Things I never leave home without .. small 7 LED flash light, pocket multitool, cellphone, razor knife
I take this bag with me whenever I go anywhere "off the beaten trail", like taking the kids for a hike or scouting a new area to hunt. I even take it with me when we just go for a bike ride through the park.
Thankfully I have never had to use any of these items in an emergency scenario (and I hope I never have to) but it brings great peace of mind to know that I have them with me if I need them.
Like mom liked to say every time I balked at having to take a sweater or jacket with me on a nice fall day .. "it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it"
Step 1: Bag overview
The side pockets are small camera bags that I picked up at the dollar store. Right now the two that I have fit my needs but if I need additional space down the road I can always go buy a few more and slide them onto the main belt.
You will notice that I keep alot of things stored in ziploc bags inside my pack. There are 2 reasons for this. 1) it helps to keep thing organized and uncluttered 2) it gives me lots of extra containers to use for collecting things like forage foods or additional water should the need arise
I sort my supplies into 4 main categories
Shelter / fire
Shelter / Fire
Salt and Pepper
aluminum Foil - cooking pan (wrap foil over a forked stick to make a frying pan), fishing lure (wrap a small bit of frayed foil around the top of a fishing hook), trail marker (cut or rip into strips and hang at eye level. waterproof, easily shaped, reflective for highly visibility, use a sharpie to note direction of travel date and time), funnel
Bandana - Hat, Headband, Dust Mask (or as i like to call it "playing cowboy train robber"), Wet and wear for Hot Weather, Pot Holder, Collecting Wild Edibles, Sling (first-aid, weapon .. pick your favorite definition), Cordage (strips or as is), Washcloth/Towel, Dish Rag, Napkin, Pre-Filter for water (like Coffee Filters), Clean Glasses and other lens, Bind a stone and toss a line over a limb, Tourniquet
Black Trash Bags - container for gathering water or edibles, tube tent (open the bottoms and combine 2 bags with some duct tape), poncho, waterproof sleeping mat
Chapstick - preventing painful chapped lips, combine with tinder(Q-tip, non synthetic cordage, small bits of fabric) to make a longer burning fire starter
Duct Tape - I think we all can come up with 101 uses for this wonderful material.
If you have never heard of duct tape allow me to read to you from the holy scriptures "Yea, though I walk through the valley of wibbly-wobbly things, I will fear no shimmies: For thou art with me; Thy glue and thy fabric backing, they comfort me. Thou securest all things that shouldn't be moving." *passes around the collection plate*
Hand Sanitizer - banishing nasty hand germs back to the third plane of hell, fire starter (see chapstick for ideas)
Mirror - daytime signaling, seeing things you can't normally see .. like your face (handy if you accidentally walk into a tree branch with your head and get cut.. not that that has ever happened to me *innocent face*)
Multi-tool - depending on the tools included in your multi-tool will determine what it can be used for. The one I have in my pack has pliers, 2 sharpened knife blades, bottle opener, 2 flat head screw drivers, Phillips head screw driver, fish scaler/hook extractor)
Nail Clippers - trimming hang nails or cleaning up broken fingernails so they stop snagging on everything (if you have ever experienced this .. you know what i mean), clipping fishing line
Q-tips - cleaning boo-boos, fire starter
Razor Blades - i know this is a stretch .. but bear with me on this one .. cutting things .. I know,I know .. it's sounds crazy, but it is true. cut cord to make a shelter, cut up bait for fishing/trapping, cut up food (either what you forage or if you are successful fishing/trapping), go all Aron Ralston and lop off an extremity pinned under a boulder.
Towel - see step 3 "side pocket 2" for complete description
Twine - constructing a temporary shelter (tube tent, lean-to), Trap making, fire starting, fishing(extending your existing fishing line or improvising if you don't have any)
Zip Ties - shelter building, securing items to your pack, temporary handcuffs .. oh wait .. that's a different instructable