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Thursday, April 28, 2011


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Articles and books on survival regularly offer lists of items should be packed for emergency travel. The overwhelming majority recommend that you pack light. There are good reasons for having few items to carry when you are on the move.

You will have to keep your pack secure. This is more difficult to do if you are encumbered with a large bag. It’s good to be strong enough to heft a good bit of weight, but if your strength is used to carry your pack, you won’t have much left to protect yourself or keep track of your possessions. Additionally, a large, heavy pack is a signal to others that you are on the move. It makes you less anonymous. This can create some difficulties.

A large pack will make it difficult for you to maneuver into and out of tight spaces. If you need to catch a ride or take public transportation, you’ll need extra space for your bag. Not every Good Samaritan has a large vehicle. You’ll not be able to take advantage of two-wheeled conveyances. A smaller pack enables you to avoid storing it in a trunk or a locker. Buses will require you to place a large pack on the roof or in the cargo compartment where you can’t keep an eye on it. You can keep a small bag on your lap and avoid extra fees for a seat to hold an oversized backpack.

If you need something out of a large pack, you may find yourself having to unpack and repack it to get the desired item. The larger your pack, the more cumbersome this process becomes. This can be dangerous if you are trying to get to your medical kit. It’s just a lot easier to have to rearrange fewer and lighter items.

A smaller pack gives you the freedom and flexibility to decide which route is best for you rather than which route you can manage with your large bag. Moderate terrain can become impassable if you must manage it with a heavy pack. Any terrain is easier to traverse with a lighter pack. Rather than use up strength and stamina carrying unnecessary weight, use it to choose the journey rather than let your pack determine your route.

Take the time to notice people outdoors who are moving with freedom. The ones that participate in the most activities have the lightest and smallest packs. Learn how to make use of multiple use items as a way to lighten your load. Information weighs nothing, and it can make a vast difference in the tools you will be able to utilize.

Sean with Silver Fox Bushcraft takes the time in this clip to show what he carries in his pack for hiking and woodland exploration.

David Wendell with Bushcraft on Fire shows how you can create your own kit without a retailed pack.

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a perpetual student of things I find interesting and (I hope) helpful to others. Feel free to use and apply all information with a healthy dose of common sense. :-)

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