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My first BOBs

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Jeff Brackett, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+ Site Supporter

    It's my first attempt at a BOB. Here's what I've done. The bag itself is a Maxpedition Vulture II.

    I started out with a standard goal of three-day self-sufficiency. It didn't take me long to figure out that there was no way a person can plan for every emergency in a single kit. So I began to think in terms of kits within my kit.

    My most important requirement would be food and water. So I created a food and water kit to go in my BOB. Food-B. This "food kit" has the following:
    1. Mess kit.
    2. Datrex emergency bars.
    3. coffee filters.
    4. Water purification tablets
    5. Fishing kit.

    There is also a Hydrapak three-liter hydration bladder in the BOB. This kit should allow me to filter and boil water, and/or purify with the tablets. Datrex bars will serve if food is immediately required, and fishing kit should come in handy if time and environment permits. Additionally, part of the fishing kit is a spool of sixty pound line that can be used for small animal snares.

    Second kit is my "shelter kit".

    This kit currently contains:

    1. Extra socks, underwear, t-shirt.
    2. Heavy-duty rain pancho.
    3. two rolls of 100 ft mil-spec paracord.
    4. sewing kit.
    5. 48" Sabercut chain saw.
    6. SOG Tactical 'Hawk
    7. Cold Steel GI Tanto.
    8. Toilet paper.

    Extra clothing is self explanatory. The other materials can be used to make anything from a paracord and pancho emergency rain shelter, to using the knife,'hawk, or saw to cut wood for a sturdier shelter. Toilet paper and sewing kit just didn't seem to fit in my reasoning behind any of the other mini kits.

    Third kit is First Aid.

    1. Adventure Medical .9 Kit in watertight container
    2. Voodoo Tactical's emergency surgical kit.
    3. Additional bandages, pills, vitamins, wraps, etc. inplastic hardcase.
    4. Condor rip-away EMT pouch - Planning to field strip and reassemble much of the existing supplies into this pouch.

    Fourth kit is "Fire" kit.


    1. Two Bic lighters.
    2. Matches
    3. Swedish steel.
    4. Magnesium block,
    5. "Tinder dust".
    6. Toilet paper
    7. Charred cloth.

    Communications kit


    1. Pair 10 mile LOS walkies.
    2. Cell phone.
    3. Emergency Weather/AM/FM radio. (recharges by solar, DC power adapter, or hand crank - also a flashlight and charges cell phone with auxiliary cable).
    4. Sharpie Marker.
    5. Compass. (Not really part of this kit, but it ended up in the picture.)

    Protection kit -


    1. Cold Steel GI Tanto
    2. Cold Steel Kukri Magnum machete.
    3. SOG Tactical Tomahawk
    4. 9mm Glock 17

    All items have appropriate sheathes/holsters. This is not just me being a Bruce Lee wannabe. I have trained for more than twenty years in a variety of martial arts, with special emphasis on the Filipino styles, training in heavy contact knife and stick fighting. I am currently considerably more comfortable with knives, sticks, and machetes than I am with the Glock. Starting immediately, my wife and I will be training weekly with our pistols in order to rectify that situation.


    There are other miscellaneous items in the BOB. Some are shown here.

    1. Blackhawk! Speed clips to help with MOLLE attachments
    2. LED light on head strap.
    3. Mini Mag
    4. Homemade monkey's fist with 1.25" marble inside attached to three foot paracord woven lanyard.

    Anything that can be damaged by water is packed in multiple layers of plastic (ziplock bags within ziplock bags, within larger plastic bags, within garbage bags.

    It is then placed within the appropriate pockets and/or pouches in or on the BOB. Gear in the main pouch is especially well protected.

    When assembled, the BOB looks like this:

    Note: Machete clipped in place with Grimlocks. Tanto secured to waist belt with paracord lashing. Compass tucked into convenient pocket in belt & secured with paracord.

    Note: Molled on left side of pic is 48" sabercut saw. On right side of pic, Condor rip-away EMT kit is molled in place.


    I am working on three BOBs. The first one is about 90% complete. The second is about 75% complete. And the last one is not so much a BOB, as it is a collection of spare items that I haven't yet decided what to do with. There are some minor differences in the first BOB (mine), and my wife's, but the goal is to have them pretty close, so we'll have some redundancy in parts.

    So, there it is. Comments? Suggestions?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2014
    Sapper John, tulianr and Gator 45/70 like this.
  2. Brokor

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

    I don't favor the Minimag light, personally. With an LED conversion, it's decent enough I suppose, but it still lacks in sustainability and durability. There are a lot of great LED lights on the market that are far superior. Even a dyna-crank emergency light would fair better for a B.O.B. --but if stealth is required, a light filter may be handy as well. I can see the point in some folks not wanting a crank light due to the sound issue as well. To each their own. I classify any light source (even IR) as a bonus/comfort item, and as such, I limit the weight issues often associated with lighting. I use an LB2 battery chem light/flashlight and a Energizer crank light. I also affix a Surefire to my tactical gear for quick use if needed. I carry no spare batteries and can ditch any lights which require them this way and use the crank light as a fallback. If there is moonlight, I use it. =)

    You have a good idea going there.
  3. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    Good start.

    I'd lose the 'field surgery kit' and use the weight for some moleskin and other, more usable, first aid supplies.

    The iodine tabs are... Well, consider swapping them out for Chlorine dioxide tabs.

    "The ability to control water-borne diseases is critical for soldiers, hikers, and others who may need to drink directly from an outdoor source. Water-borne protozoan parasites that are specifically of concern are Giardia and Cryptosporidium because of their resistance to halogen disinfection.

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of iodine tablets against Giardia and Cryptosporidium under general- and worst-case water conditions that might be found in the field. Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts were exposed to iodine according to manufacturer's instructions (two tablets/L = 13-18 mg/L for 20 minutes).

    This dose inactivated 3-log10 of Giardia in general-case water and pH 9. In worst-case water, however, only about 35% of cysts were inactivated at pH 5. Fifty minutes were required to achieve a 3-log10 reduction at pH 5. Cryptosporidium oocysts were more difficult to inactivate. Only 10% were inactivated after a 20-minute exposure to iodine according to manufacturer's instructions; even after 240 minutes of exposure to iodine only 66-81% oocysts were inactivated.

    These data strongly suggest that iodine disinfection is not effective in inactivating Cryptosporidium oocysts in water. Because this organism is common in all surface waters, it is recommended that another method of treatment be used before ingestion."

    (Source Efficacy of iodine water purification... [Wilderness Environ Med. 1997] - PubMed - NCBI)

    As far as cooking, it looks like you plan on using a campfire. May I strongly suggest a small stove - like an Esbit - for those times when the wood is wet, non-existent or a fire is not a good idea.

    Maybe the weigh of the hawk or the axe could be better used for some more food?

    Finally, but the ruck on and walk around with it, after 5 or 6 miles, you might find things you're willing to give up to save weight.

    Again, good start, use will really determine what stays after all....
    Sapper John and tulianr like this.
  4. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+ Site Supporter

    Thanks. I actually have three lights in that kit. Besides the minimag, there is also the LED on the headband, and the hand crank weather/AM/FM radio is also a flashlight. (Guess I should have listed that in its description. Gonna have to go back and edit.) :)
  5. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    How do you like the Cold Steel Kukri Magnum machete?
  6. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+ Site Supporter

    Wow. Thanks for that. Excellent info. I'll get the tablets changed out asap.

    Any time I can use a campfire, I was planning to use Indian fire holes, a type of in-ground rocket stove. I can't remember where I read about them. I'll post a link if I find it.

    Possibility. I'll consider.

    Planning to do just that. I've done a short little walk to make sure it rides correctly, but a real walk with the knives, machete, etc. means waiting until my next trip to the BOL.

    Thanks for the good advice.
  7. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+ Site Supporter

    I like it pretty well. I mostly use it around the house for yard work, but the blade holds up well to normal wear and tear. When it needs a little touch-up, I hit it with a belt sander in the garage. When/if I get time, I may rework the grip, but even at that, the factory grip isn't too bad.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Your choice of Comm Gear, brings up a question. Are you planning on using those to contact Folks not in your BO Group, or for In-Group Comms? You realize that !0 Miles Range for FRS Radios is a Marketing PipeDream, and not really what they will do, especially in urban, sub-urban, and Forested hilly terrain. Figure more like 2 Miles at best. Also understand that these have VERY Limited Channels available to choose from, which makes them a BEACON, for anyone listening for Travelers, going thru their Hood. They are both Scannable, and DF'able.
  9. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    One of these better BT ?

  10. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Well, Sloth, Those certainly will give the operator much more spectrum space to hide in, and a bit more power and range. I have a pair of those, that I bought, for testing. They seem to be fairly solid. I have some doubts about the IMD, Overload, and selectability of the Receiver front ends, in a High density RF environment. Where I live that isn't an issue. They are still Straight FM Modulation, which means if the OpForce can find Carrier, they can demodulate the transmission, and that also would make them DF-able. Certainly a cut above CB, and they can be programmed for FRS/GMRS, MURS, Marine, any non-digital Public Safety Frequencies, and Business, as well as any of the VHF/UHF Ham Frequencies. Like I stated above, that is a lot of spectrum to hide in, from the typical Bad Guys. .GOV folks will be watching with Spectrum Analyzers and other more sophisticated Tools, and that makes them vulnerable, and not SECURE. ..... YMMV.....
  11. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

  12. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+ Site Supporter

    Main use is for intra-group communication. The advertised range is 23 miles, but the most I've used them at it 10. As you said though, that range varies with the terrain. For the purposes of BOBs, I'm not as concerned with whether or not anyone else can hear/scan me as keeping in contact with members of my group during bugout. Once I get to BOL I'll likely require something better, but right now my budget is restricted to smaller items.

    Maybe someday (sigh).

    ITMT, below are the specs:

    Technical Details

    • Brand Name: Motorola
    • Model: MH230TPR
    • Item Package Quantity: 1
    • Battery Average Life: 10.0 Hours
    • Warranty: 1 year
    Product Features

    • A range of up to 23 miles under favorable conditions
    • 22 channels, each with 121 privacy codes for 2,662 combinations
    • Dual power: 10 hrs. Alkaline (3AAA) or 8hrs. NiMH
    • 11 weather channels (7 NOAA) with alert and scan feature
    • iVOX hands-free communication without the need of an audio accessory
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    The Privacy Codes MEAN Nothing, to a Scanning Receiver listening to your transmissions.... You still only have 22 Channels, IF you are GMRS Licensed, and fewer is you are using UnLicensed FRS. Have you read the "SECURE Comms" Thread in Advanced Comms? Just wondering.... YMMV....
    Jeff Brackett likes this.
  14. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+ Site Supporter

    Just read through your blog post on the subject & I have to admit, I'm facinated. Just checked on ebay & find a lot of 15 of the i355 phones currrently going for just over $30 (+$10 s&h). Think I'm going to have to save your post for later experimentation. $40 - $50 for 15 units would make for an ideal setup at BOL (especially since my BOL has little to no cell signal).

    Thanks BT.
    BTPost likes this.
  15. geo

    geo Monkey

    Looks good for a start

    I would add a Katydyne water filter, some quick clot and perhaps a "blowout kit" just in case someone gets shot. I like to use MREs in my BOBs (I have 4 lol) because they do not require fire to heat and easy to eat on the run.

    As for the radios, either get your ham license, or look into the TriSquare radios. They even allow you to text back and forth like a smart phone. They also operate on 900MHz so the chances of being listened in to are rather remote. They are listed here

    Newegg.com - TriSquare TSX300-2VP eXRS 2-Way Radio Value Pack
    Jeff Brackett likes this.
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    FYI: The TriSquare Radios use the same Motorola Chipset as the SECURE iDen/ISM Phones do, and work in the same 900 Mhz ISM band. Both Systems are covered by FCC Part 15 Unlicensed Operations in that Band. Ham Radio is a Secondary User in the same Spectrum, and if you have a Ham License, you can add External Gain Antennas and up to 10 Watt Power Amplifiers, under the new Spread Spectrum rules that went into effect this last spring. ..... YMMV....
  17. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    I always figgured a rifle, pistol and a good knife were good enough. Granted I do carry a couple of knives for different uses, Swiss army on me at all times and a Kbar on the belt. Do you really have a use (other than defense for the machete?) in texas? How much fishing in 3 days do you expect to do? Not sayin' not nice to have and it is light, I carry large trebble hooks and line for snagging bad guys. I usually carry a pair of mocs so I can get out of my boots for a while. Good start, use it, try it out and let us know how it works for you.
    Testing BOBs is the only way you will really know if it is good for you (and the wife). I do concure with the stove/heater thing, smoke stinks. Maybe some MREs stripped down for a different food source, them ration bars get old, quick.
  18. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+ Site Supporter

    Re: use of machete - Actually, I've used a machete many times on hikes. I've spent a bit of time in the Big Thicket area and always found a machete to be pretty handy.

    Re: Moccasins - Used to wear them quite a bit, but have developed plantar fasciitis over the last several years and have to be pretty particular about what shoes I wear now. KURU shoes are the best I've found, by far. My biggest concern with them is that, while they make a lot of cross training and running shoes, they don't seem to make much in the way of true outdoor/hiking footwear.

    Re: fishing - It's true that I likely won't do much in the way of fishing in a 3-day situation. The kit is designed so that I'll have a foot up if that 3-day gotcha extends into a longer duration problem.

    Re: MREs - I've been thinking about that. Going to have to get a few and add them in.

    My biggest concern with the BOBs is lack of real shelter. Not that big a deal for me, but I also have to think about my wife. I've played in the woods a lot as I grew up (monthly campouts in scouts, other campouts with friends and family, advanced survival course in college, campouts with son's NJROTC battalion as he grew up), and I've learned to make basic shelters out of materials at hand. However, I don't think the wife would be wild about sheltering in an A-frame covered in pine needles. :) My goal is to save a little longer and get one or two of the hammock tents available. I've never used one, but I really like the concept, and it would surely make things a lot easier at night.

    That all being said, I really appreciate all the input you guys have given me. Lots to think about.
  19. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Check out Blackbird hammocks by Warbonnet. They're made in the US and are great.

    Warbonnet Outdoors - Blackbird Backpacking Hammock

    The good thing about a hammock is that you don't have to have flat terrain to sleep. Have a tarp and you've got protection from rain and you already have protection from the bugs.

    Check out the hammock forums and any videos by a character named Shug:

    Hammock Forums - Elevate Your Perspective - Shug

    But, start with this one:

    Hammock Hangin' How-To PART 1... Essentials For Noobs Part 1 - YouTube
    Jeff Brackett likes this.
  20. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey+ Site Supporter

    Geo / BT,

    Re: The TriSquare Radios - Newegg doesn't carry them any more, but Amazon does. However, I don't find anything about the range of these things. Can either of you shed some light on that. Inve$tment doesn't seem too harsh (though I can't afford to move on them quite yet). Looks like a good idea though.
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