Living Ready

Matt Trtek EDC, Gear, Lifestyle/Adventure Leave a Comment

“Go Bag” or “Bug Out Bag”, a necessity when planning or preparing for a basic survival scenario. Having specialized equipment readily accessible for use in a moment’s notice typically entails having the means to defend yourself and take appropriate precautions. Whichever vernacular you use for describing, how each bag looks typically depends on your perception or hierarchy of needs.

By design and theory, a bag usually sustains you for a day or two based on the contents of your atmospheric conditions [we’re not speaking from a meteorologist perspective]. You should task organize risks specific to your geographic area or specific causes for concern. Shooting from the hip here; we build our bags from two simple foundations. Severe environmental conditions and civil unrest with rioting.

Carrying enough to sustain for however long you plan to be outside of your normal area of operations is crucial to your survival

This bag can and will essentially be your life’s blood for a short time. You live, eat drink and fight from it if necessary. Without strapping on a tin foil hat here, a go bag can look like a simple yet glorified safety kit, should you feel that the world is bunny rabbits and rainbows. If your morning commute consists of mountainous terrain and relentless weather; a means to keep warm, eat and stay hydrated top the task organization charts for survival should you find yourself incapacitated absent cell service. Where simple and convenient services such as AAA or calling a friend for support are out of the question.

My first experience utilizing a variation of a go bag in real world experience was with my time in Ranger Battalion then to the private side of government service. Each of us carried mission critical equipment that would allow us to effectively complete each mission. Often our mission profiles changed so therefore what we carried did also. From kinetic offensive operations to high profile protection [defensive] the go bag remained a staple in our readiness. Today, the contents of my stateside go bag remain pertinent to my family’s potential risks.

An Arm’s Length

The SOG SCOUT 24, boasts a 24L capacity which allows for flexibility of maintaining four seasons of preparedness. Its padded shoulder straps, cumber bun and rigid suspension system offers a level of comfort in extended use, should the time ever arise. We continuously take the opportunity to hike with the SCOUT through the mountains and it maintains its rigidity and comfort throughout our adventures.

The Scouts rigid frame offers the durability and comfort we need during our times of detachment

What drew us to this pack was our requirements for a domestic go bag with the simplistic look and the profuse options the pack possesses. The Scout 24 is clad in Black and Grey, colors that don’t scream tacticool yet are not flashy and scream hipster. Since my days of running and gunning in the GWOT have slowed down, the Grey option made the most sense. Our new area of operation [so to speak] now consist of grocery stores, playgrounds and frequent hikes in the mountains with my wife and daughter!

The Scouts unassuming look provides the blending aspect that we prefer throughout our travels

The SCOUT hosts a myriad of modularity options. Ample webbing and lash points for scaling rocks or strapping onto vehicles, additional MOLLE panels allowing for extra gear to be added and its oversized zipper pulls allow for quick and easy access to everything inside.

The SCOUT is constructed out of the ever so popular and abundant Kodra 5000 nylon with a polyurethane coating to repel elements and increase durability. Additional attachments are fastened to the bag via Hypalon material that proves to be sleeker and more durable than most other load bearing attachment points aka nylon webbing.

Easy Access

If you take and compare the traditional go bag; most of the time you will find a very robust shoulder hoisted bag made or Cordura and one…maybe two access points. Getting at one of your mission critical tools at the bottom can be a feat. The SCOUT offers the ability to compartmentalize your belongings to priority. We stowed our bump helmet with NVDs to where we can access them quickly via the front mission pouch.  Each compartment within the SCOUT is as easy as the next in getting the gear you need when you need it; without removing all the contents in their entirety.

The Scout is appropriately compartmentalized for easy access to survival tools

Every Day Use

There are many precursors to go bags or other survival equipment. Again, it is perspective driven and lies well within the eye of the beholder. For us, we break down our kit in five main categories:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Protection

This bag and its contents derive from what fulfills our needs for threats we face. Assess Your situations and hopefully, this will give some insight into what to carry.

Food: I usually carry two types of food. Quick, easy and on the go foods such as beef jerky, protein bars, and trail mixes offer fast nutrition that we often need quick sustained levels of energy. For sustained meals and adequate fat, carbs and protein nutrition, Mountain House dehydrated meals are also found in the SCOUT 24. To prepare these meals to require a compact stove, small fuel canister and titanium pot.

Water: I carry a 3L Camelback hydration bladder with water that I can quickly fill up in convenient places. The bag has a built-in hydration bladder that is easily refillable or used as a supplementation to an external source of water.

Hydration is key while out and about

Fire: Our everyday situation does not typically require an abundant need for fire-starting tools. My family and I are always on the go, so they often find a home in one of the many easily accessible compartments in the SCOUT. Our set-up does not consist of fancy fuels or tinder’s…our approach is simple that takes up next to no space. Dryer lint and weather proof matches stored in weather proof bags!

Shelter: Snug Pak Poncho has concreted its place in our SCOUT 24. Simply due to the amount of rainfall Portland receives. Snug Pak makes a 10’x10′ tarp that offers ample protection from elements that is stored with minimal space requirements. What good would any field expedient…anything is without Para cord? We keep 100 ft. of it on hand to make a lean-to.

Protection: ahh…the rabbit hole, we qualify this with saying…you and you only know your capabilities in firearms. We are not suggesting nor implying that one is better than the other.

Before talking about the guns there are other aspects to “protection” that are often overlooked. We need to protect ourselves from elements i.e clothing. Make sure that your feet are dry and you dress appropriately for the conditions you’re operating in.

For example: If you live in the mountains, and you enjoy being outdoors, this typically involves being detached from technology, support services, and cellular reception. Being in the mountains usually involves ascending and descending significant elevations so the appropriate gear is on us quite frequently.

We carry ample means to stop bleeding injuries, pliable splints for fractures and broken bones, Epi Pens for shock and simple aids like bug repellant that can turn a crappy scenario into a less of a manageable one.

The Scout offers ample room to attach our Mk18 battle rifle to, and does not impede our placement of holster for our Glock 19 sidearm

As for EDC (Defense) firearm, we carry a Glock 19, and if we are way out, a firearm with more distance capability and versatility is a must also. The Daniel Defense Mk18 is our go to shoulder gun for many reasons [Different article for a different time]. In either case, we have depended on both in austere environments and they never failed. Each system is stowed appropriately and with extra magazines [without going overboard].

We have said it before, EDC goes a lot further than the guns. We carry a Fenix Tactical Handheld Light, Benchmade folding knife and the SOG FastHawk which attaches directly to the SCOUT for quick and accessible use. Additional clothing again can be subjective to your environment but we typically have a military smoking jacket, extra pair of socks, a quick drying t-shirt and an extra pair of underwear all in a waterproof bag kept in the main compartment of our SOG backpack.

Having Options

You can never completely prepare for every incident or stop a catastrophe from happening, but you can mitigate certain situations that will drastically increase your chance of survival.

The SOG SCOUT has proven to be an efficient source for carrying everything I need for a 2-day backpacking trip to a fully functioning go bag. Having ample room to store the necessities with a little extra for comfort items, everything is accessible and price point reflects its function. Can you acquire a pack for lesser of a price? Yes, but for our every day and adventuring requirements, our maintenance of staying prepared for virtually anything hinges upon the SCOUT 24. It is a bag that proves itself over and over.

SOG Scout 24 Vital Data    

Type Individual carry/Backpack
Size 24L
Computer Accessible Laptop Sleeve
Straps 2mm Polyurethane
Suspension 15mm Aluminum Stave
Dimensions (Inches) 21x11x7
Long Term Carry Yes
Compartmentalization 6 individual compartments
Water Resistance Limited/ Polyurethane coated exterior
Modularity MOLLE compatible, Fast attach HAWK series
Weight 44.5 oz
MSRP $189.99
Manufacturer SOG

About This Author

Matt Trtek

Matt is a former Army Ranger who has multiple combat deployments under his belt with the 75th Ranger Regiment, 2nd Ranger Battalion. He has been active in multiple operations vital to the success of the Global War On Terrorism. Matt spent a number of years providing protective services to high ranking diplomats and heads of state in austere environments across the planet. Matt has left government service to spend time with his family. Matt works with other veterans around his home area of Portland to train with firearms, and survival techniques. Matt offers a vast knowledge of different weapon platforms, gear, equipment and Night Vision Devices.

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