Thursday, July 06, 2006

New Bug Out Box

Every home should have a 72 hour kit. The idea behind such a kit is that in case you need to evacuate in a hurry due to weather, chemical spill, or whatever, you can just grab it and go. For this reason, 72 hour kits are often called "Bug Out Bags," "Bug Out Boxes," or "BOBs" for short. The items in your kit should be able to cover the basics for three days. The basics are:
  • Warmth
  • Shelter
  • Water and food
I'd also add defense to the list of basics but will cover that separately.

With a four-person household the BOB that I created is actually in a few boxes. Up until today I've
used a few Rubbermaid tubs containing items like a couple Swedish mess kits, canned tuna, powdered soup, tea, sweetener, a couple tarps and space blankets, flashlights and batteries, MREs, toilet paper, etc. The Rubbermaid tubs are sturdy, water resistant, and cheap at Lowe's, but I haven't been entirely satisfied with them, mainly because the lids aren't really secure. So, after seeing ar-jedi's BOB on Arfcom which used an MTM Sportsmen Utility Dry box, I decided to pick one of those up. I got it from Natchez Shooter's Supply. It's shown below for scale next to a 2 liter soda bottle full of water.

I'm quite pleased. The lid latches securely and contains a small compartment which is accessible without opening up the main compartment. I also like the shoulder strap, which will help for short distances. MTM labels it as "water resistant," but not submersible. Aside from green, they're also available in camoflauge and blaze orange. I may get another one for additional items such as food and cooking supplies.

I keep a Swedish Mora knife, a 50 foot hank of paracord, two chemical light sticks, and a few cable ties in the top compartment.

Opening the box up, we can see the removable tray:

In the top tray I have a bottle of Deep Woods Off! insect repellent inside a Zip-Loc bag (in case it leaks), some strike anywhere matches and candle for a candle lantern in a second Zip-Loc, another candle, a knife sharpenr, a notebook and pen, a couple toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss, a Nite-Ize belt holster containing a Mini Maglite with LED conversion, AA batteries, a lock blade knife, and P-38 can opener dummy corded to the holster (the yellow cord). You'll also note a pair of FRS/GMRS radios. While I'm a licensed Ham, my wife isn't and these could come in handy.

The next layer of stuff below the tray consists off a Marpat poncho and poncho liner and a Pur water filter. The poncho liner (AKA "woobie") is a lightweight polyesther quilted blanket that can be tied to a GI poncho and used as a sleeping bag. The poncho can be used to keep dry (duh) or with the paracord, be rigged as a tarp shelter. I bought the water filter years ago at REI, while the poncho and liner came from Cheaper Than Dirt.

Finally, the bottom layer, which has a roll of duct tape, four MREs, four cans of tuna (not visible in this pic), a box of trioxane fuel bars (also good for fire starting), a Zip-Loc bag containing some Lipton Cup-A-Soup, tea, and Sweet & Low. Not shown in the pics are the six Quaker oatmeal bars I tossed in as well. There's a roll of TP in a Zip-Loc in the upper left corner, and the blue thing in the top right corner is a candle lantern from REI in its fleece bag. I'm considering removing the MREs which are bulky, and adding some more oatmeal bars/PowerBars and first aid supplies.

Aside from all of the above I plan on adding a couple of the pocket sized space blankets.

In the event we need to get out of Dodge in a hurry, this box along with two Rubbermaid tubs of stuff and several 2L bottles of water will get put in the back of my Expedition. It'll also go along when we take long trips. I already have a first aid kit, Gerber Multiplier, additional flashlights, and tools in the truck.

Whether its kept in a vehicle in case you get stuck somewhere while on a long trip, or for use as a BOB, this kind of kit can make the difference between being miserable and moderately comfortable. It can even safe your life, if you need to bug out in an emergency. Packed as shown, this part of my BOB kit weighs about 15 lbs and cost under $100 to put together. As insurance, I think it's money well-spent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I use a Otterbox 3500 for mine; they currently have some for $5 in their bargin bin (search for 3500 at the website).