Why you don’t need a bug out bag BOB/INCH part 5
I don’t think you need one, with reservations.
I’m sure this will resonate in the community as sacrilege, I will be the anti-bob writer and the deaths of thousands will be on my head.
Or maybe not
You see I’ve been kicking around the fringe of the survivalist-prepping movement for a whole lot of years. I’ve got more than a few who think I’m quite knowledgeable about the topics I talk and write about.
People ask me my opinion about the whole prepping idea and the issues with it, but if you read more than this post you will see I’m fallible like everyone else.
My post on the horrific loss of canned tomatoes shows that.
Still, I think I do better than most with the real world use of this stuff.
My first rule is never panic buy, and when you are driven to do something in America its usually a mistake. And Americans have a nasty habit of buying things and throwing them in a drawer, until in 3 years they have a yard sale and dump all the stuff found in drawers.
I like these sales. A LOT. Then I get to buy things you bought and never learned how to use.
The average BOB/INCH bag will tie up the equivalent of a car payment in my experience. You’ve bought a water filter, a pack, 3 days of dehydrated food, a flash light( or 8 ) knives ( 8 more ) because you can’t set out on the quest to fill the bag with stuff you have already.
Then you get reading posts on blogs and you have to have a grill or a stove you will never use, and a gps, because the one in your phone or car is wrong suddenly. There’s the fishing kit, because you are going to stop on a 10 mile walk home, to go fishing in somebodies koi pond.
So this brings me to my second rule about prepping.
Don’t let fantasy override good sense
Instead of a bag full of dehydrated food stored in your trunk, buy a dehydrator and carry jerky, dried fruit and nuts to lunch when you go to work. Its good for you, cheaper and a bag full of almonds, meat and fruit will get you home.
If it makes you feel like a “real” prepper, get a Foodsaver and vacuum seal up a weeks worth of bags you carry and have 1 day a week, where you eat the stuff left over you packed the week before,when you are home with the family.
Not once a month, it’s to easy to forget it and then you are back to throwing it out.
Its the same stuff, and you aren’t keeping it in your trunk until you don’t remember how long its been there and you throw it out and start over.
Set a distance from home, and keep it.
Simply put, say if you go a distance from home that is farther than you can walk in 24 hours, that is the moment defining the need for a bag in the car.
Or, if you live somewhere the terrain or environment says, common sense overrides distance then you need a bag. If its really cold, really hot, etc.
An example from my use. Tucson Az is 100 ish miles from my house so its well outside the 24 hour distance I can walk it in. I throw my short/medium term bag ( 1 week) in the car, and remember to take it out when I get home.
BUT… I also have a map with every water source I know of between there and home and the 3 possible routes including a cross country route plotted and scouted BEFORE I attempt a walk like that.
Everyone says ” spend a car payment on a BOB and you are ready” but no one tells you what to do after.
I say, figure out how you will get back, then get what you need to accomplish it.
The argument here is, I don’t go the same places all the time. Well, keep track of where you go, I bet there are 1 or 2 general areas you travel too most of the time. When you find that out, all of what I’ve said starts to make a lot more sense.
What you do need.
A good book of topographic maps. A topographic map is one showing terrain features like mountains, rivers, deep valleys or canyons.
If you don’t know how to read one, but afraid to ask because you weren’t in .mil or you never had to learn? No problem, I’ll cover it in another post.
I’m going to depend from here, you do in fact know how to read a map.
You take a ruler and a pencil, you draw a line between where you are and where you want to be.
So if I’m 67 road miles from home (according to my gps) I find what map sheet I’m on, then figure out exactly where. Then you go back to the index page and you find the map sheet on the larger state map and look at the pages in between you and your destination.
You mark the start point, and then tracing your most direct route through the map pages between you and home.
You are looking for large towns, canyons, rough steep terrain, large bodies of water , roads etc.
You are taking time before you move to make a plan. Don’t get fixated on your pencil marks, there might be a road you miss going exactly the same way you are a mile away. Ease of travel is a plus, and it’s much easier walking a roadbed than it is bush whacking through the mountains.
You can do this for practice sitting watching TV.
When you have plotted your obstacles, take the kids out and go look at them. Make a field trip out of it. Take a bag of jerky, 3-4 bottles of water , look around. You will probably find something cool, and you get a lay of the land.
This is full contact prepping. Not the “click buy and throw in a closet” prepping.
It’s fun too and it gets the kids off the video games and out with you. They will act like you are killing them, but they will brag about it when they get older.