Saturday, February 1, 2014

Wifey's 3 Day pack.

I'm in the process of building a 3 day pack for the wife to take in her vehicle. There are so many threads out there on how to build one for a man or kids, we don't hear much about the contents of a woman's BOB. Women are hardy and able to deal with much more than we think, but they also can wilt pretty quickly without some semblance of civilized products or regular items.

Let's look at it from the perspective of a problem solver. How far (Realistically) will she have to travel? How far can she walk in a day? Will she have companions? Can she travel safely? Is she trained or mentally ready for a sudden tedious walk? What will make it easier for her?

Then we get into the essentials for her trip, including the math for how long her trip will be. It's all math at that point. Let's use my wife as an example. She's a remote employee for a 3 letter mega corporation and travels to local clients only rarely. Usually she's too far away to rescue, or she's here at home. Recently she's been in Dearborn, MI consulting for another mega corporation that sports 4 letters. If she's that far away, I can't help her because she's out of reach. Not only that, the pack won't be coming on the plane with her so it's moot. If she's at a local client's place, she can make it home within 3 days at most. About 35 to 40 miles max. She can do 15 miles a day without issue as long as she's not running for her life or injured.

What will she need to make it 3 days on her feet in this weather? The lighter the pack, the faster the trip, plain and simple.
Pack- decent 3 day pack or daypack.
Shelter- Something to keep the rain off you while you rest or sleep.
Water- A way to get clean drinking water.
Food- Anything light, low salt and high calorie.
Light- Lightweight light source
Protection- Something to fend off Dogs or two legged animals.
Comms- Some way to contact home as far away as possible
Route- Find your way home without getting lost
Clothing- Weather appropriate gear
Personal items- Stuff you want and might need to have around.

Pack- It's usually best to figure this out last, because you want a pack big enough to fit everything you need. I have a few extra 3 day assault packs and some duffel bags, but for Christmas a few years ago I got her a really nice Kelty Backpack, a Redtail 30. It's really close to the size she needs, but it's a bright color. I'll decide once I'm ready to get the pack together. I have a feeling a black NC Star 3 day pack is in her future.

Shelter- The simpler the better. A tarp, casualty blanket or best of all, a Poncho would be perfect. It allows for protection without occluding your surroundings too much.

Water- I'm going to put a nalgene bottle and 2-20 oz water bottles in the pack in case my boys are with her. She will also get a bottle of purification tabs.

Food- Clif bars, some hard candy, some jerky sticks and trail mix.

Light- A small headlamp, extra batteries and maybe an extra flashlight. Preference given to a headlamp with a red beam for discreet travel at night.

Protection- This is where it gets screwy. She likes guns but isn't interested in carrying a gun so doesn't want to go get her carry license. That means in order to stay legal she needs a long gun. The obvious choice would be a KelTec Sub 2000 in 9mm. Breaks down to pack size, will take 33 round glock mags, and is easy to manipulate. 100 rounds JHP in 3 mags, 19 in an extended mag to keep in it. A decent sling will help too.

Comms- Cell Phone as primary and then a 2 way GMRS radios with extra batteries in case I can go look for her. All call signs and codes in a small notebook in the pack. Radio is set to proper channel and privacy code before hand. We have tested them and they are good to 4 miles if at least one person is elevated. If the phone lines are a mess, texts should still work as long as the towers are still operating. Another option is a backup disposable cell phone in case of a domestic threat.

Route- Pre planned routes from each side of the larger, meaner city close by, as well as from each direction of travel from home. A map and compass will be in the pack, with a rain cover or ziplock bag. Routes Marked in highlighter close to home but not all the way. Maybe to the edge of where she knows the streets well.

Clothing- Army Surplus silk thermals, a few pairs of warm non cotton socks, a warm hat, rain suit if no poncho, a loose fitting warmup or track suit. My wife is well endowed, no reason to entice the animals. She always wears a warm jacket and I'll throw and gloves and a scarf inside the hat. Another hugely important item is shoes. Find a pair that she doesn't wear because they look too shabby and put those in the pack. She won't miss them and they will be well broken in. Think Grey Man Camo. Have her dress as average as possible and remove all jewelry.

Personal Items- TP, Wet Wipes, Tampons (There's a 1 in 5 chance she will need them), Nail clippers, a small knife, Zip ties, Gorilla tape wrapped around a shopping card, Paracord in case she needs to repair clothing or breaks a shoestring, a small microfiber towel. Anything that's small and light that will help her. Maybe a lighter and some Votive candles in case she needs a fire for an emergency, like if she fell in some water and was too cold to continue on without drying off. First aid kit with plenty of Ibuprofen. Some cash in medium and small bills would help as well. Keep them in different places in case the pack gets grabbed.

Things to make sure she leaves out of the pack:

Earbuds- They will ruin her ability to observe her surroundings.
High salt food- It can cause a person to dehydrate and get cramps
Alcohol- No reason to make a person sleep deeper than need be or have dulled senses.
Loud toys for the kids- obvious attention getters.
Brightly colored clothes- Think grey.
Purse- Have her throw everything in the pack, dirtbags know purses mean money.

 Should she ever need to use it, the earlier she heads out, the safer she will be. If she's in denial and shelters in place, it's going to get more difficult. We live near a major city and many of the companies she visits aren't in the best part of town. Her most often visited client is in the middle of a large industrial/urban complex of factories, scrap yards and has a major interstate and a large river between her and the house. The Interstate only has 3 places to pass under it that she could reliably use without adding a day to her trip. There are 2 river crossings under the interstate, but they aren't passable.

Without a plan, the proper mindset, and the tools to succeed, any venture you attempt can be more difficult than it needs to be. I love my wife dearly and would want her to make it home if there's an emergency. I know many of us always think of ourselves and how we would make it home, but what about the rest of the family? It's only fair to make sure they can have the same or even a better chance than you do.

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