Never leave home without

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I thought it would be cool to show folks what I usually have when I leave home.

In the car I have my Get Home Bag (“GHB”), a rainjacket, a pair of hiking boots in a zip loc bag, a few flashlights and a couple of lighters.

watch

watch

This is just a standard, quartz Citizens watch.  The main thing for me with a watch is that it needs to be waterproof.  I also like a watch that shows the date.  You can also use an analog watch as a compass, by pointing the hour hand at the sun, halfway between the sun and the 12 on the watch is your south coordinate.  For better directions, http://www.onebag.com/popups/wcompass.html.

Wallet cellphone

Wallet cellphone

Self-explanatory, wallet & cellphone.  Boring, huh?  I have a pay as you go cellphone.  I don’t like locking into some “plan” where you have to pay $50 or $100 a month.  Sounds like a plan to go bankrupt to me.  I don’t give my number out to a lot of people.  I usually use it for ordering pizza or calling when I’m running late.

spitfire-photon

spitfire-photon

All this stuff clips on the biner that is my key chain.  The Spitfire is a brand of mace.  I like this kind because it’s a natural aim and it sprays out a cone.  You can also replace the mace canister with a compressed air canister for training or if you spray a lot of bad guys you can buy replacement canisters of the mace.  As you can see it’s not much bigger than a disposable lighter.  Buy some for you wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, brother, boss, neighbors and friends.

If you  carry a handgun it’s important to also have mace.  I know people are going to rag on me for this, but….you just can’t whip out your firearm and shoot someone.   I guarantee that you will be second guessed after the fact.  God forbid you ever find yourself in the situation where you feel you feel you are threatened with deadly force.  First, you need to try and remove yourself from the situation.  Next, you need to use escalating force.  Mace is one step in the escalating force rubric.

The other black item on the keychain is a Photon light.  These thigns are great.  They throw a lot of light, last a long time and are about the size of three quarters stacked up.  I use it to help find the key hole in my car or at home at night.  Once again give one to everyone you care about. They ain’t cheap though.

cree-double-a

cree-double-a

This is a Cree double-A flashlight.  One AA lithium battery in this thing and it throws a ton of light and lasts a very long time.  You can see how small it is compared to a Bic pen.

I always try to have a pen with me too.

marbles-compass

marbles-compass

I don’t always carry this, but I like it.  It’s a brass marble’s compass.  When I’m wandering in the woods off trails I like to keep a general idea of my direction of travel.  This compass also has a pin on it so I can pin it onto my jacket so all I have to do is look down at it.  It’s usually kept in my car.

swiss-army-camper

swiss-army-camper

This knife is clipped to the biner with my keys, mace and Photon light.  This is a genuine Swiss Army Knife.  I’m not one for brand names, but the impersonators aren’t as good as the genuine Swiss Army Victorinox.  The Victorinox is made better and holds a great edge.  It’s worth the extra $5-$10 to get a better knife that you can depend on.  I like the Camper.  The picture shows what I think are the most important tools for me.  I need a knife with a wood saw.  I use it a lot.  Whether I’m pruning rose bushes out front or practicing my bushcraft the knife is indispensable.  I also need a corkscrew.  We like wine.  I don’t like pushing the cork down into the wine bottle.  There aren’t too many substitutes for a corkscrew when you need one.  I also find the tweezers and toothpick indispensable.  I personally think the Victorinox tweezers are some of the best tweezers going.  I lost track of how many thorns, prickers and slivers of glass I’ve pulled with these tweezers.

s&w-model-60-speedloaders

s&w-model-60-speedloaders

This is my S&W Model 60 with the .38 shells unloaded, two speedloaders and the holster.  The holster is a Bianchi inside the waistband holster.  When clipped on the gun and holster present an extremely small profile.  It literally disappears.  The speedloaders are HKS brand.  I generally carry Federal .38 + P hollowpoints.  The Model 60 also takes .357 ammo.  It only holds five shots.  I know I’ll catch grief for it, but I really like the Model 60.  It fits my hand like Goldilocks (just right), it tactilely pleasing, aims fine and makes it easy to collect the brass at the range.   I like the .38 ammo, because living in a populated area the .357 ammo is just too likely to penetrate and create collateral damage.  At the range I usually use plain old .38 ammo to practice.  Don’t worry, I also use self-defense loads to make sure I can depend on them.  All of you semi-loving folks, when using the Model 60 I’ve never had a round stove pipe, not feed correctly or drop a mag.  I like wheelguns.  The other thing is that I shoot slower and am more deliberative then I am with a semi.

Daily pics from my walks-

Big old fir

Big old hemlock

This is a big old AMERICAN hemlock.  I took this picture because of the strip running all the way down it.  This tree was struck by lightening and the lightening ran all the way down the tree tearing off the bark.  Indians made teas from the leaves of the AMERICAN hemlock, the outer bark and inner bark depending on the ailment.  Tea leave will cure scurvy.  If you live in Europe you need to be careful about not confusing the AMERICAN HEMLOCK with the European hemlock.    The EUROPEAN hemlock is poisonous as the Baird can attest to.  THANKS TO JIM RAWLES FOR POINTING THIS OUT TO ME.

Milkweed

Milkweed

This is Milkweed.  The tassels remind me of down.  You could make a fine pillow or mattress from this stuff.  In the background you can see dozens of other milkweeds in this particular field.  The root tea can be used as a diuretic, expectorant and for arthritis and asthma.  You can eat the young shoots, top leaves, young seed pods and young stems.  You need to boil them a few times thought to get rid of the sticky white latex.   Add them to boiling water boil for minute or so and drain.  Boil more water and add them to the boiling water.  Boil for minute or so and drain.  Boil more water and add them to the boiling water.  Do 3-5 times.  Don’t add them to cold water and then bring to boil.  Only add the plant to already boiling water.

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7 Responses to “Never leave home without”

  1. Jim Shy Wolf Says:

    The down from the milkweed will also make a good tinder.
    As an aside: drawing a gun for self defense has components, not all of them firing it. Draw as you pull back, Asess, then fire if you have to. As the NRA points out all the time: Often the mere presence of a firearm deters a crime. If you have the time and where-withall to draw mace and use it, you have time to draw a gun, step back and asess. Still, each will decide for themselves the route to safety.
    Bless God.
    Shy

  2. Abraham Says:

    Thanks Shy Wolf. I guess it depends on the threat posed, the distance, the direction of the wind, how many attackers there are, the weapons used and so on. Maybe that’s a post for another day.

    Yesterday I saw a story on the news about some guy at a train station assaulting people. I find that scary because, I like to think that I would not stand by passively as I saw that going on. I would have ordered him to drop the knife, order him that he is not hurting anyone that day and then been prepared to use escalating force if necessary. Scary, never like to think about the possibility of having to use deadly force.

    “NEWTON – A Newton man was charged with attempted murder after he allegedly waved a knife and threatened to kill and rob commuters at the Newtonville train station yesterday morning, at one point trying to stab a witness who reported him to a train conductor.”
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/11/07/newton_man_allegedly_waves_knife_makes_threats_at_station/

  3. vlad Says:

    my minimum kit

    in day pack, or vest with pouch.
    –knit wool watch cap
    –leather palm work gloves
    –bandanna
    –sun glasses
    –lightweight GI hooded poncho
    –survival blanket with neckhole. wear as
    poncho liner (heavyweight blanket with
    three grommets each long side,
    aluminized/OD .)
    –candle in candle lantern
    http://lakesuperiorstore.com/store/shop/item.asp?itemid=1123
    –mini-maglight and photon
    –map and compass
    –whistle
    –knife and sharpener
    –two Bic lighters
    –magnesium firestarter w/ 3″ hacksaw
    blade and P-38 can opener
    –canteen(s), cup and water purification tabs.
    –small fishkit ( 50 lb test braided Spiderwire,
    hooks, sinkers, a few Mepps and Daredevil
    lures, and six Speedhooks)
    –food — I carry sunflower oil and ground
    dried jerky.
    1 cup/4 oz = 10 oz fresh meat = 50 protein grams.
    1 cup meat powder, 2 oz sunflower oil,
    20 oz water – shake well. Doesn’t need
    refrigeration or cooking.

    In SHTF/SERE Katadyn Pocket Water Filter.
    2 lb. rated 13K gallons.

    large bore sidearm or rifle.

    If RON lean against rock or tree. Clear
    combustibles ten feet in all directions.
    Insulate your butt from the ground. Put on
    liner and poncho. Place candle lantern in
    hole between your feet. Heat will rise inside
    the poncho. The Hilton it aint but it’ll keep
    you alive.

    NOTE when you realize that you are lost
    sit down, thinks things over, check your
    map, drink water, eat if hungry. Relax. If it
    is late afternoon plan to spend the night

  4. Abraham Says:

    Vlad-

    What you say about relaxing is probably the best advice going. You hear so many stories about people panicking, running through the woods, dropping gear, hurting themselves and getting more lost.

    If you haven’t read the book Deep Survival, check it out. It’s a great compilation of many actual stories.

  5. vlad Says:

    ————————————————-
    Fishkit in the hollow handle of my 14″ Gerber ax
    -size 8 and size 12 treble hooks threaded onto a safety pin.
    -50 lb test braided Spyderwire fish line (as thin as BrandX 10 lb test line) wrapped on a clear plastic sewing bobbin
    – magnesium firestarter cut in half lengthwise, and painted to retard corrosion. MFS is attached to 3″ piece of hacksaw blade scraper with stout nylon cord.
    -two single-edge razor blades

    I dropped the bobbin of fishline. It rolled under my desk. hmmmm….??? I removed the nylon cord from the hacksaw blade, threaded it through the center hole of the bobbin, and reattached it to the hacksaw blade.
    It will be much easier to keep track of the bobbin of fishline. The bobbin will not be in the way when I scrape shavings from the MFS.
    To keep everything inside the hollow handle, I stuffed a small mesh bag into the handle, and threaded a leather thong through the two holes near the open end of the handle.
    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    when you cut a Magnesium FireStarter in two lengthwise, one piece has a striker inset, and the other does not.

    place the piece of MFS (that has no striker inset) in a vise. file a trench lengthwise.

    hold Ronson lighter flints in pliers and with wire brush remove red coating from each flint. mix a small batch of JB Weld. apply mixed JB Weld to trench in MFS. press lighter flints into the JB Weld. leave it overnight.

    next morning after the JBWeld is fully dried, apply two coats paint to MFS, else it will rapidly corrode in damp climate. After paint has dried, connect MFS with stout nylon cord to bobbin of fishline and 3″ section of hacksaw blade.

  6. Abraham Says:

    Vlad-

    That’s a great idea! I have the same axe and I never thought of packing the handle!!

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