SHTF Backpacks with Too Many Pockets
Dr. John Woods 07.21.15
I know of many preppers that are proud as punch of their multi-pocketed Bug Out packs. That is until they try to find something in one of the many zippered or Velcro® hidey places some of these humongous packs have designed into them. Sometimes too many pockets, pouches, and slip sleeves can create efficiency problems during a SHTF.
Really? I thought the whole idea of a SHTF hiking pack, backpack, or a frame pack was to jam as much stuff into one as possible. Well, there is some validity to being able to economize your bags by fully packing fewer of them to capacity, but you have to be able to find your stuff quickly, too.
Way too often at camp and during Bug Out practice sessions, I see our team members coursing through their packs trying to find one thing. It might be a box of matches, a knife, first aid kit, or some lip balm. Even after opening a half dozen or more zipped pockets they come up empty handed. There has to be a better way.
I often find myself fumbling through my deer hunting pack as well trying to find just one thing. Somehow just the item you need is always in the bottom of the last pocket you check. It made me start thinking more about how I pack my bag for the hunting stand, and how better I might utilize a SHTF pack as well.
First, I think the key is settling on a bag with fewer total pockets and pouches. I just studied the pages of a major outdoor supply catalog and I see plenty of packs available that have one main center pack cavity, then one on the outside. A few others only added two smaller pockets on the sides. This narrows the search to only four main pockets, but they’re still able to carry a considerable amount of gear.
One thing I do on my turkey bag, for example, is take plastic bread bag wire twists of different colors and twist on onto each of the pocket zippers. These twists not only allow me a quicker grab to unzip the pocket, but I also have committed to memory the colors for different types of gear like various calls, gloves/mask, knife, meds, etc. I am now using that strategy with my SHTF bag.