I have to confess, at one time, I had a huge CFP-90 pack, that was my own personal BOB, and I had so much stuff in it that I could hardly get it on, much less hike any distance – it probably weighed in at 50-pounds or more. But I was good to go, for a week or two without having to resupply, except for a source of water. What was I thinking? My only excuse was, I was young and dumb, and I was actually a lot younger, but a lot stronger back then, too. Today, I have a more sensible BOB for my own use – still working on the wife – she has a pack that is too big, but change comes hard to her.
I live out in the boonies – I’m six miles from one town, and ten miles from another town, with the main road about 3-miles from my digs. We don’t have many people who live on our rural road, so whenever I see something a bit out of the ordinary, it catches my attention. For the past several months, I’ve been seeing a young man, probably in his early to mid twenties, hiking up and down our road, several times per week, with a HUGE backpack on his back. And, you can tell the bag isn’t heavy, but it is stuffed – to make it look heavy. Just by the way the backpack carries on him, you know there isn’t anything very heavy in there – oftentimes, he has a young teenage boy behind him. I don’t know, maybe he his trying to impress the young teen with the monster pack, but it is probably full of clothing – to make it look full and heavy. To each his own, I guess.
If you think you can carry everything you need to bug out, in a backpack, you are only dreaming and kidding yourself. A BOB is meant for the bare essentials, to keep you alive for a few days – nothing more. It’s not meant to be a bag that is packed for a two week vacation. You only need the basics, food, water, a change of clothing, a first-aid kit, a knife, perhaps a firearm with spare ammo – things like that. You honestly don’t need the kitchen sink, and the bigger and heavier your bag is, the shorter the distance you will cover if you are on foot. I admit I’m getting older – later this year, I’ll collect my first social security check, and I know my limitations. And, bugging out with a huge backpack isn’t going to work for me – nor will it work for most folks, either.
The good folks at US Tactical Supply recently provided me with one of their Removable Operator Packs for testing. This isn’t a big pack, it only has about 1,178 cubic inches of room inside of it – however, it does have bungee cord on the outside, for attaching other things, perhaps a jacket, poncho, or things like that. The sample I received is in Multicam camo, however, it is available in several other colors and camo patterns. The concept behind the Removable Operator Pack is that, you can attach it to you tactical assault vest, so it is part of it – or you can carry it solo, on your back. Attachment hardware is included for attaching the pack to your tactical vest. And, with the popularity of tactical assault vests, and vests that carry body armor, this is a great pack to add. I know that US Tactical Supply is now selling Infidel Body Armor, and I did an article on this outstanding and very affordable hard body armor on SurvivalBlog some time back, and US Tactical was so impressed with this armor, they are now a dealer. US Tactical Supply thought this pack would be the perfect accessory to this body armor vest, it is easy to attach and even easier to remove the pack, if you need to get it off in a hurry.
I know a lot of law enforcement personnel don’t give much thought – and I should know, I was a cop – several times – as to down time on a call out. What happens if you are a SWAT cop, and you are on-scene for hours or even days – what do you do for food and water. What if you are holding an sniper position on a roof top, and you can’t leave to get a drink of water or you need an energy bar or an MRE to eat? You don’t have that with you – just your weapon and hard body armor vest. Well, with this Removable Operator Pack, you can have it attached to your tactical vest, and when you don’t need it, just drop it – easy as that. And, as already mentioned, you don’t need to be wearing a tactical vest to enjoy this pack, it works just fine on it’s own – as a BOB – that you can keep in your vehicle or near your front door – just grab it and run.
There is a large main compartment, as well as a front compartment, that has side entry, and it is easy to get to the gear you have packed inside of it. There is also modular webbing for attaching additional pouches on the outside of the pack – then again, you are starting to add more weight – just how much can you carry for any distance or length of time? The zippers are heavy duty, and there is a grab/pull handle that won’t pull off or rip, if you have to grab it and actually pull someone who is down – try that with many lesser packs! There is Velcro material for putting on unit patches on the back of the pack, too. There is a packet for carrying a 2 litter water bladder inside the pack as well – and you can never have enough water on any mission of bug-out scenario. And, if you are younger and stronger than me, like a Spec Ops guy, you can attach this little pack to an Extended Range Operator Pack (such as those made by Tactical Tailor,) for carrying additional gear, besides whatever is in your main pack.
Many Spec Ops guys might go out on a mission for weeks at a time, and resupply is difficult, if not impossible at times – they don’t want to give away their positions, by having an air drop of supplies, or having a helicopter landing near them – that could spell disaster. So, these guys might hump out of base camp with a pack weighing a hundred pounds or more – and the DoD is talking about cutting military pay and benefits? I think not!!!!! Anyone in the military earns every red cent then are paid – so why are we even talking about cutting their pay and benefits? Don’t even get me started…
For a BOB, the Removable Operator Pack, is an out standing choice – if you pack it wisely. We simply aren’t talking about carrying everything you “think” you need to survive in the wilderness for weeks at a time, or forever. Those with a mind set like that, aren’t going to survive for long at all. You simply have to pack wisely, and train smarter – only take the things you absolutely need. And, not all bug out situations means that you have to bug out to the wilderness. Maybe you just need to bug out for a day or two – and head to a motel or to Aunt Martha’s house because of a nearby fire or flooding. Just don’t go thinking that every time you bug out, you have to head to the wilderness and survive like a caveman – such is not the case. More often than not, you just have to leave your dwelling for a day or two, three at most. If you honestly believe you have to bug out to the mountains, you had better have pre-positioned a lot of supplies ahead of time.
Think smart and pack even smarter. Everyone should have some kind of BOB, and for some, it might just be a suitcase, for others an overnight bag, for some, it might mean a small backpack, and the Removable Operator Pack will sure fill the bill nicely. It is made from 1000 denier Cordura Nylon construction – many lesser packs are made from 600 denier – and they rip easily.
I’ve tested several products from US Tactical Supply over the years, and they only carry the best of the best. To put it bluntly, and in poor English, “they don’t carry no junk.” If you want junk, go to Wal-Mart or your big box store and buy junk, but you’ll be buying junk again and again because it won’t last you. The Removable Operator Pack is $95. That is not cheap, but not too bad – we are talking high-quality here – not junk! Check it out on the US Tactical web site for more information. You could do a lot worse, or get a bigger pack, that you won’t be able to hum for very long. Pack smart, buy smart! – SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio
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