For all members of any Emergency Response Team(FEMA TF Teams, ARES, RACES, CERT and others) we learned early on what we need to take when we deploy. The standard kit: Clothing, medicines, Comms gear along with backups, First Aide kits, personal care items, sleeping bags/tents, cooking kit, food etc.
Your loadout will depend on what type of deployment you are sent on be it a 1-2 day search and rescue or a multi-week Katrina event.
The common denominator in all of this is the BAG. I have everything from a small ruck for a day community service event to a large expedition pack used for multi day/week deployments or back packing trips.
One of my favorite places to buy this type of gear besides www.rei.com is www.dovr.com Dvor is a division of Optics Planet and has great deals that last anywhere from 2 days to all month.
Today at DVOR is the 511 Pack and Bag sale. It lasts for 2 days and 12 hours as of this posting on Wed 11 PM AZ time.
If you are not familiar with 511, they make the best tactical gear and clothing around. I have been using their stuff for aobut 10 years and love it.
Here is the link to the DVOR 511 sale.
If you choose to, you have the option to use this link which will give me a $5 credit if you buy anything from DVOR. You are under no obligation to do so however.
Once you sign up at DVOR(its free)you will get a link you can send to your friends and family and if they buy you get $5 for each person buying something.
This is my favorite pack from 511. Its called the 511 RUSH 72(hours) and is a monster. This is the bag I carry when I travel for work. It has a GIANT 2894 cubic inches of space and more pocket than you will need to sort you gear. It is compatible with any hydration bladder you might have which makes it a truly all around great pack. On Amazon it goes for between $149- $260
At Dvor it costs $169 but comes with a $65 store credit making the final cost $104 plus shipping. If you play your cards right and buy something else small and ship, the next order ships for FREE for the next 24 hours.
Here is a link to the 511 site that will give you more details on any of the 511 line. There is a great video on this page explaining the difference between the RUSH 24, RUSH 48 and the RUSH 72 line of packs.
Let me know what packs or bags you use and why. I would love to hear about them.