This is the second half of the blog about kit. You will find videos/podcasts, instructions, and other information about the subject for this week.
Pack Rat 556 - 72 Hour Load Bearing Equipment 1/3
Pack Rat 556 - 72 Hour Load Bearing Equipment 2/3
Pack Rat 556 - 72 Hour Load Bearing Equipment 3/3
Remember me telling you about being pissed over losing a $200 knife. Well, one way of preventing losing your gear is to use smart cords.
Some people call them "dummy cords." My thought is: if you use dummy cords you must be very smart. Let me tell you a story.
When I was younger, my mother would take a shoe lace run it through the arms of my coat and tie my mittens to the end of the shoe lace. I would run around outside, take my gloves off to make snowballs, and never lose my gloves.
Flash forward about two decades, a few years in the military, and to the great state of Montana for a two-week training mission. Before we went to the woods, I took a length of 550 cord and ran it through the sleeves of my field jacket and tied my gloves to the ends of the 550 cord. I was joked.
Dude, does your mother dress you? Man, how old are you? and ... You get the point.
Well, we start running around in the woods and people start losing their gloves. Remember, it is cold, very cold. People started using wool socks as gloves. Me, I still have mine.
Then, I start seeing others with their gloves tied to their field jackets. The coolest was seeing the Sargent Major and the Colonel wearing their gloves on smart cords.
So, how do you make smart cords/dummy cords?
Basically, you take a piece of strong cord and tie it to the object you want to keep from losing then the other end is tied to you or your gear. The string should be long enough that you can use the tool with the cord still attached.
Once you are finished, you wrap the cord around the tool and put it back in its place.
Wikipedia - Lanyard
Wikipedia - Parachute Cord
What Should Be In Your Kit?
There are many opinions about what should be in your kit. Some people suggest carrying a lot of gear, and some people suggest carrying a minimal amount of gear.
Learn some skills and practice those skills.
What do I mean by that?
If you can build three or four different types of shelter using just a blue tarp, a knife, and some 550 cord, you don't need to carry a tent. Plus, a blue (or any other color) tarp can be used for many other uses. Just do a search for "Uses for a Blue Tarp" if you want some ideas.
Also realize that your kit is yours, nobody elses, so you have to carry your kit and be able to use every item. As an example; firefighters, I am told; have to learn the 21 uses for a shovel, so you should learn the uses for all of your kit.
Viking Preparedness - On Sherry, ALICE, and Personal Growth
Doctors for Disaster Preparedness - Uses of a Shovel