From the upper left corner of the photo:
- Trash bag
- NATO Modular Sleep System (complete), NSN 8465-01-395-1154
- Grocery bag for trash.
- 3 bandaids.
- 3 wet wipes
- Fishing kit
- Toilet paper (Coghlan's Tissue on the Go)
- Preperation H.
- MSR Hydromedary 3 Liter hydration bladder
- MSR HyperFlow water filter
- Brunton 7DNL Base Plate Map Compass (no dedicated declination setting)
- Cotton balls + vaseline
- Boiled eggs, 11
- Trail mix
- Peanut butter M&Ms (didn't have regular at the store)
- Doubled grocery bags to hang food if I want
- JanSport day pack (inadequate)
- KaBar model 1211 knife
- Pain killers
- Duct tape
- BCB wire saw, NSN 5110-99-565-2549
- Bug repellant
- BIC disposable lighter
- Super glue (for closing wounds)
- Toenail clippers (surprised more people don't consider the condition of their toenails important enough)
- Ear plugs (sleep is important)
- Polypropylene jacket
- ExOfficio boxer briefs, two pair, awesome
- Wigwam Coolmax hiking socks, two pair
- Levi's jeans, crap
- Cotton long sleeve and shoort sleeve shirts, crap
- 550 cord
- Polypropeline balaclava (fake mil-surp, no NSN, grr)
- Poncho, NSN 8405-01-100-0976
- Leatherman Wave (classic, not with the bit driver)
- Keys (with another small ferrocerium rod) (hidden teeth so you can't reproduce them)
- Ferrocerium rod, 3/8" x 4" (aka Swedish fire steel), handles on these things piss me off
- Driver's license
- Credit card
- Flashlight (missing from photo)
- Boots, Matterhorn model 1997 (missing from photo)
My goal here is along the lines of a light weight, four season, INCH bag. Which involves some interesting compromises. Think The Book of Eli or The Road. Mobility. Most things can be scavanged or made. What's important enough to carry on foot, if you're never coming home?
I went backpacking once a long time ago. I've gone much wimpier camping many times. Three days ago I realized I had no excuse not to spend this weekend in the mountains.
The first photo is everything I'll be taking with me, including what I'll wear. Missing my flashlight and boots.
When thinking about what equipment was actually necessary to take, I came to the conclusion that none of it is. I think most people could do this trip naked, no gear, no special knowledge, and get out intact (but grumpy). Because you can survive three days without water, and three weeks without food. I'm not entirely sure how cold the peak will be, warm clothing might be an exception if you strictly went with my plan to go up it instead of staying in the valleys.
The MSS is tied to the top of the straps of the pack. I think it'll be tolerable for two days. The pack is obviously sub-optimal.
The MSS looks like it would exactly fit in the bottom of a Kifaru Late Season pack (I measured 73" circumference the long way, which happens to match the bottom of that pack). I'd prefer to have that weight at the top of my pack, but apparently nobody makes a pack for a person wanting to attempt light weight backpacking with an MSS, which is disappointing but not shocking. It hurts my brain that internal frame people think a sleeping bag should go at the bottom, possibly with no way to get at it but complete unpacking. I'm a little tempted to get lighter, more packable, nested sleeping bags.
I want a Therm-a-rest NeoAir All Season / XLite / XTherm. It's high speed fragile crap, pretty opposite my MSS, but I think it still fits what I want. All shelter (bivy / tent, sleeping bags/pads), in the end, is just a means of reducing the time to set up camp, to increase my mobility. I can make shelter. Until it breaks, the NeoAir series is freaking light and compact.
The pants and shirts are cotton (crap), and need to be replaced. I'm interested in suggestions, preferably without cargo pockets. Gore-Tex? I have appropriate long underwear which needs to be added to make it more four season appropriate, but wouldn't fit in this bag.
I'd like a decent refillable lighter, but for now the BIC disposables just work.
I lamented to my girlfriend the amount of money I might end up giving to Kifaru. She responded "But that's money you can't take with you into the apocalypse." I agreed enthusiastically, very proud that she managed to come up with that all on her own.
There are a couple things here that I will not use on this trip, but I can't bring myself to leave behind: Half my MSS, fishing kit, wire saw. I should add some snare wire. Just in case civilization collapses while I'm out.
I really need to start making pemmican, it seems like the ultimate food. Ground jerky + rendered fat, used by Native Americans and trappers.
I want another pair of boots. I'm thinking maybe Danner Fort Lewis, lightly insulated. Very similar to my Matterhorns, maybe a little better quality. I think I'd like less insulation and a size up for two layers of serious socks. I'm hoping thick cushy summer socks provide somewhat decent insulation in the winter, because I'd like something that's useful year round. I'm curious to try sock liners.
I should add shoe polish or something. I need to figure how to make stuff to care for leather boots. Montana Pitch Blend looks like a good hint - pine pitch, mink oil, beeswax. (Most stuff marketed as mink oil is mostly vaseline, and bad for this.)
Web page where I've been keeping my notes on this kind of gear: http://www.chaosreigns.com/shtf/
I'd love to meet up with some of you folks in a Designated Wilderness in the White Mountains some time. Anybody interested? New Hampshire / Eastern Massachusetts (Boston) people?