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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In military special ops and covert intelligence speak a “Bug Out Bag” is very specialized.

When escaping and evading from an area where hostiles are actively engaged in searching for you, so that you can be captured or killed, the “BOB” contains essential kit to sustain stealthy, tactical movement out of danger. It contains no snares or food other procurement gear, only food, nav, comms and protective gear, both environmental and mission critical. Water is something the evader obtains along the way. A typical E&E kit contains an EMPTY water container, drinking tube and filter, but not a water “supply” per se. Season and area of operations determine how much “snivel gear” (clothing and shelter) are necessary to survive the movement. Primary objectives are security, stealth and mobility to facilitate escape and to avoid detection as you move to your extraction point. You are not just leaving an area, but going somewhere in particular.

The E&E mission is to get home alive! In a “worst case” scenario, there may be dead enemy (or civilians) you can scrounge from. What do they have which will protect and sustain you? weapon? ammo? optics?,food, (you’ll need plenty), meds and first aid, tools and sharps, cordage, comms, nav (map, compass, GPS) water, battery powered torch with green and IR filters, bug spray, gloves, socks, shoes, “snivel gear,” sunglasses, hat, you get the idea!. Grab what it takes to nourish, hydrate, navigate, communicate, medicate, and keep buggering on!

Glass the area ahead prior to movement to avoid detection. Build a “hide” at night to protect yourself from the environment and to stay hidden. Small tools and cordage help. A good general rule is if it works and weighs less than a kilo, take it with you. You cannot carry “everything,” so prioritize stealth and mobility, leaving heavy, bulky, noisy items behind.

In “civilian prepper speak” the Bugout Bag or BOB describes a personal survival kit (PSK).

In any PSK, you control its size by selecting its container.

"First Line or A Level " - Is your Every Day Carry or “EDC mini kit,” you keep on your person, all the time. It may be all you have with you when “the Reaper” smiles upon you. An example is the BCB “combat survival tin.” You might make your own to fit in an Altoids tin to carry in your pocket. Having a Personal Survival Kit or PSK should be compared to the teenage virgin male having a condom in his wallet. This is false security because in that if you REALLY need it, you will wish you had brought more kit with you. No combination of items that will fit in your pocket can serve to overcome all adversities. That Altoids tin crammed with small items will not answer every problem, but provides minimal basics to help you focus and improvise better gear. Having the necessities beats nothing, and so makes your trek to point B less miserable.

So assess your operating environment and physical condition. Decide how much weight and bulk you can realistically carry. When selecting survival gear, keep those limits in mind and design your kit in progressive Levels which build on and support each other:

"Second Line or Level B" is a “small” belt pouch – generally weighing less than 2 pounds, which supplements your EDC to complete the Ten Essentials you can keep in your desk, briefcase or vehicle glove box.

"Third Line or Level C" is your “Survival Ruck” or “72 hour pack” containing clothing, shelter, water, food, first aid kit and tools for an unexpected overnight, up to several days, a 72 hour period.

Fourth Line or Level "D" is your large long-term ruck, man overboard or bail out box to supplement the above for an extended time frame beyond immediate needs, for a week or more from your aircraft, boat or motor vehicle.

Priorities address shelter first, to include clothing, raingear, boots, tent/tarp.

Water is next. Get a good water purifier and food grade water storage containers. ExStream, MSR and Katadyn brands are good. A water filter may crack or clog in freezing weather. If it doesn't crack it can be reheated. In winter, boil water or use chemical tabs.

Food is of lower priority
. Most people can with some discomfort last a week or so without food as long as they remain well hydrated. But we are used to eating regularly, so a small amount of emergency “comfort” food is a morale booster and can give a much-needed burst of energy for essential exertion or warmth. But before your pack down with munchies there are more important considerations:

An adequate PSK should plan for at least Level II and provide at minimum the Ten Essentials:


1. Shelter – Hat, garbage bag or poncho, 550# cord, warming layer, extra socks
2. Fire – BIC lighter, aviator's Sparklite Kit, waterproofed matches, Esbit stove and fuel
3 Light – LED light on zipper pull of outer garment, plus a Petzl headlamp
4. Water – Storage and purification – canteens & cup, Micro-pur tablets
5. Signals&Comms - Signal mirror, whistle, cell phone or VHF airband/marine transceiver
6. Navigation - Map and orienteering compass on dummy cord
7. Food - Emergency food to eat, snare wire and emergency fishing kit.
8. Tools & Sharps - Fixed blade knife, multi-tool, trowel, folding saw or hatchet, pistol
9. Health & Medical - First aid kit, and personal meds for 72 hours.
10. Personal items - Extra eyeglasses, sunglasses, ID card, keys, etc.)

These categories are deliberately broad, intending to help you think about options such as:

Supplies to build shelter (cordage falls under this)

Multiple means to build a fire, and to

Cook food or purify water by fire, (canteen cup and Esbit stove falls under this)

Sanitation/first aid (baby wipes, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, Betadine)

Navigation (map & compass, flagging tape)

Knife/cutting tool(s)

Emergency Food – peanut butter, jerky, trail mix, MRE, Seven Oceans or Mainstay lifeboat biscuits etc.

Means to acquire more, - fishing kit, SpeedHook, pre-made Thompson snares, wire,

Personal protection - from animals/man/etc. knife, your uniform duty sidearm or a .22 target pistol with 6" barrel, optical sight and suppressor.

Repair/maintance materials – sewing kit, 90 mph tape, safety pins, zip ties,

Signaling device(s). - Signal mirror, Whistle, LED blinker, flagging tape, VS-17 panel

Communications – All-weather writing pad and pencil, cell phone, VHF airband or marine radio

Other suggested items:

A copy of the book “Six Ways In, Twelve Ways Out”

This contains all info needed to build a BOB suited for any circumstance. This basic skills manual by George Jasper is a compilation of
training material that U.S. RSOG cadre uses to train military personnel during the Survival and Evasion course. There are over 185
pages of text and simple to follow illustrations. The manual is $15.00 postage paid and all proceeds from the sale of this manual go to the training budget of U.S. RSOG personnel. Not available through Amazon, except for occasional used copies which may cost more than list price. Send $15.00 check or money order to: U.S. RSOG, 4600 N. Hardesty, Kansas City MO 64117

100 ft 550 para cord
rainwear tops/bottoms/hat/ gloves
leather gloves
6 pair socks, non-cotton
cargo pants and long sleeve shirt, non-cotton
Military poncho or tarp shelter
belt for your pants
polypropelene underwear top/bottom
heavy fixed blade knife and sharpener
Pyro kit (fire starting)
Toilet Paper
hygiene kit
2 - Adventure Medical Kits emergency blankets
emergency chow ( MRE's, Met Rx bars, Mainstay or Seven Oceans Survival rations, Gorp etc)
utility pot (some thing to cook in)
container able of carrying 2 quarts of water or more
water purification tablets or pump/filter purifier or both.
battery powered cell phone charger
light weight 30 degree sleeping bag
LED flashlight and or headlamp.
Goretex boots carried outside of the ruck.

If you aren’t in shape for humping a ruck carrying more than about 10 kilos, will probably exceed your body‘s limits. All of us should hump 10 clicks or more with our rucks at least twice a year. Once every 4 months would be better.

First decide what conditions the BOB is intended to see you through. Then stock your bag accordingly, but realistically. Military training is based 5-day intervals for resupply. For civilian all-hazards contingency planning this is a good standard to manage evacuation until you reach a safe area. Tailor your BOB for the most likely scenarios. This “All Hazards,” general bag is best. Plan to provide shelter from expected weather, clean/safe drinking water, food, first aid, navigation, commo, security, fire, sanitation, and any unique needs you might have. Determine if it will all fit in your chosen bag. If not, make it fit. Weigh it. Can you realistically carry it? Experiment with kit. Carry it, over a LONG distance! Live out of it for a few days. Try your gear and see if it works for you. Take notes. Consider alternatives and improvements to your gear. Where are you likely to bugout to? Can you cache in a safe place for retrieval either at the retreat or on the way? Give yourself options. No matter how much you can carry, you can always use more food, water, ammo, etc, so plan how to supply yourself when what you carry runs out.

If you are not concerned about being tracked, use a travois to transport heavy loads. A rubber wheeled, steel frame folding luggage cart works well on level surfaces. 3-wheeled off road jogging strollers are good too.

4,368 Posts
One other thing that works really well for carrying oversize loads is one of those
deer carriers that Cabela's and other stores sell.
It'll go over rough terrain and my 83 lb. wife could easily move me around with it.
I'm 200+ and it was no problem for her.
This is the one we tried, there are many others, I'm sure but this one worked great.
If you have a hard time walking for medical reasons this would move your gear,
but it's not very stealthy.

Cabela's Magnum Cart : Cabela's
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