Ready Packs / Mission Packs

Discussion in 'Search, Rescue and Technical Skills' started by Montanan, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. Montanan

    Montanan Member

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    I'd hate for the introduction thread to get hijacked by our favorite past time of gear collecting. So here would be a good place to discuss what people carry into the field for missions and why they do so.
     
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  2. Montanan

    Montanan Member

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    The original question asked and my reply:

    then you mentioned:

     
  3. Montanan

    Montanan Member

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    We also require our members to be self sufficient for 24 hours when on a mission. This is more for a logistics standpoint as it may well take us that long to get food and more supplies moving out to the field or to get teams rotated back in to rescue base for a resupply.

    I think you are on the right track and learning from your experience quickly. You will find that your rescue pack is going to constantly evolve as you get better gear. I would think that if you're doing SAR near Vancouver, that everyone would be decked out head to toe in Arc'Teryx! I would stress that habit of having a Gore-Tex jacket with you and preferably you'd have it with you always. It is such a versatile piece of gear.

    Those SOL escape bivys don't offer much in the way of insulation do they :p

    I stress several different categories of gear to be taken on all missions, and you tend to see some form of this in survival classes, and books. You need to have a form of:
    -Shelter
    -Water
    -Fire starting
    -First Aid
    -Communication
    -Navigation
    -Functional Clothing with a layer system
    -Food (that is trail ready)

    Now you will also have it expected that you have room in your pack or at least the flexibility to also carry group/team equipment which is needed to take care of your patients.

    How you fill all of those categories will be a matter of practice and trial and error on what works best for you. I can tell you that you can make a very light weight pack and still hit all those categories, but you'll be sacrificing convenience and comfort to do that more often than not. But can you do it and survive? Absolutely.

    Here, shoot me a pm with your email address and I can send you a copy of a multi-page document that I created with specific gear recommendations and ideas that we hand out to new members with their application packets.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
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  4. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    Arcteryx is certainly present here. The Theta SV bibs and light, packable hoodies are the most popular. I'll be having a marked Arcteryx Gore-Tex issued to me soon, so I'll have that in my pack at all times.

    And no, the Escape bivy really isn't all that great... Especially for windy areas. We had to overnight on a road (road block), and the wind picked up around 0200 hrs...
     
  5. Montanan

    Montanan Member

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    Wait, why weren't you road blocking with a nice warm car to sit in?
     
  6. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    It was part of a two day practical exam. No vehicles, and we walked everywhere.
     
  7. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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  8. Montanan

    Montanan Member

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    Hah! Brutal. I like the way they think. Kinda like when my students are making shelters out of plastic bags and branches in the snow and the instructors are rockin the hot tent ;)
     
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  9. Montanan

    Montanan Member

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    I wanted to wait until I could dedicate some uninterrupted time to watching your kit video before I responded. Just upfront, your kit looks great. You have everything important covered and I can tell you put a lot of time into the thought process of how you have it laid out and what you carry. I can also see influences of some veteran SAR guys giving you tips and you being wise enough to trust them! This reply is going to all be kind of jumbled as I will just let my brain work through things that come up as I watch your video.

    I like that you even have worked (as evidenced in your two light choices) to keep all of your electronic devises using the same battery type, and you are set up for success when you get a GPS as almost all of them also run on AA batteries. I liked that you had the mini pen flare launcher with bear banger rounds in it! I hardly ever see people who even know they exist. I can tell that you try to keep some basic survival gear in your chest pack, which is a great idea since you never know when you may be separated from your bag and now have to figure something out with just your chest pack. Happy to see a pencil in your chest pack too as sometimes it's just too dang cold for any sort of ink pen to work.

    I personally think it was a good call on switching from a water bladder to a couple of water bottles for a number of reasons ( I have a interesting story about a catastrophic camelback failure) including that you actually save a little weight by not carrying too much water. Bonus points for having one of your water bottles be steel, which opens up the possibility of easily boiling water in to if you needed to. Your personal first aid kit seems well equipped. I don't want to suggest more or less for your 1st aid as I don't want to contradict anything you've been told by your locality for 1st aid training, but you definitely have a well stocked IFAK. Bonus points for putting it in a small dry bag. I actually keep mine directly in a small ultralight drybag, thus losing a little more weight by not having the redundant packaging weight. You should have your Sam splint in your ready pack. A good place is to slide it into the water bladder sleeve in your pack or slip it into the internal frame sleeve. keeps it out of the way, but easy to find. Food pouch looks well stocked with easy to eat items. I like the redundancy in your fire kit, I am of the school of thought that I don't ever want to have to start a fire by rubbing sticks together...because it sucks... Random question, where you able to roll up and reuse your SOL bivy from training!? Because that's damn near impossible to do lol. Sawyer mini filters (and other hollow tube filters) are pretty amazing. I'd think about putting the squeeze bag back in with your ziplock and the backflow syringe because you may very well need flush the filter to keep flow rates going and you can always use the backflow syringe to irrigate wounds in the field which is a nice dual purpose. I think you have a good supplemental clothing plan as well. I always wear clothing to be comfortable moving in throughout the day, but to have something in my bag (usually a puffy down vest) to supplement and add to my clothing for down time or extra insulation for an overnight.

    Your pack looks well onto your way of getting it dialed in. Honestly though on a scale of 1-10 you are a solid 8 for a great sar pack. Leaps and bounds ahead of just about every typical first year SAR guy I see. You no doubt will take some stuff out as you gain experience and realize what you do and don't tend to use on missions. It's great practice and will speed things along if you start bringing your ready pack as your day pack on regular adventures and use what's in it frequently. Helps you know what you have and where it's at, so you don't find a surprise cliff bar that's been in the bottom of your fire kit for 3 years because you forgot about it :D
     
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  10. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    Thanks a bunch for the detailed reply! Let me try to answer some questions and clarify some stuff... I hadn't had any coffee prior to the filming of that video...

    Yeah, I try to keep everything on AA. We have a bunch of Garmin 62s at the hall, so I make sure I have enough batteries to replace every electronic device at least once.

    I have two pen launchers, so I plan on adding red flares and a few more bear banger rounds to a dedicated pouch I have, and keeping them in my pack.

    I did this as well, but I found it was too difficult to find what I needed without spilling my supplies everywhere, so I just wouldn't bother. The organizational capability is worth the extra weight to me.

    I'll do that. Something I forgot to show in the video is the roll of Zip Lock freezer bags and garbage bag(s) I carry.

    That it does. Especially here. Some of the old SAR guys were telling me stories, and apparently it wasn't uncommon to carry a small canister of diesel.

    I didn't use the emergency bivy on training, but I did actually test that one out and roll it back up!

    I've actually been meaning to do that (as soon as I find the damn things...). That would allow me to collect dirty water in the squeez bag, and refill my bottles via the filter.
     
  11. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    I'm currently debating between two overnight systems.

    Fleece, heavy wool, GoreTex jacket and USGI poncho, which allows me to stay mobile, or remove the heavy wool and poncho and add a USGI MSS green patrol bag with the GoreTex bivy and an 8x10' silny tarp, which allows me to get some rest?
     
  12. Montanan

    Montanan Member

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    The US army is know to have field capable gear that will keep you alive, but it's not know for being the highest quality or light weight... do you just have a good surplus store or a discount on that equipment?
     
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  13. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    No discount or local surplus, I've just found the two items second (or third) hand. Got good deals on both. The Green patrol bag is as light weight as any commercial bag I've found, not including down (they don't do well in my neck of the woods).

    And I have a Sea to Summit poncho which is half a pound lighter than the USGI, but by no means as durable.
     
  14. Montanan

    Montanan Member

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    Well both options would do well. I have one of the goretex bivys and I like it. It will ultimately come down to your preferences :)
     
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  15. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Make sure you cut that diesel with Naptha or gas. Diesel is a bitch to light on its own. Cut it with a more rapidly combustible fluid and you can SAFELY (no WOOOOOSH!) light it in minus 30 C no prob. 80/20 mix
     
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  16. Panzer

    Panzer Member

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    The NASAR 24 hour pack list is a good place to start
     
  17. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    I'm currently using the Arcteryx Echo pack which @Bushman5 sent me (which is absolutely awesome), but also very heavy and large.

    I've been on roughly 40 calls now, give or take a few, and I've noticed a common occurrence I wish to change.

    My pack, with 2L of water, weighs 27lbs, and is fairly bulky. When it comes time to actually do something which doesn't involve being dropped a bazillion miles into the woods, I usually elect to leave my pack behind and just carry my radio harness.
    Especially when it involves quickly responding up a small mountain...

    This leaves me without my bare essentials, such as my first aid supplies, water, food, extra layer etc.

    I've been trying to find a way to slim my kit down enough, or replace enough "one use" items with multi purpose items, that I can comfortably kit my gear into my Conterra Crossbow 2. That pack is light and small enough that I could easily jog with it and my radio harness on (trail running is a possibility)

    I've been failing at that task however...
     
  18. Montanan

    Montanan Member

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    So just so I have a better idea on what sorts of things your unit is tasked at doing. Can you give us a few examples of
    For example my unit typically doesn't get called in for what I would call smaller missions. I can't think of a mission where I wouldn't want my full kit with me (granted my set up is a tad lighter). About the only things I could think of would be urban call outs for missing people (children, mental illness, or elderly) in town.

    But I suppose if you were doing a lot of responding from or with a vehicle and able to drive it mostly to where you were needed, that you could totally get away with a smaller kit (but I'd still want to have the pack back at the rig just in case).

    I know people who set up a rescue type vest. They put the '10 essentials' type stuff in the vest and then use a bigger pack to haul more gear should the mission warrant. This compartmentalization can allow for a lighter set up with the mission. The ONLY downside I see to it is that if one did need something, and left it in the bigger pack back at the rig, that puts the onus on their other rescuer pals to bail them out in the field.

    The vest I've seen in the field is made by a company at http://searchgear.com/ it was their Hydra vest, but I can't seem to find it on their page today.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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    They still have the "2 quarters for a phone call" on that list? I agree though, it is a good place to start and one we give out to folks. In the end though loadouts are personalized and fitted to the environment you are working in. We have made the move to more lightweight mountain rescue style loadouts and moving away from the NFPA standards on gear.

    I like that vest you posted, Montanan
     
  20. Montanan

    Montanan Member

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    I get a kick out of that as well.

    Our unit made the same call. It only takes a few missions of hauling two 300 ft 1/2 inch ropes into the back country to come to the determination that those fire fighter guys have nice big trucks to haul all their equipment :eek: There are definitely ways to stay safe and within the 10:1 ratio with lighter equipment, you just need to train a bunch and have a good understanding of the forces involved and what your equipment can do.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
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