Bag Drop: Pink Oxx Search and Rescue Duffel Bag

For my early hurricane deployments as an City Search and Rescue (US&R) Buildings Specialist, I used to only sling a number of luggage over my shoulders — put on one backpack usually, the opposite reversed over my chest, and possibly a 3rd slung on one shoulder. This will get outdated quick in the event you’re having to switch between totally different automobiles or stroll on foot any distance in any respect. I’m not precisely often called a minimalist packer. As an engineer, I like redundancy and totally subscribe to the “two is one, one is none” mantra of getting backups for backups. However the finish results of carrying a number of overstuffed luggage ended up trying ridiculous and made it powerful to maneuver with objective and effectivity. So I ended up simply buying one large bag, the Sherpa Jr. by Pink Oxx Manufacturing, which might function a “mothership” to my smaller luggage and maintain my cumbersome gear multi functional place.

No extra clipping boots or helmets to the skin of a smaller pack as a result of they gained’t match inside — the Sherpa Jr. is sort of a black gap that sucks up all types of cumbersome gear. It streamlines my motion as a result of I solely have one bag to hold. It’s one monumental, impossible-to-miss or misplace bag. The scale on this mom are 27 by 15 by 15 inches. That’s over 6,000 cubic inches, and it’s not even the most important bag Pink Oxx affords. On this case although, I really feel like this measurement is concerning the most sensible for something I do. If I had an even bigger bag, I’d be tempted to stuff that one too, however it’d find yourself being too heavy to carry or carry with out throwing out my again.

I used to have a gear room filled with black packs to the purpose the place it was onerous to inform them aside. These days, after I purchase a pack I search for some other colour than black. One of many issues I like about Pink Oxx Manufacturing is how I can order any of their luggage in one among 13 colours, together with an obnoxious (in a great way) shiny blaze orange or a beautiful shiny blue (they name the colour Mariner). On this case, I purchased the Sherpa Jr. in a limited-edition lime inexperienced colour, in order that I might discover my gear simply even when it was thrown into the again of a tractor trailer with comparable luggage strewn throughout it.

I personal seven different luggage from Pink Oxx. Nothing they make is cheap (the Sherpa Jr. is $335), however the construct high quality is simply ranges above what I’m used to seeing from comparable objects manufactured in abroad factories in Vietnam or Bangladesh. Pink Oxx’s manufacturing facility is in Billings, Montana, and is owned by veterans with a background in parachute rigging, so that they know greater than just a little bit about constructing gear you possibly can rely on.

Pink Oxx Sherpa Jr. Expedition Collection



Child Packs

I’ve lined the contents of my smaller 5.11 RUSH72 in Subject 52 of RECOIL OFFGRID and 5.11 RUSH12 pack in Subject 48. I’m capable of have these packs totally loaded after which simply drop them into the Sherpa Jr., though generally I’ll go away these packs empty and simply load the objects individually till I’ve a greater concept of what the mission profile will appear like.

Cumbersome Protecting Gear

New for this hurricane season, I’ve been capable of transition to the lighter and far more snug SAR Tactical Helmet made by Group Wendy. It’s superb how a lot much less cranky I’m after I don’t have any strain factors boring into my head. I additionally carry a ridiculously heavy pair of Honeywell Technical Rescue Boots, which give me the quiet consolation of figuring out that, even when I am going down in a helicopter crash and my physique is transformed to charcoal briquet standing, my toes will nonetheless be pink, comfortable, and intact contained in the boot’s protecting shell. It’s the little issues that rely.

“New” Drone Know-how

Most individuals are stunned after I inform them that when it comes to superior know-how to find and rescue victims, what we used on the Surfside (Champlain Tower) condominium collapse in Miami in 2021 was largely the identical know-how that my predecessors used following the Sept. 11 assaults on the World Commerce Middle and the Pentagon in 2001. My main surveying tools to observe the steadiness of the constructing was a decades-old, manually managed Complete Station, which didn’t even know tips on how to speak to a pc. In distinction, the Israeli Protection Forces (IDF) engineers, despatched to the collapse due to the big proportion of Jewish residents contained in the constructing and neighborhood, had extra superior know-how and strategies than anybody else.

I take advantage of a drone on a weekly foundation for my “day job” as a structural engineer, and was able to carry it all the way down to Surfside, however was informed that they’d loads of drones there, I’d give you the option see no matter I wanted with a radio name. So naturally, I by no means had entry to a drone whereas I used to be there. Like my buddies within the navy can most likely relate to, shut air assist by no means appears to be there if you want it most. So now I carry my DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Drone with its onboard thermal digital camera for each deployment, and I stuff the massive heavy field into my Pink Oxx Sherpa Jr. bag and simply cope with the additional weight, as a result of I’m by no means going to have that specific downside once more.

Making Room For Psychological Well being

I’ve at all times discovered it useful to tuck in some utterly pointless private objects, however my psychologist buddy Dr. Meg Fitzpatrick, PsyD NCSP, helped me verbalize it and put a reputation to it for the primary time. She first instructed a Psychological Well being Go Bag to tuck into my different equipment. That is largely simply stuff that’s going to make me really feel higher and — critically — do my finest to really unplug throughout the few off-hours that we get. Mine consists of scrumptious meals that gained’t spoil and refuels my physique, usually a field of Honey Stinger Nut + Seed Bars.

I’ll additionally add packets of prompt micro-ground espresso, so I can really feel human once more with a caffeine increase even when I’ve nothing greater than a lukewarm bottle of water to combine it with. Moreover that, I throw in my new Sitka Ambient Hoody that weighs virtually nothing however remains to be toasty heat. Not like the remainder of my issued gear, that are largely cotton blends, it dries rapidly when moist.

I prime these off with little pattern sizes of one thing that smells actually good. The catch is that it must be a brand new scent and likewise a scent that I’m snug abandoning and by no means smelling once more after the deployment, to keep away from pointless triggering. In fact, there are some triggers you’ll by no means get away from, however it’s good to have the ability to at the least decrease them going ahead.

I hope this Pink Oxx duffel provides you some good packing concepts to your personal adventures. Discovering good gear is like discovering good buddies, particularly as you become older. It’s few and much between, however when you get it you’ve bought it for all times.

In regards to the Creator

Andrew Schrader is a licensed skilled engineer, industrial pilot and City Search and Rescue (US&R) specialist. He has been deployed by the State of Florida for 4 separate hurricane occasions, in addition to the Surfside (Champlain Towers) condominium in 2021. He’s the lead Buildings Specialist for the State of Florida’s US&R Process Power. Discover him on Instagram at @reconresponse.

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