As of February 2014, this will be the third edition of our Bug Out Bag recommended items. Our BOB Survival Kits are refined by usCrow.org writers and active/retired service members who have tested the gear we recommend in an effort to keep our users informed with the best information. Your gear is important, and what you decide to invest your money in should be able to take a beating over time. Ideally a BOB is intended for 72 hour use, long enough to get you from point A to point B. Even if point B is available, you’ll still use the items in your kit throughout the duration. These items are recommended based on durability, combat readiness, battle testing, pricing, and overall usefulness. As always, comment below if you have a suggestion.
SpecOps Bug Out Bag
The SpecOps T.H.E. Pack has maintained it’s position as the highest rated bug out bag. The SpecOps bag is continuously used and reviewed by deployed service members and security contractors. This BOB is made from; 1000D cordura, the most durable nylon fabric on the market. Industrial strength zippers, large outer pockets, dual compression straps, load loops on pocket faces, waist belt with endless adjustment, carry/drag handle, with a double layer pack top. The only setback for the SpecOps Bug Out Bag is price, which fluctuates around $160. It’s worth it though, you can read the reviews here.
Bug Out Firearms
There are three firearms we recommend as ‘must haves’ for concealment, firepower, and durability. Your concealed handgun backup should be a Glock G21 .45 Caliber, recommended by several within our network. Some in the community will grumble to use more common calibers like .22 cal/9 mm for survival scenarios. At usCrow we adamantly believe it’ll be more of a battleground than you can imagine, which means you need stopping power. The primary sidearm should be a 1911 .45 Caliber, recommended for durability, stopping power and part interchangeability. You’ll also need a semi-automatic rifle (such as a SCAR 17s chambered in 7.62x51mm) with scope (Elite 3-9X40 Scope, Multi-X Reticle) and collapsible stock.
Bug Out Bag Items
As a rule of thumb, bug out bags should cater to you (and your family’s) needs. Family ailments such as diabetes, asthma, and etc should be accommodated for within their individual survival kit. Remember this, just because it’s ‘tacticool’ doesn’t make it practical, and worse – a complete rip off. For example, a leg rig might look cool – but its impractical because it’s uncomfortable and will chafe on a long hump. So be smart. Know your limits. Know how much you can carry, and for how long. I know plenty of guys who’ve keeled over after a 10+ mile hump with fifty pounds on their back. So be mindful of that and talk to David Black about those blisters. To get you started we listed items that should be considered in your BOB, so check them out and let us know what you think. If you’ve used one of these products feel free to leave a comment below;
The kit itself will attach via MOLLE to your SpecOps BOB and includes; bloodstopper kit, bandages, abdomen pad, tweezers, EMT shears, gloves, ibuprofen, ammonia inhalents, benzalkonium chloride wipes, closure strips and tape. Please note this is a basic and lightweight IFAK. This kit does not include a tourniquet so be sure to add a Combat Application Tourniquet for wounds that are bleeding out and can’t be stopped by other methods.
You can freeze dry it yourself on the cheap or you can buy it. Life+Gear’s 3 day survival kit has more bang for your buck. It includes a 3 day lightweight food supply and a thermal blanket.
You need to consume at least 8 ounces of water a day, which means your bug out bag should include at least a liter of water for a three day hump (which is pushing it if you’re under intense emotional and physical stress). A 3.0 liter Camelbak Omega Reservoir will fit into the T.H.E. bladder compartment. I’d rather have enough water than not enough water.
Often overlooked essentials that need minimal pack space include; 10′ Emergency Cord, Map Compass, Emergency Whistle, Survival Blanket, 3 Safety Pins, 36″ Roll Duct Tape, 18″x12″ Sheet Aluminum Foil, 8′ Snare Wire, Box Waterproof Matches, 4 Fishing Hooks, 4 Fishing Sinker Weights, 50′ 10lb Fishing Line, Surgical Blade, Reusable Zipper-Lock Bag, 5 Wound Closure Strips.
While I consider body armor a practical element to my bug out plan, you may not. At the very least your vital organs and spine should be protected by ballistic plates in a decent carrier. Are biohazards present? If so this calls for an elevated MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture). The MSA respirator is an afforable solution, but I’d suggest tinting the lenses and painting the outside to match your camouflage (if any).
Don’t Forget the Simple Stuff
Be mindful of the basics that everyone forgets. Socks (more than 3 pair) you’ll burn through them on a heavy hump, two changes of clothes, and basic single use hygiene items (deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash). You’d be surprised how many BOB’s out there there don’t even have toilet paper (or butt-wipes). Mud butt on a hump? Better not go near any ant-holes. Knives and tools are more user/situation specific but my EDC knife is the Spyderco G10, and my BOB has a Leatherman Multitool.
Most survivalists can remember their bug out route to their final destination by heart. This maintains personal security, so train yourself to remember how to get to your shelter. If you bring a map with directions, what happens if someone drops that map and someone else finds it? Not a good way to start your post-apocalypse life.