Monday, March 14, 2011

Bug Out Bags (BOB)

Think of it this way,
You are awakened in the wee hours of the night by emergency crews pounding on your door.  A wild fire, huricane, tsunami, or other natural or manmade disaster is imminent.  You have to leave....NOW.  Your alowable time to pack is ZERO.  If you have been paying attention, you grab your BOB and go, if not, well, you're buggered.  If you still don't have a BOB for every member of the family near the front door...what are you waiting for? A disaster? Too late!  Trust me, get a bag together ASAP.  Here are some ideas what to put into it.

Comlete change of clothing...
Consider the climate and current season, running out the door in February with a spare t-shirt and shorts is not exactly helpful.  Keep extra socks too...dry feet are happy feet.

Drinking water...
2l per day for drinking + 2l per day for sanitation.  Plan for a 3 day supply.

ready to eat, without heating.  Avoid dehydrated foods as they require precious (not to mention heavy to carry) water.

Flashlight & radio...
Forget about the battery types and get a crank model.  They are now inexpensive enough for everyone to afford.  I got mine at Canadian Tire for around $15.00.  Flashlight/AM/FM Radio combo.

Toiletry Kit...
toilet paper a must, feminin products for those who need them.

prescriptions for a week + over the counter stuff like pain relievers, antihistamines, etc.

very important....keep copies of important documents, family photos, and anything invaluable that can be digitized.  This includes insurance policies, house deeds, banking records.

Trust me people, this can make even government run shelter life more pleasant, or at least tolerable.

Have more ideas for a BOB? Post a reply.


  1. I would add:
    1) Mess kit: fork, spoon, knife (use your general purpose knife if you can, multi-purposing is good!), and a mug. I use a stainless steel single wall camping mug so that I can cook in it, boil water, etc.

    2) Mylar emergency blanket - usable for shelter, signaling, rain gathering and much more for virtually no weight and little space. It would be silly not to with them being typically under $4

    3)At least one way to reliably make fire. Matches, lighter, tinder and firesteel, whatever you are good at using and can use in a wide variety of situations, you should have it. I include a couple of tea candles as well for fire starting, heating, cooking and light.

    4) 1 or more full-sized garbage bags. These can help with shelter, be made into ponchos, weatherproof your gear, be stuffed with leaves to make a mattress and many other uses.

    I disagree on the dehydrated food issue, I can carry enough food for a week and more for the weight of two days worth of non-dehydrated, but that is a personal choice. In my parts of the world water is not only plentiful but so are the many ways to purify it.

    A bug-out bag should be light enough that you could carry it all day without strain - especially since you might have to!

    Very few natural disasters will come with a nice place to hang out until it passes. Learn how to use all your gear to make life easier and more comfortable.

    My personal bug-out bag includes everything I would need to live without any assistance or provided shelter for one week (or more if living off the land is doable in that season) with a good standard of living, but much of that gear is only useful through practice and repeated actual use. My bag, with a 2 quart water bladder filled and holding everything I'm not wearing, is under 30 lbs.

  2. It is interesting how just across the border blogs on BOB's always include a side arm and "supplies"
    Is it expected that in an shtf situation our good ol' Canadian manners will still be in place? Or is everyone including this in their BOB's and keeping it on the DL? If not a firearm what would you use to protect yourself when it hits the fan?

  3. @Kanprep:
    I don't expect an event which would cause a total social breakdown of that level to occur with no warning, so my BOB does not include a firearm. If I did anticipate it I probably still wouldn't. You don't survive in that chaos by making noise, you get out and stay away until things settle.

    My two cents.

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  5. I think that it wouldn't be a bad idea to have some sort of gun at least ready to take in a bug out depending on the severity of the situation and depending on your location. I would prefer a double barrel 12 or 20 guage that breaks down easily. You would have no problem keeping it hidden and inconspicous in a backpack but would have it for just about any game animal in Canada. However doing so in Canada at least is an illegal act nso you had better weigh the consequences. I really don't think it would be needed for self-defense unless you hail in one of the bigger urban centers like vancouver, toronto etc, even then? Another option depending on your background would be a take -down recurve bow and a dozen or so arrows. Of course don't do this unless you know the basics of traditional archery...which is a topic all unto iteself. At least a bow can be stowed in your BOB legally without being under lock and key and anyone with a month or two of practice should be able to bag rabbits and partridge fairly consistantly with it, not to mention deer and larger game. You can pick up a fairly nice breakdown recurve for around $100-150 I think. Check -Martin Jaguar recurve bows. Your best bet is to join a club or attend a traditional archery shoot where you will pick up more in a weekend than reading a dozen books/videos etc. I would stay away from compound bows personally because they have way too many parts that can fail. Anyway thats my five cents worth. Thanks

  6. If you are worried about the weapon issue, a good .22 caliber air rifle which can break down into a bob bag, ie. QB57 springer rifle with a couple of tins of Crosman Premier Hollow points would be suffice to stop an intruder if shot in the eye or throat. It is totally legal in Canada and don't laugh will do the job in a big city. Lets face it be silent and leave silent. At worse case scenario you can use it to hunt small game and fowl if need be.

  7. If a person has firearm in their BOB do they keep their BOB under lock and key? what happens when it is time to leave, now you have to find the key to unlock your BOB. I think the average Canadian person like my self, has never held a firearm. My BOB has a small crowbar, yes it is heavy but it could be used as a weapon if necessary. and will be much more useful to me in the event of complete social breakdown. I guess it come down to personal opinion.

  8. If a person has firearm in their BOB do they keep their BOB under lock and key? what happens when it is time to leave, now you have to find the key to unlock your BOB. I think the average Canadian person like my self, has never held a firearm. My BOB has a small crowbar, yes it is heavy but it could be used as a weapon if necessary. and will be much more useful to me in the event of complete social breakdown. I guess it come down to personal opinion.

  9. For a weapon I have something that doubles as a valuable tool. I bought a machete that has a saw edge. This will help me build shelter out of found materials quickly, and provide a formidable defense if need be, the only extra supply it needs is a whetstone to keep it sharp which is also in my B.O.B.

    I recently added a small 7 watt solar charger for my cell phone. Cell service and power may not be accessible for a few days. I'd like to have a charged cell for when service comes back.

    One oddball thing I have is a picnic tablecloth. Its a good sturdy plastic for emergency shelter, Packs small and would work as signaling

  10. 35) 2 rolls of toilet paper, cardboard inserts removed, flattened and sealed in zip lock freezer bag. Can be used to light a fire in a pinch too.
    36) Sham wow. The best survival towel. Period.
    37) Notebook with important phone numbers and pencil. Do not make note of your bug out address or location.
    38) Color copies of drivers license, vehicle ownership, PAL, passport, health card, next of kin info and boating license sealed in zip lock bag
    39) Camp shovel
    40) Heirloom seed pack. Wide variety.
    41) (Optional) 22 caliber rim fire rifle with scope and extra ammo. My first choice for a survival situation firearm. Lightweight, easy to maintain and ammo is inexpensive and light. Can even take down a deer with the proper shot. Plastic bag to seal rifle in case of water crossing. Gun oil. Cut pieces of bandana can be pushed through barrel with a stick for cleaning.

    Ziplock bag everything. Bag is also lined with two heavy duty garbage bags to keep contents waterproof and it is kept in a closet on the main floor by the door where I also keep my jackets, fleece and boots (army issue desert boots, Lowa hiking boots, sorel snow boots). Will grab outer and foot wear to match the season on the way out the door. I also lay my quick dry convertible pants on top for a quick change and keep two pairs of thermal bottoms handy in the winter. Nothing I prep contains cotton. It is the worst if you get it wet. Merino wools and synthetic fabrics only.

    Even fully loaded I can carry all of this this on my back all day no problem. I chose dark blues and blacks instead of camo.

    Pack your bag, put on your boots and go for day long hikes a couple times a month to keep in shape. Trust me. Your ankles and leg muscles will need to adapt to the extra weight and your boots will need to be broken in. The last thing you want to do is roll an ankle when bugging out or get painful blisters from brand new boots.

  11. A pack of cards to help keep you sane.

  12. don't forget the value of snare wire, i understand there are many restrictions on this practice, however in a situation where you needed your BOB it'd be good to have, also the sturdy wire can also be used for a number of other tasks (whenever i dig a latrine i use the wire to make a make-shift toilet paper dispenser, for one)

    archery is a great idea for hunting and defence; its quiet, there are few restrictions (no license required for owning one) and the ammo is reusable.
    it does take some skill to do it effectively, but that comes with practice. i would say after a season of going out once a week for a 2-3 solid hours, you should be able to bag a little game.
    note: while its more personal preference, i would avoid compound bows and stick to the take-down recurves, who'ever said more parts to go wrong was right, and eventually any string will break... when that happens you don't want to need a winch to put a new one on.
    also, i have tested my bows on coconuts to get an expectation of penetration. at 30ft my girlfriend's 30lb "matrix" will put the point slightly out the other side.
    my 40lb explorer (most hunters would say 40lbs is the bare minimum to hunt larger game) will nearly clear the coconut entirely at 60ft.

  13. I am building a "Get Home Kit" in all my vehicals. I work 33km from home and if I have to walk home to get to my BOB I will need some supplies. I also have different meeting places for my family (North, South, East and West)of the city. I all ways found it funny we practice emergency situations at work but never at home :/ Fail to Plan... Plan to Fail

  14. Get a 40-60 pounds longbow with a bunch of hunting arrows. It should take down any game.

    Otherwise a small .22 or even a break action .22/20gauge combo is a real good pick. You gotta think of the weapon not as a self defense but rather as a hunting tool.

    My faher always used to say:
    "Give a man a fish..."