Bug out Bag - What kind of pack?


January 18, 2003, 12:04 PM
What kind of container do you folks use for a BOB? Military backpack, commercial backpack, duffle, etc?

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January 18, 2003, 12:14 PM
At this point I'm using a pretty large Jansport backpack.

It's what I normally use on camping trips and for 90% of the weather here in So. Cal it holds everything I need in terms of basic camping/survival gear including a compact 2 person tent and ultra-compact sleeping bag (rated to 20 degrees). There's also enough room for 5lts. of water stored in 2 Platypus containers.

It "blends in" and doesn't raise any eyebrows when I need to pull it out of the vehicle.

If I was heading into colder weather, it wouldn't be large enough to hold the extra clothes and my cold weather sleeping bag.

January 18, 2003, 12:35 PM
Where in the heck do you think you are going to bug out to?

Unless you are already in the boondocks when the SHTF, you are going nowhere but into a traffic jam.

4v50 Gary
January 18, 2003, 12:46 PM
In your toilet kit, how about some medicine that you need? For instance, say you're diabetic and need to take insulin? Or you have allergies and need allergy pills. Be sure to rotate it since medicine only has an limited time for effectiveness. Also have old glasses. Better than being blind.

Of course, you want Mountain Money. That is to say, toilet paper. Sealed in plastic bags of course to keep them nice & dry.

In your car, keep your old tennis shoes. In case you've got to go, go in comfort.

January 18, 2003, 12:46 PM
OK, let's call it a "Survive 3 days on your own until the snowstorm, tornado, hurricane, or riot is over" bag. Now, what type of pack would someone use for this? :D

I'm thinking of a pack you would keep in your vehicle to help you get to whatever location you consider shelter, whether that's home, the boondocks, or where ever.

There's lots of threads on what to put it one, but I'd like some intel on what to put the stuff in.

January 18, 2003, 01:40 PM
I use a large plastic "KeepBox" that stays in my car. Food, water, flashlight & batteries, aluminized mylar "Space Blankets", and an 18" socket wrench w/socket that fits my car's lug nuts so I can actually get the wheel off if I need change a tire.

Kentucky Rifle
January 18, 2003, 02:21 PM
The problem I've noted with keeping a bag in the car/truck in Kentucky is the weather! Sometimes it's dry and cold and the next day it's warm and wet outdoors.
So many medicines are hurt by temp, or moisture that I think the best thing to do (around here anyway) is to leave the "pack" in the house with the hopes of being able to grab it quickly as I go out the door. I'm even a little concerned about keeping ammunition in the car.


January 18, 2003, 02:28 PM
Amazing. I just went through this drill. Here is what I did.

First, Pack size. I concluded that I needed a day pack/ book bag large enough to carry 3 days worth of food, clothing, first aid, etc. I wanted a portable setup that I could keep in my car for emergencies. I found that about 2000-2500 cubic inches was what I needed. That is the same size (generally) of the military assault pack. Surveying what was available I found that a heavy duty pack like an Eagle A-III (available at Galls Police supply for $99.00 or Lightfighter.com for $120 was perfect but was more than what I wanted.) I found a Jansport daypack model called the Big Student which retails for $60. Since no one pays retail I found it at Office Depot and it cost $40. I kept looking and on ebay there is a weekly auction by Samsonite which features this pack. I bid and was successful at $23.00. If you go this route go to ebay and enter backpack jansport big student and the search engine will get you where you want to go.

Second, What to put in it. I went down to the Red Cross and they have pre-packaged kits for both survival and first aid. The price of these kits go from $4.00 - $300.00. Add to that some wet weather gear, a decent light, hat, blanket, road flares and what ever and you still are at about 10 pounds and everything fits in the pack with loads of room to spare for whatever other essentials you think you need.

Hope this helps.

January 18, 2003, 02:44 PM
Kentucky Rifle,

I agree, the weather around here changes every time you turn around. The problem with leaving it in the house, is when / if you need it, having it accessible.

As to ammunition, with modern ammo, I don't think it's an issue. I know some of my amigos in AZ keep a pack in their vehicles and have not had any problem.

Not sure how to deal with the swings from cold to hot for things like medicines. Perhaps some kind of small insulated bag to store them in within the larger bag?


January 18, 2003, 02:46 PM

Thanks for the tip, I'm headed to Ebay now.

January 18, 2003, 05:10 PM
I use a Camelbak Motherlode.

January 18, 2003, 05:47 PM
One way to smooth out the temperature swings is to put the pack in a cooler along with several jugs of water (I use lexan camping bottles). The combination of the water and cooler act as a heat/cold sink, and serve to keep the temperature more constant. Plus, you need the water anyway!

I started doing this with my film when on photo shoots, and it worked so well I decided it would be a good idea for my "emergency bag" as well. I live where the temps go from 90 degrees plus in the summer to -30 in the winter. The water does freeze over time in the winter, but the lexan bottles have never burst. You will want to rotate the water every 3 months or so, especially in the summer (if you plan on being able to drink it).


Mr Jody Hudson
January 18, 2003, 05:52 PM
I am currently using most of the trunk of my Buick Park Avenue; since I've downsized from most of the inside of my Suburban. :)

It is not at all a case of having stopped carrying so much stuff. It is a case of finding better stuff that takes up less room. Ahhhhhh the eternal quest of better stuff that is lighter and takes up less room.

I still haven't found out how to lighten the water but I do carry a good filter and some treatment chemicals in case I run out. :)

I carry a bag full of bags of different types and sizes as well so that I can just grab whatever I need for various short forays into various situations.

I DO get teased a lot but not seriously, as most people know I've been at this for 42 of my 52 years. :D

Mr Jody Hudson
January 18, 2003, 05:57 PM
I use the thermal mass value of water as well. However, I use cheap cans of seltzer water which has so far never frozen and burst, not even at 45 below zero in Montana!

I also carry several gallons of the cheap quarts and liters of carbonated flavored waters. For instance it has been 7 to 12 degrees for the last few days here and I've had none of the bottles of flavored water freeze as there are several of them together in each tub.

Texas Gunman
January 18, 2003, 05:58 PM
Im not one who tottally relies on the guv, I have complet bug out out-fit.:D poorly equip and armed person, is in other words a victom.:p


January 18, 2003, 06:21 PM
One thing to consider - You can WEAR three days worth of clothing. After three days, you may not be winning friends, but you're also not carrying around a lot of laundry. I'd pack some clean undies, spare dry socks, etc., but I'd rather take that 5-10 pounds and use it for a little .22 ammo and some food.

January 18, 2003, 06:31 PM
In my Truck that has a matching fiberglass shell, I carry two of those hardened plastic lock tight storage bin things. hehe Can't remember what you call them. You know, the ones you can get at WalMart that have lid that is secured by the handles that snap up on the sides. They stay there permently, filled with my hunting stuff. Propane heater, small stove, propane, knives, plasticware, lanterns and flashlights, deck of cards, scents and cover scents, waterproof matches and lighter, Girl Scout Juice, etc. I also have a two different sized fleeced camo fanny/day packs, my Kelty Tent, sleeping bag w/ ground pad along with essential tools, small saws etc.

January 18, 2003, 06:38 PM
Alice pack full of gear that I need to sustain the fight.

B-4 bag with 2 chemical suits, 2 filters for my gasmask, 2 sets of gloves and several MRE's

Web belt and harness has the essentials for combat.

No where to go here in Korea so I will stay and fight.

Back home in the states. I dont plan on bugging out. Will stay home and defend my family.

January 18, 2003, 07:47 PM
I still haven't found out how to lighten the water but I do carry a good filter and some treatment chemicals in case I run out.

You might wanna try some of the new dehydrated water (http://www.buydehydratedwater.com/) .

Dennis Olson
January 18, 2003, 08:10 PM
If you really want to find out about BOB's, drop by the forum in my SIGline. You will be flooded with information. Trust me...

January 18, 2003, 09:21 PM
I have what would be considered a German style ruck sack, which was purchased at the local surplus store for around $15.

January 18, 2003, 11:23 PM
It might sound odd, but my choice for a B-O-B (as i mentioned in the thread in the Tactics area) is a Sierra Club day pack that i got for free somewhere.

I opinion is that I really would prefer something inconspicous, so that nobody would think twice if i was to walk down the busiest street in my town. And since there are lots of enviro-weanie tree huggers around here, i figure that a Sierra Club bag will fit in just perfectly. :D

As much as i would love to have the latest uber-tactical load bearing vest, and matching 3 day assault pack, packed to the hilt with all the cool little toys that i could ever want, i think that it would be just a little to high profile for me.

I would rather not advertise all the goodies that i am carrying. But thats just me.


June 28, 2003, 01:10 AM
Has anyone thought about packing some type of load bearing vest in their BOB/Survival Kit? If not used for mags it could be used to keep small items close at hand.(snacks, sun glasses, small first aid, etc.).

Dave R
June 28, 2003, 02:05 AM
Commercial backpack for me. A Kelty. Sure, you can throw it in the trunk. But it has the advantage of being easily totable if necessary.

And if you ever get the spontaneous desire to go camping, you're already packed!

June 28, 2003, 07:35 AM
US Medium Alice pack.
Carries enough to go 1 week
Also weighs 75 lbs.

My load bearing vest sits next to it with m14 mags loaded, canteens, 357 mag


July 1, 2003, 10:19 AM
You will more likely use your Bug Out Bag due to a natural disaster then protecting your home/community from a terrorist threat. If you live in "Tornado Alley," the East Coast with its hurricane season, or somewhere else with extreme weather, you should have a Bug Out Bag.

I've been on vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina when we had to evacuate do to a hurricane. The Bug Out Bag was very useful for this situation. No stores were opened and we had food and drink.

I don't rely on the advice to have 3 days worth of supplies. My wife and our two cats have enough for 2 weeks without outside help. But that's a personal decision. That reminds me, have supplies for your pets in your BOB too.

If you have any camping gear, you already have the basics for your BOB, just build on that.

If you're a chronic coffee drinker like myself, add a bottle of caffeine tablets to prevent any caffeine withdrawals. You can also add a CB radio to your vehicle.

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