Saturday, October 19, 2013

Your Bug Out Bag

A very simple, quite useful, and pretty inexpensive prepper task you can do this weekend is to build your bug out bag.  Many people think you need a bug out bag (BOB) for the time that TEOTWAWKI hits your area and you need to grab your bag and run, maybe quite literally, out of town.  The number of times this has actually happened to people?  Probably less than 1%.  More common reasons you will need your bug out bag?

  • A loved one is in a severe car accident and has been taken to the trauma center two hours from your house.  Grab bag and go.
  • There is a hostage situation/chemical spill/wildfire heading your way and law enforcement is going door to door telling you to evacuate the area immediately for an indeterminate amount of time.  Grab bag and go.
  • You've been out late--too late-- and don't want to drive another two hours to get home.  Grab car bag and set up camp.
  • A reality show host, complete with cameras, descends on your doorstep and will offer you a million dollars if you leave with them this minute and complete some sort of multi-country scavenger hunt.  Not likely to happen, of course, but grab bag and go anyway.

So even though you probably won't need your BOB to literally bug out, you still should have a bag at the ready for those rare-but-still-likely-to-happen-sometime-in-your-lifetime events which require you to immediately leave your home and set up shop (or a home base) elsewhere.  Here's what you need:

  • A backpack (these are easiest to carry)
  • Shoes (good, sturdy, walking shoes)
  • Two pairs of socks
  • Underwear
  • Pair of pants
  • T shirt
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Fleece jacket
  • Rain shell
  • Gloves and hat
  • Toiletry kit (soap, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, floss, comb, sunscreen, tweezers, condoms, feminine hygiene, etc)
  • Vitamins, prescription medications
  • Mini first aid kit (bandaids, alcohol wipes, antibacterial ointment, etc)
  • Washcloth and chamois towel
  • Dr Bonners soap
  • Toilet paper, packets of tissues, wet wipes
  • Shelter (tent, bivy sack, or tarp with guy lines and stakes)
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping pad
  • Stove, fuel, mess kit, utensils, 
  • Matches, lighter, fire steel
  • Bottles of water (or filled bladder, etc)
  • Food (a week's worth of backpacking type food)
  • Plastic bags: large garbage bag, 13 gallon garbage bag, ziploc bags
  • Water purification system (Aqua Mira, Sawyer Squeeze, etc)
  • Bandanna
  • Repair items: duct tape, paracord, sewing kit
  • Outdoor items: compass, small plastic shovel, whistle, maps, magnifying glass
  • Fishing kit, snare wire
  • Larger knife for protection/dressing an animal and a pocket knife
  • Pens, notebook, playing cards
  • Passport, copy of important documents (driver's license, insurance cards, etc)
  • Wallet/cash/credit cards/etc
  • Sunglasses
  • Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
  • Cell phone with charger
  • Laptop or tablet with charger
  • Handcrank radio with charger outlet
  • Protection: firearm and ammo, pepper spray, etc
Those are the basics.  It is a good idea to build your BOB then take it up to the mountains overnight and see what happens.  This is a quick way to find out if your BOB is complete, what items you don't really need and what items you didn't have but should definitely add.  Keeping your BOB updated and continuing to add items as you can afford them (ie: start with a big, el cheapo sleeping bag then switch to an ultra lightweight, high tech sleeping bag when you have the money) is also a good idea.

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