After reading posts in the survival forum on the topic of BOB's, I have come to realize there are two main positions. First is that those with a bug
out bag are going to be fine, and the second is that bug out bags aren't going to be of much use. So first let me explain what is in my BOB as a guide
for others and as a reference for this discussion. Ill apologize in advance as this could get lengthy, also I will link many of the products I bought
but in no way do I endorse their effectiveness and I am not affiliated with any of the companies that produce these goods.
First, and one of the most important, is the bag itself. I'm not going to recommend a specific bag but you should look for a large capacity bag, much
like the ones used in the military. You want it to be waterproof and very durable as it may have to last you quite some time without tearing or
breaking. I recommend hunting stores and military supply places to obtain a good bag.
I recommend a good Nalgene water bottle and a Steripen adventurer Opti with solar charger and pre filter. There are several benefits to using this
over other water purifiers. First, they are small which is a big deal. They also destroy almost any living organism that could be contaminating the
water, which will prevent you from contracting dysentery or other water born illnesses. You will get about 7000 uses purifying 1 liter each, that
should keep you going for several years and could very well save your life; remember that dysentery kills thousands of people in a disaster situation,
your health is number 1. The solar charger will ensure that you can power such a device following any disaster, and you can charge a battery while
using another. It is also important that you EMP shield this device because you will need it to function following an emp event, to do this just place
the device in alternating layers of tin foil and plastic bags, which should protect it in most emp situations. That wraps up our water concerns.
Steripen with solar charger
Pre Filter for Nalgene water bottle
Nalgene wide mouth water
This is going to be a long one.
First, you should get 3-4 6'x8' tarps. Tarps are considered the ultimate survival tools, they can be used to collect rainwater, build shelter, dry
wood, camouflage, and many other things. Also they do not take up a lot of room.
Next is rope, you should have at least 100' of 550 para-cord for various uses including building shelter, repelling, trapping, ect. Make sure you get
real 550 paracord, it will enable you to use it to hold large amounts of weight which is needed to repel and for other uses.
Knife. You need a good knife. I don't want to recommend any knives as I have not thoroughly tested any knife. But a non-collapsable knife where the
blase continues at least halfway into the stock is necessary in order to provide durability. I welcome recommendations in this area from people more
knowledgeable then I.
You are going to want a good flashlight, I recommend a AA powered LED Maglite because they are very durable and the LED technology will extend the
life of you're batteries almost 5-fold. The one I linked has the ability to be used on low power, high power, strobe, and SOS modes, which I could see
coming in handy (especially the low power mode)
An emergency tube tent is a great way to stay sheltered without adding much weight to your pack. It may not be as pretty as a real tent but the weight
of a real tent will not work if you want to have a lightweight pack.
cy Tube Tent
In addition to the tent, you should grab a few emergency blankets to use in the tent.
Pepper spray, while Bear mace is preferable, you can cut costs and get a high powered solution like the one I linked below. This is an essential part
of personal protection and will repel most wildlife and personnel if you are in a bind.
Knife sharpening tool. Knives are a dime a dozen, but a sharp knife is much more useful and even the best of knives will lose their edges over time,
the tool linked below offers functionality for serrated and straight edges as well as a carbide sharpener if you need to recut an edge.
Knife sharpening tool
Fire starting kit. Lighters will only last so long after a disaster, you are going to need a more viable option for long term use. I recommend the
Strikeforce fire starter because it comes with a waterproof compartment for tinder and a great starter. This could be a real lifesaver in the cold/wet
scenarios. Also I recommend a pack of tinder kits to make starting fires in harsh conditions easier.
Strikeforce Flint kit
Survival guide FM21-76, which will give you vital field information for outdoor survival. In a disaster scenario information is key, and having this
book on hand could help you respond to events you wouldn't predict yourself being in but may very well find yourself needing clarification on what to
do in certain scenarios.
Fm 21-76 field manual
Plant Identification Guide. I don't know if this applies to everyone out there, but I can't identify 99% of the useful plants that can be used for
food/medicine/hygene. This is a great book to help you identify a plant and how to prepare it for use and also provide plenty of color pictures for
the amateur outdoorsman.
Nature's Garden: Plant Guide
Emergency food rations. It is going to take a few days to get your bearings straight in the wild, and you are going to want to be well nourished while
this happens. ER bars are a short term solution to solve your food needs right after a disaster. While I have never tried the Datrex 2400 calorie bars
I linked below, the reviews were great so I bought them. Lets hope I never have to open them
emergency food rations
Fishing Line and Hooks. Fishing line can be used for both trapping and fishing, which could be important to getting food. I will not link any hooks
because i'm sure you guys can find your own hooks. I do recommend Trilene fishing line as it is reliable and very clear so it is good for trapping
animals as they won't see the line.
Zip Ties of various sizes. Zip ties are an awesome survival tool, they can be used for so many different things including building fishing poles (use
2 to make guides for the line), securing items, stop bleeding if you get injured, ect. *Be sure to have a way of removing such ties so that you don't
fasten something you can't unfasten.
4" zip ties
8' zip ties
Poncho. Ponchos can make a miserable rainy day bearable, be sure to have one if you plan on bugging out.
36 AA batteries. It is critical that you are able to power your flashlight for a very long time, as well as any other critical devices. (no link
Camp axe. You will need a camp axe to cut wood for shelter and fire, make sure to get a very durable one as replacing it may not be possible. I have
found the Gerber to be the best for the money.
Camp Shovel. This is not a necessity, however it could be useful in building fire pits and makeshift toilet holes, which would improve sanitary
conditions. I do not have one so I will not recommend a specific model.
Medical Supplies. Be sure to pack a variety of medical supplies because they could be life savers if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of
**Medications. Be sure to have at least 3-6 months of necessary medications as well as basic anti-inflamitory drugs and broad spectrum anti-biotics
for use in case of sickness.
Dealing with possible radiation sources.
Following a disaster it is feasible to imagine a nuclear facility or radiological materials/weapons becoming compromised. This can be fatal very
quickly, especially if the disaster is a nuclear strike. While the following items will help, avoid radiological sources at all costs. That being
said, if you cannot, use the following items accordingly.
Iodine radiation pills. A major cause of radiation poisoning is the uptake of radioactive Iodide into the thyroid gland. These pills block that
absorption so that the radioactive particles get flushed out through the urine. This can prevent Thyroid cancer which is a very common disease after a
radiation related event
Radiation Detector. While a geiger counter would be great, it is not reasonable to assume you will be able to transport one long distances. The
Nukalert keychain will give you sufficient information about gamma and x-ray radiation sources that follow a nuclear event. It also has a rad exposure
chart to let you know how long it is safe to stay in a location given the current rate of radiation exposure, this could be a life saver following a
nuclear attack. Their website also has great info on what to do following a radiological event. This one is a bit pricy but i'd hesitate before
leaving it out after reading all of the information regarding stolen radioactive substances. If this is not financially possible, try to get a
radiation detecting card. While they are only single use, they will give you valuable information.
Rad Detect Card
And that completes what I currently have in my ever expanding BOB, please feel free to recommend additional items as I'm always looking for new ideas.
It is my opinion that these items will not ensure your survival, but may make your living situation and survival probability significantly higher then
if you did not have these items prepared. Remember that most of these items will last forever, meaning that they are a one time investment. I can see
no excuse for not having a BOB given the current nature of things, and even if you don't buy into all of the "fear mongering," just remember that
these items could have helped you in an event like hurricane katrina too, it doesn't have to be a SHTF situation for this stuff to save your life,
natural disaster happen, fires happen, freak events DO happen. So make sure for you and your families sake that you are prepared for such an event. If
for no other reason then to have peace of mind, I urge you to have at least a basic kit prepared.
I forgot to add a crank radio/phone charger. There are many kits that are inexpensive that will get the job done for around $30-$40. This is a
critical part of obtaining information during a disaster, might give you some warning as to when the FEMA people will come to drag you to the camps
edit on 28-1-2011 by KevinB because: added an item