City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

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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City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by SteelToedGirl » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:16 am

Lets face it, a lot of us live in city or city like areas that aren't exactly the best to be around when SHTF worldwide (or even just country wide). Also, unfortunately, people are stupid and when SHTF (Either Zed style, or otherwise) those inside the cities will be subject to mass hysteria and people going trigger happy.

In those situations, a car wont get you very far. There will be people crashing into each other from panic, major roads out of a city clogged by people rushing to get out (even though they don't even know where they're going to) and possibly even people trying to gain access to your car through means of force.

So I'm wondering if anyone here considered an addition to their BOBs to get them safely out of the city and to a private location where they can asses the damage done from a far distance on a nice grassy knoll? Depending on how fast you get out of a city, you could be walking quite a while. Unless you became a looter and stole someone's car once you got out of the congested area. In that case, shame.

Or even separate bags for city bugging until all the stupid people either die or you've decided they're just going to harmlessly run around the same block like a chicken with its head cut off. I know most of it will be the same, because survival is just survival, but I was just wondering if anyone considered this option and made appropriate measures to be safe and prepared while in a city.
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by Gatorfarmer » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:23 am

You'll see silcock keys in more than a few bags meant for urban use, as well as our old friend the pry bar and variants there of.

Knee and elbow pads would also be useful - earthquakes and the like tend to generate rubble that one might have to move around or deal with. Dust masks, shemaghs (useful for all sorts of things) and gas masks for use where riot control agents might be prevalent also can be found in some folk's gear.

There's also many people who have tactical gear that seems tailored for a city environment (rifle plates/tac armor, etc).

As always the exact composition of a bag depends on where someone lives, what they plan on doing, where they plan to go, and what unfortunate circumstances that they anticipate.

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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by SteelToedGirl » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:34 am

*stare*

I love getting exactly what I'm looking for in the first reply! It makes my job of checking this thread a whole lot easier!

^.^ I love this place.

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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by Pansy » Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:11 am

In an earthquake situation a hard hat or helmet may be useful (in addition to what Gatorfarmer mentioned). As always one of the most important considerations when evacuating a city is having alternate exit routes.

The most unrealistic advice I can give is: Don't be in a city when a disaster happens! :)
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by SteelToedGirl » Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:20 am

Great advice. I'm going to pick up and move to wilderness Canada right now to breed moose.

Actually... that sounds better than paying for education for a major I've never studied before...

*considers*

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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by nacho » Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:44 am

In my "urban vehicle" (civic) I have a plain old Jansport bag with a change of clothes, tools, etc. This bag serves two purposes, one as an overnight bag so I can crash at a friends house / work and have clean clothes and a toothbrush, and the second as a GHB.

A few nights a week I work in West Hollywood, about 25 miles from where I live. I have come to the realization if I am out there when "the big one" hits:
A) I will probably have to abandon my vehicle.
B) I don't want to stay in WeHo any longer then to gather info and asses my situation,

My plan is to gather info through broadcast and amateur radio, then at the crack of dawn become the grey man and trek back to the burbs where I plan to bug in.

However if I am at home / not in LA I usually have my Jeep which has more wilderness type survival tools, and another bag with emergency response / survival gear in it. Once I am home I am more of a bug in man, weather it be at my apartment, then at my folks place, or at a couple other BOL within a few miles of my home.
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by quazi » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:13 am

A traffic jam or carjacking might very well force a person to abandon their car when bugging out from a major city. A bicycle might be very useful to have on or in the vehicle when evacuating, but it also might make the person an even bigger target.

If I lived in a big city and could afford it, I would rent a small self-storage unit on the outskirts of the city. In it I would have a BOB and a bicycle. In my car I would have another BOB (which I don't imagine would be much different than a rural one, maybe more pandemic preps). I would also have an E&E/GHB that I would keep very close. I'd want the bag to be small and not draw attention to myself or give people the impression I have something worth taking. Either a small civilian daypack or a messenger bag (a fanny pack would also work, but I hate them). If I were forced to abandon my car due to a traffic jam and the people around me seemed panicky, I would probably just grab my E&E/GHB, not my BOB. If I was carjacked, I probably wouldn't be able to grab anything but what was on my person or right next to me, not a large BOB in the back seat or trunk. After abandoning or being forced from my vehicle I would try to get to the storage unit.

There are companies that make harnesses designed to be concealed under an overshirt. Something like this might be handy:
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Concealable body armor also seems like a good idea.

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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by phil_in_cs » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:12 am

Many people have pointed out if you have on an orange or yellow safety vest and are carrying a clipboard, you can go anywhere in a city without getting a second look.

Knowing many alternate routes is vital. See if you can find an online map of crime stats, and make sure your alternate route isn't going through a bad area.

In the first post, you mentioned buttoning up for a while to let the worst of the problems pass. I strongly recommend that. Do you have a location to bug out to? If not, then you are just setting out for the wilds and hoping for the best. A secure-able location with food and water in a city you know is much better than being on the run by yourself.
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by goblin » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:45 am

Many people here prepare for an Urban SHTF! Some concentrate on going mobile and staying in different places every night,while others count on going to a hidey hole in the subway or someplace like that and wait for things to shake out. Still others lay in stuff to harden and defend their apts or condos. It all depends on what makes you feel the safest!!!
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by Arch » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:50 am

SteelToedGirl wrote:Lets face it, a lot of us live in city or city like areas that aren't exactly the best to be around when SHTF worldwide (or even just country wide). Also, unfortunately, people are stupid and when SHTF (Either Zed style, or otherwise) those inside the cities will be subject to mass hysteria and people going trigger happy.

In those situations, a car wont get you very far. There will be people crashing into each other from panic, major roads out of a city clogged by people rushing to get out (even though they don't even know where they're going to) and possibly even people trying to gain access to your car through means of force.

So I'm wondering if anyone here considered an addition to their BOBs to get them safely out of the city and to a private location where they can asses the damage done from a far distance on a nice grassy knoll? Depending on how fast you get out of a city, you could be walking quite a while. Unless you became a looter and stole someone's car once you got out of the congested area. In that case, shame.

Or even separate bags for city bugging until all the stupid people either die or you've decided they're just going to harmlessly run around the same block like a chicken with its head cut off. I know most of it will be the same, because survival is just survival, but I was just wondering if anyone considered this option and made appropriate measures to be safe and prepared while in a city.
Mountain Bike.

Ever see the movie Independence Day? The computer geek character is riding his vintage 10 speed through the otherwise crowded streets without much difficulty.

Otherwise - I don't think your appearance is going to be a big factor in the pandemonium. I think LE will be overwhelmed with trying to keep basic civic order. However, after the initial over-reaction by the under-prepared your appearance will become a factor. After all, we can't have self reliant people wandering around in the United States.

Thus:
* Mountain Bike
* Utility Coveralls (like those worn by your local civic utility service providers)
* Hard Hat (falling debris - and complete the ensemble)
* Knowledge of lesser traveled routes (avoid the congestion by going a direction people most likely won't go)
* BOB
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by Bluito23 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:36 am

I would Bug-In, until that is no longer an option.

Depending on the situation, when it is safer to do so, bug out. The biggest problem is going through road blocks, both official and illegal.

It also depends on the time of year, and location of your particular city. If you live up North during winter, stay home, summer time in Florida gets awful hot.

I am very close to the Everglades, so if I had to, I can hoof it and march in. I could use the levee system to get me closer to US 27 if I had to, or head north to Palm Beach County, and use back country roads to head West then North.

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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by ironraven » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:56 pm

Gatorfarmer wrote:You'll see silcock keys in more than a few bags meant for urban use
Dude, I carry that for the countryside. Plenty of camps, farms and the like have those on their outside faucets and their stock watering pools.

I'd also say that a UBOB should have safety glasses, sturdy boots, and an induction current detector (the safe, happy way to find out if a wire is dead or just playing possum). If you take the highway normally, or mass transit, compass and maps- road maps, subway maps if you have one, even maps with things like the electrical substations marked (stay away, there might be all kinds of fun there) and a copy of a topo map. Since a great many cityfolk (no offense to anyone) wear city clothes, a change of clothes might be a good idea- an old pair of utilities or a pair of Carhartts, tshirt, and work shirt make a lot more sense than Brooks Brothers, and it will be your one chance to pull a superman and change in a phonebooth without being arrested. :lol:

If you normally wear darker clothing, a visibility vest is a GOOD THING, or you'll be street pizza on the hoof.

Ear plugs. Not only do they keep sound out, but they also keep dust and other shit out.

And cash. Not big bills. Say a roll of quarters wrapped in five 20s, 5 10s, and at least ten 1s.
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by MR2 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:32 pm

So what would your BOB look like if you are an urbanite. You don't have the advantage of going to the seclution of woods and forest. From where I am located I am surrounded by many communities. Unfortunate I will be staying put because of family medical situations.
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by Gatorfarmer » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:40 pm

I wouldn't get too depressed about being in a city. Cities tend to be hard to kill and also aren't (historically) necessarily a bad place to be when the SHTF. If you look at countries where people are already living an existence that most Americans would consider post apocalyptic, one thing that you commonly find is people coming in from the country side to the cities, even if it means living in shanty towns. Meanwhile, places like Rome and London have been where they are, and continued to be functional cities, inspite of truly terrible wars, plagues, invasions, natural disasters, fires, etc. It all depends what happens and what you expect to have to survive. (Even if the barbarian armies come, one might be better off in a city compared to having them show up at your homestead...)
ironraven wrote:
Gatorfarmer wrote:You'll see silcock keys in more than a few bags meant for urban use
Dude, I carry that for the countryside. Plenty of camps, farms and the like have those on their outside faucets and their stock watering pools.

Thanks. I've been in cities for the most part since '98 and didn't stop to think that folks in the country side would likely have their faucets set up the same way.

"So what would your BOB look like if you are an urbanite. You don't have the advantage of going to the seclution of woods and forest. From where I am located I am surrounded by many communities. Unfortunate I will be staying put because of family medical situations."

Same basic principles as any BUG - food, water, shelter, signals/commo. Just some things might take a different form. As mentioned, an emphasis on safety equipment in case of dust and debris as well as the option of being seen (or conversely not being seen) may be a good idea. If legal in your area, and you're interested in such, you may also want to consider a firearm, the more so if you're worried about a slow burn decline.

One thing that I'd personally do is get a General Ecology purifier instead of a filter. Back around the Y2K thing, when we hashed out what might be useful in a city, there was a consensus of sorts that one might do better with contaminated city water than hiking type filters.

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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by the_klenzer » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:11 am

I live in the downtown core of a major city and my plan is to stay put unless it gets really bad. There's no escape route out of the city that doesn't cross a bridge/major choke point, but I do live right on the water so my escape route is by "borrowed" boat or inflatable kayak. Otherwise I'd be doomed.
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by mpi » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:17 am

I've been preaching the joys of the silcock key for years!

I have yet to see anything here i would rule out, and some damn good ideas too!
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by Gatorfarmer » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:24 am

the_klenzer wrote:I live in the downtown core of a major city and my plan is to stay put unless it gets really bad. There's no escape route out of the city that doesn't cross a bridge/major choke point, but I do live right on the water so my escape route is by "borrowed" boat or inflatable kayak. Otherwise I'd be doomed.
You really ought see about getting your own boat/kayak/what not. Aside from the usual moral issues about "borrowing" things, other people are likely to have the same idea and have already "borrowed" the available supply. Plus running a small water craft is a skill that is best not picked up on the fly. Failing that, you might want to learn to make a raft and gather necessary expedient ingredients now if that is something that you might want to try. Or even make friends with someone who has a boat.

Just something to consider if you wish to include a water option in your contigency planning.

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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by knight_308 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:47 am

ironraven wrote:Ear plugs. Not only do they keep sound out, but they also keep dust and other shit out.
I disagree. In a survival situation you need all of your senses. Throw them in if you know you need them, but I wouldn't be wearing them just to keep the dust out. I don't want to get snuck up on and whacked from behind when I could've heard them coming.
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by broylz » Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:16 am

ive never heard of the sillcock keys until now. that makes a lot of sense. is this something that can be sourced at most hardware stores?

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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by SteelToedGirl » Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:22 am

knight_308 wrote:
ironraven wrote:Ear plugs. Not only do they keep sound out, but they also keep dust and other shit out.
I disagree. In a survival situation you need all of your senses. Throw them in if you know you need them, but I wouldn't be wearing them just to keep the dust out. I don't want to get snuck up on and whacked from behind when I could've heard them coming.
If its a simple natural disaster like an earthquake, I could see how ear plugs could be beneficial. People will be too worried about their own assets to really care about yours so much. Plus, having damaged ears because of loud things crashing around you or lots of dust getting lodged inside could be a lot worse than just having one sense down.

In case of ZPAW, I wouldn't go for the ear plugs though.
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by ChewyBrains McZombie » Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:17 am

Earthquakes are a big issue where I am at. If I had to leave after a big one, that means the roads are probably not going to be driveable. Either from being damaged or from too many cars trying to get out. I bought my self a Honda XR650L, a street legal dirt bike, a while back so that I could "off road" it when needed. My BOB still contains a lot of stuff to rough it, even though I would have to drive almost 50 miles before I hit the wilderness and about 100 miles the other way to hit the desert. So I could make it to an area to camp, but I also would use it in case I needed to sleep in an urban area but didn't want to be indoors or couldn't be. I keep my motorcycle in my shed in the backyard when I'm not riding it.
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by by-the-throat » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:11 am

I'd also like to add to the fine lists proposed above a couple of items.

A detailed city map - your favorite routes around the city, the ones you use every day and have memorized, may be compromised forcing you to reroute often. A portable GPS can also be a help here, with appropriate recharging devices etc. A friend of mine lives in chicago and his bugout route has approximately 2 billion contingencies.

As many ID cards as possible - This should already be in your bag or on your wallet anyway, but I feel it deserves mentioning due to the possibility of government quarantine or extremely tight police lockdowns or something. When you need to prove you are an American citizen in good standing, you need to do it NOW. A lot of members keep digital copies on USB units and the like, but IMHO that won't do you any good when a pissed off riot cop is demanding to see your papers before he'll let you into the shelter.

Dust/Filtration mask - Earthquakes and other building collapsing events such as 9/11 produce a lot of brick dust. You don't want to breathe that shit in all day. I'll also +1 the eye protection and knee/elbow pads. Fallen buildings create a lot of unsafe rubble, to say nothing of smoke from riot fires.

Your basic toolkit is slightly different for the urban bugout rather than the rural one. You won't need a machete since you won't be hacking underbrush, but a pair of bolt cutters or a prybar can greatly increase the places you can get entry to, while following all relevant laws of course. I also think a chain and padlock are a good idea, to secure your bike or to to secure a fence/door behind you in the event of pursuit.

Extra water storage - If the water goes out completely, as it almost surely would in a major earthquake, you are going to need extra water. Reliable, natural and safe water sources are rare in urban areas.

There are a couple of other urban bugout tips I'd like to give you that have less to do with stuff you can buy and more to do with stuff you should learn.

It is a good idea to learn what major gangs are active in your city. In a disaster, they will be the first to fly off the handle. Learn to recognise gang graffiti, clothing, hand signs and tattoos. There are a couple of great resources on the web such as Knowgangs.com that can help you-and it never hurts to watch documentaries like "Gangland" so you know how they operate.

You should also know your neighbors. A lot of people in the city don't do this, and having no roots or connections with their immediate neighbors, they will have fewer qualms about taking your stuff. We all need a strong community to survive, and the deeper your roots run, the more likely your neighbors will become an asset and not a hazard.

Become familiar with the potential hazards nearby, such as chemical plants, jails, large water sources that could cause flooding, earthquake fault lines, open lanterns in barns with cows :lol: Your local area will dictate your response to a disaster fairly quickly.

Also as a final note, you might consider bugging in. Getting out of any city in a crisis can be way harder than it needs to be, and in a short term crisis will probably be counterproductive.

Hope this is helpful.
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by mpi » Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:45 am

yes a silcock key is available in any hardware store or online.

a basic toolkit is a must have in an urban environment. at the very least a good multitool with accessories such as the bitkits and such.
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Re: City BOB (Hypothetical Question)

Post by acropolis5 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:24 pm

You've received many good ideas in your reply posts. Allow me to weigh in. First, a city BOB needs to look civilian and non-threatening. IMO, for that purpose your best choice is the LL Bean Continental Rucksack, in black/gey/navy blue. Modestly priced, well made, lots of compartments, old fashioned and very low profile. Have a shoemaker sew lash-tabs to the bottom and above and below the hidden ski pockets and you can add a foam sleeping bag and even hang tools (out of sight) in the ski pockets. The waist belt is wide enough to hold bottle bags and slide-on accessory pockets. Water sourcing and purification is key and due to likely chemical/sewerage type contaminants, in a Katrina type situation, even more diffucult than when in the rural wild. Best overall solution is the General Ecology First Need Deluxe Puifier, due to its built in prefilter and its ability to filter many chemicals. Back this up with a Katadyn Exstream or ExstreamES watter bottle purifier, for the same reasons. In a small kit I use the Brigade Quatermasters little blue straw filter, Katadyn Micropur tablets, and Survival Resources Aqua-Pouches with the addition of their fold-up filter funnel and some coffee filters. As already suggested a 4-way Silcock key/wrench is an essential. Recently, I've also added a ~2lb., 14.5in., 5 hole, hydrant wrench, From Dixon Valve (1-800-355-1991). A bit heavy, but it allows you to source from fire hydrants and has some self-defense potential.

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