We all have to start some place and the first place to start putting together your BOB (Bug Out Bag) is to have a proper backpack. If you don't yet have a backpack, or are wondering what on earth is a BOB please see my previous article, Bug out Bag (BOB).
Pictured above are the basic contents of my BOB. Some items are not included, such as the water pouches and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) as those are being stored in a cool, dry, dark place nearby and ready to toss in there. Even after putting everything in my backpack, including the water pouches and food, I will have room for 3 changes of clothes.
Speaking of water pouches, I have purchased a case of 62 water pouches from (where else?) Amazon for $28.85. They will work great in our BOBs. In case you're curious, you can check them out by clicking on the link to the right.
We have divided some of the other necessary items such as an axe, folding shovel, walkie talkies, batteries, solar powered cellphone/tablet chargers, etc. between the four of us to carry.
The only absolutely necessary item I have left to purchase is a portable cook stove and I think I finally have one picked out. Aren't you at least a little bit curious to which one I have picked out? Okay, it's the image on the left. Click on it if you wanna check it out! I'm just waiting for my next payday to get it! We also have an emergency medical kit which is separate from our BOBs that I will talk more about in an upcoming article.
Okay, back to helping you decide what you need to put in your BOB(s). There are so many websites available that provide information about the BOB. I just did a Google search for "Bug out bag" and 15,400,000 results came up! I also entered to search "Bug out bag contents" and 868,000 results popped up! I don't know about you, but I don't have time to search through that many websites! So, lucky for you, over the past couple of years I have found some favorite sites that are very informative and I will share them with you. When you first take a look at some of the lists you may begin to feel overwhelmed by the amount of items on each list. Please keep in mind that you will need to adjust the lists to your particular environment and family. Some lists are basic and some can get pretty extensive. Just stick with the basics to begin with as you can always add to the list as you go.
Remember, you don't have to buy everything at once. If you can afford to do so, then go for it; but if you can't, then get what you can when you can. Make up your own list using the examples in the links provided and then check off the items as you acquire them. Some sites may recommend you getting the contents of the BOB before purchasing your backpack to put them in, but I say start with the backpack. You can always throw things in the backpack should an emergency arise before you get all the contents for it, but it will be harder to find something to carry the contents in if you don't have a backpack. At least that's what makes sense to me.
Here are links to the sites that I promised to share with you:
Bug Out Bag Checklist (This is a list in PDF format that you can download.)
Bug Out Bag Academy (They list 75 BOB essentials)
US Preppers (This page has a list you can download)
Survivalist 101 (Includes a BOB list for children)
I have more, but I don't want to cause you to be too overwhelmed. These are the lists that I found most helpful. All the lists are somewhat similar, and you will quickly catch on to the items mentioned the most and which ones will be the most relevant to you and your household. As you read through the lists I recommend that you keep a pen and paper handy (or iPad/tablet or whatever resource you use to take notes) so you can make your own list.
I hope this will at least help you get started in putting together your BOB. If you have any questions, opinions, ideas, additional info or just a general rant regarding your BOB and its contents please comment below.
Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!