My XYL says I’m obsessed with bags, cases, and containers. She might be right.
During normal years, I participate in several public service events with my local ARES-RACES group. For a couple of those events, I’m often out on foot away from my truck with an HT. I wanted a convenient way to carry a few essentials for those situations.
I put together this little kit last Winter, but it hasn’t seen much use. Sadly, the pandemic forced the cancellation of our public service events this year. This year has been anything but normal.
I wanted something to carry the following items:
- Water bottle
- Spare battery for the HT
- Small notepad and pencil
- Minimal first aid kit (a few antiseptic wipes and bandages)
- A few snacks
To carry everything, I bought a no-name water bottle carrier on eBay for about $13. I looked at lots of bottle carriers, but this inexpensive one was best suited to my needs. I’d provide a specific link, but these eBay offerings tend to quickly come and go. A search for “tactical military molle system water bottle bag” should should yield lots of options. I found some for less than $10. Of course, there are name brands out there that cost much more.
Here are the particulars of the one I bought:
- The bag is constructed of 600D nylon. The specs say it’s waterproof, but I haven’t verified that.
- The main compartment is 10.6″ tall and 4.3″ in diameter. It’s large enough to hold a 2-liter bottle. If I use a smaller water bottle, there’s room in this compartment for some other gear, too. It also has a zippered lid that will keep your gear from falling out.
- There’s a 5.9″ x 4.3″ x 2″ gadget pouch on the front. This pouch is large enough for a couple of HT batteries, notepad, pencil, first aid kit, etc.
- It has plenty of MOLLE webbing. A couple of them have Velcro for attaching patches. You could use the straps on the rear of the bag to attach it to another larger bag or your belt.
This bag certainly has room enough to carry everything I plan to carry in it. Heck, I’m sure I could carry a complete HF QRP station in it.
To hold my HT, I tried out several MOLLE-compatible pouches. The one I plan to use is a no-name item I bought from a Chinese seller on eBay. It only cost me about $4.00 (shipping included), but it works well with my current collection of HTs. I attached it to the side of the bottle carrier using the MOLLE webbing. An Internet search for “radio pouch” will bring you a dizzying assortment from which to choose.
As a final touch, I added a patch with my callsign on it. I ordered the 4″ x 1″ custom embroidered Velcro patch from a shop on Etsy. This little bit of vanity cost almost as much as the bag, but it looks good.
So far, I’ve only used this bag for a few short hikes. I haven’t used this bag for its intended purpose yet, but I’m hoping that will change next year. (Fingers crossed)
73, Craig WB3GCK