Revisiting The Smock, And Stocking It For Survival PT. 2


In Part 1 we discussed the smock that I recommend, and why I recommend it. In this post we’ll cover what survival items I carry in it, the “why” and the “how” of it. My smock carries items that are geared towards survival if I have lost all my gear. They cover these basic categories: Shelter, Water procurement and purification, food in a basic short term sustainment pack, tools for shelter building and food procurement, and fire making.

In the “Shelter” section I have one main item, which is supported by the length of 550 cord which will be shown in an inner pocket. I use a military “casualty” blanket. This is another way of saying heavy duty space blanket. This is a heavy duty tart that is 5’x7′, with grommet holes on the sides and corners. One side is OD green, and one side is silver. These make excellent lean to shelters, and can also be rolled up inside to keep ones body heat in as much as possible. I carry the Space blanket in the back pocket on the smock.


Note the camo tie downs all over the back of the smock.


This looks like it would be bulky, but it is far from it. It lies flat and if any gear sits on top of the pocket, it does not dig into your back or your ass. Next, since we already started with the back pocket, we will just go through the pockets and see what they hold.

Up front you have six pockets, two bottom cargo pockets, two top cargo pockets, and two zip up napoleon pockets behind the top cargo pockets. On the side you have two lower cargo pockets, and one sleeve pocket on the left sleeve. As I said in part 1, I removed the right sleeve pocket that this smock comes with.

First we’ll start with the left sleeve pocket. Three items are in this pocket. First is a small fixed blade knife. I use the CRKT Ritter RSK MK5 because it is small, sturdy, and can be used for a spear point if needed. Next is a military type magnesium fire starter block, as a last ditch fire starting implement. Third is a old style military field dressing for serious bleeder/wound issues.


Next up we’ll go to the top left side pocket. I carry a Minimag LED with lithium batteries. Why a minimag? Because they’ve been around a long time, and they work. Why LED? Because it doesn’t have the bulb breakage problems that the standard does, it’s brighter, and lasts longer. Why lithium batteries. They last longer in storage and don’t leak. There is plenty of room in that pocket for other things that might need carried (you can’t fill up every space, first it would be too bulky, second it’s a back up, not your primary gear conveyance, right?).

Napoleon pocket, top left. I carry a neck gaiter for cold, and a pair of aviator flight gloves. The gloves are good for cold down to about 20 degrees if you’re moving around, about 30 degrees if you’re sedentary. The neck gaiter is one of the best cold weather items you can have, and makes a huge difference in your heat retention. ‘Nough said.


Top right cargo pocket. This is the LandNav pocket. Their is a good baseplate compass, with a magnifying lens on it (back up fire starter also). There is also a small button compass inside the top flap of the pocket as a back up. Once again, extra room is there for other items later.



Top right napoleon pocket. The only thing in this pocket is a stormsafe notebook, a pen and a mechanical pencil. They are stored in a heavy duty waterproof bag that can be used to carry other items of water if needed.


The bottom left cargo pocket contains three items. First is a pair of cold weather aviator gloves (both types of aviator gloves are fire resistant). These are for cold down to about 5 degrees (what I’ve used them too, but I run “Hot” so YMMV). The other items are a roll over black electrical tape and a bic lighter that is in a metal case with scissors and a small blade (never have enough blades, right?).



Bottom right cargo pocket contains three items. An old German army pocket knife which has a knife blade, saw, screwdriver, corkscrew and awl. There is two types of headwear in this pocket. One is the old standby OD green wool watchcap, the other is a coyote brown goretex boonie hat. This covers shelter building, and repair, keeping the head and shoulders dry, and along with the cold weather gloves, and neck gaiter, staying somewhat warm.


The left side cargo pocket contains a a collapsible water bottle, and that is it. The left side is where I wear a holster, so this side needs to remain relatively flat. It can be used with the water purification tablets I will mention later.



Right side cargo pocket. In this pocket is a Spec ops Cargo pocket organizer that holds a number of survival items. The items are as follows: Bic Lighter, Bottle of ibuprofen and antacids, bottle of water purification tablets, a piece of contractor grad aluminum foil 3’x12″ (used for heating up the water for the ramen seasoning packets), MRE Chocolate milkshake packet, ziplock bag of ramen flavor packets (like boullion cubes but flat), three Datrex bars (600 calories), and one small sealable waterproof bag.IMG_20160321_153528-1


Top left Bic lighter, Pill bottle, water pure tabs on top of ziplock bag with 3’x12′ piece of contractor grade alum foil. Top right is Choc drink pack (energy), middle left ramen flavor packets, middle right, 3 datrex bars

Note: All six cargo pockets have D-rings inside the pocket, and all items  are “Dummy corded” when possible to reduce loss. Also, everything is “Jump” tested to make sure  they make no noise when moving.

IMG_20160321_155014  Inside right pocket contains a map in a ziplock gallon size freezer bag with a protractor.




Inside left contains 50 feet of 550 cord for shelter building and other tasks, and another bic lighter wrapped with 2 feet of 100mph tape (repairs and fire tinder). Below is a Buddy of mine, Bergmann in Alaska, with his idea of some additions to a survival smock. We have talked about this a good bit, and as you can see, some of the ideas we both had, and some I poached.

Well, that’s about it, any questions or ideas, pleas let me know.


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE




21 thoughts on “Revisiting The Smock, And Stocking It For Survival PT. 2

  1. Looks very efficient. Couple of questions:

    – When wearing under, say, any of your LBE set ups while snoopin’ and poopin’, what’s the noise level made by items in the pockets?

    – What’s the weight of your set up (smock & all items contained therein)?

    Nice post!

    • There is no noise made by the items in the pocket, since items that are hard enough to make banging noises are placed in pockets with softer items (example: bottom left cargo pocket, electrical tape with metal lighter, instead of a hard plastic compass). The overall weight added is around 4 pounds. The smock weighs almost 4 pounds, and it weighs 8 pounds with the kit. Thanks

  2. Pingback: MDT: Revisiting The Smock, And Stocking It For Survival | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  3. I think I am going to go along the same lines as this, but add a pair of medics shears (they’ll cut damned near anything, especially things that would ruin the edge on your knife) and a small AM/FM radio with earbuds. Something like this:

    Gives you a time piece, AM/FM radio, and best of all, that one includes weather radio. Under 4oz, prob 6oz with earbuds and a single AAA battery.

  4. I’ve always like the M65 field jacket, but this looks way better. Are you able to wear your battle belt/LBE/suspenders/vest or plate carrier over this smock? Can you get to all the pockets pretty good? Currently i have only vietnam era Y harness/belt/alice gear.

    • The only front pockets I can’t readily access with a vest on is the upper cargo pockets (still can access the napoleon pockets). thus the reason they don’t keep much that is readily needed, and also why they have low bulk items in them. Bottom front cargo pockets are accessible, and side cargo pockets are accessible if I unbuckle the equipment belt.

  5. Didn’t Bergmann say his smock like this in flecktarn didn’t hold up well in Alaska? I use a British SAS smock in the original cotton gabardine, used it hiking summer to winter in the Rockies. It would get wet but dried pretty quickly. I like this one but worry about the high percentage of nylon. My understanding is that a smock is for windproofing over layers of insulation ala brit army

    • He told me it did great, and it saved him (tore it pretty good in the process) from falling down a slope. The percentage of nylon is the same as most BDU’s now 65/35 Nylon/Cotton. They do not have the combustibility of all nylon clothing, dry out faster than cotton, and last longer.

    • Bergmann never said that.. He may have said the S95 is superior and he prefers the S95 even to the warm loving embrace of his Mrs. Bergmann, but the MT/Sturm held up well to Alaska..Until the literal end….


  6. Great concept, but what do you wear in summer?

    I’ve decided upon a fisherman’s vest. Tons of little pockets in front and usually a big one in back. I like the shorter angler type as it does not interfere with a GI pistol belt or fanny pack like the longer ‘concealed carry’ types that are popular. Can be worn over a t-shirt in summer or under a BDU blouse or light jacket in fall/spring, or under a winter coat of course. I can stuff pretty much the same things you carry in it. Things like gloves/hats I save for the pockets of whatever garment I wear over the vest or the pants cargo pockets, although I think I have a GI fleece beanie in there somewhere. The OD green/silver space tarp (wise choice) fits nicely in the rear large pocket.

    My M65 GI coats are all stuffed with gloves or mittens, a fire starting kit, a wool jeep cap (with the short brim), a balaclava, and a neck gaiter (you’re dead right about neck gaiters). GI GoreTex parkas have wool glove liners and fleece beanies.

    Good article, thanks.

  7. Great load out! A couple of suggestions if I may? Being deep in bayou country, we’ll eat most anything. A couple of snares and a pocket fishing kit is handy, small and lite, also on your electrical tape, don’t skimp with cheap vinyl tape. Spend a little more for Scotch 3M “33” tape and if you can, wrap it in wax paper and stow in a ziplock or sandwich bag. The ambient heat from body or sun or vehicle will make it sticky and runny over time. The tape may deform as well.
    Well thought out, I just ordered the smock two days ago from Part 1…. Guess I’ll be ordering some more gear… Dammit…

    • The majority of the kit I carry, you see in the smock, but the items you speak of (snares, yo-yo’s, lead head jigs, frog gig) are in my pants cargo pocket kit, along with some gorilla tape, and other items (more fire, LandNav, etc.). Thanks for reading.

  8. Pingback: Revisiting The Smock, And Stocking It For Survival PT. 2 | Rifleman III Journal

  9. Great article! You like Smocks and you own a Doug Ritter Survival Knife! So do I.
    My neck gaiter and woolen cap go into the elbow sleeves instead of protective pads, it does not hinder my movement, gives a little bit of protection for my elbows and saves space in the main pockets.
    My current Smock is a Claw Gear, made in Germany. It has MOLLE webbing instead of the two hip pockets on the sides, that is where I put some flat shingle pouches from Begadi if I need the extra room. For bad weather I wear a Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Rain Jacket under the Smock, because the membrane it came with is and always was a pos. To be honest, the company went broke after offering that Smock 😉 but it has been reestablished since, making good gear, and I modded the heck of my Smock, so now I can finally say: it’s not bad. 🙂

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