Bug Out Bag

This is a discussion on Bug Out Bag within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I live in Costa Rica where natural disasters such as earthquakes, flooding, volcanic eruption, tsunamis and hurricanes are a potential threat. After watching the devastation ...

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Thread: Bug Out Bag

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Bug Out Bag

    I live in Costa Rica where natural disasters such as earthquakes, flooding, volcanic eruption, tsunamis and hurricanes are a potential threat. After watching the devastation in Japan , I am currently assembling a "Bug Out Bag" for my family in case of an emergency and in order to survive a maximum of 4 - 7 days before help arrives or we are able to reach a safe place. I am not a mall ninja, a gear junkie or a paranoid person, I just want to be prepared in case of a serious emergency. Therefore, I want to share with all of you what I have assembled so far and I would gladly appreciate any comments or advice with regards to what I already have put together or something reasonable that I might be missing. Keep in mind that everyone's B.O.B. is different due to each one's location, climate, local firearm regulations, political, economic and social environment, family size, and personal preferences. Therefore, if some things I have in my B.O.B. seem extreme it's mostly because I live in a third world country and in the case of an emergency, chaos and civil unrest is a given. I will only list the gear I have assembled since food will consist of a combination of soup packages, pasta, noodles, energy bars, chocolate bars, candy, canned tuna, military rations, coffee and other compact foods with a long shelf-life.

    My plan is to have my B.O.B. in a locked closet near the front door and close to the garage (very safe) so that I can grab it quickly and load it in my SUV or if driving is not an option, then just strap it on and go. The idea is to evacuate the house (if needed since I have a power generator) and seek a safe site in a nearby area to camp out far from any crime or danger. We would wait it out there until help arrives or until we can get to help. My family currently consists of my wife and me, but soon we will probably have a baby so I will have to tweak it a little bit then to accommodate the little fellow.

    I have already tried accommodating all these things in the Rush 72 and everything, except the portable stove, fit perfectly and the bag weighs approximately 16 pounds. I am 6'2", 220 pounds and in shape, so I'm not worried about the weight, but I don't want it to be too heavy. By the way, the Rush 72 can hold A LOT of stuff...I highly recommend it! I will post pictures of the completed B.O.B. once I finish assembling it.

    Here's what I have so far:

    • 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack with 2 Molle pouches attached
    • Mossberg 590A1 12 Gauge 8+1 rounds shotgun (Surefire Forend, Shotshell carrier and two point sling)
    • Walther P99AS 9mm pistol
    • Ontario M9 Bayonet (strapped on backpack)
    • Spyderco Military
    • Surefire E2D Defender
    • Surefire E1B Backup
    • Energizer LED headlight
    • 50 shotgun shells (a combination of buckshot, bird shot and rifled slugs)
    • 175 rounds of Remington Golden Saber 124-grain +P 9mm JHP (carried inside a 100 round MTM Ammo case and five loaded 15 round magazines)
    • Voodoo Tactical Molle shotgun scabbard (strapped on side of backpack)
    • Blackhawk Serpa Level III Leg Holster (right leg)
    • Gerber E-Tool Shovel with Folding Blade
    • Swedish Firesteel
    • Waterproof Matches
    • Zippo Lighter
    • Gun Tool
    • Leatherman multi-tool
    • Bushnell 8x21 compact binoculars
    • U.S. Issue Mil-Spec Tritium Illuminated Compass
    • SAS Survival Handbook
    • Self-powered AM/FM weather radio (solar and crank)
    • A Pair of Motorola 2-Way Radios (23-mile/22 channel/FRS/GMRS)
    • First Aid Kit (military suture kit, quick clot, various medicines, gauze, C-A-T Combat tourniquet, trauma shears, CPR kit, bandages, etc.) - it is fully stocked but very compact and lightweight.
    • Orion 12-gauge flare gun with 5 rounds
    • 10 glow sticks
    • Pocket size Fishing Survival Kit
    • Military Water Purification Tablets
    • Emergency Thermal Blankets (5)
    • Fifty feet of 550 Para-cord and a Para-cord Bracelet
    • A 24" Survival pocket chain saw with pouch (very small)
    • Fifty 4" black zip ties
    • Two Rain Ponchos
    • Emergency Whistle
    • Camel Back 0.75 Liter Insulated Water Bottles (2)
    • Marmot Limelight Three Person Tent (attached to backpack)
    • Two Lightweight sleeping bags (2)
    • Coleman's Camper Utensil Set (4)
    • Coleman's All-in-One 4 Person Dining Set (small and lightweight)
    • Cooking utensils
    • 5-piece Mess Camp Set
    • Local maps
    • Garmin GPS Receiver
    • Portable Compact Butane Stove (2 cans of butane gas)
    • Extra Batteries (8 AA, 8 AAA and 8 Surefire)
    • Ten Zip Lock Bags
    • A roll of Duct tape
    • $1,000 in Cash
    • Backup Credit Card
    • Passports
    • Copies of insurance documents
    • Spare car keys
    • Toiletries and hygiene supplies (travel sized versions)
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    I just hope I don't end up with something like this!

    paullie and Lewis128 like this.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    You may want to rethink the one big bag plan. Yes, you're in shape and can carry it. With a broken leg? How about without sight? Say even a dislocated shoulder? Remember, natural disasters are violent and fast, the odds of being injured are astronomical. Could your wife carry it if you were incapacitated? Maybe think 2 packs and down grade the armaments some and include the things that are most likely to be issues. Medications that are needed daily, insurance papers, contact lists of names and numbers and your alternate contacts, Big magic marker to leave notes to rescuers and or family and friends that may come looking for you.

    Weapons are good but on the most to least likely to need their going to fall more toward the less likely. Not saying go unarmed, just consider side arms for both and save the space for other goodies.

  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    You may want to rethink the one big bag plan. Yes, you're in shape and can carry it. With a broken leg? How about without sight? Say even a dislocated shoulder? Remember, natural disasters are violent and fast, the odds of being injured are astronomical. Could your wife carry it if you were incapacitated? Maybe think 2 packs and down grade the armaments some and include the things that are most likely to be issues. Medications that are needed daily, insurance papers, contact lists of names and numbers and your alternate contacts, Big magic marker to leave notes to rescuers and or family and friends that may come looking for you.

    Weapons are good but on the most to least likely to need their going to fall more toward the less likely. Not saying go unarmed, just consider side arms for both and save the space for other goodies.
    Great advice!!! Thank you so much...I will definitely look into downsizing the pack which has been my main concern from the start. I haven't bought most of the things I want, so I just have a huge list of items on my Amazon wish list that I may want to buy and some I already have them available at the house which I used to weigh the backpack. I will review item per item in order to determine what is more important in order to downsize the weight and dimensions. I might just have to leave the Mossberg shotgun at home, but I don't know if that is a good idea since it is so versatile for self-defense and hunting. We'll see...
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Ok, here's a revised list of a downsized pack to improve mobility in case of injury. I basically eliminated the shotgun and 50 shot shells, the Ontario M9 Bayonet, the portable stove, camp kitchen goods, zip ties, downgraded slightly the first-aid kit, pocket chain saw, 50' of paracord (kept the paracord bracelet only), took out one flashlight and some other non-essential stuff. I think this is good and it should lower the weight to about 8 - 10 pounds at the most which would make it bearable for my wife to carry. I will also adjust the food and focus more on quick meals like energy bars, cookies, chips, tuna, military rations and such that can be eaten easier and don't take much space. Oh yeah, I added the big magic marker as well...great idea! I do want to keep the tent and sleeping bag to have a guaranteed high quality shelter. That is vital in case anyone of us is injured.

    • 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack with 2 Molle pouches attached
    • Walther P99AS 9mm pistol
    • Spyderco Military
    • Surefire E2D Defender
    • Energizer LED headlight
    • 175 rounds of Remington Golden Saber 124-grain +P 9mm JHP (carried inside a 100 round MTM Ammo case and five loaded 15 round magazines)
    • Blackhawk Serpa Level III Leg Holster (right leg)
    • Gerber E-Tool Shovel with Folding Blade
    • Swedish Firesteel
    • Waterproof Matches
    • Zippo Lighter
    • Big magic marker
    • Gun Tool
    • Leatherman multi-tool
    • Bushnell 8x21 compact binoculars
    • U.S. Issue Mil-Spec Tritium Illuminated Compass
    • SAS Survival Handbook
    • Self-powered AM/FM weather radio (solar and crank)
    • A Pair of Motorola 2-Way Radios (23-mile/22 channel/FRS/GMRS)
    • First Aid Kit (quick clot, prescription and over-the-counter medicines, gauze, bandages, etc.)
    • 10 glow sticks
    • Pocket size Fishing Survival Kit
    • Military Water Purification Tablets
    • Emergency Thermal Blankets (5)
    • Para-cord Bracelet
    • Two Rain Ponchos
    • Emergency Whistle
    • Camel Back 0.75 Liter Insulated Water Bottles (2)
    • Marmot Limelight Three Person Tent (attached to backpack)
    • Two Lightweight sleeping bags (2)
    • Local maps
    • Garmin GPS Receiver
    • Extra Batteries (8 AA, 8 AAA and 8 Surefire)
    • Ten Zip Lock Bags
    • A roll of Duct tape
    • $1,000 in Cash
    • Backup Credit Card
    • Passports
    • Copies of insurance documents
    • Spare car keys
    • Toiletries and hygiene supplies (travel sized versions)
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  7. #6
    Member Array nick060200's Avatar
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    small candles; steel wool (very flammable used for tinder); camel bak bladders (can be rolled up small); nalgene bottle (can boil water in); wire saw
    There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.

  8. #7
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    Water purification tablets are great to have but, not as your only potable water option.
    Buy 2 Aquamira "Frontier Pro" units. They are extremely lightweight and will cover you for 100 gallons. Since you are in Costa Rica they will save you from having to hump a ton of heavy water.

    Scrap the paracord bracelet. There is not enough paracord there to do you much (if any) good. Keep the 50' of paracord. It's like Gold for the minimal weight.

    Pack a pair of shooting glasses or goggles that can double as sunglasses. Very necessary.

    Great that you scrapped the bayonet - that was dead weight.

    Remember that your Quick Clot typically has a fairly short expiration date. Stay on top of that.

    Even if you don't smoke - add two packs of smokes. Wrap them in aluminum foil - you can use the foil for other things like cooking.
    The cigarettes weigh hardly anything at all and will be worth Gold as a trade item for something that you may need and not have.

    Add a small lightweight mirror.

    Buy the DATREX Emergency Food Bars.
    With water they will give you the bare life sustaining basics and keep you alive when and if you run out of your other food.
    As a huge plus the expiration date is like forever even in hot, humid, conditions.

    I could go on....but, I'll let some other folks chime in.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Do yourself a favor and go become a member of the EDC Forums. I was like you and had all these big ideas about how to build a BOB. It should be bare bones but sttill be useful. Everything you have should serve mulitple purposes and be durable. I subscribe to a modular system, of mulitple "kits"
    A fire kit, a hygiene kit, a comfort kit, a defense kit....etc. The people on this forum are great but this forum is not focused on EDC/BOB systems. My pack has come a long way from what it is because of the EDC Forum. Go look there.
    Friends don't let friends be MALL NINJAS.


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  10. #9
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    I also carry the smallest NAA .22LR Stainless revolver. It's only a few ounces. I carry it because it is tiny enough to be "palmed" with just the thumb in an open hand.
    It gives me the ability to take a last ditch close-up brain shot while appearing to be relaxed and unarmed.

    Add a tube of anti-microbial SILVER GEL to your first aide pak.
    I have used that quite a bit. The big advantage is that it is long lasting & in a survival scenario you don't want to be bandaging and un-bandaging every day to check a wound for infection when hygiene conditions (in general) are less than ideal.
    It's great stuff.
    Put it on fairly heavily and you can basically forget a minor injury for 3 days.
    Lewis128 likes this.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    I also carry the smallest NAA .22LR Stainless revolver. It's only a few ounces. I carry it because it is tiny enough to be "palmed" with just the thumb in an open hand.
    It gives me the ability to take a last ditch close-up brain shot while appearing to be relaxed and unarmed.

    Add a tube of anti-microbial SILVER GEL to your first aide pak.
    I have used that quite a bit. The big advantage is that it is long lasting & in a survival scenario you don't want to be bandaging and un-bandaging every day to check a wound for infection when hygiene conditions (in general) are less than ideal.
    It's great stuff.
    Put it on fairly heavily and you can basically forget a minor injury for 3 days.
    They say you learn something every day, and I was getting worried this late in the day, but now I can relax. I am adding that to my FAK. Thanks for the tip.
    Friends don't let friends be MALL NINJAS.


    I am just as nice as anyone lets me be and can be just as mean as anyone makes me. - Quoted from Terryger, New member to our forum.

  12. #11
    Member Array mandalitten's Avatar
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    You definitely have a nice pack with a lot of stuff and it would be nice to see you post it. It's definitely bigger than mine, and I have several. I pretty much think: food, water, and shelter. Then some first aid stuff as well as hygiene stuff.
    The largest one is in my car where weight is not that much of an issue. I keep some extra clothes in it as well as some canned food. I have a gas stove and I also have a piece of plastic tube so that I could siphen gas of my tank if I had to.
    I also have a small camelpack at home that I would grab I had to. It's very light and has less stuff obviously. Within this one I also have one of those pocket survival kits that I sometimes grab if I go on vacation and cannot bring an extra bag. Sometimes I also only grab my tool logic knife that has a firesteel in it with a flash light. I leave this in my small bag otherwise. Sometimes I just take the minimum if I am going away on a day or weekend trip. It's nice to have options.
    I also have the SAS Survival Book, and that's a very good book, I need to read it again! The US field manual can be downloaded for free here though. http://www.survivalmonkey.com/FM/FM_21-76-1.pdf
    You might want to add some thin metal wire as it is great to create snares with.
    I see you also pack a handgun, but you might want to consider a light .22 rifle since it will be better to hunt food with. Henry has a very nice survival rifle where the barrel and action fits inside the stock when you take it apart. This is what US pilots have (or maybe had) Henry Repeating Arms | Fine Rifles Made in America and Priced Right
    I don't see any food in your bag, and you might want to add a few bags of dry packaged food such as what you can find at camping stores. They are very convenient and you just have to add water.

  13. #12
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    I would consider having clean water as one of your top priorities. Especially when in the tropics. While boiling water is a proven safe method of purifying, it is often not feasible to stop and boil your water. You may be on the move and can't stop, or you may be in an area where building a fire is not possible or advisable. While Aquamira Water Tablets and the Katadyn Micropur Tablets are without a doubt, the two best water treatment tablets as they are both EPA registered products which inactivates viruses as well as bacteria and protozoa and cysts, they are expensive and limited to one quart of water per tablet. Virus protection is something I'm especially concerned with when traveling anywhere outside of the USA. That includes Costa Rica.

    Also the Aquamira Frontier Filter is a small personal filter designed for one person use (not a family of four) is limited to about 100 gallons, and does not protect against viruses in your contaminated water.

    As a paramedic and wilderness survival instructor, I understand the dangers of drinking any type of contaminated water. In a high stress situation such as a bug out situation, tensions are high and people naturally tend to cut corners. You can not afford to do that in a survival situation regarding hygiene and clean water. If dysentery, bloody diarrhea, parasitic or viral infections strike anyone of your party, everything comes to a screeching halt. And it could be a lethal event, especially when small children become infected. Dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting sets in quickly and without medical treatment, people die.

    Having the capability of purifying large quantities of water and redundant purifying systems is a top priority in my system. Especially any time I travel outside of CONUS. I carry a 36 ounce stainless water bottle and stainless 16 ounce camp cup for boiling water and cooking, I carry about 20 Katadyn Micropur Tablets which purifies 20 quarts of water for quick on the move travel conditions, then I also carry the MSR MIOX Water Purifier. It is small, lightweight, requires no pumping, no filters and as long as your have CR123 Litium batteries and salt, it will purify thousands of gallons of water. It is a pocket sized municipal water treatment plant which kills cysts, bacteria, protozoa and viruses.

    For redundancy, I also carry a Sawyer Complete Water Purifier System. Sawyer makes several water filters, but only the "complete water purifier" with the patented 0.02 micron filter will filter out viruses. The Sawyer unit purifies up to 4 liters of water at a time and the filter unit is certified to one million gallons. That's enough to treat water for a family of four for something like 28 years at 2 gallons of water per person per day. Be sure and check out the Sawyer page to see a list of the prevalent waterborne risks for Mexico, Central and South America. Not a complete list, but just the prevalent risks.

    MSR MIOX Water Purifier


    Sawyer Complete Water Purifier w/ 0.02 micron filter
    QKShooter likes this.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array justherenow's Avatar
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    The 2 way radios you have will provide you a few miles of range MAYBE unless you have access to a repeater, even then battery life will be minutes of transmitted signal. Maybe get your ham radio license and get a portable hf rig, you can be talking around the world with just a wire. Look at the yaesu ft 817, although 5 watts people have made tons of world wide contacts with it.

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  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    I would recomend Toilet paper, large plastic garbage bags(very versatile), and then a change of clothes and a few pairs of socks(well, what's the weather like? Do you need warm clothes, or is that not an issue?). If you don't need warm clothes, throw in a few bandanas. They can serve as washcloths, keep you cool, filter dirty water, splints etc...

    Not sure how you get only 10 pounds for all of that. Do you guys use different pounds there???
    Walk softly ...

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