For the most part a lot of the simple take-away’s from SERE are covered; you want function compartmentalized, you want redundancy between compartments for failure and you need to be able to modify your kit for the operation at hand.
What your bag lacks is any ability to repair (either the bag or things within or found along the way). While a given in the military – civilians do not give enough thought to their shoes/clothing if or when the time comes they may have to leave their vehicle behind – we have to report with our kit already split and mounted near our escape exits. You should always have a secondary bag with proven clothing you can change into with comfortable footwear that is both low maintenance and easy to clean. Plenty of socks, at least 3 pairs of thin and 2 of thick which covers Fall through Summer with layering. The Army Ranger handbooks are a good place to look for approaches to layering and adapting issued clothing but you don’t have that limitation as a civilian.
Also, add yourself a tarp, 8ft x 10ft is plenty and packs small. A little extra paracord for it with some speed clips so you can set it up fast when it buckets down. Practice setting it up several times in different environments and at least a few times when you know a storm is about to hit you. We have to stay with our gear and see first hand how we did but you could put an analog in place or just feel your equipment to see how much water got to it. There are few things worse than having miles to go and you are drenched from a short shower. My instructor gave us an awesome tip after the first week in the field – pick up one of those roll up ammo pouches (we use then to police brass at the range mostly) and your whole emergency cover should fit with a little room to spare. He was right, we immediately pulled ours out and after arranging the best cording system to set it up we attached it so we could instantly get to it if we thought we were about to go for a swim. Look for something like the tactical shopper aka “The Looter” – it’s oversized but I always had to collect things and a compress bag only helps.
Hope it helps and good luck.
Great advice! Thank you. I do have acouple of tarps in trunk of my car that I do carry. I am going to have to go through your post a couple of time to make sure I have covered each of your points.
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