The decision to abandon your house is monumental. Every situation is different. Perhaps an out-of-control wildfire is clawing its way up the valley toward your normally quiet cabin in the woods and you have mere minutes to grab what you can and leave. Maybe Martial law has been declared three towns over thanks to an outbreak of a mysterious disease. Do you stay and wait it out, hoping it will blow over or they’ll find a cure quickly, or do you grab what you can and leave? Either way, closing the door one last time of your house, or cabin, or apartment, not knowing if you’ll ever be able to come back is scary and stressful. Did you make the right decision to leave? More importantly, did you bring the right gear with you if you did leave?
If you have the Gunslinger II Bug-Out Bag by Survival Bags, Inc., on your back or in the trunk as you speed toward safety, be assured you’ve got the right gear to see you through any uncertain times you’ll experience in the near future. It’s fully loaded. It’s ready to go. It’s with you.
Realize from the outset that this isn’t a light kit, as it is completely packed with all the gear you’ll need, but what is great about this particular pack is two-fold: 1) The pack is expandable to accommodate any rifle under 60 inches in length; and 2) The services offered in this kit are redundant, like a good kit should be. There are four sources for water, five cutting/sawing devices, four ways of starting a fire, and three shelter options (even one for the pack itself) among other redundancies.
The pack itself is the hunting version of the G2M tactical pack by Eberlestock, which is based on the original GS05M Gunslinger. The main difference between the two is that the gun scabbard built into the G2 can accommodate a longer rifle. The newest version of the G2 comes standard with the Intex-II frame system, a quiet and compact frame that can handle very heavy loads. The Intex-II can be exchanged with the Endo frame, as well as more compact, softer Gossamer frame (or you can simply remove the frame altogether).
The scabbard of the G2 folds into the bottom of the pack and is secured by a buckle. This configuration is good for shorter weapons and other gear; it also makes the scabbard a great place to carry a laptop computer. It features side handles on both sides for easy loading, and the heavy-duty compression straps which can be folded completely flat. The padding on the back is very breathable and comfortable, supporting a lot of the weight of the gear.
The top pocket/pouch features an internal organizer with several small pockets, pen holders, and a padded pocket that can hold AR mags just as easily as fishing gear, a smart phone, or blocks of tinder. The internal webbing allows you to strap down your gear inside the pack, which equates to not only a quieter experience but a lot less weight shifting from side to side as you travel.
The Gunslinger II arrived in a big box and not completely packed, which is good because it gave us a chance to open each item, inspect it, learn about its functions, and become familiar with the pack’s abilities. Then we had to put it all together, so we were able to decide for ourselves what is important enough for the top pocket and what we could place deep inside the pack.
Survival Bags, Inc., avoided using one-time-use products and low-end equipment when gathering the gear for this pack. A survival pack needs to be self-sufficient, and it is only as strong as its weakest link. Because of this, the Gunslinger II isn’t cheap, but survival isn’t cheap either. If you’re in the thick of a situation and you’re not sure what the outcome will be, having quality gear that will last through the ordeal is always a matter of life and death. Survival shouldn’t be measured by dollars and cents, but instead, by minutes and hours.
Made from 1000D Cordura nylon
Scabbard folds into the bottom of the pack
Heavy-duty compression straps
Hydration sleeves on back wall
Semi-transparent tuck pockets
Interior Padlock (PALS) webbing
Includes GSTC butt cover with pull-out sleeve
Adjustable/Removable Waist Belt
Total Volume: 2700 cubic inches
Weight: 5 lbs. 6 oz.
2 MREs with flameless heaters
2 2400-calorie food bar packets by SOS Food Lab
18 4.22-ounce drinking water packets by SOS Food Lab
1 Infinity Dukjug one liter water bottle
24 Aquamira water purifier tablets
1 LifeStraw personal water filter
1 Eberlestock 2-liter water bladder
Survival and First Aid Kit
1 Adventure Medical Kits SOL Hybrid 3
1 Ontario Knife Company Ranger-series Hawk
1 Ontario Knife Company RAT 3 knife with sheath
1 Smith’s Pocket Pal X2 sharpener and survival tool
1 Surefire G2X Pro LED flashlight (with batteries)
1 Coghlan’s mini shovel with pick
1 Kaito Voyager KA500 flashlight/radio
1 Omega Pacific Tactical straightgate D carabiner
1 Omega Pacific Tactical Jake HMS Quik-Lok Carabiner
1 survival gill net
1 Best Glide ASE fishing kit
1 Best Glide ASE spiral camp saw
1 Best Glide ASE pocket credit card camper tool
1 Best Glide ASE mosquito head net
2 Best Glide ASE outdoor mosquito patches
1 pair couble palm work gloves
1 UST Waterproof 3 x 5 notebook paper and pencil
1 SAS survival guide 2E handbook
100 feet of Gladding #550 paracord-Black.
1 Adventure Medical Kits SOL Escape Bivvy
1 Ultimate Survival Technologies UST HEX tarp
1 two-person tube tent
2 emergency ponchos
1 emergency blanket
1 Eberlestock pack lightweight rain cover
Fire and Warmth
1 Coghlan’s 36-hour survival candle and matches
1 UST’s BlastMatch fire starter
12 UST’s WetFire fire starting tinders
1 package Coghlan’s storm matches
2 pairs of hand warmers
3 N95 particulate respirators
1 toothbrush with toothpaste
1 dental floss
1 Dynarex mouthwash
1 Dynarex body wash
1 package toilet paper
1 package tissue
8 shower-in-a-bag cloths
8 wet naps
2 sanitary pads
2 Blistex lip balms
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the June 2015 print issue of American Survival Guide.