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My B.O.B for Review, Please.

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by shoggoth80, May 3, 2010.

  1. shoggoth80

    shoggoth80 Greater Seattle Area Member

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    Hey all.
    I just performed an audit on my bug out bag... and it's contents. Figured it is good practice to do this from time to time right? Ask yourself "is this necessary?" The thing I like to do is for utility items, is to try and make them serve multiple purposes, or at least the capacity to (unless really light/small).
    So, without further ceremony...the contents:laugh:

    Esbit Stove, 6 Esbit fuel cubes, 3 trioxane fuel bars, and canteen cup. This comprises my basic cooking system. But I also pack a fire kit, which has tinder, lighter, matches, flint and steel. Of course, fire is more than just cooking. I also use a Titanium spork.

    Utility Items: Gerber Multi-tool, bandana, cord,duct tape, electrical tape, pencil stub, small mirror, camp saw, 2 small flashlights, 1 emergency whistle with red LED flashlight on it. I also have some Tinfoil, which is mostly for a stove windbreak, but could have other uses. 1 small fishing kit. Lensatic compass with instructions. .45acp cleaning kit.

    I have a basic hygiene kit which has: Tp, toothpaste, toothebrush, razor, comb, pack of sani-wipes.

    Hydration concerns: 2 canteens (1qt each) and water purification tabs.

    Shelter: Space blanket, Poncho, 8’x10’ foot silver/brown HD tarp (lighter than a tent, more versatile too), Headnet, Repel 100% DEET (bug bites suck).

    Clothing concerns: 2 pair boxers, 2 t shirts, 1pair brown cargo pants , 1 black wool watchcap, 2 pair wool blend OD socks, 1 pair black synthetic socks, black wool scarf. I have a light outdoors jacket that is water repellant, and fairly warm. The Costco equivalent to North Face.

    Just in case: Personal Fist Aid, minus blood pressure meds (problem here).

    Literature: Pocket SAS survival guide, and a pocket basic survival guide (non military related).

    Food, because we like to eat. This is really designed for 3 days+ :
    3 packs insta coffee, 3 packs tea, 4 bouillon cubes, 2 energy bars, Mountain House chili mac , 2400 calorie ER bar (they work, and can be rationed multiple days), 1 Military MRE chili mac.


    So far all of this is packed into, and onto a surplus medium sized alice pack. Also, everything is stuffed into plastic bags to keep moisture, bugs etc. out.

    Desirable items to add:
    Maps
    Knife
    Entrenching tool
    Lightweight bivy bag? I have a light sleeping bag though... haven't attempted to pack in with the B.O.B though.
    Perhaps a higher grade/lighter weight backpacking tarp?
    Barter items? Smokes, small bottles of liquor. Problem... if things went bad, I would be as likely to consume these myself.
    Cash? Depends on how bad things get. Also, I am on the poor side.... I built this bag while I still had money coming in on a regular basis.
    Straw type water filter?
    More efficient/balanced clothing?
    Better pair of boots?

    Just looking for thoughts, suggestions, critiques etc.
     
  2. Wenis

    Wenis Tri-Cities, WA Member

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    I think the best way to see if you have what you need is to go out and use it for 1-3 days. You will quickly learn "I wish I had this". There are different opinions on how long a B.O.B. should last you, but I think most stay true to the three day minimum.

    At a glance I would include:

    fixed blade knife
    Road Map/Topo Map of your surrounding location and where you're headed
    handgun (if not conceal carrying)
    ammo for handgun
    upholstery thread and needles
    a true hiking water filter
    emergency bivey sack
    trowel
    deodorant
    bar of soap

    I've never used a esbit stove but can you cook it all in a canteen?
     
  3. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I would add a large fixed blade knife (K-Bar type) and a deck of cards. Light weight, but it can give your brain something to focus on other than stress. It can help stave off panic...
     
  4. shoggoth80

    shoggoth80 Greater Seattle Area Member

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    Handgun I carry. Just about always.
    The trick is learning how much ammo is "enough" My Bug Out weapons are .45acp and .308 for when bubblegum really hits the fan.

    A fixed blade knife is definitely on the want list. Aside from practicing medieval longsword... dagger and unarmed are part of the system... and since the old systems revolve around biomechanics, many of the motions are the same... aside from the cutting, skinning, utilitarian aspect, a good fixed blade knife can also add another layer of protection. I am not saying I am proficient... the last thing I would truly want to be in is a life or death knife fight... but if needed, I would give it my best shot.

    I had a small thing of deoderant, but I opted to leave it out. I can stand a few days with funk... if extended, I would either find something to bathe in, be it creek, or lake, or use sani-wipes on the stinky parts. Depends on how long it is going to be before order is restored, or a safe location is reached.

    The emergency bivy is a good one, and I want to get one of the 2.0 Bivy bags, as they are less than 30 and would add another shelter layer without much space, and very, very little weight.

    The trowel? I am guessing that would be a small hand spade, and not the Masonry tool? I know that adding a entrenching tool (multi-purpose military shovel) would add a fair amount of weight... but something that can dig, be used as a pick, has a serrated edge to act as a saw, and makes a great improvised weapon... it would be worth the extra weight on the pack frame.

    The maps are a definite desire... preferably laminated... but I could suffice with stuffing them in a plastic bag.

    I understand the logic behind a lot of the suggestions, and they are good ones. Some of them I just don't see an absolute need for, while others I definitely do, while some of them can be served with another multi-purpose item.

    I believe a solid B.O.B is a process of logic, and trial and error. I once thought keeping a surplus wool blanket on the pack was a good idea... until I tried to backpack with a full bedroll in 85F weather. I tried to follow the light weight backpacker mantra of "remove ounces, and the pounds will follow." It isn't that I want to run too stripped down... this bag is my mobile lifeline (and perhaps even some friends and my girlfriend, though she is working at putting her own together).

    One key thing is the idea of "3 day minimum." Some people build to be a three day bag. If that were the case, I would ditch all food but the ER bar, and maybe the MRE, but obviously keep the water. I realize that a few amenities on a rough trail can be a great morale booster and comfort.
    Example... instant coffee normally tastes like a$$... but if you ever wake up around 6:30am in the mountains, and it is 36F, that instant hot coffee shared with a friend is a slice of heaven.

    ESBIT stove boils water in about 8 minutes... canteen cup sits nicely on top of the unit... and it can use any type of solid fuel bar. Hexamine, Trioxane, or the ESBIT stuff... or the cheapo "Emergency Fuel tabs." Hard to beat it for what it is... I read the USGIs ditched their issued units for the German units in WWII because it worked better... Erich Schummer's Brannenstoff in Tablettenform... it's an old, and relatively effective design.
     
  5. treemanx

    treemanx Spray, Or. Active Member

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    Id throw in some 550 para cord, and some small braided steel picture hanging cord. Para cord has a million uses, and the small lengths of braided steel cord is great for setting snares to catch rabbit size game and smaller. I would also throw in a book of wild edible identification for Oregon, a sports bottle filled with uncooked rice and hung on the outside of your pack( rice is very filling, a sports bottle full will make a lot of meals; can also mix in wild edibles or meat), fixed blade is a must as mentioned by Wenis, folded black 55 gallon heavy duty garbage bag, small fishing kit in a pill bottle (take pill bottle and wrap a bunch of fishing line around it, then tape to hold it. Fill pill bottle with hooks, swivels, and weights.), water filter: katadyn hiker model is the best & most reliable IMO.

    Just off the top of my head! Looks like you have a great start!
     
  6. shoggoth80

    shoggoth80 Greater Seattle Area Member

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    "small fishing kit in a pill bottle (take pill bottle and wrap a bunch of fishing line around it, then tape to hold it. Fill pill bottle with hooks, swivels, and weights.)"
    -Mine is in a film canister, with line wrapped around a straw... with it tucked into a notched end to hold it. I have some small bobbers, a couple sizes of hooks, and some lead weights in there. :)

    One serious worry I have is that I take meds for bloodpressure regulation, and even they are questionable at managing it (still working at finding why it isn't as effective as it should be)... now, I know going three days without it won't kill me... but if things got really terrible....I can probably expect to have a few years shaved off my lifespan. Rather a depressing thought there. Still trying to get something around a month's supply squirreled away. Had ten days worth once... then I had to rotate pills, then the Doc changed the dose.

    My cord isn't para-cord, but it is tough. Maybe next time I go to the surplus store, I will get some. I want a Shemagh to replace my bandanna (larger, more potential uses), and perhaps the official army survival manual, and first aid manual... and perhaps the M1911 manual if they have a reprint... cause I am really a weapons junkie at heart.
     
  7. Uberdillo

    Uberdillo Oregon Active Member

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    I saw a video of the Chinese e-tool earlier today and I was laughing at first but it sort of raised the bar in my mind as to what you could ask for out of one. Worst case give it a leather wrap and a pommel and it will definitely feel medieval in your hands. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b60OZhrTB6o
     
  8. CaughtSteelin

    CaughtSteelin Oregon Member

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    You said you have spare clothes. Are they cotton?

    If so go to a polyester/spandex/nylon fabric. Helps wick away moisture and very light weight.

    Also you metioned BP pills. Are you maybe a little overweight or not use to walking for miles?

    Maybe get a small container of Vasoleine. Helps with chafing, lips, many uses...
     
  9. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Lower Yakima Valley Well-Known Member

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    I'd add light-weight woolen long underwear; you seem a little light on warm clothes. Being able to layer these with the pants, t-shirt, jacket, can add a lot of warmth for very little space and weight. Buying good, real-wool, lightweight long underwear may not be cheap, but it is worth it. Another benefit of wool is that it will still keep you warm when it is wet which can't be said for a lot of synthetic fibers.

    Also, have you thought about to where you are most likely bugging out? When I lived in Seattle, I planned my bug out bag to get over the mountains on foot to family on the east side. So you may think of a few more items if you have a most likely route. If you think you may need to walk far, get some trekking poles. While some people laugh them off, they are an amazing aid to hiking, allowing you to go farther with heavier loads with less effort.
     
  10. shoggoth80

    shoggoth80 Greater Seattle Area Member

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    +1 on long underwear.
    I am a bit overweight, but the pressure problem is also genetic, and might have some other factors in there besides weight. Walking for distance doesn't bother me so much. I like get out and trail walk as often as I can, but it is more of a thing in the summer. A few miles here, and there... an afternoon out with a buddy. I used to go run with my sister... we'd do about 3 miles at a time. Took me a little while, but I did it. I also do time on elliptical exercise machines, and do free weights when I get the chance. So, I do exercise, not nearly as much as I would like these days though.

    I've thought about keeping camo BDUs in the bag, but in a SHTF scenario, I'd want to fly under the radar... not be picked up in an instant.
     
  11. THC101

    THC101 Pierce County Member

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    i dont know the prices at your surplus store but its .9 cents a foot here.

    they sell 300 ft spools on cheaperthandirt dot com for 12$
     
  12. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    I carry my BOB all over, from home to car, car to work and back again, you have provided me with some good ideas.
    Two thoughts:

    1. I am thinking of breaking my BOB into 2., like a backpack and a fanny pack, like the hiking backpacks that are "scalable". It almost looks like you could benefit from that too.

    2. Here are a few things I have that I didn't see in yours.
    a. Gatorade(little tube/packets)(great when water gets frustrating)
    b. tweezers, the good kind like from countycomm.com
    c. Headlamp, like the Petzl Tactikka XP
    d. a "clicker" like the ones they used in WW2, great for communicating without making tons of ruckus.
    e. GPS
    f. Compass
    g. Pocket Survival Kit that can be bought from OFA(Oregon Firearms Academy) Gear Shop.
    h. Isreali bandages, also can be bought from OFA
    i. sharpening stone for your knife
    j. sharpie pen(worst case, you have something to mark your beer cup at a party)
    k. fingernail clippers
    j. batteries(I try to make sure all my stuff runs on AAA, so I only have to have 1 type of battery)
    l. gloves, both the surgical and the keep you warm type.
    m. garbage bags and a few gallon/quart/pint ziplocks.(water collection/storage, puke bags, waste storage, etc.)
    n. surgical tubing
    o. snare wire
    p. washcloth
    q. afterbite for after bug get you.
    r. burn gel
    s. couple paperclips and safety pins
    t. cash, couple hundred $, small bills
    Maybe, just maybe this is the reason I am thinking of a "scalable" BOB.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  13. shoggoth80

    shoggoth80 Greater Seattle Area Member

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    Some of those items are good suggestions. The headlamp is a good one.
    Tweezers I have in the First Aid Kit. I replaced the ones in there with metal ones of my liking. There are also small scissors in there, which could trim bandages, or finger nails. I keep super glue in there too, in case I need to close something that would otherwise need sutures. I have been mulling over gloves, they don't add weight, and keeping your hands warm is one part to feeling warmer overall (hands, feet, head, groin). Burn gel and afterbite are also in FAK.

    Some of the extra first aid items are definitely not a bad idea. Any injury on the trail, is an inconvenience. Even a headache will slow you down considerably when hiking with weight on your back. I know that one first hand.

    Adding a butt-pack to my BOB would be a good idea... then I could even segregate items. Maybe break up the absolute survival essentials into the buttpack, while keeping the more "luxury items" in the main bag.
     
  14. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    I do have and use the superglue, great stuff.
    Thought of more.....
    Also a Couple carbiners and sunglasses. I assume you have lip balm and sunscreen too?
     
  15. shoggoth80

    shoggoth80 Greater Seattle Area Member

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    Small thing of sunscreen in the FAK. Sunglasses I haven't thought of. Lip balm I do not have. I rarely ever use chapstick, but sunburned lips do suck... actually had that happen once. I would need a case for the sunglasses. Anything simple or cheap would do. Polarized shooting glasses would be trick as all get out.
     
  16. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    totally forgot, water purification tablets, I pack them, another reason to have the Gatorage, once the water tabs are in and the water is safe, doesn't mean it'll taste good.
     
  17. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    A good fixed blade knife in invaluable...I also throw in a knife sharpener in my kit, along with a trash bag, a couple chem lights, some 550 cord and a sewing kit.

    *edit*

    Also, one of your main concers as well is keeping your stuff dry. A change of clothes and matches are useless if they get soaked. I vacume seal all my stuff so that it saves weight and keeps dry.
     
  18. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    I would add a 2 way radio (and of course one for each of your family members in their B.O.B.) preset to a channel because cell phones may not work.

    -d
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  19. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    A good full brim hat, can protect you from the sun and cold
    A good beanie, I cannot go hikeing without one. Its friggin cold at 3am in woods even in the summer.
    Gloves, just cause you should always have gloves if manual labor is required to keep your rear alive you need to keep your hands blister free.
    Sunscreen, cause nothing can ruin a vacation like a sunburn... Now make it a life and death situation.
    A bandana, it is very versitile. It can protect you from sun, be soaked in water to cool your neck, be used to carry things, filter water... etc..

    Or skip the beanie/hat and just go with the bandana depending on how much hair you have left. :)

    I would ditch the cargopants if they are cotton, A cheap pair of nylon running pants with some kind of thermals underneath is inexpensive not bulky and more versitile in the long run IMHO.
     
  20. treemanx

    treemanx Spray, Or. Active Member

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    I agree that keeping your gear dry is important, but not sure what you meant by saving weight by vacuum sealing. Stuff will still weigh the same in a vacuum sealed bag, just will be airtight. I use my food-saver to pack 1 quart sized bag with aspirin and ibuprofen, band-aids, spare lighter, and a few bags of tea.

    Other than that, I have different sized water tight rafting bags that I use as a main compartment pack liner. They work great, as you can stuff all your crap into it, roll the top and clip closed to create an airtight seal, and everything will stay dry. You can also use your pack as a flotation device if you have to cross a body of water as it will have air trapped inside.