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Survival Tools Storage and Organization

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  • Survival Tools Storage and Organization

    I consider myself to be skilled and experienced when it comes to prepping and survival. In most cases I can walk into the wilderness with nothing but a knife and come out several weeks later doing just fine. However, I realized a weakness of mine recently. I am preparing for my winter challenge this weekend and going through my normal routine. A few days before any challenge I get together any gear that I plan to take with me. Unlike most people that can keep their survival gear in a bag, I have an entire room in our house dedicated just to my gear. I like to be able to spread it out and take inventory whenever I like. My pack contents are a little different for every challenge I complete.

    My challenge is that I am a bit of a slob. I come back from a challenge and throw my pack on the kitchen table. It often sits there for several days before I dump the contents in my 'gear room' and leave it in a pile. Then when the time comes for my next challenge, I realize that I am missing something. For example, last night I gathered my supplies and realized that I have lost one of my leather mittens rated down to -20F, and I lost my ferro rod. Now I have to spend the day searching town for replacements before I leave on Friday. This seems to happen every time I get ready to hit the wilderness.

    My question to the group is, does anybody have an organizational system for survival gear that works well for them? I have to come up with something. I think I probably spend $100 per year just replacing items I have lost. Any ideas would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Im not as much a slob as I just have too much crap. I use the big plastic totes and categorize each on with labels on duct tape like medical, web gear, knives/tools etc.

    I use smaller plastic box/bin type containers inside to keep things separated. Like vests from belt kit in the web gear box, and different types of bandages in medical. This is actually a post Ive been working on as I get it together and of course its worthless without pics as well so Im trying to get away from cell phone pictures


    • #3
      I like the idea of smaller containers inside the larger bins. I have larger Rubbermade bins but it is chaos inside because so much of my gear consists of small items.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ryan Dotson View Post
        Unlike most people that can keep their survival gear in a bag, I have an entire room in our house dedicated just to my gear.
        I can relate. There is no way I could bug out with all our gear...

        Over the years, I developed a color-coded system that helps me to mentally organize what gear would be most useful for what circumstances. I have my EDC stuff, my bug-out stuff (for a few days), my longer-term gear (a couple of weeks,) and my SHTF stuff (when it could be months or more till the situation stabilizes.) Each level of emergency calls for a different level of response, and bugging-out is not always possible or recommended, so I tailor each kit (or group of kits) into bags, tubs, etc. accordingly. I do sometimes physically color-code my gear as well. (My significant other thinks I'm too OCD about this...haha.) Of course, my kits do overlap, and I would use everything I had at my disposal as much as possible in a true emergency.

        Another thing is that I'm constantly reorganizing and rethinking my kits as I gain more practical experience. I find that storing gear is not static. Things always change, new and better gear come out, or I learn that other gear would work better as I increase my skill set.

        ...because preparedness is about more than killing zombies...


        • #5
          Ryan, I would think the old standard "two is one, and one is none" would apply in this case. When you make that trip to replace your ferro rod and below zero rated mitten, buy two or three at a time instead of one!

          Also I keep a ferro rod as part of my EDC kit which is on me at all times. I have another in my GHB and a third in my BOB. When I take something out of a bag to use it, I put it back in the bag. So at any given time, without much thought at all, I have access to a choice of three ferro rods to use.

          As for organization in your "gear room", my best advice is for you to change your habits. Instead of dropping your bag on the kitchen table, take it the gear room and drop it in a bin labeled "Put Away" or something like that. Then before you can take another trip, you simply MUST start packing by sorting the Put Away box. Anything from there that works for the new trip goes into your bag, the rest gets put away in the gear room. If you have multiples of your supplies and find you are missing something, you can pull it from the gear room instead of making a last minute run for a replacement.

          I do like someone else's suggestion about smaller containers within the larger ones. Zip lock bags can work nicely for keeping smaller items together inside a rubbermaid tub. At holiday time you can even find colored zip lock bags (red, green, orange/gold) which would make it quick and easy to grab what you want from the tub. Hope that helps!


          • #6
            That's the ridiculous part. I have two ferro rods. I somehow lost both of them in the last three months. My house seems to eat small items like that. I had a friend in college that would buy bic lighters 50 at a time so he knew he would never run out no matter how many got lost or stolen. I may have to take his approach with ferro rods.


            • #7
              I get what you mean, I definitely am one to lose lighters! Have you had visitors at your house lately? Perhaps a couple of them decided that you have enough gear to help them stock their bug out bags?


              • #8
                No, I don't have visitors at my house except for the occasional family member and they have no need to take that kind of item. I'm sure they are around here somewhere.