Earlier I promised a photo inventory of my hiking gear so here goes!
The above photo shows my 55″ hiking pole. It’s made of a “light and sturdy” wood called Bianbai. For sure Bianbai wood is light. Only time will tell if it holds up and is sturdy. If not this area is lousy with peddlers selling all variety of hiking sticks so I can always upgrade to hickory or something heavier. Note that the pole has a nice metal spike that can be covered with a rubber cap. Also pictured above is my–ahem–”re-appropriated” combat lifesaver bag. The Army does not miss me nor it. In fact, we are both out of date.
This is the secondary canteen that I used to carry into the field with me back in the day. We were all issued one canteen for our belt, however, having an extra when you were out humping sure was nice. I purchased this at the Fort Chaffee (aka Chaff My Ass) Army PX way back in the 90′s. Interesting the water still tastes as bad as that miserable fort was.
Now to the best part: What’s in Bob’s sack!
- Standard medic bandages, gauzes, and wraps. Also pictured is a reflective blanket to treat shock or cold.
- Laminated field medic guide. It covers all the basics: sprains, strains, cuts, broken bones, bullet holes (probably not basic on a hike), heat exhaustion, and shock.
- Band-aids, gauze, tape, and antibacterial ointment.
- Chem lights and one small LED flashlight.
- Magnetic compass and whistle.
- One 3″ folding knife. I typically carry one in my pocket too. Also pictured here is my Bushnell BackTrack GPS and one wire wood saw.
- Waterproof matches, waterproof container with safety pins, and a snakebite kit.
- One spoiled cat (optional)
So what’s missing? I know that I need to add a mirror and maybe a magnifying glass but what else? Bear in mind that my typical hikes are no longer than 4 hours. This area has the rare bear attack. Past that you occasionally hear of someone getting lost and having to spend a few days out in the sticks. Also, every now and again someone gets hurt and has to be packed out or air-lifted out.
Our old pal introduced me to this guy. I’ve kept one handy ever since his post back in 2011. What can I say? It’s a nasty and fairly discreet self-defense tool. Those who have any experience with pressure points will quickly figure out how to use this. Also, I strongly suspect that if you punched someone hard with it you’d disrupt their attack (or worse). Just “Google” Comtech Stinger and you’ll find someone selling them online.
Do I carry it on hikes? Occasionally.
Do I take it with me when traveling? Almost always.
Lets close with a video from the Stinger’s inventor!