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Making a bug-out bag

FagatronFagatron Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Recent events have reminded me of the inherent possibility of natural and man-made disasters living in San Francisco, along with the general fragility of life; and I have realized I am sorely lacking in the ability to GTFO if things get bad. I haven't had any sort of kit that could get me out of dodge since I stopped having a car and even then it wasn't super comprehensive. Some stuff to keep my car going, some water, some granola and other non-perishable food, some extra clothes and hygiene items in the trunk.

This time I want something a little more complete, a little more balanced, and all in a pack I can throw on my back if need be.

This thread is for brainstorming.

Requirements:

I'd like to keep it under 75 pounds if possible.

Enough stuff that I can keep me and my girlfriend going for 72 hours off the main kit (if possible).

Main kit will go in bag. That is the weight limited part. Other stuff can go in the trunk of car. Clothes and stuff like that can go in the trunk, we can be filthy if we're alive.

I'd like to get as much potentially useful shit in there as possible without going overboard, and without it being exorbitantly expensive. I'm not $Texas rich.

Fagatron on

Posts

  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    You are in luck because bug out bags are not that difficult to make on the cheap, go to a army surplus store and get:
    Water filtration tablets or an actual filter to remove brakkish crap from your drinking water
    Thermal blankets (I understand they are lightweight)
    An advanced first aid kit (Should be in EVERY bug out bag, except for the lightest of bags)
    Flash light
    A flint
    If you are really concerned about food, then you might want a portable (ultra light) gas delivery system, or some sterno to cook things in (which also requires you have a collapsable cooking pot [doesn't need to be huge just big enough to boil up some water]
    If you have the money, buy some MRE's, if you don't buy easy to make and easy to store foods (packaged noodles are lightweight and effective and can last you three days easily)

    These are what I thought of on the top of my head, I'll come up with some more later.

    ATIRage on
  • FeatherBladeFeatherBlade Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    A couple of options:
    A) You can pack as though you were going camping for a weekend.
    B) You can pack according to the "emergency preparedness kits" recommended by FEMA

    If you go with option A, I would check out your local REI or other wilderness oufitter-type store.
    Edit: or, yes, military surplus stores.

    FeatherBlade on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava ~~She/Her~~ Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Radio.

    all of the stuff mentioned above. but also a radio. possibly even see if you can get yourself a transistor radio, or even old walkie talkie thing or something.

    but definitely a radio. they have the crankpowered ones now that run on themselves and solar etc.

    Also, get some large things of mutlivitamins. Yes, might sound a bit weird, but there's no guarantee you're going to get what nutrition you need from whatever food you manage to grab and scrounge into your bag and trunk. having a multi-vitamins seems a good way towards trying to keep yourself healthy.

    granted, that might be better for a long run bag. but still, it's a thought.

    lonelyahava on
  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Also, i'd caution against thinking that you'll be able to escape the city during some kind of extreme disaster scenario. Instead, plan for several kinds of emergencies, some where you can leave, others where you cant. Have multiple bags in areas so that, if you and your partner are separated you each have enough to survive until rescue comes (generally happens in under 72 hours).

    Plan for staying in your house/apt until someone can come get you, in that case you definitely will need a radio.

    I also can't stress advance first aid techniques (Tuniquete application, sometimes blood vessel containment) are key in disaster cases. Sometimes bones are broken, someone is immobilized, suffers a serious injury, or has heavy loss of blood. These kinds of situations are not dealt with by tradition first aid. You should think about reading some advanced first aid techniques that might be useful (even beyond a disaster scenario, just for everyday emergencies like car crashes and what not.

    ATIRage on
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava ~~She/Her~~ Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    also, check with local community colleges. they might even run some advanced first aid stuff. especially with this recent event and the reactions it will cause.

    You might be able to get enough interest generated to have them run a few clinics.

    But yeah, different situations lead to different plans, etc.

    lonelyahava on
  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    A multi took and some lightweight cord. I hear parachute cord is light and durable.

    Elin on
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  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Military ration packs are great. Just don't plan on having a bowel movement while you are eating them.

    Comahawk on
  • wmelonwmelon Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    also, check with local community colleges. they might even run some advanced first aid stuff. especially with this recent event and the reactions it will cause.

    You might be able to get enough interest generated to have them run a few clinics.

    But yeah, different situations lead to different plans, etc.

    If nothing else, contact the closest red cross office. They'll be able to point you to a first aid/cpr class at a reasonable price.

    wmelon on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    http://zombiehunters.org/forum/

    These guys were formed on the basis of a zombie apocalypse, but they're actually just survivalist planners and a charitable organization that does a lot of good local work after natural disasters. There's an entire subforum thread dedicated to nothing but bug out bags complete with pics, purchase lists, and full details.

    You'll get every piece of information you ever need there, you just might want to steer clear of some of the weapon threads as they get a little goose-y

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    This rabbit hole goes very, very deep.

    Check out Emergency, by Niel Strauss for a fun and interesting read on the topic - sort of his personal journey from guy who thinks survivalists are kooks, to certified emergency responder with a generator and a goat in his backyard. It includes tons of lessons, and tons of resources for information.

    spool32 on
  • UllrUllr Registered User new member
    edited March 2011
    http://artofmanliness.com/2011/03/07/how-to-make-a-bug-out-bag-your-72-hour-emergency-evacuation-survival-kit/

    This should at least give you a general overview of all the types of stuff you will want.

    Ullr on
  • BelketreBelketre Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Rifle and a few hundred rounds
    Knife
    Wire saw
    Water containers
    Fire making tool
    100 yards of paracord

    You can survive on that pretty well for a long, long time. A multitool may also be nice.

    Belketre on
  • EarthenrockEarthenrock Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I always thought this was cool.

    Lifesaver water bottle

    expensive as hell but will instantly filter the most putrid water and the cartridge stops working after its reached its lifespan (7,000 liters).

    Earthenrock on
  • November FifthNovember Fifth Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    This might be a little excessive.

    Have you done a lot of hiking with 75lbs on your back?

    I would start by getting a weeks worth of food and water in your home. Survival in place is almost always better than hoofing it off into the unknown.

    After that, I would put together a light pack that can get you from work to home in case public transport is out and the roads are closed. Warm clothes, water, flash light maybe a few granola bars.

    For the most part survival is a mindset.

    Does the car always have at least 1/2 a tank of gas?

    Do you and the gf have a plan in place for where you meet if an earthquake happens while you are at work?

    Do you have a place to go if San Fran is rendered uninhabitable?

    Do you have a route planned if you have to hike or bike outside of the city?

    November Fifth on
  • programjunkieprogramjunkie Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    A few comments:

    - 75 lbs of kit for one person is moderately heavy, but not unreasonably heavy. You will need to train for it however. I've done more than that, but after a significant acclimatization period.

    - Water is important. Also remember the maxim "the best canteen is your stomach." I'd store more water than you intend to carry long term and use a bit right off. Also, if you think you are in a case where there might be an evacuation, as opposed to something completely out of the blue, avoid caffeine / start hydrating early (I find it hard to maintain consistently, but the ideal state of hydration is completely clear urine).

    Also, the linked site vastly underestimates water needs. 1 L per day is very low depending on what you are doing. I've drank as much as 12 L in a single day under the right conditions (80+ lbs kit, 100 F, humid). You can die from a heat injury if you don't hydrate properly (this is not an exaggeration. Last time I marched 15-18km or so in very hot weather, someone died). More is better here, and purification equipment isn't heavy.

    - For food, break down some MREs to save space. They are meant to sustain you well in difficult conditions and have a variety of nutrients to help meet your needs. They store well and are low / no prep (a couple things legitimately need water added, but that's supplemental stuff like coffee), and also include napkins / toilet paper and matches.

    - Clothes absolutely have to go in your bag, specifically dry socks, and maybe an extra pair of shoes. This is very important. If you need to hike over a long distance. Changing socks often helps avoid blisters.

    - Baby wipes are good hygiene items.

    Those are a few suggestions, though hardly all inclusive of the contents of a bug-out bag.

    programjunkie on
  • HorusHorus Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Don't forget maps and where to go for flooding, shelter etc etc.... list of contacts, photos of the family if they are MIA

    I think you should brain storm worse case scenarios where you live can happen say light, semi rough and bad earthquake and plan accordingly. So far ABC news reported Amerians only prepare themselves for just 2 weeks or less but never plan for catastrophic.

    Horus on
    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
    ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
  • Psychotic OnePsychotic One The Lord of No Pants Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Fixed blade doe heavy duty cutting and or chopping. I'd suggest an ESEE and make a paracord handle for it. Can be then tied to a stick to make a spear in a pinch.

    Folding blade with half serrations for general purpose cutting and also cutting rope, cord, vegitation, etc

    A roll of Paracord. You can get this at Walmart. You don't know how valuable rope can be until you don't have it.

    A hatchet or axe.

    Binoculars

    MREs - they taste like ass but will keep you alive. Try to plan for at least 2 weeks minimum. If the shit goes down you don't want to get desperate for food.

    Psychotic One on
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Ran across a good list on an Amazon page, including links to the kit if you don't own it already.

    Bug-Out List

    spool32 on
  • Niceguy MyeyeNiceguy Myeye Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The Red Cross does disaster preparedness education about stuff like this. They, basically, have a little mantra, "Get a Kit, Get a Plan, and Stay informed."

    Here's a link.

    http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.53fabf6cc033f17a2b1ecfbf43181aa0/?vgnextoid=537b218c37752210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD&currPage=e507d7aada352210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD

    Something that may be useful to have in a disaster is a copy of important papers such as birth certificates or car titles, or whatnot. Also, it may be important to have family address and phone number written down and put in that pack.

    Niceguy Myeye on
  • jefe414jefe414 "My Other Drill Hole is a Teleporter" Mechagodzilla is Best GodzillaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    also, check with local community colleges. they might even run some advanced first aid stuff. especially with this recent event and the reactions it will cause.

    You might be able to get enough interest generated to have them run a few clinics.

    But yeah, different situations lead to different plans, etc.

    Take an EMT course.

    jefe414 on
    Xbox Live: Jefe414
  • Judge-ZJudge-Z Teacher, for Great Justice Upstate NYRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Being prepared for being stranded at home is a fantastic point. The stuff in you bug-out bag can be used at home, but after being hit with a bad ice storm a few weeks ago, my wife and I laid in a supply of canned foods and bottled water that can last us a couple of weeks, without needing to be cooked. This would be on top of our already well-stocked pantry.

    Every year at the holidays, we rotate anything out that will expire before the next year by donating it to the local food drive, and restock with fresh.

    Be careful with a lot of the prepackaged emergency kits - the stuff looks and tastes good, but you won't get anywhere near the caloric intake you might need.

    For the bug-out kit, did anyone mention any medically necessary prescriptions? See if you can get two containers worth prescribed at once, then a regular monthly/ weekly supply after that. Keep the newer in the go-bag and use the oldest. Rotate the newest into the bag as you get it.

    Radio for sure. With backup hand crank if possible. Got kids? Pack some crayons and paper. Pets? Include them in the plans, as a lot of people can't bear the thought of leaving their pets behind, and stay with them when they should instead go.

    Be absolutely sure you would be able to evacuate your area. If potential traffic areas make this problematic, have a sturdy, safe place in mind to whole up - if home doesn't cut it - with your go bag.

    Practice your evacuation plan. You don't want to have to stop and think. You want to be able to go, and beat the crowd.

    Judge-Z on
    JudgeZed.png
  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Fixed blade doe heavy duty cutting and or chopping. I'd suggest an ESEE and make a paracord handle for it. Can be then tied to a stick to make a spear in a pinch.

    Folding blade with half serrations for general purpose cutting and also cutting rope, cord, vegitation, etc

    A roll of Paracord. You can get this at Walmart. You don't know how valuable rope can be until you don't have it.

    A hatchet or axe.

    Binoculars

    MREs - they taste like ass but will keep you alive. Try to plan for at least 2 weeks minimum. If the shit goes down you don't want to get desperate for food.


    Canadian Forces IMPs are really good though, if you can get them, they taste great.

    Comahawk on
  • stormbringerstormbringer Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    A few comments:

    - 75 lbs of kit for one person is moderately heavy, but not unreasonably heavy. You will need to train for it however. I've done more than that, but after a significant acclimatization period.
    ne died). More is better here, and purification equipment isn't heavy.

    I use to be a really heavy duty backpacker and no one is going to get anywhere with 75lb's in a bug out bag. Even in peak shape I could carry maybe 50lbs for three days with ~15-20 miles a day with a properly packed bag. 75lbs between two people who don;t know what they are doing is still to much.

    Think 20-30lb's and bare necessities.

    stormbringer on
  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    A few comments:

    - 75 lbs of kit for one person is moderately heavy, but not unreasonably heavy. You will need to train for it however. I've done more than that, but after a significant acclimatization period.
    ne died). More is better here, and purification equipment isn't heavy.

    I use to be a really heavy duty backpacker and no one is going to get anywhere with 75lb's in a bug out bag. Even in peak shape I could carry maybe 50lbs for three days with ~15-20 miles a day with a properly packed bag. 75lbs between two people who don;t know what they are doing is still to much.

    Think 20-30lb's and bare necessities.

    You hardly speak for everyone.

    I was carrying close to 75lbs in gear and my rucksack doing marches. It isn't that bad.

    Average kit for infantry, including rucksack and all, in Afghanistan is a load out that is well over 100 lbs.

    Comahawk on
  • EndaroEndaro Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Ullr wrote: »
    http://artofmanliness.com/2011/03/07/how-to-make-a-bug-out-bag-your-72-hour-emergency-evacuation-survival-kit/

    This should at least give you a general overview of all the types of stuff you will want.

    I was just going to post this! You asked for suggestions on bug-out bags literally a week after they posted this article, seemed perfectly timed. Considering this a seconding of this resource.

    Endaro on
  • aperlscriptaperlscript Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If you don't already keep an emergency pile of cash, start one now and chuck it in your bag. Money will always be useful, especially if you're in a city.

    aperlscript on
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Horus wrote: »
    Don't forget maps and where to go for flooding, shelter etc etc.... list of contacts, photos of the family if they are MIA

    I think you should brain storm worse case scenarios where you live can happen say light, semi rough and bad earthquake and plan accordingly. So far ABC news reported Amerians only prepare themselves for just 2 weeks or less but never plan for catastrophic.

    I lived outside of San Francisco during the 1989 quake, and every member of may family was somewhere else when it happened. Knowing where the different rendezvous points were, how to get there even if a given road or bridge happened to be unpassable, and how to establish a line of communications between multiple rendezvous points so that we'd be able to know within a few hours if everyone was accounted-for and healthy ended up being the most important thing we'd prepared for.

    You also want to be able to mark on that map the nearest hospital, police station and fire station to your home or your places of employments as well as the closest of each for every rendezvous point, along with the direct land-line telephone numbers for each. If San Fran still designates schools as emergency shelters, mark those as well. Everyone should be carrying something like that in their purse, wallet or their car's glovebox, just in case.

    SammyF on
  • stormbringerstormbringer Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Comahawk wrote: »

    You hardly speak for everyone.

    I was carrying close to 75lbs in gear and my rucksack doing marches. It isn't that bad.

    Average kit for infantry, including rucksack and all, in Afghanistan is a load out that is well over 100 lbs.

    If at any point you are in the army your not a normal person asking about a bugout bag. At this point you are in better shape then almost anybody online posting in a forum.

    Average 3 day backpacking bag should be max 1/5 body weight and that's with a in shape backpacker on a three day trip.

    So 200lb person at 1/5 is 40 lb's. I have seen max limits as high as 1/4 but even then you need to be in darn good shape and with a serious internal frame pack.

    stormbringer on
  • wasab1wasab1 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I don't think the OP is talking end of the world scenarios here and it seems a lot of these replies are getting tailored for that.

    Keep the bag itself well under 75lbs. Keep it under 40lbs if you can. Toting 75lbs of gear on your back in a pack specifically made to do so - think military grade stuff - is damned hard enough; trying to cram all that stuff in a civilian model will get you killed, quite possibly in a literal sense. The military trains it's soldiers and marines to do that over weeks and months.

    For a three day stint to wherever you're going because SF got hit by a bad earthquake, keep a CamelBak (or someother water container), some water purification tabs, a knife or multitool, a few MREs or other preprepared foods, some 550 cord (aka parachute cord), a mirror, a lighter, flint and steel, a waterproof poncho, extra socks and underwear, and an extra set of clothes. That'll keep your pack well under 40lbs, with the water and food weighing the most.

    If you want to get all the other stuff mentioned, keep it in your car.

    wasab1 on
  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Comahawk wrote: »

    You hardly speak for everyone.

    I was carrying close to 75lbs in gear and my rucksack doing marches. It isn't that bad.

    Average kit for infantry, including rucksack and all, in Afghanistan is a load out that is well over 100 lbs.

    If at any point you are in the army your not a normal person asking about a bugout bag. At this point you are in better shape then almost anybody online posting in a forum.

    Average 3 day backpacking bag should be max 1/5 body weight and that's with a in shape backpacker on a three day trip.

    So 200lb person at 1/5 is 40 lb's. I have seen max limits as high as 1/4 but even then you need to be in darn good shape and with a serious internal frame pack.

    Right, I forgot about the super secret super soldier serum they gave me when I joined that vastly increased my ability to carry my kit within 3 months.

    Comahawk on
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