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Posted: 3/4/2014 5:45:46 PM EDT
I had an overnight camp planned this weekend, but other things came up, I did have my bag all packed though and ready for action, and I figured I would take some time and lay it out and list it for anybody who might be interested in the system I have found works for me. Nearly every time I go into the woods I come home and rearrange my pack a little bit and try to figure out what might work better. Lately I have been doing less rearranging and simply using what I have, to me that says my system is where I like it and I have a good balance of comfort and safety.

Like alot of others here I work hard for my money, and there isn't a whole lot extra, it has taken me half a decade and lots of gear to get where I am now. I know I could go even lighter, but I can't afford to step into the next tier at the moment, and I can shoulder the extra 5 lbs for the time being.

This setup is catered to my style of camping, and it doubles as my GHB (I don't plan on bugging out unless something very direct and large enough to affect my entire area hits, since I have numerous family members inside of 20 miles that would take me in) I do work up to 50 miles from home on any given day.

I feel that it is important to put threads like this up though because all over other forums I see people list their BOB loadouts and you know instantly they have never walked more than 100 yards with all that stuff strapped to their back, they are commonly 60 lbs or more and missing basic gear (plenty of ammo though)

Here is my entire bag, ready for the field in the winter. I consider this my heaviest configuration and it has kept me comfy down to zero degrees. Keep in mind that I cater this for the seasons, and in nice weather I can leave the sleeping bag, the axe, the booties and less food at home, saving a considerable amount of weight.

The Kelly Kettle is a new purchase for me, and I have tested it a good deal in the back yard, but it has yet to see field time. I am confident that it will make a fine addition for bushcrafting or long term use in the woods.



Using the ILBE pack, managed to get a brand new one off eBay last year for about $60 shipped. I removed a lot of webbing and the mortar tubes and reduced it by a pound.

From left to right, top to bottom the list goes

Sleep System
-Eno Double Nest hammock with warbonnet suspension
-HG Incubator 20 underquilt
-Kelty Cosmic Down 20 sleeping bag
-USGI Poncho Liner
-Henessey Rain fly
-4 aluminum tent stakes

-Estwing Campers Axe w/custom digging spur
-Savage Rascal youth .22 LR, single shot with 10 round bandolier

Cooking System
-Kelly Kettle Trekker in stainless
-Snow Peak No 1 Kettle
-Plastic GSI mug
-Long aluminum spork, handy for freeze dried meals
-Scotch Brite Pad
-Baggie of dryer lint and a Bic lighter

Personal Gear
-Synthetic Booties for sleeping
-Dry sack with extra socks and extra base layer
-FAK, off the shelf with a few things added
-Toiletries, tooth brush, dental floss, various pain killers and benedryl

Cleanliness and Water
-MSR 2 liter hydration bladder (excellent piece of gear, tough as nails)
-Shemagh and small shammy towel
-Relfectix, about 30"x30" undfolded

Food Sack
- indiviually packed servings. Mostly rice, couscous, pancake mix, all pre-seasoned, just dump them into a pot of hot water and wait.
-Coffee and tea, sugar and extra spices for wild food.

Lid Contents
-Rain cover for pack
-Various firestarting materials
-Coffee, easy to get to for a fast drink
-.22 shorts, about a dozen, extras for the rifle or if I have a .22 on my hip.
-TP, half a roll, worth the weight to carry extra
-Various sized zip ties, great for repairing a boot or a pack
-Milwaukee hand held saw, accepts standard sawzall blades, excellent little tool for building.
-Spare sawzall blade, one is pruning and one is multi purpose
-Blistex
-Spare compass
-Spare Mora knife
-Work gloves
-Small fishing set with line, hooks and swivels. Enough to make a decent trot line.
-Small rag
-Spare contractor bag, can be used as a poncho, or as a replacement pack liner (I use one in the pack as a liner also)

Not shown
You will notice that there is no extra line, we used up my 50 ft roll during a previous trip stringing one hell of an interesting rain shelter for 12 people, it was so knotted and dirty when I got home I just tossed it out. I had no more cord at home so I am experimenting with mason line (I have rolls and rolls of it) and bank line.

I also carry a sidearm with me too, which one depends on my mood. There is a small adapter rigged to my hip belt to allow me to comfortably slip my holster off my pants belt and onto my pack, and then back again when we take our packs off.

Also not shown is my head lamp. A nice unit that holds two 18650's. I keep one with tape on the end to keep it at full charge incase I run one down. I have used it for weeks around the house without charging, I keep a small pocket light as well, nice to have two lights incase one craps out.

Extra clothes, I usually stuff in a spare sweatshirt, but mostly layer and just remove and add as needed. I keep an extra base layer. It is easy to get a fire going and dry your pants and shirt, but a pain in the ass to get your base layer dry, much easier to slip into fresh ones (and yes, I have had to do that before, I was right down to my under pants in the middle of winter waiting for my pants to dry by a fire)

Here is everything loaded up and ready to go. Cooking kit kept on the outside of the pack for easy access and keeping everything else clean



The war hounds, they will be vital for any long term adventure in the woods. The one on the left can find anything with fur inside a mile and get it tree'd, the one on the right flushes and retrieves the feathers. Notice he has a boner just thinking about going hunting



Everything as configured, meaning no water, no additional clothes and only 1.5 days worth of food is 33 lbs. I can keep the total weight below 40 lbs if I go light on the food and water, but I usually don't for anything over a day, I like to eat.

40 lbs is my ceiling for 3 season, but I know that 45 lbs happens a lot in the winter, due to extra gear.

I feel that is pretty reasonable for a fit person.

I won't win any ultralight contests like this, but like I said above, I feel comfortable going in the woods down to zero with this set up, and I have done so. For a never coming home type situation I might be inclined to toss two boxes of ammo in there, one for the rifle and one for the pistol, but ideally my BOL is already stocked, and just waiting for me to get there, and for the bushcrafting and camping that I do it works well.

It's not tactical, or ready for war, but practical survival for my area.



Wet pants and socks, notice that the reflectix makes a kickass sock oven.
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 5:54:53 PM EDT
[#1]
Nice write up
Red Rocket
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 5:55:45 PM EDT
[#2]
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Quoted:
Nice write up
Red Rocket
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I didn't notice it until after I put everything away and uploaded it.

Horny little bastard.
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 5:57:59 PM EDT
[#3]
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Quoted:


I didn't notice it until after I put everything away and uploaded it.

Horny little bastard.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Nice write up
Red Rocket


I didn't notice it until after I put everything away and uploaded it.

Horny little bastard.

Link Posted: 3/4/2014 6:01:53 PM EDT
[#4]
maybe I missed it in the write up but what kind of pack is that?
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 6:08:17 PM EDT
[#5]
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Quoted:
maybe I missed it in the write up but what kind of pack is that?
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ILBE pack.

The main part and I left it right out. Hold on, I'll put it in.
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 6:21:19 PM EDT
[#6]
Looks like a serious kit.

Thank you for posting.

The only thing I question is the ax. It's gotta be half of your weight....

Do you buck that large of rounds with the handsaw that they require splitting? Or do you buck logs with the ax?

I didn't see ANY duct tape....
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 6:36:43 PM EDT
[#7]
How is the Eastwing?  I am looking for lighter than my craftsman, but am afraid to make the purchase.  

Red Rocket and the dog.  that's come funny stuff there!

thanks for the review.
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 6:42:44 PM EDT
[#8]
It weighs about 3.5 lbs, and it is a rough on the hands with the full steel handle.

However, every time I take a wood handled axe into the woods one of my friends breaks it, so at least the Estwing is just about indestructible.

I usually use it to just find leaning dead wood that is too big to move and then make as few cuts as possible through it and pull the logs back to camp, they make for a long lasting fire instead of running for armfuls of sticks constantly. I find ways to use it when I have it, but other than the winter I can get by just fine without it. Very handy for super cold nights though because of the ability to process larger logs and get a bigger hotter fire going.

The small saw is pretty much useless for anything bigger than 4". It is great for crafting though because you can make some nice clean edges, not really a mandatory item, but whenever I don't have a small saw I find myself wishing that I did.

Now that you mention tape, there was a roll of it in the lid, I would bet the lab ran off with it while I was pulling stuff out.
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 7:07:30 PM EDT
[#9]
I found this and had to come back to add it.

This is a friend of mine shortly after he started getting geared up to camp. He showed up with this loadout and we weighed him. 80 lbs on his back right there.



I took everyone to a marsh where I hunt and there was a lot of ducking and weaving through the brush, he almost turtled a few times. Very typical of the loadouts I see on forums all over the place though.
Link Posted: 3/4/2014 8:04:45 PM EDT
[#10]
Is that a yoga mat on his backpack?
Link Posted: 3/5/2014 8:11:14 AM EDT
[#11]
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Is that a yoga mat on his backpack?
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The worlds biggest sleeping pad I think.

We started unloading his bag and all I could do was shake my head. There was not one, but two handguns in it and enough ammo for a long term trip downrange, and canned food, multiple cans. Plus a bunch of other random stuff.

He has gotten a lot better, but I know how tough it is to get over that hurdle of "I need this" and realize that you don't, you just want it.
Link Posted: 3/5/2014 8:39:03 AM EDT
[#12]
Good thread, I two have one of those estwings and while they might not be the best they are about as indestructible as an axe can get.


ETA/ Best when being compared to the $100+ boutique axes.  
Link Posted: 3/5/2014 9:08:11 AM EDT
[#13]
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Quoted:
Good thread, I two have one of those estwings and while they might not be the best they are about as indestructible as an axe can get.


ETA/ Best when being compared to the $100+ boutique axes.  
View Quote


I really do prefer a wood handled boys axe, but I am zero for three making out of the woods without my friends breaking it. I have no idea how, but they are experts at it.

Link Posted: 3/5/2014 9:57:24 AM EDT
[#14]
I love my ILBE...for a maximum load you can't beat the comfort. Having said this, I usually try and keep my packs around #35 or LESS, using a Eagle III 3 day pack. With this weight limit I am well equipped for 3 days plus and can still move...but you have to do what suits YOU! As you age, and as your camping learning curve grows you will go lighter, I guarantee it! That's what makes backpacking so much fun, a never ending learning and adventure experience. When I do ten days in the Boundary Waters I got about #60 of gear...but most of the time it rides in a canoe.
Link Posted: 3/5/2014 10:32:33 AM EDT
[#15]
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Quoted:
I love my ILBE...for a maximum load you can't beat the comfort. Having said this, I usually try and keep my packs around #35 or LESS, using a Eagle III 3 day pack. With this weight limit I am well equipped for 3 days plus and can still move...but you have to do what suits YOU! As you age, and as your camping learning curve grows you will go lighter, I guarantee it! That's what makes backpacking so much fun, a never ending learning and adventure experience. When I do ten days in the Boundary Waters I got about #60 of gear...but most of the time it rides in a canoe.
View Quote


I already have plans for a sub-30 lb loadout.

To maintain a similar level of comfort though it will require hundreds more dollars that I really don't need to spend right now.

I think it is relatively easy to get in the 40# range, but to get any lower for a medium length trip you need some really light (expensive) gear.
Link Posted: 3/5/2014 11:17:24 AM EDT
[#16]
I have the same bag...Just dont have the lid yet.
Link Posted: 3/5/2014 12:04:50 PM EDT
[#17]
Great post.  Can you show some pics of your Estwing Campers Axe w/custom digging spur?  I'm very curious about the axe mod and how it works, since I'm thinking about picking up an Estwing Campers Axe to throw in the vehicle.
Link Posted: 3/5/2014 12:17:45 PM EDT
[#18]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Great post.  Can you show some pics of your Estwing Campers Axe w/custom digging spur?  I'm very curious about the axe mod and how it works, since I'm thinking about picking up an Estwing Campers Axe to throw in the vehicle.
View Quote


It's nothing super special, basically I just went out and cut a flat piece of 1/8" mild steel, welded the top and then folded and welded the sides. Leave the sheath on the sharp part and dig whatever needs digging.

Link Posted: 3/5/2014 12:42:38 PM EDT
[#19]
How did your buddy do hiking in Muck boots?  Great for duck hunting or chores, but I would hate to have to hike any real distance in those things.
Link Posted: 3/5/2014 12:54:54 PM EDT
[#20]
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Quoted:
How did your buddy do hiking in Muck boots?  Great for duck hunting or chores, but I would hate to have to hike any real distance in those things.
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Not terrible, I have put lots of miles on mine, that particular spot has a lot of wet spots, it's either muck boots or wet legs and feet. They do slide a bit with a pack on, and anything more than 4 miles would totally suck. I don't even know how many miles I have with muck boots and a decoy bag, but I am on my 3rd pair, and lugging the decoy bag really sucks compared to a pack.

For anywhere else though it's Danner GTX hikers.
Link Posted: 3/6/2014 5:34:11 AM EDT
[#21]
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Quoted:


I didn't notice it until after I put everything away and uploaded it.

Horny little bastard.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Nice write up
Red Rocket


I didn't notice it until after I put everything away and uploaded it.

Horny little bastard.


made me laugh so hard, almost sprayed my monitor with coffee....great write up....
Link Posted: 3/6/2014 9:14:00 AM EDT
[#22]
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Quoted:


It's nothing super special, basically I just went out and cut a flat piece of 1/8" mild steel, welded the top and then folded and welded the sides. Leave the sheath on the sharp part and dig whatever needs digging.

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u576/sitdwnandhngon/IMG_0154_zps312df50d.jpg
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Great post.  Can you show some pics of your Estwing Campers Axe w/custom digging spur?  I'm very curious about the axe mod and how it works, since I'm thinking about picking up an Estwing Campers Axe to throw in the vehicle.


It's nothing super special, basically I just went out and cut a flat piece of 1/8" mild steel, welded the top and then folded and welded the sides. Leave the sheath on the sharp part and dig whatever needs digging.

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u576/sitdwnandhngon/IMG_0154_zps312df50d.jpg


I like it! Looks very functional and adds a new dimension to your axe.  Good job
Link Posted: 3/8/2014 11:55:34 AM EDT
[#23]
subscribed.
thanks for the write up
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