When I’m going on a journey with other people (along with training comes responsibility), where access for outside emergency help may be difficult, or an environment where playtime may be particularly vigorous, or I simply wish to be as independant as possible, I additionally bring my “B” kit. This kit can be depended on to get me through the tough times, times where life isn’t quite so comfortable or fun anymore.
- Dry clothes (complete set in dry bag)
- Fleece Jacket
- Fleece Pants
- Wool Socks
- Stocking Cap
- Wind Breaker Jacket
- Winder Breaker Pants
- Synthetic gloves
- Neoprene Gloves (seasonal)
- Synthetic Sleeping Bag
- Foam Sleeping pad
- First aid kit
- Space blanket
- Shelter: Beach igloo or Tarp
- Water Filter (not shown)
- Survival kit (AKA bail out bag)
- Repair Kit
- Marine Radio (not shown)
None of the dry clothes crap is top of the line gear; I may never even get it out or see it out of the bags. Use the shopping method my good friend, [anon], does: shop at garage sales, thrift stores or lost and found boxes or subtly lift it from your friends.
The spare, dry clothes are expressly for insulation from the cold. They are synthetic fleece, picked up at a goodwill store or something I had laying around. One pointer on this, however, is make sure it’s large enough to fit any one. Because I’m larger than most folks, my old clothes should fit most. Those smaller, will merely have rolled cuffs or sleeves and legs long enough to cover their tootsies. Please consider carrying clothes that are large.
The windbreaker is a piece of crap I picked up at Old Navy a few years back. It compresses into it’s own pouch. Likewise the wind pants are cheapo. These two items provide a wind barrier.
The sleeping bag is an old synthetic one (if it gets wet, it’s still warm) and I’m not sure the zipper even works, But it does compress to a somewhat reasonable size. I would discourage using the old cotton sleeping bag you took to camp when you were a kid.
Space blanket, beach igloo and tarp are for shelter from the elements: rain, wind, cold, heat. They can each be used in multiple ways for various conditions. If you use a tarp, be sure you already know how to use it in a number of ways (hmmm…future article. Stay tuned).
The foam pad is the sleeping pad variety that you used to think was comfortable to sleep on, but that was years ago. Use it to isolate yourself from the cold hard ground. I cut mine so it’s half the normal length; enough to lay your torso on or for two people to sit on back-to-back (the best contact way to share heat while sitting). You can also use it as a soft splint along with something rigid.
The water filter will generally be useless in a salt water environment unless you are able to find water running off a hillside. Be sure to get the kind that can filter viruses.
Survival kit, Radio, First aid kit and Repair kit are covered in other sections.