Welcome to Jercol's Back to the Basics. This is where I will post useful information, tips, and gear reviews about what I learn about Outdoor Survival, Activities, and Disaster Preparation. My only goal is to be informative, realistic, and at least a little entertaining.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Modular Bug Out Ideas, Current BOB

When I started getting into Survival skills I built a BOB.  That's probably the first step that many people make when they get into "prepping" or "survivalism" (whatever you want to call it), and it's something that everyone should have.

As I've expanded my knowledge and skills (and stores) I've rethought a lot of my original ideas.  When I did my practice Bug Out during the last Tsunami warning (post) I decided that I wanted a more modular set up, that way I could pick and choose which 'modules' depending on the situation.  That led me to look at different packs, bags, and set ups.  I could tailor my pack out depending on the situation without having to dig through one big bag, it also makes it easier to find an individual item.

So, in that thread, here is my current pack out gear.

HPG Kit Bag, chest
I'd never heard of a "chest rig" before getting into survival skills (and Zombie forums).  Most chest rigs are for battlefield or tactical scenarios (or paintball), they have pouches for magazines, grenades, etc.  Well, I was looking for something that could be worn hiking with or without my main pack, that would keep some supplies handy so I wouldn't have to stop and dig through the main pack for a candy bar or my cell phone.  This HPG Kit Bag is perfect for that.  It's also neat because it adds flexibility, you could leave your main bag at camp and take this for a short hike.  This was also designed with Concealed Carry in mind, the pouch closest to the body has easy pull zippers and loops for carrying a pistol.  I didn't get the Kit Bag for that purpose but it's kind of a neat feature.  There's a cool quick-draw video on their website.  It's an extremely handy kit to have.

Snugpak waist pouch
It's a waist pack and belt.  I keep a lot of stuff here; knives, pouches, canteens, gloves, fire starter, first aid, and a poncho/rain jacket.  This is basically a mini-BOB, one or two of each item.  It keeps things easy to reach, easy to find, and adds versatility.  You see the trend here?

Snugpak pack
This is quite a bit smaller than most BOBs.  You definitely need a good pack but in a set up like this it can be smaller because you spread the items between the Kit Bag, belt, and waist pouch.  I put all the little stuff in those two bags and then just keep the big stuff in the main pack.  Food, hydration bladder, sleeping bag, tarp, extra clothing, etc.

Blackhawk thigh holster, magazine pouches, and Drop leg pouch
I put this last because firearms are the lowest priority and Hawaii has very strict laws against carrying firearms unless you're hunting (and licensed).  In most emergency situations they won't be necessary and could lead to legal problems.  In your State it might not be as big an issue, either way firearms should be a low priority.  Contrary to the popular internet-Rambo type, firearms are simply not as important as the rest of your preps.  Outside of a Zombie Apocalypse water, food, shelter, fire, and clothing, are all far more critical than firearms to staying alive.  By keeping firearms, ammo, mags, and accessories in a configuration like this (drop leg holster and pouch) they can be easily dropped or added to your pack out.

It also means I can grab grab any of these items and go for a hike minimal repacking.  I've also really cut down the amount of stuff in my BOB.  The BOB, or 72 hour bag, is supposed to have all the supplies for 72 hours.  The theory is that 72 hours should get you through the worst of any disaster.  When I first packed a BOB it had everything minus the kitchen sink but really, you don't need that much stuff for 72 hours.  Maintain your core body temperature, a little water, a first aid kit, maybe some food... and that's about it.  Everything else is just icing on the cake.  Obviously, there are things that make life better and easier, but if the goal is to survive, you really don't need much.  Keeping your pack light means you can travel faster, easier, and be more mobile.

I've rushed this post a little bit, I haven't had time to do the full spread and photos.  I'll try and do that soon.  And as always, if you have any questions or comments let me know.

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