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Another Glance at the Bug Out Bag

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posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 02:57 PM
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.

-Water needs

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 bottle

Shelter/Outdoor Living

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.
Paracord 550

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)
LED Maglite

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.
Emergen cy Tube Tent

In addition to the tent, you should grab a few emergency blankets to use in the tent.
Emergency Blankets

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.
Pepper Spray

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
Tinder 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.
Trilene Fishing 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 necessary

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 Axe

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 being injured.

**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 Pills

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.
Nukalert Keychain
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

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 03:25 PM
reply to post by KevinB

thats a very nice listing of "goodies" you have.. I humbly would add one NECESSITY ..

the venerable AR-7 has been the choice of U.S. Air Force pilots who need a small-caliber rifle they can count on for survival should they have to punch out over a remote area. Over the years, the AR-7's reputation for portability, ease of operation and reliability has carried over to the civilian world as well. Today, it's a favorite of bush pilots, backpackers and backcountry adventurers who, like their Air Force counterparts, need a rifle that's easy to carry but has the accuracy to reliably take down small game.

very important in my book...

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 03:46 PM
I like your list, but not the idea that one has "no excuse" for not having such a kit. It really depends upon your situation. If I lived in an urban environment I would consider it more of a necessity, but living where I do, isolated from the big city, I'm much more inclined to entrench here at home. I'm much more likely to be able to sustain a reasonable life here than running around in the woods with three or four day's rations and a shovel.


I have 450 gallons of treated water immediately available to me. I'm on a gravity fed system that, with a small generator and a tank of fuel, could sustain us for some time. I have two year's worth of food stockpiled. It might not be tasty, but it would do the job. I have more firearms than peirople to shoot them. Game is plenty. I have wood heat with an infinite supply of wood. I have a generator and enough fuel to last three months easily and that's if I am extravagent. I have a number of cases of beer in storage to act as barter. I have all the tools one could possibly want, including those for cultivation. In short, this is a pretty good place to make a stand. The liklihood of fire is remote. An earthquake could knock the place off its foundation, I suppose, but baring interference, that doesn't mean it won't be habitable.

I think the BoB idea is a good one because it gets you to thinking about what you might need. It's a good start. So you've got this bag and you consider yourself "ready!"

Than what?

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 04:04 PM
reply to post by schuyler

I understand that you may be able to bug in place, but think of a situation like the new madrid fault. Would you be able to bug in if you were flooded by 30ft of water?? What about a nuke at the nearest city with winds in your direction?? I encourage you to think about the situations in which you may have to leave your house, because it COULD happen. I definitely agree with the "than what" comment, I was trying to address that in my post but I guess I didn't do it clearly. So many people think that they are safe because they have a BOB but they haven't made plans on what they would do if X event happened. Personally, I have played out every situation I can imagine countless times and came up with a plan including direction of travel, acquiring of resources, avoiding major populated areas, ect. I definitely think this is another key component to the BOB, it gets you thinking about what you would do, which in itself could save your life.

As for the Ar-7, I didn't list a gun because I consider it to be outside of the BOB but it is certainly a good thing to have in a SHTF situation, for hunting and personal defense.

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 04:43 PM
reply to post by schuyler

My dad is a lot like you in his system of readiness. But he has a few thing I could suggest if you are rural. Crank radio flashlight combo that also acts as a charger for several other things including AA batteries. And don't laugh but the next three are a little weird but...two goats, chickens, and an earthworm farm. Here are his reasons. If there is fire and or bomb like disaster, goats eat anything and everything and are really sturdy, provide milk and meat if necessary. And you can bread them as needed to sustain in the longer terms. Same with the chickens...high protien eggs, eat anything...harty and easily bread. Also meat for the long term situation. The worms are for replenishing the earth so his garden will grow. He uses them for fishing in his pond now. Maybe if he still has living fish when tshtf this will continue. Oh yeah and he says the animals are small enough to take in the dugout if he has too to save them too.
edit on 28-1-2011 by Wetpaint72 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 04:53 PM
Pal -where do you think you are going to bug out to???? I live in the woods of wisconsin. You are not going to be able to go anywhere where people are not already there! Where i live in the woods you will not be welcome. i sugest you stay in the filthy city you already live in . You seen the filth and corruption that makes a city filth and you didnt do anything about it. You helped make it filthy, STAY AND SURVIVE IN THE FILTH YOU HELPED CREATE. Most country folk will not let you city bug outs anywhere near their neck of the woods, Do you think we would let you bring your filthy ways to our country side?? corrupt us, sponge off us, You people will find reality a shock. you will be the hunted.rightly so. I cant wait.

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 07:20 PM

Originally posted by itsawild1
Pal -where do you think you are going to bug out to???? I live in the woods of wisconsin. You are not going to be able to go anywhere where people are not already there! Where i live in the woods you will not be welcome. i sugest you stay in the filthy city you already live in . You seen the filth and corruption that makes a city filth and you didnt do anything about it. You helped make it filthy, STAY AND SURVIVE IN THE FILTH YOU HELPED CREATE. Most country folk will not let you city bug outs anywhere near their neck of the woods, Do you think we would let you bring your filthy ways to our country side?? corrupt us, sponge off us, You people will find reality a shock. you will be the hunted.rightly so. I cant wait.

Wow, rant much.... Anyways I do not live in a city I live in the very eastern part of long island, you know the part that still has woods and farms and stuff. So, yea... take that. Second, I will be armed with an AR-15 so I dare you to "hunt" me
. Third, the woods in places like wisconsin are so large the chances of you coming in contact with other bug outers is slim to none, and it would be my goal to stay away from other people. The idea of bugging out is to remain unseen and camo'd, obviously you have some issues and if I knew your real name i'd recommend that the state revoke your firearms permit. Have a good life

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 09:06 PM
In regard to knives - full tang fixed blade is best. And avoid serrated edge blades they may look intimidating but are useless for the most part.

posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 10:56 AM
reply to post by itsawild1

Wow! I get that when TSHTF it's pretty much every man/woman for themselves, but you have some serious issues! I'm pretty sure that hunting another human who is trying to do the same thing YOU are, is not at all the point. Furthermore, it's just sick! You're basically saying if someone comes to you in need of help, not only would you refuse them, but you would kill them. What a horrible excuse for a human being.

reply to post by KevinB

Aside from that, I like this thread. I know there are several of them out there. That is one of the things I like the most about ATS. There is usually an abundance of information about how to survive SitX. Thanks for sharing! I'll be checking those links you provided. My only problem is I live in the city, and my goal is to get to my parents in the country. However I KNOW escaping this place will be nearly impossible. I have a family to look after and we have nothing you spoke of. I would give my life protecting them though.
edit on 30-1-2011 by EagleTalonZ because: to clarify who the second paragraph was to

posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 03:17 PM
I have a few things in mine you didn't list that might be useful; A mess kit, binoculars, some toiletry items like liquid body wash, toothpaste and toilet paper. The toiletry items might not last long but they would help until I could find others.

If it becomes necessary to bug out have a plan of where you are going along with some alternate places. Carry your bob on a weekend trip to your bugout location and see how it goes. It will give you a good idea of how your stuff works and what else you might need.

And don't woory about crazy country people shooting at you.

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