Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kits: NYC Survivalist Bug-Out-Bag (Clothes)

     I'm going to explain what clothing I suggest you keep in your bug-out-bag.  These items should be kept in a separate, waterproof bag inside the main compartment of your bug-out-bag.  There are two parts to this kit, the first explains what should be left in your bag.  The second section explains the clothing you should keep outside your B.O.B.  The articles of clothing on the outside of the kit are meant to be the clothing that you will be putting on in the event of a disaster (if you have time.)  I suggest keeping the external clothing in something like a small plastic bag so that if you are too hurried, and have to go, these items will still be with you, and can be put on when you get time.

     The clothing I suggest is meant to keep you warm and relatively comfortable through all seasons we have here in our area, and is based on the Three-Layer System.  Even if it is August and 90 degrees out, I believe you should still have the heavier layers in your kit.  I do this because there's no way of telling how long a disaster will last, and find it's better to be over prepared then under.  The only clothing you can, and should, switch out is the external clothing that you will be "throwing on" and wearing in the event of a disaster.  So, for example, in the spring you should put the warm, winter gear back into the B.O.B. and take out your lighter warm weather clothes.
  • (1) Waterproof bag - This bag needs to be waterproof, and compact.  Large enough to fit in all your clothing, but not so big as to take up too much room.  I prefer the compression dry sack I link below, but you can also use something like a squeezable "Space Saver" type bag.  Try and get a good quality bag, as it will be taking some abuse from you going in and out of it.  I find medium bags fit my clothing, but if you are smaller, or if it's for a child, try a smaller bag. 
  • (2) Pairs underwear - I use, and suggest nylon or polyester fabric underwear.  You can read more about what I recommend here.
  • (4) Pairs of socks - So it's 4 pairs, two are base layers and two are insulating layers.  I suggest the base layers to be a polyester or a similar lightweight blend.  The insulating layer should be wool.  I also suggest a higher cut sock like ski socks because they don't cut off the circulation at the artery below our calves like everyday socks do.  For more information on my suggested sock system, read my article here.
  • (1) Pair thermal trousers - Also know as "long johns".  I only carry one pair of these around, and use them when it is extremely cold.  They are also great for sleeping in your sleeping bag on cooler nights.  In fact, sleeping with a base layer in your sleeping bag, is much more comfortable then sleeping naked, especially if you use a synthetic sleeping bag (which I highly suggest.)  I prefer lighter base layers made from fabrics like polyester or Capilene.  In fact, I primarily use Capilene 2 as my base layer, and double them up when cold.  Base layers made of materials like polypropylene are very warm, but make the body work harder because of the fabrics "way to amazing" wicking abilities.  If you are typically cooler in the winter, add one more medium-weight pair of thermal trousers.
  • (2) Pair thermal shirts - Once again, I use two medium, to lightweight base layer shirts because I tend to heat up quick.  I buy one small, and one medium, so they fit better when used in conjunction.  Make sure to buy a base layer with a zip-neck to help you control your clothing's 'microclimate'.  You can also use a wool base layer if you prefer.  They tend to be a bit more expensive, but are durable, and extremely warm.  I suggest 'Merino Wool' as it's much lighter and comfortable.
  • (1) Short sleeve shirt -  This can be used as a 'lightweight' base layer under your clothing, or as a t-shirt when the climate is hot.  In the summer, you can add one more shirt to your bag if you prefer.  These shirts should be polyester or similar fabric, and somewhat loose fitting.  They are very comfortable in hot climates or when active.
  • (1) Pair of wool gloves - Wool gloves are very warm, and great to have.  You can wear them alone, or under your unlined leather work gloves from your B.O.B. for added warmth and insulation.  Make sure to buy leather work gloves a bit big, so you can fit your wool gloved hands into them.  You can read a post of my suggested glove system here.

  • (1) Wool hat - This can be one of the most important articles of clothing you can have on you.  For more information, you can read my post on wool hats here.
  • (1) 'Boonie hat' or sun hat - Any lightweight wide-brimmed hat will do.  This is for keeping the sun off your head and face, and can be paramount to your comfort/safety during the hot summer months.  These are also useful for keeping you hidden by breaking the lines of your head and face if you wanted to blend into the foliage.  Make sure to wear the brim pushed down to help accomplish that tactic.
  • (1) Balaclava - These make great multi-purpose gear.  They can be worn as a hat, neck gaiter, scarf, or partial face mask.  I prefer wool as the fabric for these, but you can also opt for polyester if you get hot easily.  There are a lot of polypro balaclava's on the market, but I don't suggest them for the same reasons I stated above.  Balaclava's make great head-wear while sleeping in your sleeping bag at night.
  • (1) Wool sweater - You can also choose a wool button down shirt if you prefer.  These make a great insulating mid-layer.  They also make great pillows while sleeping in your sleeping bag.  I like 'Merino Wool' because it is a bit lighter, and softer.  If you decide to go with a sweater, get a turtle neck for added warmth.
  • (1) Fleece jacket or vest *Optional* - This is optional because you can just use the wool sweater from above as a mid-layer.  It is nice to have the extra insulation if you get cold easily on hand though.  I suggest a vest or jacket that has a full-zip front with some pockets.  As I have mentioned before, I prefer the Condor Micro Fleece that you can find here.
  • (1) Pair outer-shell pants - Try for something lightweight like Gore-Tex Paclite or DWR coated nylon.  These are useful as rain pants, or as a wind break in extremely cold conditions.
  • (1) Outer-shell jacket - This jacket should be of good quality, as it will take much abuse from your pack being on your shoulders, and from being subjected to the elements/terrain.  If weight is a problem for you go with Gore-Tex Paclite as it is very lightweight.  Be careful though as it is not as durable as some fabrics.  If you want something a bit more durable, but still waterproof and breathable, go with a jacket made with Gore-Tex Pro-Shell.  It is by far the most durable, waterproof fabric on the market today.  It tends to be very expensive, so start saving now.  You should not place this jacket in the actual compression sack, instead leaving it free near the top part of the inside of your pack to make it easier to get to.
     This next section is going to explain the items that I suggest you keep near, or attached to the bag to be 'put on' in the event that you have to bug-out.  Just to be certain you understand; say for example there are two pairs of underwear in your B.O.B. as explained above.  With the pair of underwear I suggest you keep outside of the bag if you have to flee, you will have a total of three pairs on you: (2 pairs in bag + 1 pair your wearing = 3 all together.)
  • (1) Pair of underwear - Same kind as the pairs I suggest you keep in the above B.O.B.
  • (2) Pair socks - One pair of liners like I suggest above, and one insulating wool pair.  Use this configuration during all seasons, even in the summer.
  • (1) Shirt - This depends on the season, and should be changed accordingly.  During fall/winter leave a light- to medium-weight base layer shirt.  During the spring/summer months wear a lightweight short-sleeve polyester or similar shirt.  If you want to save on weight, and or money, use one of the shirts that you keep in your bag from above.
  • (1) Pair of pants - This is the first, and only pants that I mention, because it's the only pants that I recommend you bring.  I personally prefer blended nylon or polyester, cotton ripstop TDU's or BDU's that our military and law enforcement wear.  Cargo packets are also a must.  Some people may want a better insulating layer like wool or fleece pants under these for warmth, but I personally can handle our coldest days with a base layer, these pants, and an outer Gore-Tex (or something similar) shell.  Some people may also prefer to bring some shorts.  I personally don't like wearing shorts in the bush, and wouldn't want to wear them while walking/running around a dangerous urban environment.  If you need to cool off and swim, do so in your nylon underwear as they will dry fast.  By the way, I know I often suggest staying away from cotton of any form in the bush, but blended cotton are a bit more comfortable then straight polyester or nylon.  The best way to deal with cotton blend pants, is to keep them dry in cold climates by wearing the outer shell pants I suggest.  I own the 5.11 TDU pants below, and can suggest them as they have held up to my abuse for a longtime, and still look almost new.
  • (1) Belt - Sort of an obvious one, but very important none the less.  I like to use a 1.75-inch thick nylon belt.  A good belt can have many uses; from a tourniquet, to strong latching.

  • (1) Jacket - I suggest using the fleece jacket that you keep in your pack here.  This is a fall/winter item, and can be placed back in your pack during the warmer months.  You can also use your outer shell jacket here as well.
  • (1) Pair of backpacking/hiking boots -  These are a very important item, and should not be skimped on.  Good boots can make bugging-out feasible or impossible.  Look for a pair that is meant for carrying heavy loads, like backpacking boots.  Also, it is imperative that they be waterproof.  I, once again, suggest a boot made with Gore-Tex.  You should also look for boots that use one-piece full-grain leather on the outside.  When you do get good boots, buy them a size bigger, as your feet will swell and you will have big socks on.  Make sure to take a week or so to break them in as well.  Here is my posts on my suggested boot system.  You can also choose to bring a pair of lightweight sandals for river crossings and to wear around base camp at night to relieve your feet if the temperature permits.
  • (1) Pair of gloves *Optional* - Really depends on the time of year, and personal preference.  I suggest keeping your leather work gloves in one of the pockets of your pants, so that if it's cold you have some insulation.  If it's a major disaster, you have some hand protection to help you with labor intensive things like; removing building debris, and getting around tactically.


No comments: