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#194857 - 02/01/10 10:28 PM How eco friendly is your BOB? Does it matter?
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
TreeHugger has an article about rolling your own emergency bag with a green twist.

Jaymi's current bag weighs in at 30 lbs, and she thinks that's too heavy for scrambling over the Haiti-like rubble of San Francisco after the big one. Plus when she picked the bag up, a strap ripped. Oops. Maybe that's rule number 1: get a decent bag for your BOB?

She wants light stuff that's environmentally friendly. She includes crayons, coloring book, and a deck of cards, so I'm guessing kids are part of the picture.

Anyone have any suggestions for her? Is being green in a disaster relevant at all?

Edited by philip (02/01/10 10:29 PM)

#194864 - 02/01/10 10:50 PM Re: How eco friendly is your BOB? Does it matter? [Re: philip]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3593
Loc: TX
I'm thinking the most eco-friendly thing one could do in a disaster would be to die near a tree that will gain nourishment from your body. smirk

-Blast, in a bad mood
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#194875 - 02/01/10 11:38 PM Re: How eco friendly is your BOB? Does it matter? [Re: Blast]
clarktx Offline

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 250
Loc: Houston, Texas
I respect being green. But in an emergency I think there are far more important things to worry about than whether your BOB is environmentally conscious. BOBs are temporary, until you get wherever you are going.

Now, I think its a great idea for a rawlesian-style retreat. You don't want to poison your bug out location. Being green is really important in a self-sufficient environment.

But you were asking about BOBs, and my answer is that function comes first, form comes second, and "green" comes in a bit after that...

just my .02
You can't teach experience.

#194882 - 02/02/10 12:17 AM Re: How eco friendly is your BOB? Does it matter? [Re: Blast]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
Originally Posted By: Blast
I'm thinking the most eco-friendly thing one could do in a disaster would be to die near a tree that will gain nourishment from your body. smirk

-Blast, in a bad mood

LOL! Thanks Blast - I got a laugh out of this. Kind of reminds me of how I told my GF I wanted to die someday (on my way to a nursing home for work one morning) - leave me out in the forest, pointed west (so I can watch the sun set) and let me turn into bear poop.

I think a BOB being eco-friendly (I hate the term "green) is hogwash. For a variety of reasons, the biggest being, how much trash can one person CARRY around? Food wrappers, used TP (ew!) and matches are about the only disposable things I can think of. And of those, TP and matches are fairly biodegradable.

Not to mention, most "disasters" are called that b/c they affect lots of people at once. Which typically means a population center - not the most "green" environment to start with.

#194888 - 02/02/10 12:57 AM Re: How eco friendly is your BOB? Does it matter? [Re: MDinana]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7345
Loc: southern Cal
For one thing, the generic bag she now has is a worthless piece of junk, as are most of the contents. These things are hawked all over California after major shakers and they serve mostly to profit the sellers. She needs real canteens for one thing, and supplies that are suited to her situation. Some kind of coherent plan for the event might not be a bad idea either. Most of us could build a better emergency kit in 15 minutes with our eyes closed, and one hand tied behind our backs.

If she can't handle a thirty pound pack, preferably one whose straps won't rip, she should get in shape. Being green is a good thing, but the suggestions and concerns in the posted link are the equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Geezer in Chief

#194891 - 02/02/10 01:10 AM Re: How eco friendly is your BOB? Does it matter? [Re: philip]
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
I've never looked at things in terms of being eco-friendly. I was just taught to be frugal, waste not want not, and buy with long term durability in mind. Just buy quality gear at seriously discounted prices and don't throw anything away until you've beaten the snot out of it, which'll probably be a very long time.

#194894 - 02/02/10 01:39 AM Re: How eco friendly is your BOB? Does it matter? [Re: LED]
ducktapeguy Offline

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
Best way to be green - Don't buy junk that'll end up breaking and get thrown in the trash.

Sometimes quality stuff isn't that expensive, especially if you're willing to buy secondhand or older gear. One good thing about changing fashions is that you can always find someone who's willing to lose money just to have the latest gear. In the last few years, I don't think I've ever paid more than 50% of the retail price for any of the outdoor equipment I've bought, and a majority of the time I'm paying less than 20-30%. On a lucky day I can pay less than 2%. It is still cheaper than the brand new junk most places sell.

Either way, in an emergency, that kind of stuff is way down the priority list. If you can worry about being green and what the carbon footprint of your backpack has, then it's not a very serious emergency. Honestly, I think most of the "green" movement is just a superficial way of making yourself feel better without actually having to do anything difficult, but then I'm a cynic.

#194898 - 02/02/10 01:57 AM Re: How eco friendly is your BOB? Does it matter? [Re: philip]
gatormba Offline

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 136
Loc: Alabama
Under normal conditions I try to be as eco-friendly as I can but if the conditions have degenerated to the point I'm grabbing my BOB "eco-friendly" is the last thing I'm concerned about.
"It's a legal system, not a justice system!"

#194899 - 02/02/10 01:59 AM Re: How eco friendly is your BOB? Does it matter? [Re: LED]
dougwalkabout Online   content
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2918
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Most of the piece was a thoughtful review of a commercial kit, and ways to improve it or build your own that's better (and maybe greener). The last paragraph was tacked on to keep the editors happy; it had no real substance. Oh well, so it goes.

The life you lead at home determines 99.5% of your environmental impact; an emergency situation is hopefully a brief aberration. IMO, many environmentally responsible measures (using energy wisely, being less reliant on the day-to-day food and energy grids, buying durable goods, and not consuming more than you really need) go hand in hand with the subjects we discuss on this forum.

BTW, I always read the Treehugger Weekly Archives. They bring up all sorts of ideas, companies and technologies that are both useful and interesting to me. Being a grown-up, I can filter through the occasionally childish pronouncements without losing my cool.

#194900 - 02/02/10 01:59 AM Re: How eco friendly is your BOB? Does it matter? [Re: LED]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
My stuff is pretty eco-friendly.

I don't have a lot of packaging on my stuff and stuff that is in packages is in reusable packages that can be used for other things too if needed.

Edit: it isn't because of environmental concerns. It is just that everything gets tested and the store packaging gets discarded in the process.

Somebody already mentioned real water containers instead of drink baggies.
I would suggest LED flashlights that get far more hours out of a battery because batteries are heavy.

I didn't see any spare clothing in her bag and there seems to be some excessive redundancy with a tarp, space blankets, plastic trash bags and ponchos.

I would likely throw some bic lighters in even if I did keep the kitchen matches (which should definitely be in a match safe)
My personal preference is for one good solid knife in the kit.
It does not need to be big. Mora is OK, pretty good, pretty light, inexpensive.

I see very little sanitation stuff. A bit of soap bar, a small bit of rag and some TP might be welcome.

She is right to think she needs a stronger bag, it does not need to be fancy but it does need to be solidly made. A bag that is ripping apart without a serious load in it is not much good.

I think she is right to be concerned about the weight. There are a lot of people that would be in trouble if they had to carry 30 pounds for more than a few miles.

Maybe she could consider a bug out bundle buggy too.
One of those ones for dragging groceries home from the store but with decent wheels on it.
They are usually light enough to be carried past small obstacles if you needed to and are much easier to drag through a lot of places than a heavy back sack.
You would still be able to strap your pack on if the route got rough, but in the mean time you would be saving your back.

May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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