In the past and here again lately I have heard people explain in financial terms why they or their loved ones do not “yet” have a BoB. “I cannot afford one right now.” Or, “I’ll put one together after my tax return comes in.” I think these are poor excuses and in this entry I aim to show why.
The first thing we must realize is that BoB is nothing more than a bag of tools to help you get away from a terrible, dangerous, scary situation and assist you as you travel to a new and hopefully better locale. The next thing we must realize is that as Americans (and to our international readers – thanks, and bear with me, please) we are Consumers by nature. We also fall for the lame excessive spending excuse, “How much is your life worth?” We think that if we don’t buy the $300 Warthog Ruck, the $250 Combat Concubine knife, and the $700 Mt Niyiragongo expedition tent that we are just not taking this stuff seriously and might as well do nothing.
Expel those negative thoughts from your psyche and realize that any tool is better than no tool. Consider Tom Hanks’ character in Castaway: I’m sure he would have loved a full blown field dental set up complete with anesthesia – but at least he had an ice skate. It was better than nothing. And it was free. If you or your loved one must flee into the cold, dark night – anything is better than nothing. That anything must be packed and ready to go, however.
I was going to title this entry, The Five Dollar BoB but really, it probably does cost more than that if you add it up – but it’s still very inexpensive. If you are on the net and reading this, you easily have enough money to put one these together.
First the Bag
You need something to carry your gear in. It should be fairly comfortable to tote and tough enough for its intended purpose. I picked this up in a thrift store for a buck. It was some kid’s school bag and it got a bit worn so Mommy bought him a new one. It will do nicely.
Large trash bags. These aren’t even the “high speed out of the budget because you don’t normally buy them” Contractor Bags. Nope, these are just regular ol’ trash bags. Wear it like a poncho, fill them full of leaves to make blankets and mattresses, string a couple up end to end to make a (very tight) “tube tent”, sit on one to keep your butt dry – use your imagination.
Shower curtain. An old one that you wanted to throw away because some of the ring holes ripped through. It’s tough. It will make a great ground cloth, you can rig it like a tarp using little stones or acorns in the corner to tie off to, or you can drape it across your shoulders as a rain cape.
String. Yeah, it’s not Kevlar spider wire or even 550 cord but you know what? It will do the job.
Hat. Fifty cents at Goodwill – wash well before packing. Keep your noggin’ warm and life starts to be okay. Yeah I know, this isn’t the latest miracle fabric– but you’ll still be toasty. And grateful.
Water and Food
Water bottle. A two liter soda bottle I got from a friend (I don’t drink that junk!). Yeah I know – it doesn’t have a wide mouth, it’s not even close in design to a DromedaryHump water bladder and it is not made out of some space age plastic polymer. But it holds two liters of life sustaining water all the same.
Pot. From a coffee can and piece of wire. No, it’s not titanium and it’s not what Delta Force uses (although you may be surprised…) It works great – you can boil water to purify it, you can heat water for coffee or tea, you can stew up some road kill in it.
Chow. Throw whatever in there. Pop top cans of soup, tuna, Ramen, Girl Scout cookies – just nose around in the cupboards and get some chow. You will need calories in a fairly easy to store and prepare state. Plastic spoon or make chopsticks.
Meds. If you take daily meds, put a “pull tab” on the outside of the ruck to remind you to run up to the bathroom and grab them before you bug out. When you put the meds in your ruck, then pull off the tab. Ideally, you want to get a bigger prescription and rotate your meds through your BoB but we are doing this on the cheap so we have to take some shortcuts.
First Aid. Put together a first aid kit from the stuff you have laying around in the medicine cabinet or closet. Aspirin, bandaids, tape, ointment – whatever you think of. Yeah, I know, it’s not a commando blow out kit. But it will do.
Knife. It cost a dollar at a “used stuff store”. Make a sheath out of cardboard and tape. Or, just pull one of your extra knives out of the drawer and use it.
Fire. If you don’t smoke you may need to buy a couple lighters or matches. Wow – so expensive. Real cotton balls into which you rub some Vaseline make outstanding tinder – store them in an old pill bottle or film canister.
Duct tape. It rules the universe. Tape a hot spot on your foot, repair your shelter, make something – whatever. Wrap it around your water bottle or fold it flat.
Map. This is an old one. It will do.
Guys and gals – is this the perfect BoB? Of course not. Can you make it better? Of course you can. Can you add to it as you find more stuff or funds become available? Yes. For all its weaknesses this BoB has one great strength: It is.
You can assemble one very similar in about 30 minutes. Heck, maybe even less time. Remember though, these are minutes you just may not have in an emergency. And when you assemble this BoB you will have the means to sustain life and facilitate a bug out.
So if you have putting off assembling a BoB due to lack of funds – just remember that money is no object. And you have no excuse – put one together this weekend.
And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. – Genesis 19:12 - 15
If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe
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