Amending Light Bag Contents and Why.

Link to Original Article. Rethink of a Light Bag.
Also the more recent posts “Ditch the backpack” and  Rethinking my IFK.

Note:-Updated as of 3/12/21
No pack, so the bow gets dropped.
Cord hammock dropped as Para-sheet hammock roll found cheaper, lighter, and less bulky.

So, the weight of vest (plus pouch belt and IFK) is close to 10 kg, 22lb.Which is going to be heavy for me but should be OK for most.
Remembering that you should not carry more than a 1/4 of your body weight, I weigh 165 lb, 75 kg, so my MAXIMUM carry weight should be something around 19 kg. (ROTFL)

Now the why.
When I looked back at my original bag list, dated 1985, it weighed in at a back breaking 31 kg, 68 lbs. How the hell I managed to lift that amazes me except I was 29 (ish), weighed in at 154 lb, 70 kg and, although I was a bit knackered, I was walking without sticks.

Back then it was all about being totally self sufficient come a bug out. So most bags were basically I.N.C.H, i.e. I’m Never Coming Home Bag.

The futility of carrying so much gear dogged me for many years. Something aching knees and just about everything else, plus getting older will do.

Then, nine years ago, I was watching an ‘shortie’ post apocalyptic film with the light bulb moment script; “Wanna know the funny thing about the end of the world? It’ll still be there afterwards”.

After talking in depth to a few also knackered preppers and survivalists, quite a few friends also cottoned onto the simple logic. Carry only what is essential and forage for the rest. After all most of us had no intention of bugging out into the wilderness (as in the UK there isn’t a lot of that) so prepping for every eventuality wasn’t appropriate.

We also discussed the basic immediate actions for most CBRN events which all call for getting into good insulated, sealed cover. Something that a debris hut or sheet tent was never designed to cope with. With that in mind, the focus changed from carrying full NBC gear to how to get out of “The Rain” quickly.

As a result my loadout reduced dramatically in weight, complexity, and BULK.

Over the years, I have constantly reviewed how ‘we as a couple’ move around in our daily lives in terms of what other people see aka The Grey Man Defense / Persona. Especially over the last year or so, as things are drifting towards a more disordered violent society. More so in the larger townships and cities.

The why is unimportant, it’s happening, and the more sensible preppers and survivalists are all re-thinking their daily routines and approach to being out and about.

The heightened sense of awareness (we now living in Jeff Coopers “Yellow level”), PLUS the ever scary Covid-19 situation, has increased our social distancing and overall wariness of everyone and everything that is going on around us.

Which is difficult as we’re quite social animals (only now wearing FFP3 masks) with ‘them like us’ i.e. the  little people in life.

We live our lives purposely making some friendships (which the ex-spurts call networking), and it has been proven ‘advantageous’ in all sorts of ways. As a result, some of the people we know (who polite society would cross the road to avoid) see us as no threat to a point where they freely assist us more readily than others.

Would they do the same if the chips were down?
That’s an unknown but, as a matter of course, we always dress down, wearing the same beaten out work jackets the whole year around, looking, acting (body language), speaking ‘street’, and as if we’ve not got a penny spare between us.

In short, is it going to be worth them rolling us? Na.
Would we appear as a person of interest by law enforcement? Na.
And on that happy note, this post ends.

Stress pushing me into ‘what was’.

A night of dreams, although I slept, and the realization that I’m slipping back into ‘what was’. The stress of living in yellow and occasionally red for the last five months, with my head in a swivel, is beginning to tell.

The constant CP, gently guiding my lovely keeper in the hope she doesn’t object (too much). The running interference between her and the gormless with loads of restraint on my part as I carry none of the tools of old and the knowledge I’m now just a little old man.

Today we were talking about our life together and how this year has been our worst for arguments EVER. Which is mainly down to me. Combat stress is what I suffered from once and the signs are all there but it took a quiet conversation with my keeper for me to really look in the mirror and into my eyes. Tired and jaded stared back at me, red from not taking time off for a simple blink when out and about, and little sleep.

Worst bit about it?
Things are going to get worse over the next few weeks as the brain-dead sheeple flock to our county (State), into our little town, to play in the sea.

Us back into a self-imposed lockdown like so many other residents.
All of us thinking “Go home!”
Dawn and late night walks for the dog to avoid all but the locals doing the same.
As for shopping?
Once a month, in a neighboring town, before 8am or after 9pm.
Tuesday to Thursday are the quiet times.
Jeez! What air I had left in my balloon just ran out at that thought.

That and knowing there
Just isn’t anywhere safe
To run to!

HEPA filters unsafe for DIY face masks MYTH!

There are video’s going around saying DO NOT USE HEPA VACUUM BAGS for making DIY PPE masks as they can contain fiberglass and one even claimed Asbestos.

While that may be true about fiberglass in some filters used in the automotive or furnace filters, vacuum cleaner bags DON’T use fiberglass and definitely NOT asbestos.

HEPA came about in vacuum cleaners because it helped allergy sufferers so using something that could spew particles in to the air, especially irritants, glass, and ASBESTOS, isn’t exactly a good idea.

HEPA, is an acronym for “High Efficiency Particulate Air” or “High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance.”There are two main types detailed below.

The main differences between HEPA-type and True HEPA (the gold standard of filtration) filter are the filtration efficiency.

In general, HEPA-type filter has a 99% efficiency rate of capturing particles as small as 2 microns. True HEPA filter up the game with a better 99.97% efficiency rate at particles as small as 0.3 microns.

Numbers, and VERY small numbers, always confuse me so I’ll try to explain them.

2 microns is 0.002 of a mm. Which is “small”.
0.3 microns is 0.0003 of a mm.
Which is soooooo tiny it manages to stop most particles.

Only Corvid-19 is way smaller than that!!!
“Mr. Average” coronavirus particles is around 125 nm or 0.000125 of a mm.
Does that mean it passes straight through a HEPA FILTER?
In theory YES, if the HEPA was a single layer.
Only they aren’t. They are LAYERED!
So in real life, YES they do stop most viruses.
HEPA filters can catch nearly 100% of 0.0001mm ultra-fine particles but are only TESTED to 0.0003 of a mm by HEPA standards.

So does that render you completely safe from the virus?
Nope, there is no such thing as being 100% safe!
Especially if you are doing table top PPE like we are.

This virus is transmitted as a particle carried by moisture in a person’s cough. So you touch something that has been coughed on – it’s on your hands.
Or, if droplets get into your eyes, you’ve got it.
Or, if you rub your now contaminated hands on your face or rub your eyes,
Or, if you eat something without washing your hands, it can get into you.

So why bother with a mask? Seriously?
HEPA WORKS BUT NEEDS HELP, YOUR HELP!
You could for instance cover your eyes wearing wrap round glasses,
DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE
is a huge one as adjusting face masks is so easy to do without thinking about things.
Wearing impervious gloves
helps, but above all that:

WASH YOUR HANDS
WITH SOAP AND WATER!

Don’t just rely on alcohol rubs or no soap hand gels.
The why is soap bursts the individual virus’s protective shell.
Clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant or even soapy water.
We use “baby bleach” (aka Milton) in a fine spray bottle (mainly because I trust bleach) but normal kitchen and washroom cleaners are said to be just as effective. CAUTION ELECTRICITY AND LIQUIDS DON’T MIX”

We also wipe down stuff you bring into your home and, where appropriate, discard external packaging.

Do I need to say don’t bleach your fruit and veg? I hope not!
We do however run it under the tap, pat dry, and leave to dry before racking it.

Why do all this?
A blob of virus will survive well on hard and soft surfaces.
Some ex-spurts saying in ideal conditions, over 72 hours.
Impervious surfaces being the worst culprits i.e. metal, plastics, glass.
The why is the virus needs it’s bubble of water to survive and once dry, it dies.

This is all CBRN Decontamination 101 folks.
Let alone good housekeeping.

So where am I getting all this data from?
The Internet, NASA, CDC, WHO, NHS, and official bodies in the medical world who are falling over themselves to inform you.

Vacuum cleaner bag science is extensive as well as is the details about HEPA filtration. A few universities have done studies on DIY PPE recently. This is all part of researching your subject and something I did a lot of before starting to make masks.

Yet, having said all that, being a prepper I had laid in a stock of FFP3 masks.
That’s equivalent to N98 in US terms.
We use them when in enclosed spaces as social distancing is NOT the UK’s sheeple way of doing things. Stupidity they do well. Anything else seems to much bother and involves thinking.

And finally.
Distance is king in combat and this is a fight only against a much more cold blooded killer. So, keep your distance to more than social spacing (2m), cover up, wash often, and PLEASE download a basic guide to CBRN and decontamination.

And yes, I’m still going to be making DIY masks as the proper PPE has been price gouged above our means and largely unavailable at this time.

Will they work as well as the “proper gear”.
Probably not but something is better than NOTHING!

As always, don’t take my word for anything.
Do your own research as that’s the responsible thing to do.