Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 2 of 2 < 1 2
Topic Options
#250914 - 09/13/12 04:32 PM Re: What to include in a bug out bag? [Re: SuzieQ]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
What would you include in a bug out bag?

There are lots of Youtube Videos on line, but I would be weary of many of them. There are a lots of 'guns but no groceries' and 'knives but no knowledge' type videos out there. There are so many videos which underestimate sleeping systems, clothing, shelter etc, some have none at all thinking a mylar survival blanket will do the job. Sleep deprivation will lead to wrong decision making, which can lead to poor survival outcomes.

Maineprepper on Youtube is very good with his advice on Bug out Bag equipment. (Although the perspective is through a military POV the advice is very solid)





Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (09/13/12 04:34 PM)

#250945 - 09/14/12 03:41 PM Re: What to include in a bug out bag? [Re: SuzieQ]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
I would suggest that any BOB list that is centered around so called "space blankets" for warmth is likely to be woefully inadequate in other areas as well.

To me they are little more than thin and quite fragile one time use tarps. They are not blankets. They have zero insulation capability, and the supposed heat reflection properties are not much use in the vast majority of situations. They will help keep the wind and rain off of you, and that is about all they are really good for, IF you can keep them in one piece while trying to use them.

They have two things going for them in a BOB though. One is they are cheap, and the other is they are lightweight and don't take up much room.

My personal opinion is that most people would be better off with an emergency poncho or a 55 gallon garbage bag as they will keep the weather off of you as well as the space blanket will, while being somewhat less fragile. Cost, size, and weight is not far off from the space blanket.

Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


#250950 - 09/14/12 04:55 PM Re: What to include in a bug out bag? [Re: chaosmagnet]
Denis Offline

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
First, figure out what the most likely threats are and what your responses would likely be, both for bugging in and bugging out.

I'd echo this advice.

In my mind, a BOB is a part of a larger plan, not a plan in itself. My pet peve with many bug-out related threads is the lack of definition and planning of what the bug out actually is. I see lots of stuff about bug out vehicles, bags, etc. (here and elsewhere) but I really think the crucial part of the planning is:
  • What event or disaster would require me to bug out, to abandon my home and the preps there?
  • Where am I bugging out to?

Having concrete and fully fleshed out answers to these questions will provide the neccessary parameters required to make those decisions about gear & transportation related needs.

For example, a realistic risk assesment might show the only real scenarios requiring a bug out are personal, like a house fire. In this case a bug out bag might consist of spare clothes and back-up documentation. However, those living in known earthquake zones may realistically be forced to bug out in a situation where not only they, but thousands around them, are displaced. They would likely need water, food, shelter, etc. in their bag.
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

#250959 - 09/14/12 11:45 PM Re: What to include in a bug out bag? [Re: SuzieQ]
Treeseeker Offline

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 177
Loc: California
I highly recommend visiting this site:

Listening to Katrina

There is a lot of information there--much of which is background that you need before building a BOB. There are also workbooks, and checklists to keep you busy.

I do suggest skipping the discussions of Katrina itself and the political/governmental discussions.

There is probably way more than you wanted to know, but most of it is probably what you need to know.

#250960 - 09/15/12 12:47 AM Re: What to include in a bug out bag? [Re: SuzieQ]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
*yawns, stretching* Hi everyone.

I concur with the plan. The plan is what separates a survivor from a well stocked refugee.

First point, think of 5-6 types of events that would cause you to bug IN. Then think of 5-6 types of events that would cause you to bug OUT. The reasons for leaving sometimes require special items.

(No fair talking about zombies, plague, global EMP or anything like that- that's more than BoB can manage.)

So, with those reasons to leave town, you are now ready to think of three places you are leaving to. At least one should be in a different direction from the other two bug out locations. If you can't stash gear there, then you'll need to carry it. All of it. As a result, not all BoLs are created equal.

Now for the fun question- how are you getting there? You should have 2-3 ways to get to each BoL depending on road issues. Locate, not just on the map but actually drive them, potential problem points like major intersections (long skinny parking lots), bridges (boat ramps), and enviromental hazards (rock/mud/snow slide slopes, industrial chemical yards, etc) on each. Have a couple of detours for each, and mark them on the map. So, all of that means you might need special gear just to get to the BoL. And that's the easy option.

Hope to drive, plan to walk. Even bikes can break, and while there are winter bicyclists, they stick to plowed roads. Plan on a road march, with the option of going cross country. IF you have have to leave the vehicle, look at your gear. If you don't need certain gear any more, leave it. If you packed for a six day hike and you know you are two days walk out from where you are going, ditch three days of food if you are confident that you can afford it at your BoL.

On the topic of driving, if you need more than two cars, find out what you can swap between them with hand tools. You can put the same tires and rims on both? Great- if you've got the time and are willing to risk the exposure, get the jack and salvage them if you have to ditch the car who's engine just seized.

So, you're now on foot. Goody. Be ready for the worst weather that time of year can throw at you, or be ready to find places to hole up. Plan for what happens WHEN (not if) your party gets seperated, and cell phones are not a plan. Everyone who's old enough should have a map, compass, and know the route but also meeting points (message drops... ehhh, the work for some people). People to small should have pictures of their family, their home address, the BoL address, and (assuming you aren't running off to the cabin in the woods) how to reach whoever is at the BoL. "Me and Mommy and Daddy were going to Gam-ma and Gam-pa's" isn't super descriptive.

So... that isn't what gear goes into BoB, but what goes into BoB's brain. Instead, that list of nightmare should be telling you, along with your skill live and resources, what should be in your BoB.

Other things that should go into BoB's brain are documents. Thumbdrives are tiny and cheap and a 32gb drive will hold more wedding pictures, baby pictures, tax records, bank statements and insurance records than you can put into a van. Do NOT be the guy who dies with the box of photos under his arm. The only things I'd say that MUST be in BoB in hard copy are the last insurance bills, your insurance cards, your ID (including passport and birth certificate), bank book, and any prescriptions you have. And if at all possible, have someone far, far away hold a copy of all of that that you update at least yearly if not quarterly- you might have to dump BoB. He's a good guy and all, it won't be because of him, it's just that your life is weird right now.

And don't bug with your computer. If you really must, pull out the hard drive, assuming that all your really important stuff (records, photos, music) isn't on some kind of external backup already. Which is should be.

That, and cash. Cash is king. Silver, gold, an arm full of rolexes, those are all shiny, but but paper works. (Although a little bit of trade gold or silver never hurt in a crunch, just be smart about it and learn what it's really worth.)

Things NOT to put into BoB, IMHO.

Enough firepower to impress the Army. If I never again see another BoB with body armour, night vision gear, smoke grenades and 10K rounds of ammo, I'll be very happy. I'm not saying don't have a gun, that's your personal choice, just remember you aren't going to be subtle about that and you will make a bad first impression. Note, there are places in the world where this doesn't apply, but they aren't in the first world.

Gas masks, UNLESS your enviroment (reason to bug or hazards en route) calls for it.

Traps, fishing gear, seeds, etc. This isn't a Conestoga, and if things get that bad, we are all in more trouble than we can shake a stick out. Running out to the country and playing Robinson Crusoe is not a plan, its suicide.

More than four light sticks- buy a flashlight. A good one. That you can wear on your forehead and takes regular kinds of batteries.

So, that said, back to lurking....

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#250961 - 09/15/12 01:10 AM Re: What to include in a bug out bag? [Re: ironraven]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 995
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
assuming that all your really important stuff (records, photos, music) isn't on some kind of external backup already.

Thanks for the reminder. Its back-up night.

#250982 - 09/15/12 03:22 PM Re: What to include in a bug out bag? [Re: SuzieQ]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3597
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Welcome to ETS Suzie!

I won't rehash the previous comments. (I think I'm in agreement with them all.) Personally, our BOBs are constantly being changed and adjusted. You'll find there are as many suggestions for what to put in your BOB as there are leaves in a forest.

Other than your most likely bug-out scenarios, three very important factors to consider when you're figuring out what to put in it are who you'll be with, your climate and your skill level.

Who you'll be with is significant. One or more physically and mentally able adults are going to travel much differently than a family with young kids or elderly members. Your needs, and hence your gear and method of transport/carry, is going to be significantly impacted by the composition of your group members.

Here in Ontario, we get 3 types of weather: hot (summer), cold (winter) and kitchen sink (spring and fall). I adjust our BOBs based on the worst expected weather for whatever season we are in, keeping in mind that cold & wet and hot & dry are deathly mixtures. Water, clothing, shelter and fire are my top four priorities. In addition to Cody Lundin's words of wisdom about keeping our body's core temp or 98.6, I also keep Bear Grylls' "PRWF" (Please Remember What's First) in mind: Protection, Rescue, Water and Food.

Someone else has already suggested practice and I second that whole-heartedly. Know your skills and know your gear. It's true when they say that the more you know, the less you need. Don't buy into the minimalist/ultralight philosophy if you don't know how to build natural shelters or fire, for example. Likewise, don't expect to hump 300 pounds of gear on your back while on foot.

Good for you for getting started! Remember too that the only way to feel confident with what you pack is to get out there and test it!
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

Page 2 of 2 < 1 2

Moderator:  KG2V, NightHiker 
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
Who's Online
1 registered (Ren), 220 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
martinw, Birdman1776, tskinner, Abe, Flyingbforge
5255 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Favorite Related Forum
by haertig
04:53 AM
Cool Helicopter Rescue -- Mt. Hood
by hikermor
11:31 PM
Relative Costs for Gear
by hikermor
11:08 PM
Stuff to pick up at your local thrift store
by adam2
07:47 PM
Eight bight button knot
by TonyE
07/20/18 08:43 PM
Most Recommended Must Have Survival Gear under $30
by quick_joey_small
07/20/18 09:09 AM
Essentials in First aid
by chaosmagnet
07/20/18 12:44 AM
Ridiculous carry - what have you seen?
by chaosmagnet
07/20/18 12:38 AM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.