Best5Zach's Bug out bag

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Best5Zach's Bug out bag

Post by best5zach » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:50 am

2 Parts. Would love some real feedback on what I am missing.

What's in Your Zombie Pack? Part 1
Zombie Pack. Bug Out Bag. Heck, some might just call it Camping Gear for the End of the World kit.Call it what you will. Millions of people already have one. Do you? You should.

I guess it isn't for everyone, but even avid campers should have one. although a lot of the things in a Zombie Pack deal with personal protection, most of it is survival gear....and survival gear by another name is just camping gear.

What is a Zombie Pack? I googled it and it was mostly movies. So, I tried "Bug Out Bag".

Well, go google it. What do you find?
According to the End all Be all of information:" onclick=";return false;
A bug-out bag[1][2] is a portable kit that contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours[3][4] when evacuating from a disaster. It is also known as a 72-hour kit,[5] a grab bag,[6] a battle box, and other popular names include "Personal Emergency Relocation Kits" (PERKs) GO Bag and GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge)[7] bag. The focus is on evacuation, rather than long-term survival, distinguishing the bug-out bag from a survival kit, a boating or aviation emergency kit, or a fixed-site disaster supplies kit. The kits are also popular in the survivalism subculture.[8]

The top returned links are all about what to keep in your bug out bag or buying someone Else's bug out bag. So, I clicked through a few of the links. HOLY COW! You can spend a lot of money! Like, in the THOUSANDS! Most of the kits hover around $800. That's a lot of cheddar where I come from!

Pulling one of the AVERAGE $800 dollar kit's equipment lists, I notice that while it's a nice kit and very complete, it's actual worth is about 3/4 of what you are paying for it. Convienience fees. And, to be honest, making your own your specifications, is half the fun!

So, if you have one, what's in yours?
If you don't have one, what should be?

I have been through several iterations of my Zombie Pack. It isn't the perfect kit. Not in the slightest. But, it's a kit. You are limited by space and weight. You also are limited on just what skills you possess and deem worthy. So, I talk about what started in my first kit, it's iterations, what CURRENTLY is in the kit, what I want in the future and why.

My first iteration of the kit was made up of a spare school-type backpack that was given to me filled with items stolen from inside the house. I also had a 50 gallon tote with other items. The kit possessed:
Box of .45 caliber rounds, as I didn't have spare magazines
Box of 20 gauge shotgun shells
Box of kitchen matches
Cheap double edged match
hand mallet
plastic sacks
bottle of water
Change of clothes (with gloves, boots, and 'boggin)
Cans of soup
Inside the tote, I had:
pots and pans
lighter logs
lighter fluid
big tent
1 gallon bucket
However, this kit....though it was a step in the right direction and better than nothing, was severely lacking in both critical items and the efficiency of those I did have. Even in the pack itself wasn't very robust....after being thrown around, it started to rip. And, you can't very well carry a tote through post-apocalyptic America. On the inside, I was woefully plagued with inefficiency. The knife was a cheap knife. Kitchen matches don't work when wet. Canned products are mostly water, and therefor, dead weight. As far as personal protection, I was extremely limited. I had no long range weapon. The 20 gauge, while perfectly fine...isn't nearly as common as the 12. So, if you needed shells in a pinch, the 12 is far superior because you can walk into any house in America and find them. The .45 is a great gun, specifically my 1911. It's got several war's worth of experience to back it up. .45 is VERY common and it has incredible knock down power. But, it's a heavy gun. It's limited on ammo capacity. And, since at the time, it was my primary weapon...that's not good. If I did get in firefight, reloading magazines from a box would be death. Literally.

I put this kit together while I was in college. When I got out, I had a LITTLE more money, so I upgraded some things while maintain much of what was already there.

Better "heavy duty" bag
Bought multiple .45 mags
Bought a Gerber Machete
Bought a Smith's Arkansas stone for sharpening knives
swapped the mallet for a hatchet (can be used as a hammer AND hatchet)
Bought Hyfire flashlight
Bought water purification pills
Bought Nylon Rope
Added TONS of little items like: duct tape, JB Weld, fishing hooks and line
Thermal blanket
Hot hands
So, some of the pieces that I knew I wanted were in place, yet the pack still had gaping holes in areas. I still had no food (kinda a big deal), no way of transporting water (i didn't want to carry it...more on that later), instantaneous shelter, no way of starting a fire, no utensils if I DID have food, and then the two BIG areas...personal protection and first aid. We will address the personal protection later, but it's worth noting that you DO have to carry it and it's ammo. And, I didn't really like the current pack would do. I had nothing except super glue for first aid. Yes, I said Super Glue. Go research it's original use. It's inevitable that you will be hurt in post-apocalyptic America, so you better have the ability to fix yourself!

Well, as luck would have it, I had a LITTLE spare money laying around, so I started revamping the BOB.
I added:
A new Mystery Ranch Sack... ... h+backpack" onclick=";return false;
72 hours of food... ... 02_s00_i00" onclick=";return false;
Camel Bak... ... 00_s00_i00" onclick=";return false;
First Aid Kit... ... 02_s00_i00" onclick=";return false;
Army Field Surgeon Kit... ... 01_s00_i00" onclick=";return false;
100ft of paracord... ... 05_s00_i00" onclick=";return false;
2 more Magpul 30 round p-mags... ... agpul+pmag" onclick=";return false;
compass... ... 00_s00_i00" onclick=";return false;
Hatchet.... ... 01_s00_i00" onclick=";return false;
Pup Tent... ... 04_s00_i00" onclick=";return false;
Folding Shovel... ... 02_s00_i02" onclick=";return false;
Water Proof matches and carrier... ... 00_s00_i00" onclick=";return false;
Multi untensil... ... 02_s00_i02" onclick=";return false;
emergency fire starter... ... 02_s00_i01" onclick=";return false;
Collapsable water bucket... ... 03_s00_i00" onclick=";return false;

First thing I wanted to address was the bag. This spare bag I had was OK, but wouldn't be good to haul around. So, I spec'd out this guy. It's a BADDD Mamma Jamma.

Then there's the food. Turns out that these shows have done wonders for the ease of finding Surplus gear, not to mention a niche market that is now being filled by manufactures. So, I came across" onclick=";return false;

While they did have a deluxe 72 hour kit, I didn't want to pay double for items I wanted to get on my own. So, I bought their 72 hour food kit:" onclick=";return false; M003
Here is the contents of it. Pretty slick. I can't wait to try it!

Contents of 3-Day MRE Food Supply


Qty Main Entrée 9 Side Dish 3 Dessert 3 Drink Mix 3 Bread/Cracker 6 Peanut Butter 2 Jam Packet 2 Cheese Packet 1 Hard Candy 3

The rest of the items are pretty standard issue from amazon, I just listed these two because I thought they were especially cool.

That brings us the whole point of this post. What's in your pack and why? I would suggest taking an objective look at yourself and your abilities...or shortcomings. What can you do and what can't you do? If you had to take 100% and separate it between food, shelter, and protection, how would you divide it? Me? 70% protection, 15% for each food and shelter. No, that doesn't mean that I don't think I need the two latter. They just aren't that important to me IN REGARDS TO THE BOB.

My general philosophy on survival, in regards to the BOB, is that I can provide for myself long term. I just have to stay alive and effective short term. Food and shelter, as the overview shows, are just as important as protection. But, feeding myself and housing myself aren't my concerns in the long term. I can do that. That might be anything from scavenging for food to growing it, from squatting in a house or building a shelter. But, personal protection and speed is my main concern. I need to be able to quickly and easily get to where I need to go...while effectively protecting myself. Now, I do know plenty of people that ONLY pack weapons and ammo. I wanted to avoid that and at least have enough items to "go to ground" for a few days.

How about you? If you don't have the ability to hunt for yourself, or scavenge, then food may be your go heavy on the food. I bet you can get 2 weeks of food in your BOB pretty easy.

If shelter is your thing, you might carry a lot of fire starting items and a large robust tent, although I think we all see the potential problems with concentrating on this.

There are a lot of combinations of the 3 out don't limit yourself.

Another thing to consider is your physical location...where you are and where you are going. If you live in an arid area, water is far more important, and although it's heavy, it is worth having. So, you may have to unload a few your tool kit, which may be of no use in a desert. If you are headed to a densely populated area, food may be easy to come by, but personal protection may not. Especially if it's covered with zombies. So, go heavy on the ammo. If you live in may want to take nothing but shelter and clothes.

So, now we are down with the 1-Liners. You see what I have and why. So, what are the overarching things to consider? This list is FAR from all encompassing. But, these are the things I think of
RULE NUMBER 1: Can you physically carry your pack?
RULE NUMBER 2: Keep that pack handy and always take it with you (if you can). I know it sounds silly, but you may not be on the couch watching football when it happens.
What's your #1 fear? Starving, freezing, or getting shot. Whatever the greatest of those is...prepare for it.
Practice makes perfect. Take your kit out and use it. Just take it camping. It will show you what you have that you don't need and what you need and don't have.
Revise it once a year. Consider WHY you have something and if it's worth humping across the country
Can you use everything in your pack? Would you?
Build the pack for where you are going. A pack with a ton of food isn't really needed in the suburbs, is it? But a tool kit to break into Wal-Mart sure would provide food for a long time.
Know where you are going, why, and what you need when you get there
The greater knowledge and skill you have, the lighter that pack will become or the more equipment you can bring. For example: If you know how to find good water and purify it, you don't have to carry water with you...or the tools to purify what water you do find. So, read up and practice.
The whole deal with the BOB is that you are limited to JUST WHAT'S IN THE BAG. Remember, you are going to pick this bag up and run. In it is all the tools to survive for a FINITE amount of time. So, what's in there better be important...and more importantly, you better know how to use it...or be willing to use it. A gun does you know good if you can't or won't use it. Same can be said for that field surgeon kit I bought. You better know where you are and where you are headed....which will be the subject of a future post. Until then! ... -pack.html" onclick=";return false;

What's in your Zombie Pack Part 2
Well's completed and ready to go. The last of the items that I needed have been added to the pack.

And boy, is it not so light. I am guessing it is a full 80 pounds or so. But, let's keep in mind what's in there.
-3 days of food
-4 30 round AR15 mags
-2 1911 8 round mags
-first aid kit
-field surgeon kit
-camp shovel
-big mag light
-tons of little other things.

One thing I have discovered about this is, it's one thing to make your "laundry list" of things to put in your sack, but you have very finite limits, both in size and weight. I am a strong dude and humping this thing around isn't something that I am looking foward to. And that doesn't include the 1 pound of water that will be in my camelbak.

Like I had said in my previous have to establish priorities. No matter what your priority is amoung those 3 basic groups, they will be heavy and they will take up space. So, like I had said, I firmly believe that you can only split your pack between 2 of the 3 areas....and those 2 areas may lack critical items BECAUSE you split them.

So, I recieved a TON of good questions/comments...mostly from my fellow military friends and preppers. Some of them are humerous...but I just thought I would share
Oh and keep a bible on you.. According to "The book of Eli" a bible will be worth more than gold after D-day...
Did anyone mention seeds for vegetable gardens? You can't live off of a meat only diet. Also a field guide to wild edible plants would be something that I would find very handy at a time like that. A field survival guide with tips on snares, traps, shelter, fire, etc would also be valuable
In the event of a zombie apocalypse I'd do some good drugs, watch a sunset, smoke a fine cigar, drink a Dos Equis, and get a BJ while eating cheese....And save a bullet for myself and lady friend.
Actually, I'm in Kansas.... Not even zombies want to be here. I'd be alive long after your all gone.....
All I have purchased is ammunition...kill everyone in sight (long range and close range) and take their stuff...
I got plenty of firearms and ammo. That's all I want or need.

As you can see, I have a lot of friends that are funny and some that have their own ideas. Of course, as you can see, there is a common theme to many of them.....take as many weapons and ammo as you can. I just can't surbscribe to that theory. Mostly because I have a family, I guess, and more because guns attract attention. So, if all you have are guns...and you use them a are going to attract a lot of attention. That's not a good thing. Don't get me wrong. Firearms are a big part of my plan....but I am starting to realize that, just like the 3 basics of survival, there is more to protection than firearms...sounds like a good future topic!

While I can certainly see the benefit of seeds, this is a bug out bag, not a live on bag. Seeds are deff part of my long term plan. The Bug out Bag is not. Now, I DO like the idea of the handbooks for finding and eating wild plants.

Anyway, it's ready to go...although I will prob add things here and there. And...I plan on taking it camping this fall. Just it. Gotta see what all these MREs are all about!

Will be back soon! Gotta good topic on blunt object weapons. ... art-2.html" onclick=";return false;
Last edited by the_alias on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Don't link without full content.

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Re: Best5Zach's Bug out bag

Post by Boondock » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:55 am

best5zach wrote:I am guessing it is a full 80 pounds or so.
Holy crap! :shock:

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Re: Best5Zach's Bug out bag

Post by bacpacjac » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:27 pm

80 pounds! WOW! I just got mine down to about 45 and I still want to shave some weight. I used to go super heavy like that but my back just cannot do it anymore.

I like to keep it simple so I start with the rule of threes: 3 minutes without air or medical help, 3 hours in the environment, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food. I think Protection, Rescue, Water and Food. I break that down further and group my gear into Medical/Hygiene, Shelter, Signalling, Water and Food. My personal philosophy is to include shelter as part of protection, fire as part of each sub-group. Of course, I'm a Canuckian up here in the Great White North where hypothermia is threat for all but about 6 or 7 weeks a year.

It sounds like you are making good progress towards getting your bag where you want it. I would encourage you to get it out on foot and really test it. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. Every time you use your pack, think of it as an opportunity to dial it in a little better.
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Re: Best5Zach's Bug out bag

Post by derf26 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:37 pm

I think there are lots of ways for you to cut down on weight very easily. For example,
-camp shovel
-big mag light
There's absolutely no need for a big mag light if you're already carrying a machete and a hatchet. There are only so many weapons you can actually hold at any one time. Swap it out for a small light or head lamp.

The camp shovel - unless you're going to do entrenching in a war, is this really necessary? If you need some minor digging done, you could use a sturdy stick.

Having both a hatchet and a machete... why? A machete is a jungle tool, used to cut trails through dense vegetation. A hatchet is primarily a camp tool used in cooler climates. Both can cut down saplings and split dead wood. Choose one of the two that is more appropriate to your AO, but you don't need both. You've got a lot of weight in metal that you can shave off.

You've also not specified how much your tent weighs, but here's a thought - why do you need a tent? The first tent I bought was a Hilleberg Akto. It's a great mountaineering tent. It can withstand gusts of wind up to over 80 mph. But unless I'm climbing Mt. Everest, why is that something I need? If you're intending to bug out over a major mountain range, then you might need a sturdy tent. But in virtually every other situation, a tarp, groundsheet, bivy, mat, and sleeping bag (and with some tarps you can ditch the bivy) is more than enough, and you can cut out a LOT of unnecessary weight and bulk.
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Re: Best5Zach's Bug out bag

Post by best5zach » Thu May 02, 2013 1:22 pm

Great thoughts.

I guess I have a lot of redundancy because I have a family of 5. I want to be able to arm as many of them out of 1 pack as possible.

I have my own 24 hour bag if it is just me.

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Re: Best5Zach's Bug out bag

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu May 02, 2013 1:44 pm

best5zach wrote:Great thoughts.

I guess I have a lot of redundancy because I have a family of 5. I want to be able to arm as many of them out of 1 pack as possible.

I have my own 24 hour bag if it is just me.
5 people...1 bag...The math doesn't add up. There are plenty of other options. Bare minimum, everyone can carry their own pack with the 6 B's (beans, bandaids, batteries, bivouac, BVDs, and bullets), and it may be time to realistically consider who is going to be armed and how.

On the whole, I'd ditch the maglite for a smaller light. Fenix, Streamlight, even a lowly clunky G2. Moar power for less weight.
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Re: Best5Zach's Bug out bag

Post by Exploriment » Thu May 02, 2013 8:32 pm

best5zach wrote:HOLY COW! You can spend a lot of money! Like, in the THOUSANDS! Most of the kits hover around $800. That's a lot of cheddar where I come from!

Pulling one of the AVERAGE $800 dollar kit's equipment lists, I notice that while it's a nice kit and very complete, it's actual worth is about 3/4 of what you are paying for it. Convienience fees. And, to be honest, making your own your specifications, is half the fun!
So you’ve discovered that you spent easily that much? Were you really assuming you could put together a comprehensive, quality kit for a fraction of that? That in actuality it was worth what it costs? That making your own kit, I mean really making your own kit, ie, DIY, ie MYOG, doesn't actually save you any money?

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Re: Best5Zach's Bug out bag

Post by Jungfrau » Fri May 03, 2013 3:50 pm

I can only imagine the weight of that bag, plus the amount of space taken up by five individuals food for 72 hours. I'm assuming that the 3 days worth of food was for each person. Another thing I have always considered when purchasing gear is to select the correct item the first time and save money in the long, not purchasing something cheap only to be replaced later.

The field surgeon kit is only as useful as the person utilizing it, do you have someone in your family of five that is capable? Do you have everything to goes along with surgery?

As for the tons of little other things, people will often list each item so we can see what may be missing or overly-redundant.

As noted by Derf26, I'd ditch most of that metal or if you plan to outfit members with it, have them carry said items in their packs.

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Re: Best5Zach's Bug out bag

Post by derf26 » Fri May 03, 2013 4:22 pm

Jungfrau wrote: As noted by Derf26, I'd ditch most of that metal or if you plan to outfit members with it, have them carry said items in their packs.
Better yet, get them belt holsters so that they have quick access. If you're planning on using these items for self-defense, you might not have time to dig into your pack in such a situation.

I hadn't realized the pack was meant to be good for five people. That seems like quite the undertaking. I have trouble carrying an INCH bag just for myself, never mind other people.
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Re: Best5Zach's Bug out bag

Post by JackBauer » Sat May 04, 2013 9:36 am

Cheers on getting the bag together.
Lose some of the stuff mentioned, add more water. 1 lb (1 pt) is too small amount.
Like Doc said make sure the rest of your party has their own bags and gear and split the food amoung them.
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