As most people are hyper aware of the need for preparedness in the recent aftermath of "Superstorm" Sandy, I was working to prepare my larger emergency bag.  I have a previously published 'ible on a small EDC kit packed into a tin, found here:  https://www.instructables.com/id/URBAN-Emergency-Kit-Tin/

I have named my kit a HELP bag, which stands for:

The other acronyms listed in the title (for anyone not already familiar with them:  BOB is for Bug Out Bag, GOOD is Get Out Of Dodge.  The other names are pretty self explanatory. 

I live in an urban environment, and in the southwest.  There are no days where the temperature drops below freezing.  I live in a very moderate climate and so in survival terms, the need for heat and serious shelter from the elements do not rise to the level of "survival" here, and so they are not a major consideration in what I chose to put into my pack.  I have some very lightweight items that will assist me with shelter, but would hardly be considered "durable" for long term use.  I'm looking at it as a very short term solution for the purposes of this particular pack.   I'm not ever going to be at risk of freezing to death or even a serious risk of rain. 

There is nowhere around me that I could hunt for food, so I have zero need for fishing equipment or hunting supplies.  I'll have to muddle through with the items in my pack for food if it comes to that. 

This bag is more or less something to grab if somehow the crap hits the fan somewhere and I need some bare bones survival tools, and is designed to last more or less 3 days, for 2 people. 

In my preparations, my intention is to be able to incorporate each smaller kit into the next larger one, which allows me to not have to duplicate every item multiple times for different packs, but some items are duplicated as each larger pack allows for better, larger or more durable items to be included.

Step 1: The HELP Bag, the Pack Itself

Originally when I started this, I was using a pretty small hydration backpack, and it wasn't until I sat down and started to write this Instructable that I realized that its smaller size was creating problems for me, and so I switched to a "standard" cheap black backpack that offered me nearly double the space in an only slightly larger format. 

There are 4 pockets or compartments in this backpack, a large primary pocket, a somewhat smaller pocket, an "organizer" pocket, and a small mesh zippered compartment on the front.

I chose to add carabiner clip to nearly every zipper pull, in addition to the paracord pulls already in place.  This allows me to keep the zippers clipped together so there is no chance that the pockets could accidentally come open and any contents to fall out, especially if the pockets are bulging full.  (They aren't currently, but I have deliberately left some room, so that some items can be grabbed on the way out the door and have enough room in the pack to put them.

Clipped to the outside of the bag are 2 stainless steel (NOT painted!) water bottles, a flashlight in a holster, and a nifty little carabiner from Disneyland that goes over the top of a regular water bottle, so you can carry it on a belt loop, or on the pack.

<p>Fire Starters are a really important part of any emergency<br>kit as you can start a campfire when you need it be it wet or too bleak.Waterproof fire starter, a true survival tools to be able to<br>make fire anywhere, anytime. When in an emergency, a fire starter is a really<br>helpful tools that makes survival situations tolerable.Recently I bought this Waterproof Firestarter, The Ferro rod and which are<br>both included in 1 fire starting kit and that fits conveniently in your pocket.<br>I found this discount code. <a href="http://patriotdeal.com/collections/all/products/flint-firestarter" rel="nofollow">http://patriotdeal.com/collections/all/products/flint-firestarter</a><br>Use this code &quot;PD10&quot;and save 10%.</p><p>Thanks for the Informative Post. </p>
This is a very nice instructable! I can't really use the same pack, though, as the weather and environment is very different. But it is very well explained, and you write very well. I also like your instructable for the Altoids tin, I favorited both of them.
<p>This new instrutable might stir some ideas here too :)</p><p>https://www.instructables.com/id/25-Unique-Uses-for-Pantyhose/</p>
<p>Nice instructible! Is that a spool of film in the mesh bag? My antique Boy Scout's Field Manual recommended that for fire-starting, but specified nitrate, which is a little hard to come by now. Your steel wool works just as well though, even without the battery. One thing I haven't noticed anyone mentioning when they are planning their BOBs, which is especially relevant in an urban setting: It could make all the difference if you don't -look- well prepared. Being armed and alert goes a lot farther if you are also a less attractive target. A shiny new bag and outdoors clothes may draw unwanted attention from those inclined to simply take what they need, as has been known to happen even in the 'civilized' streets of the US. I've always tried to 'rough-up' the top layers without compromising their function, to look a bit frumpy.</p>
No film in there. There is s spool of what is referred to as &quot;garden wire&quot; which is essentially a spool of twist-ties, plastic coated wire. <br><br>I have room in my bag for a weapon, but the circumstances under which I would either carry or use it would have to be much more extreme that the need for a 3 day bag anyway. <br><br>Your suggestion regarding clothing is a good one, and I'll keep it in mind.<br><br>Honestly, this particular bag has been &quot;upgraded&quot; and is now part of a much larger system after taking come classes in my community regarding emergency preparedness. I've taken over one entire wall of our guest room with a wide variety of supplies, and multiple specific purpose bags.
Also - my reason for using the beaded chain is because there is a small hole to allow a split ring (I think) or something similar to be attached to the cap, But the hole is so narrow that split rings won't allow any movement and then stick out at an odd angle. I used the beaded chain through the hole instead, because it allowed the clip to be able to move freely.
<p>Just remember that modern beaded chain is designed to break, originally for safety reasons in combat. You might try a small lanyard of braided fishing line or piano wire.</p>
great job on the bag Deni. It is put together really well with alot of foresight and planning. <br>I like the fact that you explained why you did and didn't put certain things in your kit rather than just jumping on the &quot;this has to be there&quot; bandwagon. Proof that everyones needs are different, and there is no such thing as &quot;the one perfect BOB for everyone&quot; <br>A few comments and questions: <br>I don't know how it has fared so far for you with your water bottles on those bead chains, but you may want to clip the carabiners directly through the screw-on lid of the waterbottle to make them a bit more secure. <br>Also you can stitch some elastic banding (available at any fabric store), or nylon webbing onto the outside of the backpack to limit the amount that your waterbottles swing around while you are wearing your pack. <br> <br>In the step 2 photo is that a set of earplugs in between the duct tape and the wisp toothbrushes? <br> <br>The wire you have listed in step 4 is a great idea. I just grabbed a roll of plain galvanized 14gauge wire from tractor supply for my kit, but I am going to add a roll of the twist tie wire as soon as I get a chance. <br> <br>step 6 while a magnesium/ flint firestarter is great to have .. I think you have enough redundancy there that you don't need to worry about running right out to get one. <br>P.S. I like the idea of storing the tea lights in the pill bottles .. now I just need to make friends with a pharmacist to get a supply of larger pill bottles. hehehe. <br>
Thanks so much for your comments!<br><br>The stainless water bottles aren't meant to be &quot;kept&quot; on the backpack during it's actual use. They're there currently because they took up too much room to store them inside the bag, but are intended to use the carabiner clip and move it to each person's belt loop or whatnot when being carried. I just didn't want them rolling off somewhere or getting misplaced since they're the only 2 unpainted ones I have, which make them handy if I needed to be able to boil water directly inside of them. But, your suggestions make a lot of sense and I have ton's of elastic already on hand for some other projects I'm working on that involve sewing. I found a huge spool of 1&quot; black elastic at a local thrift store, and at the moment, that seems like a lifetime supply. I may give that a try one of these days!<br><br>Yes, those are earplugs. Not totally necessary I guess to &quot;survival&quot; unless you know that my wife snores to a point that I can't be next to her without them. She uses a CPAP machine daily, but without electricity, no CPAP, hence the earplugs.<br><br>I do a fair amount of gardening at home, and that twist-tie wire is awesome for the garden, and it was what I had on hand when making my kit. But it's also very helpful in all kinds of daily DIY things, to hold things together, bundle wires and all kinds of things. <br>It's kind of &quot;universal&quot; in what I can be used for. I just wish I could find it in a color other than green! The plastic coating on it also let's me use it for a lot of things that I wouldn't use bare wire on. All-around handy for me. Obviously, that's why I keep it in my bag.<br><br>One of these days I'll pick up a mag &amp; flint, because it seems like everyone else thinks that I should. I'm confident enough with matches and lighters that I can get a fire going, especially with my fires-tarters. Those suckers just jump at a spark. I do think that I'm actually going to add some steel wool and a 9V battery in there though. I tested that yesterday and that worked really well at getting the fire-starter going.<br><br>I've had a 3 boxes of different sized pill bottles in my garage for about a year. I hadn't found a use for them before I started building my kits &amp; bags, but they're perfect for these projects. I found them at an estate sale awhile back &amp; they had about 20 boxes of them and told me I could take whatever I wanted of them for free. Now, I wish I had taken more of them, but hindsight is always 20/20.<br><br>In my experience, most pharmacies will give you an extra bottle or 2 when you get a prescription filled if you ask them nicely. It's worth a shot!<br><br>Thanks again for taking the time to comment and for your suggestions!
<p>One handy size of pill bottle that you don't often see is used for suppositories. A bit embarrassing maybe, but it has a handy diameter to depth size. It's pushing the limits of that plastic though, so I recommend reinforcing it with waterproofing tape.</p>
Before I got my BiPAP machine my wife used to have to sleep with ear plugs b/c my snoring was so bad due to my sleep apnea so I can totally understand the earplugs LOL. <br> <br>
Might I suggest replacing that set of hammer/pliers thing with a Fencing tool? <br>They can be a bit expensive for some pair but they are a life saver! I keep a set in my bugout, my saddle, my truck, and a few pairs here and there. It's a combo hammer, nail puller, pick, wire twister, wire cutter, pliers, and in a pinch a good hoof pick
<p>The old-pattern fencing hammer/pliers is one of the few really good multi-tools ever invented! Good choice! Also the Old-style roofing hatchet is handy in a lot of different ways.</p>
Krackan, you made me LOL with the hoof pick part! When the time comes that I'm looking for some new tools, I'll keep that in mind. I don't recall having seen one before, but that's the great thing about Instructables, is that you can learn so much from comments!
Congratulations on being a finalist in the be prepare contest!
THis is awesome!!
Glad you like it, hope you find it helpful when you are deciding to pack your own!

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Deni. I enjoy DIY projects and figuring out how to tackle projects around my home, and finding creative solutions to things.
More by JDTagish:Introduction to Leatherworking Emergency / Survival Pack  also known as the BOB, GOOD, HELP, 3-Day or "Oh Sh*t" bag Remove INK from suede! 
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