Theri's BCHB/BOB (crits please)

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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Theri's BCHB/BOB (crits please)

Post by therianthrope » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:11 pm

Hey all, so after getting my first elk (on my first hunt - yeah, I got spoiled) last season I foresee myself trying again, and again, and again... and yeah. I've always tried to have my gear be set-up so it is of regular, practical use - in the past, it was primarily just waiting for camping and winter road-trips. But now, further towards that end, I want to set up my BOB so that it can also be used as a Back-Country Hunting Bag (BCHB :awesome:).

My plan is that I will be able to just remove the contents of the outer pockets or a dry-bag to "convert" it from the BOB to the lighter-weight, lower demand, BCHB. Currently here is what I have (or plan to add, in a couple cases):

Eagle A-III 3-day Backpack
WATER
- 100 floz. Camelbak
- 2 x SS Bottles (25 floz. ea.)
- Lifestraw
FOOD
- Cereal Bars
- Mess-kit
- NEED: MRE, Moutain House, or similar
SHELTER
- Space Blanket
- High Dexterity Gloves (Lined)
- Extra Pair, Wool Socks
- Extra, Long Sleeved Shirt
TOOLS
- Fixed-Blade Knife
- Folding Knife (w/ 3" Saw-blade)
- Magnesium Striker
- Zippo
- Lint-tinder
- Vasoline-Cotton balls
- Flashlight
- Batteries
- NEED: Portable Solar Charger
- NEED: Two-way Radios? (Question marked because of their unreliability in complex terrain)
- Binoculars
- Paracord 100'
- E-whistle
- Signal Mirror
- Hand-towel
- Soap
- A bunch of TP wound up on a pen...
- Notepad
FIRST AID
- Some weak 30 pc. store-bought FAK (want to supplement this with trauma-oriented kit)

Much of my cold-weather hunting clothes reside in the bag when not in use - and so are a part of my BOB:
- UA long-johns
- pair of smart-wool socks and thinsulate gloves
- stocking cap
- balaclava
- water-resistant pants

The removed items that further supplement the BOB:
- Grundig Short-wave Emergency Radio
- E-tool
- Multi-tool
- Sewing Kit

The pack also has three sets of removable, adjustable straps that could secure my tent, mummy bag and sleeping pad, however I don't use them as I have a big rubbermaid tote dedicated to camping gear which holds those items (which also holds most of my family BO gear).

So, does anyone else have a similar dual-purpose set-up?

Any thoughts on what more I could/should have for either the BCHB or BOB?

Thanks for reading.

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Re: Theri's BCHB/BOB (crits please)

Post by Boondock » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:17 pm

How about some photos? It'd be a big help for a detailed critique.

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Re: Theri's BCHB/BOB (crits please)

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:43 pm

Boondock wrote:How about some photos? It'd be a big help for a detailed critique.
Yes!

Socks: double down. At least. I like smartwool, really any merino, but bring spares. Nothing worst than walking around in sweaty socks. SRS BSNS. Pack socks.

I'd nix one of the bottles and swap for a lighter plastic (nalgene, etc) to save weight. Maybe consider a nalgene with a nested steel cup to lighten your mess kit up.

POG bait. Skittles and gummy bears are my jam. IF you have to walk a few clicks and it's shitty, popping a couple in your mouth to keep it moist is awesome.

Personally, swap the zippo for a bic, or at least throw a minibic in there.

Good kit all in all.
Opinions subject to change in light of new information.
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Re: Theri's BCHB/BOB (crits please)

Post by Murph » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:02 pm

Frankly, I don't think you'll be able to carry out much meat with a Eagle A-III.

With a focus on hunting, think about what you'd need to accomplish the following:
- Finding Game
- Shooting Game
- Processing Game
- Hauling Out Meat
- Food & Water
- Emergencies (Survival Kit & Med Kit)
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
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Re: Theri's BCHB/BOB (crits please)

Post by therianthrope » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:45 pm

I'll work on the pics, I balked at posting without 'em in the first place. I know everyone likes a show and tell.
Doctorr Fabulous wrote: Socks: double down. At least. I like smartwool, really any merino, but bring spares. Nothing worst than walking around in sweaty socks. SRS BSNS. Pack socks.

I'd nix one of the bottles and swap for a lighter plastic (nalgene, etc) to save weight. Maybe consider a nalgene with a nested steel cup to lighten your mess kit up.

POG bait. Skittles and gummy bears are my jam. IF you have to walk a few clicks and it's shitty, popping a couple in your mouth to keep it moist is awesome.

Personally, swap the zippo for a bic, or at least throw a minibic in there.

Good kit all in all.
Yeah, I considered more extra clothing. For the BCHB I'll also have my luggage back at base-camp, so I'm hesitant to put a bunch of stuff in there that's just gonna make it harder to find what I will need. For the BOB configuration, on winter road-trips I usually do double up on socks (and pants and shirts and gloves). If I doubled up on any extras though for the hunt, you're absolutely right that socks are it.

Regarding the water-bottle, my little stainless actually weighs about the same (actually slightly less) than a nalgene (and yes, carries 7 floz. less) - but so once it's full of water, I do have less weight with the 2 SS than with 1 SS and a nalgene. I hydrate a lot, so I like having a lot of water, but with the 3L on my back the SS are largely for back-up and washing and then boiling capabilities if all potable water is exhausted. However pairing a nalgene with a nesting cup is a good idea, I'll have to look into it.

I actually had hard-candy in my BOB until I started thinking about this hunting config., my concerns are about it getting wet and gumming up the pack or pockets. But I will have a dry-bag so sticking it in there seems reasonable, however less convenient. Of course there's always air tight packaged POG too, I suppose.

I started moving towards Zippos in my kit a while ago for the re-fillable (plus diversity of fuels) aspect, but I recognize the long-term storage appeal of bics. I use the bics in my EDC and still wrestle with which I prefer.

Thanks for the input, Dr. Fab!
Murph wrote:Frankly, I don't think you'll be able to carry out much meat with a Eagle A-III.

With a focus on hunting, think about what you'd need to accomplish the following:
- Finding Game
- Shooting Game
- Processing Game
- Hauling Out Meat
- Food & Water
- Emergencies (Survival Kit & Med Kit)
99% of the time, I'm not packing out meat. I'm just cleaning it, and getting in touch with base camp at which point a couple more guys and a four-wheeler are on their way. If it's a topographical situation where I am gonna pack it out, I'm probably not gonna shoot it. J/K, but if it is, I'm still getting a hold of base-camp and they're bringing out the tarps and packs. This bag is just to carry what I need to keep me alive for a night or two if the worst happens (lost, injured, etc.), I would never put meat in it.

Finding the game requires no gear or kit that I'm aware of (besides the binoculars which I've already listed), it's knowledge of your game, your terrain and the transport to get you around. What exactly do you think I should have to halp me find game?

For shooting the game, I have my 7.62 slung over my back, and maybe 6 - 10 rounds (3 of which will be in the tube) in my coat. None of it in my pack. What are you envisioning I need in my pack?

I won't be processing any big game in the field, just cleaning. And I can clean an elk with just a sturdy knife. In fact that's exactly what I did with my first elk, my partner had the saw and I thought we were gonna be within in sight or sound distance, and when he wasn't despite being just over the ridge, I used my Winchester Buck to hack the pelvis bone in two so I could fully get the intestine's out. Ended up with a few scrapes on the knuckles and bone-flakes in my hair, but it worked. And next time, as noted in my OP, I'll have my folder with the saw.

I have Food & Water and Emergency elements outlined. Is there something specific you feel I'm missing?

Did you read my OP, at all? Have you ever been big-game hunting? Those are great talking points but there's nothing of substance to your crit.

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Re: Theri's BCHB/BOB (crits please)

Post by Murph » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:16 pm

therianthrope wrote:
Murph wrote:Frankly, I don't think you'll be able to carry out much meat with a Eagle A-III.

With a focus on hunting, think about what you'd need to accomplish the following:
- Finding Game
- Shooting Game
- Processing Game
- Hauling Out Meat
- Food & Water
- Emergencies (Survival Kit & Med Kit)
99% of the time, I'm not packing out meat. I'm just cleaning it, and getting in touch with base camp at which point a couple more guys and a four-wheeler are on their way. If it's a topographical situation where I am gonna pack it out, I'm probably not gonna shoot it. J/K, but if it is, I'm still getting a hold of base-camp and they're bringing out the tarps and packs. This bag is just to carry what I need to keep me alive for a night or two if the worst happens (lost, injured, etc.), I would never put meat in it.

Finding the game requires no gear or kit that I'm aware of (besides the binoculars which I've already listed), it's knowledge of your game, your terrain and the transport to get you around. What exactly do you think I should have to halp me find game?

For shooting the game, I have my 7.62 slung over my back, and maybe 6 - 10 rounds (3 of which will be in the tube) in my coat. None of it in my pack. What are you envisioning I need in my pack?

I won't be processing any big game in the field, just cleaning. And I can clean an elk with just a sturdy knife. In fact that's exactly what I did with my first elk, my partner had the saw and I thought we were gonna be within in sight or sound distance, and when he wasn't despite being just over the ridge, I used my Winchester Buck to hack the pelvis bone in two so I could fully get the intestine's out. Ended up with a few scrapes on the knuckles and bone-flakes in my hair, but it worked. And next time, as noted in my OP, I'll have my folder with the saw.

I have Food & Water and Emergency elements outlined. Is there something specific you feel I'm missing?

Did you read my OP, at all? Have you ever been big-game hunting? Those are great talking points but there's nothing of substance to your crit.
Sure, I read the OP, you didn't mention anything about having 4 wheelers to haul things out with. When I hear "Backcountry" I think of having to hike everything both in and out.
As for all the categories I left them generic for a reason. I didn't want to advise anyone that they need a specific list of gear. Circumstances and location dictates gear.

"Finding" some people stalk, others lure with calls and scent. So there might be equipment need bring for that.
"Shooting" there are options like ground blinds, shooting sticks, climbing tree stands.
"Processing" to do completely do this in the field, there are some considerations, but doesn't require a lot of gear.
"Hauling" again, it's a little different without something / someone to help haul the entire carcass out with.

As for the rest I mentioned, I personally care a minimal amount of survivally stuff. Getting stuck out overnight won't be fun, but I've got enough stuff to manage. In fact, so little stuff I carry it either in my jacket or on my belt. Am I advocating that? Not necessarily, everyone has to make those choices for themselves.

Food for thought.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Theri's BCHB/BOB (crits please)

Post by angelofwar » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:53 pm

Not bad...what stood out to me right off the bat:

-A small stove and pot will be needed for the mountainhouse...like doc fab said, swap one of the SS's for a Nalgene and wide mouth SS cup? Maybe an Esbit stove?
-Shelter: I'd add at least a tarp...either a light weight camping tarp (brighlty colored) or the SOL surivial tarp...eaither way, I'd go for a bright one (blaze orange???), so you can be seen from a distance, and the air. Use it to make a small shelter if needed to keep the rain off. Oh, and for the weight, a 1-2 black lawn trash bags could come in handy.
-Headlamp...nothing makes a survival situation worse, than not being able to use both yer hands to do something at night.
-Lightweight set of rain gear (or even an emergency ponco).
-Waterproof pack cover
-Polypro...I'm guessing from your location, there's sparse trees??? Either way, with little fire material to heat up, if you get wet, polypropolene will save your ass!!! Grab a set of pants and a shirt.

That's all I can think of for now. Pretty decent start though...oh, and welcome to ZS!
Last edited by angelofwar on Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Theri's BCHB/BOB (crits please)

Post by Dragon80 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:24 pm

If you want to save weight on water containers, Nalgene's are about the worst option. Grab a 1L water bottle from the store unless you're super worried about BPA's, they're far lighter than any other option on the market. Coming in second are the Platypus soft bottles. I'd add more water filtration or purification, maybe add some purification tablets and a Sawyer Mini which is way more practical and smaller than a lifestraw.

If you're looking for a solar charger for things that are small like a cell phone, Instapark Mercury 10watt is an excellent choice.

On two-way radios, maybe look into the Baofeng UV-5R's and get a Nagoya 771 SMA-F Antenna off of amazon.com. This radio can act in place of the two-way, gets FM, and also is capable of picking up the NOAA channels for emergency weather reports.

Look at baby wipes instead of TP. They can be used to wipe or as an antibacterial to clean your hands or to bathe with.
BOB also used for backpacking
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=114606

GHB dedicated thread in need of serious updating!!!
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=112108

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Re: Theri's BCHB/BOB (crits please)

Post by therianthrope » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:18 pm

Murph wrote: As for all the categories I left them generic for a reason. I didn't want to advise anyone that they need a specific list of gear. Circumstances and location dictates gear.

"Finding" some people stalk, others lure with calls and scent. So there might be equipment need bring for that.
"Shooting" there are options like ground blinds, shooting sticks, climbing tree stands.
You don't have to "advise a specific list" (infact I'm probably more interested in paring down the BCHB, so tell me about how you live off of your belt or out of your pockets - especially as that applies to 8000+ ft elevation in late fall), the point of a critique (of anything) is to posit your specific constructive thoughts though. You basically just said, "well, think about what you're doing", which frankly is not only not constructive as it's so general, it's insulting as it implies you think the person hasn't. Many others have managed to give specific helpful insights and it seems you can too when you get over yourself for a minute.

Regarding calls and scent, I've never called, maybe someday I'll be good enough to but not after my first season, and I hunt rifle (for now) so the season is too late for scent lures to be very productive - you're better off just going to spots between where they go to water/eat and where they sleep. Scent-proofing gear sure, but that's pre-treatment at basecamp, not field, not in the pack.

The land we hunt has a lot of blinds already constructed throughout it at points with ideal vantage points, so I don't need to carry anything for that, the ladder stands are few (and in spots geared towards deer) so I don't even wear a harness for those and I wouldn't carry one in my pack. A shooting stick isn't a bad idea, I've never used one, but I could definitely see it being useful when a prone position isn't an option. I'll have to look into light-weight options.
angelofwar wrote:Not bad...what stood out to me right off the bat:
-A small stove and pot will be needed for the mountainhouse...like doc fab said, swap one of the SS's for a Nalgene and wide mouth SS cup? Maybe an Esbit stove?
-Shelter: I'd add at least a tarp...either a light weight camping tarp (brighlty colored) or the SOL surivial tarp...eaither way, I'd go for a bright one (blaze orange???), so you can be seen from a distance, and the air. Use it to make a small shelter if needed to keep the rain off. Oh, and for the weight, a 1-2 black lawn trash bags could come in handy.
-Headlamp...nothing makes a survival situation worse, than not being able to use both yer hands to do something at night.
-Lightweight set of rain gear (or even an emergency ponco).
-Waterproof pack cover
-Polypro...I'm guessing from your location, there's sparse trees??? Either way, with little fire material to heat up, if you get wet, polypropolene will save your ass!!! Grab a set of pants and a shirt.
Good call on the stove. I have a little folding grill that I use, but that stays with camping gear. I have been drooling over the bio-fuel stoves I've seen around, I'll have to shop around my options.

I don't know that I'll manage a full on tarp, my space blanket is blaze orange on the outside, but some way to keep rain off is missing. I have a pretty lightweight poncho (w/ removable liner) that I could throw in there... I'd probably have to stowe the liner elsewhere though as it's quite bulky.

I think I will replace the flashlight with my headlamp. It usually resides in my camping tote, but I take my BOB with me on camping trips so I'll just switch their spots and have the hands-free option in the bag.

Water-proofing the pack will probably have to be left to sprays and double-duty for the poncho or trashbag if I go that route. However I do have a good set of rain pants and jacket in my camping tote, not sure about moving it to the BOB (mainly because in anything but an unlikely foot-BO I'll be loading up the camping tote too). They're not heavy, just bulky and the poncho does a pretty good job of keeping the rain off my body as it hangs low.

Thanks, AoW!
Dragon80 wrote:If you want to save weight on water containers, Nalgene's are about the worst option. Grab a 1L water bottle from the store unless you're super worried about BPA's, they're far lighter than any other option on the market. Coming in second are the Platypus soft bottles. I'd add more water filtration or purification, maybe add some purification tablets and a Sawyer Mini which is way more practical and smaller than a lifestraw.

If you're looking for a solar charger for things that are small like a cell phone, Instapark Mercury 10watt is an excellent choice.

On two-way radios, maybe look into the Baofeng UV-5R's and get a Nagoya 771 SMA-F Antenna off of amazon.com. This radio can act in place of the two-way, gets FM, and also is capable of picking up the NOAA channels for emergency weather reports.

Look at baby wipes instead of TP. They can be used to wipe or as an antibacterial to clean your hands or to bathe with.
I'm pretty comfortable with my water situation, I like the durability/functionality of the SS bottles and the capacity is taken care of by the camelbak. But what I liked about the nalgene option is 1.) they are quite adaptable with the various lids you can buy and 2.) the nesting cup, I'm not really counting grams. I stopped using the tablets due to the expiration thing, year after year just throwing away packs I decided there's more cost-effective options (for me it's just having redundant boiling capability - SS bottles, mess kit, redundant and strong fire options). The Sawyer Mini looks like a good product, I got the Lifestraw as a gift and I like it quite a lot, but I'll have to keep an eye out for the Mini - although if I'm getting a new filter/purifier it will probably be a pump system.

Thanks for the Instapark recommendation, that's one I hadn't looked at. I've been researching these quite a bit (on ZS and the internet at large) and am still determining what exactly my needs are. I think it's mainly AAA, AA, and USB compatibility - which most everything has options for nowadays - so next is bulk and durability, and frankly I've felt kind of paralyzed by all the choices...

Does the Baofeng handle terrain any better than a "traditional" two-way? This is something I have very little practical knowledge of, but from stories and reviews it seems like most people are disappointed by performance and recommend just texting if it's an option. Even then I think I'd still like something though for flat-land and redundant communication options... (TOYZ!!)

I'd have to test the wipes, I feel like you'd go through a pack pretty darn quick... the ichor of a field-dressing can be quite extensive (literally elbows deep in the body cavity) so I have a feeling the soap and towel is a must, and then would I be gaining over just TP. Also I'm not big on the anti-bacterial gels, wipes or soap etc. gotta keep that immuno-system in fighting shape! :crazy:

Thanks, Dragon

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