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#298527 - 03/04/21 03:04 AM How to lighten my BOB?
gulliamo Offline

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 181
Loc: Denver, CO, USA
I'm keep adding to my BOB. I recently thought it would be a great idea to add a tarp. My bag is now so heavy I wouldn't want to carry it around the park much less across the country.

What are your best ideas to lighten the load? What have you done to lighten your kits?

Or maybe I shouldn't care because I'll only carry it my car?

(Note: Without me creating a list of items/weights smile )

#298528 - 03/04/21 04:20 AM Re: How to lighten my BOB? [Re: gulliamo]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2288
Loc: Colorado
I changed my way of thinking. I no longer plan to bug OUT. I will be bugging IN. I store a lot of my stuff on those clear plastic tubs with latching lids. If I wanted to stack those into my truck to drive away with, it wouldn't take very long at all to load everything up. I could do that style of bugging OUT.

#298529 - 03/04/21 09:21 AM Re: How to lighten my BOB? [Re: gulliamo]
quick_joey_small Offline

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 551
Loc: UK
A tarp is the last thing I would leave out to save weight. All your firestarting and cooking gear is going to do you no good in the lashing rain.
6 The 'elephant in the room' of survival is 'how are you going to get a nights sleep?'. Unless it doesn't get cold or rainy where you are. A tarp is your first requirement.
Apart from that just read the specs and reviews and buy light items. And a framed sac will feel like carrying a fraction of the same weight in an unframed.
Ironically sacs are one item you shouldn't worry too much about weight. Gram counting customers have got manufacturers making sacs that are too flimsy. Good names keep breaking on me. You are down to one shoulder strap, or lose your strapped on pad or sleeping bag and you can be in serious trouble.

#298530 - 03/04/21 10:19 AM Re: How to lighten my BOB? [Re: gulliamo]
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1805
- Don't carry stuff you don't need.
- Get lighter versions of what you have. (but balance weight and durability on your situation)
- Remove parts that are not needed (labels, packaging, excessive straps)
- Use a scale and weigh things, to check if it can be lighter.
- When unable to lighten more; train more.

#298531 - 03/04/21 01:31 PM Re: How to lighten my BOB? [Re: gulliamo]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3621
Loc: USA
I agree that many situations call for “bugging in”. But my planning emphasizes preparing for emergencies away from home. I’ve spent much of my working life traveling, which has impacted my thinking. My family enjoys road trips and camping, which also has influenced my thinking.

I have, more-or-less, five layers here.

1) What’s on my person, pretty much all the time (some equipment left behind for the TSA and similar requirements).

2) What’s in my laptop bag, all the time (useful gear that’s TSA safe). I only had one building I ever went into that this bag was not welcome — their X-Ray tech had fits over me carrying a video cable for my laptop. Fortunately for me, I don’t go to that building any more.

3) I keep a bag in my car designed around urban-to-suburban areas if I should need to leave my car and move by foot without delay. It could stand to be lighter but I could easily walk quite a ways with it.

4) Each car as a large, heavy emergency kit bag. If I were going to move this bag more than a few hundred yards tops, I’d need to discard or cache some of its contents.

5) At home, the emergency bins are designed to be portable for any member of the household, to supplement the capabilities in the car-based emergency kit bag.

That was a long winded setup for this question: Does it make sense for you to break your car kit into two bags, like my (3) and (4)?

#298532 - 03/04/21 01:41 PM Re: How to lighten my BOB? [Re: gulliamo]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7616
Loc: southern Cal
Concentrate on the basics - sleeping eating, and travel to your destination. Other items are superfluous.

Use your BOB. Even just in your backyard or in a drive in campground. Evaluate the utility of the items you have packed and make decisions. Your decisions might not be my decisions, but since you will be dealing with the results, my opinions are irrelevant.

Firearms and ammo are frequent items in BOBs. They are heavy and usually unnecessary, although this depends on the specific situation. A decent FAK is generally more useful. Water is also included and is heavy, but is always required. Do you have enough?

Contents of a BOB should be changed to reflect current circumstances, especially seasons. My winter BOB isn't the same as my summer BOB.

I agree with the comments posted about sleeping bags. I would pack a bag weighing no more than three pounds, comfort rated to 20F, for "normal" conditions - more in winter....

The pack itself is a critical item and it should be capable of comfortable, efficient carry for long periods. you may start out in a vehicle, but wind up walking.

Without knowing what you have packed, further comments are nil.
Geezer in Chief

#298533 - 03/04/21 02:08 PM Re: How to lighten my BOB? [Re: gulliamo]
roberttheiii Offline

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 362
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Unfortunately so much of this depends on the weather where you are in a given season. Where I am 3 seasons are pretty easy. That's fourth (winter) can be a doozy at points. This is good inspiration though... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EJQQPKHtJw

#298538 - 03/04/21 06:34 PM Re: How to lighten my BOB? [Re: gulliamo]
TeacherRO Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2574
1. Realize that a bug out bag is NOT a camping kit
-- in 98% of scenarios you are moving to a safer building; red cross shelter, hotel or relatives house. You are far more likely to need clean work shirts than an anti-zombie machete.**
2. Think in terms of multiple bags; one backpack with the essentials; one for camping gear, one for pets, one for family ( paperwork, photos, etc.)
3. You will likely be moving by car -- likely slowly, but by car. Is it ready?
4. Water is heavy - pack empty containers and add when needed.

#298577 - 03/07/21 08:08 PM Re: How to lighten my BOB? [Re: gulliamo]
gulliamo Offline

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 181
Loc: Denver, CO, USA
Oh man... so much good info above. I need to read through it a few times, reflect on it and then I'll let you know what I come up with.

I definitely need to compartmentalize. One do-it-all bag is not working...

Oh, and I like "train more"! laugh

#299559 - 07/31/21 09:53 PM Re: How to lighten my BOB? [Re: gulliamo]
Plainsman Offline

Registered: 08/06/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Grand Forks, ND, USA
Another way to look at it is as a GET HOME BAG (GHB.)
If you travel a lot and have to get home, what will that take?
What is the distance?
How long would it take for you to get home?
How long would it take walking?
Do you work in the same direction(s) all the time to allow for caches?

If you think of it this way and prioritize what you need to “get home” your ‘BOB’ will shrink conciderably!

In order to truly bugout, a 6-ton truck would be most appropriate going to a prepared location, imo!

Edited by Plainsman (07/31/21 11:48 PM)
Plainsman smile


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