Five pounds of gear

How many folks have heard the expression, “if you have a 90 liter bag, you are going to fit 90 liters of stuff into it.’ That may seem like a good idea until you have to carry it and then carry it all the time. It’s going to get old really fast.

Years ago, we use to pride ourselves on having the most minimalist “Escape & Evasion” kit. While times have certainly changed, the aspect of minimalist gear has not. Today you might see a variety of different “go bags” and what not, but before you pick a bag to carry your stuff, why don’t you think about what stuff you will need to carry.

A lot is going to be depend on each of our situations. I think it is safe to say you might want something small, easy to grab and versatile enough for a wide range of situations. But, here is the kicker, you have to keep the whole thing to less than five pounds.

Why five pounds, the biggest reason has to do with availability. I have seen some really elaborate bags filled to the rim with things that quite honestly are great ideas. However, I’m skeptical that most actually take the time to really carry the bag or have it accessible for everyday scenarios. If it is so big or cumbersome it might not be as valuable as you think. It’s kind of like the super awesome .357 Magnum that sits on the nightstand, but doesn’t leave the house.

Like I said, you can outfit these bad boys with some really cool stuff, but you will need to prioritize in order to keep it within the 5 pound limit. Remember, this is not a 3-day pack you need to live out of for 3 days, just something to handle those critical incidents you may be involved in or witness and opt to get involved.

As I see it, there are probably four categories of items; medical, communications, food/water and protection. Medical items might include what you need to treat life threatening injuries so keep to the ABC’s. Communications could range from flashlights, batteries or portable cell phone chargers. Food might be high energy/high protein snacks and electrolyte replacements. Protection could range from spare magazines, multi-tools and even a firearm (though that will take up a lot of weight). By no means is this a complete list, I’m sure there are plenty of other items to add. However, keeping to the 5 pound limit you will be amazed how quickly 5 pounds comes along.

So, that was the easy part. The next part is the real trick and that is finding a suitable method of carrying that meets two conditions. Creates a more inviting reason to actually carry and doesn’t scream “tactical”. I have found that some of these newer sports bags make for a great vessel. More than accommodating for your stuff and common enough to not attract attention.

The last part of this exercise is to actually put into practice the art of having it with you. Grabbing it out the door to work, taking it into your office and then back to the house at the end of the day. Try doing that for about 5 days, you might be surprised that 5 pounds is too much, too little or maybe it’s just right, but the point is now you have no excuse for not being prepared.

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