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  1. #1
    Sharpshooter WETSU's Avatar

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    Bug Out Bags 101

    Lets use this thread to discuss the Bug Out Bag or BOB. I’ll post up my thoughts on the subject and a pic or two and then lest open it up for everyone to share their own ideas and load outs. Try not to let side topics creep in like the get home bag, bail out bag, fighting load, or survival kits etc. Everyone’s ideas will be different however. One man’s survival kit will be another’s BOB. That’s fine.

    I would like this thread to be stickied so members can read it first rather than post the umpteenth “what should I put in my BOB” thread.
    Okay, some background. I have been doing this prepping thing for a long time. More than 20 years. I have had a BOB that whole time. I am a wilderness survival instructor. I teach BOBs in my Bug Out 101 class. I have taught workshops specifically on BOB only.

    My own BOB is designed for my needs and those of my family. As my children have grown older, those needs have changed. I have happily swapped out diapers and biter biscuits for more useful items and real food! My BOB is set up for a 72 hour type kit in the event of evacuation to a shelter, hotel, campground or relative’s house. But it also has long term survival tools in it to fashion a life in the sticks for a very long time.

    Here’s my Bug Out Bag.

    I use an old school, medium ALICE, w/out frame, in OD. I’ve use this as a BOB for about 10 years now.

    Shelter: A PVC tarp, 8x9, lightweight, camo w/ grommets. That’s rolled up on top. Inside that is a USGI poncho liner. In an outer pocket is a 5x6' section of silnylon and 20' 550 cord. I keep a small container of deck screws and large nails in that pocket as well. 2 contractor bags. 1 vinyl poncho. Small fleece blanket.

    Tools: wire saw, Pak Axe, Leatherman tool, Pilot survival knife, Gerber folding saw w/ extra blade. 2 Metal cans for cooking, tinfoil, 2 sets of utensils, Metal cup.

    Food: 1 3600 cal lifeboat rations. 8 cliff bars, 2 MRE entree only, 4 cup o soup, 4 hot choc, hard candy, 1 lb rice, beef jerky, raisins, tea/coffee. Most inside ziplock bags.

    Medical: decent 1st aid kit w/ current meds like ibuprofen and benedryl, but also a broad spectrum antibiotic, tummy meds, eyecare, dental care etc. I also keep a set of instruments in there and a good trauma kit.

    Hygiene: 4 toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, camp suds, foot powder, chapstick, hand sanitizer, women's needs, baby wipes, bug juice/DEET. Sunscreen. Extra pair of specs, extra pair of contacts.

    "Survival": 2 headlamps, 1 "shake" light, 1 LED puck light, 1 LED lamp, a candle, firekit w/ matches, lighter, steel/ferorod, tinder, dry wood, water treatment tabs, MSR filter, compass, whistle, flaggers tape, signal mirror, Grundig SW radio w/ extra batteries, SAS survival manual, Bible, deck of cards, small set of plastic animals, paper and pencils, 50' of 550 cord, 25' brass wire, fishing kit, small sterno can w/ stove. Extra batteries. Repair kit: duct tape, zipties, wire, small nails, nuts/bolts, eyeglasses kit, sewing kit, safety pins.

    Clothing: 2 wool watch caps, 2 pairs kids socks, 2 pair wool adult socks, 2 pair kids undies, 2 pair adult undies, 2 pairs gloves.

    Water: 2 bottles of water (1 qt, 1 20 oz) plus a Platypus bladder. More water treatment tabs and iodine.

    Inside top flap is a thumb drive w/ copies of documents. I also keep a couple maps in there, cash, map tools, extra compass.
    Here it all is laid out. It all fits, and the only external storage is the pak ax. I can hang all sorts of stuff from the outside if I wanted, but this works fine.

    I am 100% confident that I could provide for my family for a long time using these items. I can provide for them with a third of these items, having all this stuff will make it downright easy.

    As far as ammo, guns and fighting stuff, that is carried as 1st line mostly. So, my EDC G19, spare mag, knife, light, OC etc is all on me. I can upgrade very quickly by grabbing a rifle and chest rig.

    Lets see what else everyone is doing. FWShooter, can you cross post your thread here?

  2. #2

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    About me: No kids and my girlfriend lives with me. She has a small backpack with clothes and "femine stuff".

    I really have no great history just an idiot who spent most of his early 20s getting lost in woods and trying not to die. Couple of times how I never died is beyond me but those experiences taught me quickly what I should have done. Also, when I take my pack out I try to use as little of it as possible and improve my skills so as the time goes on I have removed stuff because hey I have found it is weight and I can use a couple paper clips and accomplish the same thing that a ka-bar and a 100 foot of twine does.

    I was hoping to have some pictures and will probably add them tonight since I was going to re-pack it anyways.

    Basically it is a LA Police Gear 3 day backpack. I have been looking at moving up to more of a backpack style bag but this pack works for me now. Plus I am a OCD so the compartments are huge so I can keep stuff divided.

    The bottom outside has emegerency supplies such as a small medical kit with the basics of band-aids, burn cream, wraps, ankle brace, emergency blood clot kit. I bought the kit on closeout and then added more stuff that I know I will need such as tylenol, headache, cramp crap for the chick. I also have vitamins, melatonin, and fiber pills in here.

    In this compartment is also a 2 backpack towels (for my bob I prefer to use backpack gear since it is all lightweight and compact). I picked them up locally but here is a link (I have no affliation with any links) Perfect backpacking towel' - Review of MSR Packtowl UltraLite from

    In the top compartment is my "necessities". Here there is 100 foot of paracord, tent stakes, bungies, altoids tin full of sawdust, some homemade firestarters (basically take empty egg cartons, fill with sawdust and dryer lint, and pour melted paraffin over them, let it cool, and break apart), dryer lint (oh yeah good time to mention everything is stored in ziploc bags to prevent water logging and man can never have to many baggies), firesteel ( Ms-atwfn0sm0Dw&ved=0CFIQ8wIwAQ&biw=1272&bih=717#), waterproof matches, couple lighters, water purification tablets ([ame=""] Katadyn Micropur MP1 Water Purification Tablets: Sports & Outdoors[/ame]), clothepins (about 10), screwdriver with swappable bits (10 bucks at Home Depot), handheld knife sharpener (5 bucks at Target), steel wool, duct tape that I have wrapped around a toliet paper roll so I am not stuck carrying a whole roll, small tackle box (fishing line, hook, bobber, and other necessities), couple flashlights (all my flashlights use AA batteries and I have a 8 pack of spares), TP, and a couple small garbage bags, folding shovel.

    In the main compartment I have enough room for a small kitchen and change of clothes.

    The small kitchen is a MSR pocket rocket ([ame=""] MSR Pocket Rocket Stove: Sports & Outdoors[/ame]), 2 8 ounce fuel cansisters, backpack pots and pans ([ame=""] Optimus Terra 3 piece cookset with neoprene cozy: Sports & Outdoors[/ame]), spices stored in a spice missle ([ame=""]GSI Outdoors Spice Missile at[/ame] these are awesome and will hold a TB or so spices compactly), sea salt and black pepper in their own grinder that you can buy at any grocery store, hot sauce, 2 sets of silverware (for the price this is my favorite [ame=""]Sea to Summit Alpha Utensil Set at[/ame]), 2 x-mugs ([ame=""]Sea to Summit X-Mug at[/ame]), metal cup (the one I bought the handles fold around the cup for storage.

    Everything also pretty much stores in itself so the spices, silverware, and stove fit inside the pots and pan set. Inside the cup I have found that my collection of stolen sugar, crystal light (after using a water tablet you really want the water not to taste like swimming pool), tea bags, and instant coffe (running away and no coffee I would rather die) fit in fine.

    Clothes wise I keep a change of clothes, 3 pair of good hiking socks, couple bandanas, rain gear, couple pairs of boxers, clothes for sleeping (amaizng how much something as simple like this makes you feel better when you are in the middle of nowhere).

    There are also a couple Mountain House meals, instant oatmeal, dehydrated fruit, MRE that I have gone through and ripped out all the crap i would not need such the 3 billion desserts and stuff I know is nasty tasting, and then some homemade dehydrated meals that I have been playing around with, jerky, enegry bars, and sour patch kids.

    I also found that there is an opening that runs down the back of hte backpack and this was the perfect spot to stash a tarp and cash in multiple bills along with important documents/emergency contact info.

    Also, on the inside has a nice flap that works great for deodorant, dr bronner soap (highly recommend since it can do damn near everything from washing dishes, shave cream, soap, etc), razor, spare set of glasses, lotion (multiple uses especially lonely nights....).

    As far as sleeping I can go old school and tarp it up with the paracord and use the tent stakes where hte grommets are or cheat and use my backpack tent which fastens to the outside of the backpack and weighs a whopping 3.5 lbs ([ame=""] Kelty Salida 2 Backpacking 2 Person Tent: Sports & Outdoors[/ame]).

    My next purchase is going to be a nice backpack sleeping bag that collaspes down to nothing because right now the one has to be attached to the molle with more carabiners (so cool to have though).

    As far as water. I have a [ame=""] MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter: Sports & Outdoors[/ame] with a couple extra filters and then a couple camelbaks. This is one of the reasons why I want to get a better backpack is because then I have the ability to actually stash the water in pockets not just carabiner it to the mollee (can you have to many of them?).

    That is pretty much my pack. It seems like a lot but the nice thing is about 30ish on the weight scale but granted I paid a little bit extra for my stuff but hey ounces are pounds.

    As far as using it this pack is the first pack I grab when I want to go hike through the woods for a weekend or pull the truck up to a campsite. Figured I have everything in it I need to camp and basically running away from home is just an extended camping trip.

    Oh yeah almost forgot the most important part, I can stash the 45 in it and I have a couple magazines loaded for the 9, 45, and 22 in it and a couple baggies with loose bullets (more focus on the 22 since in a running away from home scenerio my goal is to avoid everything and everyone and only make loud bang noises unless I have to. The 22 could easily be attached to the molle on pack too.

    What I would carry on myself is a flashlight, mutlitool, folding knife, 9mm, and b.a. ka-bar on the belt.

    Sure I am forgetting something but whatever I remember I will add as an edit.

    edit: toothbrush, toothpaste (thanks dentist), pen, pencil, and notepad. Oh yeah edible plant book.
    Last edited by FWShooter; 05-25-2011 at 11:56.

  3. #3
    Expert GARANDGUY's Avatar

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    Great post WETSU! Rep for you! I need to get some pics of mine. I vote for this to be a sticky too!
    Protection One Tactical Training

  4. #4
    Master IndySSD's Avatar

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    Well done gentlemen, tagging to add to my subscriptions page!

    Also using this as a "Reserved" for when I get my actual BOB put together, currently I operate with a GHB and I have a good measure of components for a separate BOB but haven't actually got the "Bag" part and assembled it.

    +1 for both incoming when I recharge with rep!

  5. #5

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    I've got a question for WETSU. Is there a reason that you omitted a couple of those small FMRS or GRS walkie talkies for communicating with someone who might have to venture away from the pack? Just curious. I have a pair of those 30 milers that run on batteries or can be recharged in the BOB that I am building. Your list pointed out an item or two that I have overlooked. Thank you.

  6. #6
    Grandmaster cosermann's Avatar

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    I'd be interested in the weight of people's BOBs as well. Wetsu and FWShooter, how much do your BOBs weigh?

  7. #7
    Sharpshooter DocBoCook's Avatar

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    a mod should merge all those "how to make a BOB" and "this is my bag setup" threads into this one

  8. #8
    Sharpshooter WETSU's Avatar

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    Cosermann, my BoB weighs about 40 pounds.

    Chraland51. I did not include GMRS radios because I doubt we would use them. Not part of SOP for my family. We don't chatter a lot. I use them a lot during training for intrasquad comms however. In a SHTF scenario, my family would typically not be out of my sight. Not to say it couldn't happen, but like everything, its a trade off, weight/space vs utility. In my experience the utility is small, based on our SOPs.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosermann View Post
    I'd be interested in the weight of people's BOBs as well. Wetsu and FWShooter, how much do your BOBs weigh?
    30ish. Never really measured it but I know it is not to heavy and not to annoying on long miles. Figured if it was I better start carrying it more and hit the gym.

    Quote Originally Posted by WETSU View Post
    Cosermann, my BoB weighs about 40 pounds.

    Chraland51. I did not include GMRS radios because I doubt we would use them. Not part of SOP for my family. We don't chatter a lot. I use them a lot during training for intrasquad comms however. In a SHTF scenario, my family would typically not be out of my sight. Not to say it couldn't happen, but like everything, its a trade off, weight/space vs utility. In my experience the utility is small, based on our SOPs.
    Also to me radios is another piece of thing I have to carry batteries for or get some way to charge them.

    I do have a set for camping but I can count the amount of times last year they were actually used. Heck the three times I have been out this year they never even got packed in the truck but the pudgie pie maker did.

  10. #10
    Expert Icarry2's Avatar

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    Hey WETSU, what is the copper wire for? What size is the wire?

    Something I am sure you have prepared for judging by the knowledge that you obviously possess but what about a resupply of your BOB when you get to your BOL? Basically do you just stock supplies or have another BOB at your BOL's incase you are caught without your BOB or in case you have to take off for another BOL??

    Thanks in advance, I appreciate the information and respect your knowledge. Thanks for sharing.
    Don't be afraid of the dark. Be Ready for it!!

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