Mental backflips

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Oliver G

Full Member
Sep 15, 2012
342
230
Melbourne, Derbyshire
I was bimbling around the woods with my dog last week and I was getting eaten alive by the midges. My immediate thought was well I've got some bug repellent in my possibles pouch but I can't use that as that's the pouch for emergencies. I realised at the that I've been carrying all my useful stuff in a pouch that I didn't want to use, completely defeating the point of carrying them. Now I tear into that pouch with gay abandon and it makes life so much easier.

So, who else has had an experience where they have completely reversed their mindset on something for the better?
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,113
4,460
Mid Wales
I must admit I have never subscribed to the concept of a 'must not use unless an emergency' tin/pouch/bag... Everything I carry I am prepared to use on the day/trek/camp I am on at the moment; with the proviso that I check and re-fill when I get home.

Apart from anything else, it is very easy for the odd item to go well out of date or become damaged without you realising it, and so not be available when you do have an emergency. Frequent use and checking prevents that.

Anyway, I would class being 'eaten alive by midges' as an emergency :)
 
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oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
2,650
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Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
I read about a Canadian bush pilot who denigrated survival kits on the grounds that one should carry only what one needed and nothing else. His view was that the kit he used on a daily basis was what he needed to survive.

This seemed in tune with my minimalist kit philosophy in that I'm not prepared to carry something I won't use and I'm quite rigorous about pruning kit but I still carry things I hope I won't use such as a basic first aid kit and a waterproof layer in summer and can't get rid of a nagging feeling that however extreme the conditions I should always have something extra in reserve in case things get even worse. The scouts and "Be Prepared" is hard to shake off : Be Prepared for what? This mindset is the enemy of minimalism and leads to overweight packs! Thinking back, I can remember only one occasion when I had nothing left in reserve and this was when the weather turned unseasonably cold while on a multi-day trip.

I agree very much with Broch's comment about midge repellent and it reminds me of the time I lent a stranger some of my insect repellent in Hungary as he was being driven mad while trying to get his tent up using only one hand as the other one constantly busy swatting mosquitoes. This is only one example among many of occasions when other people have been in need of my "emergency" kit.

Now off to comb thought the rucksack again for extras that have crept in and to check the use by dates!
 
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Kadushu

Full Member
Jul 29, 2014
260
216
Kent
With the exception of the FAK, anything that doesn't get used occasionally gets kicked out. That way I know how to use what I carry, know its shortcomings and don't carry a load of cr4p for no reason. Similar rules apply to my work vehicle.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,155
964
Lancashire
I don't carry stuff that won't get used. Fak might not all get used but enough to count as being used? I never saw the point of carrying a lot of just in case kit. Usually you carry enough kit among the stuff you use to cope without the just in case stuff being carried. Certainly I do.

You're n looking at guy who bought a 50 +15 litre sack for a winter day sack. I often took the plastic emergency bivvy bag for winter sledging fun with mates. I stopped when I kept having to replace them after sledging tore then to bits. That sack became my backpacking sack for weeks away instead. I guess that's a change in outlook the OP was talking about.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,113
4,460
Mid Wales
It depends entirely on what sort of trek you're on and how far away from support you are. On desert crossings I have taken stuff I really hoped I'd never use but would have been lifesaving if I had needed them. In the UK, and many other places, there's very little that could be classified as that.

When it really comes down to it, a buoyancy aid is not essential in a canoe but you'd be daft to not take one.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,261
2,065
McBride, BC
I can't travel far enough, easily enough, to put myself in a strange biogeoclimatic zone. So even a day trip, my kit box is just a lot of the usual, regular things that I use now. Stuff with shelter and food in mind. That's tarps, ropes and lots of extra fuel for the butane and petrol stoves. Get out of the freakin' mountain wind. Fruit & nut chocolate bars, sacks of mixed dry fruit bits and nuts. High calorie values, all of it. It all is consumed to alleviate boredom during the autumn hunting seasons then replaced fresh. A kg of dried mango slices never seems to get lost.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,155
964
Lancashire
It depends entirely on what sort of trek you're on and how far away from support you are. On desert crossings I have taken stuff I really hoped I'd never use but would have been lifesaving if I had needed them. In the UK, and many other places, there's very little that could be classified as that.

When it really comes down to it, a buoyancy aid is not essential in a canoe but you'd be daft to not take one.
In my case it's nothing more adventurous than Lakeland fells and an early summer Highlands trip backpacking. Mostly the Lakes which I know so well. It might be complacency but if you have deep knowledge of being out in a certain area it becomes less critical to some degree. Sure you bring extra layers but you use them for lunch stops. You don't feel the need to be bring a winter shelter, mat and sleeping bag. Of course taking less doesn't mean you've not carried out a decent risk assessment and negated high risk factors. It just means knowledge and experience replaces some extra kit.

If I ever went into the winter Arctic circle I'm certain I'd be over packed with more kit than someone who's been there a lot. Same with Africa overlanding trips. I doubt I'll be doing either though. I enjoy what I do and it's enough for me.
 

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