Monday, December 21, 2009

BOB (Bug Out Bag)

The concept of a "bug-out bag" means different things to many people. It is frequently referred to as a "72-hour kit," packed with just the gear and food and water you expect to need for an evacuation of three day's duration. This is fine for many situations, but this kind of short-term planning is not the primary focus of this blog or of my bug-out book.

What I advise instead is a bug-out bag packed with a survival kit that will enable you to escape a catastrophe and function in a remote wild area without outside assistance, whether for just the first 72-hours or much longer. This means carrying everything you need to provide yourself with the essentials of survival: shelter, fire, water and food. The items that go into such a bug-out back have to be chosen carefully and must be the optimum tools for the jobs required of them, because replacements will be unattainable.

Bug-out bags and the contents that go in them will be the subject of many posts in this blog.

10 comments:

  1. A thought occurred to me about the BOB after you arrive at your destination. Needing to move heavy objects like fire wood and water to your location might be preferable to moving where it is located nearby. Would making or having a strong pack frame be a good choice as well, not for the journey there but after. There are plans for DIY plans for these frame, I think some of Bradford Angier's books had some ideas on their construction.

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  2. I like pack frames myself for this very versatility, the ability to pack firewood or a quarter of a deer or other big game animal. When hiking out West in more open country, I prefer an external frame backpack rather than the internal type I recommend in my book. The internal frame is less likely to snag in dense brush, but the external frame can carry all types of loads with the pack bag removed.

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  3. One more thing to include in any bug-out bag that can prove to be wildly invaluable to its space and weight: a good quality notebook and a pencil.

    The 3x5 Moleskine hardbound notebook (with squared lines) is stitched, not glued, so it will hold up in any environment. Gridded paper is more useful than simple lines as it can aid in rudimentary mapping, or tabulation or any other task.

    An ordinary top-bound spiral notebook can also work, providing both a writing instrument and a source of useful wire if needed.

    For pencils, it's tough to beat the ordinary carpenter's pencil. The lead is durable and accustomed to sharpening with a pen knife. A pencil is better than a cheap Bic as it will function in any environment, yet is about as durable as ink if the paper gets wet.

    The eraser is largely irrelevant. Crossing-out bad data is often as useful as recording good data. But for accurately recording things such as drawings or maps, a good Pink Pearl eraser, bog-standard in any schoolkid's backpack, will stand up to years of use.

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  4. Good points. I always have writing tools with me wherever I go.

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  5. Great info! I like the idea of using a carpenter's pencil. A much better idea than the standard #2 pencil in my BOB - I'll be sure to switch that out tomorrow. For the eraser, I prefer a Kneaded Rubber Eraser so that you can re-use it (self cleaning). As opposed to the Pink Pearl Eraser that disappears little by little after each use. Here's what I'm talking about: http://www.dickblick.com/products/design-kneaded-rubber-erasers/

    Thanks!

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  6. Try including a drag in your kit. They're made of hard plastic, light, and one person can easily drag large game, and injured compadre, and yes... much more firewood than you could using your pack frame. Weight is about 2 lbs. You can find them at any sporting goods supply or military supply online. The military uses them alot. They started as a drag for large game.

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  7. A good stout stick! This is easy to procure in almost any environment, and very, very useful.

    My favourite is about 1 inch average thickness, made of peeled poplar, cut from a tight stand on my own land. It is strong enough to use as a club if necessary, and is well understood by most critters, domestic or otherwise. Also, its good to have one traversing rough terrain, and it can be used in all sorts of different ways for carrying.

    I prefer one about up to my solar plexus.

    The dogs in my rural subdivision are much more respectful than they used to be, and I've never hit one.

    Also, who would take away a person's walking stick? The things can be taken openly on public transit. Try that with a tacticool
    riot gun!

    Just limp a bit around the man. I'm pushing 63 and can easily get away with this.

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  8. Excellent point, Jack. I always carry and use a hiking staff when traveling in the wilderness, especially if carrying a backpack over rough terrain, fording streams and such. I have a couple of favorites I cut from hickory saplings, about 5 feet long. And they do make effective weapons.

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  9. Thanks for pointing out the usefulness of a lightweight game drag, Coloradohorseman. Though one could improvise one from natural materials, with today's lightweight but strong plastic construction carrying one along is definitely an option.

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  10. I am new to the prepper mentality, and am slowly getting myself and my family ready for anything. I have a concern about keeping food and water in my car. I live in an area that gets pretty hot in the summer, and freezing in the winter. Would these differences in temperatures not be bad for the food, water, and possibly the medicines I keep in my BOB?

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