G.O.O.D. Bag Accessories
#1 Self Protection
Aside from the four essentials (shelter, fire, food and water), a means to protect yourself is the most important item or accessory in your GOOD bag. I guess, technically, it won't be inside your bag... schemantics...
I can understand some people's hesitation with a side arm. I think the good in everyone wants to believe that it is not a necessary item. For me, I would prefer to error on the side of caution and never have to use mine than be caught in a situation where I needed it and did not have one. I've been watching reruns of a BBC series call Survivors. The show is based in Great Britain and in the wake of a super virus apocalypse a group of people immune to the disease band together and strike out to make a new life. While the show is fantastically entertaining, it is bothersome in that the group regularly places themselves in situations where they are unable to protect their members or their limited supplies. I find it very unrealistic that anyone in any type of survival situation would be able to make it very long with a sidearm. Maybe things are different in England?
I am currently looking at purchasing the Springfield Armory XD .45 ACP or a Springfield Armory XD .45 in the 5" tactical length. Both are a polymer framed pistols that feed from a double stack magazine which holds thirteen cartridges. What I like a lot about the XD is the grip safety that will not allow the weapon to fire unless it is depressed, which happens naturally when the pistol is held properly, but automatically goes "on safe" when the grip is released, such as if the weapon is dropped or re-holstered. I find that it sits very comfortably in my hand (which are not petite but I would say fairly average in size) and is one of the driving reasons behind my consideration of the XD model. Most all the reviews comment on the ergonomics of the grip and how well the XD fits most average sized hands. Conversely the Glock Model 21 .45 G.A.P. pistol has a notoriously bulky grip though they have introduced a Model 37 that is slightly smaller and easier to handle. Unlike some, I have never developed the "appreciation" for the Glock pistols. Though one attribute they share in common with the XD is their trigger safety. The trigger has two interdependent parts that when held and fired properly will operate naturally. However, unintentional pressure or a strike against the trigger is unlikely to do so.
Something super cool about the XD is the fact that you can drag this pistol through a swamp and come out the other side firing. Here is a pretty amazing link to a torture test the XD 9mm survived. Granted it's not the .45 but it's still crazy cool.
I hope it will never has to go through so much but it is insanely reassuring to know that it could and would still operate as efficiently as it does all clean and shiny new.
With your sidearm you also have to consider how much ammunition to carry. I have read that approximately 200 rounds is the drop dead minimum to consider carrying to get you to your retreat but ideally 1000 rounds is a safer bet. Thinking about that... 200 rounds of .45 ACP ammunition weighs about 40 pounds, 1000 rounds weighs over 200 pounds. I don't know about you but I couldn't carry 200 pounds on top of the weight of everything else in my bag. So I am planning on having four magazines loaded with 52 rounds and about 200 additional rounds stored in an ammo pouch that can attach to the outside of my G.O.O.D bag. The rest of my ammunition will be stored in a waterproof ammo box that I can throw in the back of my Jeep. I hope that if the time comes I will be able to make most of the journey out of dodge in my Jeep but I think I need to face up to the fact that some or all of the trip could be on foot.
Note to Self: find a retreat that isn't too far away...
Next post: G.O.O.D. Bag Accessories #2 Communication and Electronic Accessories (toys) for your bag