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Posts Tagged ‘Packing for the apocalypse’

ARCHIVAL BUGS OUT!

August 27th, 2011


As Hurricane Irene nears my apartment in New York, I’m once again longing to be back home in temperate Oregon, where the only natural disasters we fear are the rare earthquakes and volcanos.



That said, we’ve always believed here at Archival that the apocalypse is an excellent opportunity to hone your packing skills. The contents of my Bug-Out Bag is one of my favorite subjects to ponder during a sleepless night, far better than counting sheep. Even Mayor Bloomberg is talking about them!




These images taken from the Flickr group “What’s in your B.O.B. (Bug-Out Bag).”

Stay safe out there, folks.

Shopping from Japan: Mont-Bell Thermawrap Skirt

February 28th, 2010

Add the Mont-Bell thermawrap skirt to my list of synthetic exceptions. I love the multi-functional design of this skirt as garment, survival wrap or cushion. Use notes from the Mont-Bell site: “Throw it on over your long underwear after a day of skiing or wear it alone when it is just too cold for a traditional skirt. It also makes a perfect ultra light backcountry pillow.” As a bag junky, I’m doubly drawn to the idea of a garment that comes with its own supplemental stuff sack.

Mont-Bell should push the thermawrap concept and release a version of the skirt lined in emergency space blanket mylar.

Surprisingly, this oddball garment is available through the US Mont-Bell site (sizing starts with Medium) though the more experimental colorways (and smaller sizes?) appear to be exclusive to the Japanese market.

Japanese model in classic Outdoor Go Outside Style ensemble

Thermawrap Origami

On the subject of women’s outdoor clothing–the most recent Patagonia catalog included some terrific vintage photographs of female rock climbers from the 1970s (under the heading “Women’s Lifestyle”). Sadly, the catalog featured clothing for women that showed little in the way of a heritage design influence. Let’s hope Patagonia mines the content of historical photographs–and their own clothing archives–for a true “Women’s Lifestyle” collection.

Mari Gingery in a plaid shirt not available the Spring 2010 Patagonia catalog

Shopping for the Apocalypse: Bicycles

March 2nd, 2009

Winter Bicycles Chicago Flyer (photo by R. Gersbach)

Kogswell rando-porteur w/protective wool gauntlets

Post-apocalyptic cruiser

Portage for survival supplies

Now that I’m almost done finalizing my wardrobe for the apocalypse, I’m evaluating my preferred mode of bicycle transportation. Ever since Jan Heine published The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles, a pictorial history of French bicycles and builders, I’ve been a fan of “porteur” style bicycles. This 1947 Alex Singer, for example, is a stunner. Aside from delivering newspapers, the porteur would be well suited for transporting quantities of food and supplies over long distances in trying times.

In play form, I participate in the sport of randonneuring which is a practice way of preparing for the apocalypse by bicycle. Randonneurs ride for hours, even days, following a cryptic cue sheet directing left and right turns, as dictated by the Department of Defense or Dr. Strangelove. Our rando bikes are semi-slimmed down versions of the standard porteur model. Here’s a link to friend Peg’s new Tony Peirera. And here is Winter Bicycles latest “Audax” model (to debut at the San Diego Custom Bicycle Show).

If transmissions from this blog taper off a bit in the next month, it’s because I’m preparing for the suitably named Eau de Hell 2009.

In lieu of a porteur or brevet bike, I might opt for the fixed gear hauler friend Rick and I test rode at Clever Cycles in Portland, Oregon (photo below). The Clever Cycles hauler would work perfectly for mission critical cargo transports–as long as post-apocalypitc conditions did not force us into hilly territories or escape scenarios which required ultra rapid transport.

Fixed gear cargo hauler (photo by R. Gersbach)

Another role model

Packing for the Apocalypse : Ibex and Opinels

December 7th, 2008


Opinel Traditional Folding Knife

Customized Opinel (uploaded from this flickr set)

During the winter months, I console myself by watching some of my favorite post-apocalyptic films. Stanley Kramer’s On The Beach (with the amazing cast of Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Anthony Perkins and Fred Astaire) is always the first one to be screened (followed by Children of Men and crossover genre film, Alphaville).

Inspired by these films, I prepare a mental packing list for the apocalypse (items and objects I’d could carry on my bicycle while living on a stashed supply of summer sausage and aged cheeses).

Aside from the expected, tin cloth exterior layer and lace-up ankle boots (brand TBA), I would include at least three to five thin wool shirts (in crewneck and zip-neck styles) which I could wear alone or in crazy, mismatched layers.  Though Devold and Rivendell sell terrific, pure new wool baselayers, I’d go with Ibex since they offer their shirts in a classic heathered grey, and in a striped version, in sizes for men and women.

Until I receive paramilitary/outdoor survivalist training, I’d also pack along my No. 3 Opinel picnic knife.

Apocalyptic Layering

October 10th, 2006


Mid-October. Official reintroduction of winter weight wool. When the cold comes my dress code is dictated by the idea that whatever I wear must be versatile enough to work as my permanent post-apocalyptic/nuclear winter outfit (think Fred Astaire’s safari suits and gentlemanly neckwear in On The Beach). I’m working out the details but the basic gist for my survivalist get-up is a pair of Filson whipcord trousers (substitute Levi 501s), layered Icebreaker or Ibex zip-ups and an outer layer of Filson “tin cloth” or Barbour waxed cotton (to which I would add crucial internal pocketing for matches, a manual camera and my make-do cuisine of unpeeled carrots). Still shopping from the movies (Flight of the Eagle, Indiana Jones, Alphaville,) for my shoes.