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Gear List The Gear List forum is the place to post your actual backpacking gear list, and to read what others have in their packs. Don't forget to specify weight.

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Old 03-29-2011, 11:47 AM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Durable Long-Lasting Expedition Survival Gear List Items

Many of us use lightweight (sometimes less durable) items for short backpacking trips that we may not use for long expeditions.

For the sake of this thread, consider a hypothetical (survival) situation in which you will choose gear items (in advance) that are more robust and long-lasting. Consider it's a long-term (years) situation in which there will be no opportunity to re-supply or replace any gear items.

I realize that there are ways in which to improvise/replace some items in the field, but for this exercise please select actual gear items that you'd upgrade from those that you typically carry for most backpacking trips.

Feel free to post an entire list, specific categories (e.g. sleeping gear, tools, kitchen,...), or individual items.

For example, perhaps you may opt for a bigger/better knife or go for a wood (debris) burning stove.

Some may already carry more robust gear. Backpacking extends wider than thru-hiking or vacationing along a well-manicured trail. Depending upon where one is in the world, what's carried in backpack for a trip into the wild can vary significantly. Certainly there are those who go on backpacking trips in extremely remote areas as a means of securing food and other necessities for the well being of themselves and their families. [Maybe some of them will get on their solar-powered smartphones and login to PBF to share. ]

What about you? Would you still grab the comfy down sleeping bag/quilt? Would you carry more tools (e.g. saw, hatchet,...). If you'd be "out there" for years, which backpacking gear would you upgrade that fits into your pack and is still reasonable for you to carry?


P.S. It's understood that there are many variables in which to consider (e.g. weather, terrain, duration,...), but do your best to work with this broad generalization. And it's assumed that food/water is abundant in the area - but would have to be procured from the wild - after carried sustenance becomes depleted.

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Old 03-29-2011, 07:24 PM
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SSDD SSDD is offline
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I would use a Ti wood burning stove

Four or five 1/4 inch diameter Ti tubing at 20 inches long to use as a grill over a bigger fire,

A down quilt but I would use a 1.9oz nylon on the outer and 1.1 on the inner.

A foam sleeping pad

A more traditonal type of backpack so it can take use and abuse and be more comfy when humping big loads

A good fixed 6"-7" knife like a RAT series

A SOG or CQC-T tomahawk

A bow saw

100-200 feet of para cord

A MSR mini works and a DIY filter bag to make your own filter

A flint steel and a lighter

A Bow & arrows or a 10/22 depending on the area

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Old 03-29-2011, 07:37 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Thanks for the contribution, SSDD. I can see the "thinking" behind your choices.

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Old 03-30-2011, 07:43 AM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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Assumptions: Northeast, moderate weather (not deep winter/sub-zero temperatures), solo or 2-person multi-week expedition (not a “Mad Max” scenario) with re-supply limited to expendables.

Pack: 1000d Cordura, military grade, internal frame, load-transfer belt – Kifaru Express, E&E pocket on front, 2 long pockets on the side (pockets removable. Pack 2300 cu”, long pockets 650 cu”, E&E 1,000 cu”).

Sleep Gear: LuxuryLite center-zip 20 degree down sleeping bag, LaFuma Climashield overbag, seam-sealed Kifaru 5-string stuff sack;closed cell foam sleeping pad – Therm-A-Rest short Z-pad; Therm-A-Rest pillow sack (stuff with spare clothing), wool blanket.

Cook gear: Zebra stainless steel cook pot with bail handle – insert used as bowl, 6” square Silverstone griddle, pot lifter, Rocky stainless steel cup (steeper sides than Sierra cup, less sloshing), Snow Peak titanium Spork. Bamboo Ulu, stainless steel telescopic grate; stainless steel pyramid hobo-type wood-burning stove.

Water: Aquamira Frontier Pro filter, chlorine dioxide tablets, Evernew water bottle(s).

Knives: Cold Steel Tanto or Recon Scout (either can be used as a chopper/splitter - the Recon Scout is better for this - and as general use heavy-duty knives), Victorinox Hunter (this is the lock-blade NOT the Huntsman), Schrade Mini-Stockman (a useful collection of blades for whittling, fish cleaning and small game skinning). Knives are so important that one won’t cut it – if you lose or somehow break that one you are in trouble. The Hunter includes an excellent small wood saw.

Other tools: DMT 4” F/C diamond hone, Gerber Sportsman’s steel (dressing blades, prying, splitting), SawVivor with Bushman blade(s), Leatherman Squirt P4, Gerber Eclipse (between the two a nice assortment of small tools), mini-EMT shears. I would also quite likely have with me the Lewis camper-model tomahawk I’ve used for more than 50 years. With tools you can repair things and make things both can be critical to survival.

Cordage: dental floss, waxed nylon artificial sinew, thin braided nylon decoy cord, 100’+ 550 cord, 50’ 7mm accessory cord (rigging, emergency and slope rappelling).

Fire making: K&M matchsafe with waterproof strike-anywhere matches (sometimes matches are more convenient), Aurora mag-flint (the best I’ve ever seen – big, fat sparks since the magnesium is blended with the flint material and is waterproofed with an O-ring), Corona carbide sharpener/scraper (much better than a knife blade etc.); Sparklite kit (for one-handed use) and extra tinder (stores compact and dry, easily catches spark and burns hot for about 2 minutes), fatwood sticks.

Misc. gear: signal mirror, blaze orange surveyor’s tape, reflective thumb tacks, loud whistle, Rite-in Rain notebook, Fisher Space Pen (signaling, blazing trail, leaving messages). Repair kit with needles, safety pins, wire, cable ties etc., One of the larger AMK medical kits augmented with GI or Israeli wound dressing and GI cravat (triangular bandage). Solar/dynamo AM/FM/SW radio (also battery charger).

Lighting: Mighty-Lite flashlight/lantern, candle lantern & candles (the Stonebridge pattern is by far the best but may be hard to find), lightweight headlamp.

Food gathering: net bag; gill net, rigged fishlines, hooks, sinkers, bobbers, jigs; set Thompson locking snares, frog spear head with screws.
.22LR handgun &/or rifle and ammunition. In handguns, single shot or revolvers allow use of any of the .22 loadings from BB cap to HV LR. Single-shots are hard to find for some reason. A S&W Model 317 revolver with 3” barrel is an excellent choice for a kit gun, smooth action and very accurate.

There are literally hundreds of rifles to choose from, many of them excellent. Take-down rifles are easier to pack and are less conspicuous. The Henry Survival rifle (AR-7) is very accurate and takes down into its own stock – and floats. The Marlin Papoose is a good choice if you want to mount a scope.

Another purpose-built gun is the Springfield Armory M-6 in .22/.410. A nice set would be:
M-6 in .22 Hornet/.410, AR-7 in .22LR and S&W 317 in .22.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:56 AM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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'hawk with a wood handle. actually, i might just take the spare axe-head i have laying around and carve a handle as needed.

spare cable-saw or two.

a serious whetstone, actually more likely a set of them, instead of the wee touch-up one that goes with me on hunting trips.

my hunting knife set(light work knife, medium knife, cleaver/hatchet).

backup tarps, likely one of those 'blue sky' tarps as they don't weight tons and take up relatively little space.

writing implements and a smaller journal with plenty of pages.

at a minimum a .22, though much more likely my .270win and at least 200 rounds. if i were expecting years without much resupply i'd trade in for, depending on the region i'd be in, a traditional blackpowder rifle with a flintlock and a bullet mold, or a bow, spare heads, and a small drawknife.

for that sort of long-term trip i'd eschew a modern tent altogether in favor of a couple of options:
if i were going out for an extended period but not moving around so much or not at all, i'd tote along a couple of fixtures to make a cabin. namely, these would be stuff like a fairly waterproof layer for the roof, canvas to make bedding, maybe even plastic sheeting to make a window or two. the fixings for a yurt would work if i were going to move but not often.
if i were going out for an extended period and moving camp often, i'd take a lighter-weight canvas shelter. these wear better, for longer, than their modern counterparts.
the cut/design is pretty open. the whelen pattern is a great shelter that's dead simple and easy to set up in a storm, but requires poles. bakers are much the same. the various expedition types are a little more complicated to set up but quite happily secure in a storm as they're enclosed.

sleeping... oh that's a tough one. i already use a synthetic filled bag, so i might stick with that if i were mobile. stationary expedition(like a research trip or surveying a particular region from a base-camp), i'd more likely go with a well-made wool blanket of sufficient width and weight. they're amazingly warm and less fussy about care. if the cabin had some proper heating(wood stove probably not. fireplace most likely), it'd be no problem for warmth.

this is something i've actually thought about a lot, and wonder if i'll be able to pull it off anytime soon.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:42 AM
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richwads richwads is offline
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A few things that have been on my mind lately:

I've pretty much decided my "survival kit" should have a fixed blade knife, 4" minimum blade, instead of a folding knife, and now a Mora #1 replaces the Opinel #6 that had been in there all these years. For long term survival I think backup knives are in order and a beefier knife also, so probably a 6" fixed blade full tang in addition to the Mora #1, together with a 3" lockback folder.

I've been considering a Four Dogs Bushcooker stove to replace my Esbit stove, which will burn Esbit fuel more efficiently as well as forest residue, and something similar would be very useful in a long term situation. It's one thing to know how to build and use a cooking fire; it's another thing for it to always be feasible in a pinch, and conservation of meager resources becomes critical in a long term survival situation.

A reliable folding saw is a must, at a minimum something like the Bahco Laplander (my Gerber is much too flimsy in a pinch), or preferably a Sven style.

I've considered cord and experimented recently with various versions of nylon cord, including 550 paracord, OSH 1/8" braided nylon, Liberty Mountain "Paracord", jute gardening twine, etc., and come to some conclusions:
1. One can quickly use up a lot of cord lashing up a shelter, for which 550 paracord is way too overkill.
2. 550 paracord is sketchy on holding a few handy knots because of the tight weave exterior, and OSH braided nylon is much better at that.
3. Some braided nylon cord frays badly when cut, and knotting or burning the ends is a PITA in the field when you're using 12" lengths for lashing.
4. Jute garden twine, especially the 3 ply twisted, is strong and light and holds up well, and for lashing is great (where knots don't have to be untied), and is biodegradable.
5. Liberty Mountain 1/8" "paracord" has minimal fraying when cut, holds a tautline hitch very well, can be untied easily, and is both much lighter and much less bulky than the same length of 550 paracord.

So my cord choice would be something like 500 feet of jute twine, 50 feet of 550 paracord, and 100 feet of Libery Mountain Paracord.

Finally, one pot cooking is great, but multiple pots are much handier for many uses, so nesting ti pots would be on the list.
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:29 PM
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SSDD SSDD is offline
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oops I forgot a few things

A tarp made from 1.9oz coated ripstop and tan on one side and green or camo on the other

A advanced 1st aid kit

A small fishing kit

Some maps of the area i would start in at least

A small booklet of info that woukld help later
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:23 PM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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For the book I recommend the small format SAS Survival Guide. Lots of useful info in a compact form and something to read while waiting out a storm.

I forgot to mention shelter, too. The Whelan lean-to is hard to beat. Light, waterproofed canvas is better if you are going to have a fire in front.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:55 PM
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djtrekker djtrekker is offline
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Interesting case. I like this.....
I'm on the tool side - things to make things, things to get food.
sturdy fixed blade knife (my current CRKT is fine), Mora, good honing stones. Sturdy folding saw, draw knife.
Hawk at minimum.....good axe or both.
bow leaves me wanting for string replacement, think I'd go with rifle with iron sights in the 308 range, (thinnking bear and elk/deer hide utility) and a couple hundred rounds, if that isn't cheating.
Definitely change my thinking on tent - go with the canvas/tarp idea with focus on that being temporal until I construct shelter out of natural material in my environs. Once shelter constructed, can use canvas as a flooring/padding.
wool blankets that can serve in many capacities; leave the sleeping bag home.
focus not so much on lashing as notching wood for shelter construction. might take some cord to begin with but it wouldn't last long enough under your scenario, i'm thinking.
not going to say much about cookware.....just go the way of the old trappers i guess.
stove - wood fuel burner for sure (that does not use batteries).
flint and steel, but until i got really proficient, support with a supply of 100 bics initially.
Just a few thoughts......a very thoughtful topic! For me it takes me out of the backpacking world, though basic backpacking would be the introductory mode into that new world, but like trappers and woodsmen of old, there would have to be a transition into something more permanent and stable, and moving from self-sufficiency of the backpack to living off the resources of the natural to supply needs.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:25 PM
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Grannyhiker Grannyhiker is offline
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Backpack: SMD Comet
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I've been thinking about this, especially with the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan, which could very easily happen here in the Pacific Northwest. I couldn't be self-sufficient for more than about 12-14 days, simply because that's the maximum load I could carry without resupply. I don't think "living off the land" would be an option for most of the year. I've tried it at various times, finding each time that the energy expended in finding the food far exceeds the amount of calories found!

Most of my gear would stay the same. I am quite confident that with continued good care it would hold up for a long haul. For example, my 27 oz. pack shows no signs of wear after 5 years, so why would I want something heavier that I wouldn't be able to carry anyway?

I would add a larger knife/multitool, more sewing/patching stuff, more fire starter (for 9-10 months of the year, the wood in the PNW is wet). While I'd take an alcohol stove and some fuel to start out with, I would, as much as possible, cook on a very small wood fire. I grew up learning to cook on an open fire, and had no need for wood stoves, grills, etc. These things are all illegal (and also dangerous) during times of high fire danger anyway. I'd just be soaking my food a lot longer during those times. I'd probably throw in a tarp so I can have a sheltered cooking area away from my tent, set up a "porch" over my tent door or to rig as a steep roof over the tent (which definitely isn't a 4-season tent) to help shed snow.

Larger Knife: + 3 oz.
Mending/patching: +4 oz.
Tarp: +15 oz. (includes extra guyline)
Extra fire starter/matches: +4 oz.
Another pair of socks: 2 oz.
Larger pot for melting snow or boiling water +5 oz.

As long as I don't have to hike very far the first couple of days, I could manage the extra 2 pounds plus 14 days' food. My pack will support up to 35 lbs., but whether my knees and feet would hold up is another issue!

If I couldn't resupply after 12-14 days, though, I'd be in trouble!
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