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#291168 - 11/20/18 05:54 AM A new to me BOB concept
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 664
Loc: Florida, USA
So I'm working on BOB's for my family.

I stumbled across this video and it got my attention.

I'm a bit of a dichotomy, because I'm fascinated with minimalism, and yet I tend to overpack often times. The concepts this gentleman expresses make a lot of sense to me.

I'm also trying to plan for the most likely bug out scenarios we as a family will face in our new home in Florida. Extreme cold is highly improbable. I know in mid to late winter, the temperature can drop below freezing overnight, but not below that. Most of the weather we would face in a bug out (besides bugs) would be heavy rain, wind, and sun.

The gentleman in the video builds the shelter part of this BOB with a poncho and bivy bag. I have no experience yet with this approach.

By the way, the bivy he uses is $135...is that typical? I've carried Heetsheets bivys in my car for years, and I know that's different...but, wow. Especially if I'm putting together four of these BOB's!

I guess a big part of this is learning the new environment. Have to be much more aware of critters than anyplace I've lived before, if I'm poncho sheltering for sure. Panthers, bears, alligators, crocodiles, snakes of all kinds, fire ants...a few weeks ago, authorities down south had been chasing a monitor lizard for three weeks...those are endangered, and NOT native to this continent.

I'm learning my knots, left handed and right handed, and working on doing them with my eyes closed...working so I don't have to think about it.

We'd have to add some things to a BOB of this concept...for one, a way to keep my wife's insulin cold enough to keep from going bad. We've got a plug in cooler for the car, but if we had to go on foot, that challenge gets a whole lot more interesting. That truly is a life or death situation for her.

Just a lot of thinking out loud I guess.

This guy has several videos on related topics. Seems to know his stuff.

What do you think? Any huge red flags coming up for you with what he says?
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

#291169 - 11/20/18 09:01 AM Re: A new to me BOB concept [Re: Ors]
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1775
Minimalism in general is good:

- To be able to use something; you have to have it with you. The smaller and lighter, the more likely to have it with you.

- Things should not be a burden; shouldn't weight too much, shouldn't be too bulky, shouldn't be costly to the point it affects other things.

The main thing is that what people want there BOB to do and what most people actually do.

Do you want to sleep comfortably with just the gear on your back? A bivy can be fine, slept in one on mountains without issues. Just don't expect much comfort and even with a tarp above it; it's not a nice place when it rains/storms. Price wise; it's not shocking for a bivy for repeated use. Mind you with 2 person tents now able to get below 2 pounds; the weight/bulk advantage of a bivy isn't always there and a tent does provide better shelter.

But the question is; are you going to actually use it? The main things people go to are friends/family, hotel/motel/AirBnB or dare I say it a shelter. Sleeping in the wilderness as a primary emergency option is way overrated.

In my opinion, the sleeping system om your back is the last resort option, not the primary. So make choice for price/weight/bulk.

#291171 - 11/20/18 02:28 PM Re: A new to me BOB concept [Re: Tjin]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7310
Loc: southern Cal
There is a continuum of bivy/tents ranging from about one pound weight up through bivys with tent like features up to light two person tents. Some bivys cost more than tents. Comfort depends on many factors. The last time I used my bivy I slept on lush grassland that was quite comfortable. One can augment the shelter provided by either a tent or bivy by using natural overhangs like rock shelters. Shelter from wind is most important in maintaining warmth and comfort.

When I evacuated last year I did so by car, carrying quite a bit, but I could have pared down my load to a minimalist back pack quite readily. Spent one partial night snuggled in the vehicle by the side of the road and the next three in a nice motel at trivial cost, courtesy of my BIL's points. The experience had a definite vacation-like quality to it. Indeed, support from friends, relatives, and neighbors is critical in a bug out situation. It is still very good to maintain the minimalist option.

The last time I slept in my bivy the sky was unimpeded by urban light, and the marvelous stars distracted me from sleeping - nice problem to have...

Geezer in Chief

#291173 - 11/20/18 03:05 PM Re: A new to me BOB concept [Re: Ors]
gonewiththewind Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
I have spent many nights under a poncho/tarp, though rarely used a bivy. Built properly, the tarp shelter works very well. As Hikermor states, it is about keeping the wind and rain off, there is no insulation. The bivy can help you stay dry and provide a windproof layer over your bag or blanket, extending the range of temperatures you can sleep in. They do tend to serve as a vapor barrier and condense on the inside in humid conditions.

#291181 - 11/21/18 07:09 AM Re: A new to me BOB concept [Re: Ors]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852
on a 1980's canoe trip I took a tarp as my shelter.one of those big blue ones.if I could not drape it over the canoe I pitched
it flat to the ground and just three feet high with the sides held down with
rocks and such.i was trying to keep the weather out and any
"fancy"pitch would take up time.

#291185 - 11/21/18 06:47 PM Re: A new to me BOB concept [Re: Ors]
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2453
A freestanding tent for four would be a better choice

#291186 - 11/21/18 07:30 PM Re: A new to me BOB concept [Re: Ors]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3371
Loc: USA
Good share.

There are some assumptions I make, for me and my situation, that are different from those made in the video.

  • I'm much more likely to want to be found, than to hide in wild places
  • My primary kits are MUCH larger and heavier than his BOB, as they reside in cars and are meant for a wide spectrum of possible emergencies, from minor to major
  • I hope to have time to dump or cache anything I don't want to carry, before moving the emergency kit bag more than a few hundred yards on foot
  • My kits have ham radio gear and the capability to recharge our cellphones, both to gather information and for emergency signalling
  • Some areas of my primary kits have a lot more redundancy, as weight is much less of an issue in the car

It's hard for me to wrap my mind around spending $135 for a bivvy sack; my Heatsheets bivvy sack is much less expensive. Heck, I think my military surplus sleeping bag system cost less than that.

#291187 - 11/21/18 08:35 PM Re: A new to me BOB concept [Re: chaosmagnet]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7310
Loc: southern Cal
"I'm much more likely to want to be found, than to hide in wild places"

i'm with Chaosmagnet on this. The gentleman in the video is an example of the school of thought that SHTF means that you want to avoid people and defend all that is yours with lots of guns and ammo against marauders and assorted bad guys -total societal breakdown.

I suppose I may have done too much SAR, but it is more common for people to break something or get lost and need to return to civilization. I think along the lines of bright colors, rather than camo; and signalling rather than stealth. Frankly, a lot of the survivalist bug out scenarios are more fantasy than any reality - not impossible, to be sure, but not very likely.

Checking around, bivy sacks can run anywhere from around $40 up to $242 dollars (REI web page). The cheapest is more of an emergency, limited use item, while the more expensive are essentially small tents.

It isn't hard to sew up one yourself, or you can just get a couple of yard waste bags and some duct tape to improvise something that will work in an real emergency.

Edited by hikermor (11/21/18 10:43 PM)
Geezer in Chief

#291188 - 11/21/18 09:47 PM Re: A new to me BOB concept [Re: Ors]
gonewiththewind Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
99.99% of the people out there, in their most likely survival situations, should be trying to be found, not hiding.

#291559 - 01/05/19 10:53 PM Re: A new to me BOB concept [Re: Ors]
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2453
I might but 'camping gear' into a whole different bag; Given that much of the time you will be going to grandma's, a shelter or a motel 6, it can be kept separate.


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