15 Jan 2014
What is a bug out bag or (BOB). It is a bag packed with the items you feel are necessary to survive for about 72 hours or three days, worst case & you should have it with you at all times or at the very least, packed and ready to grab and go at a moments notice. Each person in the family should have their own bag.
There are sites online that sell a fully packed BOB, personally, I don’t recommend any bag that is pre-packed. Sure it will have essential items, but those items are generic in nature. I recommend creating a BOB that is specific to you, your families needs, your location and season. We are all different and have different needs, we all live in different areas and the seasons always change, therefore your bag should reflect your needs and purpose for the bag.
First, you need the bag itself. It should be very durable as it will be placed in your car trunk or truck and may get kicked & moved around a bit through normal travels. Personally I like anything that is made of heavy grade nylon.
It also needs to be large enough to hold about three days worth of supplies, say a weekend bag. Of course it could be smaller for you and your purpose.
For me, I have chosen the eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible.
So what do you put in your BOB? Again, it depends on your purpose. What ever you put in your bag make sure each item has a purpose for your proposed situation. For me, in an urban environment my goal is to have what I need in case I need to evacuate during a hurricane or some other reason, most likely I will be staying at either a friends house or a hotel that is in a safe zone, and I am packed to be able to stay for three days.
Here are some of the items I have in my bag based on my needs:
- My plan, this includes contact names, numbers, maps, and meet up locations with family and friends all in paper form, I don’t want to relay on a powered device.
- Copies of important papers, home/car insurance, drivers license, passport, etc.
- First Aide Kit
- Lifestraw Water filter
- Powered energy drink mix (to add to some water for electrolytes)
- Soap, hand sanitizer, towels
- Toilet paper (always be prepared)
- Rain gear/poncho
- Extra set of cloths right down to extra socks (always keep your feet as dry as possible)
- Gloves (for warmth and protection while working)
- Hatchet (I may be in a camp ground instead of a hotel)
- Shelter, tarp, tent, sleeping bag
- Bug repellent
- Fire starter
- MRE’s (Meals Ready To Eat)
- Solar powered crank radio
- Signal devices such as flares
- Duct Tape
- Gun & Ammo (remember to always carry your Concealed Weapons Permit)
- Personal hygiene products
- Medication prescription – aspirin at minimum
- Flash lights
- Hiking shoes
Check your bag regularly, make sure your items stay current and items are fresh, like water and meds. I check mine about every three months or so to insure I am good with the season. I add things as needed as well as make sure I am very familiar with the location of the contents. If you are in a survival situation you may be flustered, it is good to build muscle memory of the items in your bag so you are not pulling this and that out and mis-placing things if you are in an unfamiliar setting.
Your BOB should not be a pack it and forget it. Be comfortable with it, insure that it doesn’t weigh too much if you had to carry it for several miles. For the most part, water will be the heaviest thing in your bag however, you should consider carrying a portable water filter such as a Berkey Sport and a Lifestraw. Worst case you can always boil water to purify it.
Remember each person should have their own bag, even the kids should be use to keeping up with their BOB but Mom & Dad may have to carry a little extra in your BOB as the kids won’t be able to carry too much for too long if a long hike is involved. Don’t forget about the pets, they also need their own supplies, as a responsible pet owner would not leave behind the most loyal member of the family.
Regardless of your environment and purpose, a BOB is essential and should be packed to fit your terrain & personal survival purpose and needs. It is something that you can build up over time, but I recommend if you don’t have a BOB already, you start packing one up today.