There is hardly a forum I visit that doesn’t include threads or sections that deal with the discussion of Bug Out Bags (BOBs), some more seriously than others.
It would seem that guys like us love to lay-out, inventory and show off our gear. The creation and discussion of BOBs provide us with a great opportunity to do just that.
However, I’ve noticed a lot of “cart before the horse” behavior as it relates to the creation of a BOB.
We love to leap right into the listing of items before taking the time to define the mission of this kit. Part of this definition is to make an effort to realistically predict environmental conditions and threats.
Similarly, folks love to pile on the gear without regard for their real world physical limitations. Any pack over 35-pounds will be debilitating on a long cross country trek. Yet many BOBs described on the “interweb” weigh in around 75 to 80-pounds. I’ve humped loads like that as a 20-something infantry officer and it beat me down physically then, today it would kill me.
Reading some of the threads about BOBs reveals the fact the authors have never spent any serious time in the field or actually tested their kits. For instance after reading a packing list with over 100-line items I noticed no mention of spare socks, insect repellent or toilet paper. Having spent many years in the infantry I can assure you these three items belong at the top of anybody’s list.
I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss every aspect of BOBs so long as it can remain a serious pursuit and avoid diversions.