A Bug-out Bag or BOB is a cache of various items required for surviving short periods of time when a disaster type scenario has played out. Your BOB needs to be prepared in advance since you most likely won’t have the luxury of time to gather up or purchase the gear and supplies you will be needing. Having an adequately stocked and ready BOB will significantly increase your chances of survival during emergency evacuations.
Tips For Your BOB
Make sure your BOB is located in a convenient location. Preferably nearest the exit to your vehicle or escape path.
Make sure all household members are aware of the location of their BOB.
Rotate the stored food, water and medications in your Bug-Out Bags.
Strive to improve your BOBs as your household grows, needs change or environment warrants.
Recommended Bug Out Bag
Any back pack/ruck sack type bag you are comfortable with and is large and durable enough to hold all your supplies is a BOB.
There are, of course, high-end, military grade back packs which are perfect for BOBs. They are made of strong Cordura Nylon and are large enough to house everything you need and then some. The seams, bottoms and stress points are all reinforced for years of reliability.
Water For BOB
Store the water in your BOBs in sealed, plastic containers to prevent contamination and breakage/leakage. Include, at a minimum, a three-day water supply for each member of your household. Running, stress and high temperatures will double the amount of water your body requires. If space or carry weight is an issue, and you must choose between water and food, always choose water. Another great piece of equipment to have is a water filtration straw. These allow you to drink from almost any water source without fear. Water purification tablets are also a very good thing to keep in your BOB. You drop these tablets into a liter of water you collected and they will effectively kill any Giardia, bacteria, viruses and remove sediment. A definite must-have.
Another tip…If you have little ones, you may want to grab some of those water flavoring products, you know, the little bottles you squirt into water to give them a fruity flavor. This will help boost morale and get the pickier pallet-ed kids to get their daily water intake.
Food For BOB
Include at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Dehydrated foods are essential. Dehydrated food is freeze-dried, compact and light weight. It requires little water to prepare and takes up minimal space in your BOB. Be sure to compensate for the special dietary needs of anyone in your household.
Another great, light weight option is protein bars. They will fuel your body and keep your mind on point. Be sure to buy bars that have low to moderate amounts of sugar. Too much sugar will cause rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar levels which will, in turn, cause a tired/sleepy feeling and lack of concentration. Also, include a multi-vitamin pack to prevent malnutrition.
First Aid For BOB
An individual first aid kit (IFAK) should be fully stocked and included in all BOBs. Also, remember: first aid kits are next to useless if you don’t have the proper training. Sign up for first aid courses and include the entire household.
Prescription medication should be well planned in your BOBs based on your household’s needs ie; insulin, epi-pens, test strips, as well as proper rotation procedures.
In an emergency situation, self-defense and the defense of others is a requirement. Rioting, looting, physical and sexual assaults can and, unfortunately, do occur. Firearms, knives, hatchets and less-than-lethal self-defense items are vital to protecting you and your household members. These tools should be properly maintained and readily available in or near your BOB. Most importantly, your entire household should be properly trained to use these weapons. Maintaining proficiency helps eliminate panic and greatly improve your chances of survival.
Other Stuff For BOB
- Solar powered and/or hand-crank flashlight
- Waterproof matches and/or fire starters
- Additional clothing and lots of socks
- Sanitation wipes/Baby wipes
- Extra cash, ammo, gold for bartering
- Rain gear
- Personal identification
- USB Drive with all your household’s personal/medical information
- Maps. Both local and regional
- Emergency or “Space” blanket
- Insect repellent
- Single person tent in each BOB
- Lighter fluid
- Entertainment for children
Design each member’s BOB to fit their individual needs. Your planning and supplies will determine your survivability.