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The Backpack Survivalist

2584 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Garand
Some, OK, ONE person here, espouses 'backpack survival' as the end all be all come some apocalypse.

There is an often posted essay by Duncan Long which pretty much derides the entire concept.

Can 'backpack survival' be done? I think it can, if done properly. It has been done before by different people under various circumstances.

You'd best have some skill and experience in the boonies, especially in the terrain you'll be in. You also have to be in a good location. Most people will still be in the urban areas, dead or alive.

Your best bet on actually making it would be to get to an isolated place that has a natural food supply, set up a small, not so easily spotted camp, and do it as the Indians and Mountain Men did it with a few military and Boy Scout field methods tossed nto the mix.

This means that you're going to need a few more tools than you'd normally bring while backpacking, your gear has to be simple and durable, and you'd better practice this stuff and dial your gear in ahead of time.

For most people, the best bet for getting deep into the boonies would be to toss their gear and a bicycle into a vehicle and drive down logging and forestry roads as far as they can get with the vehicle. Also, you can rig a bicycle VC style to carry almost as much gear as a horse. The VC would pack as much as 200 pounds on a cargo bike. The bike can be de-rigged in the field for regular used.

Another thing to take into account is that there are very few places left that you can go in N. America where there hasn't been someone there before and they've often left something behind, from tin cans to bulldozers. The amount of material and resources to be gleaned from such activity can be considerable.

Also, there will be game in the better places, though in some areas, like near small towns, it will be hunted out. To assume that the entire population will be spread across the land and then consume all of the game in the land is a poorly applied mis-use of math and contradicts both human nature and recorded history.

Well, here's a spartan minimum list for light fast bugout travel. This list looks long but actually doesn't weight that much. A lot of this gear is very small and weighs almost nothing. It's really just a spartanized backpacker's kit with a few extra tools and a bit of extra basic supplies. This list is assuming one is already dressed.

This is not exactly my own personal list, but is a basic, generic list though many of my own preferrences are reflected in it. Myself, backpack survival is a last ditch resort. I'm also not traveling alone. Traveling alone by choice is dumb (or sociopathic).

If anyone has anything to add, feel free.

* pack (good used packs can be had cheap at swap meets or surplus stores)
* sleeping bag (synthetic, the thicker the better)
* close cell foam sleeping mat (protects the bag and insulated you from the ground)
* poncho (never used as a ground tarp if you want it to still keep the rain out)
* poncho liner (for warmer weather, cold mornings, and catching naps on the run)

* ready to eat traveling/bug out food (the weight of this food doesn't matter too much as it will be steadily consumed in the initial bugout while moving fast)
* bag of salt (bring a lot, like a couple of pounds or more)
* bag of food (10-15lbs dried lentils will get you by for a while)
* dehydrated onion
* bullion cubes
* tea (100 tea bags minimum, keeps you alert plus it makes boiled/idodine water taste better)
* tobasco sauce and curry powder (can make almost anything edible)
* canteen/water bottle(s) (empty plastic soda/water bottles work well)
* cup or can to cook & boil water in
* snare wire
* basic fishing gear (line/hooks)
* water filter & iodine tabs
* vitamin supplements
* plant ID cards
* seeds - non-heirloom, easy to plant and grow Indian style crops (beans, squash, corn, melons) These seeds can be planted with improvised tools like a sharpened stick, and easily harvested by hand.

* firetool (Walmart $5)
* disposable butane lighters (have a hard time working at higher altitudes) and/or a Zippo and a bottle of extra lighter fluid
* multi-tool (quality needle nose pliers type - Gerber/Leatherman/SOG/Victorinox, etc)
* sheath knife - quality
* hatchet/axe (quality: Gransfor's, Norlund, Snow & Nealley, Marbles, ect)
* saw (Stanley saw handle with various 'sawzall' blades for wood, metal, and bone)
* diamond hone (EZ-Lap 1"x3" with a leather pouch - Walmart $6)
* 2 files (mill/bastard type and a Nicholson '4 in Hand')
* vice-grips (quality make with the wire cutters)
* awl
* paramedic style scissors
* lock picks

(A couple of small drill bits mounted with epoxy in cut sections of wooden dowel comes in handy, especially for tubing and woodwork)

If you plan on 'digging in', bring a USGI Nam era folding shovel or a Glock shovel. It will be worth the extra weight. The Nam era USGI shovel (copied directly off of the WWII era German paratrooper shovel) weighs a bit more but it is about the best small digging tool ever devised.

* firearm(s)
* ammo
* cleaning/maintenance kit

* mini-binos
* compass
* map(s)
* LED flashlight with extra AA batteries (lasts a LONG time)

* sewing kit (1 to 3 colors nylon thread in light and heavy weight, extra needles of various sizes, & a Speedy Stitch tool)
* paracord (100ft minimum)
* 3M or Permatex automotive super weatherstrip adhesive
* Devcon contact adhesive
* duct (duck, 90mph) tape
* lockwire or bailing wire (repair wire can often be scavanged)

* gloves - 2 pair, insulated hunter's style & tough leather work style or 1 pair leather work gloves and militarly arctic mittens with a trigger finger (The old time Eskimos would say that a man without gloves is a dead man.)
* extra socks and underwear
* cold weather clothes
* spare pair of sneakers
* extra pants and shirt

* first aid/health maintenance kit
* bug repellant
* men's deodorant, non-clear stick type, scentless (works wonders for athlete's foot cure and prevention)
* soap (several bars, scentless like Ivory)
* plastic backpacker's soap container
* towel & washcloth
* toothbrush plus a couple of spares
* baking soda for brushing teeth (use powdered charcoal when that runs out)
* collapsable wash basin (collapsable hiker's dog bowl will work, heat the water in your cook pot/cup and pour it in the basin)

(keeping relatively clean in the boonies is not that hard unless you are a lazy dirtbag and it goes a LONG way to keeping you healthy)

* something to read and something to write with
* maybe some playing cards (optional)
* adult human female (optional, your mileage may vary)
* maybe small solar/wind up SW radio (optional)
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You guys assume that one must be totally cut off from anyone else if your a "backpack survivalist". This is not so many people make it their lifestyle in the here and now and get along doing it just fine. One can stash their pack or gun and go into town for stuff. No need to isolate yourself from all other human contact.

All these dreams of whats gonna happen with "shtf" are just that, DREAMS.
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