Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Las Vegan
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Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by Las Vegan » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:39 pm

My AO is central Las Vegas, an industrial and residential city with little to no farming or natural resources, surrounded on all sides by desert. What little game/water/plants may exist will be quickly depleted by the population of 2 million who live in this valley, therefore in a SHTF situation hunting/trapping/etc. will be limited to the urban variety (i.e.: squirrels, rats, alley cats, pigeons). Food is thus assumed to be either packed or scrounged meaning that the need for hunting or fishing gear in a BOB or GHB is very unlikely. The weather is temperate to very hot with occasional freezes during the winter and so the clothing is comprised of moderate layers and the shelter is light.

The most likely need for this bag is as a Get Home Bag rather than a BOB, although I have tried to prepare for either need (I'm either less than 60 miles from home or hundreds of miles away in another state). The tools (wrench, pry bar, etc.) reflect the urban AO. I foresee my main priorities as: walking from wherever I find myself to my home, possibly over a matter of a few days; self-defense; staying hydrated, fed, and healthy; overnight bivouacking in non-inclement weather; and possibly having to defeat barriers such as fences or locked gates.

The bag weighs 35 pounds, about one-fifth of my weight but still a bit more than an old man would like to carry for any distance on a hot day, even if it is "only a dry heat." :wink:

Clothing & Shelter
• Rain poncho that covers me and the backpack
• Bandannas, cotton, 3
• Mylar emergency “sleeping bag”
• Socks, 2 pairs cotton, 1 pair wool
• Underwear, 2 pairs
• T-shirts, 1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve
• Thermal long underwear, medium weight, 1 pair
• Flannel shirt
• Hiking shoes, 1 pair
• Jeans, 1 pair
• Leather belt
• Gloves, cold weather
• Knit cap
• Ball cap
• Sturdy reading glasses in a hard case
• Shemagh
• Hand and foot warmers
• Fanny pack ("mini BOB," essential items in case I need to ditch the big bag to run from the MZBs)

Food, Water, & Mess Kit
• Bottled water, 2 liters
• Electrolyte mix
• MREs, 3 complete meals (entrees, snacks, water pouches, instant coffee, drink mix, etc.) + heaters
• Millennium Bars, 5 (400 calories each)
• Peanut butter, individual servings, 5 (200 calories each)
• Water purification tablets, chlorine dioxide, 30
• P38 can openers (for what I may scrounge)
• Large zip-lock bags
• Metal cup
• Aluminum pot, small
• Spoon, aluminum, long handle
• Aluminum foil, heavy duty, approx. 4 sq. ft., folded

Tools, Weapons, & Self Defense
• Leatherman Wave
• Bits and adapter for Leatherman
• Fixed blade knife and sheath
• Smit's Pocket Pal multifunction blade sharpener
• Hack saw, 11 inch
• Pry bar, 15 inch
• Crescent wrench, 8 inch
• 200 rds 9mm FMJ (pistol is EDC, plus folding knife, see notes)

Rope & Repairs
• Duct Tape, 20 ft.
• 550 Paracord, 100 ft.
• Zip ties
• Repair/sewing kit
• Ranger bands

Fire & Lighting
• MSR Pocket Rocket and 2 canisters of fuel (approx. 1 hour burn time each)
• Flashlight
• LED headlamp
• WetFire tinder cubes, 8
• Magnesium fire starter
• Matches, waterproof, in small canister
• Lighter, butane, disposable, 4
• Fresnel lens
• Spare batteries for all electronic devices

Navigation & Communication
• Portable (tiny) pocket radio, AM and FM, with ear buds
• Compass
• State map, including hiking and 4WD trails
• Signal mirror
• Pad and pen

Sanitation & First Aid
• Moist wipes
• Toilette paper, half roll, flattened
• Trash Bags, 30 gallon, 2
• Hand sanitizer
• Zip lock bags, various
• Nitrile gloves, 2 pair
• Masks, breathing, filter (N95), 2
• Sunblock, SPF 50
• Foot powder
• Chapstick
• Moleskin
• CAT tourniquet
• Israeli bandage, with abdominal pad, 12-inch
• Trauma scissors (“penny cutters”)
• First Aid Kit (including the usual items: band aids, antihistamine, pain meds, antibiotic ointment, Imodium, etc.)

Notes:
1. For those who feel that this is too much for a GHB/BOB, remember that I can assess the situation (say for instance I’m within 24-72 hours walking distance and I just need to get home) and jettison anything redundant or otherwise unnecessary. On the other hand if I’m way the heck up in the hills or out in the dessert, I may need all of this and more.

2. My EDC includes a Glock 19 with a 15-round magazine, a spare 17-round magazine, and a total of 33 rounds of Speer Gold Dots.

3. I also EDC a Spyderco Tenacious, emergency cash, a small flashlight, a cell phone, tweezers, a handcuff key, and a lighter.

4. Most of the clothing items will probably be taken out if/when I actually use the BOB, as they are redundant to what I usually wear.

5. Items that are always in my vehicle, separate from the BOB:
• Gloves, thick leather
• Happy stick with 30 rounds Speer Gold Dot
• Sunglasses
• Caffeine pills
• 2 gallons of water
• Folding shovel
• Medium weight jacket and zip-out liner
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shrimpwd
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Re: Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by shrimpwd » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:32 pm

I'm not in your AO, but I would suggest removing:
100 9mm
1-2 butane lighters
1 of the fuel canisters
1-2 MREs

And adding because of weight savings:
2400 or 3600 cal emergency rations, or other no-heat noms.
1-2 additional liters of water
additional water filtration (lifestraw or sawyer squeeze are lightweight)

You don't have any food that requires heating, so the pocket rocket and both canisters may be unnecessary. MRE water weight is only going to be used when you eat them, where bottled water allows you to drink it whenever. (and replenish if/when opportunity strikes)

You already said the clothes may be left behind, so not going into that.

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Re: Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by Qasim » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:32 pm

Las Vegan, not a full review, but a few observations.

1. WRT the P38's intended use, On Zombie Squad, we do not "scrounge"
2. If you have MREs, you shouldn't need the stove. I didn't see anything else you'd cook in the stove. Also, see #1
3. You have a lot of tools (like the crescent wrench) that seem pretty heavy. Also, in Zombie Squad, we do not commit breaking and entering, even during a disaster. Unless you anticipate being locked out of your own place (in which case you should probably pack an extra set of keys), you can probably ditch some of the heavier tools for a BOB.
4. Recommend against cotton socks, even if its a dry heat. for 72 hours, I'd rather just have one pair of wool socks than multiple pairs of cotton socks.
5. If jeans are what you always wear, then go with them. I'd never pack them in a BOB. For Las Vegas, maybe something NYCO blend? Assuming you're not worried about abrasion?

Good luck refining

-Qasim

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Re: Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by rhi » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:46 pm

Looks pretty good to me. Recommend adding:

- Insect repellant spray or wipes.

Might not be a big problem in your Ao, but around here - at least in the Summer - it's a huge issue.
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Re: Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by Las Vegan » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:08 pm

Excellent suggestions so far. Thanks for the input. I will adjust accordingly.

Scrounging = "Pardon me, sir. I'm the owner of this market and you look like you could use some canned goods." Gosh, thanks.

Tools = "You look well equipped and I seem to have accidently locked my gate/door/trunk/garage/locker. Could you possibly help a property owner out of a bind?" Of course.
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Re: Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by TacAir » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:19 pm

Having lived in Las Vegas for many years - I think you need more water, a lot more water.

For the 'get hone' part, I would suggest adding a 4 way silcock key, for possible water replenishment.

Hat - wide brim and a bandana for extra shade. Maps of the AO.

If I was 65 miles to 100s of miles away from LV when it hit the fan, I would be reluctant to return, not to be rude, but parts of the city are a slow motion riot right now...

I would guess a lot of folks would head for the Lake, many more to the Mt Charleston AO. Unless you have a large amount of water stored at your home now, it is something to consider as a immediate fill item. The nearest civilization is St George, Kingman or Bullhead City - none of which are really big enough to handle the mass of humanity that might be displaced from the metroplex.

We saw the biggest hazard to the AO as a major earthquake in SoCal and the inevitable massive food of refugees showing up, empty handed and demanding help. This is an active seismic zone - so a major earthquake is a possibility... Otherwise, civil unrest would be the most likely major hazard to affect a wide swath of town.

Good luck, I hate to even fly in there to change planes...
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Re: Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by Las Vegan » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:48 pm

TacAir wrote:Having lived in Las Vegas for many years - I think you need more water, a lot more water.

For the 'get hone' part, I would suggest adding a 4 way silcock key, for possible water replenishment.

Hat - wide brim and a bandana for extra shade. Maps of the AO.

If I was 65 miles to 100s of miles away from LV when it hit the fan, I would be reluctant to return, not to be rude, but parts of the city are a slow motion riot right now....
Silcock, great idea, thank you. That's going right to the top of the shopping list. Water is already at 2 liters in the BOB and two more gallons in the vehicle, but no reason not to give myself the ability to acquire more. Hat, bandanna, and map are already in the bag.

As to the distances and the decision to travel back to my home or not, Las Vegas is a beautiful shining jewel in the middle of nowhere, so I'm either close enough to walk home within two days or so (I may be in Boulder City to the east, Mt. Charleston to the north, Pahrump to the west, or Primm/State Line to the south), or I'm so far away that I'd have to stay put and find another place to settle. Luckily I have friends and family in the places that I usually travel to.
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Re: Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by ODA 226 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:31 am

Ditch:
• Hack saw
• Pry bar
• Crescent wrench
Too much weight and not essential.

Jeans: replace with loose non-cotton pants like Propper or LA Police Gear. They stay dryer and dry out faster than jeans and in the desert, you don't want to sweat.

Underwear: Not needed and is guaranteed to give you crotch-rot once you start to move, especially in the desert. Go commando instead! Your nads will thank you for it!

Cotton Socks: Change to wool or something like "Coolmax" hiking socks. Like your nads, your feet will appreciate this!

200 rounds of 9mm: I would cut that down to a box of 50 if it were me, but I understand it if you don't want to get killed for a lack of shooting back. Your call.

Add:

1. WATER! I agree with TacAir about this. You need more water! One gallon MINIMUM! Even when it's not hot, the dryness of the desert will still suck the water out of your body at an alarmingly fast rate. Without water, your body will not be able to process all of that MRE goodness that you're packing. MORE WATER!

2. Boonie hat or wide brimmed hat.

3. A second compass. I always carry a minimum of two compasses especially when operating in areas where I must use dead-reckoning. No matter how experienced you are, you will find yourself questioning your compass. When they both show the same heading, you know that it's YOU whose fucked up and not the compass!

4. Bug Spray. Sand fleas and other critters will make your live miserable if you don't have this.

5. MORE WATER! (Did I mention this before?) MORE WATER!
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Re: Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by Iowa_guy » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:44 am

Not sure of what exact critters may be outside of town, but have you considered a snake bite kit? Also depending on your tolerance to the sun I would suggest a higher SPF of sunscreen.

I am in agreement on swapping the jeans for some NYCOs and reducing the tool loads.

Pistol ammo adds up but as already said some parts of town are the suck right now.

Consider breaking down your MRE's to cut weight and bulk.

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Re: Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by Las Vegan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:08 pm

I took out the full MREs and replaced them with 3 MRE First Strike Ration sandwiches (310 calories each), and 3 MRE cinnamon buns (330 calories each). Those along with the Millennium bars (400 calories each) and the peanut butter pouches (200 calories each) give me a total of about 4,900 calories. I could make that last about five days if I needed to. As I mentioned in my notes, I keep an aditional two gallons of water in my vehicle, so the water is taken care of. The stove and fuel are now gone; good point shrimpwd and Qasim that nothing in my BOB needs to be cooked. shrimpwd, I do own a Katadyn MyBottle Purifier for camping. It weighs next to nothing, just takes up a bit of space. I suppose I could put it in. We are talking possible SHTF here, right?

ODA 226 and Iowa_guy, insect repellent has been added to my shopping list, thanks. The cotton socks are out, and I'll look into pants made of a more appropriate material. Tac Air, I agree that civil unrest is a big possibility. I lived through the Rodney King riots and I learned all I needed to from that. Luckily I live in an Open Carry state and I also have a concealed carry permit. Should martial law be enacted, that's when it's time to play by Big Boy Rules. I won't go more into that on this forum, but you and I know what I mean.

All together, the BOB is down to 25 pounds, an entire 10 pounds lighter. Thanks again for the help.
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Re: Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by Dogan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:34 pm

Las Vegan wrote:We are talking possible SHTF here, right?
Not even that: Think of the ammo shortages, gas shortages of the past and present. How would you be for water if, tomorrow, a sewage leak or other contamination caused the better part of Las Vegas to have it's tap water declared nonpotable until the lines had been cleared and cleaned? How available would water be? A forum member just had this happen in their AO, I might add, except that they were put on a city-wide boil notice.
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Re: Please critique my urban GHB/BOB

Post by Las Vegan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:37 pm

Dogan wrote:
Las Vegan wrote:We are talking possible SHTF here, right?
Not even that: Think of the ammo shortages, gas shortages of the past and present. How would you be for water if, tomorrow, a sewage leak or other contamination caused the better part of Las Vegas to have it's tap water declared nonpotable until the lines had been cleared and cleaned? How available would water be? A forum member just had this happen in their AO, I might add, except that they were put on a city-wide boil notice.
Now that's a whole 'nuther kettle of fish. My home is my Bug In Location, and the water (and food, and fuel, and medical supplies, and ammo, and pretty much everything else) is covered. This bag is to get me home so that I can snuggle with all of my lovely preps.
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