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30 April, 2020

What about Bob? Getting ready for Sh*t to hit the fan!

Hello, loyal readers! I'm back! Well, sort of - I never actually left. I've just been busy and haven't updated this blog since fucking JANUARY...

There is a LOT going on in the news these days and a lot of people are throwing out a lot of random terms and paranoia... including, but not limited to civil war, social unrest, economic collapse... you name it, and someone somewhere has said it in the last 60 days.

So today, we're going to talk about Bob - Your potentially life-saving new best friend. Bob stands for Bug Out Bag - and, for those who don't know, a Bug Out Bag is a bag that you keep packed and ready to go by the door, or someplace easily accessible, in case of the worst-case scenario where Shit hits the fan (SHTF) and you need to get the fuck out of town - GTFO.

Not mine - but similar enough for this blog post... 

Now, keep in mind that this is not your "prepper" stash. This isn't the things you have in the bunker to see you through the first 11 weeks of the zombie plague... no no. This is the "We need to GTFO right now and we don't have time to pack" bag. This isn't a camping bag or a hiking bag... this is a bag to buy you piece of mind in the worst case scenario of "I need to leave my home right now or potentially die from a thing."

And you need to go into this with that in mind...

There are literally thousands of websites telling you the 80 items you'll need in your BOB, or the 101 must-have items in your BOB... And they all make very valid arguments and can cost you up to $500 in supplies. I'm not going that route here. I'm going with the essentials... And that boils down to 5 things...

1: Water
2: Food
3: First Aid
4: Safety and Protection
5: Shelter

I will lay those out for you here - but before I start, know that you can buy pre-made bug-out bags from amazon and other sellers, but they are generally CRAP. Building your own allows for customization. Building your own allows you to get into exactly what you're doing with it... what you'll need. Where you plan of going and what you think you'll need to get there... Put thought into this thing. It could, in theory, save your fucking life.

So - here we go:

1: Water
Water is key. In the case of actually NEEDED to use a bug-out bag to escape your home and get to somewhere safe(r), you will not be going by the store for a case of water. You need to have some ready to go and have the ability to possibly make water drinkable as you go.

So... in your bag you should have 3 liters of water (roughly a gallon), per person. Ideally each of you will have your own bag... but that's a much bigger blog post than I'm willing to commit to at the moment.
You need:
1 rigid water bottle, like a Nalgene bottle - your primary.
1 metal bottle - like an old school Army Canteen - can be used to boil water if needed
1 collapsible canteen/container - used to top-off the others as you drink from them.
That's 7 lbs total. As you empty your canteen and top off with your stored water, you'll free up space and weight. So - yay!

As for keeping water safe to drink - some water purification tablets and a life-straw are a MUST.

2: Food
Yep. Calories... those pesky little things that we fret over on our day to day life, but will be life-saving little superstars if you need to GTFO and walk 30 miles in a hurry. Ideally, you want something that tastes good and was prepared by the finest chefs... wait... no... wrong post. You want a shit-ton of calories in a shelf-stable, easily transportable form - such as ration bars and energy bars. In my bag, I have (4) 2,400 calorie emergency ration bars. Are they awesome? Not really. Are they going to keep me alive? Well - we hope. Each bar is weighs a pound and can feed me for an entire day if needed. That's 4 pounds in your bag for 3 days of food.

No need for 5 different MREs... this is an "emergency bag" not a "camping bag." - you need to know the difference. You're not going hunting... this is the GTFO and head to grandma's house bag, remember?

3: First Aid
You're going to probably get hurt as your travel. It's one of life's universal rules - "When you are on the run for your life, you're going to get boo-boos" or something like that. But this isn't a trauma bag. This isn't the bag you keep at home for life-shattering moments. This is "Jesus, I just stepped on a nail and my foot is killing me. Or, holy shit, I've got a headache.
At the very least - you need Ibuprofen, bandages, tape, gauze, and something for the blisters you're going to get on your feet. Rubber gloves are a plus... as are tweezers and an exact-o knife.
All in all, this can fit in a small, little bag within your BOB and take up maybe 1 pound of weight. 

4: Safety and Protection
Safety means a lot of things. Some of the basics are:
A multi-tool is a must
A folded up tarp (can be used as shelter, water gathering, blanket, rug... and so on.)
Para-cord (550 cord) has a TON of uses.
A small roll of duct-tape
Something with which to make fire - and you do NOT need flint and steel. Jesus. It's 2020 - just buy a 10-pack of bic lighters and throw it in your bag. BOOM. You're done.
Ear plugs
A whistle - a good one that is very loud
A compass in case you need to travel off road and know that you need to go "west-ish"
A Flashlight - more specifically a headlamp. You want your hands free and you want light wherever you're looking. Being able to see and hear is important for your personal safety.
Extra socks and underwear. Having dry feet and a clean butt go a LONG way for personal morale.
All of this can fit in a 1 gallon zip-loc bag or less. It takes up almost no room and no weight and you can possibly use every one of these items.

But what about Protection?
This is where things get a little muddled. Do you need a gun? Do you take a baseball bat? Do you assume that everyone out there is going to be nice and just go with a smile and plucky attitude? - Personally, I say gun. Baseball bat or kitchen knife at the very least.

In this scenario, not everyone will have a BOB... and they're going to get desperate. And if you have stuff, that makes you a target.

For me... A 12 Gauge, pump shotgun is just the best all around option. Shoots different rounds for protection or hunting, and is pretty versatile and intimidating. But it's different for everyone... and shotgun ammo isn't exactly lightweight. Just know that I, personally, think you need something for personal protection.

I do not - IN ANY FUCKING WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM suggest that you go buy a gun if you are not familiar with or willing to become familiar with firearms. A novice carrying a gun will do more harm than good and probably end up getting themselves hurt.

5: Shelter
That's right, my last item is shelter. Why? It's simple - this isn't your camping bag. This is an emergency GTFO bag. If you have room for a tent and sleeping bag - go for it. But if you have a tarp and 500 cord - you can make a tent or a shelter... And, unless it is winter, you can make a small fire to keep warm at night while you sleep out on the ground...

And there you have it!

Barring any additions you need to make for personal dietary or medical needs, this bag should "do in a pinch" for just about everyone. Keep in mind, a bag for children will need to be vastly different... but, again, that's a post for a different day.... This is the BASIC BOB. This isn't a fancy BOB. This is "HOLY CRAP A VOLCANO OPENED UP IN THE TOWN CENTER AND WE NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE!" The basic BOB will get you out of your house and moved to somewhere safer (we hope) in most any situation.

Good luck! Hopefully you'll never need to use your BOB... but, if you do - make it count!

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