ESSENTIAL PACK FEATURES
While there are different packs for different purposes, there are some constants—things I look for in any pack for any mission.
1. SUFFICIENT SPACE. If I’m choosing a bug-out bag or pack, it has to have enough room in it, not only for my survival gear, spare clothing, guns and ammo, but also for water containers and food to last for several days. If I’m choosing a daypack, it has to have room for my necessities; that is, the minimalist gear I need to improvise everything I might need in a survival situation, including building a shelter, starting a fire and cooking meals.
2. COMFORTABLE CARRY. Holding enough gear is useless in a pack if I struggle to carry it every step of the way. Is the pack stable, or is it constantly shifting? Do the straps dig into my shoulders, or are they sufficiently padded and shaped? Does it have a waist belt, and is it positioned for my body size to support a good amount of the pack’s weight?
3. RUGGED CONSTRUCTION. I need to depend on a pack in extreme conditions. I don’t need it to fall apart when the going gets rough. I don’t need to lose gear because of broken zippers or the bottoms ripping out of pockets. 4. SEVERAL COMPARTMENTS. When I reach for a piece of gear, I might need it now. I don’t want to have to rummage around through the vast depths of my pack as if it were lip gloss tossed into the bottom of my wife’s handbag. Having a variety of pockets or compartments within the pack helps keep my gear organized, accessible and protected from damage—especially smaller items, such as a flashlight, compass, GPS unit, cell phone or two-way radio, whistle, fire-starting kit, multi-tool, first aid kit, etc.
Above: Other smaller Voodoo Tactical packs the author has used with good results are the Mini Tobago (left) and the Raven Discreet Pack.