Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bugging Out As A Group - Examples of Setups

Bug Out Bags is often discussed as it is only a tool for one person. For most people it is however a much more likely that they would not choose to evacuate alone, but rather with their family, friends or partner. This article is based upon the article Bugging Out As a Group and will give some practical examples of what type of equipment that can practical to choose for a two, three and four man group. The setups are also designed to provide examples of equipment ranging from ultra light to very comprehensive.

Setup 1: Shared Equipment for Two Persons – Ultra Light
Setup 2: Shared Equipment for Three Persons – Medium Weight
Setup 3: Shared Equipment for Four Persons - Comprehensive

Setup 1: Shared Equipment for Two Persons
Total Weight: 2,925kg
Weight for each Person: 1,46kg + Individual Bug Out Bag

Shelter 1,25kg
[ ] Terra Nova Laser Competition 2 Tent 1250g

Water Purification 0.076kg
[ ] Aquamira Frontier Pro 56g
[ ] 24 Aquamira Water Purifications Tablets 20g

Stove and Cooking 1,063kg
[ ] Primus ETA Express Gas Stove 418g
[ ] 420g Gas Tube 645g

First Aid 0.224kg
[ ] Adventure Medical Kits Ultra Lightweight Watertight .7 224g

Navigation 0,137kg
[ ] Topographical Map 100g
[ ] Cammenga Wrist Tritium Compass 37g

Other Tools 0,175kg
[ ] BACHO Laplander Folding Saw 175g

Summary Setup 1
In this setup much of the equipment is chosen to be as light as possible. Ultra Light Tents and Clothing is very comfortable and easy to carry; the downside is that these solutions often can be rather expensive and the thin fabrics used is often relatively weak and may fail you during extreme weather condition and they often have a relatively short life span. This Setup has an ultra light 2 person tent from Terra Nova, a light weight water purification filter and a light weight First Aid Kit. This setup also contain a light weight Gas Stove and a light weight Folding Saw.

Setup 2: Shared Equipment for Three Persons
Total Weight: 6,767kg
Weight for each Person: 2,255kg + Individual Bug Out Bag

Shelter 2,863kg
[ ] Marmot Limelight 3P 2863g

Water Purification 0,23kg
[ ] Katadyn Mini Water Purification Filter 210g
[ ] 24 Aquamira Water Purification Tablets 20g

Stove and Cooking 1,905kg
[ ] Trangia 27-5 UL Stove 745g
[ ] Trangia Safety Bottle 1 liter and 1 liter of Alcohol (160g+1000g) 1160g

First Aid 0,454kg
[ ] Adventure Medical Kits – Adventure First Aid 2.0 454g

Navigation 0,167kg
[ ] Topographical Map 100g
[ ] Silva Ranger CL 515 Compass 67g

Tools 1,148kg
[ ] ESEE Junglas 924g
[ ] SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger 148g
[ ] UST StarFlash Signal Mirror 62g
[ ] Windstorm Whistle 14g

Summary Setup 2
This Setup contains a tent that will withstand most weather and climates.

A Trangia Stoves is an excellent cooking solution for small groups that incorporated cooking vessels and frying pan, a windshield and burner with a relatively low weight. The stoves stand firm on the ground and it does not require the same type of careful handle as a gas stove that is often quite high a unstable. The major disadvantage is that they stoves take more time to heat water and food than a gas or multi fuel stove; even you can get a multi fuel burner instead of the alcohol burner that you get when you buy the stove; getting the best of two worlds. The Katadyn Mini Water Purification Filter in combination with water purification tablets can be used to provide safe drinking water.

The setup also contains the ESEE Junglas that can be of great use when constructing shelters or splitting fire wood and three great tools for signaling for help; the SPOT satellite GPS Messenger, the Starflash Mirror from UST and the Windstorm Whistle.

Setup 3: Shared Equipment for Four Persons
Total Weight: 14kg
Weight for each Person: 3,5kg + Individual Bug Out Bag

Shelter 5,4kg
[ ] Hilleberg Keron 4 GT Tent 5400g

Water Purification 0,7kg
[ ] Katadyn Pocket Water Purification Filter 550g
[ ] 48 Aquamira Water Purification Tablets 40g
[ ] Sea To Summit 20L Folding Bucket 110g

Stove and Cooking 4,424kg
[ ] MSR XGK EX Expedition Multi-Fuel Stove 374g
[ ] 2 MSR 887ml Fuel Bottles with Kerosene 2090g
[ ] MSR Flex 4 Cookware System 1666g
[ ] MSR Alpine Kitchen Set 294g

First Aid 1,21kg
[ ] Lifesystems Mountain Leader Pro 1210g

Navigation 0,417kg
[ ] Garmin GPSMAP 62st (260g including two AA batteries)
[ ] Recta DP-10 Compass 57g
[ ] Topographical Map 100g

Other Tools 1,832kg
[ ] Trail Blazer Take-Down Buck Saw 18 532g
[ ] Gränsfors Scandinavian Forest Axe 1200g

Summary Setup 3
The fourth setup is the total opposite of Setup 1. This is a maximum approach to a setup that can be worth considering if you are building a setup that has to be able to cope with an arctic climate or if you are going on a trip or if you are planning on establishing a base camp and stay in the same location for a long period of time. This type of setup can also be an interesting alternative if the group will be using vehicles for transportation.

Hilleberg makes some of the best tents available on the market; they are however quite expensive. The tent in this setup can be used during any condition no matter if you are facing a warm summer day or a snow blizzard during the winter season. The fabrics used in 4 season tents are generally more sturdy and has a longer life span compared to the fabrics used in ultra light tents and 3 season tents; they are however often heavier. This tent also has an extra large vestibule that can be good when storing much gear or cooking.

The whole solution for cooking comes from MSR and includes a Multi Fuel Stove, two fuel bottles, a large set of pans including plates and cups that could also be used to prepare food over an open fire and some basic kitchen ware.

The setup also contains a Trail Blazer Saw; this is a collapsible bow saw that can be used bring down quite large trees, in combination with the small forest axe from Gränsfors these tools can make it much easier to collect fire wood, build shelters and other types of tasks you might have to perform in the wild. The setup also contains a GPS from Garmin, a comprehensive first aid kit, one of the best water purification filters on the market and a folding bucket to collect water.

Tents and Shelter
As shelters I would in general recommend tents – especially for groups. A tent provides a great shelter if the weather is bad and when several people sleep inside a tent the warmth of the people inside can raise the temperature inside the tent considerably compared to the temperature outside. A tent can also keep bugs, snakes and other unpleasant elements out to give you a better nights rest. Tents can also provide a sheltered place to provide shelter if you have to treat an injured person in order to avoid exposure. If you have much gear or planning to stay in the same area for a long time while hiking or backpacking you should consider getting a tent with some extra space. It can be a hard time for two very large individuals to fit inside a small 2 man tent, try to check out the tent your planning to get in a store so you get a real life impression of both quality and size before you make up your mind. Make sure that everyone knows how to raise the tent and train how to do this together.

Other alternatives for shelter can be different types of tarps or Hennessy Hammocks. The important thing is that you find a solution that can cope with the climate and seasonal variations of your setting.

If the members of a Group would get separated it can be good if the individual members have some means of shielding themselves from the elements; multipurpose shelters like the Bivanorak (580g) from Hilleberg, Fjellduk X-TREME (775g) from Helsport and the Bivi-Poncho (600g) from Exped can be interesting alternatives. There are also emergency shelters designed to be used by several people like the Boothy 2 (350g) from Lifesystems designed for two persons, the Boothy 4-6 Survival Shelter (550g) designed to be used by 4-6 persons and the Windsack (550g) from Hilleberg designed to be used by three persons.

Season matters when it comes to stoves. Light Weight Gas Stoves work excellent during the summer but does not work as well during winter and cold weather. Some new Gas Stoves like the Soto OD-1R Micro Regulator Stove (73g) and the Jetboil SOL Ti Premium Cooking System (240g) are however designed to minimize this problem. Gas Stoves with heat exchangers id generally slightly more fuel efficient. There are also slightly larger portable Gas Stoves like the Primus EtaPower EF. The Primus Omnifuel is probably the only stove on the market right now that can use both gas and liquid fuel.

Multi Fuel Stoves has many advantages; they generate much heat, they can be used during winter settings and they can use many types of fuel; something that can be a critical advantage during a survival situation when you have to make do with what is available. But there are many parts that can break; maintenance is critical and it can be worth considering bringing along spare parts. Examples of Stoves that can be worth checking out is the MSR XGK EX, The Soto Muka Stove, Optimus Nova Plus and Primus Omnifuel.

Trangia Stoves are the classic Swedish Alcohol Stoves that has been available on the market for a very long time. The main advantage of these stoves are that they comes with everything you need in one package; you get the burner; wind shield, pans, frying pan, handles and everything else you need with a reasonable price. The main disadvantage is that the stoves don’t generate as much heat as Gas and Multi Fuel Stoves. There is also one person Army Stoves that use the same type of burners available as military surplus that can be worth looking into if you are on a budget.

Other Equipment
There is much equipment that can worth bringing along if you are travelling in a group. What type of equipment that can be worth considering depends on your setting, climate and what skills that you know. If you have doctor or trained medical professional in the Group it can be a good idea to bring along more comprehensive medical equipment etc. Tools that can help you to minimize the effort needed to build shelters and equipment designed to help you signal for help can be very valuable.

When it comes to other equipment it can be a great advantage if you take what the other people bring along when building individual setups as well. Four a Group of Four Persons I would rather recommend the group to bring along a large Fixed Blade Knife, Medium sized Fixed Blade Knife, Multi Tool and a Swiss Army Knife instead of bring along four identical  Survival Knives. The same goes when choosing Light Sources and Equipment to Start Fires. I would however recommend that you try to standardize what types of batteries that the Group uses for electronic equipment if possible.

Also see:
Bugging Out as a Group
Bug Out Guide and Checklist
Building The Right Bug Out Bag For You
The Bug Out Plan

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