What is a Bug Out Bag (BOB)?
A Bug Out Bag (BOB) is a pack stocked with what you need to survive for 72 hours while leaving a disaster area for somewhere safer. They are also known as a Get Out of Dodge Bag (GOOD), a 72 Hour Bag/Kit, a “grab bag”, a “battle box” or a “Personal Emergency Relocation Kit” (PERK).
BOB supplies need to help you:
- Stay warm and dry
- Get fluids
- Not get lost
There are many variations on the bug-out theme and a huge amount of information available on the topic. I am by no means an expert, as each bug out bag is custom made to suit each family. The bag concept assumes you either don’t have a vehicle or you are forced to abandon it. If you have a vehicle then the range of items you can carry with you goes up significantly. The basic idea is to have what you need, ready to carry on your back.
There are also time line variations. People prepare kits for shorter term like the 24 hour get-home bag and longer term, larger kits if you don’t think you will be coming back or have a very long trek to some safe destination.
Below is a video of my bug out bag when I first put it together. It actually hasn’t really been altered much, 6 months later. Just keep that in mind that a bug out bag should suit your family. Another person's bug out bag may not even keep you alive.
Bug Out Bag (BOB) Contents
These are the items that I have packed in my Bug Out Bag (BOB):
- 4 in 1 Emergency Survival Camping Tool with Whistle + Compass + Thermometer + Magnifying Glass – Black, LED wind up flashlight – for quick access to light (Outside of BOB)
- Machete (Side of BOB)
- Tarp and paracord (Bottom of BOB)
- Sharpe pen (to leave messages), chap stick (lip balm) (Right hand Side Bottom Pouch)
- Multi-tool, magnesium fire starting tool, and fire straw (petroleum soaked cotton wool) (Left hand side bottom pouch)
- poncho, sunglasses, emergency blankets, masks, sewing kit, matches, glow sticks, whistle , lighter (Top pouch of BOB)
- LED flashlight, batteries (Right hand side main pouch) 18650 flashlight or AA flashlights
- Small butane gas, notepad and pens (Left hand side main pouch)
- Spoons, Spyderco knife, BIC lighter (Front pocket on BOB)
- Aluminum foil (can cook, make drinking vessels and make a quick solar oven if needed), protein bars, noodles, water, spare clothes, first aid kit, razors, toiletry items, panty liners (doubles as bandages and even a water filter), gloves and hat. (Main bag)
I didn’t organize a BOB because I am expecting to face the Zombie Apocalypse or survive the end of the world like the movie “The Road”. Sure, I’d try to rise to the occasion if such events occurred, but given that I live in the capitol of Nebraska I’d probably be toast.
Why Should I Have a Bug Out Bag?
As I dug deeper into the topic and began assembling things I needed for the BOB (as well as Bug-IN supplies for home) it all just made sense. While Armageddon may not be at hand there are other considerations. Being stranded in a blizzard, evacuating from other natural disasters, civil unrest, deciding to get out of Dodge if some pandemic is beginning are just some of life’s cheery possibilities. Yes, the likelihood of such things happening is relatively slim but I’m sure the folks in New Orleans and, more recently, Brisbane weren’t thinking disaster was on the menu either. (Check out the Odds of Everyday Emergencies.)
If something were to go awry and you had to get moving in a hurry, would you want to be a refugee with just the clothes on your back and dependent on FEMA for your future? It doesn’t appeal much to me, either. Considering that it isn’t that expensive and doesn’t require Herculean effort to put together a bag for each family member, I can’t really see a downside. Besides, next time you go camping, you’re already packed.
This is a guest post by Matt of SHTF Preparedness. He lives in Nebraska, USA, and has been prepping for around 2 years now and loving every second of it. He loves to search the internet and try out new prepping/survival items. His goal for the next few years is to lighten his bug out bag and have a spare one at work or at a cache, and to have a bug out vehicle 100 percent ready to go. He would love to show you more about what he knows and how he preps on his website SHTF Preparedness, Facebook (www.facebook.com/shtfpreps) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/oneprepahead).