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"PTB" Project (Public Transportation Bag)

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Bolster, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Call me crazy, but I've started riding public transportation across town in Los Angeles. I can read for an hour, instead of drive, and I don't have to pay parking. Costs all of $3. The downside can imagine what the downside is.

    So I've started assembling a PTB, a "Public Transport Bag" the goal of which is to contain functional gear that is SO INEXPENSIVE that I feel only minor pangs of regret if I have to give it up to a thief, or if I forget it on the bus.

    So far I'm getting it together more cheaply than expected, but hit a bump; the cheapest flashlight I own is a $45 Fenix 1AA. So just ordered a highly recommended (for a cheap light) Rominson RC-G2. In neutral tint, believe it or not, for <$20. So far that is my most expensive item in the bag, but felt a decent flashlight was worth it as the return trip's at night.

    The other expensive item (so far) is a pint size Nalgene bottle at $9, but I thought the wide top and reusability was worth it.

    This project is actually somewhat entertaining. I'm surprised I'm getting it stocked for so little money. Shopping for an unattractive but functional bookbag as we speak. Found a truly unattractive but sturdy and functional Hurley for $30 but still looking. I am not going to go bargain basement for the bag because it'll need to do some serious duty.

    Any suggestions, comments, cheers or jeers on this project, please pass them along...
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  2. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    For a small, cheap flashlight, I've been somewhat impressed with Lighthound's store-brand single-cell cr123 light. We bought them for all of our employees for christmas a year or two ago; some of them are still running and some are not. The ones that failed all have been due to the o-ring giving out, so the head spins too free and they turn on in the pocket.


    It'll never replace the e-15 on my keyring, but at $14.99 it's better than it should be imo.

    They have quite a few other inexpensive options as well.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012

  3. IV Troop

    IV Troop

    Jun 19, 2004
    For a bag I would be looking at a thrift store for a used book bag or backpack. You can find some very good quality daypacks for very little money usually within just a few visits.
  4. wiskeyVI


    Jun 16, 2007
    I picked up a couple of cheap LED flashlights at the local auto parts chain. They are usually sitting at the check out with a "2 for $5" sign on them.
    Great little lights for the price!.
  5. jwhite75

    jwhite75 Gubmint Worker

    Jan 6, 2009
    Dub V
    For stuff including a possibe bag....

    I think they are even in Cali so you would get it pretty quickly.
  6. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    PTB, interesting concept. I like the putty knife idea. How about a wrench for a striking tool?

    I have switched from Nalgene type bottles to collapsible water bottles. They are light, fold up so they don't take any space and you can carry a number of them and fill and/or freeze them as needed. Also cheap...

    BTW, these are also useful for smuggling booze into events, cruise ships etc. I like the cartoon character ones as they are so low key as to be ignored.

    Also, Dealextreme has lots of interesting cheap gadgets and stuff. I have several of their Cree flashlights and they work as well as the expensive namebrand stuff. The small led key chain lights are a bargin.

    My GHB is an old bookbag one of my kids used in high school. I figured if it is tough enough to survive a teenager with 40 lbs of text books for 3 years it will survive sitting in my truck full of stuff.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  7. Lone Kimono

    Lone Kimono

    Jul 15, 2009
    I'm shocked you wouldn't get in trouble for carrying around even a putty knife in Cali.
  8. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    If you used it to hurt someone, you bet you would be in trouble; as you would with a pipe clamp, a cane, a hammer, or a rolled up magazine. But the police can't stop people from carrying all tools.

    Collapsible water bottle...genius...hadn't thought of that.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  9. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009
    Cheers for sure. Something all of us can learn from. Having throw-down quality stuff that still works and is effective but won't break your heart if stolen is a good concept. I do tend to keep better stuff at home for hunker-down than I leave in the car. If I were forced to live in an urban s#$%hole like LA, I would be on this concept like a pro.

    Pictures of the final package would be great.
  10. arclight610


    Dec 2, 2009
    Sir, do you have a permit to carry a concealed putty knife?
  11. If you're going to carry the painter/construction thing a bit further, you can carry can/bottle of mineral spirits/rubbing alcohol for cleaning, etc. Match up with a bottle and cotton cloth and you get something more sinister... Of course, it isn't super lightweight to carry, but if the zombies are coming, that cocktail might save you :supergrin:

    For more useful - since you said your return trip is at night, I carry two lights - one is my surefire (cr123), the other is lightweight headlamp. As long as you check your battery regularly, your light should be fine. The CR123 lithiums take the guess work out of it. Useful to temporarily blind someone. The headlamp allows you to keep both hands free and land direct the light as well.
  12. Lone Kimono

    Lone Kimono

    Jul 15, 2009
    I'm all for it and think it's a great idea. It's a shame you live in a state where they would rather you be the victim than defend yourself.
  13. cs133atom


    Feb 28, 2007
    The Old Dominion
    $20 I bought one to check it out and have purchased 5 since. Great bag for the money. Especially for a throw away. Check it out.


    LA Police GEAR
  14. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    Not sure I'd want to ride public transit in LA with LAPG stuff. I think I'd rather find an inconspicuous backpack
  15. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    I don't ride public transit, but I have one of those SwissGear backpacks for work. I've taken it on trips several times as the only piece of luggage, along with my BOB or GHB (depending upon the trip). Point being though, I've found that SwissGear bag is great. It's rugid, and has many pockets that are great for storing various items. And it doesn't look like a bag that would be used for survival stuff. Just looks like a work backpack.
  16. treeline


    Nov 10, 2006
    ex-CA, now UK
    One question: why buy a putty scraper that needs work when you could buy a hacking knife that is already sharp?
    Here's an example of the style I'm referring to. Cheaper models are available:

    If you want a regular knife, the Mora range starts at about $8. Last year a store here was selling the 640 Tradesman/Viking for £2.50 (about $4) each and even one as cheap as that is sharp, durable and comfortable. The Hultafors knives are also good, cheap beaters that can be sharpened for woodwork, but I'm not sure if they're widely available in the US.
  17. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    It is pretty amazing how reasonably a good knife can be had.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  18. G23c


    Jan 23, 2009
    houston, texas
    this is a great idea. let us know how much in final when fully stocked.
  19. Full transit system map and extra throw a wrecking bar in there too so u can self extricate in case of a wreck or power outage
  20. i got a couple of the LAPG bailout bags awhile back when they were free with a pants purchase or something of that nature. its a decent bag but not really what i would see as inconspicuous on a bus.

    i use a Outdoor Products backpack from wal-mart for school use. its a cheap bag that everyone knows came from WM but i carry 3 or 4 large text books with all the crap that is required for college. i also throw it around my truck with all my tools and such for my day job and im not really nice to it, but not really nasty to it either. that sai, it has held up great and shows no sign of abuse.