What a BOB should contain is a debated subject among survivalists and at forums like the Survivalist Boards. What you need is specific for your location and your context. Do you live urban or wilderness setting? What kind of climate do you live in? Is there access to clean water from rivers and lakes? Can you carry a heavy bag over long distances? These are some examples of questions that will affect what kind of equipment you will need. There is no concept or list of equipment that’s perfect for all settings.
Three Different Perspectives
1.) The First Guide for Bug Out Bags is designed for people how live in remote locations where no or little help can expected and the individual must be self reliant. This is also what I would suggest that you pack if you go on a long hiking trip.
2.) The Second Guide focuses on how you can build a low weight Bug Out Bag that can be more appropriate for people how live in warm climate or urban setting. This is also a bag that can be carried as an Every Day Carry bag.
3.) The Third Guide focuses on evacuation from a group perspective. If a group of individuals evacuate or go for a long hiking trip what equipment should they bring and what equipment can they share. This post also focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of group travel.
The first approach is a maximum approach where the individual will have a high number of items that can help to deal with an emergency, the second approach is a minimum approach intended to keep the number of items and weight as low as possible. This is only suggestions, for your specific situation it may be a good idea to either follow some of these guidelines or try to combine the minimum and maximum approach. The most important aspect is that you try your bag out in your location so that you know what works and what don’t. This is also critical so that you learn how to use your equipment; a fire steel is of little use if you don’t know how to use it, the same goes for a GPS, compass, tent or multi-fuel stove. With knowledge and skills you can learn how to make do with less equipment and survive even if you don’t have a fully equipped emergency kit.
1.) You and Your Bug Out Bag
The Bug Out Bag is only a tool kit that will help you to deal with emergency and survival situations; no matter what equipment you carry its you and the people around you that will utilize this tool in such a way that it allows you to survive. In other words: Don’t forget to keep the focus on your own Knowledge; your Physical Fitness and Health and your Skills and Experience. The most important factor for survival is You, not your toolkit.2.) Some of the Factors you have to take into Consideration when building your BOB
What type of terrain, climate and setting you live will be very important for what kind of shelter, clothing and equipment that you will need. Can you find natural cover or do you have to bring your own? What kind of shelter, clothing and footwear is most appropriate for you? Can water be found easily or will you have to bring all the water that you need with you? What kind of equipment will you need to make water safe to drink?
Most settings have some seasonal variation when it comes to temperature, rainfall and wind. If your seasonal variations are large you might have to adjust your Bug Out Bag from season to season in order to make sure that it will perform as desired during an evacuation scenario.
4.) The Process of Building a Bug Out Bag
I would recommend that you do not view your Bug Out Bag as a fixed concept but rather as a dynamic changing concept. I also recommend that you use as much of the same gear as possible when you go on hiking, hunting, fishing or camping trips since this gives you the opportunity to test the equipment and learn how to use it. It’s also important that you adjust your bag as your situation and personal settings change.
Example of how you can view the process of Building a Bug Out Bag:
Chapter 3: Bug Out Bags and Evacuation1.) Bug Out Guide and Checklist
2.) Light Weight Bug Out Bags
3.) Bugging Out as a Group
4.) Bugging Out Using Bikes
5.) Building a Bug Out Bag on a Budget
6.) Bug Out Bag - Example of a Setup
7.) Light Weight Bug Out Bag - Examples of Setups