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Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
6/6/19 1:22 a.m.

A while ago I decided I needed a cheap beater watch to knock around in so I ordered the venerable Casio F91W. While I was anxiously awaiting its arrival I decided to check out some Youtube reviews on it. That led me to watching a bunch of EDC videos, which lead me to watch a bunch of get home bag videos, which lead me to a bunch of full on prepper videos.  Which led me to wake up one morning like this...

Now I'm not going full on prepper mode here but there are a bunch of things that I should probably have with me just in case. And seeing as my only mode of transport is on two wheels I need to be very conservative with the size. I need to only have the essentials and I'd like to be able to bring the kit with me in case I end up on foot somewhere. The majority of the time I'm just commuting back and forth to work but occasionally I'll find myself five or six hours from home with nothing more than a cell phone (many times with no signal) and a couple bucks in my pocket. 

The side cases on the bike have 22 liters of capacity each and a very miniscule amount of storage under the passenger seat. The majority of the left bag is taken up by my rain gear, although I'm sure I could do a better job of packing those with maybe some cinch straps to free up some space. And the right bag I use for my lunch and to have some free space in case I need to pick some small things up from the store on the way home from work. 

The first thing I ordered was a tire repair kit. Yes I've been riding all these years without any means of repairing a punctured tire. I still need to decide between getting a small air compressor or going with a CO2 inflation kit. The CO2 kit would be a much smaller package and it may even fit under the seat freeing up more space in the side cases. 

So I'm thinking I'd like to use one of the larger pocket organizers from the likes of Maxpedition or VanQuest to house the majority of the kit aside from bike specific tools. And then just in case I need to take off on foot keep one of those small packable backpacks to throw everything in. They don't seem to take up much space. 

I've got my SOG PowerLock multi tool and my trusty Victorinox fisherman Swiss army knife that will go in the pack. I also tend to have an Olight i3T EOS light with me at all times. And that's pretty much all I have at this point. 

I need to get a small first aid kit. I think I've got the basics of what I'd like to have but does anyone have anything in particular that you feel would be prudent to have?

A small survival kit. Nothing approaching prepper levels of madness but some gear just in case. It's hot here and the summers are very dry usually so water is a big thing. I need some way of carrying water without taking up a ton of space. Some water purification tablets are a must have and probably one of the Sawyer filters. Again I have the basics covered but does anyone have anything they consider a must have?

I was disheartened to learn that it is illegal to carry a tomahawk here in the great state of Texas so I guess I won't be packing one of those.

Do you keep a get home/get to the next town on foot type emergency kit with you?

The last long ride I went on last year I found myself in the middle of nowhere, with no cell reception, with no signs of civilization anywhere. I rode for 45 min without seeing a single other human being, no dwellings, no towns just nothing. I would have been in a world of hurt if something would have happened to the bike or myself. 

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
6/6/19 5:26 a.m.

The world of the Casio F91W is a simple yet complex.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
6/6/19 7:30 a.m.

I think you misspelled “hatchet”?

Gaunt596 Reader
6/6/19 8:03 a.m.

Add a tourniquet to your first aid kit, and make damn sure you know how to use it. Having two or three is better in case you break the first one or it's not enough to completely stop the bleeding. Israeli bandages for the same reason, and those are even designed to be put on by yourself. 

oldopelguy UberDork
6/6/19 8:08 a.m.

How does TX feel about slingshots?

On a bike I'd favor larger sterile pads and wrap plus antibiotic ointment over regular bandages in my first aid kit, because road rash is never a paper cut size deal.  Some clotting agent and superglue too. Along the same lines, I'd probably have a sewing kit for the same reason, or sutures can work on clothes and skin both if you are willing to go that far. 

If you know someone who has a food vacuum sealer I recommend a couple pairs of socks and maybe skivvies and a t-shirt vacuum sealed into their own tiny dry packets.  Plenty of times on 2 wheels even without an apocalypse where whipping out a dry pair of socks would make the difference between the worst day ever and a fun adventure memory. 

My saddle bags usually have a couple of relatively cheap 1" wide straps from the camping aisle that I can use as tie down, belt, sling, carry strap, or whatever. Usually also some paracord for the same reason.

I'm usually armed, so the straps, first aid, granola and hotel peanut butter packets usually live in a lock box I can use for my weapon if it needs to be locked away from kids or out of sight; the Harbor Freight one with a cable is a decent setup for just in case. 

wae SuperDork
6/6/19 8:46 a.m.

I have a couple of those ice packs that stay room temperature until you squeeze the package stowed in the first aid kits in each car and on the motorhome.  They're relatively compact, have good shelf-stability, and can be pretty helpful.

dclafleur Reader
6/6/19 9:01 a.m.

Kind of an odd point but the prohibition on Tomahawks was just repealed and goes in effect in a couple of months..  Don't have anything to weigh in other than read that in the news a few days ago. 


Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
6/6/19 9:15 a.m.

In reply to dclafleur :


Not that I was ever planning on caring one. I was just looking up what the Texas knife laws were and noted that about the only thing illegal to carry was a tomahawk.  Broadsword was perfectly legal to carry but not a tomahawk. Just found that amusing.

skylarhagler New Reader
6/6/19 10:21 a.m.

Here are some thoughts I had:

1) Maxpedition stuff is nice. If you want to save a little money, take a look at Condor or Tazmanian Tiger stuff. 

2) On the first aid kit, i find that leaving the small bandaids/bandages at home and filling the extra space with more gauze pads and medical tape works out better. You can always make small bandages out of that, but you can't make the small ones bigger.

3) If you want to have something in your kit that can carry water if you need to, but takes up minimal space, I'd recommend one of the collapsible bottles like this one. Tablets are good to have, and the small Sawyer filters work great. Used one a bunch when hiking.

4) A space blanket is always a good idea to have. Takes up very little space and has a ton of uses. I generally pack a hammock and bug net, similar to what Eno sells, but I'm in east Texas, so there's no shortage of trees. If you ride out into the plains area at all it won't be much help. Something to start a fire is also always a good idea. If you want to go with a ferro rod or something similar, make sure you practice with it at least a couple of times if you haven't used one before. 

5) If you want to carry a tomahawk/hatchet, which I would, I've started taking the head off of the handle and leaving the handle at home when I go hiking. It's pretty easy to use the head to make a handle from a tree branch if you need to. Even if you want to take the handle, take the head off to pack it. It'll save space.

When I go anywhere with the possibility of being stranded away from a town, I take some kind of kit. To me, it's better to be prepared. 

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
6/6/19 11:14 a.m.

In reply to oldopelguy :

Excellent idea with the vacuum bagging of things to save space. I happen to have one so that's going to come in handy. 

Thanks for the replies, I'm taking notes.

Wally MegaDork
6/6/19 12:06 p.m.

In reply to Nick Comstock :

Seal a roll of toilet paper in a big ziplock bag too.  I like the ziplock over a vacuum bag because I can reseal it.  TP is the one thing in my emergency bag that’s come out almost every time. 

wae SuperDork
6/6/19 12:09 p.m.

In reply to Wally :

Coleman makes camping TP that is good for that use primarily because the rolls are small.  Not enough to run a house with 4 females for more than a day, but perfect for an emergency when space is a concern.

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
6/6/19 12:18 p.m.

I like my F91W but it feels flimsy and the standard strap barely fits around my wrist. W800H is my go to. I'm weird and own multiple Casio watches though.

dxman92 Reader
6/6/19 12:35 p.m.

F-91w has been my goto watch for 7 years now. Wear mine on a one piece military strap from work to weddings to bike rides.

93gsxturbo SuperDork
6/6/19 1:04 p.m.

In addition to TP I like the hand sanitizer - firstly because I like clean hands, secondly because with some hand sanitizer and a lighter you can easily get even wet sticks on fire pretty easily.  

Even if you don't smoke, a butane lighter is very convenient.  I am not a fan of water purification tablets so I use a small MSR Water filter when I go off-grid.  

jfryjfry HalfDork
6/6/19 1:17 p.m.

Get a pump - compressors and cartridges can fail or have other issues rendering them useless

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
6/6/19 1:46 p.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

You talking like a foot pump? I don't think they make them small enough to carry on the bike. 

barefootskater Dork
6/6/19 1:54 p.m.

In reply to Nick Comstock :

I have a little bike pump that would be good. Hand pump, so it is slow but can do like 100psi. Super small and light, I keep it in my backpack when I pedal to work.


*edit for photos:

7.75” long. Weighs nothing. Good for schrader or presta valves. 

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
6/6/19 3:51 p.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

I have a couple of those for my bicycles. I have no desire to air up a motorcycle tire with one. 

oldopelguy UberDork
6/6/19 4:03 p.m.

Does Honda still sell the kit that they used to sell with goldwings where you pull a spark plug and use the engine as an air compressor? 

jfryjfry HalfDork
6/6/19 4:43 p.m.

Ah, i didn’t realize it was a motorcycle. Not as much fun!

2002maniac Dork
6/6/19 4:57 p.m.


I have a small Slime brand 12v inflator that I keep in my motorcycle tool kit. I even cut off the plug and wired up a SAE connector so I can run it off the trickle charger leads.  It fits in the palm of my hand and airs up a dirt bike tire in a few minutes.

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
6/6/19 5:30 p.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

I'm sure it can be done. I just can't imagine how exhausted I would be after airing up the rear tire with the sun beating down on a 100° plus day. Yeesh.

spacecadet HalfDork
6/7/19 8:04 a.m.

your EDC light choice is interesting to me, it's small, but the modes are really too far apart.. and you'll rip through that battery on high in 20 minutes.. 

also, no strobe mode on that light? seems like something you'd want it to have with the survival pack you're building. 

Just my 2 cents

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
6/7/19 8:28 a.m.

In reply to spacecadet :

Yeah that's just in my pocket. But it's always with me.

I usually keep a headlamp on the bike but I've lost that somewhere along the way. Hands free lighting is very handy when working on a vehicle.  So going be replacing that and also picking up something for the pack with more capacity and more lumens. I have

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