Most of you are aware Selco and I run a wide range of physical courses and have done so for the last six years now. Ranging from our flagship course down in Croatia, using directly applied lessons from the conflict down there, as well as our Bug-Out Course and our 'Off-Grid Medical' Range of courses.
One consistent theme in our courses is encouraging students to bring the equipment they think they need. We don't issue a kit list per se. We want to give our students the creative space to assess the situation and bring what they think is needed. If students need some guidance, they get that.
Each course we get a huge amount of variety in the equipment carried by our students. And, we begin the courses by having them lay all that equipment out and briefing us on what they bought and why. We will then assess the student's equipment.
We put together the Often Overlooked series to help you evaluate the equipment in, or NOT in, your Bug-Out Bag.
Often Overlooked 1: Edged Tools
I would estimate a 98% failure rate with this particular item. As in 98% of people will make this mistake, omission or overlook. Edged tools are items such as knives, axes, machetes and other similar tools. These are not the items overlooked.
What we have seen innumerable times is there will be no means to maintain the integrity of the tools. People forget to bring the necessary apparatus to sharpen their edge tools. Only about 2 to 5% pack something to sharpen with. And, typically it's not a great device, or they have no knowledge on how to actually use it.
I don't want to add more weight than is necessary in my Bug-Out Bag. I want to keep everything light and lean. Selco and I only work with diamond dust sharpening tools: a diamond dust file and a diamond honing stone. The diamond file I carry comes in a set of 5, although I only choose to carry one.
The diamond honing stone in my bag is the tool I tend to use most often, because, my edge tools rarely get dull. If I do, for example, really wail my axe on something and take a big chunk out of it, then I will need the super heavy duty diamond file I carry in my car.
Don't let diamond dust scare you. It's not that expensive. Whatever you choose is up to you. Just make sure you have the means to maintain your essential equipment with you in the field.
Watch | Often Overlooked 1: Edge Tools
Often Overlooked 2: Firearms
Many people want to, and do, carry firearms. But, what we often see is people carrying firearms with absolutely no means to clean or maintain them. And that is a big problem, especially in field conditions.
If your weapons are exposed to dust, dirt, mud, sand and precipitation the impact on those weapons is going to be quick and detrimental without timely cleaning with the proper tools.
The last thing anyone of us want is for this possibly life saving tool to be fouled and dirty to the point it no longer works at exactly the moment you need it to work! At the very least carry the minimum means to clean and maintain your firearms.
And, always the knowledge to be able to do so.
A large part of my military career was elite infantry. For me weapons maintenance is crucial. I carry a large kit with me in order to cover a range of firearms. For others, at the very least you should have a cleaning brush, a small container of oil, a bore snake and a few small rags or towels.
Some weapons require specific tools to open, operate or maintain. Make absolutely sure you have the tools needed for your specific weapons and the competence and understanding to use those tools.
Try to stay as streamlined as you can while still having the things you need. You want to always keep your firearms in top condition and have the resources and the abilities to maintain them as is necessary.