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How the he$$%#% do you manage your lanyard kit
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Jen Churchward
(mahgnillig) - F
Mountain safe on 10/01/2012 14:53:14 MDT Print View

I'm not a fan of things around my neck or in my pockets so I use one of these: It holds all the stuff I need to access regularly (sanitizer, lip balm etc.), plus my emergency gear. It's not ultralight, but it's light enough. I keep it in the top pocket of my pack when I'm wearing it, and sling it over my shoulder if I have to take the pack off and walk away from it for any reason. Contents includes a mini knife, whistle, signal mirror, LED light and fire starting gear. I figure I'm going to be carrying it anyway, so I may as well keep it in a single place where I can access it easily.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: emotions run high :) on 10/01/2012 15:21:12 MDT Print View

Hi Michael

> I assume like most people here you actually DO CARRY most of these items (whistle,
> small LED light, small knife etc)

Whistle: never carried one, and haven't seen many people ever carrying one here in Oz. Yet another gimmick imho.

Mirror: never carried one either. Same comments.

Small LED light: for sure, safely stowed in my pack where it won't get lost in the daytime.

Pocket knife: a habit which is hard to break, but these days I don't carry one. I do carry a sharp (small) Victorinox kitchen knife in with the REST of our cutlery (mainly spoons): it gets used for cutting bread, cheese, sausage, etc.

Compass: that hangs around my neck at ALL times. But it gets used all the time too.

Watch: in pocket, clipped to trousers. Safer there by far than on my wrist.

First aid kit: inside pack, usually some way down as it almost never gets touched.

Fire lighting stuff: inside cooking pot where it is safe and can't get lost. That's where it is needed anyhow. (It's the same Bic lighter which has lasted me for >6 years now.)

Getting separated from my pack: only happens by intent. We left our packs in saddles in Europe to climb nearby peaks a few times. What did we take up with us? Camera, passports, credit cards.

> wander too far away and slip etc
Given a choice of the tiny things on a necklace or having a walking partner, guess which one I would go for? OK, that leaves out the solo walkers. But that is MY idea of a safety precaution: having a walking partner. MY choice, not everyone else's.


Edited by rcaffin on 10/01/2012 15:22:32 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: How the he$$%#% do you manage your lanyard kit on 10/01/2012 15:25:19 MDT Print View

David wrote:

> Roger's opinion is just that, Roger's opinion.
Provided free of charge, and you know what they say about that.

> running around all winter in nothing but a thong and funny tights.
Hey - I had proper underpants on under the Lycra, AND it was sunny.


Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
RE Roger on 10/02/2012 01:56:48 MDT Print View


First - for my money you look darn sexy in that leotard;)

Re your gear choices - interesting, i wonder how you evolved towards this point...would you, if you were teaching newcomers (eg boy scouts etc) about solo hiking actually advocate they dont take a whistle/knife/mirror (putting aside for a moment the issue of where they carry it)...?

No doubt if I had to choose I would choose a hiking partner for safety - but alas that isnt always the case is it?

compass/wristwatch - i feel pretty good about the Gshok - not concerned it will come off my hand. i also have a REAL compass in the pack

knife - i carry mine in the pant pocket (sometimes a leatherman and others a mini swiss) it is thus accessible AND makes me feel safer vis a vis bad people)


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: RE Roger on 10/02/2012 04:22:44 MDT Print View

Hi Michael

Leotards ... fortunately I live in a different country, far, far away ... :-)

> i wonder how you evolved towards this point
This is actually a very important question.
My answer, for myself, has two parts.

First, Both Sue and I started to feel that we needed to lighten our packs a bit if we were going to keep enjoying walking in the mountains. Nothing to do with our age of course ... :-) This happened some years before I became involved with BPL, but BPL managed to really crystalise the concepts for us.
Second, triggered in part by the above, was the realisation that a lot of what I was carrying was only there because of conventional thinking, while in practice I never used or needed any of it.

For example, at one stage I had a first aid kit which could almost let me perform open heart surgery, although your survival might be open to question. Then I realised that most of the prescription items were several years out of date and (of course) completely untouched. I was carting around lots of 'just-in-case' weight.

A hard-nosed analysis of my pack showed that many 'just-in-case' items were really quite useless. So I stopped carrying them. That was many years ago, and I have never regretted the decision.

> would you, if you were teaching newcomers (eg boy scouts etc) about solo hiking
> actually advocate they dont take a whistle/knife/mirror
I would not teach novices about solo walking. For me, the benefits of having a walking partner is a huge increase in safety. I don't mind if someone wants to go solo, but that is THEIR decision.

Edit while typing: solo walking on popular tracks where there may be others passing by is vastly different from our normal off-track extended walking in Australian wilderness areas, where we never meet anyone. My comments above relate mainly to our off-track stuff. YMMV.

Watch/altimeter: yes, of course I carry one. It helps us navigate (altitude and by the sun) and tells us how much longer we have to go before lunchtime :-) I stopped wearing it on my wrist for two reasons:
The glass got bashed up when we were scrambling around the cliffs
The compression from the strap blocked blood flow in cold weather, especially when ski-touring, making that hand really cold.

> safer vis a vis bad people
OK, contentious subject. Frankly, we feel safer in the mountains than in the city.

(end of sermon)

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: "...if you were teaching newcomers..." on 10/02/2012 04:26:59 MDT Print View


Newcomers and scouts should never be taught to not carry the hiking essentials necessary for a safe and comfortable trek.

" you evolved towards this point..."

There is your answer, we evolved to this point through years of hiking experience. That is how we arrived at our gear choices. After every trip I look at what I did not use or need and make an educated and "experienced" choice as to whether or not to carry that piece of gear the next time I hike.

I know that I didn't mention it, but the black plastic "end" on the zipper pull of my sternum strap pocket has been replaced with a "fob" type button compass that has a rotatable degree ring bezel. It's not a GPS but it serves my purpose and there is one on my EDC kit also.

"...makes me feel safer vis a vis bad people..."

Trekking poles with carbide tips and readily available bear spray can be used for dual purposes. ;-)

"... I would choose a hiking partner for safety..."

One is none, two is one and so on. Two of something can be good and one of another may be too much. Experience is the best teacher after learning the basics. Be prepared but not overloaded.

BTW In that avatar picture, Roger does look like a young Mick Jagger. LOL

Party On,


Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
EDC et al on 10/02/2012 09:23:52 MDT Print View

Interesting discussion. I am new to backpacking but not to EDC and related concepts -within reason that is. I don't have a piece of property in the backwoods where I can bug out for a week or month along with a bunker filled with non perishables on said property - but having lived through a few hurricanes I'm better prepared than most to bug in for a period of time - I'm not overly worried about zombies but I do have a statistically significant chance of several types of natural disaster striking.

Anywho I found this site and have used it to really learn and challenge what I thought I knew about what I needed. Light is appealing for several reasons - some of it starting to backpack in my mid 40s... despite being in the best shape I've been in a decade let's be honest - I still want to be able to actually cover some distance and not be in traction. And starting with my 10yo son who has obvious limits on his load meaning I have to carry a bit more.

However, it does somewhat go against the two is one, one is none mindset of EDC/preparedness. They are differentiated obviously by different circumstances driving those needs and different factors in the decision matrix. But still it is a paradigm shift. I carry on my person or in my briefcase two knives and two flashlights every day (and I'm a minimalist by EDC standards).

So philosophically there is always a seeming tension between having what you need for likely situations, and not having extra things that weigh you down. A secondary question I suppose is how do you carry that pared down kit? Even for EDC I've never been a fan of lanyards - but I work in a white collar setting where it just isn't comfortable under a dress shirt and tie. I do see the value in hiking/camping of keeping stuff accessible and being able to hang it up in an organized fashion. I also can see circumstances where having a minimal kit with you if you are separated from you pack would be helpful. If you are carrying it already... why not I suppose.

I will say that as a newbie - I am likely to prepare for more contingencies than some others simply as I am aware that I don't have hundreds or thousands of miles under my belt - so despite my best efforts what may be an insignificant risk to some here may be a slightly bigger risk for me. My FAK continues to evolve but I likely carry a few more supplies - all of which I can use as a side note, I don't have anything exotic - than some others. Some of that is hiking with my son as well and preparing for contingencies he may have that I would not prepare for on my own.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: EDC et al on 10/02/2012 11:02:12 MDT Print View


Welcome, glad to have you on the forum.

"However, it does somewhat go against the two is one, one is none mindset of EDC/preparedness".

That comment in my post regarding "one is none....." was in respect to hiking with a partner for safety reasons. That being said carrying backups of certain pieces of gear in EDC or on a hike is not "wrong". Wrong would be carrying too many and too heavy backups.


No one needs to carry a flint and steel, bow drill, waterproof matches, lighter, fresnel lens, magnifying glass, potassium permanganate and glycerin, 9 volt battery and steel wool, a magnesium block, ferrocerium rod & striker and a Spark-Lite Firestarter with them everwhere all the time. Whew! ;-)

I carry some backups in EDC and hiking. But I choose the lightest, most dependable and affordable that suits my purpose.

I also live in "hurricane alley" and keep a bug out bag in both vehicles and have an EDC bag that travels with me to and from work.

I'm paring down my FAK. I used the backing paper from bumper stickers to "store" several pieces of Leukotape instead of carrying the roll. In it I keep nsaids, anti-diarrheals, antihistamines, anti-biotic ointment, band-aids and alcohol wipes.

The alcohol wipes burn really well BTW. LOL

I keep a few band-aids in my wallet at all times. In a white shirt and tie enviorment a Witz Sportcase...


...and its dimensions are 2.7” wide x 4.3” high x 1.3” thick. This could easily fit in an inside pocket of a sport coat, shirt pocket or where your wallet usually rides if you remove the lanyard, split ring and biner. With a little imagination and ingenuity it could house a pretty well supplied EDC FAK. YMMV

FYI my wallet usally rides in a side cargo pocket. I hate sitting on that leather "lump" full of plastic.

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 10/02/2012 11:03:40 MDT.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: How the he$$%#% do you manage your lanyard kit on 10/02/2012 12:14:05 MDT Print View

"The bushcrafty types and the emergency survival types are just playing games."

Those whose lives were saved because they learned something from those "bushcrafty types' would probably strongly disagree.

No one ever plans to get lost and separated from ones equipment. But it happens. A few items carried in ones pockets, or on a lanyard, (the ability to make fire the most important) will go a long way.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
EDC kit on 10/02/2012 12:18:35 MDT Print View

Newton - Great suggestion and I happen to have two of those Witz cases left over from our Disney trip!

I have a get home bag in my car - which has been the repository of a few items I bought before discovering this forum which I no longer use camping like one of the too heavy fleeces I got awhile back. It will keep me warm if I can't drive home and need to hoof it. Ditto for the worn in shoes that I don't use on the trail but are comfortable and good for 20 miles or so at this point at least.

EDC, preparedness, backpacking ... they all share something in common which is prepare for your needs and circumstances (aka hike your own hike) based on what works for you, and your skill set. I like the fire starting example - I feel pretty covered with a mini Bic, waterproof matches and a firesteel. Heck that might be too much but making fire is pretty well at the top of most of our lists of things you don't want to leave to chance - and none of it weighs a lot. The thing with gear I think is that there are an awful lot of rabbit holes you can go down - when barring safety what we all really want is to be outside...

I know I carry more lighting than some, and more blade than some. For the time being I'm OK with that but who knows after a few longer distance trips... !

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Why not... on 10/02/2012 13:05:16 MDT Print View

The real question is that since you are carrying most/all of this stuff anyway, why not carry it "on your person" instead of in your pack? Even if slightly less convenient, it might come in real handy in the very unlikely event you are separated from the rest of your gear. The odds are small, but then so is the effort.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 10/02/2012 20:40:07 MDT Print View

Well SOMEbody's gotta be the smartest person in the room, it might as well be Roger. I think we are misreading his use of the terms HYOH and YMMV. It's more like "HYOH/YMMV... and you're stupid".

In my case I wear a small Inov-8 waist pouch with a few basic survival items, food for the next hour or two of hiking, and navigation tools. I think of the waist pouch as the lid of my pack, relocated.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: How the he$$%#% do you manage your lanyard kit on 10/02/2012 23:13:54 MDT Print View

A few years ago I started experimenting with a lanyard, because I had down-weighted everything and there were no longer all the places to keep things (like pockets). I generally found the lanyard an inconvenience.

Nowadays I usually hike with a Photon II and a Fox Whistle on the longish trip-ease lanyard. It is not noticeable. So here is my reasoning...

I usually hike solo and usually off trail. Also I am getting older, so there might be a greater chance of slipping/falling/etc. So a whistle around my neck might be a good thing. However, since I often get distracted with curiosity and deviate from my planned trip (itinerary left at home) a whistle might not be any good anyhow. Lets face it, someone needs to be looking for you and know pretty much where you are if you hope to get their attention with a whistle. The sound from these little plastic whistles don't travel far.

Also, I now usually use my shoes as a pillow wrapped in a puffy or other clothing item. For years I carried a little plastic flashlight and stored it in my boot at night so I could find it easily. So it is extremely handy to have the Photon on a lanyard where I can easily find it. But all the other stuff... I can find a better place for it, which is at home.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Bushcraft? on 10/02/2012 23:45:38 MDT Print View

Now this little kit might throw the SUL folk into spasms, but it would hardly draw a Bushcraft aficionado's attention. I'll sit happily (and safely, I think) on the fence between 10 pounds of iron and a single edge razor blade. I don't think it is quite on the survivalist side of the spectrum, but it is done with that in mind, while applying some UL sensibility. It is simply a short list of items to help a solo hiker in trouble to make it through a cold wet night.

I carry the "key ring" in my right pocket and the match case and the folding knife on the left. IMHO, there is just enough to get by and there is some redundancy here and with a couple items in my pack. The knives thinly duplicate each other, but only in terms of opening a meal bag; from that point they are very different tools. I use a "full size" sighting compass for map navigation, backed by the little button compass that is in the cap of the match case. You can see two kinds of fire starters there, and that red capsule is jammed full of Tinder Quick tabs--- you will also find a mini Bic lighter in my cook kit. The AA flashlight is duplicated with a headlamp in my pack. I could go with a smaller and lighter pocket knife, but I like this one and I'm willing to take the extra couple ounces. So there you are, with no regrets or apologies. It's just the way I do it.

Pocket survival items

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: Re: Re: How the he$$%#% do you manage your lanyard kit on 10/03/2012 01:25:47 MDT Print View

"Chief Plentyjunk" - I love it! LOL

Jack Richland
(BlackScoutSurvival) - F
How the he$$%#% do you manage your lanyard kit on 10/03/2012 08:50:19 MDT Print View

Solid set up Dale. That gear would make a luxurious night in the woods if you got separated from your main pack. I don't like things hanging from my neck, I've even tried using a necknife. It just irritated me. So I think its up to the user, if you can carry it on your neck comfortably, I think by all means carry it on your neck then. The likely hood you will be separated from a lanyard is slim to none.

I carry a small, lightweight, minimalist Personal Survival Kit. Its housed in a Solkoa SUMA container made from billet aluminum. I carry it in my pockets apart from my main pack. I read someone's comment earlier "I'm not going to get seperated from my pack, its never happened" or something to that effect. The year before last when I was in Montana January time frame, 2 guys died because they couldn't find their way back to their pack. There packs contained survival gear. So I'm sure they believed the same thing and it cost them their lives.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: _ on 10/03/2012 15:13:55 MDT Print View

> It's more like "HYOH/YMMV... and you're stupid".
Not so. HYOH/YMMV really do mean exactly what the words say, and no more.

You will all know when I want to call someone stupid!

PS: snack food and nav gear in a waist pouch seems like a fair idea to me. A bit like the kangaroo pocket on my MYOG windshirts.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Roger's Lanyard kit on 10/04/2012 22:47:03 MDT Print View

Hi Roger,

I find it pretty funny that you make a big deal about people carrying
a few items around your neck and claim:
"Easy. I don't carry one. Never have, and never needed one in 40+ years of walking."

And yet I read your description of what you do carry and learn
that you DO have a lanyard kit you wear it all the time
and it contains one item -- a compass. It can be pretty handy
to keep things we use a lot around your neck don't you think?
I guess that is what your "experience" has found.


Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: How the he$$%#% do you manage your lanyard kit on 10/04/2012 23:33:03 MDT Print View

It's not about if you have ever needed to use it. If you do need it, and don't have it, it could easily result in death. Your body doesn't have any neat tricks to keep your warm in an emergency. If you get caught in freezing temperatures without a way to make fire or an emergency space blanket bivvy, you are screwed.

I've never been in a situation where I needed my seat belt either.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Roger's Lanyard kit on 10/05/2012 00:40:40 MDT Print View

Hi George

Hum. OK, I see your point. Is a compass on a very thin bit of string the same as a typical lanyard kit *in principle*?

I can see one big difference. I use the compass all the time when walking. It is not a sort of micro emergency kit meant to save my life when I lose my pack. Rather, it is a convenient way to carry one thing which is in regular use every day. My wife carries her compass in her pocket, tied to a loop there.

One could argue the point at great length, which tells me that such a debate would really be futile. I will leave it to the world to decide.