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What goes in a Bug Out Bag?

In my simplistic view a BOB contains all you need to survive whilst you move from your home or current location to your BOL. It may simply contain food and water or it may contain a complete survival kit, cooking, fishing and hunting with a tent and sleeping bag. More likely though it will contain some food and water as well as some items if you need to stay outdoors.

It all depends on your needs though. This means that you have to consider what you need to travel from your current location to your BOL. If it is a mile up the road then all you may take is an MP5. Most of us though will have a longer trek. If it can be done in one day then in the summer you may get away with some food and water. In the winter you should include some warm clothes and shelter in case you get held up.

For BOLs that are a lot further away you may put in less food and water to allow an increase in tools such as a camping stove and rely on caches along the route to supply your calorific requirements. Of course it is better to take everything with you but you must consider the weight of the kit and the chances of meeting others on the route and what if you were so loaded that you couldn’t escape and lost the lot. You should always be able to take your BOB with you whilst you abandon your heavy food, water and gear. Just make sure what you have will keep you alive to retrieve your gear or replace it.

There are so many things to consider for a BOB that although we have suggested some items it is like everything else in life. Down to your individual situation.

Consider;

  • Exactly what you are trying to do
  • Could it include an overnight stay?
  • What is the weather like?
  • How many of you are there?
  • Fitnesss/Medical issues
  • Potential perils along the route
  • Available transport for use

I have several BOBs although I intend to Bug In. I plan in case I am discovered and have to make a run for it. One bag is for a quick escape, very local and quick. The other is for a proper escape, longer distance and certainly overnight stays. Both have food and water for a few days. The longer distance one has more water, cooking, sleeping facilities and maps.

I have a series of bags under the stairs which contains my BOBs and emergency gear. Each labelled and ready to be grabbed on the way out. I also have a couple in my car for if I am away and something happens. Almost every bag has different contents because they are for different purposes and have to meet those different needs. Almost every one is biased for winter and the cold just in case. I use this technique for working away as well. A bag with basics in and I load it with socks, underwear, etc. for the trip. Quick grab and go. Same with my shooting gear, a bag with most common things in, grab that and the gun(s) and load it with the ammo I need then throw it in the car.

As with everybody I want to fit more and more items into my bags. I accept though that I cannot do that. Some are supposed to be transported in a car and those have a lot more than those that are carried but even so I don’t have everything I want. I do have a complete medical kit in the car as well as car specific items. Nothing for major ops but more than a standard first aid kit. The single most important item I want to carry is water and it is heavy. You just can’t carry enough to keep you for any length of time so I have enough to keep me for a short period and the equipment to replace it. My water stores are in my BOL.

The best way to check your BOBs is to test them. Some items have been removed after trial and error with others added. I’m always looking for new items to improve the BOBs, either lightening it, adding or replacing items.

The only items that I am missing from all my preps, not just my BOBs, are those I am forbidden to have by my own government. Medicines and a pistol are the most obvious ones.

There are a lot of suggestions at what should go into a BOB. Look at the lists and see what you need for your circumstances. Mix and Match to get exactly what you want.

So, in answer to your question what goes into a BOB? Whatever you need. Work it out for your own needs and if you have more than one need then make two bags.

12 comments to What goes in a Bug Out Bag?

  • half

    I was reading some law stuff last night on the net and was suprised by how many pistols are actually legal here. The old style cap and ball cowboy pistols,(replicas too), are legal with a fireamrs cert, granted theres no semi auto’s or modern revolvers but its worth looking into some more.

  • timelord

    A BOB is not necessarily in everyone’s case – just to get you to a BOL. If you can not reach a predetermined BOL or you just don’t have one, then a BOB is also to maximise your survival chances until you can get yourself into a sustainable position or resupply. That could be weeks or more, not just days away. Safe travels. TL

  • mikebratcher69

    Thats why I check the news TL.
    Thats the advance warning we need for a reason to bug out. Im bugging in unless it’s dire and I know people will be looking for my food and it’s just too dangerous to stay put, I am in a city after all.
    The ammount of times I’ve checked the news for a story online or in some weird and wonderful place, that apears on our newspapers and on tv or not at all up to 2 days later…
    minimum time frame is an hour or two for a national emergency, stuff is usualy reported online first.
    Just gives you that edge to go to the supermarket for extras or fill the car up hopefully.

  • fred

    One bag is for a quick escape, very local and quick. The other is for a proper escape, longer distance and certainly overnight stays.

    And how do you decide, in those critical first seconds, which type of attack it is?

  • Skean Dhude

    Half,

    I’m looking at that now. Apparently they can easily be purchased in France. Over here they still need to be registered with the Stasi.

    TL,

    Agreed but you will eventually settle down. Thus that is your BOL. So your BOB needs to sustain you until then. That is why I didn’t say days, some places will take months to get to.

    Mike,

    I’m always topping up but if I thought an event was coming at that time I would go that little bit more. Topping everything up and buying extras.

    Fred,

    When the time comes I’m going to know what is going on as it evolves and my decision will be made long before I need to grab the bag and run.

  • [...] Skean Dude has some advice about bug out bags. [...]

  • james jackson

    i personaly like the idea of a 180ld crossbow being legal. their are some that shoot many differant objects. http://www.hunters-knives.co.uk it helps it being legal, light to handle and transport. I think a hatchet is a must as well. On a belt, wind up torch as well as a high powered torch, as well as a head torch, to keep hands free. I miss living in finland where getting a gun was easy, their are many bolt action guns out their. I’m looking at a push bike with a trailer that holds 70ld on it so can carry extra gear. Still not sure what cooking things to use as im thinking its easy to knock up an oven, or throwing stones onto a fire to keep the heat. Sometimes the old ways are the best right?! Whats peoples recomendations?

  • maya

    A lifesaver bottle (bid on ebay ..much cheeper) disposes of the need for carrying water.

  • james jackson

    have found a not too bad site, MilitaryMart.co.uk
    found a Aluminum Swedish Army Trangia Stove which burns meths comes with 2 pans and everything else ie stand, wind shield for 12 pounds… Also getting an army tent, it needs stitching and reproofing, but again at 17 pounds you cannot go to far wrong right?
    It also has some other usefull things so worth a quick look

  • A little item I have just found in our local “pound” shop, a silver survival blanket that is in the shape of a Tube so it makes a fair size emergency tent. On Ebay they go for £7.99 but these are only a quid, ideal to buy half a dozen for B O Bs and to keep in a vehicle. Have bought a small supply of them. Chec out your local.

  • Thing I NEED to survive
    —————-
    Clothing
    • boots *
    • socks x2 thick
    • long sleeve shirt*
    • jumper*
    • hat
    • Work / worm Gloves*
    ———————-
    Some money
    Phone
    Key to my house
    ———————-
    Swiss Army knife + knife sharpener
    first aid kit
    SaS survival hand book
    ————–
    Tarp / Poncho*
    Para cord 550 *
    Some tent pegs
    —————-
    Food
    penny stove + small bottle of full *
    Bottle of Walter *
    ———————
    Fire making kit

    • flint and steal
    • matches x 3 boxes
    • lighter x4
    • easy light cubes / tinder *
    ———————–
    Torch + some AA batteries
    Toilet paper
    Hand wipes *
    Pack of sandwich bags zip lock *
    —————-
    Air rifle .22 brake barrel with sling
    .22 pellets
    Make a necklace pellet holder

  • dave

    good advise, I might make a BOB, and get some esentials for the car/bike.Winter survival Blanket is a must for cold weather and also if your are injured /shock etc. radio’s of diff sorts. I think silvermans has some good kit too. Gary on utoob BOV is a good sourse of ideas etc. our only prob in UK is we are trapped on an island. Maybe a Boat would be good to organise with a small group etc. It would be better in the Mainland long term perhaps?? Small inexpensive world radio and rechargable batteries too with Wind up charger and small solar charger too! Blimey this bag is getting bigger lol

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