While the 1st Line is the bare necessities on your person in pockets as part of your EDC, the 2nd Line is the equipment that you want to be carrying with you nearly all the time. I carry mine in a Ribz Chest Pack.
After my experience in an MSC Bushcraft course last year, I became aware of the necessity of splitting my equipment into layers – meaning I could drop the heavier aspects of my carry when stopping to go check out lookouts, explore side paths and so on. Additionally, I had been reading about load distribution – and was keen to move some of the weight from around the back of me, onto the front.
I had stumbled upon Aarn body-packs – which addressed the distribution issue, but I essentially wanted something that easily separated from the main pack, and also came in more subdued colours.
As I often do, I ended up looking to the military, to see what system they had developed, and quickly started reading up about Assault Vests and Plate Carriers.
For it is a continuous balance between functionality and weight – I have to carry all this on me, so the notion of a fully loaded up vest, with a pack on top, not only screamed out weight overload, but also a lot of heat buildup.
Then I happened to stumble upon Ribz – what seemed like the perfect middle ground between a full-on Molle Assault vest, and a belt bag, which (for my tastes) is slightly too small.
The Ribz front pack is made of 210d water resistant ripstop nylon. The front pack weighs approx. 250 grams. All components are water resistant and have proven durability in the most extreme of conditions. With an average storage capacity of 10 litres, you can comfortably carry up to 4.5 kg in the front packs.
The use of a Ribz front pack re-positions a portion of your weight forward which reduces your overall shoulder stress and increases comfort, mobility and balance. A front pack also creates the illusion of carrying a lighter load.
Though the Ribz front pack was designed with ultralight backpacking intentions, any outdoor activity where easy access to equipment is critical is where it proves beneficial. Ribz front pack can be used alone as a vest but is primarily designed to work with your existing backpack as increased functionality.
There is already a pile of Ribz reviews online – the one that put me onto them is here –
Like most people, I know I am carrying excessive amounts of equipment at the moment, but, I am sure as I become more comfortable with my level of knowledge, I will start to be able to leave some of it at home.
I wanted to know that I could happily make do for at least 72 hours with the content of my 2nd Line Carry.
While I will no doubt go more into the individual items over time – here is a quick listing, broken down into rough groupings, of the contents of my 2nd line at the moment.
- Kannad Marine – Safelink Solo
- Ironclad Ranchworx Gloves
- SVORD Peasant Knife
- Fenix Headband & 4Sevens QMiniX123
- Icebreaker Merino Beanie – Grey and Orange
- Ridgeline Hi-Vis Vest
- Space Blanket
- Wound Dressing
- Gauze Pads
- Painkillers, Antihistamines, Anti-Nausea, Anti-Inflammatories
- 10m Blaze Orange Paracord
- Silva Compass
- Bug Repellent
- Surgical Tape
- Light My Fire Lightstick
- Toilet Paper
- One Square Meal
- eTrex30 GPS
- Lighter wrapped in Gaffa Tape
- Char Cloth
- Mini Guide to New Zealand Birds
- Mini Guide to New Zealand Native Trees
You are possibly wondering to yourself, ‘why on earth does he carry so much stuff on him?’
Well. I decided I wanted to be prepared, regardless of what might occur. I tend to prefer to do some of the less travelled tramps, and often will be a fair way out, even just for an overnight. While I could put my faith in the mighty cell-phone – I also know they tend to run out of coverage about 5 meters from your parked vehicle once in the bush.
Also, I want to make sure I can also look after anyone with me. The reality is, many people are happy to wander out with the bare minimum – heck – its all extra weight isn’t it! So it becomes a matter of self-reliance, and also care-taking.
I have no doubt I will whittle this down over time, then add some new bits, and reduce others again – these things always seem to organically grow and shrink and you learn more and gain more experience.