I’ve wanted to have a Bug Out Bag (B.O.B), aka a Get Out Of Dodge (G.O.O.D) bag for a while now. I’ve even posted about it before, but I never really did it. Today I put it in my truck for real.
One of the keys to getting it done was deciding what I wanted it to do. I’m not preparing for the end of the world as we know it even though I am reading SurvivalBlog.com’s book How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It and listening to his novel Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse. Actually one of the things I learned from reading those books is I’m probably better off hunkering down than try to walk somewhere unknown. Also learned this trying to evacuate for Rita.
What am I preparing for? Getting stranded.
There are two probable scenarios my bag is intended to help with. One is having my car break down and have to walk somewhere or stay with it. The other is getting stranded unexpectedly while traveling, for example on the day trip where I go to pick up or drop off my son in Austin. What if my truck broke down in some town in between and I had to stay overnight?
That clarifies a lot of stuff. So here is some of what I did, it is in the order I did things, not necessarily the order of importance. I had a list I’d been building in my head and Evernote. I realized when I woke up early I could get it done in just a few minutes if I just did it. I’d say it took 15 minutes tops to get things together and in the bag.
The Bag Itself.
It is a backpack that I used to use to carry my laptop back and forth to work. It is years old, but in great condition. When I bought it the guy who sold it to me at an outdoors store told me you could put a hose up to it and water would bearly trickle through. I don’t carry a laptop anymore, so it was just sitting on the floor of my office. I took out the laptop interior case and had a great back pack. I chose a backpack in case I have to walk somewhere with it.
A Complete Change of Clothes.
First question, what kind of clothes? Many preparedness people are focused on staying warm. Frankly in Houston that is rarely a problem (for instance it is 76 degrees in mid January), and if it is cold I will be wearing a coat, which is all I’ll need.
Which brings up another point I thought about. What will I already be carrying? There are some things I will almost assuredly be carrying, my gun (Springfield XD 45 Compact), my Leatherman Wave, and my flashlight. Also my truck already has a lightweight jacket for handling unexpected rain.
Back to clothes. I grabbed a pair of lightweight cargo pants from my closet. A change of socks and underwear, and a “used up” pair of running shoes. I run in a pair of shoes for about 300 miles, then they aren’t really good to run in, but they are still serviceable for walking and general wear. I had two pair sitting next to the door to be donated. Pulled a pair out and put them in the bottom of the bag with the socks stuffed in one and underwear stuffed in the other.
Then I went looking for a shirt. I was just going to throw in a T-shirt, but opened my running drawer and saw I had a bunch of “technical” running shirts. Which are made to keep you cool and dry in warm weather. So threw one of them in.
Food and Water
Clothes taken care of, my next thought was food and water. I grabbed a couple of South Beach Bars, each 180 balanced calories. They were good enough for my half marathon run, they would be good enough for sitting on the side of the road for a few hours.
I went out to our back up fridge to grab an unopened bottle of water and noticed I had a case of Gatorade G2. Gatorade has all the advantages of water and then some. It is made to help you not get dehydrated, so why carry just water? I ended up adding one of each. I put the water bottle inside and the Gatorade in a mesh bottle pocket on the outside. Didn’t want red Gatorade to leak all over my clothes if something went wrong. I might need water to clean a wound or something.
First Aid Kit
Speaking of wounds, the next thing on my list was a first aid kit. I remembered I had a little one in a red nylon bag. I found it and opened it to see what was in it. Turns out it was mostly a crushable cold pack, and that pack was broken and had leaked into the bag. All the bandages and medicines were discolored. So I ended up tossing everything in the bag and just keeping the bag. I’ll pack it from my home first aid kit when it dries from cleaning.
Ammo and Extra Mag
I also went to my range bag and pulled one of my loaded magazines for my XD. It is the long 13 round mag. I carry a 10 round shortened mag in the XD to make it more concealable. I also don’t carry an extra magazine on me because it’s bother to need ratio is too high for me. But having one in the truck is was botherless.
Even though I will probably be carrying my Leatherman, I wanted to put a knife in the bag. I went an found my old Kenshaw folder I used to carry and put it in.
Now I was adding smaller stuff and started thinking toiletries.
We have a huge stash of hotel supplied toiletries, so I grabbed a bar of soap and asked the Mrs about a toothbrush. She went and found a little kit from a airline gift. It included a toothbrush, toothpaste and comb. Dropped that in a pocket of the backpack. Strangely I didn’t drop one of the bazillion shampoos in there, need to do that.
I’m going to add another flashlight when I buy some more this weekend. I’ll post about my flashlight next week.
Need to have some extra money in the bag as well, but I’m waiting till this weekend to do that.
The single most important thing I did was just do it. Even though it really isn’t finished, it is in my truck and if I get stranded on the side of the road tonight, I’ll be prepared.