This is a topic, I wanted to cover for some time now, but have not got clear idea of how to present it, so that not going to be the post of what I have.
First, I would like to point out that the set up / combination of gears I introduce here are not permanent, as I change them constantly as I see needs, experiment, change of skills, and change of gears. Also this is what working for me, so does not mean that it works for you.
Let’s start with my main backpack. It is a vintage SAVOTTA Saddle Sack 323. This pack has been in production since 50’s. With slight change in material, the model is still in production.
One large main compartment (about 50L), 2 side pockets (30cm depth 10cm width), one wide pocket (15cm depth 30cm width) on back face.
The pack is fitted with steel pipe structure, which is removable for maintenance needs. The pack material is rubber backed cotton and all straps are good quality leather.
The adjustments of all straps are with classic buckles. The only strap cannot be adjusted is the one goes on to hip.
I find this pack to be just good size for 2-3 nights trip (I have not test pack it for longer time needs...) and quite easily packs everything I need in good order.
Long side pockets can accommodate; 1L water bottle, which is my main water storage on one side and the other side, I can fit one German army poncho. thaw, it requires tight folding to fit it in.
In the back face pocket, I keep Maxpedition FR-1 which is my full FAK and cordage bag.
In the main compartment, there are no divisions or pockets. It is simply one large space, so any kind of large gears fits in nicely.
In the picture, I have fitted a shelter made from German army poncho, a 3 season sleeping bag, one set of closing, 2days worth of food and Swedish army cook kit. These are not at all squeezed tight, and yet still have plenty of room left. I usually carry smaller cook kit to save up space and weight, but I placed Swedish army cook kit for the demonstration purpose, so you get the idea of size.
For other large items, like sleeping mat, ground sheet and axe, I strap it on the top as this pack has 3 straps for that purpose. (See the picture on right)
Let’s move on to next pack. I usually carry a second bag, which is smaller and goes on side of me.
Lately I have started to utilize Finnish defense force gas mask bag as my side bag. I carry this type of bag for the purpose of carrying small items which are need to be quickly accessed and often. Also, this bag will act as scout bag for short trip.
It can accommodate all I need for short trip (up to day trip) and is usually packed as can see in picture.
It places everything quite neatly and when closed and strapped to my body, it is quite comfortable. But I must point out that the one I got has bad snap button on closer. So time to time, it snaps open itself. This, I need to fix it somehow…
The items I carry in this pack are;
Swiss canteen M32 (secondly water storage + secondly cooking cup). This fits to center inner pocket.
Scho-ka-kola spirit stove and spirit container (from Nalgene). These goes to second large inner pocket.
Orienteering compass (Suunto M3G). goes in to smaller pocket.
Pen and SAK goes in to pen pocket.
Lest of the items; Poncho, kuksa, area map and food bag goes to main compartment.
There are elastic bands in the bottom of the bag, but I have not utilized it yet.
(note: the poncho is packed in here only when I use this bag as a scout bag.)
There is one more pack (actually it is a pouch) I carry all the time. It is my emergency fire kit.
Before I show you this item, I would like to point out that this is an extended emergency FIRE kit. Not a survival kit or PSK. Also, this goes to my belt with puukko and dump pouch.
Here is how it looks when packed closed and opened.
And here are the contents;
Emergency blanket, 3m cordage, magnesium fire starter (USAF type), Vaseline-cotton balls (in the plastic case), 2 grill fire starter and folding knife.
This is a kit aimed to aide me to get “Sure Fire” in any condition and fast.
So far, with my experience in Finland, my biggest concern is “Heat”. As you know, Finland is a cold country. Even in summer, it is normal to have temperature goes lower than +5 degrees. If you are talking about Lapland, you could expect snowing or close to Zero degrees.
So, able to make good fire, fast is important...
- Magnesium fire starter for very strong fire starting spark.
- Vaseline-cotton for about 5min/ball of sure fire.
- Grill fire starter for 30min/cube of sure fire.
- Emergency blanket + cordage for shelter.
Continue to next post of "Gear Talk"