Bugout Bag Basics

Over the next few days we will taking a look at different types of Bug out Bag’s (BOB’s). Everyone I know that is interested in Emergency Preparedness and survival has made, remade and tried out at a few dozen different combinations of bags and gear. The first bag I ever put together was in a full size ALICE pack and weighed in at about 50 pounds. I’m a big guy and this much weight was punishing to carry any distance at all. It contained a lot of gear but after about an hour carrying it you would have been stripping out half of it. These days I don’t want to carry more than 25 or 30 pounds of gear especially if you are on foot and your bug out location is any distance away. Items should be as lightweight as possible and be useful for a variety of tasks if possible.

Everyone has their favorite brand of knives, water filters, freeze dried food etc. and I’m not here to try to convince you that one brand is better than another. I have my favorites and they have served me well for years but you should try out some different types to find the ones you like. The important thing to remember is to buy as high quality equipment as you can afford and to practice using it. You should be familiar with how your gear operates in a variety of weather conditions. Remember the time to try out that new fire starter for the first time is on a warm spring afternoon and not during an emergency when your wet, cold and hungry. The only thing worse than little or no gear is that full bag of gear that you have no idea how to use.

The best advice I can give anyone is take your pack on a short hike to see how it rides while you’re moving. More than once I thought I had my pack just right and after a mile or so something had sifted and was jabbing me in the back. After a few times you will get the pack setup just the way you want it. While you are out try making a fire using a couple of different method’s of ignition and types of camp fire lays. Break out that filter and refill your water bottle or do you prefer to boil your water. Try out your field rations I either make my own or carry Mountain Hose Freeze Dried Foods. Try out  a few different types to find your favorite dish I like the Chili Mac or the Beef Stroganoff. Try out your gear and get comfortable using it preferably in a variety of conditions as emergency’s can happen any time of year and in any weather conditions. In my next post we will start looking at a variety of bags from a minimalist basic carry to a full-blown I’m Never Coming Home Bag (INCH bag).

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