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B.O.B Essentials

Who in their right mind would want to be in a situation and have to drop everything in an emergency. OK, you can admit it, you might not be in your right mind and there may or may not be a part of you that would relish the opportunity to put yourself to the test. To think about the state of the world today many thoughtful individuals are choosing to error on the side of safety and prepare themselves for what may be a very unpleasant event.

You may have heard the term “Bug Out” before. It means to get out, now. The kind of get out where you drop everything you are doing and split. So, if you’re just leaving you know there are things you need, but how do you collect them if you’re supposed to be on the road already? Well, you would have to collect your needs and requirements before the disaster happened and make sure you can grab it on your way out the door. What I will do below is to outline some of the items you may want to consider

Make no mistake; I am not one of those fear-mongering paranoids. Everyday people, like you and me, who have a thoughtful rational view of the world around them are preparing. They are undertaking simple, basic steps to protect their families and loved ones by kitting a Bug Out Bag (BOB). They are also making Bug Out plans, routes and procedures that will assist keep families together and as safe as can be expected.

Everybody has their own thoughts and ideas as to why they are preparing or what is prompting them to do it now and not wait. Some do it out of fear of a world event that will initiate an end of civilization scenario. However, one does not have to think long and hard about some of the much more common (in today’s world at least) events that could happen. One who does prepare today will be a happy person if the need arises for a bug out bag. These are normal, everyday people you meet every day at work and at the grocery store.

Terrorism, Acts of God, i.e. Flood, earthquake, storm, Random acts of Violence, i.e. Mass Shooting, Home fire, Tsunami, Home Invasion, Civil Unrest, Peace of Mind

 

What Makes a Good Bug Out Bag?

I don’t think there is one right or wrong answer to this question. In fact I think there are as many answers to this question as there are types of very bad things that can happen. Also, it’s important to remember we cannot prepare perfectly for every bad thing that could happen. Therefore, we have to do our best to prepare for the big picture, survival and not get hung up on the nuances of each possible scenario.  There are a wide variety of pre-made bug out bags available for purchase in store and online. If you are not interested in selecting each and every item in your kit, they can be an option (not the best option). Options like the pre-made kits are marketing for the general public and will not, do not cover all the factors you may find important. Even the way they have been prepared may not fit how you or your loved ones operate. Think about your environment, members in your family, medical needs etc. You will want to tailor your Bug Out Bag essentials in different ways if you lived in an urban location versus a wilderness environment.  The same applies for individual vs family needs. Let’s try and prepare to be ready regardless of variables and follow some general rules and guidelines that will help you along your way:

-You should be able to carry your bug out bag comfortably and without fatigue – Prepare as if you will be walking long distances without stopped.  You will want to avoid any scenario that see your bag ill equipped or with an improper possibly forcing you to shelter in place.  Do some research on how a pack should fit and feel as you wear it, including where you should and should not feel the weight.

-Simplicity is your friend – Every single item you buy, bring or add to your kit will and cost and weight. Try not to think in terms of preparing for everything, it’s not possible. When you think about electronics keep in mind these will require power. Solar might be a great option for you, consider seriously the weight and future cost of something fragile and prone to breaking. You will want simple, robust and reliable items in your kit. During a really bad moment will not be the time to have something fail or have doubt creep into your mind because you brought something of inferior quality.

-Pack items that increase your self-sufficiency – Try not to pack anything that will be dependent on another part of your kit or something that you will have to source while you’re out. Creating dependencies in your kit will ultimately not serve your direct purpose of staying alive and safe. While you are bugging out one of the last concerns you will want in the back of your head is the need to scavenge along the way. You will want to move efficiently and quickly. Instead of packing items that will create dependencies pack complementary and multi-purpose items that can and will be used to complement each other, but not lose their effectiveness if used alone.

-Set a timer and plan your bug out bag accordingly.  You will hear a lot of people talking about 72 hours and it is a good starting point. The reason you hear this number so often is because it is approximately how long a person can survive without water.  Planning for too much time will make your kit cumbersome and complicated.  Remember you will want to have essentials in your kit. Keep thinking, basic, simple, and robust.

-Keep your focus on your goal, survival, not luxury and in most cases not a great deal of comfort. If the item does not fit into your model of simple, basic and essential leave it behind.

Bug Out Essentials?

It would not be prudent or wise for me to try and list everything here. As we just discussed your needs may be greatly different than mine. I cannot tell you how to prepare for the specifics in your life. I will however, list some basic essentials worth considering while you fine tune your kit. Items you might consider for your kit are;

– Multitool – Has almost no end to usefulness

– Shelter – Something that can be used for shelter or as a signal. Think something bright.

– Para cord – Uses are many and varied.

– Magnesium fire starter – Better than matches. Will work in the wind and won’t get soaked. Newer starters are good for upwards of 12-15,000 strikes.

– Spare socks – This may sound ludicrous If you pack any spare clothes at all socks should be at the top of your list.  As you can imagine, taking care of your feet can be easily overlooked, however put some thought into what your feet do for you and their importance becomes clear.

– Survival Blanket – Super lightweight and more compact than a sleeping bag.

– LED flashlight – LED’s are great because they consume less power than traditional incandescent bulbs. They also tend to be more robust.

– Hand cranked radio – A hand crank radio will keep you away from a dependency on batteries in an emergency. Also, being able to get up-to-date information can be priceless.

– Water and high energy, light weight food such as energy bars

– Map and Compass – You will use to get to where you need to go. You should seriously consider learning orientation now.

This list of items is very basic and should be considered only the foundation of your bug out bag kit. You should build a bug out bag with your particular needs. It should need to be tailored to suit an individual’s needs based on environment, time, medical needs and number of people in your party.  Picking a bag to carry your survival gear in is an important step as well.  Don’t expect your kit to be the same as others in your neighborhood or family. Periodically assess your Bug Out Bag to ensure it continues to meet your evolving survival needs.

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Cameron says:

    I was just looking at your B.O.B Essentials I hope you get a lot of visitors.

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