Prepping & Survival Articles

Article 12 - How To Build Your Pack: Think Small
By Brett Creamer

Why Do We Need A Survival Bag?

For those who haven’t prepared a survival/emergency bag, please take a moment and think through this article.  These are uncertain times we live in.  Every time we turn on the news, we hear about a new disaster happening somewhere in the world.  Volcanos, tsunami’s, tornados, earthquakes, mud slides, storms, fires and sinkholes are all growing in intensity and are taking lives every day.  Here are a few examples to ponder:

Example 1: Imagine hearing the tornado alarm go off in your neighborhood prompting you to run for cover.  As you sit in your shelter, you hear something that sounds like a freight train bearing down on your home.  The beams above your head start to shake, dust falls in your eyes, and the lights that gave you comfort suddenly go out.  After several minutes, the horrifying sounds that gripped your heart have subsided and the emergency siren dies down.  When you open the door of your shelter, you see nothing but debris all around you.  What you knew as your home is gone and everything you own, including your emergency supplies are now scattered all over a 6 block radius.  At that point, all you can do is sit down somewhere and try to grasp what has happened and plan on what to do next. 

Example 2: Natural disasters are not the only thing to worry about.  There are many man-made events that can easily displace you from your home.  Whether it is war, riots or maybe even a chemical spill, you could find yourself on the street with no safety or creature comforts. 

Example 3: Here's a tough situation for you... Sixteen year old Autumn Veatch was recently in a plane crash in Washington state.  She survived the crash, yet she wandered in the woods for 2 days with no food, tainted water and cold conditions. 

Example 4: Imagine traveling to a location several miles from your home when some sort of disaster strikes.  Roads may be impassable.  You or people in your party may be hurt.  You may be stuck where you are for a long period of time.  You did prepare for an emergency, but unfortunately someone else drove you to the event.  Having gear in your home or car is nice, but if you can’t get to it, it is useless.

In all these cases, a simple E.D.C. (Every Day Carry) survival bag can mean the difference between life and death. 

What Is Important

Most preppers have a great backpack filled with every type of survival gear known to man.  The problem is, you can’t take it with you everywhere.  It is true that you might have emergency equipment in your car, but who says you will always be able to get to your car when a disaster strikes?  I’ve seen cars washed away, swallowed by sink holes and blown away by tornados and hurricanes.

We need to be ready at all times, but to be ready does not mean we need to carry around a 60 lbs. back pack.  It is just not practical.  Even if I had all my gear with me when disaster strikes, do I want to hit the road or rough terrain with a 60 lbs. pack on my back with my wife and 4 small children in tow?  I don’t think so. 

When it comes down to it, all you need is shelter, heat, water and food.  It’s time to start thinking like a minimalist so you can save room for the more important things.  The basic survival elements are shelter, fire, water, and food.  With the proper tools, 3 of those needs are easily created over and over again.  With a fire striker or magnifying glass, you can make endless fires.  With a good poncho, tent or tarp you will have shelter every day.  With a decent water filter, or the means to boil water, a person can have endless clean water to drink.  The only item that we cannot replenish easily and is very hard to come by in nature is food.  Let’s be honest…  There are natural plants, roots and bugs to eat, but I it will not give us the nutrition we need for our day to day survival.  And when it comes to hunting, not everyone has the ability or tools to hunt.  So to me, the number one prepping item we all need to have in our pack is food.

A New Survival Pack Design

With this mindset, I came up with a smaller, more compact survival bag that has the specific gear you would need to get you home safely.  This concept also allows me to use my messenger bag or my larger back pack with more food and ammo.  This may look like an ordinary water bottle bag, but this bag contains more than meets the eye.  We developed this bag to be the essential discreet prepping accessory.  This is a great kit to keep on you at all times, to keep in the car or take with you for wilderness exploration and hunting.  This everyday carry survival solution contains everything you would need in an emergency situation, and is easily transportable.  

You have to watch my video to see just how much survival gear I have hidden in this water bag.

Pack Details and Contents

I call this the “H2O To GO E.D.C. Survival System”.  It measures 11 inches high and 7 inches wide at its widest point. With an empty bottle, the bag and its contents weight 3 lbs.  This kit has the following items in it:

(1) MOLLE Sport bottle pouch
(1) Stainless steel bottle
(1) Stainless steel nesting cup
(1) Water filter straw
(4) Water filtration tablets with 1 quart sized zip lock bag
(4) Ignition sources: (large magnifying glass, lighter, fire striker & small magnifying glass)
(4) Fire Tinder: (4) treated and compressed cotton wads, (2) instant fire which ignites on water or snow, (1) container of petroleum jelly and (1) bottle of hand gel
Fishing kit: (4) hooks, 100 yards line, (4) lures, (4) weights, (1) bobber)
Medic kit: (4) band-aids, (4) gauze pads, (1) container of anti-bacterial ointment, (1) container of petroleum jelly, (1) spool of thread, (2) needles, (1) bottle of hand gel, (1) roll of duck tape and (4) clothes pins
(1) Emergency poncho
(1) Emergency blanket
(1) Handkerchief (for filtering water, medical uses, for dusk mask and for cleaning, etc.)
(6) Wet wipes for hygiene use
(2) Flashlights and (2) extra batteries
40' of 550 cord hand-braided into strap for the bag
(3) Tins to hold all gear
(2) Ranger bands to keep tins secure
(1) Heavy duty Stanley multi-tool (with pliers, wire cutters, knife, saw, file, screw driver, etc.)
(1) Pocket sized multi-tool card
(1) Emergency whistle/small mag glass/compass/ thermometer
(1) Back-up compass on zipper pull
(1) Back-up whistle on zipper pull
(1) Tube bug spray
(1) Sling shot
(4) Black wire ties

How About A Smaller Setup?

I’ve also designed a smaller setup that not only carries emergency gear, but it also doubles as a cell phone case.  Check out the following video:


You never know where you will be when a disaster could strike your life.  With all the threats that surround us, we need to be ready in case of an emergency.  That is why I designed systems that enable you to easily carry solutions to some of life’s most difficult problems.  Trust me, I still have the 60 lbs. pack sitting in my garage, but like I said earlier, I can’t take it with me everywhere.  These new kits I make are easy to carry everywhere I go and they take up no room in the car.  My goal is to build small, lightweight, custom packs containing as much survival gear as possible without alerting others that I am prepared.   These survival systems give me peace of mind and don’t break my back. 

I you are interested in having me build one of these packs or a customized one for you or a loved one, please contact me at



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