Forums The Gear Room 17 Ounces of insurance? Or dead weight? Viewing 18 posts - 21 through 38 (of 38 total) ← 1 2 Author Posts December 12, 2006 at 11:07 pm #592671 SanFrantastico 1514 Posts Thanks for the book recommendation – I think I’ll put it on my xmas wish list. @norwaybrder wrote: keep your meds in a quick access spot. not deep in your pack, for all reasons. if you are national park land you dont want to mess around with rangers. better to toss it and let mother nature get hers back, then to have a long day sitting in the snow. rangers mean business, seen it with friends and it aint cool. Just make sure it isn’t too accessible!! Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968. December 13, 2006 at 12:50 am #592672 Hunter-Va 33 Posts good suggestions on first aid kit add-in’s, in addition to duct tape anywhere it will wrap, I always carry -a signal mirror for getting spinach out of the choppers, singaling, and fire -tampons(2), they make the best blood stoppers for open wounds, go figure -butterflys and a hotel sewing kit -super glue for cuts -a few 5mg valium and an airplane bottles of vodka for cleaning and pain relief -an extra bic with a few strike anywhere matches taped to it Hunter December 13, 2006 at 1:52 pm #592673 KnuckleDragger 41 Posts If you ride soft boots, an extra binding strap might be nice – they seem to break at the worst times. I suppose you could make due with zip ties and duct tape in a pinch though. December 13, 2006 at 7:43 pm #592674 knucklesplitter 340 Posts I wouldn’t even call it “insurance” – it’s “necessity”. Some good suggestions here too. December 13, 2006 at 10:07 pm #592675 jimjar 35 Posts I know all about those frozen guinys snoslut 😉 A little steal wool with those batteries will work to start a fire. December 13, 2006 at 10:58 pm #592676 snownskate 140 Posts Zip ties most def. Also I keep a jet flame lighter in there as well, I have had those fancy dancy all weather matches fail on me numerous times and it’s the last thing I want to deal with when it’s cold, dark, and storming. I put it all in a gg air pocket, http://www.granitegear.com/products/packing_systems/air_line/air_pockets/index.html I always assumed this thing is waterproof as it has a treated zipper, but it doesn’t state on the website whether it is or not. December 14, 2006 at 5:28 pm #592677 Hyakbc 53 Posts Fire starting is a thread unto itself. Dryer lint stored in a film canister is good tinder and weighs little. I’ve started packing a Jetboil. Heat soup and torch the forest if you like. Invaluable above treeline. December 15, 2006 at 7:25 am #592678 gimpy 47 Posts the most valuable thing there is the chunk of hash wrapped in foil…………..and the matches 😉 December 16, 2006 at 12:28 am #592679 splittilps 154 Posts Wow, I carry way more first aid supplies than that. I guess it’s because I use the same kit for multi-day backpacking and his has stuff for long term care of an injured or sick person. I would however add a role of medical tape – you can never have too much tape and the duct tape on a pole or water bottle gets ratty and hard to deploy quickly over time. I’d also add an ace bandage to help support a tweaked knee or ankle. I often carry eye drops too. They can be handy to flush tree bark etc out of your eyes and, well, sometime you need to get the red out before driving home. December 18, 2006 at 6:51 pm #592680 ttriche 116 Posts Almost forgot. If you’re going to roll with a rig that requires some waterproofness (and honestly, I do carry a spare pair of batteries to go with the drugs, flexicuffs, and sutures), there are some in particular that are REALLY waterproof, won’t bust, the damn things are TIGHT. http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/000406.php They are called Aloksacks, I blocked on the name but Google remembered it for me. Anyways, they are good to 200m if sealed properly and especially for maps, matches, etc. they are invaluable. I hate to suggest anything techy but these sacks really work well. I dumped one in the Virgin River with a route topo on it, fished it out of the reeds/brushy/pointy things, and the topo was dry as a bone despite the hoohah. The one in my first-aid kit (all 3 items + batteries) has been sat on more times than most peoples’ asses and it’s doing great too. If you want to keep something dry these are a great choice. Much obliged for the discussion of lithium batteries. I’ll reserve those for my GPS and (maybe) my headlamp from now on. Maybe if Black Diamond tested their headlamps with lithium batteries and advertised that they were guaranteed not to fuck up with (non-cold-sensitive) lithium batteries, then they might finally gain some ground on mighty Petzl 😉 December 18, 2006 at 6:53 pm #592681 ttriche 116 Posts @hyakbc wrote: I’ve started packing a Jetboil. Heat soup and torch the forest if you like. Invaluable above treeline. I love my jetboil, I converted it into a hanging stove using a speedy stitch, great for cooking in the tent (aka. asphyxiating yourself if you don’t unzip the fly) during a storm. Sips fuel, too. Not real good for frying anything, but that’s what the Coleman Uncle Cletus Special in the back of the truck is for. December 22, 2006 at 2:18 am #592682 mountainvoodoo 80 Posts A lot of good suggestions in this thread. Having been on a SAR team for twelve years and having been on literally hundreds of missions, I would highly suggest carrying the few extra ounces. Most of the missions we respond to are due to a lack of experience and equipment and for some even if they had the equipment they were still lacking the experience to put it to use. Compass & map are crucial wherever you go. I had been splitting a local spot for years when one morning it whited out so flat you could’nt see a thing. Had to use a compass bearing & map to avoid terrain traps and gullies leading to the backside. Unbelievable how weird that day was. Without the compass, we would have been pinned until it cleared the next day. Xtra batteries and headlamp, fire starter, ( i scrape a bunch dried pitch from pine trees and keep it in a film cannister), compass, knife, first aid stuff, big zip ties (good for securing a splint), small tool, whistle, two trash bags (bivy), cell phone, extra pin for the plates. For longer trips (overnight or multi day) I would increase the gear as needed. I have even created two small alluminum plates that would connect two boards together at the binding mounts to create a stretcher. Used it once and it worked great for hauling the beer into camp. Jim December 26, 2006 at 3:00 am #592683 ttriche 116 Posts @mountainvoodoo wrote: Xtra batteries and headlamp, Always! And you don’t have to carry a half-pound monster headlamp — the smaller (1-2oz.) models from Petzl and BD are getting better and better. After an epic years ago on Mt. Russell where I used a keychain LED lamp for a 3rd class descent, I started girth-hitching a BD Ion to my chalkbag. No reason a person couldn’t do the same thing with their spare Voile pin, for example… I like to carry lithium spares becuase they are unaffected by cold, weigh nothing, and last longer than alkaline batteries in my GPS device (which has sometimes triumphed over a poorly read topo — 2.7 ounces of salvation, it has often proven to be). I’m less sure whether they’re a great idea in my headlamp; will have to research this further. fire starter, Toilet paper and/or pine sap works great in a pinch, as you noted whistle, Get one of the orange fastex buckle / whistle combos from REI and replace your sternum strap buckle with it! Only $2 and it’s always ready. two trash bags (bivy), d00d that’s what your pack’s extendable top is for!!! If you are going to use a trash bag as a bivy, pinching a contractor cleanup bag from Home Depot will give you a MUCH better, more durable, and better coverage emergency bivy than a standard Hefty bag. The 4mm thickness holds up to some severe asskickings — those bags are meant for cleaning up nails, joist hangers, splintered studs, etc. and can take almost anything. extra pin for the plates. just because it can always stand to be repeated 🙂 Lots of good food for thought. THANK YOU for working SAR, by the way. It can never be said enough. December 26, 2006 at 4:55 pm #592684 paulster 130 Posts Great thread. Some additions: I second the inner tubes as fire starter. They burn a long time. You can even use road bike tubes with fastex buckles as a stretchy all purpose strap. Closing wounds in the field is controversial and I have been taught to never suture or steri-strip a wound in the backcountry – you will almost certainly wind up with an infection. Even my ER doc friends will not suture a wound in the field. On a multi-day trip, wash and dress it daily but leave it open to drain. Suture kits work great for fabric repairs, though. I always stick a few big and small safety pins in my pack and have used them. I second the Voile straps, long and short – I have built a complete (telemark) binding out of 4 or 5. Lasted a full day of powder skiing. I keep my emergency kit in a big ziplock back in my pack. I don’t think it needs to be submersion-proof, but I found out a few years ago that if I go out every day and don’t completely empty my pack every night, the bottom stuff gets damp and moldy. I kepe a spare pair of mittens, a hat, and a few hand warmers in the bottom of my pack in a gallon ziplock as well. I carry a couple of goo packs with caffeine and have used them a few times to continue when I am not feeling very good or need to keep going when circumstances keep me out much longer than intended. Magic. I also carry 2 of those tiny fold up weigh nothing mylar emergency space blankets, one flat and one formed into a bivy bag. Haven’t used them yet but know people who have. Not great but better than nothing. I carry and have used a few feet of baling wire, rolled into a coil. I have been peripherally involved in a few evacs and am amazed how a simple evacuation in the near-urban Wasatch with a great local SAR group generally means sitting around in the cold & dark for many, many hours. Being able to stay dry and warm is key. December 27, 2006 at 2:27 pm #592685 mountainvoodoo 80 Posts TTriche Wrote: d00d that’s what your pack’s extendable top is for!!! If you are going to use a trash bag as a bivy, pinching a contractor cleanup bag from Home Depot will give you a MUCH better, more durable, and better coverage emergency bivy than a standard Hefty bag. The 4mm thickness holds up to some severe asskickings — those bags are meant for cleaning up nails, joist hangers, splintered studs, etc. and can take almost anything.. No doubt. I have switched to the Fed Ex bags used to ship golf bags. These things are burly, weigh nothing, and are long enough to reach from foot to shoulder. December 27, 2006 at 6:30 pm #592686 ttriche 116 Posts @paulster wrote: I second the Voile straps, long and short – I have built a complete (telemark) binding out of 4 or 5. Lasted a full day of powder skiing. NOW I remember why I don’t carry zip-ties! My wife was looking at this thread (marveling at the genius of some of youse) and asked me “why don’t you carry zip ties, Tim?” Now I remember. Those Voile straps are like the Force… they do not gum up (unlike duct tape) and can be easily released and reused (unlike zip ties). Now I remember what is supposed to hold the split-plank traction splint together 😉 I keep my emergency kit in a big ziplock back in my pack. I don’t think it needs to be submersion-proof, but I found out a few years ago that if I go out every day and don’t completely empty my pack every night, the bottom stuff gets damp and moldy. I kepe a spare pair of mittens, a hat, and a few hand warmers in the bottom of my pack in a gallon ziplock as well. spare (lycra or wool) balaclava = warmest 2 ounces you can carry. I’m beginning to think that a large Tyvek bag like mountainvoodoo mentioned might be the ultimate clothes bag (and bivy sack). Having my (tiny) first aid and spares kit in an Aloksack submersible ziplock has meant that I could completely ignore the two bladder leaks and countless snowmelt episodes in my pack… I must admit that I had started to take this for granted until you mentioned it. Now it is time to redouble my suggestion to look into these marvelous little things. Especially if you carry tablets or pills, or tinder, in your kit. I also carry 2 of those tiny fold up weigh nothing mylar emergency space blankets, one flat and one formed into a bivy bag. Haven’t used them yet but know people who have. Not great but better than nothing. I have used these things and they suck. I would rather carry a big Tyvek envelope or a thick-walled garbage bag, you are less likely to shred it during the evening’s shivering activities. And you will be shivering, violently, if you find yourself using a Mylar bag. I have been peripherally involved in a few evacs and am amazed how a simple evacuation in the near-urban Wasatch with a great local SAR group generally means sitting around in the cold & dark for many, many hours. Being able to stay dry and warm is key. Evacs are always a clusterfuck. Think about chopping off your legs at the hip and then predicate all mobility upon that. Then make things slower. That’s how evacs always seem to play out. Be safe out there. December 27, 2006 at 6:38 pm #592687 nothingmuch 358 Posts @ttriche wrote: Evacs are always a clusterfuck. Think about chopping off your legs at the hip and then predicate all mobility upon that. Then make things slower. That’s how evacs always seem to play out. At that stage, I would likely try to accept my seemingly inevitable death than try to move anywhere… That way I can at least conserve some energy and prevent further damage to those legs which although immobile are probably still attached 😉 December 28, 2006 at 12:29 pm #592688 damian 107 Posts I carry quite a bit of emergency stuff and it takes up too much room in my pack. But its going to be useful one day if ever I am stuck in a very cold storm hole for 24 hours – pain killers – SAM splint and elastic bandage. – multi tool – spare thermal underwear – spare fleece hat – spare glove liners – really small Coleman gas burner and small gas cartridge – lighter – a few tea bags and sugar – small alu cup – vacuum packed air-cell foil bivy bag (really good kit, but not light) http://www.blizzardprotectionsystems.com/acatalog/detail_bag.html – duct tape (which I also use on blisters) – one foot of wire (doesn’t snap like zip ties can) – one foot of bicycle inner tube – pipe and vanilla flavoured dark tobacco (…but not for the medicinal purposes, just for civilised moral if I am dying) The inner tube is a great fire starter and also extremely good for strapping and fixing bindings (I really don’t trust strap bindings). Down side: it is heavy. Map and compass are standard kit for me, not really emergency pack. 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