Team Rubicon Week: Part 05 – Jeff More: Ten Essentials System
Editor: As a follow up to Jeff’s pack configuration post, here is the detailed list of what constitutes his Ten Essentials System load out.
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Jeff: This list is long and detailed and seems like a mess when laid out on the deck, but I keep it well organized on deployment, using Eagle Creek two sided cubes for all the little knicknacks. One side is all the electronic essentials (batteries, camera bits), and the other side gets the non-electronic essentials (sunscreen, baby wipes, snacks, etc).
If you’ve read any of my articles on ITS Tactical, you’ll know I’m a big fan of the Ten Essentials system, so will thusly go down my loadout according to said list.
• Leatherman Skeletool CX multitool.
• DIY survival bracelet. I usually have enough cordage stashed on me, so I’ve never used it for anything remotely survival related. My first climbing partner made it for me before he left for the Army, so I wear it entirely for sentimental reasons.
• Smartphone. Our photographers usually share a WiFi hotspot, so I have my phone as a backup in case someone else is using it.
• Architect Wallet. It has a Space Pen and micro Moleskine built into the wallet. I prefer taking notes on pen and paper rather than a touchscreen. It’s a compact package and reduces the amount of things to throw into the pockets in the morning.
• Suunto Ambit. Has GPS, altimeter, barometer and compass functions.
• Surefire L2 flashlight. Not pictured because I lost it. Serves me right for removing the lanyard.
• Bic disposable lighter. A decade ago I fiddled with a few high end “survival” lighters and found them overly complicated, too expensive, and not reliable enough. I’ve since reverted to the Bic, but am open to other reader suggestions.
Caption: All the F-stop pack contents laid out in a messy pile.
INSIDE THE DAY PACK:
• GPS with street maps loaded.
• Hardhat - we’re issued these at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) before heading off to the work site.
• Ball cap - for sun protection when not at the work site.
• Shemagh - to keep fiberglass and the sun out of my collar, plus a multitude of other uses. I pack a second to use as a bath towel if we have showers at camp, and wash and rotate the two if given the opportunity.
• Smith Optic sunglasses - I think the model is the Hudson. For sun and ballistic protection.
• Smith Optic Boogie goggles - for clear eye protection. We’re issued the chem-101 style goggles from the hardware store, but I carry my own as they are lower profile. They have adjustable vents, but I get mixed results with them.
• Lip balm - generic.
• Sunscreen - pump spray, as aerosol is a no-go for air travel and I hate dealing with creams. I carry a 1oz bottle in the field, and stash a second 4oz bottle to refill at camp.
• Bug dope - I’ve never dealt with bugs on my deployments, but just in case. Usually left at camp.
• Work gloves - I use my Petzl rappel gloves I originally got for canyoneering.
• Respirator or dust masks. Depending on the mission.
• Danner Acadia combat boots.
• Softshell jacket - Triple Aught Design Stealth winter weight hoodie. I usually roll with a down puffy jacket and hardshell while camping/backpacking, but I like the convenience and simplicity of only one jacket and will sacrifice the versatility of the two-jacket system while on deployment.
• Liner gloves - for if it gets chilly.
• Base layers - Patagonia R1 hoody. Usually stashed at camp. It isn’t unheard of for a team to assemble for a mission to a warm locale, then get diverted when a disaster hits in a much colder climate.
• Extra changes of clothes.
• Camp sandals - For showers and around camp when airing out my old Danner Acadia combat boots.
• Headlamp. I use the Black Diamond Revolt, whose battery can be topped off with my cell phone charger. I removed the strap and sewed my headlamp to my beanie. When it’s chilly, it’s usually dark out, and when it’s dark out, it’s usually chilly.
• Altoids survival tin:
– Moleskin blister treatment
– Acetaminophen and/or aspirin
– Splinter antibiotic ointment
– Bandages. I like the 3M Nexcare ones.
– Birthday candle
– Folding knife/saw
– Sewing needles
– Safety pins
– Krazy glue
– Water treatment tablets
– Signal mirror
• EMT shears
• Quic Clot Combat Gauze
• Spare lighter plus the odds and ends in my Altoids survival kit, and Mora Fireknife (see below).
Caption: The Loka laid open on the ground. The pack unzips open so I have a little workspace of sorts, being able to access contents while keeping it all off the ground.
• Light My Fire/Mora Fireknife. The Mora is a cinch to sharpen even for those of us who lack the sharpening gene, and has a fire striker in the hilt. I find it much more ergonomic and reliable than all the higher end fire steels I have used in the past, and find the blade much more user friendly than all the expensive knives I have owned. I have a case of matches with some Tinderquik tinders and a button compass stashed inside, I previously had a whistle and Photon LED light on the knife lanyard, but the rattling noises drove me nuts when hiking so I removed them. About 9 feet of duct tape is wrapped about around the sheath and matches.
• Extra Leatherman key bits
• 30 feet of paracord. To fix boot laces, rig shelters, repair gear, set up clotheslines, and a million and one other uses.
• Velcro cable ties.
• Moar duct tape on the camera tripod legs.
• Zip ties.
Food and Hygiene:
• The organization usually provides us MREs, it makes sense to have your own stash if you don’t have access to the food supply. On the first night of my deployment to Moore, Oklahoma after May 2013’s tornadoes, we just landed at Oklahoma City and were 2/3 of the way to the camp when the El Reno tornado hit.
• Hand sanitizer. 1oz bottle for the field. There are usually bottles at the FOB or at camp I can refill from.
• Trail snacks, or Pogey Bait as I’ve learned to call it. Eg. Clif/Gu/Hammer gels, Clif Shot Bloks, that sort of stuff, whatever is on sale for the month at REI.
• Baby wipes. For toilet paper and showering.
• Some drink mixes. I like to pack some Emergen-C and Starbucks Via, which I’ve found to be the most palatable instant coffee mix.
• Toiletry kit - typically a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and Gold Bond. I have a sewing needle duct taped to the case of floss for gear repairs.
• Titanium mug. I can cook out of this if need be.
• 6x Mountain House and 3x instant noodles for 3 days of food.
• Water bottles. While not as convenient, they are much easier to keep clean in the field than hydration bladders.
• SteriPen Opti.
• MSR 10L dromedary bag (not pictured). That’s 2.5 gallons for readers in the USA and Myanmar.
• A bag of bags. I typically carry two each 55 gallon trash bags, 1 gallon and 1 quart freezer bags.
• Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 tent, stays at camp.
• Big Agnes 3.5” insulated Air Core air mattress, stays at camp,
• Big Agnes Horse Thief 40 degree bag, stays at camp.
• Yaesu VX6R ham radio. I’ve been a licensed ham operator since eighth grade (nerd alert, if sewing the headlamp to my beanie didn’t tip you off). Radios are typically only carried by team leaders, but it doesn’t hurt to have your own comms especially in a disaster zone where the telecom grid can be questionable.
• Spot messenger. I usually don’t use these on deployment, but handy to have in case we get separated from the main group for some reason, it also keeps the family from worrying too much.
• Phone charger plus travel battery.
• Nikon D600 DSLR with a wide-mid-range zoom and 50mm. Formerly a 24-70 f/2.8, while a beautiful piece of glass, I’m swapping it out for a 24-120 f/4, as it’s a little more suited for run-and-gun.
• Sony RX100 pocket camera.
• Extra batteries. I carry CR123s, AAs, AAAs, and extra Nikon batteries.
• Laptop for nightly editing, watermarking, and transmitting back to headquarters. External hard drives and USB flash memory for backups.
• Deck of playing cards. The Freedom of the Hills deck has a bunch of outdoor survival and first aid tips printed on the cards you can study if no one else is around to play.
• Cards Against Humanity. Heavy and bulky, but fun if you have a large group. Stays at camp.
• Kindle e-reader
• Flask. I like Bulleit rye whisky. Stays at camp, because chainsaws, excavators, and booze don’t mix.
• Camp Flag
• I stash my climbing harness, two Black Diamond Magnetron locking biners, prusiks and a few runners in my deployment bag. I don’t carry a rope with me, since my only rope at home is a dynamic line for trad climbing and not well suited for rescue. I have a Search and Rescue Technician certification and while I’ve never been on an operation that involved rescue, it is compact and light enough to justify a spot in my deployment bag in case mission parameters change.
Team Rubicon Week:
Intro | Part 01 | Part 02 | Part 03 | Part 04 | Part 05a | Part 05b