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Rethinking our BO/Go Bags

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by E.L., Jun 2, 2011.

  1. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    While sitting here waiting on a tier 2 IT Tech to call me back, I started mentally taking inventory of our packs. I know that ours are way too heavy, I'm in pretty good shape but I know my wife and oldest daughter's packs are way too heavy. I think this evening I may just dump everything out on the living room floor and re-evaluate the entire inventory. I buy tons of protein bars and the entire family loves them so I may just add quite a few of them for meal replacements. Does anybody need ten different ways to start a fire? I'm thinking the packs are going to be lighter, but I may add large plastic containers full of additional camping gear, food stuffs, etc. that could be loaded quickly into one of the 4x4s. I am also re-evaluating the packs themselves. Anybody else go through their bags/packs lately? Make any changes?
    dragonfly, BAT1 and Tracy like this.
  2. Brokor

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

    I am constantly changing and improving. A work in progress, really. I compartmentalized everything and have setups for winter and summer. Most recently, I removed a larger (yet better) SW crank radio (Voyager) and replaced it with a very small Grundig (M400) the size of an iPod -with batteries. It's a trade-off.

    I took off my secondary utility knife and replaced it with a light weight Mora.

    I am keeping the aluminum Kelly Kettle in the B.O.B. and using the stainless steel version for my daily hiking pack.

    Long ago, I removed toothpastes and liquid soaps and exchanged them for powdered toothpaste and shaved soap from (Dial) soap bars placed in Ziplocks.

    I only use microfiber towels now. What a joy they are!

    And I am experimenting with Yo-Yo reels to replace my (awesome) fishing rod and reels.

    *The hardest thing to do is eliminate your wants and feed your needs*
    Bison_Forge and BTPost like this.
  3. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    Good post mine is at 47 lbs, and I'm having to rethink mine too.
  4. sarawolf

    sarawolf Monkey++

    Good idea we also need to do some rethinking on ours. Hubby would do fine but I need less weight.
  5. thebastidge

    thebastidge Monkey+

    Microfiber towels? They're useful, I wouldn't call them a joy. They're bone-dry in a few minutes, but don't absorb water quite as nicely as a terry cloth towel when you're sponging off your body. I have one I use for travelling here, because I don't want to throw a wet towel into my pack, and not always being able to do laundry or carry enough for fresh towels everyday, it works very well.

    I just wouldn't overstate the "joy" of it. It's not exactly a sensual delight.
  6. Brokor

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

    Well, you are entitled to your opinion. I love them. I am not fat, I dry off with minimal effort. Sometimes I even like to "air dry" and enjoy the Au naturale feel while strutting around in my birthday suit...but that's another story. Naked fishing. It only takes one slip to get the point.
  7. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Nude fishing?
    I think I'll pass on that!
    But as far as packs and weight go,...
    Yes, I had to dump them and start all over.
    I realized I had far too much in one area. So, I broke the bags down into several areas: ( not in any order!)
    1) food and water ( includes stoves/fuels/utensils, etc.)
    2) shelter and clothing ( includes bathing needs and towels, etc.)
    3) fire and tools ( includes small weaponry, ammo, fishing needs, and various tools)
    4) medical ( all that you could need, excluding a doctor, a dentist, or an EMT, etc.) ( I wish!)
    This is a drag!
    Most of the BOB's also are accompanied by a "vest" filled with all kinds of accessories.
    I once put on my pistol belt, my vest, and then 1 of the "original" BOB's...I was not a happy camper as I was carrying some 125 lbs. With my back, that's not even going to happen!
    Now the worst part is: that try as I may, there was just few items that could be eliminated...not many however. There are some things that are definite need to have's, such as: hand/bath soap, toilet paper ( light but bulky!) and water! ( now there's some real weight!)
    The best I have seen or come up with, was that on one post here it showed a LARGE bag on wheels! But the wheels were too small!
    Dang it!
  8. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    When it comes to BO / GO bags, anyone that has ever done any number of forced marches can tell you, if you aren't rucking weekly and your bag weighs over 30lbs, you are likely going to have hamburger feet and sore spots in places you never thought. And forget about running anywhere. To put it in perspective, the common Infantryman weight for a ruck is 45 lbs. He is a lean, mean fighting machine that runs and rucks nearly daily. The standard weight for SFAS weight tops 75 lbs. At that kind of weight, people start getting hurt. The process is only 2 weeks long and there are more lower leg injuries in that course than anything else I have seen in my life.

    I lean toward the light side. The easiest way to do that is to get a smaller bag. I know, the tendency is to get the largest MOLLE cool-guy bag one can buy, but if you buy a smaller bag, you think harder about what you truly need. I can fit my GH / everyday survival kit in a cargo pocket. My go bag is a Kifaru Scout. If it can fit in the Scout, then I really think about whether I *need* the item. The concept is proven on many multi-day trips.

    I ditched stoves a long time ago. A bit of knowledge on the Dakota hole (I think there was thread here not too long ago) will boil your water and cook your food. Plus, if you need to get up and move, you simply dump dirt in the hole- no leaving your lightweight, hot, $100 backpacking stove behind.

    All of this assumes that one is dressed appropriately for the weather. The addition of a jacket to your vehicle, even in summer, covers a lot.

    Of course, Bugging Out in general, is a bad idea. Its a rough existence. Given the choice, bug in. Not having any sort of Plan B is a bad idea, too. There are those scenarios that you may have to plan for, like being away from home when the SHTF. If you look at your BOB like that- just an item to get you from A to B (your primary or secondary bug in location), you need far less.
    Bison_Forge and Brokor like this.
  9. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Since re-do of the BOB's, I chose to delete them.
    Well, as far as carrying them anyway! I chose instead to put them all into one place, my big van. They will be going up north then being re-packed once they are up there. Since that is my "bug out" "land of choice", it's best to just move them now. What happens in the "interim" is anyone's guess at this point.
    I can ONLY hope that all goes well, and then hit the "reset" button, once I get there.
    "Bugging out" was never really an intention for me, and I rapidly decided not to try to "bug-in" ever. A place like where I now reside is NOT a good choice to even attempt to defend, so it was a choice to leave BEFORE things get hectic. What I did find strange was that some in the area where I have my land, have chosen/decided to "bug-out" from their homes up north and to head for the forests. I don't get that! I can see no way to "bug out" from my location without a LOT of time and help....Not gonna happen! I have to do it a bit at a time....
  10. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I tend to think of our packs as what to throw in one of the 4x4's in an emergency kind of thing. Usually I keep mine in my vehicle, so it is there when I need it. I don't see us moving out on foot with 4 and 6 ur old daughters. It's just not gonna happen 99% of the time. However, if we have to move quick I want the bags to grab so we will have the basic neccesities to keep us covered. Whether someone else had an emergency and we need to respond, weather related, a chemical spill close by, or some other sort of impending doom I want our bags to be able to cover our collective asses during that time of durress. Maybe it is for a couple of hours, maybe a few days, but I want to be able to yell "grab your packs" and be gone in minutes. Our biggest problems are that our packs get used, "raided" and supplies are not replenished. And they are just not organized and prioritized properly.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I guess it comes down to what "bugging our" means to you, not anyone else. For some, it might mean heading for the High Uinta for a "long" time. For others, it could simply be enough "gotta haves" to get thru a day or two to reach the preplanned and stocked refuge if not in a remote location already. I have a BO/GO box in the shed, 'cause I'm in my remote location already, and not leaving unless the house burns down.

    E.L., with all due respect, the rucks you use don't qualify as BO bags, the more so if they aren't up to date. (BYKT) Good to see you again.
  12. craneje

    craneje Monkey+

    My bag started out as a hunter/hiker's day pack and emergency overnight pack. With a summer weight compact sleeping bag, but no water, firearm or ammo, weighs just ten pounds. The heaviest items are a Swiss Army Champ, Air Force survival knife, a U-Dig-it, sleeping bag, and army poncho. In summer, I carry no clothes; in winter I add wool gloves, sox, stocking cap, and sweater. It also has a tube tent, first aid kit, fire starting materials, compass, spare glasses (a true necessity!), tissues (use at either end), and 50' of parachute cord. Food is a few meal bars and packs of dark chocolate peanut M&Ms. With it I would expect to wear pistol belt, fireare, spare ammo, and an army 1-quart canteen with cup and water purification tabs. Stored in my vehicle with the bag is another 2-quart canteen. As I already live in my "retreat", bugging out is way down at Plan E, F, or G. It is really more of breakdown or accident on a lonely road type of preparation.
  13. Huntinbull

    Huntinbull Monkey+


    I have re-worked my BOB several times. I find it helps to visualize the precipitating event and plan in stages. My BOB is basic survival and comfort level gear. good for many situations. I have a footlocker type plastic tote with extended gear and more foodstuffs (MRE's) sitting just inside the closet in the front hall for quick deploy. I also keep a more wilderness oriented backpack (bigger and heavier than BOB) in case it is a no vehicle, SERE situation.
  14. ISplatU

    ISplatU Monkey+

    Yes, my BOB is over weight also. I have changed it a several times removing some heavy items then replacing them (like a 22 pistol), and trying to figure out what I really need.
    My plan is at the fist stop I get in a bug out situation is to remove the items I will not need for that situation, because we do not know what emergency we will use the BOB for.

    Edit/added... All this talk about BOBs made me realize I needed more in mine. I just added a roll of 50 mercury dimes. Oh well more weight.
  15. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    Each of my family members has a BOB that will last us approximately 3 days,this is our "grab it and growl"stuff...we have more advanced BOB's for our vehicles, but also depend on caches of supplies we have here and there,regardless of which direction we take,all within a day or two of walking...we can never be overly prepared...our basic BOB bags weigh about 8 lbs sans weapons and contains food and water to last until we can resupply.
  16. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    I'm just starting to build one now as I buy the equipment. I exercise regularly but once I get a full BOB put together I am planning on walking a few miles with it at least once a week.

    I know it's going to be a challenge to minimize what you pack but still have what you need.

    I'm going to put a few together, one for everyday car use, one for the house in case I have to leave quickly like in the instance of a earth quake or after a tornado, assuming we live, small one I can take into the office with me, and one for when I go out of town on trips.
  17. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    My girls bought me a new backpack for Father's Day, as soon as it's officially presented I will post up some pics. There were two packs that I really liked, both with hydration bladders. One is lighter and more suited for bow hunting, but the other would be a really great for a bug out/go back. Whichever one I didn't get.......I may have to go back and buy lol....
  18. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Our BOBs (3 sizes) are graduated per need. First is a 3 day bag with barest essentials--second is a 3 week bag that will support life till better days--Third are virtual rooms in military aluminum shipping containers. They will support the family indefinately with food/water (filtration/purification)/shelter/first aid (indepth)/ communication/ arms and ammo (plus reloading). We also keep several plastic flip top containers so the pantries/meds/spice rack/etc. can be swept clean. We keep several coolers in the basement so the freezers/fridge can be cleared of lots of stuff. No need to leave goodies behind. Most of our preps are cased light enough for anyone to carry them to the truck/trailer/campers. With all these preparations I am a bug in person and do not plan on going anywhere--but can and never come back.
  19. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    you people do know that soap can be easily made in camp over a fire, dont you?
    i never pack or carry any, most times i wash with sand in some river, stream or lake
    but when i do need soap, i heat up the fat scraps and boil down some lye from water and wood ash, it aint pretty like from the store, isnt always a bar, sometimes its just a thick foam, but it cleans everything well
  20. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    oh and by the way, grease from cooked birds is an excellent cleaner all on its own
    just takes lots of good warm water to rinse it off you
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