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Thread: Road Trip

  1. #91
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fountain, Colorado
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Not to poke the porcupine, but I'd love to revisit the Sensei's possible bag. It is time to really screw down our gear for the upcoming season, and I'm revisiting my own possibles bag.

  2. #92
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Golden, Co. USA
    Posts
    4,169

    Default Re: Road Trip

    PATRICK’S POSSIBLES POUCH

    I'm finally getting around to revising my twenty year old essay on what constitutes a rambling man’s Possibles Pouch,,,,what it is, and what goes into it,

    The concept is to store close at hand everything needed to operate efficiently, and safely, in remote places. Everything meaning everything besides clothing, shelter, boots, (horse)...you get the idea. The name dates back to the Mountain Men who roamed the West in the early 1800’s seeking furs or just for the adventure of exploring wild country. The veterans always had some sort of container (very typically a leather pouch) filled with everything the man needed, or importantly might need to function and stay alive in the wild, aside from the Big things cited above. Things such as fire starting implements, tools for his rifle and pistol, tools for his horse’s needs, generalized tools, a few nails, a sewing kit, candles for light, medical supplies, etc., etc., etc. They named it their Possibles Pouch.

    I've long since adopted the concept, the imperative of such a collection of essential items, and named it respectfully the same as my forebears, my Possibles Pouch.

    Here is what I carry to cover what I need routinely as well as items to cover “anything that can happen”, based on extensive experience of NOT having some of this stuff, and wishing that I did. Not all of it is actually in my Possibles Pouch, which resides in my backpack. Some of it is on my person, in order to be immediately accessible.

    Items Carried On My Person—

    -—Smart Phone. It is my camera. When in cell tower range it allows contact with the outside world. It contains my books, both print and audible. It contains my music. It rides in my right shirt pocket in a slightly sticky case so it doesn't readily fall out.
    -—Pocket Notebook and Mechanical Pencil. Always in my left shirt pocket (the smart phone is always in the right shirt pocket...I buy only shirts with two breast pockets). The one residing there now must be the hundred fiftieth or so to occupy that spot in the forty-plus years I've used such notebooks for designs, reminders, draft letters, contact information and on and on. The pencil won't freeze, and the notebook doesn't depend on battery power. The system is as old-timey as the Mountain Men era, but it never fails.
    -—Paper Towel. Folded behind the phone in the right shirt pocket. Used to dry whatever needs drying without resorting to my bandana, which I like to keep dry and clean for when I really need it. Functions as an on-the-move bandage when combined with a rubber band or duct tape (see below).
    -—Rubber Bands. Always a couple on my left wrist. The big wide ones. Used for a surprising number of rapid fixes/chores. As they are right there on my wrist I needn't search in the main Possibles Pouch (although the main supply does reside there) for quick tasks as I'm moving To cite a frequent example, I bushwhack cross country a lot. And I often get bleeding scrapes on my hands and forearms from beating through brush. When this happens I'll fetch the paper towel from the right shirt pocket, tear a strip off sufficient to wrap around or cover the bleeding location and then secure the on-the-move “bandage” with a rubber band from the left wrist. When at camp I'll use rubber bands to corral tipi poles, to hold pot sets together, to hold utensils as a unit and for many other useful purposes.
    -—Trekking Poles. Not actually on my person, but you get the idea. These tools have swept through the backpacking world like wildfire since my original Pouch essay. And well they should. I've been using them for about fifteen years and don't leave home without them They provide security in rough terrain under heavy loads. As a solo rambler most of the time such security is priceless I wrap my supply of Duct Tape around the upper shafts so it's immediately handy for quick fixes.
    -—Pocket Knife. In my right front pants pocket. It's a vintage Swiss Army Tinker model and its never not there. The tinker has just enough functions that I've avoided ever having to carry a multi-tool. (Use the small blade for most chores, like wire cutting etc. and save the large always-sharp blade for working on game and fish for the pot.)
    -—Chap Stick. Left front pants pocket.
    -—Bandana. Right cargo pants pocket.
    -—Wallet. Left cargo pants pocket. (Note: I like cargo pants a lot. Never use back pockets on any britches and my lower back really appreciates it.)

    ITEMS IN THE POUCH-—

    The Pouch itself is the largest Kifaru Pull Out. It rides in the top of my backpack. Smaller Pull Outs are contained within the large one, for specific organizing of most used or most important items. I invented Pull Outs thirty plus years ago for precisely this purpose, and have found no other organizing system as efficient as to speed, low bulk and stow-anywhere practicality. The contents below aren't in any particular hierarchy of importance, except for the fire start kit. If one wanders the mountain west getting a fire going is critical for survival in many incidents.

    -—Fire Starter Kit. Having used every known ingredients-—dryer lint soaked in lighter fluid, cotton balls saturated with Vaseline, special matches in myriad commercial offerings, etc., etc., etc-—my all-time mainstay remains Trioxane, metal match and Bic lighter. This combination resides in a Small Kifaru Pull Out. The usual complement of Trioxane is two of the full size bricks with partial bricks from previous fires. Full size bricks measure 1 1/2” by 3”. (Half size versions are sometimes found, but are less cost-worthy). The purple “brick” is contained in an olive drab aluminum wrapper. It can be found at Army Surplus stores. The best value is on line purchasing. I bought a gross of three-pack boxes many years ago and still have lots left. Another prime recommendation for the stuff is that it lasts forever. Even when wet by the way.
    -—Headlamp. My current headlamp is the ArmyTek Wizard. It was shown to me at the Northeast Rendezvous in February by Forum colleague Woods Walker-—who stays on top of lights technology with nearly obsessive enthusiasm-—and I immediately upgraded from my previous wonder light. It's that good. (Thank you Woodsy). The headlamp lives in a Kifaru Medium Pull Out inside the big Host Pull Out, just like the by-itself Small Pull Out containing the Fire Start Kit. This Medium version hosts, in addition to the headlamp, several much-used items. So let's examine its contents:
    -—Extra 18650 battery, for the headlamp.
    -—A very old, very used Silva Starter compass.
    -—Constel LED tipi light. Perfect illumination for my Sawtooth. One 123 battery. Extra 123 battery. Soft white.
    -—Foldup toothbrush and tiny toothpaste tube, held together by rubber band.
    -—Sewing kit. Homemade by me. Constructed of quarter inch aluminum tube wrapped with #69 bonded nylon thread, a variety of heavy duty large needles inside, and capped on the ends with duct tape. It's served for decades
    -—20’ of orange nylon cord. Wrapped by rubber band.
    -—Tiny thermometer. Weighs .3 oz with it's one foot lanyard tied on.
    -—Three ear plugs. <.1 oz.
    -—Nail clippers.
    -—Backup Headlamp. An old Petzl micro with the pull string headband One ounce with CR 2032 backup batteries. I've not found anything better for weight and size. I consider a backup headlamp essential.
    -—Thinoptics backup spectacles. Purchased at Walgreens Wear on nose. Another essential. .7 oz. in excellent hard case.
    -—Small roll of surgical tape Half ounce
    -—Tiny foldup fork and pullout spoon. Plastic. From single-portion fruit and yogurt packages. Weight won't register on my scale. With my Swiss Army knife and these little backups I can dine nicely even when I forget my standard titanium silverware. Beats crafting chopsticks from twigs, especially the little spoon.
    -—.5 mm pencil leads.
    -—Dental floss. Miniature size.
    -—Assortment of safety pins and paper clips. (Note: I remember well the time I began to set up my Sawtooth in a blizzard and discovered I had left my stovepipe assembly rings at home! Using my army knife awl and these pins and clips I was able to”pin” the rolled stovepipe together thus getting the stove operational and drying my very wet self out. Having these any-purpose items in my Possibles Pouch quite possibly saved my life. Well, I could have built a fire just outside the open door of the Sawtooth-—tarp style-—as I've done hundreds of times, and survived well enough despite the difficulties of keeping an outdoor fire going in a raging snowstorm. But having the fire in a stove inside a snug tipi was far more conducive to recovery. To bouncing back and performing well next day. To making the outing enjoyable instead of survivable.
    Moving on to “loose” items within the overall confines of the Pouch:
    -—Gloves. Specifically lightweight gloves suitable for tasks requiring dexterity, such as shooting, fishing and the like as well as simple always-at-hand (so to speak) utility. I have many such gloves; the pair currently residing in my Possibles Pouch are Burton ski gloves. They feature nubby palms and fingers, as always. Come winter I'll switch to a pair that has iPhone finger and thumb “patches”, to allow operating my smart phone whilst wearing the gloves full time.
    -—Hat. It's a Kifaru stocking style. Very lightweight and perfect for all my hat needs. In sleeping bag. Under my parka hood. Everything.
    -—Rubber Bands. Several. In a quart size baggie.
    -—Baggies. Two quart size and two gallon size, rolled together and secured by rubber band.
    -—First Aid Kit. Several bandaids of various sizes. Very small tubes of neosporin and campho phenique. Aspirin, ibuprofen, antihistamine tablets. All contained in a quart size baggie.
    -—TP in quart baggie.
    -—Paper Towels. Several. Flattened and carried in a quart baggie.
    -—Handy Wipes. Half dozen or so. In quart baggie.
    -—Air Mattress Repair Kit. It's multifunctional. Can be used for torn clothing, tent, etc.
    —-Wire. Three feet of very thin (20k) stainless steel wire wrapped around a sliver of foam .2 oz.

    This is the List at present. It represents many years of winnowing. Many other items have ridden in my PP over the years; if they didn't get used after a good long while out they went. I suggest the same procedure for your pouch. I can't presume to know what is of critical importance to your well being. Carry what you think you must, and if you don't use it after a good long trial toss it out.
    My Possibles Pouch goes with me everywhere in the outdoors. Including day hikes. Of course elsewhere in my pack, usually quickly at hand (in a belt pouch for example) you will find GPS device (and backup batteries), Range Finder and extra batteries (in season), Binoculars and etc.

    It's a fine idea to carry your Possibles Pouch and some water in your automobile Rain gear and/or an umbrella too. Warm garb in winter. Just sayin’....

  3. #93
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Valuable information from the man himself! Thank you for sharing with us.

  4. #94
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fountain, Colorado
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Thanks Patrick, I'll need to chew on this for a while. Might need to make some changes.

  5. #95
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Golden, Co. USA
    Posts
    4,169

    Default Re: Road Trip

    SHELTER FROM THE STORM

    Greetings and Happy New Year to my colleagues and readers here on the Blog

    My freezers are packed with moose and deer and elk—the results of a long and plentiful autumn of hunting and wandering my beloved backcountry in my most favorite time of year In a word, I'm all set All set for some cozy downtime at the home hearth AND some looking back on my long Road Trip in life

    I propose the next installment as an in-depth examination of the issue of Shelter for the man on the move in non-civilized, that is to say undeveloped, wild, country. I'll be taking this back to the Beginning, so to speak, meaning a look at such shelters throughout history. I'll examine winter sheltering too, detailing my experience with snow caves, snow trenches and snow “kivas”. We will cover some mishaps and averted disasters. We will eventually examine in some detail my invention of man-carried heated shelters.

    I'll be crafting the story over the days, and perhaps weeks ahead. And I cordially invite you dear friends to come along on the journey!

    From Golden, January one, 2019

  6. #96
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Golden, Co. USA
    Posts
    4,169

    Default Re: Road Trip

    It was twenty below inside my new Stephenson tent. I had been using the cutting edge Model 2R since summer. This, instead of my long practice of lean-to shelters with a fire out front. Military shelter half, tarp, that sort of thing. But this was January of 1972, and the Backpacking craze was accelerating. New gear was hitting the growing market. The New Thing in shelters was nylon mini-tents that were designed to perform like yet-to-be invented Baggies. The new tents purported to bring the world of sheltering from the elements into a New Era of protection. They amounted to hermetically sealed cocoons that shut those inside off from any contact with such nasties as wind, precipitation, insects and well, the earth itself. All featured sewn-in floors.
    I certainly had been missing the warmth of my customary open fire in the front of my wilderness abode; missed the dual warmth and cooking ability of my “old” system. Especially as the months moved from summer into winter. But I was a year-round wilderness sojourner, and was determined to give the new tents a thorough test all the way through the calendar. Was I missing out on the New Thing? I had to find out. I also finally had the money to buy into the proliferating New Gear. The newfangled Stephenson had cost an arm and a leg; I HAD to use the damn thing, didn't I?
    But it was twenty frigid degrees below zero INSIDE my expensive new envelope-style super tent. So I was trying to function from the inside of my expensive new down sleeping bag. Whilst wearing mittens. I still had to eat though. So I deployed my new Svea123 white gas stove for heating my vittles. On the nylon floor. Primed the little bugger with one hand outside its mitten, and fired her off. So far so good. Hand back inside the mitten, place the snow-filled pot on the stove. The warmth from the stove feels wonderful. My hands, now without the mittens, gratefully curve around the little Svea. (I remember wishing fervently that I could run that Svea full time...but that wish for sustained heat was years in the future.)
    Suddenly, a gout of pencil-thin yellow flame erupted from the stove! The line of fire was several feet long! And it was torching a hole in the side of my wonder tent! (The so-called safety pressure valve on the stove had blown-—to this day I don't know why.) And I was trapped in a nylon envelope with no access to anything non-flammable; even the earth itself was blocked by that nylon floor! The door to the tent was zipped completely shut, and was several feet away....and I'm further trapped inside my sleeping bag! This situation is looking grimmer by the second.
    So I stuffed my hands back in those mittens, scooped up the now flaming ball of stove, and shoved the whole mess out the new hole in my super tent. Out into the extinguishing snow outside.
    Yes, I survived. I'm still here, obviously. My Stephenson super tent had a life with me of approximately seven months. Of course I patched it...the damn thing was too expensive to just chuck. But I had seen the light as regards sealed envelope shelters. And went back to my tarps-with-glorious-fire under the eaves out front.

    EXCEPT for one more lapse of sanity.

    Let's peg the year at around 1982, or perhaps ‘83. Mountainsmith was rolling along; Lumbar Packs were conquering the world. A new craze was afoot-—ultralight backpacking (yes, it goes back that far). The Bivy Sack was new on the scene-—augmenting the popular minimalist approach to set new records for packhermetically sealable tents. To a large extent, Competition had set in...who could go lightest. And farthest quickest Don't thrive in the majesty of Being out there...compete out there. And of course most folks had been convinced that Death awaited anyone who dared not being in an “envelope” of some sort. 20th century hygiene hysteria was paramount. It trumped accepting the natural world on earthy terms...snuggling into it. Rather, one endured in it-—skimming over it, recording camera in hand Cool, man But clean and safe from any possible organic contamination

    So I built myself a bivy. From that Canadian cloth. It was thoroughly up to date, even ahead of its time. Had the spiffiest hoop-like “front” area-—for attenuating claustrophobia-—and etc., the works so to speak. Even the obligatory mosquito netting. I packed it into my Ultralight Lumbar Pack and set out for a three day ramble. Total pack weight: thirteen pounds. None of it on my shoulders. So far so good.
    I tolerated the first night. Had an open fire, then retired to the bivy. Not pleasant at all struggling out to pee in the middle of the night, but this was summer at ten thousand feet so not too bad. No rain.
    On day two the rain commenced. And the misery set in. There was no shelter from the storm except for that bivy. Not under tree boughs-—the whole world was dripping wet. My rain gear was minimalist too of course, and vintage 1980’s. It couldn't stand up to prolonged wind and rain out by a fire. Sure, I've always been able to keep a fire going even in rain, but the rain gear eventually gave up. Besides, an open fire inevitably puts holes in that expensive rain gear, NOT an economically viable thing. Into the bivy was the only option.
    I spent fourteen hours in that cocoon Except for peeing, and therefor getting wet. That trip was my first, and last, adventure with the vaunted Bivy Sack Phenomenon. I joyously retreated to my Tarp/Fire comfort and security. And languished there for several years, until I figured out how to “bring the fire inside”.
    Most of you readers know how that was achieved, know about my tipis and stoves.
    We will put that development under a microscope soon here on the blog. I think next time, though, we might discuss the history, the roots, of portable shelters in general terms. I'll include winter shelters, in which I've had an abundance of experience.
    See you soon around the stove....

  7. #97
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Castle Rock
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Hey Patrick! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that you had posted. Thoroughly enjoy your stories, please don't wait so long in between. Happy New Year

  8. #98
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    It was twenty below inside my new Stephenson tent. I had been using the cutting edge Model 2R since summer.
    Wasnt Stephenson the company with the "interesting" catalog?

    I had a 123 light off the safety pressure relief valve once as well, but it was outside and still scary. Never did it again...in fact, I still have it and use it occasionally.

    Great to see you posting again Patrick.
    z

  9. #99
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Centennial, CO
    Posts
    1,936

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane Rakes View Post
    Wasnt Stephenson the company with the "interesting" catalog?

    I had a 123 light off the safety pressure relief valve once as well, but it was outside and still scary. Never did it again...in fact, I still have it and use it occasionally.

    Great to see you posting again Patrick.
    z

    My perception is that a really large diameter pot is involved, maybe? Reflecting more heat, which ups the pressure. I got my 123 and a stainless Sigg Tourist pot set about a year ago. Love it.... My near miss with a stove was trying to prime what I didn't think was a hot Optimus 9r with a can of alcohol. In front of about 15 cub scouts. The POP as that splash ignited burned up, quick, including the vapor inside the can. (The can vapors igniting made the pop) Didn't "explode". Lucky as hell.

    It's fun to read your stuff, Patrick. Hope you're doing well man. (total aside: We just put a deposit down on another pup. I'll be bringing a pheasant wing when we look, and will start working with her ASAP instead of living under the delusion that the dog's "just a pet" until age 4 like I did with Lou Who....)
    Last edited by robcollins; 01-03-2019 at 07:51 PM.
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert A. Heinlein
    "Count your blessings and you will never finish" - Fr. Jim Babb, SJ

  10. #100
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Golden, Co. USA
    Posts
    4,169

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Shawn, Zane, Rob— I’m frankly pleased to be back in “writing” mode. And intend to focus more on it.

    The Stephenson Family Nudists were indeed a sensation back in the 70’s. I still have their old catalog around here somewhere. I don’t recall for certain but think the actual company name was Warmlight? They started out in California and moved the operation to New Hampshire I believe. Strictly mail order. Remember his Vapor Barrier Shirt? I tried one. What a non-starter that was. The old Camp 7 sleeping bags had a vapor barrier interior. That actually worked, sort of. Better than that ridiculous VB Shirt from Warmlight. We’ve come a long way from the slightly nutty seventies.

    See you soon Gents. I have a loot of lore to pass on. Great fun.

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