When I posted the article 2017 Bug Out Baby Checklist, I had numerous people ask how in the world they were supposed to fit every item on the list in their bug out bag (or BOB).
Well today I am going to give you the answer….you’re not.
BOBs should be unique to every individual person and family. You have to pick and choose from the list to find items that you really, truly need.
For example, some people who have bad backs will need extra pain pills, where as a person who is generally healthy who hardly ever needs to take medicine may only want to pack a couple.
A family who has a baby may need to pack extra bottles, but you may not have to worry about that yourself if you don’t have an infant.
Or even, a single individual may need bottled water because he never got around to purchasing a water filter before the SHTF.
And the list could go on and on.
Everyone’s BOB is different. This article is just to give you some basic ideas and put you in the mindset of what do I really need. And get yourself to the question: If I do really need this, then can I get a lighter version of it or use lighter supplies to do it myself?
Your Bug Out Bag Runneth Over
Don’t try to fit everything mentioned in the BOB checklist in your bag. Bobs are supposed to be easy to carry for longer periods at a time. And a bag that has everything (and the kitchen sink) will not be easy to carry at all.
I know and understand that packing a BOB can be scary. You are basically trying to put every little thing you think you, your family or group will need, especially you with small children. You want to make sure you have enough food and water and a good shelter for them.
Trust me, as a parent I understand completely. That is one of my biggest worries as a parent and probably yours as well.
Cleaning Out The BOB
Go thru your BOB or BOBs and take out anything that you think you can live without. Also, even though some, if not all, of these are in the BOB checklist, rethink about them.
Could you use a tarp and cordage instead of bringing a tent? Questioning your BOBS contents like that will make a big difference in the weight. And speaking of weight, a BOB should weight no more than 20% of your body; ideally, 15% or less.
Here is a list of contents that you may want to rethink and why.
Do I Really Need That?
- A Tent – As I said before why carry around a heavy tent when a tarp and cordage will work just as well? If you would feel safer in a tent, then try to get one with as light of a weight as possible.
You could also skip any shelter and just bring cordage and use our guide to making shelters out of stuff you’d find in the woods.
- Sleeping Bags – How about using emergency bivvys instead? They are very lightweight and cheaper than normal sleeping bags. It is also just as warm since it made tear-resistant polyethylene and reflects 90% of body heat back to you, keeping you warm.
- Cast Iron Pots – Cast iron is extremely heavy. If you switch to a small camping cook set that is lightweight, it can save you a lot of weight off your BOB.
- Extra Utensils And Dinnerware – No need for all that! Just pack a spork and you can eat anything you want with it. and extra dinnerware is not really need either. Just make sure you have a bowl to put your food in and a spork to eat it with.
- Camping Tripod – You can use 3 stick and tie them together to make your own trip0od. Then add a hook to some cord and boom, you have your own handmade tripod!
- Camping Lantern – This is a big waste of space if you ask me. I just use my flashlight and I make a fire if I need a bigger light.
- Bottled Water – I added this one because most people will not be in a desert and unless you are in the desert, you will not need extra water.
If you just get a Sawyer Mini Water Filter, it can filter up to 100,000 gallons and removes 99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of all protozoa. It’s smaller and definitely weighs less so it’d be a better option.
- Flare Gun – Again,unless you are in the desert, i don’t think you will need a flare gun. There are other ways for you to be seen like a making a large fire or using a signalling mirror.
- Canned Foods – Bring along a lot of cans of food is going to be heavy, very heavy if you bring a lot. Instead, try getting freeze-dried food and re-hydrating it with water you find.
Legacy Foods has some of the best tasting foods I have found so far. Simply add water and let it boil and then you’ll have a nice delicious dinner.
- Survival Books – Study your books and learn how to do what is in them. Write down on a small flip top notepad ideas or tips you want to remember. This would be lighter than lugging a big book around.
Rethinking Your Plan
Go thru and rethink every little thing in your backpack. Even the small things add up to a lot of weight.
Children’s games and toys can be narrowed down to a deck of cards or travel size game and small toys such as Hot Wheels cars if you must bring something to keep a child occupied.
I have a couple in my son’s BOB because I know it will relax him and keep in occupied for a while. A lot of sites says not to worry about this, but in my opinion, kids need a little something to keep their minds off what is going on around them.
Extra tools may not be needed. A simple multi tool and a good knife will do most things that will come up.
Try to get lighter versions of an item and try to bring multipurpose items what do more than one thing. To each his own in this case.
These are just some examples and some tips. The best thing to do is walk around with your bag for a while and see how it feels. And try to get into shape. It will make bugging out even easier.
Good luck and happy bugging!