Before anyone blasts it’s contents. Here’s some food for thought.
I just got the Yukon Outfitters Explorer Side Pack for 25 bucks. It’s a bigger pack then the one offered here. I just got it so I’ve started building it’s contents. Impressed how much it holds and storage options.
By the time you add a water container, emergency blanket (a decent one like the one included here) and not one of those party balloon material types the cost goes up. You can get some double duty blankets that can handle multiple day use and will work as a nice tarp. Look to spend 10-15 bucks tops.
Now, add some fire starting material. Ok, some bic’s from the dollar store or a pack from walmart are cheap. Should include two at a minimum in the bag. One in a packet, one in the 1st aid kit, Oh, need one of those? A decent one for 10-15 bucks.
Knife? Ok, you can pick up one here woot for a ok price that will work just fine. Unless you about to go out on an expedition, no need to dump 200.00 on a knife. Multitool (just picked up a nice Gerber for 28 bucks and have seen other brand for 20 at Homedepot or Lowes) I used one of the knives I got from Woot. The SOG set that has flashlights built in. One is a clip knife and one has it’s own sheath. I put a head lamp, Petzl Tikka Headlamp which was 19-29 (depends on if you want 80 or 100 lumen but the batteries last for days).
Don’t forget 550 cord. By the time you come close to a standard bag, you have dropped over 100 bucks minimum. I put in some food bars, SOL bivy bag, Six 4oz Mainstay water pouches (good for 5 years), home made fire starter (cotton balls w/petroleum jelly in containers), some SOL fire starters with igniter, fire rod. Couple of glow sticks and RayOVac penlight that is pretty bright and has a 20 hr run time (see a pattern here?)
So, these bags give you a good deal and base starting point and you can add what you THINK you need.
Had I not gotten the other bag, I would have went ahead and got this one since it would have saved me some money over all and I just needed one to keep it in my office, takes up less room too. It’s a perfect size.
My main emergency bag is around 40lbs without adding ammo and firearm, but the loadout is designed for a week of stationary or mobile needs and I can assure you, cost no where near 44 bucks ;-). My axe/saw combo cost what my last EMPTY bag coast https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JMXQGFE/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1. I keep a winter bag in my car and in April, I switch it out with my main bag https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GAC197A/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1. Being I only live 3 miles form home, my office bag is enough to get me home even if I have to take the long way. Winter bag in the car is for trips and getting stranded by weather. The other bag is for being stranded or if I have to “hoof” it home from far away or bug out and take it when I’m traveling in the mild/summer months. I’ve made a handful of bags for my kids who one is 10 hrs east, away in school. His bag ran me over $700 and designed for urban use. Another bag for his best buddy, who is 10 hours west in more of a rural environment. I’m not proclaimed expert. Most loadouts are common sense. I have many many years of scout camping under my belt as a leader (both my boys are eagle scouts), I have many years military experience of be prepared for just about every contingency. And many hours of Youtube and reading and applying what works for me and what doesn’t in the field (I also teach the wilderness survival merit badge) so I have a decent audience when it’s time to “test” a new method or gadget.
The best advice I could ever give is, once you build your bag, take a day (or two) and go to a state park, group campsite or the back of someones farm, or in your back yard, and practice. Then, try to do it all in the dark. Try to set up camp in the dark. Can you blind fold yourself and find your flashlight in that bag of stuff? Can you start a fire when your cold and wet? I remember the first time my boys went scout camping. Takes a new scout half an hour to set up their tent properly on a good day. Toss in some rain and wind, longer. By the time they have 5 or 6 camping trips under their belts. I’ve seen these same scouts, in the dark, wind and rain set up a tent in 5 minutes or less.
Trust the guy who teaches the boy scouts wilderness survival merit badge. Great credentials!I would have been sold on the youtube video watching experience alone but…
JohnSancho, thanks for the vote. The boys enjoy sleeping in 55 gallon trashbag filled with leaves, building fires and eating fish they pull from the lake
Obviously check your gear before you go out. The included fishing hooks (I got) have no holes in them. There’s no way to tie them to the line. The bag is good, the water bottle and knife are ok, the para-cord is para-cord… the rest is not what a smart person would depend on.