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Today, we’re going to take a peek inside Steven Johnson‘s “Mini Go Bag” that he keeps in his car for emergencies.  Courtesy of Everyday Carry.

His mini-bag is actually an Alpha Tango Sling bag.

In it he’s got his S&W M&P EZ .380 pistol.  It is an outstanding pistol for folks with limited hand strength, by the way.  He also carries two spare magazines, but no holster.   Steven:  Get a holster.  Carry your gun in a holster.   Even if it’s an emergency, you’ll need a way to securely carry the gun and rolling around inside a sling bag would not qualify as secure carry.

So, for the record, I carry a go bag in the car too.   It’s a coyote brown small pack that weighs about 15 pounds last time I weighed it.  Just the basics.  The (fail) boat of foolishly packing around a 35-50 pound bug out bag long ago sailed.  The epiphany was when I put my 50-odd pound pack on and went for a walk.  Not even half a block later, my back hurt.  A block later my legs and hips hurt.  By the time I got home, I wanted to take a nap.

What else does Steven carry in his?  First aid, a compression bandage (I recommend the Israeli Battle Dressing, aka the more sheep-friendly “Emergency Bandage” because if its incredible versatility), and a power bank.  He’s also got firestarting gear, a small Bushnell flashlight, two multi-tools (can you find them?), more firestarting gear and it looks like a can of pepper spray unlabelled on the pack itself.  And a sniper’s veil.

Looking over his stuff, one thing I see glaringly missing in his pack is a compass.  I’ve got one in my go bag, and I’ve got a smaller Maxpedition day back for short hikes.  It has a little compass as well.

So Steven:  Get a holster and a compass and you’re likely better prepared than 99.44% of the sheep out there.

And I know that comments on the EDC posts have become a catch-all for comments on any of the topics of the day from news, or whatever.  Got no problem with that.  In fact I sort of like it.  So, pre-emptively I’ll say, yes, we know Ruth Bader Ginsburg has Pancreatic Cancer.

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  1. “one thing I see glaringly missing in his pack is a compass”

    In case he needs to draw circles?

      • Aaaahhh. Come to think of it, the north/south kind would be more useful than the circle-drawing kind.

        • Most under 40 somethings, unless having been in the military, don’t know how to use a compass, much less a map.
          A topographic map is just lines and pretty colors, and a compass is not much more than a vanity mirror.
          GPS only works until the battery dies.
          As an aside note the brown lines mean a change in topography, not a road as I was told by a young USFS wilderness ranger.
          PS I prefer a Silva ranger over a military style compass, though I do have both.

    • the one thing I did not see was a mylar emergency blanket they are good for many things and a water container of some type or a water purifying straw or something of that sort and rope

      • It’s funny because whan I was a 20-something LONG before “tactical” became cool I realized that one thing to always carry in the car (along with a jack, jumper cables, etc) was a beach towel. Dozens of uses. I have continued that practice for 40 years now.

        • I started out with a towel in the car too, but that was because my mom was 5’0″ tall. She always sat on a folded up towel to be up a little higher. Absolutely drive my dad nuts when he bought her a car with leather heated seats.

          It came in handy several times.

      • I have several man purses that I rotate through. Some are more tacticool looking than others.
        I keep a Mylar emergency blanket And a super cheap rain poncho in mine.

        Oh, i also I have a holster for my backup gun AND a compass. 😀 maybe I should do a bag dump….

    • Besides being ever-so-cute, they are actually pretty handy. You can buy them from the “tactical” sites or pay a fraction from aliexpress. I have two I paid $6 each for. One holds spare loaded magazines, the other is a pistol range bag.

  2. Emergency blanket and water purification. Keep your stuff dry. And I don’t see any extra batteries of all sorts, especially for the one flashlight. Assuming he has a normal EDC as well, and this is more of a in the truck just in case bag, but I’d still have a first aid kit on the exterior and easily accessible. I carry a first aide kit pretty much three times that size though, with a SOFTT-W and SAM SPLINT… scissors, chest seal, tape… yada yada.. it’s an IFAK with extra’s. I just can’t do band-aid size first aid kits. I’d rather pack dirt in the wound and call that first aid.

    I guess I just don’t see the point of sharing bags… cuz there are so many different types and so many different purposed. I don’t just have a bag I call a “general” bag with a bunch of little shit in it. I have purpose driven bags. Some heavy, some small. 3 total in the truck.

    And I personally think that anyone who calls others “sheep” is a laughable excuse for a “sheppard”.

    • Bushnell lights aren’t something I’m real familiar with but if that’s a rechargeable flashlight he may recharge it off the power bank that he has (lower right). A charging bank that size should be able to recharge a modern smart phone completely one time plus a rechargeable flashlight at least three times provided that the bank is fully charged at the start.

  3. Not bad for a under-the-seat-hard-to-see-doesn’t-invite-theft car bag.

    I’d swap one of the fire kits for a rolled emergency blanket with 20ft of knotted pcord and add a headlamp plus some cotton balls and vaseline but that’s just my preference.

  4. Missing the Vienna sausages, crackers and spork. Happy to see a John Wayne. Never know when the pull tab on your vyennas or spam can breaks. I’m also glad to see you have a flashlight for eating candlelight style. That is unless the batteries are dead and you didn’t bring a spare battery. How dare anyone not bring or pack spare batteries. Nobody does, at least you have additional mags. Isn’t that a compass sitting on his GI pocket memo book? That’s why I wear an analog watch. Might want to get a winder, no batteries to worry about and guess what, it doubles as a compass and glows in the dark. Was going to get my wife a S&W 380 EZ, but, she insisted on the BFR 30-30 instead. Don’t need a John Wayne with that. Just a knife to aid in skinning the deer.

    • That case has gone from bad to worse as more and more has come out.

      At this point it looks like it may be a case of a corrupt cop using the laws to further his personal ambition within the department as well as a side business.

      Which raises the question of how many of these no-knock raids, predicated on “drugs!” are basically the same thing. It’s clear the cops, at the very least, don’t do their homework beforehand on a lot of these things and too often innocent people end up dead because of it. There’s a ton of cases where they said the people were running drugs but only found an amount for personal use. Occasionally I might buy that but it’s often enough that it almost seems like some cops might be carrying “drop evidence”, ya know just in case the “intel” doesn’t turn out to be good.

      Shit, a few years back up in the NE the cops in a fairly small town no-knocked on a narcotics warrant and unexpectedly got the town’s Mayor, who was understandably pretty pissed. How the actual fuck is that possible unless the cops are just bullshitting their way through the entire process of acquiring a warrant? You don’t even know who lives there yet you expect me to believe that you know what goes on there? If you pulled public records, or maybe spent a smidgen of time doing any surveillance then you’d have answers to these questions before you hit the house.

      The fucked up part is they didn’t even allege that the Mayor was dirty, they openly admitted that they didn’t know it was his house. That means, by definition, they had no idea who was there and therefore couldn’t possibly know what was going on there. Yet they someone managed to get a judge to sign off on a warrant to hit the place with a SWAT team because… drugs.

      And these are the people they want to have enforcing “red flag” laws? Jesus Tittyfucking Christ, no.

      • SWAT teams should only be used if there’s an active shooter or hostages. No knock warrants need to end. And I’m a guy that comes down on the side of the cops most of the time.

        Now, for your last sentence……..

        • That’s what SWAT used to be used for. But as they became more common because every cop shop wanted a “high speed, low drag” unit justifications for the expenses incurred by having a SWAT team had to be found because John Q. Public is a fickle creature. Have it and don’t use it Mr. Public asks “Why am I paying for this?” right up until there is a terrorist or hostage situation then that same person is screaming “WHY DIDN’T YOU HAVE THIS!?!”.

          Using them openly as “doing something” you can point to as obvious and “active” checks the justification box.

          Start adding in more training and maintenance costs and you need more justification for the expense and so you need to use them more often. Eventually you get to the point that a ounce of pot is “high risk”, requiring full autos, body armor, NODS, armored vehicles etc.

          SWAT is like a fire extinguisher IMHO but good luck convincing most people to treat SWAT like that.

        • “SWAT teams should only be used if there’s an active shooter or hostages.”

          Screw local cops doing no-knocks in the first place. Turn that job over to the US Marshalls.

          At least then we can have some level of assurance they are trained and carried out in a uniform manner…

        • Geoff:

          IMHO this is where we get into that nasty nuance no one (other than myself apparently) likes.

          One one had I agree with you completely. Turn the no-knock raids over to US Marshalls or at least the State Police. They’re spread thin enough and professional enough that they’re not likely just going to BS their way through a warrant and hit the wrong house. They’re also smart enough and experienced enough with this to know when a no-knock raid is actually appropriate and when public safety is better served by grabbing the dude as he leaves for work/groceries/to the check the mail etc.

          The flip side of that is what I said about justification. Not using SWAT much means that the expense for training, gear, maintenance etc. However, SWAT teams have legitimate uses (as jwm notes above) and there is something to be said for decentralized responses.

          When I was growing up in the back-woods a guy tried to rob the bank in town, failed, ended up with a hostage in a car with a bomb strapped to the poor lady ( Talk of the town for years, even got people to stop talking about the Jodi Watts murder that happened right in front (literally) of the cop shop.

          Eventually a State Police sniper shot the guy dead after like 16 hours. What they don’t tell you is that it took the State cops, the only folks with qualified snipers, about four hours to get on site even though they were coming from a barracks 10 miles away (not their fault, weather related delay). Houghton would have been well served to have a qualified sniper at that point. One time in like four decades they’d need it, but it would have been nice.

          When things like that happen people say “Why weren’t the police prepared?” (which they certainly screamed from the rooftops after this little incident) but getting them to pay for the 39 years of maintaining that readiness without using it is a different proposition.

          Preparedness, especially widespread preparedness, is awesome but it costs a lot and people don’t like to pay for it when it’s not being used in ways they can see.

    • Here’s a classic no-knock raid that went sour…

      I can’t remember whether it was Philadelphia or some other Eastern city. Too lazy to look it up right now.

      Cops bust down a guy’s door, supposedly because it was a drug house. They based that apparently on the fact that there was little furniture (actually the result of the guy having a messy divorce and the wife got it) which info they got from some CI who basically pointed them at the wrong house to cover his friends (or something like that.)

      Guy doesn’t hear the cops’ announcement – or they didn’t make one. So he grabs a gun and confronts them. He gets shot for his effort before he can surrender. As I recall, he never fired any shots himself, which would obviously justify his being shot. I can’t even be sure he had a gun for sure. In any event, he confronted the cops.

      Wait, it gets worse…

      They let him lie on the ground with no medical assistance for half an hour while they ransack the place looking for drugs that don’t exist. But he’s semi-conscious for the whole time – which they don’t realize.

      And he hears them discussing what to do now that they’ve utterly botched this raid and shot an innocent civilian. What he hears them discussing is whether they should *finish the job and execute him* to cover it up.

      They decide not to do that because there are *five jurisdictions* in on the bust – and they’re not sure everyone will play ball over the murder of a civilian.

      Think about that one the next time you read about a no-knock raid gone bad – or one that didn’t.

      And people wonder why I don’t like cops (aside from being an anarchist.)

  5. okay my 2 pesos. The BOB needs to be manageable, but first rule is to use trasport when available, keep the pack in the car or easily available. no one lugs a 20-40lb pack around becasue shit’s gonna hit the fan whenever. I see very few people talk about weapon weight, that’s a huge issue. What’s appropriete to carry? One handgun and how many mags? a rifle, how many mags? does that change the BOB to a load out bag? Figure out the BOB needs to be for 24 hours or 72? I rarely read about BOB tactics as well. No one comes up with plans to consider when bugging out, Do I just hobo it till shit dies down? Or bunk with uncle jerry at the Homeless encampment in the flood channels? I need answers people! I don’t wanna be like Jenni Lee*!

  6. “By the time I got home, I wanted to take a nap” This made me laugh, and good on you for testing it out.

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