You only have the tools and equipment, you have available to solve any problem. So it only goes to reason the more you have with you, the better equipped you are to solve the problem.
Unfortunately “stuff” has volume and mass (and quantity)
I like to travel light…
When I am out by myself, in my pockets I keep a single car key (which is also the key fob), a phone, folded cash and a minimalist wallet with as little in it as possible. Clipped to my pocket I keep my knife (which I am considering swapping out) and on my belt is a pistol (when legally permitted). That’s it!
My Jeep, however is stocked with everything I would need to “get home” and alone, I’m never more than 1000’ from my Jeep.
When I’m out with my kids I typically ramp it up a bit, when I’m not going to be near my Jeep I ramp it up more, when I’m leaving my community I ramp it up again. More risk, more stuff…. But always knowing my phone can get me out of most major issues.
I don’t carry more because I am sensitive to quantity… I don’t like sorting through stuff when I reach into my pockets. When I ramp it up I mitigate the quantity by combining it into kits, adding weight and volume. Some people are adverse to weight and others volume.
Recently I have joined the backpackinglight.com forums, to try to understand and mitigate this issue.
So far I have found it fascinating!
- To minimize the required tools, they minimize the risk by controlling the environment, tasks and responsibility they have for others.
- In some cases they also accept more risk, by selecting tools that are more fragile and knowing they have an “out.”
- They minimize weight by carefully selecting each item and identifying the minimum requirements and investing in lighter weight materials.
- They minimize bulk, by using smaller tools, advanced materials and increasing the density (compression, deflating, nutrient/caloric).
All of that makes complete sense right? But I’m not worried about suddenly having to camp.
I can’t control my environment! If I have an issue it is going to be with my wife, my kids and the 10 other people near me that planned to rely on their phone.
If I need a tool it is because I need it to work! I train and prepare for when there is no out.
(This is my “Weight of Fear”)
But that doesn’t mean there is nothing to learn right?
Because of my focus and intent, and general insensitivity to weight, many of my kits are pretty heavy… my range bag for example is over 20lbs without guns or ammo.
When the kit is my Jeep or at home or I just need to carry it between stages, the weight isn’t an issue. But having to cover ground with it could be problematic, not that it is my 1st plan anyway.
I can definitely consider the minimum acceptable size/weight of individual tool, I can look into lighter more advance materials, but I also think I need to look at the packs a bit more to allow me to carry more weight, more easily. I also need to consider the who, what, when, where, why and how of some gear that I know I should keep with me, but don’t.
What gear do you think you should carry, but don’t. Why not?