I've read a lot about bug out bags. Here are some of my thoughts.
1) Bugging out is what you take when you leave everything else behind.
2) Go Light or Go Large, either way you're going, what you take is all you'll ever have.
3) Start by putting things in a bag, then take them all out again, then put them all back in again. Add stuff over time and repeat steps one through three.
4) Once you have a bag of stuff, walk with it through your neighbourhood. If no one pays much attention to you, you're on the right track. If people look at you and pay you unnecessary attention, go back to the drawing board.
Here is my Bug Out Bag (BOB) I was bored one evening and threw some stuff in a bag. It's basic, it's not complete, but it's a start.
I've used a 30cm/12 inch ruler in some of the pictures for a scale reference.
Step 1: BOB MK1 Ready to Go
BOB is an old army patrol sack, it was laying in a cupboard doing nothing. There is one main compartment and two small zipped compartments in the lid. BOB was 30 Ltrs with the side compartments, but they were removed years ago. BOB currently weighs 7.7 kg, 17 lbs. Notice BOB does not have a lot of Carefully placed, Ready to use, At a moments reach, Perfectly placed stuff, on the outside.
Step 2: Everything Inside
This is everything that I managed to fit into BOB. There is a lot missing, food, water, shelter, warm clothing, waterproof clothing, and other stuff. But as I said, it's a start. BOB is in its infancy. I don't expect to have to bug out any time soon, if I did, BOB MK 1 is better than Fanny Adams (F#@k All)
Step 3: The Top Zipped Compartment
I've kept things simple, only four items.
1) A small waterproof bag containing a pair of gloves and a warm hat.
2) A carabiner, useful in many ways.
3) A long sharp pointy thing.
4) A small head torch.
The gloves are working gloves, for protection of my hands not warmth. The hat is for warmth. Both are in a waterproof bag cos wet stuff is not fun.
The carabiner and the long sharp pointy thing are for protection. The carabiner will act as a knuckle duster, adding some hardness to an otherwise weak punch and will save my knuckles from inevitably breaking should I have to hit anything harder than a wet paper bag. The sharp pointy thing is small enough to conceal, less obvious than a knife but sufficiently effective to afford me opportunity to run away.
The torch has a hard case for its protection and is easy to locate.
Step 4: The Bottom Zipped Compartment
Once again nice and simple.
Two waterproof bags and a small torch.
Waterproof bag one contains:
1) Four small bungees
2) A roll of electrical tape
3) Two glow sticks
4) A pair of spare shoelaces
Waterproof bag two contains:
1) Two packets of travel tissues
2) Four wet wipes
The bungees, shoelaces, and electrical tape are incase I find stuff, and wish to contain and attach the stuff to my bag. I can attach stuff quickly, then at a more convenient time, organise and incorporate my new stuff. The glow sticks are easy to locate in the dark.
The tissues and wet wipes are for defecation purposes. Initially it would be nice to have a clean wipe, but it'll not last forever. The initial disorientation, confusion, acceptance and adaptation period of bugging out is going to be difficult enough. So a couple of luxury post poo moments will make life slightly more bearable. The location is easily accessible incase of the requirement for a rapid deployment of bum wiping implements.
The small torch is a secondary means of light, it is small enough to be tucked into the back of the compartment, so if someone unscrupulous decides to take the waterproof bags out, I may still have a torch to see in the dark. (Small victories make a big difference.)
Step 5: The Main Compartment
Notice the waterproof liner, it keeps everything inside BOB dry. Do not delude yourself that when you bug out it'll be a pleasant 25°C / 77°F and will remain that way forever. It will rain, it will get cold and wet at some point. If it does so at the beginning of your intrepid adventure, and you have not prepared for it. You, your stuff and your chance of surviving are screwed. Stuff is no fun when wet. Put it in a waterproof bag, then put that bag in a waterproof bag.
I have simply put things in so as to have them fit. I don't expect to have to be going in and out of the main compartment very often during the day. The bag will be on my back and I will be moving.
So in no particular order,
Some para cord, three pairs of different glow sticks, three sizes of cable ties, a bar towel, a large cloth bag, a scrim net, a small cloth bag, two knives, two small container pouches, a spray oil bottle, a wind up torch, (this feels like an episode of the price is right) a bottle of foot powder, two small survival tins, three six inch nails, two waterproof bags, four pegs, a mess tin with stuff inside, a larger waterproof bag and a roll of string.
Step 6: Waterproof Bags
Green waterproof bag one containing:
1) Thick cycling short underpants
2) Two thin cycling short underpants
3) A pair of thick warm socks
4) A pair of waterproof socks
Green waterproof bag two containing:
1) Thick waterproof warm gloves
2) Thin waterproof warm gloves
3) Thick 'buff' like neck warmer
4) Skiing face mask
5) Thick warm hat
Larger waterproof bag containing
01) A bag of various tablets
02) A bag of latex gloves
03) 2 bandages
04) 2 smaller bandages
05) A vent aid (for mouth to mouth resuscitation)
06) A paper bag
07) A short roll of cling film
08) 2 sterile bandages
09) 2 rolls of tape
10) 2 dressing pads
11) 2 military issued first field dressings
12) A bag of condoms
13) A bag of water purification tablets
14) A tube of eye cream
15) Tick removal tweezers
16) Small syringe
17) Bottle of iodine
18) Various sizes of plasters
A change of underpants is a luxury I'll not do without. Waterproof socks will reduce the risk of trench foot. Waterproof warm gloves, great if you got em, not so if you don't.
The large first aid kit is contained within two doubled up ziplock bags, then the waterproof bag. It covers as many basic scenarios as possible. Having gone through it, I'll be adding to it over the next few months. (I also have a small personal first aid kit)
Personally I find it better to wonder the shelves of a pharmacy and construct my own first aid kit, applicable to my needs and environmental requirements. Then find something suitable to contain it all.
Step 7: Cloth Bags
Large cloth bag containing:
1) A helmet
Green cloth bag containing:
1) Sharp medic scissors
2) A vent aid
3) Military issue first field dressing
4) Silver foil insulation blanket
Extra med stuff that I may require, without having to get the big waterproof bag out.
I included the helmet for a couple of reasons. Firstly, being able to protect my head is important to me. Secondly, I like the helmet, I bought it ages ago, have used it and if I'm going to leave and possibly never see any of my stuff again, I can't quite bring myself to leave it behind.
Step 8: Small Container Pouches
Small container pouch one containing:
1) A pair of sun glasses and cloth bag.
Small container pouch two containing:
1) 2 packets of small glow sticks
2) Tube of super glue
3) Some latex gloves
4) A sharpie pen
5) Some duck tape
6) A torch
7) Half a scouring pad
Sun glasses, to protect my eyes from dust, UV rays and to add to the intimidation factor should it be required.
The other stuff is just handy stuff, I'll add more to the pouch and probably get another one.
Step 9: Mess Tin
Mess tin containing:
1) Small tin
2) Small plastic container
3) Small towel
The small tin contains:
1) A large sharpening stone
2) A small sharpening stone
3) A magnesium block
4) A lighter
5) A small candle
6) 2 packets of wind proof matches with strikers
The small plastic container contains:
1) A packet of wind proof matches
2) A lighter
3) A small two part gas stove
All fairly self explanatory and neatly contained.
Step 10: Survival Tins
Two tins that were used for other things before I got hold of em.
Large tin contains:
01) Snare wire
02) Spark making rod
03) Block of solid fuel
04) Plastic bag
05) Light weight saw
10) Worlds biggest whistle
12) Pencil with tape
13) Sharpening stone
14) Water resistant paper
15) Not actually sure, perhaps handcuffs for mice, or fishing weights
Small tin contains:
01) Signal mirror
02) Snare wire
03) Light weight saw
04) Block of solid fuel
05) Spark making rod, why have one when you can have to many
06) Fishing set
07) Half a tampon
08) Button compass
09) Razor blade
10) Water purification tablets
11) The other half of the tampon in a plastic bag, still waiting to be soaked in Vaseline
Both tins have electrical tape around the lids, mainly to stop moisture getting in, and things falling out.
Step 11: Everything Else
The rest of the stuff,
01) Two knives, small functional.
02) Three sizes of cable ties. Versatile bits of plastic.
03) Scrim net, useful for many things.
04) Para cord, every one has it, it's uses are multiple.
05) Roll of string, handy.
06) Four pegs, for the shelter I haven't got yet.
07) Three 6 inch nails, cooker stand and other things.
08) Bottle of foot powder, dry feet are happy feet.
09) Wind up torch, batteries eventually run out.
10) Bottle of oil, cleans, lubricates, stops rust.
11) Bar towel, it might come in handy.
12) Three types of glow stick, two of each. I'll probably add more cos they're so cool.
Step 12: Conclusion
Well that's BOB MK1, it'll do for now and I'll continue adding until I get BOB MK2.
I've learned that stuff in one bag is better than the same stuff all over the place.
That to have to bug out, means expecting never to see things left behind ever again.
That Planning is invaluable. I have the beginning of a plan, make BOB MK1, continue until I have BOB MK2.
Clearly much more planning is needed.
If I get to BOB MK2, who will I be? Having a Bug Out Bag is all well and good. But if my body is not up to the challenges, isn't robust enough, I'm still screwed. Perhaps I'll not drink as much alcohol, maybe eat more fruit and veg. I may even join a gym. OK, perhaps I'll take it one step at a time. As long as my steps are small and are continually moving forward, I'll be in a better place than I was when I opened the cupboard and took hold of an empty BOB.
Finally, I think that prepping is not just a hobby, it's a lifestyle choice.
Thanks for reading =¢)