MEST-based "layer-2" kit

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by alukban, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    I am trying this for my basic kit for a while.

    My pockets will pretty much always already have at least a lighter and some kind of knife but I always think there needs to be something else to up my comfort if I strayed a little too far from the cottage or camp. A quick fire may be had and a doable shelter can be done with no tools using one's hands. The stuff in my pockets is known today as "EDC" is what I call my "layer-1".

    a) in the pants pockets - layer-1
    [​IMG]

    b) the buckskin organizer keeps the items from becoming a jumbled, clumpy mess and is pretty much a minimal wallet
    [​IMG]

    Whenever I go out on a reece, go down the trail looking for wood or a new pond, or when out camping or canoeing, the weather changes and gear is different. I always take mental note of "what I would do if" types of scenarios while out in the field and currently experiencing stuff.

    On a recent canoe camp with a lot of rain for example, I sat under a large tarp while soaking wet and drying out before hitting the hammock. I wondered what I would have done if I did not have my full pack of gear to deal with what I was experiencing "right now". One could have been out for a day trip canoeing or hiking and did not have all the extra gear when the weather changed, for example. It could have been a hunting day hike that a went a little too far and carried you later into the darkness than you thought as well.

    Other than layer-1 and the full camping gear ("layer-3?"), what is the inbetween gear, the "something else" or "layer-2".

    That "something else" has always been a MEST and other little things for me. I'd rather not have to invest all the time needed for a debris shelter when all I need is to hunker down out of the rain for an hour or so.

    I would also want tinder that works, period, and an extremely easy and compact way to get some cleaned water in me. One can "apply bushcraft" and get anything done with less but it mandates time and reqyires much more involvement with "roughing it" than is desired when you are out just wanting some "leisuring it."

    In many scenarios for me, the difference is a small tarp - a MEST. This one item catapults many unexpected situations from making-do and uncomfortable to "just camping". The simple act of being able to lay out and be relatively dry is a huge leap to being comfortable outdoors. Piling debris together and containing it under a MEST to create an effective, water shedding cocoon is always a goto idea for me to keep warm and dry if I ever did get stuck out and unfortunate. The debris itself would act as a part of the structure to "inflate" or frame the MEST.

    I appreciated the idea of a MEST-based kit that was discussed in a past thread (linked immediately below) and it is what planted the germ for an idea for an even more expanded MEST based kit that exists as a "layer-2" between my EDC and actual camping gear.

    Economy Emergency Shelter Kit

    From the various what-if scenarios I have come across in the past, I would add other items that I would want in that layer-2 kit. Currently for me, these items would include:

    - MEST
    - 6 Ti stakes + tie-out line
    - extra line
    - duct tape for repair and first aid
    - Aloksak with water purif tabs, Tylenol, allergy meds, band-aids, etc.
    - folding bag type water container sized to the water purif tabs
    - wet wipes - for luxurious emergency #2's :4:
    - extra lighter and tinder tabs
    - nail clipper SAK (has scissors, tweezers, and small blade also)
    - match safe with compass + thumb light
    - (to be added: a couple if instant coffee packets for some giddyup)

    c) MEST layer-2 kit
    [​IMG]

    All the items go into the built-in MEST bag and the whole thing is only 1.2 lbs and is not bag specific or bag-based. It is a compact, fairly light, modular item that carries in what you plan to carry.

    That's one of the things I realized for me. I never carry the exact same bag every single time. The MEST kit container can go into your container of choice, be it a backpack, jacket pocket, chest rig, or what not. Previously, my layer-2's were based on a bag itself. Making layer-2 "bag-agnostic" is, I guess, the only really new idea in the discussion or evokution of the thing but it revealed the bag-specificity stumbling block to me. Wierd eh? Talk about over-thinking things! ;)

    If I added a sleeping bag and pad (or hammock + quilt) to this set up, it really is just a very bare minimum overnight camping kit. Add layer-3 stuff like food, bigger tarps, cooking gear, etc. and you are well on your way to just camping.

    Anyways, just something I've been thinking about :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  2. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    The only thing I would add if there is room and/or you are not wearing it, would be some sort of bandanna. I am mainly thinking about pre filtration for the water tabs, but a very versatile multi-use bit of kit anyway. YMMV.

    OJ
     
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  3. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Devils advocate question? What do you make your cup of tea in and where's the tea bags?
    That morale boosting cuppa is right at the forefront of my own kit, whether it's the canteen and SS cup or the Mors idea of a kit contained in the billy can
     
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  4. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    I guess I could stuff the whole MEST kit in a coffee can or a Boy Scouts mess kit and add some tea :dblthumb:
     
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  5. Myr1ad

    Myr1ad Scout

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    Maxim three in one coffee is my recommendation. Coffee, creamer, sugar, all in one packet. Unlike others I have tried it will dissolve in cold water with a little shaking.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I like that you're thinking.

    My own "method" is to carry a knife and compass on a lanyard in one pocket, and a lighter, whistle, microlight, and thermometer/watch thingy on a lanyard in the other pocket. I almost always carry a small backpack (Jansport bookbag), as it is so compact and light as to be un-noticeable on my back. In it are (again, almost always) a 5x7 poncho, headlamp, FAK, repair kit, Brew kit (GSI mug, PJ cotton balls, sugar, teabags, Bic mini, chain, lunch/snack/emergency ration), sheath knife, folding saw, cordage, and water.

    Additional items (mostly for hunting) sometimes include ammo, mags, insulating layer, hat, game cam parts, hunter orange vest, game calls, kill kit (to clean up), scents, bush chair, leaf suit, bungi cords, sharpening stone/strop, and gloves. If it's bulkier than all that, I move up to a bigger pack. Amazing how much fits though.
     
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  7. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Good system you have there. I did something similar but your kit is more complete I think. Thanks for sharing.

    Edited to show my kit. No FAK as I carry that separately. More of a 5 C's thing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Knife is a Scrapyard Scrapivore. Round tin is an Exotac nano candle. The MSR stakes are the small 6" ones.

    I like your kit as it looks more versatile. I may steal some ideas from you.

    Pretty cool how a simple thing like the MEST becomes the cornerstone of a kit like these.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
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  8. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Yes, it's amazing how much you can force into a small rigid cup or billy.
    Must say I don't do it tho as I prefer to always carry this sort of kit in a dedicated bag and the bag gets bigger or smaller depending on season and what I'm doing. Good small bags are so cheap that most of us can afford at least one dedicated "Survival" kit to keep everything together.
    The downside to that is I tend to stuff the kit with extras in the way of food and drink so it weighs more
    Currently using the Dutch gas-mask bag because my old aluminium billy fits inside
     
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  9. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter

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    I like you are posting weights, its higher attention to detail on your kit.
     
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  10. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    IMG_4961.JPG
    My EDC cool/cold weather boil pot/cup carried in jacket or cargo pant pocket. Swedish folding rubber cup fits inside 10 oz. liquid Chicken of Sea type tuna can along with tea bags and cocoa. In warm weather months I use a small Table Talk size aluminum pie plate for boil pot with sides folded in to form a flat 3x3 in. square no space carry that will fit along with cup in shirt chest pocket.
     
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  11. colter

    colter Supporter Supporter

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    Just stick that instant coffee inside your lip like its a dip of tobacco.
     
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  12. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    College finals all over again...
     
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