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Grab Bag

I like to keep a bag with all those little things that come in handy round a camp. This is always ready for a trip out and is often thrown into my vehicle just for those unexpected opportunities. I suppose it is somewhat like what the old voyageurs called a “possibles bag”

Grab Bag, packed and ready.

Mine is based around a basic “Snugpack” Response pack with an old arrow shaft for use as a blow poker and stainless steel skewers on top. The mini carabinas on ends can be used for hundreds of little things and these are the lightest I’ve found. A folding saw is pushed through the straps at the back with a wrist lanyard with luminous tag on the end, looped around snap buckles for security. Hanging from the front you can just see a couple of beta lights and photon type torches ( 1 red, 1 UV ) on the zip toggle.

Grab bag. Open to show packed contents

Here we can see it opened up to show the packing. All items are packed in order of need and likely use. So a torch is the first thing that comes to hand in one pocket or matches in another.

The overall pack is quite heavy so it is not the sort of thing I would carry if I was travelling on foot a lot but it is very useful working from a vehicle or canoe.

If I am backpacking it, the whole pack does fit neatly into the top of my bergen.

The exact contents vary but this is a typical load up.

Grab bag. The front pocket contents.

Front pocket contents. From front to back

A plastic “Spork”, Lighter flints left, compass in soft case right.

Stainless steel knife, fork and spoon set, metal mirror on right.

“Krill” light (Like a chemical light stick but battery powered.), Led torch with head band holder left.

Variable led torch in case, windproof lighter right.

Spoon knife with plastic case behind. Alcohol handwash left (Can also be used for fire lighting.) and commercial bug repellent right.

Grab bag. Right end pocket contents

End pocket 1. Clockwise from top left.

Film pot full of matches wrapped with strong cord.

Tin containing abrasive rubber / carborundum blocks, used for sanding and smoothing.

Gerber multitool with mixture of spare blades for interchangable saw in red box.

Diamond sharpening stick, Diamond and ceramic sharpening stone and sharpening steel.

“Carvin Jack” with case, (A multi function knife for carving and whittling).

End pocket 2.

Small First aid kit, mostly plasters, new skin and blister kit. (Superglue for real emergencies only.). This is accessible with one hand only and supplements my main first aid kit which is much more comprehensive.

Sewing kit, scissors, safety and blanket pins.

Cheap plastic lighter, the best value fire lighting tool you can carry.

Occasionally, if I have a good reason for it I also tuck my barrel knife into this pocket too.

Grab bag. Left end pocket contents.
Grab bag. Main compartment contents.

Main compartment. Clockwise from top left.

Trowel for light digging. “Gaffa” tape, plastic bags, My home made bug repellent, Paracord and assorted string, thonging, split rings etc. Smaller blister kit in pocketable pouch. WD40 pen and rags, Ball of twine. Sharpening strop for Carvin Jack, stropping paste, piece of rubber inner tube (Will burn even if wet.) Star chart and sun position tables, Waterproof matchcase with compass on small dry bag containing mixture of tinders, BBQ fire lighting blocks.

Missing from this picture is a marlin spike and fid for rope and cordage work and an elasticated bungee which has countless uses.

This is in no way an essential list, if you were to collect such a bag together you would no doubt choose other items for the contents but it is a bag that I constantly use in the outdoors for innumerable tasks and I would highly recommend having one place that all your odds and ends can be found when needed.

 

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