Tag Archives: Bug Out Bag

Gear Review: Exos-Gear Bravo Pack

I’ve not heard of Exos-Gear before, and I don’t personally know the owner or designer or anyone at the company… So this review is completely without any built in bias.  I’ve been looking for a good Tactical Pack to ungrade from my little Drago Pack that I used as an EDC laptop and work bag.  Mainly it packs my laptop, various tech accessories I need, and a notepad and pens.   And it’s a carrier for some spare handgun magazines and a couple blades.  But really that’s about all it can carry.  If I was going to go Adventure I needed something more capable.  From what I’ve seen online, the EXOS-GEAR’s BRAVO packs seemed like a perfect solution, so I had to try it out.   And I’m glad I did.  This is a solid pack.

One thing I like about this pack is that it’s light weight for it’s size. It’s also simple and everything is straight forward and easy to understand. You don’t need a Manual for this pack.
One important aspect of a good pack, is it’s ability to actually be a Pack and not a glorified Shoulder Bag. The straps are sturdy and well padded. In testing and some actual use as a pack… it’s comfortable, even when carrying a good amount of weight.
The Hydration compartment carries a Camelback bladder perfectly, and away from main compartment contents.
The Hydration system’s tube can feed through the inner port, and out this covered port that can is otherwise velcro’ed closed. Just one of the details that I appreciate. They actually thought things through. That’s impressive.
This pack expands as needed, going from a regular Day-Pack to a full on RUCK Mode. It also has enough Molle Webbing to easily attach other bags and such to fit most any mission requirement.
The Main Compartment is cavernous. Several pairs of jeans, battle-kilts, and socks… whatever you need for a proper adventure… be it a weekend from home, business trip, camping, a week at SHOT SHOW, or hunting Orc. You can fit it in here.
The Secondary Compartment is also large enough for a good laptop. School books. Your sniper Dope-Book. The built in pouches work great for holding spare magazines.
The Tertiary compartment is good for knives, compass, GPS, pens… it’s big enough for all sorts of gear. A Pocket Holster fits in there, allowing for a great secondary handgun carrier.

It’s really easy to say that this is a great pack for the money… Because this is NOT an expensive pack.  In fact… It’s cheap.  It’s less than $40 bucks.  But saying that it’s a great pack for the money really doesn’t do it justice.  It’s a great pack.  Period.  The fact that it’s Un-Expensive is just a total bonus.

If I had any complaint about the pack, it would be that I’d have liked more area for moto-patches.  Just because I like patches.   There’s a spot for patches on each side, but not on the face of the pack as I’d have liked to have seen.  But that’s a small complaint and really a Non-Issue because I’ve never seen a mission critical patch before.
Having got one just to try out – I’m going to be ordering a few more for my Sons, because they need some good packs too.   The other option I was looking at was literally double the money for a pack that is no better.  So I’m pleased with this one.

The Bravos Series packs – and Exos-Gear makes a more Urban one – comes in some other colors.  Black, OD-Green, and Grey, as well as the Coyote Tan as pictured.  Order one Here.


  • Liters: 34L, 2073 CU in. Capacity when measured in accordance with Standard ASTM F2153
  • Inner Main Compartment: 18″ x 10″ x 5″
  • Inner Secondary Compartment: 16″ x 9″ x 3″
  • Outer Top Compartment: 5″ x 8″ x 3″
  • Outer Bottom Compartment: 10″ x 8″ x 3″
  • Material: 600D Polyester
  • Double-Stitched Grab Handle
  • Heavy Duty Zippers and Utility-Style Cord Pulls
  • Side and Front Load Compression System
  • Ventilated Mesh Padding for Strap & Back Area
  • Durable Polymer Buckles & Anchors


If you say Off Roading to different people, it’s going to mean different things.  And I don’t pretend to be an expert at anyone of them, but I’ve tried them…
Rock Crawling has never had much appeal to me.  Fighting your vehicle over obstacles may be fun for some… Twisting axels and drive shafts and blowing your tire’s bead off the rims… no, I don’t consider that fun.  Sure, it’s fun to watch others do it.  But I’ve never been tempted to do it for sport.  I’ve done it a couple times out of necessity in my Bronco or my Scotsdale… but I only did it to get out of areas I got into and had no other way out of.  No, I’ll avoid rock crawling as much as possible.
I’ve never liked Mudding either.  Sure it can be fun, but it can get you stuck tighter than anything else.  See, the Earth doesn’t like Mud Boggers and Mother Earth strives to punish them… Sucking them down ever deeper into her grasp.   I was once stuck for over 14 hours when I went Mudding with some folks in Washington State.  We were so stuck, a couple of us had to hike out to find Search and Rescue.   The Rescue vehicle showed up, pulled them out (While me and another fellow hung out at the Rescue Station and waited for them to make it back) and then got stuck them selves.   That cured me of all my desire for Mudding.   And then as further punishment, the Mud will get into your axles and bearings and everywhere else it can cause havoc and if you don’t get it washed out good – will act as a grinding compound to eat your vehicle alive.  No, no thank you.
Now then there is Overlanding.   This is my kind of off roading.  Overlanding is about traveling.  It’s about going some place, not just getting through some thing.  The way I see it, Overlanding has a point.  A destination as well as the journey.
I see a lot of Off Road vehicles guys are setting up and a lot of them just make me scratch my head.  What are they set up for?   To me, it seems they are set up for looks only.  Some look like they could be set up for Mudding or Rock Crawling until you look closer.  Few are set up to be an actual Bug Out Vehicle, yet that’s what their owners are saying they are.  I’m sorry, but Jeep is cool with your 454 on a stock 18 gallon tank turning 44″ tires isn’t going to get you much distance, so I hope you are not Bugging too far Out.
To me, a good Bug Out Vehicle has to be a good Overland Vehicle.  Imagine it this way… You have to get from one coast to the other, without going on a Freeway or passing through a city and avoiding as much population as possible, and avoiding Points of Entry along the way.  Now plot that course out.  You may have to take some trails or fire roads.  You may have to cross open BLM Land.  Forestry Trails.  Follow power line trails.
Okay, let’s get serious here.  Think about your Zombie Plan.  Your SHTF Plan.  Your Bug Out Plan… Where are you Bugging Out too? How are you going to get there.  Now think about who you are taking with you.  Okay, now think about what you are going to need.  Now think about how you are going to take that with you.  Yeah, just having a 4×4 isn’t the solution.   You may not actually need a 4×4.  If your plan is just “getting up into the mountains”… You need a better plan.
This is where Overlanding has some good value.  It’s like a how we go to Shooting Courses to learn the art of gunfighting… but for Bugging Out.  Get out there… get into the wilderness. Get away from Wi-Fi.  Disconnect from things.  And put yourself to the Bug Out Test.  By actually Bugging Out for awhile.
Man, I do miss my Chevy Scotsdale 4×4 right now.


The subject of Bug Out Kits, Survival, and general Preparedness keeps coming back and I’ve noticed that all the damn time people are including “Fire Starting Kits”.
These kits are generally a Magnesium chunk, and Flint and Steel affair.  So you can make little sparks to catch some magnesium shaving and tender to start a flame. Yeah, that’s all fine and well.  But let me put it this way.  If I’m in a Survival Situation, and I need a Flame, I want a damn Flame not some Sparks.


I used to always – Always – have a Zippo lighter with me.  I wasn’t a smoker or anything, but the Zippo was a part of my EDC kit.  It was nothing fancy, just a classic “Windproof” in plain stainless with “INFANTRY” scratched into it.   Had it for years and years.  It was one of the two things that I got at Ft. Benning… the other was a Timex watch that I still have.    I would still have that Zippo if it wasn’t for TSA.  Zippo, knife, a flashlight, wallet and watch.  Those were always on me.

So if you already have those items on you all the time… all you need to add to your kit is a little can of fluid to refill the Zippo.  Maybe some replacement flint if your are all that worried… But that’s your kit.  Forget scratching for sparks… Make some FIRE.

The Zippo Handwarmer is very nice too.