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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-
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.
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.