In 2018 I traveled to Utah for PrepperCon. It was a good time. I was hanging with my boys from Bunker Days and I spent my time in classes and bouncing around booths. Lobbying for writing jobs and spreading the word about PBN, I met all kinds of people at a variety of booths. Dave Jones was there, too!
We even wound up doing a podcast
Upon arrival I headed to the 3VGEAR booth and got my hands on the VELOX II. This bag has become my defacto get home bag, I modify it for camping and even bugout needs.
I was already traveling with the PARATUS as part of a review for SHTFPREPAREDNESS.com and I was understanding what that bag was capable of. After a great few days in one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, I was headed back home with a new appreciation for this gear.
Since then, I have carried more of my hunting, fishing, EDC, and preparedness gear in 3VGear packs and slings than in any other type of bag. Fast forward to present day and I am blessed again by 3Vgear to test out one of their latest bags from the Redline Series which is more of a greyman feel and less of the tactical design of their first line of bags.
I carry the OUTLAW SLINGER as an EDC bag.
I swapped it all out and placed it in the new bag The SURGE. I have carried this bag daily for 2 weeks through a variety of environments both urban and wild. I have come away with some solid takeaways on this pack and I have also come up with 3 irreplaceable prepper uses for the bag.
The first thing you notice when you put the surge on is how light it is. With chest straps, waist straps and adjustments for everything, it feels like you are just wearing a bunch of straps!
There is no better way to get to know a bag that to fill it up and carry it each day. I tossed a 3Vgear shemagh into the bottom of the deepest pocket and started with that as my base. The large pocket would be left empty, except for daily needs. This might be a 9mm in holster or swimming trunks for myself and my kids.
The somewhat concealed sunglasses pocket is roomy and I was able to transfer all my quick access items from the slinger to this pocket.
Portable Battery Pack
and so on
Because it is summer I filled the second pocket, there are two larger pockets, with fishing tackle. Just a simple bit of gear that can get me on the water and slinging. My poles stay in the trunk and these are two of my favorite baits to have on hand.
- Berkley Gulp Minnows
- Yum Dinger Watermelon Red Flake
- 16th oz Jig Heads
I really dig the waist strap pockets and put some mints in one and multi tool in another. These are decent sized zipper pockets. Great for keys and things like that.
The Surge also features a shallow front stow pocket and elastic strap for holding that thin outer shell or that bandana. I never found myself needing to use this though I am sure I could find a reason to if I thought about it!
Being called the SURGE it only makes sense that you have to side stow pockets, too! This means you can store two water bottles, I store my 3Vgear 22oz Torrent. I like to keep this full with ice and use it as a water bladder refill. The water bladder itself is housed in a somewhat hidden pocket at the back of the bag. It is 2L and the mouthpiece works great. It is held in my two velcro straps and is much more durable than previous bladders I have owned in the past.
The Surge is simple bag with tons of great features. It is a delight for the modern day explorer. It can hold the important stuff but also some food and plenty of water. The backpack industry has become wildly competitive but the Surge reminds you of what you need in a bag and how effective a lightweight bag can perform.
The SHTF SCAVENGERS BAG
I started folding the bag up, without the water bladder inside, to see how small I could make it. I realized that the surge can be rolled up and stored inside another bag! Its lightweight design makes it great for stowing away in another larger bag. This is absolutely perfect for scavenging the post apocalyptic landscape!
It’s also cool for carrying an extra bag for your kid or spouse but the SHTF example is more fun to play with.
The durability and wide open storage space is perfect for filling this thign to the brim with medical, canned food, ammo or whatever else you happen upon on your SHTF scavenging mission.
OUTFITTING THE NEXT GENERATION
After a couple weeks with this bag, I will be honest, I think it is going to be best suited for my 9 year old. Now that is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a GREAT thing because I am a prepper and that means I need high quality bags for every member of my family.
The bag fits him great, he loves the outdoors and it just sets him up in the way I want him to be set up. He has multiple hydration options, tons of storage for his gear and even the whistle on the chest strap.
I like the family to have whistles when we go on long hikes. Easy to find.
Carter is going to love his new bag and I think any teen or preteen who is ready to step up from a kids bag to a quality backpack would love this, as well. Its a bag for the mature adventurer.
Whether you are scouting for whitetail in the eastern woodlands or scouting a new trout fishing spot in the mountains, the Surge is perfect!
You can hold everything you need to be comfortable, fed and hydrated for a full day. In fact, with a simply hammock setup you can even slip an ENO, tarp and straps into the main pocket, if you were going to overnight. Throw in some optics and you have yourself the ultimate little scouting adventure right on your back.
With the Surge, I was able to go longer because I paired down my gear to minimum and the bag itself is so light. Your water weight decreases throughout the day and I used my Katadyn hiker pro to refill the bladder when I got thirsty again.
For EDC I will return to my Outlaw Slinger II. It fits all my needs and has a nice convenient place for my 9mm. However, with hunting season just around the corner, I will be borrowing my son’s new bag and taking it into the woods with plenty of water and some midday meals.
There are many other uses for the SURGE and this insanely lightweight bag with plenty of hydration potential will go the distance on your next adventure.