Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rethinking My Belt Kit

Back in September I did two posts on my belt kit. You can see them here as Part 1 and Part 2. There I went over the items that I carry on my belt in addition to my pack. They consisted of three main things, my knife, a possibles pouch, and a canteen kit.

Since that time however, I’ve started noticing that I do not always end up carrying my belt kit. Often times, I don’t want to go through the hassle of putting it on my belt, or just don’t want to have anything on my belt when I’m doing things like testing an axe. More often than not, the belt kit ends up in my backpack. While I feel very comfortable with the belt kit I described above, I have to be honest with myself. If it is not actually on my belt, it’s not much good.

As a result, I started to rethink my belt kit. I wanted something that is light and small enough that I could just put it in my pockets without it creating any noticeable bulk or weight (I didn’t want to look like a kangaroo, with my pockets swinging back and forth under the weight).

There are some things that I can’t do much about-I need my canteen. The only changes I have made to my canteen kit is that I have replaced the canteen with a Blackhawk canteen, and I have added a shoulder strap in case I don’t want to put it on my belt.

The rest of the kit looks like this.

The knife is small enough to fit in one of my pockets, and the possibles pouch stays in my other pocket. I keep the contents in an Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight 3 pouch. It is not completely full because I found that when I do that, it is bulkier than I want.

The knife is clearly a Mora No 1. It will probably get replaced when I find a puukko that I like, but for now it does quite well. I am looking for another knife that is under 8.5 inches and is light weight, probably meaning a puukko of some sort. Because the knife did not fit well within its sheath, I made it a new one. Remember, that I carry an axe with me. If I did not, I would not make this my only cutting tool. I feel much more secure with the Fallkniven S1, but I have to be realistic about how much I am willing to carry.

The contents of the possibles pouch is a downsized version of the one you saw before.

1. Plastic bag containing a commando saw and a compass. I keep the commando saw in the bad to protect the other items.

2. Set of water purification tablets.

3. Altoids Smalls tin containing tinder.

4. Altoids Smalls tin containing my fishing and repair kit. There I have fishing hooks and lures, line, thread and needle, and some duct tape.

5. Mini Bic lighter.

6. Waterproof and windproof matches with striker.

7. Artificial sinew.

8. Fenix E01 flashlight.

9. DC4 sharpening stone. I might end up replacing it with a DC3 in the future.

10. Plastic bag containing some pills. It is only first aid item left over from the prior possibles pouch.

11. Small ferrocerium rod.

12. Folded up plastic bag for water storage.

As you can see, the items are just downsized versions of what I had in my prior kit. The biggest thing that I have removed is my first aid items. It is not ideal, but they were adding too much bulk. What I have now is a kit that I ca easily put in my pockets and not notice that it is there until I need it.

As always, these are just items that I use and need. Your choices will certainly vary. If something else works for you, make sure to include it.