Bug Out Bag: Is your BOB an anchor?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by C.T.Horner, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    If you have a BOB so heavy you can’t sustain a full run the same as if you didn’t have it, you are setting yourself up for failure. If your BOB is Camo, OD Green or any other recognizable MILSPEC pattern or color, you are setting yourself up for failure. If your BOB has a stove, pot, or any cooking utensils in it, you are setting yourself for failure. If your bob has a sleeping bag or shelter and the conditions you will encounter in route your BOL don’t absolutely demand them You are setting yourself up for failure.
    Unless your plan is to Bug Out to an unknown destination where you have no idea what resources you will find if any. Your BOB should have the bare minimum you absolutely need to aid your journey. If your plan is to go grizzly Adams good luck you will never be able to carry everything you need. Not to mention carrying a rucksack screaming I got supplies, you will likely never reach the wilderness.
    My advice for what it’s worth is practice your Bug Out, and eliminate the unnecessary crap and shinny new gadgets you will never use. Cache them in your BOL. Ditch your combat gear, and obvious military gear, and go native.
    Just my opinion, but it is not unsupported, during WW2 many allies shot down behind enemy lines made it out of hostile territory. I have yet to find one instance where any soldier had a BOB. In fact there are many recorded accounts where they attribute the fact they had little gear to their success. They could blend in and not stand out.
  2. JABECmfg

    JABECmfg multi-useless

    Practice bug out = good. That said, when it comes to the things I carry in my BOB, I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. As far as sustaining a full run... why? As in, why run in the first place? (And is that to say that if you're not in peak physical condition, or if you're an old fart, that you might as well give up before you start?)

    I used to think the same thing about camo, OD green, and other milsurp colors. I was wrong, I'd been buying into a common myth - see below and it might change your mind too.

    Some Myths About Bugging Out on Foot

    Big thanks to @Yard Dart for pointing me toward this link in another thread.
  3. Rabid

    Rabid Monkey

    I agree on the use of cammo not being a kiss of death. There are so many hunters in my area that cammo gear and military surplus cammo is quite common. Cammo is sometimes worn to school and the school system has not yet banned its use. I've even seen a dress shirt and tie in cammo. In my area cammo won't make you stand out but walking through the woods with a blue or red backpack will get you noticed.
    Dawg23, Brokor, Sapper John and 5 others like this.
  4. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Good points C.T. I have seen people who had so much junk in a backpack they couldn't even lift it. And what are the chances that it will be where you can get to it when you need it. I think everyone should learn to improvise as much as possible with everyday items. A few must haves that you carry in your pockets that you will have with you. A small BOB you carry in your car that you may or may not be able to get to. Major items in your BOB at home and or items cached in secure areas that you hope to be able to get to. But don't count on it. And don't bet your life on it.
    Alpha Dog and tulianr like this.
  5. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    Great post at the link you suggested JABECmfg, but did you understand it? The author brushes over important facts. But you have to give him credit for pointing them out. There is a lot to be learned and should be openly discussed. In order to find out what works best for you.

    A few points I share with the author.

    “wearing a full Multicam combat ensemble with a full combat pack and a long gun will probably get you noticed by not only gangs who could want your weapons and stash, but also by law enforcement who could consider you a threat.


    But the point is you might have more than they do and it makes you a target whether it’s a military pack or not.”

    My point exactly, if you stand out you will be singled out, for whatever reason.


    “Concealment and running away from problems are sometimes the best ideas you can have.


    Should I make a stand or keep running?

    My point exactly, If your load is too heavy it will hinder your E&E. Any hindrance should be avoided, regardless of your physical condition. Especially if you are in poor condition.

    “The myth that one only needs a minimal kit because they only have to go so far or believe they won't need certain items because the distance is not going to be great enough”

    My Point exactly unless you have practiced your bug out you will never know what you need. And as for distances you have a great advantage over others who have used very little to E&E in hostile territory. You can plan several routes and stage necessary supplies in strategic locations. Or cache’s if you like.

    The bottom line is agree with the sentiment of this article, everybody is different, and their situation is unique, where I part company is the redundant approach. In bugging out comfort should not be a consideration. Especially when it jeopardizes your goal, of making it safely to your BOL.

    Take some lessons from history, during Katrina people in camo were singled out and searched. People profile it’s natural, so during a SHTF event and you are cutting across my property in camo with an AR and an Alice pack, I will likely shoot first and ask questions later. Is my response the norm? Would you allow a stranger dressed in camo with an AK approach your camp unchallenged?


    Taken from, Read more: Some Myths About Bugging Out on Foot
  6. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    As with all forms of preparation, I like layers. I routinely travel up to a hundred miles from home, and have to think about how to get back if cars don't work, or roads are clogged, or if I simply need to avoid the roads. I have a full pack in my car, with all the "necessities" in it. I also have a butt pack, strapped to the top of that pack, that contains the things that are really necessary - compass, micro-first aid, survival kit, bottle of water, knife, broken down MREs. Those things are duplicated, in larger quantity/quality, in my large pack. If I have the luxury of taking that full pack, I will. If I need to ditch it in the car, and grab my butt pack, I will. If en-route home, I need to break camp in a hurry, grab that butt pack and hoof it, I can (okay, at the moment, with a broken ankle, I might be more like shuffling it, vice hoofing it.)

    When I went to the field in the Marines, I always had three sets of "necessities."

    One set stayed on my body, twenty four hours a day. Dummy-corded within my pockets was a knife, a flashlight, my laminated map, and a small survival kit, wrapped in green duct tape.

    The second set was in the aforementioned butt pack.

    The third set was in my backpack. Never put anything in your pack that you can't afford to lose (such as your only knife or map.)

    Each was progressively larger, and provided more amenities and comfort; but I could drop my backpack and E&E if necessary, taking only my butt pack. The butt pack was on a separate belt, along with a canteen, flashlight, and a K-Bar. Even if I were later separated from my butt pack, and had only the clothes on my back, I still had a compass, map, red-lens flashlight, survival kit (including 550 cord), and a knife.

    I've done the stripped down, lean and mean, living in the field; and it is not sustainable, by and large. Certainly it is not long sustainable in cold and inclement weather. You may make it a day or two, in good weather; but let it get cold and wet, and you'll wish you had some of those comfort items that you decided not to put in your pack. Lying on the cold ground shivering doesn't make for a good night's sleep, and after just a couple of days of little to no sleep, and your mind will cease to make good decisions, and that will get you killed.

    So, my answer is - a BOB may be an anchor, but it's an anchor which can be ditched quickly if necessary, if you plan ahead. Deciding to go sailing and leaving your anchor at home (no matter how sure you are that you won't need it) isn't good seamanship.
  7. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    tulianr, First off your post is clear, concise and spot on. Thanks for your well thought-out and helpful post. In your situation your solutions are admirable. I especially love the analogy to sailing without an anchor.
    We all can agree that not all bug out plans are the same, some of us have yachts and some of us have dinghy’s, and in some circumstances we may find ourselves in a raft, or worse yet treading water. You have all your bases covered. And you make it absolutely clear the most important aspect of the Bug Out.
    “If I have the luxury of taking that full pack, I will. If I need to ditch it in the car, and grab my butt pack, I will.” tulianr.

    Thanks again for giving ration and reason to this thread.

    CT Horner.
    tulianr and kellory like this.
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    First, let's recognize there must be a real purpose for a bug-out. Second, if the first point is true, then a hostile environment is likely. Third, if A and B are true, then the advancing argument must be valid; that effective combat gear and equipment, including clothing, are helpful, if not essential to survival.

    Now, let's dispel the myth that all humans will be dressed in colorful urban wear in a WROL situation. Not everybody lives in a city. Not everybody wears colorful clothing. Around my part, many people wear Realtree as formal wear. Keep that in mind.

    As for the bug out bag, preparation is key. Nobody is claiming that the titanium spork you carry and the hammock you have will save your life. However, they certainly do increase your comfort level. Every hiker must gauge comfort level against necessity, this has always been a common rule. Claiming that you don't need anything except the urban clothes on your back and a pocket knife because some prisoners of war didn't need anything else...is far reaching.

    Finally, I would like to point out my own studies on the subject (see link below). Please understand that common sense and your own knowledge are your greatest tools --and they weigh nothing.

    Food in a BOB?
  9. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Agreed Brokor..... Also NOTE, here: There is a BIG difference between the two senerios, Bug Out, and Get Home, and the needs of one does NOT necessarily correspond to the needs of the other. Bug Out, means your leaving you major supplies, and shelter, and going elsewhere to survive, and find shelter as in BOL, or other location. Get Home, means you are away from your major supplies, and shelter, and you are trying to reach that place, intact and alive. While some things will ALWAYS be necessary in both situations. Many things will only be essential in one or the other. Do NOT confuse the two, in your planning. ......
  10. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    First off thanks for your reply.
    Now your first paragraph is a false dichotomy, so I will just point out a few examples.
    Hostile does not mean military style engagement. It is more likely starving and desperate people looking for a meal or a target. Why bring unnecessary attention to yourself?
    Second bugging out is more likely to be in response to unacceptable conditions where you are, as opposed to where you are going. In doing so the actual bug out may take you into areas where you are a stranger, and unwanted. Dressed as Rambo will not make your passing unnoticeable unless everybody is dressed in combat gear. In which case you will be vastly outnumbered, and begging for a fight.
    There are a few exceptions I will concede, like you live on the edge of a forest and your bug out location is somewhere in the forest.
    As for comfort in hiking you may be correct but that is a Straw Man argument. We are discussing Bugging out to your BOL in order to survive. Running for your life is not a hike in the woods. Sure it would be great to set up camp and take a nap on your hammock while eating a hot meal with your Titanium Spork. But if you have to travel through rural America to get to your BOL you will be lucky to find a culvert to catch a cat nap in, while sucking on a lifesaver while waiting for the sun to set.
    If there is one thing I thought we agreed upon in this thread is that all bug outs must and will be different. The purpose is for those with superior knowledge to help those who come to learn from them. I said it before and I will reiterate, tulianr’s post above should be the standard. I wish it could be brought to the top and highlighted.
    In fact I challenge tulianr's to start a new thread with his words of wisdom, and obvious knowledge on this subject, And I beg the moderator to pin it. It is my firm belief that that is where this conversation should begin. Rather than chasing down my obvious flaws. Because his argument is far more conclusive.
    CT Horner.
  11. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    You are incorrect. If I encounter hostility, I will respond accordingly. What you or anybody else perceives to be "military" based on the camo pattern I am displaying, is irrelevant.
    The purpose for camouflage is to conceal, and a camouflage uniform is to (also) identify. I care nothing about the other person's feelings, that they are desperate or hungry. Trespass or become a threat to me and my own, and you're compost. Especially if you decide to attack me because you don't like my 511's in multicam. Got it? ;)
    You assume too much. None of what you said is certain. However, being seen in solid colored clothing is a certainty. This portion of your argument is all based on opinion, and we are each entitled to them. :)
    You've just described 95% of the state I live in. :)
    Again, please take the time to read the e-books I wrote and linked for you.
    Yes, a bug-out in uncertain times may very well be different for many people. Some people will also share many similar occurrences.
    I have a better idea. Perform a search on these forums. This topic has been beaten to death more times than you may realize. But, thank you for your kindness and strong admiration for one of our members. :)

    Just wanted to add...stick around, enjoy your stay here. I don't understand your dislike of camouflage, but that's fine. A disagreement, as long as it is kept civil, is never a bad thing.
  12. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    You are incorrect. If I encounter hostility, I will respond accordingly. What you or anybody else perceives to be "military" based on the camo pattern I am displaying, is irrelevant.”
    This is folly, and dangerous thought. How you are perceived by overwhelming force, is by far the most relevant situation you will face in your Bug Out.
    Example, if you live in a relatively small town, lets say population ten thousand. We know the national average is 46% defendant on the government, and more likely seventy percent ill prepared for disaster. You said it yourself in your first response the conditions will be hostile. Are you now saying you will provoke an armed engagement with seven thousand desperate people in order to get to your BOL? This is reckless and unnecessary, IMHO.
    You've just described 95% of the state I live in.”
    What about the majority of the members here who come here for your knowledge? Are you advising someone living in South central LA to camo out and make their way to their BOL through Watts?
    If so you are being irresponsible.
    I have a better idea. Perform a search on these forums. This topic has been beaten to death more times than you may realize. “
    My point exactly that’s why I started this thread. The number of ideas and courses of action is so vast and confusing, it is unusable.
    That’s why I asked for a rational post should be pinned and if there is any sensible opposition to it, it can be vetted, but if the lead post clearly and coherently states all situations are different and be prepared to change your plans as the situation dictates.
    “If I have the luxury of taking that full pack, I will. If I need to ditch it in the car, and grab my butt pack, I will.” tulianr.
    CT Horner
  13. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    MY bug out. I live in a small town in the desert. Bugging out for me is highly unlikely. Bugging in is most likely what I will do. I have digital desert Camo, and a desert Allis Pack. Mostly full of water. Some medical supplies and food. No shelter and no sleeping bag. In the winter I add thermals. My BOL is fifty miles away across the Colorado river. I have two caches in route. And sufficient stores at my BOL to sustain all six of the members for a year, that have committed the time, money, and energy to make the camp possible.
    I would never recommend that someone who lives in New Jersey to deck out in desert cammo. Or stock their BOB with mostly water. All I ask is we consider the consequences of our posts on people who come here to learn and copy.
    CT Horner
    tulianr likes this.
  14. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Everything you mentioned is covered in the e-books I linked. I will not type endlessly about hypothetical situations, and I will not pretend to know the future of humanity or Rambo or how people will perceive my appearance. I can only speak from my own experience, being an experienced, decorated combat veteran and avid woodsman.

    LINK: Food in a BOB?
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  15. cdnboy66

    cdnboy66 Monkey++

    Dude!!!! Easy there, the first rule of engagement is not to engage unless you have to.

    Currently, you are picking fights that you don't need to.
    Having been around here a very little bit, allow me to chime in.

    EVERYONE has their own style, and that will be reflected in their gear, and their responses.
    EVERYONE, is coming at heir BOB from a unique and different set of skills and experiences.

    They may know something about their circumstances that they are not articulating, and therefore you can not see.

    There are more than a few amazing and gifted people on here who will gladly offer you their advise and expertise on a wide variety of subjects. ( just don't ask Mortimer about where the best Moose hunting spots are)
    Up to you whether to take it or not, this is after all the intranetz

    If you hang out a bit and look around, you will find this forum to have been created as a labour of love by the people who are listed as founders. The info really isn't that hard to find, but it may require some investment of time on your part.

    It's the old sugar verses vinegar thing.
    I've used both methods, the sugar method ( when sincere) works way better

  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    That is essentially what we've been doing on this site since 2005; discuss, present differing views and offering suggestions to those with differing circumstances and needs than we have individually. We also have tracked thru folks with circumstances that have changed with employment, health, and locations. The data is on this forum, and begs to be reviewed with an eye to what is applicable to the individual in any given situation. As noted, there is no one solution for all that will be ideal, unchanging, or even necessarily adaptable. Granted, it would be a convenience for you if one of the old timers on site posted links to the previous (and very old) threads, but there's not much chance of that happening, when a bit of reading by you (rather than posting) would reveal answers to questions you haven't yet asked.

    In other words, take Brokor's suggestion to heart -"I have a better idea. Perform a search on these forums. This topic has been beaten to death more times than you may realize. -----------:)" You said the knowledge base is so vast it's unusable. I think most of the hangers on here would disagree, they've spent enough time doing the looking and reading that it is second nature to find what they are looking for. Frankly, I don't see the need for another thread covering well trod ground prepared by true masters of the art of prepping. Because of that variety of well worn paths, there's little point in making a sticky of this thread. We actively encourage newbs to the site, new to prepping or old experienced hands at the art, to look the place over before jumping off into the deep end.

    Brokor and I have crossed swords more than once, but in the main, when it comes to preparedness, we agree that each must take responsibility for themselves and their individual situations. If there is useful information here, use it. If not, well, then it's obvious, no?

    Equally obvious, your desert location is a bit, um, different from Brokor's and mine. We have woods, quite dense in places, and abundant water. Also get snow and damn chilly in the winter. There is need for two sets of camo here, woods brown and winter white patterns. Our BOBs change with the seasons, and not just a matter of adding thermies. I've chosen to live with that inconvenience rather than move to the desert to assist my old bones with BOB weight reduction. (Besides, I'm bugging in. The only thing that will drive me out is a fire that I can't fight and win. That too, is covered with supplies not in the house, however limited.)

    All that said, once again, welcome aboard. Feel free to contribute to existing threads, to present your views if different, and take away what you might find useful.
  17. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

  18. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    i'm gonna miss beer...
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  19. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    There is 'No One Correct answer" to this question.... HOWEVER, that being said, for each of us, there could be MANY Wrong Answers.....
  20. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I DISAGREE! [js]

    BTPost score: :1.5s:
    Brokor score: :5s:
    KAS and Silversnake like this.
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