poor man's BOB contest? and the winner is . . .

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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How much

Poll ended at Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:38 pm

$50
16
12%
$100
73
57%
$200
30
23%
More
7
5%
Less
3
2%
 
Total votes: 129

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poor man's BOB contest? and the winner is . . .

Post by 2now » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:38 pm

Anyone interested in a friendly, Poor Man's BOB building contest?

I did one a few years ago here for a 5 lbs. mini BOB.
I thought it produced a lot of good ideas and conversations on weight savings.

I've seen several “money is tight, how do I start” type of comments on here lately, so how about a low cost BOB contest? BOB deals and Eric's low cost BOB thread also seems to stay very popular.

I'm thinking 3 or 4 months to put together a BOB from commercially available items. Each entry must include at least one photo, and you have to actually have the stuff [a list of catalog links with a total price doesn't count.]

Gift's do not count.

Incidental expenses, like sales tax, travel costs, membership fees, shipping and handling all do not count, provided they are less than 25% of the actual cost you are claiming for the item. The idea is the incidentals will be fairly constant and will cancel each other out, areas with higher sales tax tend to have better public transport and more shopping options for example. However “free” with only “$9.95 shipping and handling per item” is not really free. And a free GPS for buying a new car will also not help most people build a lost cost BOB.

Last time we did a BOB contest, there was a problem with the judges having time to actually score the entries, [although Woods Walker seemed to me to clearly be the winner]. So this time I will judge, with up to 3 more volunteers judges, if we can coordinate them.

If there is interest, what price point should we set for a poor man's BOB?

$50?
$100?
$200?
More?
Less?

Who is interested?

Questions?
Last edited by 2now on Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by Jeeps4fun » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:55 pm

As I do not yet have a BOB I'm totally interested (college student budget). Question though, would we count the cost of things we already have kicking around? For example, I could probably find a functioning flashlight, and folder utility knife in my backpack I already use from day to day.
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by foehunter » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:05 pm

I think that with 200 you could put together a pretty comprehensive starter bob. I say lets do this.

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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by GunsUp » Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:42 pm

No you should count the cost of everything because otherwise woods walker, mags or one of the other gear hounds will rape us all (not saying they won't anyways). For instance, you have a pocket knife and a flashlight, I have things like a titanium cup, an MSR miniworks and a USGI MSS just 'kicking around', sound fair?

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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by Jeeps4fun » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:12 pm

I have to agree with you guns up, that's exactly what I started thinking after I posted. (I don't even know what an MSR miniworks or a USGI MSS is either). This sort of brings up another question, what about dumpster diving? You'd be surprised at some of the perfectly good stuff some people throw away, especially at the end of the semester at college. My friend scored a perfectly functioning xbox 360. And then there's little things like dryer lint (firestarter) and those resealable packages that food (like cheap beef jerky) comes in. For a cheap BOB I can see many advantages to these methods of procurement. It's not like anyone is going to miss them. I'd just recommend cleaning most of them first. Additionally some times you can get lucky and score freebies (condoms are free and available on almost every RA's door in my dorm.)
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by Raydarkhorse » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:14 pm

The cost of a BOB will depend on the individual carrying it and the situations it is designed to cover. For someone who is just planning to run into the woods with no training or experiance then it will be expensive as hell because they will have to totally depend the contents and food in their BOB. If on the other hand it's someone who knows a lot about survival then his/her BOB may be smaller than a small GHB and fairly cheap. Me personally I'm a little closer to the latter and my GHB looks like some peoples EDC and my BOB is the size of of most GHBs I see posted here.
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by elkhills » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:31 pm

First of all, congratulations Woods Walker for winning the "Poor Man's BOB Contest"!

Okay, now that that's out of the way, I'm in!

I say let's just assign "Fair Market Value" to whatever items are in there. For example, a Magnesium Ferro rod you found somewhere on the ground might be free to you, but assign it a fair value of $5 anyway, That keeps it even for everybody.

How about a cap of $200, but points for every dollar under that cap?


edit
We could do something similar to the Woods Monkey contest, where the people vote for the top 3, 5, whatever number contestants and the Judges take it from there :?
Last edited by elkhills on Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by 2now » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:33 pm

You are all getting the idea.

I would be OK with dumpster diving, if it legal [and safe] where you are.
Or to allow $0 cost items that can be gotten free by anybody. Free because you are an employee for family member does not count!
The point is to help people see that they can make up a usable BOB with limited funds.

Other proposed rules would include:

You may assume you have basic season clothing [and footwear], in addition to whatever you put into your BOB.

Items purchased in the past would have to add 10% per year to their cost, OR use current MSRP if still commercially available.

Made at home items should take minimal tools, or should include tools it the cost. Having $2000 in blacksmith tools, should not equal a knife for only the cost of the raw steel. But putting dryer lint into parafin with a pot and a stove to make a fire starter, should only count for the cost that you pay for the parafin, not the stove and the pot, which most people have access to.

The idea is to show that if you look around you can find good deals or make cheap preps.

Other questions?
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by 2now » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:39 pm

Elk hills, Woods Walker won the old mini BOB contest in my opinion. The Poor Man's BOB is not rigged [yet], hence no winner has been determined. :lol:

The problem with MSRP is most of the cheap items will be used and so MSRP will be hard to establish. I would like to see people seek out cheap alternatives to things. Using a $1 butcher knife from a thrift store, rather than a $25 knife from China.

If you find something for free, you'll have to tell us where so others might repeat your find.

I know this will allow people to brag on their best deals and finds. But maybe that will help us learn something, like get to estate auctions early, or dumpster dive at the end of the school year.

I also want to allow cheap home made alternatives, if they exist.

Comments?
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by Veritas » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:13 pm

Awesome idea, I am in!

My 2 cents:

I like elkhills idea of a higher cap, but points for keeping it cheaper. That gives options, and $200 is not that outrageous, especially because a lot of the stuff can be used for camping/hiking, not just sitting in a closet.

I like the idea of allowing homemade alternatives, if you write up or link to a tutorial of how to make it. Only seems fair, and then we can see if it really does cost less/nothing, or if you need to go out and buy $20 bucks worth of stuff to make the thing.

Along the same lines, I think you should be able to count stuff you got on sale, mostly because I get most of my stuff from http://www.steepandcheap.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and I would hate to put the MSRP on some of that stuff.

I don't know about dumpster diving and then claiming it for free. I have never had luck with that, but I have friends that hit crazy scores. It seems too variable. Instead, I think we should assign a value to it, again like elkhills mentioned.

Otherwise I think you have a pretty good handle on the contest 2now, it all sounds fair so far. Can't wait to hear the final rules!
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by thefirebuilds » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:14 pm

what about a 0-50$ BOB using common household items, no gear whore stuff?

we all have eastman backpacks laying around and crappy flashlights and the like. I think that's how most of us got our start anyway.
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by thefirebuilds » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:17 pm

foehunter wrote:I think that with 200 you could put together a pretty comprehensive starter bob. I say lets do this.

Foe

but at $100 I think you'll be challenged! :)
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by Rednex » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:25 pm

We all know a lot of times low cost = low quality. A dollor store multi tool we get hammered on by us because its low quality and wont last past the first time you use it. Unlike what most here will use (aka medium to full size leatherman or gerber) both of which can cost 70 to 100 bucks. Sorry if i come off as being gear snobbyish im not really.

Will there be a quality standard? Or will some items be measured quality vs. price?

Will key items such as knife/multi tool count more then rope/cordage ?

Most of us can go into a dollor store get a butcher knife a multi tool type thing ,clothsline,a bic,tarp some packaged dry food, and water, first aid items then finishing with some small back pack for less then 30 bucks. Then we face the forums with some that say it aint a BOB it wont last you 5 minutes.
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by 2now » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:54 am

Good point on quality.

That is part of why you must have it.

If quality seems to be a problem, then teh judge might say, put your knife in a vice and hang a 10 lbs weight off it for 10 minutes. If it breaks you lose points.

Also part of the point is to show what kind of quality you can put together for a set price. How good are you?

Maybe we want to rule out dumpster diving, to be fair as it is illegal in some places. I think allowing sales prices is AOK. But you have to tell us all when/where/how you found your sale.

For example I have an exposed hammer 12 ga single barrel shotgun I got a few years back for $20. It was a private sale from and esate at a gun show. It was so dirty that it simply would not fire reliably, 1/2 and hour and lots of cleaning it and it worked fine. I thought that it was a good risk, because a single barrel 12, has few moving parts and is relatively easy to repair. [I later tired that trick with a internal hammer double barrel and still have never gotten it to fire. YMMV].

Still too expensive for a $100 BOB, but a $200 BOB . . .?

If you have found a source for better cheap gear, let's share!
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by GunsUp » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:58 am

allowing the cost of unique used items is even hazardous. Used items are fine if there are tons to be had on ebay, or at least a link to a completed auction. But if anybody can use anything they found or got used then you get things like what this dude scored:

http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/view ... 14&t=54614" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I mean come on, none of us have any hope in hell of ever finding a deal like he did... I mean that really is a freakishly good find.

And how do you know I paid what I did for the item I found unless I can provide a link? I can claim I found a TT MALICE pack for $25 at a swap meet and who can really deny it? It's not likely, but as the previous link shows, I don't think its impossible.

I say the fair market value is determined by the lowest price that can be found on google shopping, ebay or the trading post here on the board. Dryer lint, ziplocks, soda bottles and things that anybody can dig out of almost any dumpster are fair game.

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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by ogreboy » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:18 am

I think this is a good idea. What I was thinking was not to just try to make the cheapest possible set up, but to make a usable set up for the price point, $100 or $200. I think a used back pack, sweater, shirt, pants, socks, underwear, spoon, fork, should be a given that everyone has and don't need to spend extra money on especially if you only have $100 to spend. Head to the thrift store and pick up an old knife and pliers, yes there used and heavy but you really only have so much money to spend so I think that's a good trade off, they should work better than a $5 Chinese multi-tool. This kind of contest should push you to make something that you would feel comfortable using. These could be given to someone you are trying to get started, or just an extra kept in the car or at work.

I say someone that really doesn't have any money can't even afford $100, but that's probably the most realistic number.

I like it, good luck all.
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by ninja-elbow » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:27 am

We did something like this last year - the $100 WalMart BOB project. I actually went to a WalMart and listed all the things you could get for a BOB and kept it just under $100. The only stipulation was you already had a bag and were wearing a moderate amount of clothes (hat, jacket, shirt, t-shirt, skivvies, pants, socks and boots). I took the exercise as an oppurtunity to teach my Little Brother a bit about preperation and such and he helped me with it. He learned that a machete is not a good idea in a bear attack ... and that theer is very little chance of said bear attack and he should not watch so much TV.

I'll see if I can hunt that thread down tomorrow.
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by Veritas » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:29 am

GunsUp wrote:But if anybody can use anything they found or got used then you get things like what this dude scored:

http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/view ... 14&t=54614" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I went to that thread after I read this one, and I thought how sick his poor mans BOB could be. I see what you are saying, but his case is relatively rare.

Also, we are having assumedly rational humans judging this contest. If one guy has $500 of gear that he is claiming he paid $75 for, that might set off some alarm bells. I like to think that part of this contest is making a realistic BOB. Sure, that means you can put in some items that are half-off MSRP, because it is relatively commonplace for things to go on sale in the off season. But if you are filling your BOB with a ton of stuff that you paid next to nothing for, it is not realistic for somebody else to re-create, thus losing (or simply not gaining) points.

If I may, I would like to suggest some criteria for judging:

1. Ability for someone else to recreate your set-up
2. Rationale behind your choices
3. Cost of the set-up
4. Quality of the set-up
2now wrote:Also part of the point is to show what kind of quality you can put together for a set price. How good are you?
I like this viewpoint.
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by thefirebuilds » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:29 pm

maybe the winner gets put on a brochure for new members as a "hey, set up your first bob like this one..."
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by 2now » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:17 pm

Veritas proposed:

If I may, I would like to suggest some criteria for judging:

1. Ability for someone else to recreate your set-up
2. Rationale behind your choices
3. Cost of the set-up
4. Quality of the set-up


I say OK to 1-4.
Especially #1

If you are going to cheat, I'm not going to waste the time trying to stop you. You know who you are.

But the real value here is not the coolest gadet whored BOB, but the most likely to be recreatable by a noob.

[although I do like cool gear as much as the next guy]

But the two real tests are will it work, and can it be duplicated.

Now that said I expect every BOB to one or two 'got a great deal' priced items
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by Browning 35 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:22 pm

Yeah, but the thing is that in order to win wouldn't people just eliminate items from their budget BOB that they might actually need?

I mean I could go....okay, I got this bag ($9.99), a Mora knife ($14), a button compass ($1), a bottle of water ($1.25) and 2 granola bars ($1 for two) and I'm done....I win. Does that mean that's REALLY the bag I'd wanna have with me when I was in a really screwed up situation?

So what actual items HAVE TO be present/covered in the bag in order to qualify???
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by 2now » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:26 pm

I did say assume you have one pair of season appropriate clothes on [including foot wear]. That does not mean a 3 layered hiking set up unless that is what most folks wear outside in your area.

It means go to the store clothes, or work in the yard clothes. It means the hat, jacket and gloves you would grab if you were running out the door. NOT the ones you would make sure and take if you knew you were bugging out.

As far as bags, utensils and the like, they are pretty cheap, go buy them.

I am willing to allow you to only pay the costs for the items put in your BOB. For example, 25 trash bags cost you $2.50. That is 10 cents per bag used in your BOB.
How's that for a compromise?

The greatest number of responses are going with $100.
I agree.

Let's do a $100 BOB contest.

How long do you all want to put it together?
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by 2now » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:39 pm

Browning 35 wrote:Yeah, but the thing is that in order to win wouldn't people just eliminate items from their budget BOB that they might actually need?

I mean I could go....okay, I got this bag ($9.99), a Mora knife ($14), a button compass ($1), a bottle of water ($1.25) and 2 granola bars ($1 for two) and I'm done....I win. Does that mean that's REALLY the bag I'd wanna have with me when I was in a really screwed up situation?

So what actual items HAVE TO be present/covered in the bag in order to qualify???

If you think that is good enough for BOB, more power to you.
I might want to hear how you will keep warm . . .

I don't think there is anyone here who does not know the basics of what should be in a BOB.
Does anyone think we need a list?
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Re: poor man's BOB contest?

Post by elkhills » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:01 am

This is going to be fun!

In the spirit of the game, I intend to pretty much scrounge up as many "laying around the house" items as possible, and assign them the actual cost of procurement. $100 doesn't seem like it's going to go too far, though...

Maybe this angle could work: Shoot for $100 or under, but for every dollar over you lose points. Are we scoring points?

Maybe one way that could work would be to give points from 1 to 10 based on:

1. Cost
2. Durability
3. Practicality
4. ?

in these categories:

1. Food
2. Water
3. Warmth
4. Shelter
5. Rescue
6. Personal Protection
7. First Aid
8. Navigation
9. ?

Too much? Not enough? I don't know, what do you all think?

And again, congratulations in advance to Woods Walker for winning this thing. I'm gunning for that #2 spot this time!

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