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I. Kane

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Hello fellow preppers. Although I served in the military, I am pretty green when it comes to prepping, so bear with me! I've been wanting to add to my starter BOB kit, and have it serve as a template for my friends and family which they can then modify as they see fit.

I would appreciate your valuable input in determining what items I should keep, add, and/or discard. In return, whoever comes up with the most valuable item to add to my kit will see that item featured in my near-future apocalyptic/survival horror series Fading Empires. Check out my list and images here: http://bit.ly/1bmYZeD. Help me live! What is your favorite item?
 

DrHenley

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Good luck on the series!

I think the most useful item in my Bob is the Leatherman Wingman
After getting one for the Bob, I got another one for my pocket, and I'm lost without it now! I literally use it several times a day. The knife blade is very sharp and pretty good steel - a better blade than the pocket knife I USED TO CARRY but no longer need to. Plus the knife and scissors can be deployed without opening the tool.
11-wingman.jpg
 
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Gazrok

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8 ER Bars (these are pretty heavy so I’ll be changing these out with dehydrated food, any suggestions?)
Mountain House brand ones taste pretty good, and aren't terribly expensive (about $6 per)

4 packs of napkins
Could replace with a hand towel instead, save some room.

  • 2 two-person tube tents
  • 2 pair of heavy gloves
Why do you need two of each of these?

Survival knife (I was torn between this and a machete since you can use the longer and heavier blade to chop wood with and it could be attached, in sheath, to the outside of my backpack, but opted for the knife)
Get both. Survival knife can be strapped to leg. Also, add a small folding knife for smaller cutting tasks.

Water (this stuff is heavy so how much depends on the body mass of who’s going to be carrying it: kids, women, you get the idea)
Get two metal water bottles (metal, so you can boil and heat water in them, both for purification, as well as for heating water for dehydrated meals).

CCD countermeasures such as camo netting to drape over tents
Way too heavy to carry. Just use what is around you to hide it.

Fire starter (such as FireSteel Scout)
Good idea, but also add windproof/waterproof matches, lighters, etc. Should have at least 3 ways to make fire.

Sewing kit
You can pick up travel ones for $1 at a dollar store, very small, so no need to drop.

I didn’t include any firearms in my BOB kit
How about extra ammo?

They also make decent ration bars (Mainstay) that are easy to carry, and not very heavy (especially 3 days worth).

Water purification tabs are a must (and cheap)

Potassium Iodide Tablets (for radiation, also cheap)

Cipro Tablets (for Anthrax, other toxins)

Make sure your first aid kit has OTC medicines and antibiotic ointment

Map (of surrounding area)

Military style can opener (small, cheap, in case you find/scavenge canned food)

LED flashlight

You can ditch the pliers if you have a multi-tool

4 combination whistle/thermometer/compasses
Why 4 of these? Just one will do

I'll agree on the binoculars, but emphasize the importance (to see them before they see you!)

A hat is a good idea for many reasons (mostly sun and rain).

A small fishing kit is a good idea also

A spork/utensils shouldn't be optional, no reason one can't still be civilized. Get one of the strong plastic ones, or a Swiss-style one.

If you are going to cart around an axe, get one of the shovel/axe/saw combos available.

A set of lock picks (and practice using them).

As for the one tool you shouldn't be without...it's the Multi-Tool....hands down.
 

Brent S

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Had trouble loading your site, pretty bad weather right now though. Water filtration is probably my most treasured item. The stuff is just too heavy to carry much, so having a filter/unit of some kind is a must. They say you can go three days without it, but after two you are impaired, so don't chance it.
 

I. Kane

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Thanks for the replies so far guys!

Dr. Henley-that multi-tool looks like a Swiss Army knife on steroids. Did MacGuyver pack one of those? Geeeez. Great tip there. Which tool(s) do you use the most on it?

Gazrock-you mean a regular cloth hand rag? Guess that would be good since it's re-usable. Also, the tents and gloves came with 2 each. I got this kit back in 2007 so who knows why they put that number in there. You have some other really good suggestions there; wondering what kind of binocs are super-lightweight but good quality. Also, hadn't though about Cipro tabs. Ax/shovel combo seems interesting, I'll check online for some options. Also, I plan on wearing a LBE so will store ammo on that probably. Lockpick is interesting too, I don't know why they didn't include that in the multi-tool. I can imagine that pharmacies will be areas of interest since many people will need to access medicines critical to their illnesses and/or wounds, so being able to get into one (and other establishments like stores/gas stations) will be necessary. Mainstay, eh? I'll check those out as well. For food I am considering bars like those as well as jerky (I'm a jerky fanatic!)

Brent-Yeah I agree! Others have made me feel pretty dumb for thinking about lugging around tons of water. In the military we were carrying a canteen around when we were on marches so I have to get that out of my head. If anything I might pack a small bottle of water, but def. a water filtration device. Another gentleman that commented on my post in the Doomsday Prepper group on Facebook (thanks Brain) suggested the Kayden water filtration device. Looks a lot more sturdy than a Lifestraw and hope it's lightweight. Going to go check one out in person soon and will let you guys know. Sorry to hear about the weather there in GA. Is it still pretty bad or has it passed yet? Heard that storm has been VERY expensive in terms of damage.
 

Brent S

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Thanks for the replies so far guys!

Dr. Henley-that multi-tool looks like a Swiss Army knife on steroids. Did MacGuyver pack one of those? Geeeez. Great tip there. Which tool(s) do you use the most on it?

Gazrock-you mean a regular cloth hand rag? Guess that would be good since it's re-usable. Also, the tents and gloves came with 2 each. I got this kit back in 2007 so who knows why they put that number in there. You have some other really good suggestions there; wondering what kind of binocs are super-lightweight but good quality. Also, hadn't though about Cipro tabs. Ax/shovel combo seems interesting, I'll check online for some options. Also, I plan on wearing a LBE so will store ammo on that probably. Lockpick is interesting too, I don't know why they didn't include that in the multi-tool. I can imagine that pharmacies will be areas of interest since many people will need to access medicines critical to their illnesses and/or wounds, so being able to get into one (and other establishments like stores/gas stations) will be necessary. Mainstay, eh? I'll check those out as well. For food I am considering bars like those as well as jerky (I'm a jerky fanatic!)

Brent-Yeah I agree! Others have made me feel pretty dumb for thinking about lugging around tons of water. In the military we were carrying a canteen around when we were on marches so I have to get that out of my head. If anything I might pack a small bottle of water, but def. a water filtration device. Another gentleman that commented on my post in the Doomsday Prepper group on Facebook (thanks Brain) suggested the Kayden water filtration device. Looks a lot more sturdy than a Lifestraw and hope it's lightweight. Going to go check one out in person soon and will let you guys know. Sorry to hear about the weather there in GA. Is it still pretty bad or has it passed yet? Heard that storm has been VERY expensive in terms of damage.
I'd be very interested in your opinion on the filter as I've only seen them online. Although everything I've heard/read has been positive. I think a canteen or container of some sort is wise, but carrying gallons is just not practical. The weather was ugly with all the ice, but it was so nice on Sunday that I got the bike out and started it to charge the battery for a little while. At least the bad weather was short lived.
 

DrHenley

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Dr. Henley-that multi-tool looks like a Swiss Army knife on steroids. Did MacGuyver pack one of those? Geeeez. Great tip there. Which tool(s) do you use the most on it?
Most used (in order):
Knife blade (daily)
Scissors
Box opener
Pliers
Screwdrivers

I have yet to use the can opener, but it's there if I ever need it.

The tool is small enough to carry in a pants pocket, but not too small. I have had a number of multitools before, but I never really found them useful enough or convenient enough to carry in my pocket until this one. It's my favorite by far.
 

I. Kane

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Brent-are you talking about your generator battery? A generator is something I'll also be investing in soon; with all of the power outages and everything these days.

Dr. Henley-those are handy indeed. Now if they can only include a lockpick haha but I guess there is always something to nitpick. Great tool though, and it seems sturdy as well if you're using it for all of those purposes on a daily basis?

--Ian
 

Brent S

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Brent-are you talking about your generator battery? A generator is something I'll also be investing in soon; with all of the power outages and everything these days.

Dr. Henley-those are handy indeed. Now if they can only include a lockpick haha but I guess there is always something to nitpick. Great tool though, and it seems sturdy as well if you're using it for all of those purposes on a daily basis?

--Ian
Hey, no the gen is straight power from gasoline. I'm seriously thinking of getting my first solar panels and some batteries to store the charge. My fridge is modern and pulls 10 amps, and I have a freezer that I haven't looked at the amperage draw yet, but I'm hoping to get a set up that can run those two appliances. Lights would be kind of nice too. I'm still looking at total cost, but think it's probably time to get started with the panels.
 

Gazrok

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Gazrock-you mean a regular cloth hand rag?
Yep, easy to wash, dry, and store (terry cloth though).

Now if they can only include a lockpick
No such thing really as "A" lockpick. Most techniques involve the use of two "picks", and you need an assorted set of widths, sizes, etc. to be effective. A few "bump keys" never hurt either (Google it)... ;) Probably not in multi-tools as they may be illegal in some states, and limit marketing opportunities.

wondering what kind of binocs are super-lightweight but good quality
Don't have to be that great. I believe mine are like x25 but still work pretty well, and very compact (about the size of a thick wallet, when folded). Bushnell.

I plan on wearing a LBE so will store ammo on that probably
Great for travel, but will make you look military or paramilitary too, which depending on the scenario, could be a bad thing.

One of my favorite recent finds, is a Survival Belt. It has a ceramic knife blade, front and rear handcuff keys, storage areas, etc. Pretty damn cool.
http://www.blackscoutsurvival.com/2013/05/escapetravel-belt-review.html
 

I. Kane

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Brent-You're way ahead and now you have me revisiting solar power for energy. As Americans, I guess we take electricity for granted and don't consider other options that much. Here's a website that I found that is pretty frank about the costs involved for solar panels. Looks like a mid-range system can run us around $10k, which isn't too bad all things considered, and that's before the federal tax credits. Also, depending on the state you live in and your utility company, you can receive rebates. Thank you for bringing that up! Solar panels would make you a target in SHTF times, so retractable ones might be a good option.


http://www.wholesalesolar.com/solar-cost.html


Gaz-That belt looks epic. Might pick me up one of those. What I like about it is that it's totally innocuous and all of your goodies are hidden. You're right; stealth ops are the way to go if you're in the field. Get spotted with gear that looks like a threat before you see your enemy, and you're as good as dead by someone who is good at shooting squirrels with a hunting rifle.

That website has some interesting stuff. I liked this:


http://www.blackscoutsurvival.com/2012/02/escape-and-evasion-201-equipment.html


How'd you come across it?
 

Roninsensei

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Get a machete instead of an axe. This one in particular did better than my axe for chopping.

http://www.coldsteel.com/Product/97JMS/JUNGLE_MACHETE_W_SHEATH.aspx

Dump those tube tents they are junk and fall apart in 24 hours or less. Get one 6x8 and one 8x12 tarps at Walmart for 5 bucks each. Use the same way.

Carry packs of Top Ramon. High salt content (good for water retention) and all you need to do is add a bit of small bird or rabbit or squirrel or maggots or bugs to give it protein.

Carry pocket SAS survival guide. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/248824/sas-survival-guide-pocket-edition-book-by-john-wiseman

What Knife are you considering? This is my specialty.
 
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Gazrok

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This is a great lock pick set, and its very portable.
Add some bump keys on that keyring too, hehe... Nice. I have to pick that up. (it's a hobby, and has come in handy on a few occasions). The DVD is a great deal at $20 too.

Another option for solar is solar leasing. Basically, there are companies that do this, provide you all the equipment, do the install, etc. for you (and upgrade/repair the equipment). You pay a monthly fee, but ideally, the fee is less than the amount you save on your power bill. The rub is, THEY get the tax credit (as their equipment), but YOU don't have to come up with $15K out of your pocket to do it. (and of course, if the SHTF, well...you still have the setup and no more monthly payment!)

I agree with dumping the tube tents, but I'd recommend getting a small, two-man dome tent. Personally, I do the tarp idea as suggested above, but that's because I have the tarps for the truck anyhow, with me already. If I didn't, I'd tie a dome tent pack to the bottom of my pack. Dome tents are REALLY sturdy and weatherproof, go up in minutes (and with one person), and come down fairly easily. I've ridden out some nasty storms in one (storms that destroyed others' metal pole tents....the dome uses fiberglass rods). Weighs about the same as a rolled up tarp too.
 
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Brent S

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Brent-You're way ahead and now you have me revisiting solar power for energy. As Americans, I guess we take electricity for granted and don't consider other options that much. Here's a website that I found that is pretty frank about the costs involved for solar panels. Looks like a mid-range system can run us around $10k, which isn't too bad all things considered, and that's before the federal tax credits. Also, depending on the state you live in and your utility company, you can receive rebates. Thank you for bringing that up! Solar panels would make you a target in SHTF times, so retractable ones might be a good option.


http://www.wholesalesolar.com/solar-cost.html


Gaz-That belt looks epic. Might pick me up one of those. What I like about it is that it's totally innocuous and all of your goodies are hidden. You're right; stealth ops are the way to go if you're in the field. Get spotted with gear that looks like a threat before you see your enemy, and you're as good as dead by someone who is good at shooting squirrels with a hunting rifle.

That website has some interesting stuff. I liked this:


http://www.blackscoutsurvival.com/2012/02/escape-and-evasion-201-equipment.html


How'd you come across it?
Great link on the solar, thanks so much. I'm still deciding on which way to go at the moment. I'm also looking at propane, as I could convert my big generator to run on it and even get a set of gas logs for the fireplace? The propane would be cheaper up front and stores very long term, but the solar is the best way to go, just a lot more invested especially with the battery system. Decisions, decisions!
 

I. Kane

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Excuse me for just getting back on here now; things have been hectic with writing and I also just got a new newspaper gig.

http://www.idealcreations.net/ls09.htm

This is a great lock pick set, and its very portable.
Hi Ronin-Have you tried it out yet? Is it sturdy? Some of the stuff that we as Americans (me included) are purchasing are flimsy made in China. Good looking kit though, thanks. I liked your vid by the way. What brand of lighter was that again? And also the multi-tool with metric kit? Hadn't thought of the chopstick option, where did you come up with that? Also, what is the total carry weight of your BOB kit (including backpack)? Noticed in the beginning that you said you'd "accumulated" a lot of stuff over the years. Do you guys find that as time passes by, you get these crazy ideas of stuff that you want to add, month-to-month, over time, which might not be necessary to have in your BOB? Or do you pretty much stick with what you had in the beginning?

Gaz-Glad to hear that you've field tested your dome tent. Any particular brand that you're keen on? I tend to be a brand-name guy. What are you guys packing for a sleeping roll? A sleeping bag? Poncho?

Brent-Are you preparing for the next storm, and if so, how so? I hear that the second Polar Vortex is coming down the pipes so hope you and your family are safe.
 

Brent S

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Excuse me for just getting back on here now; things have been hectic with writing and I also just got a new newspaper gig.



Hi Ronin-Have you tried it out yet? Is it sturdy? Some of the stuff that we as Americans (me included) are purchasing are flimsy made in China. Good looking kit though, thanks. I liked your vid by the way. What brand of lighter was that again? And also the multi-tool with metric kit? Hadn't thought of the chopstick option, where did you come up with that? Also, what is the total carry weight of your BOB kit (including backpack)? Noticed in the beginning that you said you'd "accumulated" a lot of stuff over the years. Do you guys find that as time passes by, you get these crazy ideas of stuff that you want to add, month-to-month, over time, which might not be necessary to have in your BOB? Or do you pretty much stick with what you had in the beginning?

Gaz-Glad to hear that you've field tested your dome tent. Any particular brand that you're keen on? I tend to be a brand-name guy. What are you guys packing for a sleeping roll? A sleeping bag? Poncho?

Brent-Are you preparing for the next storm, and if so, how so? I hear that the second Polar Vortex is coming down the pipes so hope you and your family are safe.
I got all my chickens in the coop with a lamp for warmth, closed up the greenhouse and fed the rabbits as normal as they do well in the cold. Right now I have a glass of wine and a nice fire going, watching the evening news. Thats about all the prep I'm doing for this little cold snap. I think it will go down to 25 or so over the next few nights, not too bad. The only down side is I've burned a crap load of firewood this year. Stay warm!
 

Roninsensei

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Here's the lighter
http://www.blazerproducts.com/tools/pb207.html

Yes I've used the lock pick set quite a bit. It works great. Its sturdy enough for what it is.

Chopsticks are something I've used quite a bit. My background in martial arts is 35 years of Japanese Ju Jutsu.

The bags total weight with a full 2 liter water bag is 20.2 pounds, with out the water 15.3

As time passed my bag got lighter and lighter. Originally you start with tons of stuff (bag started off close to 35 pounds 15 years ago). As I've learned more through the years I've dumped a lot and added some better quality of others. I used to carry around hard core gas masks and other such ridiculous things but then found through education that a gas mask doesn't do what most people think it does. Sure it filters things out of the air but, depends on your filter and what its built for and its only good for a couple of hours tops. Its doesn't protect you from nerve gases at all so short of tear gas and the like, a bandana across the face will cover most problems. Things like that...
 
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I. Kane

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I got all my chickens in the coop with a lamp for warmth, closed up the greenhouse and fed the rabbits as normal as they do well in the cold. Right now I have a glass of wine and a nice fire going, watching the evening news. Thats about all the prep I'm doing for this little cold snap. I think it will go down to 25 or so over the next few nights, not too bad. The only down side is I've burned a crap load of firewood this year. Stay warm!
Sounds good, Brent. Sometimes all a man needs is some spirits to heat him up just as those last survivors in the North Pole in "The Day After Tomrrow." Okay, bad comparison; it won't barely be as bad as that. Hopefully, you live in a wooded area and can get your own wood, if not maybe buy in bulk somewhere closeby. How's the situation going with the fuel?

Ronin - I was sitting here laughing out loud when you said you were carrying all that gear; but great to see that you have learned through trial and error what to pack and what not to pack. I knew some guys that would pack extra stuff in their rucks in the military and it just ended up being a burden. After I watched your very informative video, a thing popped up showing options for similar videos, and I checked a few out. This one kind of stood out where a gentleman was talking about packing a ham radio in his "extended everyday carry" bag. Wonder if that would be useful for a BOB. Trying to figure out a situation where N/B/C weapons would be something to worry about, and I'm thinking that that would really only happen in a terrorism style attack. I think conventional invasions are a thing of the past.
 

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