Getting items for your BOB for free

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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meanstreak
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Getting items for your BOB for free

Post by meanstreak » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:57 am

I didn't see a thread on this, and I apologize in advance if there is one (I'm new here :roll: ). I just wanted to get other folks ideas on where to get some of the basic supplies for their BOBs for free. I don't mean items like sleeping bags, knives, etc. nor do I condone stealing.

I mean other small useful items that can be used for sanitation or first aid.

While a small item, I generally pick up extra packaged hand wipes when we eat at our favorite wing place or salt and pepper packets from McDonalds.

What else do we take for granted in our normal every day existence that we could acquire at no charge that would be useful in our BOBs?

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Post by thorian » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:34 am

tobasco packets from quick trip. Like ketchup packets but hot sauce goodness.
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Post by bobbomatic » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:04 am

If you know anyone who works in a hospital I'm sure they could bring you rubber gloves and some other medical supplies.
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Post by PlatonicPimp » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:16 am

I've got sugar packets from the bar in my EDC. I'd also toss in a fewpre-wrapped mints.

I carry my plastic cards in a mint tin I got from a co-worker.

And of course, there's the wealth of valuable things that make up trash. You never know what you'll find in the trash.
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Post by pickledkraut » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:35 am

my wife is a vet. , she brings home FAK odds and ends all the time.

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Post by DrGonzo » Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:52 pm

Those plasic fake credit cards you get in the mail, or used giftcards. Wrap 15-20 ft of duct tape around them for your car or BOB, or cut notches in them and wrap fishing line and thread for sewing kits and fishing tackle. It's all about maximizing your space and weight.
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Post by meanstreak » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:53 pm

You can also get free matchbooks from bars or nicer restaurants.

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Post by ninja-elbow » Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:09 pm

My office has coffee, tea, cup-o-soups, etc. Now, I don't take a whole bunch, but I do have a stock of sugar packets, powdered creamer packets, cup-o-soups, hot cocoa and tea bags. All of which were getting thrown away (as they do every 6-8 weeks).

Ketchup and hot sauce packets for me too. I get those at the 7-11 when I get a hot dog or something. I'll grab an extra or 2.

Altoids (or any mints) tins. All over the place, I just ask around the office when I need one.

Last doctor visit I had (a few months ago) I asked the nurse if I could have some of the latex gloves - she said I could take some. I also got some wooden tongue-depressers.
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Post by Ricky Romero » Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:01 pm

Yeah, nurses will totally hook you up. I know 'cause I am one. :wink:

Mostly my free stuff has to do with food. Little packs of lemon juice, Tapatio hot sauce, peanut butter, jelly, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, Mrs. Dash, etc. Let's just say I'm condiment packet obsessed. I'm always on the lookout for a new kind of packet I don't have or one that I've run out of.

Other ideas include:
Hotel soaps and other toiletries
Individually wrapped cutlery (I'm thinking Wendy's)
Andes or pinwheel after-dinner mints
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Post by OFCJAX » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:06 pm

I love free stuff so I'll give you some of my tales.
ITW, the company that makes Fastex buckles will send you free samples. Pick what you want from here:
http://www.itwnexus.com/catalog.html
Requesting info from the Army will net you some free gear. Granted they'll bug the shit outa you later.
then there's good ol' Google.
Just type in free stuff and see what you can get.
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Post by Ashemaru » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:06 pm

My neighbor was in the army, and somehow hooked his friends up with a case or two of MREs 8) .
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Post by Blacksh33p » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:03 pm

My aunt's a nurse. She gives me all sorts of stuff from where she works and various events she attends. Otherwise, I've got ketchup, salt, pepper, and sugar in my BoB, courtesy of a McDonalds that screwed my order up.

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Post by Rooster » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:10 pm

I don't feel like such a Scrooge McDuck anymore :) . When I stay at a hotel I take all the complemetary items including the plastic cups and coffee filters.

At work I'm well known as a scrounger. When one of our drivers quits or gets canned, 9 out of 10 times they are in a pissy mood and take only clothes and electronics out the rig. If they intentionally abandon the stuff, it's fair game. It has to get cleaned and prepped for a new guy anyway, so I hit 'em up before the wash boys clean them. I take all the dry good groceries (only if it's in the original package, unopened, and unexpired), flashlights, maps, and loose change- I even flip the matress. I usually only find a dollar or two but once in a while you hit paydirt. The best find was $56 in quarters scattered under the bunk.

Between that, fast food condiment packets galore, and the break room at work, it supplements the grocery budget.
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Post by DrGonzo » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:43 pm

So we all know where to find condiments. When the world ends, I'll be set for ketchup.

You want free stuff? Go to http://www.craigslist.org.
Click on your city, then the FREE link under FOR SALE. You'd be amazed what people in your area want to get rid of.
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Post by Glockmeister » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:30 pm

Just ordered some of those sample buckles,...seems pretty painless....now for more free stuff!!! :)
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Post by SuFiPirate » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:32 pm

Not sure how legit this is, but looks like something ZSers will be interested in

http://www.totallyfreestuff.com/index.asp?ID=7171
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Post by meanstreak » Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:27 am

My doctor has in the past provided sample prescription medicines to try out. I think if I asked for allergy related items he would likely give me some.

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Post by DrthTater » Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:37 am

http://www.spoofee.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=6

I love this site. All kinds of free stuff.

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Post by DFWMTX » Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:56 am

I have a habit of swiping a few sets of latex gloves from the dentist or doctor's office when I go.

And I keep napkins from fast food places. There's lots of uses for napkins.
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Post by PlatonicPimp » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:11 am

Don't forget to drive around onf big trash day. My mother used to make a living by fixing up and selling things people threw out.

At work I take home anything from the samples library that is getting tossed. I don't even know wha tto do with most of it, but my best take so far has been a largish peice of metal roofing that will either become part of a rain-gatherer or the bed of a bike trailer.

I think a lot of people buy a bunch of camping gear at some point, and then never use it. Your friends, family and neighbors might be getting rid of it. Jamoni here, for instance, was getting rid of a 3 speed bike a month ago, and I snagged that up. It's a sweet ride. A little bit later, I had a few extra wool blankets, and sent one his way.

Around here, there's a restaurant called Lions choice, which has "au jus" at it's condiment table. This is essentially onion soup. I've walked in with my mug more than once and gotten myself a free cup of soup.

What really bugs me, though, is the policy that big box stores like target and walmart have. All damaged goods must be destroyed in the compactor, even if they are prefectly reusable. If they can't sell it, they don't want anyone to have it, so I saw hundreds of perfectly serviceable items purposefully destroyed during my stint.
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Post by Ricky Romero » Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:24 pm

That compacting policy varies regionally. The Wal-Mart in the town I used to live in in Iowa (Ottumwa) just had an open dumpster. I got all kinds of good things out of it. Camp chairs, sports bottles, socks, Halloween candy, arts and crafts supplies, you name it.

Dumpster diving, while unsavory to some, is not as disgusting as it sounds. Just know your local laws so you don't get hassled, avoid kitchen-type trash (restaurants and residences), and don't dig too deep. Follow your nose. If it stinks, don't eat it; if it's stuck, just leave it.

Dumpster diving is not only economically a good idea, it's good for the environment.
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Post by DrGonzo » Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:34 pm

That compacting policy varies regionally. The Wal-Mart in the town I used to live in in Iowa (Ottumwa) just had an open dumpster. I got all kinds of good things out of it. Camp chairs, sports bottles, socks, Halloween candy, arts and crafts supplies, you name it.
Dude, remind me to never go trick or treating at YOUR house!
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Post by meanstreak » Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:46 pm

Quote:
That compacting policy varies regionally. The Wal-Mart in the town I used to live in in Iowa (Ottumwa) just had an open dumpster. I got all kinds of good things out of it. Camp chairs, sports bottles, socks, Halloween candy, arts and crafts supplies, you name it.


Dude, remind me to never go trick or treating at YOUR house!
LOL :lol:
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Post by Ricky Romero » Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:05 pm

It was all individually wrapped, but the outer bag was slashed with a box cutter, so they just threw it out. It was right on top. And I didn't give any to those snot-nosed heathens in my neighborhood. Those dumpster goodies were all for me.
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