Last night our CiC group got together to do BoB layouts and show-n-tell. It was a lot of fun as well as a good learning experience. CiC is Christians in Community and we are a group that gets together fairly regularly to discuss and undertake activities related to Preparedness and Intentional Community from a Christian perspective.
These men and women are well ahead of the average person as far as preparedness goes – physical and spiritual. It is because I want everyone to be more prepared in these areas that I write this blog.
Below are some observations and lessons from last night.
First – it was FUN. It was good to get together again (we had taken a break for the holidays), share some food and just fellowship in a very safe, non-threatening environment. Ten people showed up and we laid out eight BoBs.
The last time I used my BoB I failed to put it completely back into a ready state. Hanging on the outside of it was my European mess bucket (cook kit) and I a.s.s.u.m.e.d it had been cleaned and was hanging on the outside so that I could repack it at my leisure. Yeah – NO. It was dirty and had trash in it (I carry out all my trash). It would still WORK – just not as well as if it had been cleaned and put away properly. Same with two pairs of socks. Hey, dry, dirty socks are better than no socks but c’mon, Joe!
Also, I “borrowed” my white gas camping stove from my BoB and failed to put it back. I’ll do that on Saturday.
As dirty and tired and busy as you are when you get back from an event – square your gear away before you forget about it.
Things to add
Based on what others displayed there are some things I will consider adding to my BoB:
o Sutures. One the one hand they are light, and cool. On the other hand I will very likely be in a non-sterile and even filthy environment and suturing dirt into a wound is probably a bad idea. I do have duct tape…
o Handcuff key. I will buy several and squirrel them away here and there.
o Fishing kit. EVERY time I get together with folks and look at BoBs I tell myself I’m going to add a fishing kit. I saw a pocket fisherman and a really neat deal made from a short section of PVC pipe.
o Maps – my maps are in my vehicles. I need to get another couple sets.
Looking at other folks’ gear I made some observations:
o Have a trowel to bury your waste. Chinamart sells a very good, very light, very tough plastic one for about a buck.
o Waterproofing. Waterproof your stuff – especially your paper products. Double Ziplock bags work well.
o Sleeping bag. If you live north of I-40 you better have on in winter.
o Tarps – have you practiced setting it up?
o Fire – can you build a fire with the gear you carry?
o Clothing. I have a lot of clothes in my bag – parka, sweater, rain suit. Here's why: If one plans on starting out fully dressed for the weather and carrying your BoB any kind of distance at all you will quickly find yourself warming up,...then getting hot....then overheating. You do NOT want to sweat in cold weather - it will come back and bite you when you sit down. So, being the smart bugger outers you are, you will remove layers....where will you put them? Have a plan for that. You could easily strap your clothing to the outside of your BoB - do you have cordage cut and ready to go to do so? Sure, you all have cordage - but getting it out and cutting it (especially if it's your tarp set up cordage) might not be the best idea. Experiment now and leave some straps or already affixed cordage on the outside ready to use.
A few folks had pouches they intend to retain if they had to dump/leave their BoB for some reason. Good idea. I also like to keep certain items on my person. I have a bag I call “pocket litter” that I transfer from the ruck to my body as soon as possible upon commencing to bug out. Is has a multi tool, Viking Pocket Fire, compass and so on. The more knowledge you have and skills you own, the less gear you will need to survive. Acquiring this knowledge base takes time and effort and does not happen over night.
Some folks were new to the whole concept of BoBs and going on the National Winter BoB exercise might not be the best idea. We will likely set up some easier training events once things start thawing out. Things like taking the BoBs to a park or piece of woods some morning, setting up camp, building fires, eating lunch, breaking it all down and going home to sleep. Maybe follow that up with a one-night campout where we also bring all the amenities – we can experiment and play with the BoB gear but enjoy other more civilized camping gear like coolers, chairs, stoves and what not as well.
I'll see ya out there.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. - Matthew 24:15 - 18
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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