If you were following my prior adventure you may remember that I selected the Fieldline Tactical Alpha OPS Internal Frame Pack, a pack that I purchased from Walmart, to serve as my bug out bag. You may also remember that I quickly became a non-fan of this particular pack, and that I added its name to my lexicon of vulgarities. Now that the frustration and anger have subsided, and I have gotten my full refund from returning it, I have been able to sit down and give an honest review of this item.
My initial take on the pack, as I stood looking at it on the Walmart shelf, was “Frick’n Sweet! And it’s only $40.00? What a bargain!” That and it had the word TACTICAL on it. Everyone knows just having the word tactical on a piece of gear gives you the best qualities of both SEALS and ninjas with none of their weaknesses (inability to defeat samurais for ninjas – inability to say no to a bar fight for SEALS).
The pack looked well-made. I liked the MOLLE attachment points on the pack and I loved the ALICE pack like attachment points on the bottom of the pack. Everything about this pack looked like it would make a solid bug out bag. So I decided to buy it. And then I decided to test it out. Let the good times roll! Continue reading
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One thing that I learned early on in my adult life is that Yetis hurt people. They are mean and uncaring as they go from village to village destroying igloos and ruining birthday parties and then slip away into the blizzard that conceals their every move. Another thing that I learned is that ounces = pounds. This is something that was beaten into my head on every forced march or military maneuver I have ever had to partake in. That really comes into play when you look at your gear. When you ponder if that particular piece of gear is a “need to have” or a “want to take.” And needs always trump wants. Many times a particular item that is a “need” is bulky, awkward, or heavier than you would like. The question is, at times, can I make a particular “need” lighter? Can I make it more easily manageable? Make it more convenient? Food will always be a need.
When I went on my initial bug out I chose to take MREs as my source of nutrition. They are familiar to me, having spent 21 years in the military; they were a main staple of field life. That and I had them on hand so that was a bonus as I did not have to purchase anything. That was an absolute bonus as after doing some research I discovered that they have gone up in price considerably over the years (going from about $6.00 in 1994 to $17.00 a week ago for a complete MRE). I grabbed 3 days’ worth of MREs off of a shelf (9 total – by today’s prices on MREs I am sitting on a gold mine), sat down, and without thinking about it I immediately started field stripping them, something that I have done numerous times. As I was tearing through them, throwing things to and fro, Jackie asked me to take pause and explain to her what I was doing and why. I looked at her as though she asked me how babies were made. Continue reading
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