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.
- 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.