The concept of a “bug-out bag” is one that can be interpreted a variety of different ways. Some take it as a complete survival kit for living in the woods indefinitely, in which case it’s usually a huge pack crammed with a wide range of sustainment gear and heavy tools. Personally, I like a more limited approach — I don’t see a lot of scenarios where I’d need to live off the land for months without resupply, but I can think of many where I’d want to be out for two or three days with the essentials for safety and comfort. So, that’s the role this pack fulfills. It covers water, food, shelter, fire, and defense — each with redundancies — as well as some lower priorities like entertainment.

Studio photo of the 5.11 LV18 Backpack

10/22 Takedown Pack Info

  • Make and Model: 5.11 Tactical – LV18 Backpack 2.0
  • Capacity: 30L
  • MSRP: $145
  • URL:

Backpack & Contents

I chose the 5.11 Tactical LV18 because its 30L size is more than enough for what I need, and because I like its layout. It features a large side-opening clamshell rear compartment that’s designed to retain an AR-15 upper and lower. In my case, it holds my trusty Ruger 10/22 Lite Takedown that I’ve owned for close to a decade, plus two 25-round magazines. But I’ll discuss the rifle more later. The rear compartment also holds my warm-weather sleep system: a Snugpak Jungle Bag, Snugpak Bivvy, and a Serac hammock. If necessary, I can lay out on the ground, with the sleeping bag’s integrated bug net and the waterproof bivvy keeping me protected from insects and unexpected rainfall. Better yet, I’ll rig the hammock between some trees and hang out in comfort.

The pack’s middle compartment is a more traditional top-opening configuration with zippered pouches and organizer pockets for loose items. The latter holds a super-light Montana Knife Co. Speedgoat 2.0 fixed blade, a BIC lighter in an Exotac FireSleeve, a ferro rod, a pen, and a Spyderco Double Stuff pocket sharpening stone. The laptop sleeve behind it holds some reading material to stave off boredom, as well as a Rite in the Rain notebook for drawing, journaling, and so on. A zippered pocket contains some protein bars, a Princeton Tec headlamp, a Mylar emergency blanket, and a CANA Provisions Personal Water Decon Kit. Remaining space in this compartment is filled with a 5.11 Tactical XTU LT3 puffy jacket for chilly evenings, a lightweight Kitanica Bug-Out Breaker windbreaker for milder weather, and a Tilley LTM6 Airflo wide-brim hat for daytime sun.

Contents inside the 10/22 Takedown Pack.

Above: In addition to the 10/22 Takedown rifle, this pack contains a sleep system and additional layers of clothing for comfort in any weather.

Finally, the outermost compartment on the front of the LV18 contains only one item: my LAS Concealment holster with my Glock 45 and a spare magazine. Stitched-on webbing allows me to simply attach the holster’s belt clips to the pack to secure it in place. Obviously, I wouldn’t put the pistol here in any setting where I might need to access it quickly — I almost always wear it concealed for that purpose. But it’s a good storage spot for when I’m sleeping or need to temporarily remove the gun while keeping it reasonably accessible. Also, on the front of the pack, just below the CCW compartment, is a GRAYL UltraPress Titanium water bottle/purifier. The outer cup can be used to boil and cook ramen or backpacking meals, while the inner cylinder can render 16.9 ounces of water potable in seconds by simply pressing downward to force it through the purifier cartridge.

The Rifle

My 10/22 Takedown is a bit of a self-contained bug-out kit in its own right. It features a Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 rimfire scope, a tiny Bowers Bitty suppressor, an Echo Nine Three sling, and an adjustable Volquartsen TG2000 drop-in trigger with Rapid Release (a significant improvement over the fiddly paddle mag release that came with the gun). A Magpul X-22 Backpacker stock allows both halves of the rifle to snap together for easy transport and contains hidden compartments for extra magazines and tools.

Studio photo of the 10/22 takedown rifle.

A stopper at the base of the grip can be pulled out to reveal a BIC lighter wrapped in duct tape, with a little loop of paracord for easy removal. The cheekrest opens on a hinge to reveal even more storage. In there, I’ve got a loaded 10-round magazine, a 50-round box of .22LR hollow point ammo, and a packet of gun oil. There’s also an LED keychain light, a small folding knife/sawblade, a diamond sharpening stone, Vaseline-soaked cotton ball tinder in a plastic bag, some Kevlar cord, water purification tablets, and a large Ziploc bag for carrying and purifying water if I don’t have another container. To prevent rattling of loose items, I stuffed the remaining space with scraps of cotton T-shirt that can be used for fire-starting or as cleaning patches for the rifle.

Final Thoughts

If I’m heading out somewhere remote, I’ll throw this pack into my truck to supplement my EDC gear (folding knife, flashlight, etc.) and the equipment in my vehicle (water bottles, large first aid kit, trauma kit, etc.). The 10/22 plus more than 100 rounds of ammo on deck are perfect for dispatching rattlesnakes and varmints, and my Glock is ideal for defense against larger threats. This pack bridges the gaps in the other gear I typically carry, doesn’t take up too much space, and makes sure I’m always ready for an unforeseen overnighter in the field.


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Editor's Note: This article has been modified for the web from its original print version.

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