Discussions

I completely agree with Simon on medical communications. I may be newer to this site, but I am also extremely experienced in both tactical medicine and natural disaster recovery. I truly believe that every MED kit needs a minimum of a charcoal pencil and piece of paper. I have made over 15 of these kits for myself and family members. I won’t make them if the family member won’t buy the NARP Triage Card. They rarely seem to think it’s necessary. As a paramedic, if I bring a patient to a triage area and tell them my opinion, they listen, even if I’m not in uniform. That happened during the 2013 Moore Tornado. Several other patients who were brought by non-professionals, however, seemed to be lower in the triage than they should have been. Preference being given to patients coming from providers. It was not intentional, but it happens. This phenomenon is discussed in several after action reports from natural disasters. I don’t think these are minor mistakes. This phenomena may be avoided if you are partially treated with the high quality gear mentioned in these lists. It will be recognized by medical providers at an ER or field triage center. I do believe a triage card is necessary. I recommend the one from NARP, but it is bulky. There may be slimmer options on the market today. I don’t recommend that a non-professional make a triage category decision, but when you get to the triage location, hand it off to a professional, show them your work and ask them to pick the category. This gives them a vast amount of info to make the decision correctly.

I’d like to know a little more about the trade offs that make a bow saw a second choice. I have and use the 21” EKA combi saw quite frequently. There is also a 17” model. These types of packsaws are becoming more popular with many offering a deeper bow, on the distal end, than the EKA. My EKA has withstood a significant amount of abuse. Because it has 3 blade types, I keep it in my car and it has been used hundreds of times. I’ve taken down a full size oak in the middle of a road, many shop tasks and a buddy used it to quarter out an elk. The 17” model has almost twice the cutting length of the 9” silky handsaw, has 3 saw blade types for different materials, uses a commonly available replacement blade that can be found at most hardware stores (a handy feature for bugging out), and weighs only 3 ounces more. The EKA takes up a little more pack space, but it is not awkward in shape and that makes it easily managed. I do find your only listed reasoning for discounting bow saws as disingenuous and almost ignorant. I would challenge you to justify that a handsaw is anymore capable of cutting down a large standing tree than a bow saw. My EKA has 7” of depth to the bow. This means that, theoretically, your hand saw only gets an two extra inches of depth. I’ve never found that to be true in practice. A hand saw is much less effective at cutting near the tip of the saw blade than a bow saw. Partly because a person can apply pressure to the end of the bow saw and partially because the handles location relative to the blade moves the fulcrum forward and allows for less energy expenditure to achieve the same results. I would love to see an actual scientific comparison and would be willing to honestly consider changing my load out based on the results. I realize I’m not the only one who will use my kit in an emergency. Thank you and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Personally, I do highly disagree with the strategies outlined to have one unaltering, dedicated, not heavy bugout bag. My experiences have shown that may lead to glaring deficiencies for those who actually need specialty equipment. Not keeping it in their bugout bag because of weight is potentially more dangerous than needing to take the few seconds to remove excess, unneeded specialized equipment. For example, having smoke evacuation masks in California would be an ideal prep for a bugout bag, but add 3-5lbs per person. Per your list, it would be one of the first to items to be culled for weight restrictions, but that could lead to disaster at 3 am struggling to find where it was saved. My wife and I each have 30-35 lb bags in our car and a 70 lb family bugout bag. Each weighs far to much for their given purpose, however they have a light weight base kit, advanced general category items, specialty items and a universal (edc type) item kit. It is packed in reverse order. This means the specialty items would be easily accessible to be culled before leaving and taking the kit into a situation.  This strategy would be like keeping your level 3 items in a separate compartment of your bugout bag for culling, if necessary. It’s worked for myself in tornado alley and for my friends. I do look forward to future articles and even some competing narratives to help guide myself and others to understand what they must consider for their own circumstances. Keep up the good work.

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I completely agree with Simon on medical communications. I may be newer to this site, but I am also extremely experienced in both tactical medicine and natural disaster recovery. I truly believe that every MED kit needs a minimum of a charcoal pencil and piece of paper. I have made over 15 of these kits for myself and family members. I won’t make them if the family member won’t buy the NARP Triage Card. They rarely seem to think it’s necessary. As a paramedic, if I bring a patient to a triage area and tell them my opinion, they listen, even if I’m not in uniform. That happened during the 2013 Moore Tornado. Several other patients who were brought by non-professionals, however, seemed to be lower in the triage than they should have been. Preference being given to patients coming from providers. It was not intentional, but it happens. This phenomenon is discussed in several after action reports from natural disasters. I don’t think these are minor mistakes. This phenomena may be avoided if you are partially treated with the high quality gear mentioned in these lists. It will be recognized by medical providers at an ER or field triage center. I do believe a triage card is necessary. I recommend the one from NARP, but it is bulky. There may be slimmer options on the market today. I don’t recommend that a non-professional make a triage category decision, but when you get to the triage location, hand it off to a professional, show them your work and ask them to pick the category. This gives them a vast amount of info to make the decision correctly.

I’d like to know a little more about the trade offs that make a bow saw a second choice. I have and use the 21” EKA combi saw quite frequently. There is also a 17” model. These types of packsaws are becoming more popular with many offering a deeper bow, on the distal end, than the EKA. My EKA has withstood a significant amount of abuse. Because it has 3 blade types, I keep it in my car and it has been used hundreds of times. I’ve taken down a full size oak in the middle of a road, many shop tasks and a buddy used it to quarter out an elk. The 17” model has almost twice the cutting length of the 9” silky handsaw, has 3 saw blade types for different materials, uses a commonly available replacement blade that can be found at most hardware stores (a handy feature for bugging out), and weighs only 3 ounces more. The EKA takes up a little more pack space, but it is not awkward in shape and that makes it easily managed. I do find your only listed reasoning for discounting bow saws as disingenuous and almost ignorant. I would challenge you to justify that a handsaw is anymore capable of cutting down a large standing tree than a bow saw. My EKA has 7” of depth to the bow. This means that, theoretically, your hand saw only gets an two extra inches of depth. I’ve never found that to be true in practice. A hand saw is much less effective at cutting near the tip of the saw blade than a bow saw. Partly because a person can apply pressure to the end of the bow saw and partially because the handles location relative to the blade moves the fulcrum forward and allows for less energy expenditure to achieve the same results. I would love to see an actual scientific comparison and would be willing to honestly consider changing my load out based on the results. I realize I’m not the only one who will use my kit in an emergency. Thank you and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Personally, I do highly disagree with the strategies outlined to have one unaltering, dedicated, not heavy bugout bag. My experiences have shown that may lead to glaring deficiencies for those who actually need specialty equipment. Not keeping it in their bugout bag because of weight is potentially more dangerous than needing to take the few seconds to remove excess, unneeded specialized equipment. For example, having smoke evacuation masks in California would be an ideal prep for a bugout bag, but add 3-5lbs per person. Per your list, it would be one of the first to items to be culled for weight restrictions, but that could lead to disaster at 3 am struggling to find where it was saved. My wife and I each have 30-35 lb bags in our car and a 70 lb family bugout bag. Each weighs far to much for their given purpose, however they have a light weight base kit, advanced general category items, specialty items and a universal (edc type) item kit. It is packed in reverse order. This means the specialty items would be easily accessible to be culled before leaving and taking the kit into a situation.  This strategy would be like keeping your level 3 items in a separate compartment of your bugout bag for culling, if necessary. It’s worked for myself in tornado alley and for my friends. I do look forward to future articles and even some competing narratives to help guide myself and others to understand what they must consider for their own circumstances. Keep up the good work.