It’s better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener in a war. That’s how you sum up the philosophy of owning a Bug Out Bag (B.O.B). It’s something that you honestly hope you never need to use, a just in case system to save your butt if hell or high water comes knocking! A B.O.B means something a little different for everyone and for every separate situation they are created for. I personally have two bug out bags, one for my vehicle and one for my home. My vehicle B.O.B is a lightweight Draco Scout backpack for the specific purpose of getting home in the case of an emergency. It is specifically designed around repairing vehicles and stealing fuel, only if necessary. I am a traveling service engineer and I travel across the state so when things get rough I want to maximize my chances to get home to my family.  This B.O.B. includes enough food for about 24 hours, a fuel transfer pump, wind up flash light, kindling kit, k-bar, fishing kit, tire repair kit, a hiking mess kit, several life straws, extra mags and ammo for my carry pistol and a hand-held radio.

My home B.O.B is an entirely more elegant system. It is designed for a much more elongated engagement; It is an Osprey 55L, essentially it is same bag I go primitive backpack camping with but I guess not everyone goes camping with 180 rounds of spare 5.56. This bag is something that combined with my skills, I could live primitively for about 15 days without assistance. This bag includes primitive tools such as a wire saw and hand drill for shelter making, spear tips, MRE’s and an internal water bladder that can be refilled by a filtered hand pump. So, when setting up your own B.O.B, it’s important to remember the basics and plan for your specific situation.

  • Use what you pack! If you have never used a bow drill fire starter the time to learn is not when you’re freezing to death and on the run from wild dogs. Make sure you take that magnesium fire starter in the back yard and try it out. Better yet run a mile and then try it out with your hands shaking and you out of breath.
  • Follow Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to predict what your needs will be when you find yourself in trouble. Remember that the main areas of interest in the event of a natural disaster will be the at the base of the pyramid. That doesn’t mean to forget the top of the pyramid. Times of excitement and danger are usually followed by long periods of boredom and rest so you will need something to keep your mind busy; a deck of cards and pictures of your family may keep you going when the water and food runs out!
  • Comfort is king! If your B.O.B is cheap and cuts into your shoulders, that is not going to change when a radioactive cloud of degrading isotopes is chasing you across state lines. The initial adrenaline will get you out of danger but the week of walking you must do after the event is behind you will not be easy with an ill-fitting or cheap B.O.B.  
  • Keep it light! Too much weight is almost as bad as an uncomfortable bag. If you want proof, just go to the first rest stop on the Appalachian trail. You will find the cheapest and most readily available outdoor gear on the planet. The App trail is considered one of the greatest hiking trails in the nation and where a lot of young and inexperienced hikers come cut their teeth. One thing they always do is over pack. So, after the first leg of hiking 20-30 miles a day they toss everything they don’t absolutely need.

Bug Out Bags should be an essential item in everyone’s home or car, yet so many people do not know the importance of such a bag. It’s not about zombies and marauding bandits. It’s about the little girl who cut her arm badly at a wedding. While everyone was staring in shock at the blood, I was sprinting to my bug out bag to get my first aid kit. It’s about the time at football practice when my shoestring broke and I raided my B.O.B for some light para cord. It’s purpose is for never being caught out in the open, about feeling safe when you’re stuck in traffic or knowing you have a plan at your kid’s little league game. A bug out bag is not just for the paranoid prepper, it’s for everyone in life who refuses to be a victim when Murphy’s law catches up to you. Even if your B.O.B is just batteries and bug spray, it’s a start and you can build from there.

Good luck and happy trails

Written by: Chuck Priest

 

Views: 53

Comment by JMac1949 Today on June 5, 2017 at 3:24pm

R&L I used to carry one in the trunk of my car.  Came in handy more than once.

Comment by Chuck Priest on June 5, 2017 at 3:28pm

thanks JMac! you da man!

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