Yesterday was one of my friends Birthday and also a I spent cleaning and organizing. Going through all my survival gear I realized I had a lot of items that had been upgraded several times over. To de-clutter some and to help my very un-prepared friend I decided to pack him a basic Bug Out Bag. Of course I documented the BOB building so you can see what all I put in there.
Old Gear Needs Love Too
A lot of the gear I packed up for him was stuff I bought when I first got into survival. It’s been kicking around for a few years getting replaced by newer gear. Many will tell you to buy the best and most expensive gear on the market. For those of us that don’t have much money blowing your entire budget on one item does not make you prepared. My approach was to get cheap but decent working supplies then upgrade it over time. My first knife was a Mora. I paid something like $12 on Amazon for it. I’ve taken it out dozens of times and beat the hell out of it. I’ve used it as recently as two weeks ago it still works great. Although I’m not throwing my $150 Hoodlum in my friends BOB I’ve tested used and abused all his gear and trust it all. Lets get down to whats in it and why.
For you people that enjoy a good list this is a run down of whats included:
- USGI Canteen and Cup
- Mora Knife
- Bank line
- DIY Fuel Tabs
- Folding Esbit stove
- 2% Tincture of Iodine
- Duck Tape
- Swiss Army type knife
- Winchester Multi Tool
- Cotton Bandana
- First Aid Kit
- x2 55 gallon drum liners
- Four packages of Ramen Noodles
- Vasaline Soaked Cotton Balls
- Emergency blanket
- x2 Hot hands
Now lets break things down and show lots of pictures.
First up are the cutting tools. My trusty old mora, my first fixed blade knife. I almost couldn’t give this one away. This knife and I have been through a lot. If I weren’t giving it to my best friend I would have kept it. Mora knives are built tough and this one has proven itself time and time again. The cheap (free actually) knock off Swiss army knife came pretty dull. I ran it through the worksharp and put a razor sharp edge on it. The multi tool is mostly junk but the pliers and screwdrivers work well.
I tried to get into canteens and grabbed up this surplus one. After testing though I decided I’m a Nalgene guy. The canteen set up is solid and works for many though. Drinking from it is certainly easier. With the attached cup boiling water, cooking and eating are covered.
For cordage I chose to toss in a roll of bank line. It’s slightly more versatile thank paracord and I just happen to have more of it around.
My friend is not a fire building enthusiast. He has been a smoker on and off so he is accustomed to a lighter. Vaseline soaked cotton balls are simple to use. This is the easiest setup to get fire.
Bandanas have a million uses. This is one I won at a comic convention years ago.
Duck tape also has a million uses and I chose to give him the orange tape to double in a signaling capacity. It could be used as a trail marker or sos sign.
For cooking I chose to include a folding esbit stove. It is small and simple. The included fuel tabs are enough for several uses. I went with this over an alcohol stove on ease of use. Combined with the canteen cup the cooking needs are covered.
I raided my pantry and saw these sitting around. They were left by a roommate and I will never eat them. At roughly 1600 calories this is only enough for about a day. He will need to add more food to his bag.
This was my first headlamp I bought. It uses three triple A batteries and is probably not many lumens. It’s bright enough to get around though. I’ve never had the batteries run out though and AAA’s are very common.
Once again I went with simplicity and threw in 2% tincture of iodine. It has been proven to be effective, it has multiple uses and does not have difficult instructions to use.
I included a Heatsheets Emergency Blanket that can be used to keep warm or to signal since it’s reflective orange. I’ve also included a cheap poncho. Not the best but it works and I’m not throwing in my USGI poncho.
I’ve included two 55 gallon drum liners. They have many uses I’ve included them as makeshift bivys. No fuss just crawl in wrap up in the emergency blanket and be warm. If he wanted to get fancy he could build a great shelter with the included items. I’ll have to take him into the woods and show him how soon. For now though he can use them in the simplest way.
This is one of my Level I first aid kits you can read the details Here.
Here it is all packed up. I’m using a camo surplus butt pack with a ouch for the FAK and the canteen Alice clipped on the other side. I added a shoulder sling to it so it can be carried around. Since this will be living in his car and not designed to be carried around I didn’t go for a backpack design. He could easily toss it into a backpack if he wants to. I’ve carried it like this and it carries good enough to walk a few miles however.
My friend was actually pretty excited about it. He’s not into survival but is friendly to it. His wife was jealous and now wants one of her own. I think I might have infected them both with the terminal BOB disease. The never ending upgrading and tweaking. Good luck to them!
Have spare gear laying around not being used? Make a BOB for a friend and spread the gift of preparedness! Have suggestions for him to upgrade to? Let me know what you think of the choices in the comments!