The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment





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  1. #1
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    Default The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Grab Bag. - Expect the unexpected
    Here's mine, and the background behind it.
    Share your ideas and contents, and show us yours, contribute ideas and changes.


    Following the tragic events unfolding here:
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...61#post3782861


    And in view of the fact that Julius Caesar and I (on separate occasions) have been in similar situations, and that Search shows no results on "Grab Bag", I thought it prudent to share my ideas and practical inputs on a Grab Bag - to me a now integral and indispensable, some may say paranoid, piece of equipment for each and every one of our overland trips.


    Concept:
    In any emergency, simply grab ONE bag, readily available, from your vehicle and run, then "regroup". review the situation, and survive.


    Scenarios:
    Stuck in clay on the edge of a pan in Botswana, solo, in a remote area, no vehicles expected for 7 days+ (our scenario, where we had to walk 25km); OR Fire caused by buildup of grass seeds on the exhaust: no time to react other than to grab your Grab Bag and watch your car burn: OR Visit to Kruger, take a "short" drive down a remote dirt track at 5pm and get bogged down; ....


    ... and so it goes on. This can happen all too easily, unexpectedly and quickly - even in not-so-remote places. - which is why I always wear comprehensive full-support sandals or boots whilst driving.


    The Grab Bag
    A simple kit bag, robust, with plenty of slots and pockets, well-planned and well loaded with critical gear.


    (Pics and Excel sheet of contents attached.)


    NB:
    Obviously the most important thing to load is water - as much as practical for the environment you're visiting.
    For each trip I tailor the contents to suit the locale and ambient conditions, be it the Eastern Cape mountain passes, CKGR, Gonarezhou, Botswana, Namibia etc. - all related too to the planned remoteness and expected level of "civilization" en route. For example on a specific trip you may elect not to carry a sat phone, more- or less cash, or include extra space-blankets and rain gear in the mountains in winter - not to mention small Gaz bottle, coffee, creamer and sugar - terrific for morale if stranded.


    Don't go OTT
    It's important not to go over the top in developing your Grab Bag. Keep it practical. By adding non-essentials you'll end up needing another vehicle to transport it.


    7 days
    I reckon the contents of my small bag will keep me and SWAMBO on the go for some 7 days - and fairly comfortably too.

    [EDIT: The burnt out vehicle is an example of an extreme situation - it's not mine !]
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    Last edited by JohnT; 2018/01/07 at 10:12 PM. Reason: burntout vehicle qualification
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
    Grab Bag. - Expect the unexpected
    Here's mine, and the background behind it.
    Share your ideas and contents, and show us yours, contribute ideas and changes.


    Following the tragic events unfolding here:
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...61#post3782861


    And in view of the fact that Julius Caesar and I (on separate occasions) have been in similar situations, and that Search shows no results on "Grab Bag", I thought it prudent to share my ideas and practical inputs on a Grab Bag - to me a now integral and indispensable, some may say paranoid, piece of equipment for each and every one of our overland trips.


    Concept:
    In any emergency, simply grab ONE bag, readily available, from your vehicle and run, then "regroup". review the situation, and survive.


    Scenarios:
    Stuck in clay on the edge of a pan in Botswana, solo, in a remote area, no vehicles expected for 7 days+ (our scenario, where we had to walk 25km); OR Fire caused by buildup of grass seeds on the exhaust: no time to react other than to grab your Grab Bag and watch your car burn: OR Visit to Kruger, take a "short" drive down a remote dirt track at 5pm and get bogged down; ....


    ... and so it goes on. This can happen all too easily, unexpectedly and quickly - even in not-so-remote places. - which is why I always wear comprehensive full-support sandals or boots whilst driving.


    The Grab Bag
    A simple kit bag, robust, with plenty of slots and pockets, well-planned and well loaded with critical gear.


    (Pics and Excel sheet of contents attached.)


    NB:
    Obviously the most important thing to load is water - as much as practical for the environment you're visiting.
    For each trip I tailor the contents to suit the locale and ambient conditions, be it the Eastern Cape mountain passes, CKGR, Gonarezhou, Botswana, Namibia etc. - all related too to the planned remoteness and expected level of "civilization" en route. For example on a specific trip you may elect not to carry a sat phone, more- or less cash, or include extra space-blankets and rain gear in the mountains in winter - not to mention small Gaz bottle, coffee, creamer and sugar - terrific for morale if stranded.


    Don't go OTT
    It's important not to go over the top in developing your Grab Bag. Keep it practical. By adding non-essentials you'll end up needing another vehicle to transport it.


    7 days
    I reckon the contents of my small bag will keep me and SWAMBO on the go for some 7 days - and fairly comfortably too.
    Very useful share this. Thank you mate!

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Thanks John,excellent idea. I have the content with mebut never thought of actually getting bag to put it in. Guess what ison my to do list?

    Thanks for sharing
    Tobie Oosthuizen
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    A compass - no batteries needed.
    Condoms- can be used to carry water/tourniquet/ elastics for catapult/hairband/ waterproof vessel etc.
    Strong large plastic bag
    Thin lightweight waterproof poncho/groundsheet-shelter/ something for the cold.
    Space blanket.
    1/2 roll toilet paper.
    A good strong knife or 2.
    If locally - 6 rounds spare ammo for each firearm.
    Mosquito repellant NB
    Last edited by Pieterk; 2018/01/07 at 10:30 PM.
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  8. #5
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Excellent, thanks.
    But protect the bag carefully.
    If swiped you're in the dwang.
    Last edited by PRA; 2018/01/07 at 10:22 PM.
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Excellent thread and thought provoking. A comment or two after looking what always goes on my bike and bicycle, usually in a well used Camelbak with 1, 2 or 3 litres of water (less for shorter bicycle rides):

    I think one needs 2 bags - local & trip (with passport etc etc). I try keep wallet and cell phone + passport if outside SA, in my pants pocket - zipped.

    Local needs less and possibly just document copies and a few things - 1st Aid kit etc.

    Possible additions: - Hiking advice is to use an old CD as a mirror - it's light; add sunscreen? spare batteries or a Power Bank? Hard copy of list of contacts & personal / allergies/ medical aid (ideally copy of card) etc / insurances / vehicle details / PIN numbers (suitably mixed up if needed?), map or copy of area travelled, the R500 in cash of different denominations? Spare glasses/sunglasses, Buff and surgical gloves, cable ties, black rubbish bag or two, duct tape, multi tool, stuff that can get damaged by water in zip loc bags (duh).

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Thanks JohnT, my Grab Bag build starts today
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  13. #8
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Passport/ID & drivers license. Credit Card.

    Doenst help you successfully escape the jungle and get stuck in the concrete jungle. No drivers and you cannot even rent a car to get home...
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Maybe certified copies of things like drivers license, passport etc as well?
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by julius caesar View Post
    Thanks JohnT, my Grab Bag build starts today
    Damn,
    After 10 minutes of compiling list i need a backup vehicle to transport Grab Bag
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  17. #11
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Gas Lighter
    Depending on the area:
    Army style mirror (you can also use an emergency blanket) for attracting aircraft attention
    Pepper Spray
    Pencil flare
    Water bottle

  18. #12
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Have had one for about 8 years now.

    Over time I've learned that I prefer to carry an EDC backpack, same concept but on a lighter scale built around urban escape and evasion (imagine a sudden riot or mob attack at your office, bag isn't gonna help in the car if you can't get to it) my bag is with me always.

    Gear list changes with seasons and locations.

    Pictured is my bag along with additional gear when going into the bush.
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  20. #13
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieterk View Post
    A compass - no batteries needed.
    Condoms- can be used to carry water/tourniquet/ elastics for catapult/hairband/ waterproof vessel etc.
    Strong large plastic bag
    Thin lightweight waterproof poncho/groundsheet-shelter/ something for the cold.
    Space blanket.
    1/2 roll toilet paper.
    A good strong knife or 2.
    If locally - 6 rounds spare ammo for each firearm.
    Mosquito repellant NB
    Nooooo.

    Condoms make terrible tourniquets! I would venture to say that they would be ineffective.

    There are proper tourniquets in the market. Rather get one of those. They have a wide contact area, as well as a reinforced windlass to tighten the tourniquet until blood flow stops completely. With a condom, you would firstly have a very narrow surface area, secondly no way of tightening it properly, and thirdly, it would probably just break when you try to tighten it to stop bleeding.

    Here are a few pics of a CAT tourniquet, which is one of the best available.
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    Last edited by swimma; 2018/01/15 at 09:52 AM.

  21. #14
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Also a proper first aid kit, with the essentials for serious injury/trauma, as well as minor cuts and scrapes.

    Things such as:

    Gloves
    Wound dressings in various sizes
    Space blanket
    Tourniquet
    Gauze for wound packing
    Plasters
    Antiseptic ointment
    Burnshield
    Micropore/Elastoplast roll

  22. #15
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by swimma View Post
    Nooooo.

    Condoms make terrible tourniquets! I would venture to say that they would be ineffective.

    There are proper tourniquets in the market. Rather get one of those. They have a wide contact area, as well as a reinforced windlass to tighten the tourniquet until blood flow stops completely. With a condom, you would firstly have a very narrow surface area, secondly no way of tightening it properly, and thirdly, it would probably just break when you try to tighten it to stop bleeding.

    Here are a few pics of a CAT tourniquet, which is one of the best available.
    Please suggest a site or two form whom to order.
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Polokwane View Post
    Please suggest a site or two form whom to order.
    You can try www.meddev.co.za or www.tacticalquartermaster.co.za

    I've bought equipment from both of them, and I can only say good things about both of them. Craig from TacQM is a commercial member on this site.

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  25. #17
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Also, for those interested in reading up about the subject, this is a good place to start:

    https://thetourniquetproject.org/

    Years ago, tourniquets were seen as a bad idea for treatment of heavy bleeding, but the general attitude to them has changed completely, mostly thanks due to their widespread use in the military. The number one cause of battlefield fatalities used to be due to heavy bleeding from a limb. Thanks largely to the use of tourniquets, the number one cause of death is now due to heavy bleeding from a junctional area (such as the pelvis), but there are also junctional tourniquets available (very expensive though, and require training in order to be use successfully).

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  27. #18
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Wonderful initiative at starting this thread. My advice would be to keep the contents to a realistic sane level.
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by swimma View Post
    You can try www.meddev.co.za or www.tacticalquartermaster.co.za

    I've bought equipment from both of them, and I can only say good things about both of them. Craig from TacQM is a commercial member on this site.
    Can only agree with that, great service from both of these.

    Just a note from my side in general.

    No matter what you have in your grab bag, make sure you know how to use every item you carry.

    Remember that a lot of medications expire and need to be replaced.
    For that reason, my grab bag first aid kit medication get replaced before the expiry date, the meds due to expire then gets used in the home first aid kit until it expires or is used.
    Remember personal medication like blood pressure meds, antihistamine, other chronic meds etc.

    A lot of good suggestions here already regarding other equipment.

    Put it all together, you might be surprised to see that you end up with way too much stuff - then decide what is most important for the possible scenarios you might find yourself in at any given time.

    For example, my laptop bag is also an EDC grab bag for urban environments, this gets changed when we go on 4x4 trips/bike trips/hiking trips and so on.

    Do not just pack a lot of stuff and forget about it until you may need it, you need to be aware of what you carry and why.

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  30. #20
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    Default Re: The Grab Bag - an essential piece of overlanding equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by swimma View Post
    Also, for those interested in reading up about the subject, this is a good place to start:

    https://thetourniquetproject.org/

    Years ago, tourniquets were seen as a bad idea for treatment of heavy bleeding, but the general attitude to them has changed completely, mostly thanks due to their widespread use in the military. The number one cause of battlefield fatalities used to be due to heavy bleeding from a limb. Thanks largely to the use of tourniquets, the number one cause of death is now due to heavy bleeding from a junctional area (such as the pelvis), but there are also junctional tourniquets available (very expensive though, and require training in order to be use successfully).
    Personal experience on this...

    End 2016 I was in a bad motorcycle accident with an open femur fracture in Seweweeks Poort (no mobile signal, middle of the week so not a lot of traffic).
    A friend went to get help and I was flown out to hospital by helicopter.
    My knee brace straps on my injured leg acted as a tourniquet which saved my life and my leg.
    When the straps were eventually cut I lost a LOT of blood VERY fast.

    Very few people know how severe the bleeding from such an injury could be, it is frightening.
    Last edited by Kola; 2018/01/15 at 01:35 PM.

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