to a catastrophic event; and, I believe in practice and engagement with my tools in order to be effective and efficient.

I have a general rule: if I am within three miles of my home, I have the option of carrying or not carrying my bug-out pack; if I’m three miles or beyond my home, I will always carry my bug-out pack; but the items (e.g., sidearm, knives, and clothes) in it will change depending on my venues for the day.

Clothing

For me, blending into my environment is important; hence, I don’t wear any tactical clothing nor shirts with brand name logos.  The only time I wore tactical clothing was during my 18-month strategic and tactical combat training in Virginia.  Other than that training course, I wear slim cut or regular cut designer jeans. I don’t carry a big Rambo or Bear Grylls survival knife on my belt.

Although my clothes are regular civilian clothes, I have my core bug-out stuff in them, and I’m ready to bug-out or manipulate my environment to my advantage in the event something goes south — that’s the benefit of training, practice, and knowledge — I don’t need my bug-out pack — my brain is my best asset, and my body is my best weapon, tool, and vehicle for survival.

In the pictures, below, I’m wearing all the primary bug-out items I need on my person.  Notice there are no unusual bulges when wearing my slim-cut designer jeans. In some of the pictures, I’m wearing my Sig Sauer full-size P226R — can you guess which picture I’m concealing my Sig Sauer P226R?

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What’s inside my bug-out pack?

So, let’s get into some of the stuff in my bug-out pack, which I will high-light in this BLOG, in the following pictures.  As a reminder, I will use the term bug-out pack to be inclusive of all items that fall within EDC and emergency (bug-out).

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Lethal Weapons

Sig Sauer P226R Black Nitron 9mm

Sig Sauer P226R is my favorite sidearm; and, it is always near me or on my person.  I trained with this sidearm during my 18-month strategic and tactical combat training course in Virginia.  I’ve gotten so sensitive to my sidearm that I could tell the number of cartridges that are in the magazine when picking it up.  I have become so intimate with my sidearm that I know the breaking point of the trigger, and I can feel the movements of all the components in the trigger, as a I move the trigger back with my left index finger.

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I only carry one magazine.  My sidearm is strictly a back-up weapon.  My first weapon is to avoid all hostile situations.  If I am unable to avoid and forced to use my sidearm, then my Sig Sauer P226R is ready to go.

I only carry one magazine, which is in the magazine well of my sidearm.  If I can’t neutralize my threat within two shots, within 6 seconds, and within 8 yards of me; then, I’m really in a shit-load a trouble and no amount of cartridges is gonna help me win that gun-fight — my best option is to bug-out rather than discharge more cartridges.

Sig Sauer P239

If you feel the Sig Sauer P226 is too big for you to conceal and carry, consider the Sig Sauer P239.  I also dig this weapon; and, I recommended it to one of my students.  In fact, yesterday, 27-February-2017, she purchased her first sidearm: Sig Sauer P239.

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I will be purchasing the Sig Sauer P239, like the one Laura purchased in the picture above, within the next month.  I really like this sidearm.

Spyderco C11PS

The Spyderco C11PS folding knife is my favorite concealed carry weapon.  I go to this weapon before I go to my sidearm. The Spyderco C11PS looks sexy and built with high-quality materials.  The smooth and shiny finish encourage me to handle it and be proficient with it; and, it has a good balanced weight to it.  The blade is made of high-quality, durable, sharp VG-10 stainless steel.  The handle is also of quality stainless steel.  I only use this knife for self-protection.

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Spyderco C11PS: my favorite conceal and carry knife.

Like my sidearm, I went through training with this weapon — it was an 8-hour course in the art of knives as weapons for self-protection.  I prefer the knife over the sidearm — the knife can get the job done quickly without a single sound (i.e., the sound of a cartridge going off in a sidearm after discharge).

I purchased one for my sister; and, she carries one in her purse; and, I taught her the way to use it for self-protection.

1974-1980 Buck Knife .110.

When I’m dressed down for a camping trip or a day hike, I carry my Buck Knife .110..  I’m the original and first owner of this wonderfully American made folding knife. I’ve had this knife for over 30 years; and, I like leaving the brass dirty.  I use to polish it all the time, but I, for some reason, like leaving it dirty…at least, for now.

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I use to carry it with me as a self-protection weapon; but, it doesn’t match well with my suits and dress-jeans; hence, I purchased the gentleman’s knife: Spyderco C11PS.

Non Lethal Weapons

Nitecore Revenger SRT7 960 Lumen Tactical Torch (Flashlight)

I purchased the Nitecore Revenger SRT7 960 Lumen Tactical Torch (flashlight) for self-protection  — not a light source. I’ve used it two times as a non lethal weapon in San Francisco, and it passed with flying colors.  My threats were blinded, and I was able to bug-out to a safe-zone after disabling them and removing their weapons.

If you are gonna use a torch for self-protection, make sure your torch has a minimum of 200 lumens, which is the amount of lumens needed to temporarily blind and disorient your threat.  Many times, the threat complained about intense eye pain and head-aches after being exposed to a high-lumen tactical torch. So, use it to disable your threat, then  either run to a safe-zone or deploy additional counter-measures against him while he cannot see well.

If you are gonna use a torch for self-protection, I recommend taking a class to fully understand the proper use of self-protection with a torch.  The course I took was an 8-hour course, using the torch as a weapon.

Nitecore P12GT 1000 Lumen Tactical Torch (Flashlight)

When I’m wearing a suit or my designer jeans, I don’t want to carry my Nitcore SRT7 Revenger 960 Lumen Tactical Torch on my belt — it disturbs my look and style; hence, I slip my Nitecore P12GT 1000 Lumen Tactical Torch in my right front pocket of my jeans.

Like my Nitecore SRT7 Revenger 960 Lumen Tactical Torch, I purchased my Nitecore P12GT 1000 Lumen Tactical Torch primarily as a non lethal weapon against potential threats.

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The P12GT comes with a belt-sheath; but, I don’t use it — I use the clip.

Again, as I mentioned earlier, if you are gonna use a torch for self-protection, I recommend taking a class to fully understand the proper use of self-protection with a torch.  The course I took was an 8-hour course, using the torch as a weapon.

Fischer Space Pen

I dig these pens — I have two of them.  I’ve owned this particular one, shown in the picture below, for over 10 years.  It fits in my pocket, and it is comfortable to use and carry. They write well in all positions; and, they are waterproof.  As the name states, they can also operate in space; though, I have never been in space, so I cannot vouch for that assertion; but, I did use it for SCUBA excursions; and, I did write with it 40 feet below the water’s surface.

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Another feature I like is that I can use this as a deadly weapon in the same fashion I use my knife.

Military Issued Collapsible Baton

My 18-month strategic and tactical combat training course in Virginia taught me the proper use of fighting with a collapsible baton. The sections being slung out of the handle of the baton sound and look intimidating; hence, it is a good deterrent and will usually be enough for the threat not to engage in hostile measures.

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This weapon requires a permit to purchase and carry; so, check with your laws before taking possession and custody of one.  In California, it is a felony have one without a permit.

 Water

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System

Safe and clean drinking water are paramount in any situation; hence, I use the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System whenever I’m out and about on a day-hike or out camping. This water system was introduced to me during my wilderness survival (summer and winter) training programs.  According to its specs, it seems to be the most effecient and effective method of water filtration when out in the field. As long as you apply the filter to specific types of water, the filter will keep specific forms of bacteria and protozoa out of the filtered drinking water.

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In my experiences, this is the best self-contained portable mobile water filtration system for my needs. No more laying my body perpendicular to a river bed, dipping my head along the water with a straw, and sucking water through it — that’s really tough, especially on wet ground, as one of your objectives in survival is to stay dry.

Compasses

 Cammenga Official US Military Lensatic Compass

During my summer & winter survival courses and training in Sierra Nevada, my instructor told me, “lost is a four-letter word I don’t ever want to hear!”

Many people these days, don’t know how to drive a 3-pedal manual car; and, even more people don’t know how to read a map and use a compass — people have relied on their mobile phones to guide them from and to their destinations.

When I go hiking or when I’m in a survival training course, the instructors take away my mobile phone and give me and my classmates compasses and sometimes a map.  Most of the time, we don’t get maps — just the compass.

My compass of choice, which has guided me out of the wilderness during the day, night, sun, and rain, is the Cammenga compass.

It is weather resistant and drop resistant.  It is built to address many navigational challenges; and, it is accurate.  It has no fluid; so, through normal use, it will last a lifetime.

Suunto Clipper Micro Compass

I use my Suunto Clipper Micro Compass on my 550 paracord bracelet, which I made.  This is a good compass to get me to my bearings in the event I don’t have my Cammenga Official US Military Lensatic  Compass.

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The Suunto Clipper Micro Compass costs more than the other small micro compass; but, the Suunto Clipper Micro Compass is worth the extra price; because, it works — unlike the other less expensive micro compasses that go for $5 to $10.

Communication

Yaesu Tri-Band VX-6R Handheld HAM Transceiver

I have the Yaesu VX-6R Submersible Handheld HAM Transceiver as my emergency communications device in the event a civil catastrophe or emergency situation knocks out the mobile networks or if the mobile networks exceed their bandwidth.

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Many times, during a city catastrophe, the mobile networks will not be operational; hence, mobile phones won’t work.  In that situation, I use my Yaesu VX-6R Submersible Handheld HAM Transceiver.  Water resistance is extremely important.

 

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I purchased the Diamond Antenna: SRH320A for my Yaesu VX-6R Submersible Handheld HAM Transceiver.

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I carry the Diamond SRH320A antenna, shown above, and the stock rubber duck antenna, shown below.

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My recommendation is to stay away from the low-end inexpensive oriental HAM hand-held transceivers — the price ranges from $25 – $65 or so on Amazon and other places on the Internet.  Sure, they work, are feature-rich, and have low price-points; but, the quality, reliability, durability, and build-quality are really not that good.

Not all oriental HAM hand-held transceivers are bad — some oriental brands are good — I’m just referring to one brand of oriental HAM hand-held transceivers that I’ve seen delivered with battery issues and parts falling apart after receipt of delivery.

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My deepest thanks to all the HAM operators around the world.  Our HAM transceiver are tools so we can communicate with each other, foster alliances with each other, and experiment in creating new technology to make our transceiver more effective and efficient;  but, also, most importantly, the HAM network we created is an invaluable network that provides a strong communications tool and resources during emergencies.  I, especially, want to thank the HAM operators that created all the repeaters throughout the world.  The service and equipment you provided for all of us is invaluable; and, I wanted to make sure you know that I appreciate all the work you’ve done for me, as a HAM operator.  Thank you — check 6!

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Well, not much to write about this mobile phone — you all know about this communications device.  If the mobile phone networks are working during a city catastrophe, then my Apple iPhone 7 Plus will work, and it will be my primary communications device.

Power Sources

RavPower Transportable Folding Solar Panels & RavPower Mobile Battery

In the event I am off the power grid, I use the RavPower Transportable Folding Solar Panels to charge up my iPhones and my RavPower mobile charger.  The performance of this folding solar panels is efficient and quick.

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I also carry a small solar mobile charger, which is about the size of an iPhone 6. It works well, but the solar charge time is much longer. In solar energy, size matters — the bigger the panels, the faster the charge to the electrical devices.

Bioenno 28 Watt Foldable Solar Panel

I replaced my RavPower foldable solar panel with the Bioenno 28 Watt Foldable Solar Panel.

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I needed a solar panel that was powerful to charge up my HAM portable battery, also made by Bioenno.

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This battery powers up my Yaesu FT-857D when I’m out in the field.

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The Bioenno 28-watt Foldable Solar Panel can also quickly charge up my iPhone 7 Plus via USB cable.

Nitecore 2300 mAh and 650 mAh Rechargeable Power Cells

For my Nitecore Revenger SRT7 960 Lumen Tactical Torch (flashlight) and my Nitecore P12GT 1000 Lumen Tactical Torch (flashlight), I use the Nitecore 2300 mAh rechargeable power cells.

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They last a very long time for me — about eight months to a year or so; because, I don’t use my Nitecore torches a light sources; I use them as a non lethal weapons for self-protection; so, they are seldom turned on for long periods of time — usually, between 3-5 seconds.

I use this USB charger to charge these batteries when I’m out in the field: Nitecore UM10.

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I can hook up this charger to my mobile RavPower Solar Panels, RavPower charger, or my 28-watt Bioenno Foldable Solar Panels to charge up my batteries, which I use for my two tactical torches: Nitcore SRT7 Revenger and Nitecore P12GT.

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In the picture, below, I’m using the UM10 to charge my Nitecore 18650 battery via the RavPower battery charger via USB cable.

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I really dig my DIY power grid — I have redundancy and won’t ever be without power for as long as I properly maintain my RavPower Solar Panels, RavPower Battery Charger, Nitecore 18650, and Nitecore CRT123 batteries.

First Aid

In the event I get injured in a fight or a paper cut, my mobile first aid pack is with me to get me fixed up.

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Grabber All Weather Blanket

For warmth and shelter, I use the Grabber All Weather Blanket.  I always have this blanket in my bug-out pack; because, I just never know if I will need it for an impromptu out-door concert or during a catastrophic city event that require its use for an emergency.

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It is a versatile tool in that I can use it as a blanket to wrap around my body if I get cold; I can use it as flooring to keep dry from the wet ground; or, I can create a canopy by attaching my paracord 550 to the Grabber All Weather Blanket’s four-corner grommets and tie it to a tree or let it drape over my lean-to or A-frame structures.

SOL OLIVE DRAB BIVY SLEEEPING BAG

I haven’t had the need to use this SOL Bivy (AKA: Bivi or Bivvy) sleeping bag out in the elements yet; but, I’m sure glad I have it.  I have been doing some in-home experiments with it; and, I am confident it will pass with flying colors when I take it out in the elements of rain, snow, and dry evening low temperatures.

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It is super light weight but durable, warm, breathable, and efficient for emergency and non emergency situations. It can be used as a stand-alone sleeping bag.  I slept in it one night on my bed, and the warmth was immediate for me — of course, the true test of warmth and dryness require experimentation in the elements; but, for now, I’m just doing a little test-drive focusing on fit and comfort in a controlled environment.

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I am fit and trim with an athletic build: 5’9″, 150 LBS, V-form body, 31 waistline, 32 inseam, and 39 chest.  I had more than enough room in this bivy while stripped down to my boxers and being topless or with jeans, t-shirt, and a down jacket — more than plenty of room for a guy my size with or without clothing.

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I also inserted my full down mummy sleeping bag in the SOL Escape Bivy without any problems — in fact, the bivy is bigger than my down mummy sleeping bag.

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We have a rain-storm coming in this week 15-February-2017; so, I will go up to my penthouse deck in San Francisco, and try my bivy out in the rain and enjoy my beautiful San Francisco views.

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I selected the olive drab color; because, when I’m sleeping or trying to stay warm, I don’t want to be seen nor found — I want to blend into my environment, so I can peacefully rest.  If my mission is to sleep or stay warm, that’s my goal; if my mission is to be found, then that’s my goal after I’m rested and alert.

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SOL sells their flag-ship color, bright orange, for those of you that want to be seen while sleeping or staying warm.

Ben’s Ultra Net Bug Head-net

Mosquitoes love me.  My blood must taste really good to them; because, they always hit me up regardless of other people in the same room as me.

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So, I purchased Ben’s Ultra Net Bug Head-net to wear over my head if I end up sleeping outdoors.  It’s super comfortable; and, I will use it when using my sleeping bag, which leaves my head exposed to the elements.

Tile Mate Tracking Device

Everyone that’s close to me has some kind of tracking device on them that’s registered into my tacking system at home and on my iPhones. At a basic level, I use the Tile Mate.  It’s cheap and efficient; and, it works.

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Oh, by the way, if you ever take pictures of our keys, hide the teeth of the keys. Malfeasant people can make a copy of your keys from a picture.

North Face Shell & 5.11 Rain & Snow Pants

When I travel, depending on the type and length of my travel, I usually just have the clothes I’m wearing and pack one t-shirt and one dress shirt. Also, I always carry my 5.11 tactical all weather pants and my North Face shell jacket, shown in the picture below.

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In the event I’m out and about and the weather unexpectedly changes to rain or snow, I just pull out these two items, and I’m good to go.

Fire Sources

Zippo Lighter

My Zippo lighter, which I had since I was 12 years old, shown in this picture, takes old fashion lighter fluids and replaceable flint.  If lighter fluid isn’t available, I can use other combustable fluids to keep my lighter going. I don’t need a jet engine to start my survival camp-fire; and, I don’t need a high-tech titanium casing to survive a wilderness excursion.  I just need my simple, plain, old-fashion Zippo lighter.

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I also keep spare flint underneath the felt.  I can use the flint wheel of the lighter to scrape off flint shavings to the tinder (the flint shavings act as an accelerator) and ignite the flint shavings to catch the tinder on fire.

Doan Magnesium Fire Starter Bar

This is my absolute favorite go to fire-starting tool.  The bar is made of magnesium, and it acts as an accelerator to start the fire to the tinder.  I shave off the magnesium, with my knife, into a small pile of tinder.

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The other side of the bar is flint. I take the knife-edge to the flint and strike it to the direction of the magnesium shavings.  The magnesium shavings are highly combustible; so, when sparks from the flint catch the magnesium shavings, wo-la!  Instant flames.  Very simple to use and reliable in all weather situations.

Spark Force Fire Starter

I use my Spark Force Fire Starter to get my kindling going to generate a camp-fire when I don’t have access to my Zippo lighter or Doan Magnesium Fire Starter Bar.  This tool doesn’t have an accelerator to aid in starting the fire.  The sparks go directly to the tinder; and, when using this tool, it is extremely important to have light and very dry tinder in order to get the fire started.  That’s the reason the Doan Magnesium Fire Starter Bar is my favorite — it comes with an accelerator — magnesium.

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Anyway, the Spark Force Fire Starter works, and it is convenient to carry around. It takes a bit longer to get a fire started; but, it is better than nothing.

550 Paracord With Tinder Core: 30 Feet

My 550 paracord has been one of the most useful tools in my back.  I can use it to hoist stuff up, tie stuff down, and secure stuff in place; but, the really cool stuff about the 550 paracord is that I can use the core as a fire wick; and, I can use the core threads for sewing, fishing line, and sutures.

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I can also use this cord to build an A-frame or lean-to shelter top made of woven palm branches or hang my Grabber All Weather Blanket over my shelter structure against the rain.I can also strip the cord to individual threads to create traps to snare small prey like a rabbit.

Many uses exist for the 550 paracord; hence, it is a valuable asset in any bug-out pack.

Pocket Tools

Swiss Army Knives

I just love my Swiss Army Knives. All three of them have provided me with many years of conveniences and reliability.  They are one of my most-used tools at home, at work, and out in the field.  They are well-built, have quality materials, and provided me with a tool for practically every encounter that I experienced. I got my first Swiss Army Knife when I was about 12 years old at the military base.

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I keep my first Swill Army Knife in my firearms bag; and, I use it when I am at the shooting range.  My second Swiss Army Knife is in my bug-out pack; however, because of its blades, I move it in and out of my bug-out pack base upon the venues I’m visiting.  My third Swiss Army Knife is the most used.  It is on my key-chain; and, for some reason, it passes the weapons check of various federal buildings I visited despite having a blade — probably because the blade is small, attached to my key ring, and it doesn’t look all that intimidating.

Leatherman Style PS Multi-purpose Tool

I carry this tool on a D-ring of my bug-out pack.

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The pliers and built-in wire-cutters are my favorite features of this tool. I wish it had a can opener like my Swiss Army Knife.

Leatherman 6 Multi-purpose Pocket Tool

I carry this on my keychain.  It has a #1-2 Phillips and Flast-head screwdrivers, bottle-cap opener, box opener, and English box-wrench.

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It’s small, convenient, and effective.  Due to its small size, leverage is challenging and not efficient, especially if you are trying to remove a bottle cap — it takes some extra coordination of position and manipulation to get the bottle cap off, but it gets the job done; and, it does so without taking much real estate in my pocket or bug-out pack.

I use the box opener a lot — I don’t like using my knives to open boxes.

I wish this little pocket tool had a can opener.

Hoo-Too 128 GB Flash-drive with Lightning Connector Base & USB

This is one of the best purchases I made in 2016.  This little pocket tool allows me to transfer documents, pictures, videos, and music from my iPhone 7 Plus to my Hoo-Too flash-drive without having to connect to iTunes, laptop, or desktop.

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From my Hoo-Too flash-drive, I can transfer those documents, pictures, videos, and music from my iPhone 7 Plus to any Apple mobile device that uses the lightning connector base: iPhones and iPads; OR, I can transfer them to a laptop or desktop that has a USB adapter.

It is fast, easy, and convenient.  I really dig this product, and I use it all the time.

In the event I’m traveling abroad and happen to be separated from these items, I have pictures of my badge and ID, passport, family, birth certificate, and driver’s license on my Hoo-Too flash drive to corroborate my identity to the embassy and authorities.

Wet Wipes

Wet wipes are great to freshen up in the event you have to hit a social event right after work and have no time to shower.

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They also come in handy in the event I decide to get a massage and don’t have time to shower.

 Condoms

In the event I am in an area that has limited supply of water, and I need to get water back to my camp, condoms and latex gloves work well as liquid containers — get the ones that are not lubricated.  The ones in the picture are lubricated.

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Oh yeah, I also use them for their intended purpose, too — party balloons.

Gloves

My hands are my most important and most useful tools; hence, I do my best to protect them on a daily basis.  Whether I’m in my cars or moving furniture around in my acting class, I always always were gloves to protect my hands from injuries.

Setwear Leather Gloves

I purchased this pair of leather gloves from a film production store in San Francisco over eight years ago.  I used them as driving gloves in my Ferraris; and, I use them whenever I move heavy stuff around.  This pair of gloves cost about $14; and, they have good padding in the palm areas.

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You don’t need to spend a fortune on gloves — just make sure they are durable and have padding in the palm areas.  I prefer leather; but, advancement in materials provide other options beside leather.

Latex Gloves

In the event I need more dexterity and want to create a more permanent seal between my hands and fluids, I carry about four pairs of latex gloves.  Whenever I clean my sidearm, I wear these gloves; and, in the event I need to deploy first-aid to an injured person, I will use these gloves to protect myself from the injured person’s fluids getting on the skin of my hands.

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Like condoms, latex gloves can also be great devices for carry water in a pinch situation; but, I mainly wear them, as I mentioned, supra, to protect my hands from chemicals or other items with which I don’t want to come in contact.

NRR 33 dB Ear Plugs

I always carry ear-plugs in my pocket and bug-out pack.  Sometimes, we might go to my acquaintance’s country property to discharge our sidearms for target practices at the last minute; and, I won’t have access to my mouse-ears (ear muffs); so, I reach into my pocket, pull out my ear-plugs, and insert them into my ears to protect them from the loud sounds of our firearms being discharged. Sometimes, after dinner, we all my decide to drop in on a music event, and the music is really loud; so, I insert my ear-plugs to protect my ears from the loud music, and all is groovy.

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My ears, as well as my eyes, and the rest of my body is important to me — my body is my alert system, my weapon, my vehicle, and my tool.  So, I need to protect my body from unnecessary abuse.  My ears help me stay alert when it is dark or places I can’t see very well.  My ears, with my eyes, and smell, keep threats from sneaking up on me.  So, I protect my ears and my body from harmful substances and harmful environments.

I don’t ever wear ear-plugs during my sleep.  I need to hear all the stuff that’s going on around me in order to protect myself while sleeping.

Food, Cash, & Passport

Not shown in the BLOG is food, cash, and my passport.  In the event I don’t have time to go home and pack or go to the bank, I always carry the following stuff: overnight stuff, about $5000 USD in my back-pack, passport, and my public locker key to store my weapons in the event I have to board a plane without the opportunity of going home to remove my weapons out of my bug-out pack. I carry protein bars with me to keep my calories up during my travels. I like to travel near or slightly past 2400 hours.  So, while I’m at an airport past midnight, many food places are closed, and a protein bar sure tastes good and brings up my morale.

  Conclusion: Training Is More Important Than My Bug-out Pack

In the event of being stranded in the wilderness, a zombie apocalypse, natural catastrophic city disasters, or civil upheaval, my bug-out pack has all the stuff I need to be away from home for an indefinite period of time.  Sure, I wish I had blankets, a nice fluffy down sleeping bag, down pillows, tons of food, my favorite Blue Angels mug, and a case of bottled water in my bug-out pack, but I don’t; and, it would be unrealistic of me to tote those things around in the wilderness, civil upheaval, natural catastrophic city disaster, or a zombie apocalypse in the city.

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Because of my survival, wilderness, and combat training and education, my bug-out pack is relatively light and contains only stuff I truly need.  It weighs 23 LBS; and, each day, I’m reducing the weight based upon my continued training and education.  The picture, above, shows my bug-out pack fully loaded: 70 9mm cartridgessidearm in case, all-weather 5.11 tactical pants, Ben Davis long-sleeved work-shirt, t-shirt, two pairs of boxers, two pairs of socks, one shell-jacket for rain and snow, toiletry pack, first-aid kit, hi-tech pouch, wet-wipes, RavPower Solar Panels, RavPower Battery-charger, Joey Battery-charger, Swayer Water Filtration and water pouch, Buck Knife .110., sunglass and case, leather tactical gloves, Nitecore SRT7 Revenger Tactical Torch, mylar emergency blanket, Yaesu Tri-Band VX-6r Submersible Handheld HAM Transceiver, rain poncho, Fischer Space Pen, 30 ft 550 paracord, Cammenga Compass, Grabber All Weather Blanket, Ben’s Mosquito Head-net, SOL Escape Bivvy Sleeping Bag, and Vapur foldable water pouch. All the other stuff, wallet, passport, Spyderco knife, keys, Zippo lighter, Nitcore P12GT Torch, Hoo-Too, and cash are all on my person: front pockets of my jeans and deeply concealed in the front area of my pants.

Because my bug-out pack is properly sized and efficiently packed, it doesn’t feel heavy to me; and, it is super comfortable.

I weigh 150 LBS, and I am 5’9″. I am in excellent physical shape and conditioned for 14-mile walks in one day with my bug-out pack at 23 LBS.  I also do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on the hills of San Francisco.  All this physical training is my interest for a healthy life; but, also, in the event I get stuck in a catastrophe, I can bug-out at a moment’s notice.

As mentioned earlier in this BLOG, my knowledge, education, training, ability to learn, and my experiences are more important to me than my bug-out pack.  My father’s training, wilderness survival training, my combat tactical training, and my experiences in certain exigent situations taught me the skills of manipulating my environment, so I can build shelter if I can’t find one, eat stuff in my environment if normal food isn’t available to me, protect myself, and evade potentially hostile encounters.  Training and knowledge are more important to me than my bug-out pack.

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After completing my two-week wilderness winter survival training courses up in Sierra Nevada last year, 2016, when I got home on a Wednesday mid-day, I barged right into Original Joe’s in San Francisco; and, I ate their oxtail dish. I was craving regular food; I was craving Original Joe’s oxtails.  It was a helluva two weeks for me.  I also completed the two-week summer survival training course up in Sierra Nevada last year, 2016; but, the winter training course was the toughest of the two training courses.

Seldom will you ever get a chance to get your bug-out pack; and, seldom will you have ALL the stuff you need and want in your bug-out pack.  So, if you’re lucky to get your bug-out pack in the event of a catastrophic event, then that’s a great start; but, remember, your bug-out pack won’t last forever; so, you gotta be efficient in its use and supplement your bug-out pack with your knowledge, experience, ability to learn and adapt, and training in order to manipulate your environment and the stuff in it to your favor.

Getting Separated From Home and Family

My father taught me to learn to survive off the land and environment — so, in the event I have absolutely no way to go home, and I’m separated from my family and can’t contact them because communications systems are down, my first objective is to assess the catastrophe and decide whether to stay or vacate and relocate.

Creating a Base-Camp & Safe-Zone

If I choose to vacate and relocate, a covert base-camp will act as a cover and conceal tool for me to get over the possible initial shock of the crisis I’m experiencing, re-align myself (adapt), create my plan of attack to get to my goals, assess, and act.  It will be a place for me to assess the chaos and catastrophe.  It will be a place for me to observe potential threats (e.g., looters and criminal activities); and, it will be a place for me to get close to quality sleep and rest after each mission I execute during the day.

While at my newly created covert base-camp, I collect my thoughts, calm my mind, body, and spirit; and, I will get into survival mode (adapt) to address the particular situation. I will create a set of objectives to get to my new set of goals:  finding my family (if applicable), food, shelter, and safety.

While at my newly created covert base-camp, I will empty out my bug-out pack and assess its contents. I will pick out the things I need for my search and rescue for my family. All the other stuff in my bug-out pack will remain strategically hidden near my base-camp, as my goal is to return to it before night-fall.

Each time I leave my base-camp for my sorties, my base-camp will have no traces of my presence.

The reduction in items will drop the weight of my bug-out pack from 23 LBS to about 6 LBS:

  • Bug-out pack (empty): 3.12 LBS
  • Collapsable Baton: 1.04 LBS
  • First-aid Kit: 1.12 LBS
  • Sawyer Water Filtration Kit: 4 ounces
  • RavPower Mobile Battery Pack: 11 ounces
  • Paracord: 30 feet: 3 ounces
  • Grabber All Weather Blanket: 12 ounces
  • SOL Bivvy Sleeping Bag: 9.4 ounces
  • Leatherman Multi-tool: 1.4 ounces
  • Ben’s Bug Head-net (negligible)
  • Tri-Band Yaesu VX-6R Handheld HAM Transceiver: 9.6 ounces
  • Apple Lightning Power Cable (negligible)
  • One pair of foam ear plugs (negligible)
  • House-keys (negligible)

Carry-weight On My Person will be about: 5 LBS

  • Sig Sauer P226R 9mm loaded with one 10-round cartridges double-stack magazine: 2.30 LBS
  • Military Issue Collapsable Baton: 1.04 LBS
  • Spyderco Knife: 4 ounces
  • Zippo Lighter (negligible)
  • Nitecore SRT7 Revenger Torch: 7.8 ounces
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 8.2 ounces
  • Yaesu Tri-Band VX-6R Handheld HAM Transceiver
  • Wallet & passport in leather deep concealment holster: 12.4 ounces
  • Deep Concealment Sidearm holster with built-in belt: 1.15 LBS

So, my total travel-weight will be 11 LBS — not including the weight of my clothes and shoes. Eleven pounds is an easy-peasy lemon squeezey carry-weight for me.

All the other items will be strategically hidden near my base-camp for safety and future retrieval.

Though the communications systems are down, I would still carry my iPhone 7 Plus just in case the communication system comes back up during my search and rescue mission for my family.  If the mobile networks don’t come up, I will use my Yaesu Tri-Band VX-6R Handheld HAM Transceiver.

Re-pack Bug-out Pack

I begin to re-pack my bug-out pack with only the stuff I need to bring with me, and I execute my search and rescue for family members. Re-packing my bug-out pack allows me to move quick, blend in (adapt), and conceal myself.  Most importantly, I won’t look like an asset to looters or people in chaos.  In the event that I am confronted by looters, I have my weapon selection to address fire with fire; and, I won’t run the risk of losing all my EDC and bug-out items; because, most of the items are hidden at my base-camp.

During my search and rescue, I will also collect useful stuff in my environment and store them in my bug-out pack and bring them back to my covert base-camp.  I’m building up an inventory to further my chances of survival.

Federal & City Shelters & Safe-Zones

While at my base-camp, I will try to assess the state of affairs in the event the government gets involved. Is the government sending military units and declaring martial law? Quarantine camps? Forcing civilians to turn in weapons? These types of questions need to be addressed in order for me to decide whether or not I’m gonna comply with or remain hidden from government enforcement officers.

During my search and rescue mission for my family, I will keep my ears and eyes out for signs and information about government authorities creating shelters and safe-zones for victims of the catastrophe.  If legitimate and falls within my requirements, I will sign myself into safe-zone created by authorities and utilize their resources until I decide to take a different action.

Many times, government shelters and safe-zones aren’t gonna be available; and, the existing government buildings and personnel are in the same situation you’re in; so, they really won’t be able to provide much assistance during the initial onset of a catastrophe; that’s the reason, survival training, combat training, knowledge, and experience are so important during a catastrophe.

If, however, I assess that a legitimate useful federal safe-zone and shelter have been established, I will decide to stay and not vacate and relocate.

Regardless of my decision of staying or going, I am comforted by the fact that I am not dependent on anyone for my survival needs.  I am comforted by my training to get me through the catastrophe. So, take the time to train and educate yourself before a catastrophe occurs.

Your Training Will Be Your Best Weapons

My strategic and tactical combat-training taught me, which is separate from my survival and wilderness training, to assess and avoid a potentially hostile situations; hence, I will assess my environment and blend in or avoid.

So, my first go-to weapon will ALWAYS be my ability to avoid a potential hostile situation; and, my next weapon is to ALWAYS blend in, so I don’t look like an asset to anyone. These two weapons are much more useful than my sidearm, knives, and baton.  My goal is to find my family — not fight.  Fighting exhausts time and energy, both of which, are critical in a crisis.  Fighting also creates injury; and, getting injured in the wild or a city catastrophe is never ever good thing — it just creates more inconvenience to your survival and could be lethal.

In a catastrophe, I will have my sidearm in deep concealment on my person; and, releasing my sidearm to another person is seldom an option during a catastrophic event.  The reason for keeping my sidearm is many times, law and order will not be enforced during the first phase of the catastrophe.  It takes time for the government to deploy their teams to create law and order; and, it is during that first phase that all law-abiding citizens are vulnerable to looters and criminals.

So during the first phase after the catastrophe, even though I will have my sidearm on my person, it will be my very last resort weapon.  I don’t want to discharged my sidearm; because, it creates way too much attention to me; and, I only have a limited supply of cartridges, possibly 70 rounds; hence, I must be extremely selective in my battles and use those 70 cartridges sparingly.  Also, many times, my sidearm won’t be necessary in a fight — my knife or my collapsable baton will do.

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(During the 1989 earthquake in San Francisco, looters were abound through certain parts of the Bay Area. I observed them commit crimes; and, most of them did not have sidearms.  I am guessing they didn’t own sidearms prior to the earthquake; or, they were cut off from home and couldn’t retrieve their sidearms.  The weapons they used were building materials from fallen buildings: bricks, stones, iron girder rods, broken lumber, and so on.)

So, in the event I bump into looters without sidearms, I am confident my training in verbal commands will aid me to thwart off potential attacks.  If hostiles fail to comply to my verbal commands, then I feel confident in my training that I can deal with them with my collapsable baton or knife.

(During the 1989 San Francisco Earthquake, I saw looters attack men in business suits.  These business men carried their briefcases during their transit to wherever they were going after the earthquake struck.  They, like I, were cut of from their homes and families.  The only reason I didn’t get attacked by looters is because I immediately sought safety and shelter at my building’s lobby area after my pathway home was blocked by a collapsed street, abandon cars, and fallen trees, power lines, and buildings. Once communication was restored in my office building, I was able to call into my parents and sister via my mobile phone, and I walked home to meet them.)

So, during my search and rescue for family members, I would do my best to conceal, blend in, and avoid, avoid, and avoid any confrontation whatsoever during my search and rescue for my family.

(During the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and the 2010 storm in New York city, all I had was the training my father taught me from his experiences in fighting two wars and being separated from his family and later rescuing them.


My training saved me from being a victim; hence, I’m a strong advocate for learning, training, practicing, and knowledge to prepare for a catastrophe.  In most catastrophes, seldom will you have a bug-out pack on you during a sudden earthquake or severe snow storm.)

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So, get trained by constantly learning stuff about self-protection and survival — then, practice all the stuff you learned on a regular basis. Create your bug-out pack and engage it to gain familiarity; but, don’t rely on it; it is only one of many tools to aid in your solution if you’re educated and trained.

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