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My Bugout Experiment

Bugout Bag survival tremis bugout

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#21 DeathwatchDoc

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 08:07 PM

He really does stay amped doesn't he... its like Billie Mays does survival or something like that.


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#22 SteveSOS

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 09:45 PM

ok call me 541-680-6998


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#23 Psybain

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 09:52 PM

Tossing your number out on the internet? I also like to live dangerously. ;)
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#24 SteveSOS

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 10:08 PM

Eh lol privacy is a myth. Feel free to spam the crap out of me with calls I tend to not answer them until ive screened them via text or voicemail.


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#25 Psybain

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 10:40 PM

Eh lol privacy is a myth. Feel free to spam the crap out of me with calls I tend to not answer them until ive screened them via text or voicemail.

Eh lol privacy is a myth. Feel free to spam the crap out of me with calls I tend to not answer them until ive screened them via text or voicemail.


Challenge accepted. I'll start a new section on my phone for ITS members to call when in dire circumstances

For example:

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#26 Psybain

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 12:19 AM

Someone may have already suggested it in video comments, but replace your cotton socks/underwear/warming layers with merino (sp?) wool. Its naturally FR, keeps ypu warm when wet and I think it acts as a wicking material as well, but I'm not 100% on that. Darn tough Vermont makes merino socks, and apparently your boys at new balance have a contract with the air force to supply them with entire sets of merino wool base layers and warming layers. Just something to consider if you can afford it. Thanks for the entertaining videos.

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#27 SteveSOS

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 03:08 PM

as much as you probably shouldnt do it. I tend to wear a cotton sock with a seal skin over the top of it when it crap weather. Sometimes i will put an inner sock on first. sometimes I wont.


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#28 AaronK

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:26 PM

Just watched the second video. Sounds like quite the Charlie foxtrot of a trip. What kind of radio communication were you using with your team? Was no one using GPS?

#29 tremis

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 08:42 PM

We had some bubblepack GMRS radios, and the HAM guy had his HAM programmed to a GMRS freq. We had a mile to a mile and half range  on those.

I purposefully didnt bring my GPS. I felt good with a map and compass. The other reason, it's an older Bushnell and it eats batteries at a phenomenal rate. I wish the other group would have had one, but hindsight is 20/20 and all that.



#30 tremis

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:30 PM

I guess I'm adding a few more to the series.



#31 tremis

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:49 PM

Here's an invite to anybody in the area that wants to come for the warm weather one.

If there is something in particular you'd like to see, let me know. Or if you want to send me some gear to abuse and review, I'll do that too.


Edited by tremis, 14 July 2014 - 07:55 PM.


#32 DStevenson

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:42 AM

I like this video series, thanks again for posting them up for us Tremis!


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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." Benjamin Franklin

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#33 Beaucoup VC

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 06:46 PM

If only I was in PA, my dude. 


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#34 Archangel1

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:06 PM

Finally got it to work I guess my phone was being retarded.
Please don't take anything I say as a negative, just merely my input. With that said here is what I think.
I like your presentation, however a few things that would perhaps make your setup make more sense. Also I'd like to point out that as far as listening to James I wouldn't... you were a better presenter than he was. Though he embellished his military career, Dave Canterbury is more knowledgeable than Yeager. Also look at Mike Hawke, Cody Lundeen, Les Stroud, Tom Brown Jr., Ron Hood and even Bear Grylls. If you get past the sensational shit of Bear he knows what he is doing, also if you get past the hippy shit of Les and Cody they are very well trained.
 
 
Your pack is a good pack, but it is designed to be used around the USMC MBAV vest. so it may not fit right when not used around the rig. You are right there are far better options but they are all expensive. However when bugging out comfort of carry is what is going to get you through it un injured.
 
 
First, how stocked are your B elements?
 
If they aren't stocked well for long term living then bugging out to them is a temporary thing and you should be more prepared for long term survival. Whether you are carrying those items on you from the start (which I would), or if you have them waiting for you at your back up location. Personally I wouldn't have them waiting for you, what if you don't make it to said location.
 
 
Second getting to your location is it really plausible?
 
50 miles is too far on foot with untrained followers such as wives and kids. Even the most active family a 50 mile hump carrying 50 pounds isn't something that can be done with any kind of time table or guaranteed result. especially when it isn't a leisure situation, just the stress of a bug out situation will immediately start to have negative effects on a mental and physical level. Granted the will to survive is 80% of it and I don't know how old your kids are or how prepared your wife is but that is still a far piece for even a veteran soldier. I'd start out in a vehicle and ditch it if I had to. It keeps you dry, reduces your exposure to not only elements but people, as well as keeps you rested therefore more alert.
 
You have to remember the number one rule to any situation that includes survival; What is the risk vs. reward. Your location may be well hidden but everyone in the survival community has the same idea "I'm going to head to the woods". So what happens when you spend five days getting 50 miles on foot and your location has been compromised? You made the trip for nothing, are out your back up supplies to which you didn't pack long term supplies and have also killed the groups morale as for the last 40 miles the promise of a better situation is at hand.
 
**UPDATED**
 
As you found out with your initial bug out experiment with grown men that had at least some knowledge of what they are doing, you have discovered that 12 miles isn't plausible let alone 50. Women and children in tow you arent going to make a 50 mile hump in any kind of timely manner. Further your group did not have standardized training when it came to navigation and gear retention that led your group to a potentially deadly situation.
 
 
Third, drink water and take a knee.
 
Katadyn makes great products, but even those products should be used with a Steripen or tablets. Likely it will work 99% of the time without the added safety of a Steripen but it's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to water. The Katadyn filter you have is ok, but if you fall down a hill and it gets hit, it's going to break, it's a hobby filter. I would save the coin and update it to a Katadyn pocket. It's the best filter you can buy and couple it with a MIOX or Steripen. With this add a camelbak bladder with inline filter as another barrier against contamination. Also a great comfort thing to add for kids especially is water tablets or liquid. Its lightweight and makes the water not taste like feet dipped in ass filtered through a garbage bag. That little thing could make a huge difference.
 
Take a knee as often as you can. You may be a big tough adventurer that prepares for this, but like most of us our wives and kids are not. Nor are our friends and family. I know we all want the day where we can say "See I told you, who's the nut bag now?" but that won't change the fact that you are the only one at the rodeo that is physically, mentally and gear wise prepared for what is ahead. Important thing here is to not overstress them and make them as comfortable with the situation as possible without compromising health and security.
 
 
Fourth, gear should always have many purposes and one of them should be longevity and dual use.
 
Standardize your batteries, get the surefire or some other headlamp that runs of CR123, there is even one that is rechargeable that you can use with a small goal zero or other solar charger, rechargeable is always better then perishable. However I would run as little light as possible. If you are already paranoid enough that you can't take a vehicle, I wouldn't broadcast your walk with 500+ lumens. Remember most "survivalists" are of the same idea, so the woods may be more crowded than you think
.
Electronics as a whole though more convenient aren't always great. Now granted I usually keep a GPS on me to use with my map and compass, but its wearable. Like an eTrex. I run a Suunto Ambit, as it works great with my goal zero. This gives you failsafe navigation with cache locations and alarms. Another thing to add to that and your bug out path is way markers. Geocachers for years have been using reflective pyramids that tack into a tree. These things are great they are made out of high reflective traffic materials and work with your flashlight and will give you a clear path, also normal people won't even notice them, or think they are logging markers.
 
Burner phones are wasted inventory in a true bug out situation. Cell networks will go down quickly and only analog back channels will still work. Instead of a cell phone get a satphone (though you run the risk of the ground repeaters being down) or a HAM radio. All emergency communications can be picked up via HAM. Not only that most HAM radios are ruggedized and rechargeable, and can be used for both communications and intelligence.
 
**UPDATED**
 
This would have been a great reason to have a HAM radio or Satphone. Would have also been a great time to have standardized break away packs for light weight short missions in your main pack. Again though all the gear in the world doesnt replace training and where you seem to have a grasp on what you are trying to accomplish it sounds like your group didnt have the foggiest clue, Training scenarios are key to any group, especially when it comes to a group that is going to be a prepper or bug out group.
 
 
Fifth, nutrition on the go.
 
Though MRE's provide a good days meal they are hard to pack and heavier than other alternatives. Your sea rations will keep you alive but will do nothing for morale. Remember, though it will damage overall morale and effectiveness, the human body can go three weeks without food. Carrying Clif or Protein bars are a far better alternative to full meals on the go. They have all the nutrients and protein you need to combat both hunger and fatigue while still tasting good and packing lighter, helping both your body and morale as a whole. At this point if you are carrying MRE's and whatnot don't eat them until you have to, scavenge first. Though you didn't say it your can opener is the greatest food scavenging tool you could carry, but there are ways into a can without them just by using a rock or concrete road surface.
 
Eat bugs and whatnot, it isn't fun but it works. If you carry a bottle of Tabasco on you, which I tell all my students to do, you could eat the asshole out of a rotting deer carcass. I'd much rather carry sriracha but it doesn't keep as well as Tabasco. Also carry bouillon cubes in both chicken and beef. They are light weight and can turn water and other items that normally wouldn't be fun to eat into a stew that is good and nutritious. Carry a tea ball, this is super useful for making tea and other drinks that can make your trip a lot better. Pine needles, willow bark, dandelion root... all good morning and evening tea ideas, you can even use them for coffee.
 
Food prep and hot food are keys to making both a better physical and mental recovery on this kind of trek, it's not always safe to start a fire but a jet boil or snow peak stove (which is what I use) is super light weight and easy to use. They give off little flame, less vapor and aren't as pin pointing as a fire. But a hot drink or meal could be all the difference in the world when it comes to this kind of hump. No one wants to eat cold food for 5 days, which is what a 50 mile trek will likely take you.
 
 
Sixth, medicine and other convenient drugs.
 
Don't put a lot of stock in the military's idea of pushing Motrin on people. It does far more harm than good. We all know that the military would treat everything from a headache to a mortar wound and cancer with Motrin, but what does it really do for you? Sure it alleviates aches and pains but at the same time it damages your digestive system which is far more crippling to movement than some sore muscles. Does pain distract people? Sure it does but I find in a high stress situation pain can actually help you focus, it can push you to get the journey over with and give you a greater realization and sense of the situation at hand, after all aches and pains aren't going to kill you.
 
Five hour energy is not a good idea, nor are energy drinks. They dehydrate you and do in face have a crash period. Even five hour energy that claims no crash can put your metabolism into a lull when you come down off of them. You may not "crash" and feel more tired but your body's processing and reaction to nutrients and hydration is hindered by these supplements. Stick to electrolyte replacement, light caffeine use and protein rich food and drink.
 
Med kits both long term trauma and immediate need. You have the right idea having a at the ready small first aid kit for light trauma or situations that occur from walking around. Scrapes, bruises, stings, all easily treatable with icepack, band aid, Neosporin etc. even a tourniquet is a great thing to have at the ready. However the rest doesn't need to be on the outside of your bag, at the top of the bag sure. Keep it inside your bag so you don't run the risk of losing or damaging it during a fall or other exposure while walking to your destination. Quickclot requires training to use, it's not something I tell many people to carry, it can have horrible effects in too deep of a wound. Another great add-on to all med kits is superglue or liquid band aid. Many wounds can be treated, sealed and waterproofed with this.
 
Sewing kit is not something that I saw in your presentation, I usually keep my sewing kit with extra threat and upholstery needles in my med kit. Dual use, both suturing and fixing equipment. Always a good thing to have and cheap to make a small custom one.
Toilet paper is always good but it runs out, be familiar with the foliage in your area and what you can use as toilet paper instead of the stuff you are carrying. Carry a small thing of soap with your deodorant so you can at least give yourself a whores bath when you need to, a mcnett microbial towel (I think there is an ITS version) is also a great thing to have. And always have toenail clippers and gold bond.
 
Seven, Apparel and layers
 
Carry a shemagh, they have a billion and one uses. From water filtering, to wound dressing, cold barrier, towel etc. There is a reason the middle eastern cultures have used them for thousands of years. They aren't just for operators to look cool!
Keeping rain clothing in your bag is always a good practice with seal skin or other waterproof socks to use in conjunction with good boots. however when it comes to bugging out if you have the extra 10 minutes it takes to dress, wear your layers. It's easier to get to a point to take things off and stow them than it is to run away get wet and cold then dig them out and put them on. It's easier to wear a moisture wicking base layer with over layers and remain a mildly uncomfortable warm than it is to get cold and try to get warm. This is why Arc'Teryx is the best company in the world to get apparel from. There is a pile of science involved in how layers work and they do all of them. Remember you aren't going to sweat yourself to death in the cold. Especially with the right clothing.
 
**UPDATE**
 
Your second video though entertaining was full of things that I am sure you are aware of that would be a mistake. Remember where you are its cold there and no matter how warm you are getting while walking taking off your top to cool off though feels good is detrimental to your overall health. You wont die from sweat. DO NOT remove your base layer and go bare skin in 30 degree weather.
 
Eight, blades and utility tools.
 
You carry a tomahawk and no real knife. Personally I do own an RMJ Eagle Talon but it wouldn't ever be part of my bug out system. I may take it if I really thought it would come in handy but a battle hawk really doesn't have a lot of uses if you aren't going to train in how to fight with them. You could ditch the extra three pounds and get a good knife that will do chopping and the like for you.
 
A good knife is paramount to survival. DO NOT SKIMP on knife cost or selection, it will be the one thing you rely on the most. You can use it every day and every hour in a survival situation. Some people are of the mind to carry a 14" knife other people cap out at 5" I run a fox parang most of the time and its right at 8" blade length. It's the best utility knife I have owned and will continue to run it until my own prototype knife is finished. You have to find the knife that fits you the best. Just make sure it's good steel, easy to maintain and full tang and you will be fine. Carry a sharpener for it as well so you can maintain it in the field. I also carry a length of chainsaw chain with handles on it.
 
Get the extra bits for your multi tool, you never know when you will have to go full macgyer on something. This is always easier with tools. Scavenging is the heart of survival. Innovation to use everyday items for not everyday uses is the best thing you could ever hope to learn.
 
Duct tape is your best friend. Take an old credit card or license and wrap it with gorilla tape or duct tape, This will prove far more useful than you will ever imagine. Carry 80 pound test fishing line and more paracord, there are so many uses for this stuff its insane.
 
Nine, Fire and other fun stuff
 
Fire is always a fun one in a wet environment, either make tinder pads, carry sappy tinder on your person, or Vaseline soaked cotton balls. Just make sure you have tinder on you as it's not always easy to find. Never use your matches or lighter when you can use a metal match, save those things for dire situations as they are a perishable piece of kit.
Keep fires small and below the ground if you can. Though they keep animals away, fire attracts people. People are bad.
 
Ten, other stuff to carry that you will find useful
 
carry a 60 foot length of 7.8mm rope, this can be used for rappelling and climbing alike, make sure each person has two runners and a carabineer in their kit for quick makeshift harnesses, you never know when you might reach something that is impassible without the use of rope.
 
Carry an electronic copy of you. Take your birth certificate, SSN, license, medical records, titles, bank information and everything, scan it on the a usb drive place it in a zip lock and put it in a prescription bottle. You never know when normalcy recovers you may need all this information.
 
Eleven, weapons, armor and other fun stuff
 
I notice that at the tail end you mentioned weapons and armor, but didn't center them as part of your kit when in reality they are. You said your pack weighed 40 pounds, when you add a rifle, sidearm, spare mags and armor you are all of a sudden carrying 70 total pounds. This makes your trek super unbearable. What about your travelers with you, do they also carry that stuff? Are the firearms standardized? Are their weapon repair kits and spare parts? What about ammo and magazines to spare? It's all stuff to consider. And sadly it is all stuff that needs categorized in levels of necessity that way when the time comes grabbing the essential gear is more important than the comfortable gear.
 
Personally I'm not sure I would armor up and grab a battle rifle to bug out. I may go more innocuous, and conceal a sidearm and ditch all camo. Look more like a non combatant than someone who is ready for anything, it may paint a big target on you.
 
I usually also carry an M6 scout or broken down recurve bow in my pack for hunting. Easier to carry and use a lot of 22lr or 410 ammo on the road than 9mm and 5.56 that should be reserved for two legged hunting.
 
Like I said this is all just my two cents, I am only trying to help add to your experiences not tear you apart. So hopefully it's taken with at least some kind of open mind. I come across as an ass sometimes and I really never mean to, it's just my personality.
So thanks for getting through this long ass article.
 
**UPDATED**
 
I like your videos, I really do, and you seem to have somewhat of a grasp on things or at least an idea of what the right direction you should go to get better at your craft. First thing I would do is bring up your groups standards of training. The military spends weeks in the classroom with theory before they ever have an FTX. This seems to be where you jumped the gun. Not enough theory, too much jumping to FTX.
 
The core rules that you broke:
 
1) You split up. You shouldnt ever do that
2) You did not have standard training and the one guy that knew how to navigate stayed behind
3) Did not have standardized equipment and communications
4) Did not have contingency plan for an extended over night
5) Had non capable personnel who were undertrained on an unrealistic endeavor.
6) Your crew strayed from the beaten path. Big no no.
 
Past that I love your personality, you seem smart and knowledgable but need to hone your skills a little more. Not yours as much as your "groups" so the decision has to be made. Are you going to bring them up to speed? Or are you going to replace personnel with a more capable core of people that require less babysitting?


your recommendations are well thought out. It may seem trivial, but I don't climb mountains. What are "runners" if one is to carry 7.8mm rope and what kind of carbiners?

#35 LongHaul

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:37 AM

your recommendations are well thought out. It may seem trivial, but I don't climb mountains. What are "runners" if one is to carry 7.8mm rope and what kind of carbiners?

 

Runners, also called slings, are loops of strong webbing that can be used to build anchors quickly. Here is a link to a review of some good runners. Given the context of SteveSOS's post (i.e. making an improvised harness for rappelling) I'd say the most functional item would be a 20 foot section of 1 inch tubular webbing. You could use that for anchors, making improvised harnesses, or a hundred other things. 

 

For a bugout bag I'd go with a couple of wire gate carabiners for weight savings. If I knew I'd be using the carabiners for climbing or rappelling I would use a locking carabiner on my harness and on anchors, but if I knew I was going to be doing those things I would be carrying a real harness and not improvising my harness out of webbing.

 

On a final note, if you haven't got any training or experience in climbing or rappelling I would recommend getting with some people that know what they are doing to gain some experience before you try using those techniques in a bugout situation. There's no reason to make a bad situation worse by learning about anchors, ropes, and falling the hard way!


Edited by LongHaul, 21 July 2014 - 12:12 PM.
grammar mostly

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#36 dricken

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 10:18 AM

better go with mountain bikes, walking alongside of them for most of the trip. Better also get the kit weight down to 40 lbs, including the guns and ammo.  Stuff like a bow, pellet gun, crossbow, etc, better be cached at your BOL, along with the year's supply of food.



#37 tremis

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 02:49 PM

Part 6 is up showcasing our warm weather excursion.

 



#38 Psybain

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 10:31 PM

Is it as funny as the winter one?

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#39 tremis

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 04:50 AM

Is it as funny as the winter one?

Nope. It was much less dramamtic. We still lost people, there were hitchikers and a search and rescue. It wasnt completely boring, but it was hard to follow the winter one.



#40 SHTFCO

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 01:04 AM

Gary, You are something else. To bad Im out here in Colorado would be a blast to come hang with you on one of these. Loved your videos. Thanks for sharing them.







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