Bugout Bags: Things You Don’t Know About BOB’s

Women and Bug Out Bags

You might think I am preaching to the choir when I mention the importance of having a well equipped bug out bag (BOB) to use in case a catastrophic event comes knocking at your door.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding this event, you may be forced to evacuate or evade from your current location without warning and at a moment’s notice. Thus, a disaster scenario can occur during the day or night when you are at work, school, play or sleep.

The most prevailing practice in the prepper and survival community is to put together a bug out bag that is stored at home or a safe location.

And even though your bag may contain all of the essential items and gear you might need, what good is it if your BOB is safely stored at home while you find yourself face to face with danger and unable to get to your bag?

compact bug out gearOften overlooked by beginners and competent preppers alike, is the need to organize and assemble bug out bags/kits that address the possibility you are not at home to grab your bag.

When these bags or kits are used (oftentimes in combination), they provide all the necessary items and equipment to aid the user in successfully overcoming any number of natural or man-made crises.

A strong emphasis should be placed upon selecting emergency supplies and survival gear that are compact and modular in size and shape. Each particular item should have a multiple use function (e.g. wet wipe as an antiseptic and fire starter) thus guaranteeing redundancy and utility.

The three most important bag types are the 72 hour BOB or 3 day bug out bag, the Bug Out Bag TypesEveryday Carry bag/kit (EDC) and the Get Home Bag (GHB).

Having all three full assembled and properly place for quick access, will provide you the best chance to effectively respond to any number of possible threats.

Through my research, it became evident that these bags/kits were often mentioned in a very disorganized or confusing manner on the websites and print media I reviewed.  So my aim is to give you what you need to know to make your own.

Every day carry crisis gearMost emergency preparedness experts agree that The Everyday Carry Kit/Bag (EDC) to be the initial prep to use against any potential threat quickly and immediately.

The items selected to be part of an EDC kit are survival tools (e.g. neck chain knife, tactical pen, etc…) and items (e.g. key chain photon LED light, pocket survival kit, etc…) found throughout your person.

This gear is secured and stored in and among your every day clothing, pockets, purses, simple backpacks, jacket, key chain, wallets, belt and neck chain or lanyard.  Being prepared means keeping it simple and available!

It becomes paramount that EDC items be extremely compact, lightweight, discreet and preferably of high quality. All your EDC pieces and tools combined make for a complete and thorough first line of defense.

Importantly your EDC serves your emergency needs when you are unable to reach your Get Home Bag (GHB) or larger 72 hour Bug Out Bag (BOB).

For your EDC to be effective, you need to be consistent and keep your EDC items on you every day. It is also advisable to routinely place your gear on yourself and to remove this gear the same way daily. This will keep you from forgetting any one piece as you leave your home.

Be ready for a disaster at work

Therefore, no matter if you have your Get Home or 72 hour bag nearby, you will always be prepared. There is however a limitation on the amount and ability for the EDC gear to give you a longer term coverage for emergencies.  Thus, the EDC serves as a stop gap measure until you are able to reach your more substantial emergency packed items found in your GHB or 72 Hr. BOB.

The likelihood that any one of a number of disasters will occur during the normal part of your day is great. One only needs to recall the events of September 11, to recognize the potential for a dangerous situation to occur during a school or workday to be not only possible but plausible.

Unless you are an at home employed individual or homemaker, the majority of people in the US,  are away at work or school for at least a third of a day.  Since you would be unable to reach your BOB at home, it makes prudent sense to maintain a Get Home Bag (GHB) in a secure but accessible place away from home.

Get Home BagAs the name implies, a Get Home Bag provides the user all the necessary gear and emergency preparedness items in a bag or backpack with the purpose of getting you home safely and soundly.

The GHB is most commonly stored away in a locker, desk drawer, filing cabinet or even car. However not to be confused with a Bug Out Vehicle Bag/Kit, a Get Home Bag The typical has enough provisions for 1 to 2 days to get you safely home or to your planned Bug Out Location (BOL).

Keeping it lightweight, compact and inconspicuous is key since your walk
home in dress shoes or flats could be long and arduous.

By far the most popular and best known of the bug out bags is the 72 hour or 3 day bag.  According to some top emergency preparedness experts, a 72 hour BOB is designed to support you and the people who are with you for seventy two hours to get you from point A to point B safely and comfortably as possible.

Therefore, a 72 hour bug out bag would not be a tactical bag which is mostly used in a battle scenario or for a defensive military response.

72 Hr. BOBOf the three bags mentioned above, this is the one BOB that most often contains the greatest amount of emergency supplies and gear.

According to my research of 15 randomly selected 72 hour bags, this BOB is commonly a backpack, weighing an average of 21 pounds (with all the necessary supplies contained within), and having  the dimensions of  approximately 22” x 16” x 8” or 3166 in3 (consisting of 13 gallons of storage volume).

Camouflage 72 hour Bug Out bagThe one factor I feel often overlooked in your choice of a bag is color and style.  Camouflage beige or green although popular, is to most experts not the best type to select.

A number of other experts believe this type of bag brings the most unwanted attention by would be thieves and armed authorities during and after a period of turmoil.

Selecting a neutral or basic color BOB would not raise any red flags for potentially lawless individuals or law enforcement groups.  This would be the one time you do not want to stand out in the crowd!

Assorted Bug Out BagsI have stated the need for a further clarification and understanding regarding the often generalized or generic term “Bug Out Bag.” Search my site for ideas and hone in on specializing your bags to fit your needs.

Loved ones will depend on your bags for life and your foresight and choice of supplies will be the key to survival. Choose well and wisely. This might be obvious for some but for those just awakening to emergency preparedness, this is one lesson one needs to learn before it is too late.