Bug Out Bag pt3 The how and why.
In this post I am going to discuss the How and Why of the bug out bag. I’m going to discuss why, and importantly in some cases , why not.
How do you build a bug out bag and then why are you doing it?
That is a question you rarely see brought up in discussions. I used to carry a bag in my truck always, I was packed and ready to go…..where?
So the first thing before you put a bag together is get a piece of paper and jot down these things
1- where am I likely to be most days
2- where am I likely to be most nights
3- who is most likely to be with me, I am responsible for
4- contingency plans for not planning for the first 3 things. such as vacations, unexpected emergencies ( family, friends ) requiring travel at short notice. Will you have more than the person you planned your bag around with you? What are you doing if you are flying? Or a cruise ship?
5- of any scenarios you have thought of , what is the MOST likely?
Not such a doom and gloom now is it?
Then define where you are going and why are you carrying a bag?
Simple right? Most prepper advice says you need a bag packed for 3 days. This comes from I believe the advice from FEMA saying you should be self sufficient for 3 days before help arrives.
Hmmmm remind me to be impressed with that. This predicates help is coming…
I’m going to fall back on to one of my Philosophies here. I didn’t say it first but its a good idea and so here it is
Define the mission then define the gear.
What do you have to do, and how are you going to do it? And what do you need to accomplish it. This doesn’t mean get on Amazon and buy a BOB and call it good. But, if it makes you happy and then you can move on to your long term preps I say go for it..
That’s what I did. My long term preps are more important than the first 72 hrs in my estimate. There is a whole lot more life after I get home, that’s where I’m prepping.
There are some excellent pre made bags available and I have a few, because I consider them expendable resources, they can be grabbed and thrown on top of the pile in the truck for trips and driving west across Arizona especially. From Gila Bend to Yuma there is a whole lot of unforgiving desert with not a thing else out there. Having a well stocked bag of “what if” is a great idea, and Arizona is not the only place you can find yourself going from cruising along in your car to broken down and alone very quickly.
The down side to these bags?
Well, depending on who built it and what corners they cut to save money you either get a good bag or one that’s not so good. The ones I will recommend are highly rated and solid gear. From the bag to the contents they are well sourced and selected.
72 hr bag, not terribly heavy and packing list needs a bit of adjustment
This one is a better bag, 72 hr as packed but room for more or if you rig for more than 1 person, a far better all around starter
You get what you pay for and this one has room for a rifle in the pack, good for keeping things”quiet”until its time to not be quiet.
I’ve never used this Pack
but the list is solid with whats inside
This is a good in between pack,
my son has this one and wants another
I call this one the Earthquake bag– I do have 2 of these. They sit at the back of the house inside under 2 different ground floor windows where even if the house is unstable I can reach in and grab them. No I’m not carrying those and they are for 4 people, 3 days. That’s me and the cat for at least 12 days, Each
Duplicate gear for situations where some may not be accessible, you still have gear.
That’s also a real issue with you building your own bag as well, so it pays to know good gear from bad. Because most people don’t really have a clue about staying alive other than the atm card and delivery pizza. If it comes from the camping section at large retail stores…Its probably not great.
So lets start with 1 scenario that’s is popular. Travel in the car away from home. And why is popular?
Because our hero has his BOB with all his super secret ninja gear with him and that sells books:)
Likely scenario-Normal conditions and a breakdown-Summer or winter, you are staying with the car. This is a no brainer. You need water, maybe some snacks and some form of shelter( the car) until the Highway Patrol gets to you. Hopefully your cell phone or HAM radio, or even a CB gets you in contact with someone who can get the message out and then you are in a motel over night.
What do you need for this? Water, snacks, cell phone etc.
Change of clothes
Credit card or cash gets you in the motel and a rental to get on the road again.
No where in here is the normal BOB contents, and no walking has been done unless you needed to find a cactus to whiz on. Of course you will adjust your cars contents to the climate and season.
Before you pack up a bundle of gear and leave it in the car you need to define where and what is most likely it will be used. We are all on budgets here. Determine the actual need you have.
If you have small children, you need water, diapers, baby wipes, formula, 2 bottles, change of clothes for kids and a blanket so they don’t get cold. And the baby seat which is in the car and takes up bunch of space by itself. This is in addition to the bag with a handy strap Mom has everywhere she takes the kid, which duplicates the stuff in the car.
There is a real reason Mom’s like the mini vans or large SUV.
For me, and you should consider this view. I commute to work. But its a short commute and I’ve done the math a few times. The walk is uphill 7 miles. Max 2.5-3 hours, and for that I need water. Carrying a bag full of gear I wished I left at home because I don’t want to leave it behind, its my BOB……right?
How far can you walk on a nice day, in 24 hours? Use that for your guidance. Because unless you have a large vehicle, you can leave your bag in all the time you have to layer your gear. If you don’t need it, don’t bring it. And don’t buy gear to create a use for it either.
And the environment effects your BOB/bag. What do I mean? Most of everything you can eat has a storage life, and temperature extremes shorten the life of edibles dramatically. Everything says “store in a cool dry place”.
That is not the trunk of your car.
Or inside for that matter, in the summer in North America.
In Arizona I can drive for 7 hours, stay in the state and go from a cool 60 degreesF in the morning to 15 degreesF and blizzard conditions, on the same day. And pass through 95degrees F in the Phoenix area on the way. That’s in the fall or spring. How long will your gear last? Some fabrics break down in the sun, in your back seat it will be cooked and ultraviolet light breaking down the fabrics. And your food preps are baking.
Freezing conditions don’t help much either, I remember growing up when we carried coolers in the truck to keep things from freezing when left overnight in the truck. Yes, a cooler is an insulated box, it works both ways….
This concludes part 3 of Bug Out Bag pt 3 The how and Why
Discuss and debate please………