SAR and CERT Gear List

Discussion in 'Equipment & Survival Kits' started by ke4sky, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    I took several posted CERT gear lists from a listserv I belong to, merged them with my own list, sorted the items into categories, and consolidated their contents into one list for planning purposes. Attention must be given to the weight of necessary items that you MUST carry to safely complete your mission, your physical condition, and your need for mobility.
    A concept widely used by search and rescue groups is a total gear package consisting of three LEVELS:

    Level I:
    Clothing you are wearing and pocket contents including minimum survival items such as a pocket knife, lighter or matches, eyeglasses, small “task light” flashlight, pint water bottle, cell phone and pager if you use one for alerting. Suggested weight of Level I gear should not exceed 2 pounds.

    Level II:
    Consists of personal equipment to support a solo foot assignment in the field for a 12-hour operational period: Personal protective equipment, comfort and safety items include small personal first aid kit, rain gear, hat, snacks, water, portable 2-way radio, headamp on hardhat, extra batteries, 1 liter water bottle (bottles 2 in hot weather), snacks and personal medications for a day, sunglasses, multi-tool or pocket knife, map and compass or personal GPS. Suggested weight of Level II gear should not exceed 8-10 pounds.

    Level III:
    Consists of your technical rescue gear, extra expendable supplies and life support items to supplement the first two levels. An internal-frame pack of 1500-2000 cubic inches, is a good choice. A 25-30 pound pack is the maximum which a 35 to 50 year-old male in “good” physical condition, with no medical problems, should carry all day. New team members should undergo medical evaluation including a stress test, and when necessary follow up with a structured physical conditioning program conducted under medical supervision.

    For Mutual Aid deployments a 72-annex is added to the 24-hour pack. A rubbermaid storage box kept in your vehicle is a re-supply point for your walking kit. In it you should have:

    2 full changes of clothes, including socks and underwear
    Personal hygiene items - soap, shampoo, towel, razors, deodorant, toothpaste, dental floss
    Food for 3 days - 6 meals as a minimum
    Water – Minimum 5 gallon container recommended
    Sleeping bag, or 2 wool blankets
    Cold weather clothing – insulated coveralls, or trousers, extra socks, parka
    Rain suit or poncho
    Stock of spare batteries for GPS, 2-way radio and flashlights

    Pick and choose the essential equipment for your assignment from the following category lists.

    Bags and Containers

    Multi-pocket gear vest for everyday carry personal items you carry - Level I

    Waist Pack to carry water bottles, health and medical items - Level II

    Internal frame rucksack for rescue equipment, food, water, shelter and multi-purpose gear - Level III

    Rubbermaid Brute container in vehicle for supplemental storage - 72 hour annex

    CERT / SAR Job Aids

    Flagging tape
    Masking tape
    Sharpie fine tipped markers (2)
    Wide felt tipped marker
    Lumber crayon or grease pencil
    Carpenters pencil
    Fisher Space Pen
    Rite In The Rain CERT notebook
    CERT Field Operations Guide

    Health and Medical

    CPR mask
    Triage tape or tags
    Decontamination gel or hand sanitizer (12oz.)
    Antibiotic ointment
    Baby wipes or moist towelettes (100)
    SAM splints (4)
    Tongue depressors (10)
    Insect repellent with sunscreen SPF30
    Sterile needle
    Oral thermometer
    Sterile #10 blades (2)
    Spenco second skin
    Knuckle bandages (12)
    Band Aids (100)
    Butterflly strips (50)
    Tincture of benzoin (1/2oz.)
    Betadyne (4oz.)
    Waterjel (4oz.)
    Quick Clot ACS 25g (4)
    Military wound compresses (4)
    1” Medical tape (100 ft.)
    2” Medical tape (50 ft.)
    4” ACE Wraps (4)
    4” Kerlix rolls (8)
    4x4 Dressings (20)
    5x9 Dressings (12)
    10x8 Dressings (4)
    cravats, triangle bandages (12)
    Safety pins (24)
    Pint irrigation wash bottles (2)
    EMT scissors
    5” straight jaw Kelly forceps
    Aspirin 325 mg (50) not for children under age 12
    Acetaminophen 500mg (50)
    Ibuprofen 200 mg (50)
    Syrup of ipecac
    Activated charcoal
    Antacid tablets

    Signals and Safety

    VS-17 Panels (2)
    Railroad flares, traffic cones or triangle reflectors (3)
    5 lb. 2A-10BC dry chemical extinguisher
    Fox 40 or ACR Whistle
    Signal mirror
    Glow sticks (10)
    DANGER tape


    AM/FM broadcast pocket radio
    Portable NOAA Weather radio
    GMRS/FRS radio
    Cell phone with mobile charger
    Ham 2m or dual band 2m/70cm radio

    Tools and sharps

    Pocket Utility Knife, Swiss Army, Boy Scout or Mil-K-818
    Multi-tool, Leatherman or Gerber
    Sturdy fixed blade, aviator’s survival, K-Bar or equivalent
    Adjustable Crescent wrench
    Non sparking multi-use rescue tool
    Folding saw
    Shovel or folding U-Dig-it
    Hatchet or Axe
    Bottle jack
    High lift jack

    Rope, Cordage and Connectors

    Duct tape, muiltiple sues
    Paracord (50 ft.) for tag lines
    Rope (50 ft.), static load
    Nylon webbing, for slings and hoists
    Bungee cords (4)
    Gear bands cut from bicycle inner tube
    Cable ties (100)
    Snap links (4)
    Tow strap

    Clothing and Shelter

    Casualty blankets (4)
    Wind/rain suit or poncho
    Wool or fleece warming layer
    Extra dry wool socks
    Gloves, cold weather
    Watch cap or balaclava


    ICE Card with emergency medical and contact info
    Safety glasses with side guards
    Sun glasses
    Gloves, nitrile, 12 pr.
    Gloves, rescue/mechanic’s, 2 pr.
    N95 masks (4)
    Boots, ankle support, traction sole, safety toe
    Vest, ANSI reflective Type II
    Hard Hat (CERT) ANSI Z89.1-1997, Type I, Class E & G

    Fire & Light
    SparkLite kit
    Waterproof matches
    Princeton Tec LED headlamp on helmet
    Surefire G2 hand held flashlight in med bag
    Microlight II on gear vest zipper pull personal illuminator/beacon


    GPS with mobile 12V power cable
    Orienteering map compass on dummy cord
    24,000 scale USGS Topo of assigned search sector
    Official State DOT road map
    Local street map

    Food and Water

    Survival water filter
    Micro-pur tablets
    Pint irrigation bottle in first aid kit
    2 quart canteens drinking water on person
    Gallon spare water container in vehicle
    Snacks 12 hours: hard candy, trail mix, jerky, peanut butter, crackers, raisins
    Three MREs

    Multi-Purpose and Misc.

    5 gal. plastic bucket and lid to store this stuff in, field latrine
    Extra batteries, two complete change outs for all devices
    Emergency cash, enough for hot meal and a tank of gas home
    Extra reading glasses if you need them
    Toilet paper
    Paper towels
    Folding litter or stretcher
    9x12 tarpaulin or Plastic sheeting
    Garbage bags and twist ties
    Ziplock bags, quart and gallon sizes
    Canteen cup or mess tin
    Spoon or spork
    Paper plates & plastic utensils
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
    Fn/Form likes this.
  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Many of those items I recognize from my wilderness first-aid certification training, and many of those items I also recognize from my attempt at joining SAR several years ago (couldn't join because I couldn't dedicate enough time to them / month).

    If I estimate the weight of all those items - there is no way that a single-person would be able to back-pack it all. What I would recommend is breaking it down into usable sections that are kept near the door of your house, in your vehicle and allow yourself to pick-n-choose the "pack" that would best suit your needs.

    To carry a full medical pack, plus all the clothing, plus the food, plus the water, plus signalling devices, plus communications, plus / plus / plus would kill even the strongest person.

    Become part of a team - break up the equipment based on the people's experience / abilities and work together. If everyone has "basic communications" in the group and each person has a portion of the equipment - when they all come together they would be stronger.

  3. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    If you don't have a vehicle, dog led or pack animal

    You are quite correct. See additional preamble material in latest edit.
  4. PaulBk

    PaulBk Guest

    Wow! That is a huge list :)

    My approach is a little different. I have learned over the course of many field drills that I slow down significantly if I am carrying more than 10 lbs, especially after a few hours. I keep three bags ready at all times. The first one is for neighborhood/local deployment or drills. It is light weight, geared towards only immediate essentials, and pretty much goes where I go (within reason). The second and third bags are for extended field use and remain in my Jeep 7x24.

    Bag number 2 has extra trauma/medical supplies and additional SAR stuff. Bag number 3 has shelter, food/water, and extra supplies. My thoughts are that I can either give bag #2 to my 'buddy' if needed or use it as 'drop' reserve, and bag #3 stays wherever HQ/base camp/etc. is located. The saddlebags in my Jeep contain extra clothes for almost any conditions.

    For a full scale MCI, I expect our CERT trailer to be available and it obviously has lots of everything we have stocked for re-supply in the field.

    CERT Local SAR / Triage Bag (~8 lbs.)
    1. CERT Helmet (Red/Captain) w/ mounted LED 30 lumen headlamp
    2. CERT Vest (Red/Captain)
    3. Work Gloves
    4. Protective Glasses/Goggles
    5. 2 x N95 Masks
    6. 2 x FRS Radios
    7. HAM Radio – Handheld tri-band w/emergency beacon
    8. Survival Knife
    9. Utility Knife
    10. Surefire G2 Flashlight (120 lumen)
    11. Surefire E2D Flashlight (60 lumen)
    12. 50’ Fire resistant rope
    13. 10 x Latex Exam Gloves
    14. 4 x Glow Sticks
    15. Duct Tape
    16. Crescent Wrench
    17. Dressing Shears
    18. 10 x 4x4 Dressings
    19. 8 x 5x9 Dressings
    20. 2 x 10x8 Dressings
    21. 12 x Triangle Bandages
    22. CERT FORMS Book
    23. CERT Field Operations Guide
    24. CERT Notebook
    25. 2 x Lumber Crayon
    26. 2 x Permanent Marker
    27. Triage Tape
    28. CAUTION Tape
    29. Masking Tape
    30. Medical Tape
    31. Extra Batteries
    32. Water
    33. Space Blanket
    34. Whistle
    35. BIC Lighter
    36. Hand Sanitizer

    CERT Extended SAR / Triage Bag (~15 lbs.)
    1. CERT Vest (Hi-Viz Yellow)
    2. 100 x Latex Exam Gloves
    3. 5 x Rolls of 3” Gauze
    4. 25 x 5x9 Dressings
    5. 15 x Triangle Bandages
    6. 4 x 10x8 Dressings
    7. 12 x 4x4 Bandages
    8. 4 x N95 Masks
    9. Folding Shovel/Pick/Axe Combo
    10. Duct Tape
    11. Masking Tape
    12. 4 x Glow Sticks
    13. Work Gloves
    14. Goggles
    15. 2 x FRS Radios
    16. 3 x Permanent Markers
    17. 1 x Lumber Crayon
    18. Surefire G2 Flashlight (60 Lumen)
    19. 4 x Leg Splints – Cardboard prefab
    20. 4 x Arm Splints – Cardboard prefab
    21. Water
    22. Snack Food
    23. Whistle
    24. BIC Lighter
    25. Hand Sanitizer
    26. Basic First Kit

    CERT Extended Shelter Bag (~22 lbs.)
    1. 2 x 10’ x 10’ Tarp
    2. Water Purification Tabs (Fast & Slow Acting)
    3. AM/FM/NOAA Radio w/Batteries
    4. Lighters/Matches/Flint
    5. Utility Knife
    6. Scissors
    7. Flashlight/Radio (AM/FM) – Windup
    8. Compass
    9. Space Blanket
    10. Mess Kit w/ Spork/Knife
    11. Food (3 people / 4 days)
    12. Water
    13. Snacks (3 people / 3 Days)
    14. Hand Sanitizer
    15. Bleach
    16. Spare Accessories for Ham Radio
    17. CB Radio w/Batteries
    18. Basic First Aid Kit

    Jeep Saddlebags
    1. Rain Gear
    2. Snow Gear
    3. Full Change of clothes
    4. Socks (2xcotton & 2xwool)
    5. Hiking Boots
    6. Work Boots
    7. Light Jacket
    8. Heavy Jacket
    9. Fleece Vest

  5. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    I also have Jeep Saddle-bags in my Jeep LJ - but - I have more winter / summer survival gear in them (blankets, toque, gloves, trail mix, granola bars, space-blankets, ponchos, portable communications) - blankets cover the back seats (keep the seats clean when my grandson is in the Jeep and keep us all warm).

    What kind of Jeep / saddle-bags do you have?
  6. PaulBk

    PaulBk Guest

  7. woodsydad

    woodsydad New Member

    I know this is an old thread but, I thought I'd see if anybody has any more input.
    I just got on a CERT team back in the summer but, have done a lot of hiking and backpacking over the years and spent a week down in Joplin, MO. this summer starting the morning after the tornado hit.
    I know you can't carry everything in the house with you, especially if you're trying to cover serious ground, say for doing rapid damage assessment. But I do like to carry a decent amount of stuff when I have no idea what I may run in to.
    The little backpack that I was given when I got on the team is a wimpy little school type nylon pack. It's not very big or comfortable when carrying any kind of weight. So I have that pack set up with a bare-bones amount of stuff for taking along when we help with public events where we man a tent and that kind of thing. I also have a fannypack that carries a couple of bottles of water. Then I have a tactical backpack that carries my SAR gear and extra first aid supplies. For things like New Years Eve where we were walking in crowds all night, I have a trifold military medical bag with carry handle and shoulder strap. I can stash a few extra things in it and in cargo pants pockets. Clothes and bedding are in a military duffelbag with shoulder strap in case we have to walk in to base camp.
    I'm also thinking about setting up a bicycle for carrying gear. It wouldn't be for riding. We always have a 'Ranger buddy' so my partner would have to be on a bike also, if I was riding. Plus it's hard to ride down streets that are covered with debris. But I could push a bike.
    I was thinking of taking the pedals and crank off so they would be out of the way. Then remove the seat and mount a rack that would run from the seat post to over the back wheels. Packs on either side of the front tire. The back would get a pack on one side of the wheel. The other side would get a rack going from the back axle to where the crank went through the frame. That would give me somewhere to carry a chainsaw.
  8. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    The gear list is pretty good. You must understand you will not be carrying all a it at one time. I keep a tote in my vehicle what has lots a my gear in it.

    I then have a pistol belt with the suspenders, a butt pack an a couple a molly bags, a quart canteen an a rig what holds my gps, cell phone an radio. That be a basic deployment bag fer if we go ta a basic disaster such as Joplin. I carry a few snacks an a basic first aid/triag kit. Gloves, headlamp, gas shut off tool an the basic gear.

    Next be a day pack with a few other items fer a basic search job er a longer run durin a disaster.

    The full out Alice Pack would be fer a long search. That pack gets a bit heavy ta carry less ya really need ta. It also carries a sleepin back an pad along with food an extra water/water treatment.

    Each bag can be added to er have equipment pulled dependin on what be needed. Ya always carry a compass, map and writing equimpement as well as a gps. Communications always go along. Also personal protection gear which is but not limited to: gloves, helmet (disastors) hat, N95 mask, then a dust mask if there be smoke an goggles.

    The best way ta learn what ya need fer each deployment be ta have lots exercises put on by yalls team. We do several each year, transportation disasters, natural disasters, search an rescue an such. It sure helps get ya ready fer the real thing. Also talk with folks what have deployed before, they can let ya know what works well.

    A fundamental SAR course has so much gear that it ain't real practical, but ya gotta have it all to pass the course. We then trim it down ta what we really would use. Many items can be combined ta keep the weight down, say a tracking stick. We wouldn't use em real often, there exspensive, but, ya also spoused ta have a ridged measurin device. So, we use a folding engineers ruller fer both. Ya add rubber bands ta mark the track length. This elimnates an extra tool an some weight. Also, a small mirror can be had by buyin a ranger type compass what comes with a mirror. Look at yer gear an see what can do double duty er more. In the end it saves some weight.

    I use alotta military gear cause it is designed fer combat, will last much longer then civillian gear an generally can be bought cheaper.

    As a Safety Officer, I have ta make sure folks have the needed equipment, are able to perform the task at hand an stay safe during trainin er deployment. There are always jobs fer folks ta do even if they can't go out in the field.

    This post be gettin long, if yall got questions I'll do my best ta answer em. I can do it in another post to so I don't hijack this en.

    Good Post.

    PS: I got a ATV (four wheeler) that we use ta resuplly folks in the field if need be. This way we don't have em trekkin back in fer supplies er carryin more then they really need ta.
  9. AreaWarLord

    AreaWarLord CERT - ARES - Prepper

    SORRY to bump a really old topic

    but I'm a CERT member here in FL and an internet search lead me to this very topic on this forum. So I decided to register and post.

    Our CERT team recently was given a donation to purchase disaster supplies for after an event. The planning group has agreed of some on those first responder medical kits ( red backpacks ) and some additional lighting as the most necessary of supplies.

    Now granted we all have out CERT kits that we were issued and about 40 % of our group are lic. HAM radio folks.....what other materials might you suggest to purchase with some of the remaining donations. The amount is close to $ 3,000


  10. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    If yall don't have em yet:

    Digital cameras
    First Aid supplies
    Good Helmets
    Good communications gear (ours be what the LEO's use)
    Rite in the rain tablets
    GPS units

    There always be more, but kinda sit down an figure from what past deployments an trainin ya wished ya had most.

    An welcome!
  11. Fn/Form

    Fn/Form Function over Form

    ke4sky, thanks for posting this. I'm working on my BOB master list, and I look forward to checking it against yours. Thanks for taking the time to organize and share!
  12. SixGun

    SixGun Member

    Another fantastic thread. This is the very reason why I am glad I found this forum. Already learning and it has only been 2 hours. Love it!!
    Thanks Guys.