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    Thread: We did the 72 hour bag...now help with an SAR bag.

    1. 09-12-2012 01:49 AM #1
      So, out of sheer boredom, I joined a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) just civvies with a 30 hour class, and some kit to help out in case of huge disasters etc.

      Well they issued us our "gear" last week, and as I assumed, all bottom-end, cheapo crap...stuffed in a cheap Chinese bag. While I don't expect any disasters, I will technically be "on call" if something happens, so I'd like to build up a small SAR bag to replace the one they gave us.

      I want something that won't fray and snap off at the first piece of rebar that catches on it.

      So, small(ish...perhaps 2000CI or just under)...robust (holds some metal tools etc.)...blaze orange/yellow is fine...and as non-snaggy as possible. Reflectors are fine. I'm just going to stuff it with a tool or two, a bunch of super basic first aid stuff, and some of my own flash-lights/etc. So what are some good bags?

      Also, is there heavy duty reflective tape on the market? Think Gorilla Tape but with a reflective surface? I'm not in the EMS/EMT field. I just want something simple, rugged and visible. It will accompany my 72 hour bag on an evacuation as well if there is spare room (or another person to hump it).

      The only thing catching my attention is the Voodoo Tactical bag seen here...however it is red, and I don't know if red bags are immediately seen as an EMT/EMS etc. Are there colour identifiers for emergency responders I should be aware of?



      For something I'll probably never use, I'd say my budget is around $100-120 for the bag, and I'll just slowly add some stuff to it...

    2. Member compy222's Avatar
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      09-12-2012 10:29 AM #2
      i don't think red is indicative of any "hard rules" surrounding whats in it. however, typically rescue folks stuff is orange or yellow, versus medical which is red.

      i think maxpedition offers some bags in yellow and orange, might be a bit pricier than that though. the falcon II is a little smaller than what you're looking for, but the right color. should be able to find one around 125-ish. http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/...ACK-12p110.htm
      Last edited by compy222; 09-12-2012 at 10:32 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by capsaicin View Post
      AP1 S2000? I can not in good conscience talk you out of that. May your slip angle be great and your bed not be the couch!

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      09-12-2012 01:16 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by compy222 View Post
      i don't think red is indicative of any "hard rules" surrounding whats in it. however, typically rescue folks stuff is orange or yellow, versus medical which is red.

      i think maxpedition offers some bags in yellow and orange, might be a bit pricier than that though. the falcon II is a little smaller than what you're looking for, but the right color. should be able to find one around 125-ish. http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/...ACK-12p110.htm
      I own the Falcon-II as a daily carry backpack for whatever I choose to do... Range duty, single day hikes, day trips through Seattle with the family. It's an awesome tough bag and was well worth the money for what I use it for. It MAY be a little on the small side for what you need it for. It sounds like what you need is really just one large compartment that can maybe be broken up into smaller divided sections.

      Maybe consider going to a small Pelican style box instead?
      oh herro.

    4. Member GreenandChrome's Avatar
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      09-12-2012 02:48 PM #4
      for reflective tape, look for 3M automotive stuff, like what they use on semi trailers. it's a bit thicker than most tapes, so it would probably be best used folded over a wire like a ski pass.
      80 people! Do you know how much that is? Two 40s, you son of a b***h!
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    5. 09-12-2012 04:51 PM #5
      Yeah, I have a lot of maxpedition stuff, and while I like the toughness of it - their designs are a little aggravating to me sometimes. You should see the condition of my Condor...I got so fed up with straps and buckles and nonsense I took scissors and a lighter to it. That "ruggedness" is what I'd be looking for though.

      I'd get a box, but this is something I'd be wearing on me when moving around doing simple search and rescue, triage yada yada. At home I do have several pelican boxes where I keep "spare" emergency stuff which is not in my bags. (road flares, tools, water purification tablets etc.).

      Yeah, I'm thinking I'll skip the red, as I always seem to associate it with medical. I like the idea of the layout of most "medic" packs though. Large open bags, and I can just fit smaller pouches/packs inside of them when needed.

    6. Member compy222's Avatar
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      09-13-2012 11:29 AM #6
      some of the 5.11 rush pacs are pretty good lay-outs too. pricing tends to be a bit more reasonable than maxped.
      Quote Originally Posted by capsaicin View Post
      AP1 S2000? I can not in good conscience talk you out of that. May your slip angle be great and your bed not be the couch!

    7. 09-14-2012 02:56 AM #7
      5.11 is always fun because everything is on sale...always...kinda like Kohl's.

      I actually spoke with Colin over at 762 Tactical about possibly building me a simple, streamlined but robust SAR vest. The vest would be more useful for actual work. We'll see what happens.

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      09-14-2012 02:52 PM #8
      Aren't you a fan of hawkepaks?

      http://www.hawkepaks.com/prod.itml/icOid/220

    9. 09-14-2012 03:39 PM #9
      Yep, I am - already looked through their stuff. That pack you posted is freakin' tiny. It's a camelbak and two small pouches. Now, I could wear something like that with a simple vest - indeed, but it's not a one-stop solution. They have a nice larger bag, but it's a bit too big, and is more of a deployment bag.

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      09-15-2012 03:53 AM #10
      Orange or yellow is usually 'first responder', though we had navy blue packs with orange Hi-Viz tape on it for the school's CERT at college.

      Quote Originally Posted by Elbows View Post
      5.11 is always fun because everything is on sale...always...kinda like Kohl's.

      I actually spoke with Colin over at 762 Tactical about possibly building me a simple, streamlined but robust SAR vest. The vest would be more useful for actual work. We'll see what happens.
      I run an Arktis vest (the one I mentioned earlier to you) with a Camelbak ziptied through D-Rings. I joined SAR (uncle's on the team and friend is going to join) earlier this year and am getting ready for the fall training setup It's OD but with the Orange shirt/jacket and Hi-Viz tape, it works well. LINK Oddly enough, they advertise is as a SAR vest... Guess because of the general layout. Camelbak also makes a 2L HiViz bladder/pack but it's tiny like the Thermobak.

      Quote Originally Posted by Elbows View Post
      Yep, I am - already looked through their stuff. That pack you posted is freakin' tiny. It's a camelbak and two small pouches. Now, I could wear something like that with a simple vest - indeed, but it's not a one-stop solution. They have a nice larger bag, but it's a bit too big, and is more of a deployment bag.
      I looked into a pack but the vest is a nice first-line as in my case, the team often has specialized gear already in smaller packs. Carrying two packs or leaving one for the other makes the vest the best compromise; not perfect, but the closest and most flexible option.
      Last edited by Vee-Dubber-GLI; 09-15-2012 at 04:01 AM.

    11. 09-15-2012 04:22 PM #11
      Yeah, oddly I'd been looking at Arktis stuff before. I used to have a Norloos rig, and a couple other Arktis products, and I love their ebay specials page (excellent deals). I'm still leaning that way, and maybe even have Colin add some orange/reflective stuff on there for me. I agree, a vest is the best first line, with a backpack when needed.

      Aerovest makes some CERT stuff but it looks pretty chintzy.

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      09-15-2012 04:47 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Elbows View Post
      Yeah, oddly I'd been looking at Arktis stuff before. I used to have a Norloos rig, and a couple other Arktis products, and I love their ebay specials page (excellent deals). I'm still leaning that way, and maybe even have Colin add some orange/reflective stuff on there for me. I agree, a vest is the best first line, with a backpack when needed.

      Aerovest makes some CERT stuff but it looks pretty chintzy.
      I got lucky and got my vest off a buddy for cheap (he got it from their eBay page ), practically brand new but fitted to him; all I've done is add the camelbak with zipties through the D-rings. Tape and nametape will be added as well.

      The vest seems the best compromise for CERT/SAR as you can still use a pack/ruck if need be without losing your ability to haul your personal gear. I saw Aerovest and was 'meh' about it; the quality didn't seem to be there. Ths nice part about the Arktis vest is the straps in back to haul a small bedroll/bivvy for overnight work and there is an open area on the belt around the kidney area for attaching via MALICE/ALICE clips (seems like it could fit a standard canteen). Also, I've been able to run the waistbelt of a MOLLE assault pack through the vest's waistbelt area and attach the pack for a larger setup, as well as having easy on/off. Granted, I just got it to attach, havent tried it in field yet.

      EDIT: Do you have a 'uniform'? The team runs an orange shirt and jacket and OD pants, boots are personal choice. I should be getting sworn in sometime next week hopefully; got all my paperwork in earlier in the summer, just had to wait until the start of the next training cycle.
      Last edited by Vee-Dubber-GLI; 09-15-2012 at 04:50 PM.

    13. 09-15-2012 05:29 PM #13
      Nope, no uniform - but this is just CERT, not full SAR. We just have the lovely neon vest (mine doesn't fit, so I have to find a replacement), helmet, and personal protective stuff.

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      09-16-2012 02:31 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Elbows View Post
      Nope, no uniform - but this is just CERT, not full SAR. We just have the lovely neon vest (mine doesn't fit, so I have to find a replacement), helmet, and personal protective stuff.
      Ah ok. Then I would say color-wise: Hi-Viz Orange, Hi-Viz Yellow, Navy Blue, Red, Black, or even OD.

      The SAR team here is volunteer, around 30 people but I guess they assist all over Northern CA. I'm excited just to learn new skillsets and maybe even have the chance to help. If anything, see what you have laying around as far as bags and pick up a roll of reflective tape and use that to keep cost low. For my CERT bag at school, I used a DCU MOLLE Assault Pack with 2 GP and 2 canteens/pouches on it. Worked well enough for holding gear and getting around the small campus.

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      09-17-2012 03:19 PM #15
      I'm a FF/EMT. I don't think it matters what color or kind of pack you choose. I'm going to ID you by your helmet and what you are doing. Kudos to you for upgrading your gear to be more effective.
      I don't know what kind of tools you are issued if any, but I would recommend personally carrying something like a Stanly FUBar http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-55-099...bxgy_hi_text_y Lots of different uses and can be used to save yourself if you become entrapped somewhere.

    16. 09-17-2012 08:27 PM #16
      Yeah, I'll have the silly green CERT helmet. I have a full size Fubar I bought for fun a few years ago, but I'm definitely looking at a "sane" model to throw in/strap to the bag/vest. I just know from my experience in previous jobs I like vests or duty belts...having immediate access to what I want at that moment, not the "oh, it's in my bag...".

      Besides, as prior LEO I may volunteer for large scale body searches etc, so it won't hurt to have something to don.

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      09-17-2012 10:03 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Elbows View Post
      I just know from my experience in previous jobs I like vests or utility belts...
      ftfy.

      I'm thinking I might volunteer as a race track firefighter, 'cause the locals are doing a s**ty job.

      80 people! Do you know how much that is? Two 40s, you son of a b***h!
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      09-17-2012 11:10 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Talus View Post
      I'm a FF/EMT. I don't think it matters what color or kind of pack you choose. I'm going to ID you by your helmet and what you are doing. Kudos to you for upgrading your gear to be more effective.
      I don't know what kind of tools you are issued if any, but I would recommend personally carrying something like a Stanly FUBar http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-55-099...bxgy_hi_text_y Lots of different uses and can be used to save yourself if you become entrapped somewhere.
      Question: Different colored helmets for different roles? CERT at school had a mix of green, yellow, and white. SAR has orange and white. Is there really a set code or is it "The have a [safety color] helmet, he/she's one of us." ?

      Second the FUBAR, I have one in my earthquake kit for the house.

      Quote Originally Posted by Elbows View Post
      Yeah, I'll have the silly green CERT helmet. I have a full size Fubar I bought for fun a few years ago, but I'm definitely looking at a "sane" model to throw in/strap to the bag/vest. I just know from my experience in previous jobs I like vests or duty belts...having immediate access to what I want at that moment, not the "oh, it's in my bag...".

      Besides, as prior LEO I may volunteer for large scale body searches etc, so it won't hurt to have something to don.
      Try Hi-Viz orage. It's so weird going from neutral/earth tones in preparing my BOB and SHTF stocks to now all "look at me!!" If you're still leaning towards the vest option, take a look at Camelbak's Delta 5. Holds a bladder and runs MOLLE which may be easier in 1) being able to configure things how you want and 2) you probably already have a few MOLLE pouches around.

      Quote Originally Posted by GreenandChrome View Post
      ftfy.

      I'm thinking I might volunteer as a race track firefighter, 'cause the locals are doing a s**ty job.

      Love the complete lack of water pressure in the line... Guess they're waiting for it to charge itself??

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      09-18-2012 08:43 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Dubber-GLI View Post
      "The have a [safety color] helmet, he/she's one of us." ?
      More this.
      Within our department, Firefighters and paramedic FFs have black helmets, captains have red, and Chiefs have white. During a disaster/multi-casualty incident it's safe to assume that people with hard hats are there to help. If I need to know what they are doing, I can ask.

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      09-19-2012 04:19 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Talus View Post
      More this.
      Within our department, Firefighters and paramedic FFs have black helmets, captains have red, and Chiefs have white. During a disaster/multi-casualty incident it's safe to assume that people with hard hats are there to help. If I need to know what they are doing, I can ask.
      Yeah, figured so. My uncle was a firefighter and remember him telling me the system a long time ago.

      On a quasi-related note... Left the SAR meeting really disappointed. After meeting with various smaller groups and individuals, seeing the team together was a total letdown, especially for it happening in front of other new applicants/trainees. Bickering, snide remarks, childish behavior, immaturity all around from both older and younger members... Really a letdown for me; I guess I had expected at least a semblance of professionalism instead of arguments of what gear is best, trying to milk the reimbursement system, trying to get ahead with the Sheriff's Department... I'm going to go to the first few trainings and see how things go from there, but this very much illustrated the "Campaigning vs. In-Office effect".

    21. 09-19-2012 06:02 AM #21
      That sucks bro. Are there other counties, or areas around you where you could maybe get into another team?

      Maybe put up with the classes to get the qualification and start looking around?

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      09-19-2012 12:26 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Elbows View Post
      That sucks bro. Are there other counties, or areas around you where you could maybe get into another team?

      Maybe put up with the classes to get the qualification and start looking around?
      I'll have to look around, it covers the whole county which is a decent sized area up here. Didn't mean to s*** up your thread. Forgot to mention: They run on a pack system and run a 24hr pack and people were running everything from Osprey/Gregory backpacking setups to ALICE/LC-1/2 setups. It was all personal preference. I asked about using the vest for personal gear and described what I had in mind and the one Gucci-Gear-ite looked at me as if I was speaking in tongues; looked as if I blew his mind when I said "You can wear a small specialized gear pack with the vest while still retaining your own personal gear as well."

      Hardest part of the whole thing is work; the hospitality industry here runs from about April to October, so right now I have enough hours at work, but it takes an act of Congress to get some time off. Being volunteer, the dates are fluid, meaning all the time I put in for and finally got approved for may not even be the right dates...

      Back to your pack though: I was thinking- did they give you a 'gear list' that should be in the bag? A lot of the packs are based on that because the one I was given last night had climbing gear and personal survival gear as well and packs were running around 2200-3000ci from what I saw. Thinking of a maxpedition Versa-pack though. Decently sized, slings over one shoulder but has a waist belt to secure it, can be slung around forward to easily access pack, and has MOLLE for attaching dedicated pouches for IFAK, different gear etc.

    23. 09-19-2012 03:57 PM #23
      Bookmarking for later. I'm a volunteer EMT now, but when I move to Colorado, I'm likely to quit that and get involved in SAR/CERT instead.

      Bag color doesn't really designate anything. My agency has dark hunter green jump bags as well as safety orange ones. But if you get a bag with the star of life on it, people will think you're an EMT or other first responder.

      For SAR work I would suggest high-viz gear so that your team can see you easily, and maybe even the victims can see you easily.

    24. 09-19-2012 04:18 PM #24
      Yeah, that's the other option - pack for stuff, and smaller pouch/versapack stye item for quick deployment of stuff. Hell, honestly a good belt with one or two maxpedition rolly-pollys could even do the trick.

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      10-07-2012 11:37 PM #25
      I have a 5.11 Rush 24 Pack as my emergency LE earthquake bag, which is a pseudo department requirement. Its a good bag, cheap(ish), and has a ton of interior compartments. I actually really like the layout, and is comfortable, even under load. I also have a mystery ranch 3 day pack, which is beautiful back, but its expensive for a store all bag, not typically used.

    26. 10-08-2012 12:55 AM #26
      Yeah I transferred my stuff to a Kelty bag I had laying around for the moment. Will probably build a two part system...a small bag to keep in the car, and a vest for actual serious calls.

      Finished the CERT program, will take some more classes - may eventually end up going SAR or something similar. I actually got into the CERT thing because I'm interested in emergency management as a potential future career - but that looks like a slim chance of happening.

      The 5.11 is a good looking option. I think I'll keep looking and buy the first bag from any good company that hits a 50% off sale. Like you said - hard to invest in something too heavily that I may never use. It's like the insurance of bag worlds...

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      11-01-2012 04:24 PM #27
      If your budget accommodates it, GoRuck bags are fricken' awesome: https://www.goruck.com/

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