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Bug Out Bags
Old 03-06-2010, 22:56   #1
The Reaper
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Bug Out Bags

In light of the recent earthquake activity and winter storms, does anyone here keep a Bug/Bail Out Bag (BOB) for their home, work, vehicle, etc.?

Obviously, they can be as elaborate or as simple as desired, and contain whatever you think you would need for some period of time should an emergency occur and you have to leave immediately for somewhere else.

I would expect that people in areas under some significant threat or recurring natural disasters would have them at home and/or in their cars. A prudent plan would not just be for sheltering at home or in place, but should also consider evacuation for any of a multitude of contingencies.

You would expect the BOB to augment your Every Day Carry from your pockets, and whatever else you/your family might need to get by.

Assuming that you have your usual EDC of ID, credit cards, cash, a cell phone, knife or multi tool, small flashlight, lighter, possibly a firearm, etc., the kit would, in as small a package as possible, provide shelter, clothing (if necessary), fire starting, illumination, first aid, water, food, spare batteries, tools, ammo, signaling gear, navigational items, repair kit, toiletries, etc.

Clearly, the first step is to identify the disaster (or at least what contingencies) you are preparing for, where you are planning to go/what you are planning to do, what you think you will need, and how long you are going to need to sustain yourself. Then you would need to consider how much that is going to weigh/space it is going to take up, then figure out how to carry it. You might be able to fit it into a cargo pocket, if you are going to evacuate to a well-stocked nearby location by yourself, or it might take a storage tub/large ALICE or three for you and your family to move and live for several days in a possibly austere environment.

I remember my Dad always carried what my Mom referred to as his "junk" in the car whenever he left the house. He had a tool set, jumper cables, rope, flares, maybe an axe, etc. More than once, I remember we (as well as strangers) were all glad that he carried all of that stuff around with him.

If an earthquake, hurricane, nuclear power plant emergency, wildfire, etc. were to happen while you were at home, at work, or in your car, and you had five minutes to pack and evacuate, can you quickly assemble and carry the items you need to make it for a few days till help arrives? Do you have quick access to what you need for life in a shelter, if that is what you plan to do?

If you do, please share what you have prepared for, what you have prepared to grab, and how you plan to carry it.

This could be of interest to others and might serve to help us all focus on our own preparations. Thanks for your input.

TR
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Old 03-07-2010, 00:49   #2
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How Ironic I was just going through and updating / replenishing my BOB.
I have one for myself and one for my wife plus another packed in our vehicle.
we just grabbed some heavy duty back packs from Goodwill at $2 each, they are compartmentalized into 4 sections plus straps.

This is our all-purpose bug out bag
we made photocopies of all our important documents (i.e. DL,Passport,SSN,BC,MC etc) and place them in a zip lock bag along with emergency cash into the bags. I have a camel back with water purification tablets, field stripped MRE's, First aid kit w/ Persciptions,lighter, steel wool and cotton balls,Map of AO, Lenstatic compass, small crank radio, glowsticks,Disaster plan with rally points / routes and emergency centers,folding Knife,Fixed Blade Knife,multitool,Carbiner clips,ranger bands,paracord,Hand warmers,small led flashlight,extra batteries, Glock + ammo, sanitary / toiletries.
all the essentials fit in this small bag, only weighs a few pounds, I carry mine everywhere, it's always within reach.

Vehicle: Rifle / ammo, non perishable food ,sleeping bag,small tent, water,cooking supplies,axe , all weather gear

BOB.jpg

BOB2jpg.jpg
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:34   #3
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TR,

First, I need to know if I am going to "shelter in place" or evacuate. If I will evacuate my home will it be for a short period or something longer? When we evacuate we may not know for how long we will be gone. (Of course, "short period" and "long period" are subjective terms.)

In stuffing a "Bug Out Bag" (BOB) I have to consider these things:
1. How long will I be gone?
2. What's the weather going to be like while I'm gone?
3. What about pets…take them with me or turn them out?
4. Availability of prescribed medications while gone (blood pressure, insulin, etc)?
5. Level of self protection? (Can I employ firearms effectively to protect myself, or will they just draw unwanted attention (become pilferable objects that would subject me to increased danger)?)
6. What tools will be needed to sustain/survive?
7. Is my physical condition sufficient to allow me to survive better evacuating or should I shelter in place?
8. If I shelter in place, will I be able to survive more assuredly than I would if I left?

Note: I'm reminded of the French Resistance and the Colonial Patriots in America who, in an extremely dangerous or at least uncomfortable situation, had to stay where they were and adapt to/fight against the imposed ruling force/class.

9. How much contact should I encourage from others? Should I sequester myself or seek out others I can trust?
10. Do I have the knowledge, ability, and resolve to "live off the land" (mainly in terms of hunting and gathering…being able to identify edible flora and fauna)?
11. Do I leave in my Jeep or take the bus?

Of course, each person would have their own individual needs and perceptions that will direct how they prepare a BOB. I admit that I don't have a plan I could execute within less than an hour (perhaps longer), and that in itself is a concern.

Thanks, sir, for making me think.
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Last edited by LarryW; 03-07-2010 at 06:40.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:51   #4
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I don't have a BOB, but in light of this topic and your "wake up call", its really something to consider. I'd say I have most of the stuff I need around the house, I'm prepared for hurricanes, blackouts, and break ins as they are the most common events in Florida. There is a first aid kit in my closet along with one of those retractable batons. I keep a decent knife nearby, not one of those fold out ones, mine's built to last. I have a cell phone, my brother owns a GPS and a M9 and we also keep some MRE's around, not many but it would last us about 2 weeks. Also got some basic tools around the house should we ever need them. If in a hurricane, depending on the severity and path is how we would make our decision. We could wait out some rain and a little flooding, but with something on the level of Katrina, I would possibly try evacuating using backroads with the GPS because the interstate would likely be crowded with early birds and fleeing tourists *and I live in a heavily populated area*, but I'm not too sure where we would go, possibly a hotel in a safe zone as the evacuation site. If not possible, we can wait it out like we would a blackout the best we could. If anyone tried to break in there are more than enough weapons close by and I trust my brother's weapons skills *is a Marine* and if I were by myself I am capable of using the M9, but not sure about the legal stuff as I'm a minor without any kind of permit, I would still use it. If any other situation arose, I'm confident we could survive substantially, but I will take what I've learned and better the organization and have a solid plan. Thanks for the good post, is an eye opener for sure.
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my .02 cents
Old 03-07-2010, 10:14   #5
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my .02 cents

Living in a prime urban earthquake area, and having read "One Second After", various posts here, and accounts from the Katrina aftermath, I've started to put together a home bug out bag designed to last about 3 days as I exit the city, I would be grateful for any advice / recommendations.

My bag is an Emdom TNT bag, which I keep next to a pair of running shoes and a TAD Gear jacket.

HK usp 40 w 100 rounds
E2d flashlight
Harsey knife
swiss army tool
passport, cash, spare cellphone
3 Platypus sports bottles
12 Powerbars
Pemmican
small bottle of bleach
BC survival kit
2 pairs wool socks
drywick long sleeve shirt
LightWaterproof parka
boonie cap
small radio
runners glide
aspirin
sunglasses
FM 21-76
SF and California map
a picture of loved ones


Thank You,

AKV
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Last edited by akv; 04-21-2010 at 14:59.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:47   #6
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Survival (or just comfort) is not just about having things; it is about having a plan, too.

Larry, all of the great questions you asked are something we each have to decide for ourselves. No point in collecting before planning. If you take two months worth of food, clothing, etc., you will not be able to carry it all. You have to decide what the likely events are that would cause you to have to bug out, and what you think you will need to get to wherever you are going, or whatever you think you need till you are able to return home. Maybe you have to change your gear seasonally (or have multiple kits) depending on the climate and the threat.

Not only did the recent earthquake victims not have an hour to pack, many of them were unable to access their homes after the event. Maybe keeping a spare bag in the car is not such a bad idea. OTOH, most of the potential tsunami areas had longer warning times to prepare. It would appear that a lot of them had not thought ahead and so descended on the local stores to do their disaster prep/SHOPEX then. Given the non-event, it would be interesting to see how many will take this as a hint that they should be better prepared and work on it, versus how many will decide that the whole evacuation and preparation business is a waste of time, except perhaps for stocking more beer. Knowing the Hawaiians, I would suspect that the latter will be the case.

If there is an earthquake, terrorist attack, there may be little warning. Fires, floods, hurricanes, etc. usually provide more notice.

Since we are normally away from our homes at least half of the time, I am leaning toward putting a car kit together. I too, keep a Camelbak ruck on/around me most of the time with first aid, meds, sanitation, ID/cash/credit cards, trash bags, food, clothing, 550 cord, Ziplocs, multi-tool, rain jacket, compass, map, whistle, BIC lighters, flashlights, zip ties, spare batteries, sanitation/toiletries, signaling gear (mirror, panel, etc.) Most of that gear is multi use, and occasionally comes in handy.

I live 30 miles from work, but could top off the water and start walking home in less than a minute without further preparation and without too much difficulty, if I had to. It might be an overnighter, but except for the few very hot or very cold days per year, it would not be too uncomfortable. If I had to hole up in the office, I could go several days without much of a problem.

You should probably do a good area study and threat assessment. This would be a quick sample one:

We live in a geologically stable area, out of the flood plain and on high ground. We are 100 miles or so from the coast. There is a good amount of pine forest on and around our property, but it is managed and there is very little deadfall to burn. Most of the pine straw is harvested regularly and then the areas are controlled burned. We normally get ample rainfall every year. There are severe thunderstorms and occasional tornados in the area. Hurricanes have passed through the community before, usually with winds under 80 kts., but with significant rain events. No known widespread serious diseases or pandemics have occurred here in many years. No volcanoes exist in the area. There is plenty of small game in the area from squirrels to deer. Ponds and streams have ample fish, unless I have a pole out. We live on the edge of town on a dirt road, adjacent to pastures and a state wildlife preserve. My neighbors are unfortunately, unreliable and potentially hostile. I do have a number of SF friends in the neighborhood. The area is moderately populated; total county population is probably 40,000-50,000. Crime is relatively low, the nearest city is Fayetteville (40 miles away), the closest ones of any real size are Raleigh (70 miles), Greensboro (80 miles), and Charlotte (around 100 miles). I do wish at least two of them were further away. There is one significant highway passing through the area, it is US 1. The closest interstate highway is at least 20 miles away, and it is a new, largely rural interstate. The number of people traveling who might be stranded in the area and how they would be supported concerns me, especially after reading OSA. There are several railroads in the area, including an Amtrak stop. Multiple waterways exist, but none are navigable (beyond pleasure craft) in the local area. Climate is mostly moderate, tending toward hot summers with daily high temps usually in the 90s. Winters are usually mild; lows are typically in the 30s. Snowfall averages 7" or so per year. There are a couple large dams within 50 miles, but we are not downstream. A nuclear power plant is roughly 50 miles north, fortunately, the prevailing winds are from the southwest. There is a small state prison hospital roughly 12 miles away, housing roughly 360 inmates, about 2/3 of which are patients. A few could be headed this way, but they would pass a lot of other opportunities along the way. Most, I suspect, would quickly succumb to the lack of care. We are very close to the western end of Ft. Bragg, so there is a 30 mile buffer from main post. Camp MacKall is nearby, but has little impact on the civilian populace. There is a very small commercial airport in town, a military field at CMK, and a couple of private airfields in the area. No large civilian aircraft land anywhere other than the larger regional metro airports at FAY, RDU, GSO, or CLT. We do have some overflights by military fixed and rotary wing. Utilities are reliable, the only power outages are normally from weather causing lines to be down. However, if a large scale disaster occurred, we could lose power indefinitely. There is no local power generation beyond commercial entities and a few small portable units. The municipal water supply is pretty reliable, though we did have a couple of years of dry weather a few years back, forcing restrictions on water use. The local government is working to enlarge its municipal supply sources. There is no local water delivery service except for non-portable construction tanks. If the municipal supply fails, we have some water stored, but the nearest running water is further away than I would like to carry it from. The waste water treatment is reliant upon running water, chemicals, and electric power. Any interruption more than a day or three and chemical toilets and slit trenches will become necessary. Communications are good (except for the remote areas of Bragg), it is rare to lose home phone service. Cellular can be spotty. There is battery back-up and generators for the land lines and cellular system, till the fuel runs out. There are no television stations in the area, even with a good antenna, reception is unreliable. If cable and the satellites go, there is going to be little TV to watch. There are a number of local AM and FM radio stations, and some Ham operators, so broadcast news and information should be available.

(Cont.)
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:47   #7
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The major local employer is the health care industry, with a good bit of manufacturing and retail. Consequently, health care is good, medical supplies and specialists are ample, and there is a trauma center less than ten miles away. There are more than adequate beds for normal requirements due to the large geriatric population, who would not survive long without the advanced medical care they normally receive. In a major disaster, the hospitals would soon be overwhelmed. I need to ask some friends who work there about their mass casualty preparations. Ambulance service is adequate, but seems a bit slow to arrive considering the distances involved. LE and fire protection services are good. The police and Sheriff's departments are adequate for small town life, but are trying to organize a SWAT unit, which may, or may not be good news. They are armed with the usual assortment of handguns and shotguns. There may be a few carbines in service, but nothing larger. Crime here is mostly minor property crime and illegal drugs. Fire protection is excellent, the nearest station is less than three miles from our home and there is a hydrant 300 feet away. The educational system is above average for NC, with a good community college and several private schools in the area. Our kids go to schools which are four miles or less from our home. The area tends to be conservative and Republican. Local government appears to be effective and moderate. The area was originally settled in the early 1700s by the Scots-Irish. Battles were fought locally during the Revolutionary War and the War of Northern Aggression. Industry in the area has been manufacturing and textiles, with significant agriculture. The soil is sandy loam to clay. Per capita income and demographics trend above the state norms, and are at par or above nationally. There is a large retiree population, which tends to skew the average age upwards. If the Social Security and Medicare checks stopped coming, a large number of locals would probably quickly become indigent. The population is majority white, but there are significant black and Hispanic minorities, along with some Native Americans. The average educational level is skewed by medical industry on the upper side, and the rural agrarians and urban gremlins on the lower side. There are a lot of former and current military personnel living here, including a disproportionate number of SF personnel. That should help in the event of a disaster, and hinder normal governing. There are no area civil defense shelters any longer, refugees would likely be directed to the local schools, which are a bit close for my preference. Taxes seem high, but considering the services provided and in comparison to surrounding communities, they are reasonable. We have a large annual tax bill, and a lot of payment slips remaining in the loan book. Hopefully, government employment is steady employment. Long term stability of the national economy and to a lesser degree, the state is a significant concern. There are ample retail stores nearby, though most would be quickly overrun and emptied in an emergency. I would expect cash, food, and fuel to be quickly exhausted. The banks carry little cash on hand; a $10,000 check presentation for cash can require transfers from multiple branches. The ever shrinking number of farms in the area could not support the current population. No large processed food warehouses exist in the area as far as I can tell. There are no large bakeries. Everything comes from one of the major cities listed above. There are no refineries or POL pipelines in the area, everything is delivered by truck, which means if supply distribution fails, the fuel supply will quickly be exhausted. One major gun store is located in the area, along with a number of smaller ones. Ammunition is likely to be the limiting factor. The local population is well-armed and mostly able to protect themselves. This is enhanced by the number of military personnel living in the area. There is no public transportation, beyond hotel and a few community care shuttle buses. There are more people on public assistance and welfare than I would like, especially due to the current economic trouble. Due to the stressed nature of their situation already, I doubt that they have done much in the way of preparation and would expect them to quickly become indigent. Fortunately, we are several miles from the nearest housing project and are not in a natural line of drift. A surprising number of homeless live in the region, it must be the moderate winters. Judging from the court reports every week, there seem to be quite a few addicts in the community, some who may be sustaining their habits with their employment. Should the community become isolated, I would anticipate that they would use up their local supplies within 72 hours, and turn to the numerous pharmacies and the hospital for their needs, quickly resorting to crime. One additional negative is that this is largely a tourist community, and there are a number of hotels/motels. They likely have nothing beyond their platinum cards, fancy clothes, and golf clubs, and if unable to return home quickly, would likely be dependent upon the locals for their needs. Rest homes present similar problems, as the staff would probably soon disappear to care for their own families and supplies would quickly be exhausted. English is the universally accepted language here; few accommodations are made otherwise outside the medical and public services sectors. There is no external or international threat. There are a number of churches of multiple denominations in the community; almost exclusively Christian, there is no religious discrimination that I am aware of. The churches have outreach programs and will do what they can for the needy, starting logically enough with their own members. There are no significant stockpiles of relief aid in the area. AFAIK, the county is marginally prepared, at best, for a minor disaster, certainly not for a major. The mortuary system is inadequate for large numbers of losses. There is probably an adequate amount of heavy equipment in the immediate area for proper disposal of the deceased in mass graves, as long as fuel is available. No local public service helicopters exist, that I am aware of. The major regional hospitals run their own air ambulances and pick up small numbers of critical patients at the hospital. Ft. Bragg has quite a few that could be pressed into service, if authorized, along with significant ground transportation. Unfortunately, that could also be used to transport people out of the urban areas to lessen the impact on their facilities.

That was a cursory shot at an area study; the results of the data should lead you to make better informed decisions about your courses of action in varying scenarios. Whether you plan to shelter in your home or bug out in the event of a disaster should be based on an analysis of your own area study, evaluation of the nature of the threat, time/distance of the relief (if any),and the preparations that you have made. Most of us are at home for 12 hours or so each day. The rest of the time, we would need to return home or head to a new location. The purpose of the BOB is to ensure that you have a plan and the means to lead your life normally, without a supply wagon hitched to your car, and yet be able to get to your eventual destination with a minimum of discomfort.

HTH.

TR
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Old 03-07-2010, 14:18   #8
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Thanks, TR, for the superior example of the detail I should (in some manner) account for in developing "a plan". Especially helpful.
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Thank You
Old 03-07-2010, 16:01   #9
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Thank You

TR,

Thanks as always for your thoughts, an assessment and plan was definitely my first step, though I'm sure it can be improved. San Francisco access is limited by bridges to the north and east which are natural choke points probably best to avoid post crisis. Aside from exiting by sea, the only unobstructed land route is south. Assuming it is best to avoid populated environments post crisis, and to clear datum quickly, my basic plan is to immediately work my way south along the coast,or at least avoiding the main roads if possible, down the wide corridor of the peninsula about thirty miles to the rural Woodside Hills where I have family. Even on foot, in the winter conditions common to this part of the country, I allocated three days to accomplish this, which dictates the contents of my bag. Obviously a lot of folks will come to this conclusion and head south, so I figured mobility and weapons in case of rat packs to be a premium.

I welcome any advice
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Old 03-07-2010, 17:01   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akv View Post
TR,

Thanks as always for your thoughts, an assessment and plan was definitely my first step, though I'm sure it can be improved. San Francisco access is limited by bridges to the north and east which are natural choke points probably best to avoid post crisis. Aside from exiting by sea, the only unobstructed land route is south. Assuming it is best to avoid populated environments post crisis, and to clear datum quickly, my basic plan is to immediately work my way south along the coast,or at least avoiding the main roads if possible, down the wide corridor of the peninsula about thirty miles to the rural Woodside Hills where I have family. Even on foot, in the winter conditions common to this part of the country, I allocated three days to accomplish this, which dictates the contents of my bag. Obviously a lot of folks will come to this conclusion and head south, so I figured mobility and weapons in case of rat packs to be a premium.

I welcome any advice
In your case, I would look for a friend with a boat willing to help you out.

TR
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"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - President Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

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Old 03-07-2010, 17:51   #11
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Good posts so far and especially good questions raised by LarryW.

Something else to remember in building a Bug Out Bag (BOB) is the rules of three. No scientific method here and not everyone is designed the same, so give or take a little bit along the way

One can survive up to 3 minutes without oxyen or during heavy bleeding.

One can survive up to 3 hours without proper shelter/clothing.

One can survive up to 3 days without water.

One can survive up to 3 weeks without food.

Typical disaster will last less than three weeks so food might not be a great concern before relief efforts are in place. But you are still stuck with the first three as being essential to survival.

3 minutes: Do I have a way of controlling heavy bleeding? Or any generic medical emergency? Can I provide rescue breathing to a victim at little risk to myself (CPR mask) before medical professionals arrive?

Lots of times during a disaster/emergency situation injuries are commonplace. A decently supplied FAK is essential for both yourself and others around you. Emergency Medical Personnel will be quickly swamped by the amount of injuries and you might not receive care in a timely fashion like you normally might. Be prepared to perform self aid and buddy care for a wide range of injuries that might go from a minor sprain to controlling heavy bleeding/potential life threatening situations. Training is key and one should be realistic on the amount of FAK supplies they are carrying.

Also included in this are prescription medications. Do you have a decent enough supply you can carry without having to go to the pharmacy and refill?

3 hours: Do I have adequate clothing and an alternate form of shelter?

As LarryW posted, what are the environmental conditions you would be facing? Is it winter, summer, raining, snowing, high desert, etc? A proper BOB should have the ability to layer up in the winter and provide shelter from the sun during the summer. Case in point: The October 1997 blizzard in Colorado. Two people died because they got caught out in the storm wearing shorts and t-shirts as the temperatures had dropped drastically that afternoon. They attempted to walk home after their car got stuck. Proper layers might have helped them along, but also, their vehicle was their shelter and they abandoned it. Clothing should be layered up and comfortable. In some places, winter clothing should be carried at all times.

Also, what forms of shelter do you have available? Are you on foot? Are you in a vehicle? Are there hotels/motels/friends/family you can stay with if you had to evacuate for a long period such as a hurricane? Will your vehicle suffice for proper shelter during a blizzard? Should I be carrying a tent of some sort in case of evacuation? If you are on foot for some reason, can you find shelter during an emergency? Can you carry a poncho and make a hasty shelter to escape rain? Where are the nearest fallout shelters (i.e. terrorist incidents - dirty bombs) along your expected path? Do you want to take a chance in a FEMA camp or be able to do your own thing (like finding a suitable camping ground) in case of an emergency?

This is where the plan of action comes in as well. Proper planning in this situation comes in very handy. Thinking about the conditions you and your family will face is key to building some form of BOB.

3 Days: Do I have enough water to last me three days? Can I carry enough water for three days? Do I have the means of purifying additional water in case none is available? A BOB should have the ability to either carry enough water and/or have the ability to filter/purify more in case the need arose.

3 weeks: Nobody wants to go hungry. Foods and consumables will help keep you strong and is a morale boost. In my BOB, I prefer a mix of wet (MREs, tuna/chicken packs, possibly even canned goods depending on how far on foot you might be going), dry (freeze dried camping foods like Mountain House, instant soups and Ramen) and snack sized items (energy bars, granola, packs of nuts, etc) foods to go. Eat the dry goods when water is available for cooking, the wet foods when water should be conserved and the snack stuff in between. Two good meals a day plus general snacking in between.

And the small packs of Gator-Ade that are designed to mix into a 16 oz bottle. In the wintertime, I also carry hot chocolate or spiced cider packs. Warms as well as provides a boost to morale.

The rules of 3 isn't an all inclusive list as everyone's BOB will be different and based on different conditions and requirements, but this is a good start at building your BOB.

Some of the items that I might consider "essential" and in no particular order. Some can be carried on person but mainly in a pack.

Multitool
Illumination w/ additional batteries
Proper footwear
Fire starting ability x 2
IFAK with pain medications and other OTC meds
Poncho (for shelter or wet weather wear)
Wet/cold weather gear
550 cord
Duct tape
Essential documents (which some like to convert to .pdf and store on a encrypted thumb drive)
Cash (as many ATMs and Credit Card readers will be down during emergency situations)
Pen/Pencil and paper
Emergency signalling device (like a whistle)
Hand sanitizer
Means of navigation x 2 ( I go with a GPS and compass) and map(s)
Spare shoelaces (or additional 550 cord)
Water purification X 2 (filter and tabs)
Lightweight multi-fuel hiking stove or fuel tabs
Metal Cup or small hiking cooking pot. Also the issue canteen cup is an outstanding choice as I believe it is one of the most foolproof and rugged designs on the planet. Heavy, but damn near indestructable
Food x 4 days (always plan on an extra day)
Water container above and beyond a hydration bladder (like a Nalgene bottle, easier to filter water into or wait for the purification time)
And depending on the season, a sleeping bag or poncho liner and pad
And depending on the location, a form of protection (pistol, OC spray, larger knife, etc)

Just a bare basics for me and more will be added in as the situation dictates.

Last edited by Grand58742; 03-07-2010 at 17:56. Reason: spelling errors
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Old 03-07-2010, 18:04   #12
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One thing that I've added to our BO Kit in the car is Mapquest escape routes out of the L.A. Metro area run on surface streets (non-freeway) to the North, South, and East. West is wet.

First, it saves pre-planning when time is limited. Second, and this surprised me, our route to the East took some small roads that almost certainly no one else would consider. Third, it provides an idea as to where convenient rally points can be established, if needed.

We have a fully stocked 17' travel trailer with a gennie and solar panels, but, unfortunately, it's in storage 30 miles away. So, we can't assume that it will be available when, and if, we get to it. This necessitates a fully equipped BOB at home which also gives us the ability to escape West as a self-sufficient (and armed) volunteer crew on a boat.

Pat
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Old 03-07-2010, 21:20   #13
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If you consider the most likely contingencies, and start with the ones with the most serious consequences, you are on your way to putting together a plan. Also consider that your primary or secondary means of travel could be compromised. Remember PACE, and have alternatives, to include walking. Your BOB should reflect that contingency and have the appropriate items.

Since in my example, the only weather related concerns are hurricanes and tornados, we built our home in excess of code and with a LOT of strapping, tie downs and reinforcement. Sometimes, you can plan ahead and mitigate some of the risk or improve your chances ahead of time. We plan to hunker down and ride it out. Hurricanes give you plenty of warning, so you have time to consider staying or sheltering in place. A BOB would only be necessary if you decided to evacuate or had severe damage to your home and had to move. In both cases, you would have plenty of time to prepare. A tornado is a freak event. It is not likely to occur, and has a small footprint, but if it does hit, you would have little notice. In that case, you would use the BOB temporarily until you had a safe place to return to. People who live in heavy snow and severe cold climates should keep a BOB/kit in the car in the event they are stranded in the vehicle. The rest of the natural disasters like wildfire, flooding, mudslides, etc. span the above gamut of preparation time and impact. The BOB should take all of that into account. As noted, you may need a seasonal change in BOBs.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, etc. are generally limited to specific, known areas in active regions or near the coast, in the case of tsunamis. If you live in an area prone to those events, you probably know it already. A BOB, in that case, would likely be to allow you to get home and assess the damage before deciding to stay or go, or to immediately evacuate the area. These catastrophes specifically, can create serious impediments to travel. Have multiple alternatives to your plan.

WMD attacks are serious business, but are really nothing new. The targeting has changed from strategic military locations to population centers. Here in the country, the odds of a WMD attack are very low. In NYC, DC, or any of the largest cities in this country, you have to consider it as one of your top priorities. The FOGs here remember the Duck and Cover drills. If a WMD were deployed in your AO, you might not be able to return home for a very long time. If it was an all out nuclear attack, you might have nothing but what was in your BOB to survive on for a very long time.

We have all read about the dangers of pandemics and seen the movies. Again, if you live in a remote area, you are much more likely to survive than in a metropolis, due to your ability to isolate yourself and avoid exposure to most pathogens. The BOB would be to get you home, or to a retreat elsewhere. The BOB for such a contingency should consider the threat, and contain masks, gloves, antibiotics, etc., along with the usual items.

Another contingency to consider would be an economic collapse. In that case, you would use the BOB to get to your home or to your retreat. You might want to consider how you would travel long distances and obtain items that you might need along the way.

Finally, you have to consider the routine events that could put you out of your home or office, like a fire, crime, etc. In that case, you would need to be able to get out and get to an alternative place of safety.

The lists that I have seen are good, depending on the plan you intend to execute with them. At the same time, you have to build the BOB lists around capabilities or broad categories of items, like first aid, navigation, signaling, shelter, and so forth. Plan and figure out what you need to do, or be prepared for, then build a BOB kit that supports your requirements. My kit to move 30 miles in my environment is not going to look exactly like the list of a guy in Alaska or Haiti who is trying to prepare for something completely different.

Everyone would like to bring the kitchen sink, till they actually have to lug it around for a few days. Items should have multiple uses, and overlap. Understand the difference between wants and needs. Make your list, and then pare it down to the key items. A long gun would be nice to have, but isn't really practical for most of us to lug around in a case several times per day. 1,000 rounds of ammo would be sweet, till you realize that it weighs 50 pounds. Take a look at what you absolutely have to have to accomplish your mission, and once it is reasonable, find the optimum container for it that allows you to move, and function while carrying it.

Incidentally, if you are living in San Francisco, IMHO, you should have a signaling device, like a whistle, a hammer/hatchet, and a prybar high on your BOB list of goodies to keep handy.

Best of luck.

TR
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:14   #14
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I have more of a bug out "box" for my Jeep, containing all the necessary tools, fluids, parts, etc needed to keep it running in the event that I am unable to bring it to an expert mechanic in times of hardship, like:
- tool box, socket wrench set
- air filter
- oil, oil filter, funnel (8 or 9 qts, I forget how much)
- AT fluid, has separate funnel
- brake fluid
- grease gun, spare grease tubes
- fuse set
- serpentine belt
- coolant
- various gauge wire spools
- replacement bulbs
- electrical tape
- spark plugs (+feeler gauges)
- that tire fluid shit that you use when you get a small puncture
- few cans of WD-40
- cans of compressed air
- rust blaster

I have another box in my Jeep that contains not necessarily survival equipment, but sure do come in handy at times, such as:
- a wood splitter
- duct tape
- 550 cord
- a poncho
- propane grill w/ spare tanks
- cooking utensils
- 37mm launcher w/ flares, smoke, and fireworks rds (only if I am going to remote areas, not included every day)
- huge ass LED Maglite w/ spare batteries
- headlamp w/ spare batts + bulbs
- car battery jump starter (charged regularly)
- 12VDC air compressor that can run off a cigarette lighter socket
- DC-AC power inverter (comes in handy running laptops, etc)
- large area tarp (12'x12' maybe, folds up nicely)
- shovel
- 5 gal water jug
- old fleece
- TOILET PAPER
- small cooler
- crowbar
- binocs
- sleeping bag
- fire starting materials
- small fire extinguisher (hopefully not related to fire starting materials)
- *forgot to add* the requisite CB radio with 6' whip
- *forgot to add* frequency scanner

This may look like a lot of shit, but if I pack it right I still have a decent amount of room in the back without even having to remove the back seat. If I do that, I can fit a litter in the back if the situation so arises, or use it as a de facto bed (the ability to lock the doors when sleeping is nice).

At home I have more of a shooter's box, with all the different kinds of ammo I would need to last me for a few days if shit hits the fan, along with pre-loaded mags, cleaning kits w/ CLP+rags, spare parts, and locks if I have to be away from my firearms at any time (kind of impractical to carry an AR, shotgun, long rifle, and pistol all at once).

I got bored one day and decided to build a snorkel for my air intake, which actually works! Still have to make one for the exhaust, but as long as the engine is running, it will ford up to ~4ft deep slow-moving creeks. It looks ghetto as shit, but $50 at the hardware store goes a long way.

I swear I'm NOT paranoid! I see something and think, "oh that might come in handy some day..." and I have actually used most of the items on these lists at least once, some items a lot.
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Last edited by Maytime; 03-08-2010 at 12:56.
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Old 03-08-2010, 16:21   #15
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