BOB philosophy revisited

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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BOB philosophy revisited

Post by Kun2112 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:30 am

First of all, I have been away from the forums for a while, but decided to come back after a recent discussion on a friends FB post.
The topic of conversation revolved around BOBs, or as I like to call them, three day kits, and I thought I would share my philosophy on the subject, which a lot of people here at ZS follow, but I just feel like sharing today. :)
Part of my philosophy is common sense: practice with what you have and learn its limitations.
However, based on that, I think the best gear is generally stuff that has been used a lot, by a lot of different people, in as many different conditions as possible, and had the design changed based on user response. With the post-Katrina resurgence in preparedness, a new, cottage industry has risen up to meet consumer demand. Some of these products are of poor quality, most are extremely durable, and quite a few are overpriced.

During the FB discussion, one commenter mentioned his kit: the backpack, what was in it, what it weighed, and how much he spent on the total kit. I was floored by three things. His total weight with water was nearly 75lbs. His investment in the kit, specifically the pack and a few other pieces were extremely expensive considering what he got for the money. Lastly, all the things he considered essential for a 72 hour period.

The only piece his of kit I'm going to go into detail on is the pack. It was made of "a double-layer of rugged cordura", had a lot of zippered pickets, and MOLLE straps everywhere. The manufacturer did not list volume on their website, but did list dimensions, and these fall in line with about a 70-80 liter volume range when compared to other packs of roughly the same size. Oh, and the empty pack weighed nearly ten pounds. We got into a civil discussion on his kit vs mine, and it got me thinking about what so many people are spending their hard-earned cash on.

So, what is the point I am trying to make with all of this? Well, there are actually two, but the second follows from the first, and that is weight. Weight is one of the biggest detriments to the concept of retreating/bugging out. Let's say you are a man in your mid-thirties, in good shape, less than 18% body fat, and weigh 160lbs at a height of 5'8". That 75lb pack is nearly 50% of your body weight. Now, drop that pack weight to 40lbs; 25% of your body weight. Imagine how much further/faster you could hike without that extra 35lbs. Trust me, it makes a huge difference. Try it yourself. Find a local hike this weekend and pull a 10-20 mile day hike or overnighter with your full kit. Time your time on trail and evaluate your energy level on trail, at camp, and afterwards. Next weekend do the same trip, but only pack the things you know you will use plus core items like first-aid, etc.. Compare the two. Hills will drive the point home better than flat land.

The second point is that there exists a large community who, as a whole, have spent decades self-supporting and have learned what you really need to pack, and what you should leave at home: recreational backpackers. There are many people who have thru-hiked trails thousands of miles long with a whole lot less gear than the average person would think. Some with very little gear. Go visit your local REI or similar outfitter (find dealers for Osprey, Gregory, Black Diamond, MSR, etc) and ask the people who work there what they would pack for a two-night hike. Add things if you wish, but remember to keep the extras to a minimum. A BOB is for bugging out, not for living off the land for a year, unless that is your contingency plan. Oh, and that 10lb pack I mentioned earlier? Try 10lbs for pack, shelter, and sleeping system for about the same money the guy spent on his high-end pack.

Look into something new, you might be surprised :)

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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:18 am

While I generally agree with your over-all point, I think you will find something to be generally true around here:

1) many ZS member backpack and camp recreationally, and this experience drives their survival gear selection

2) many of those same ZSers cary much heavier, more durable gear in their BOB/INCH then they do when out for fun

I myself also think that a 10lb backpack is silly, but I won't be grabbing my 2lb Granite Gear pack if things are getting hairy. I think a 4-5lb pack hits that magic sweet spot of more durability then you really need with no huge penalty. Beyond that most of my sleep system, cook gear and clothing is very similar to what I would use backpacking, only slightly heavier and more durable (synthetics rather then down for instance) with a few concessions to non-permissive environments (more camo, more no-cook meals). While I am willing to risk my comfort on a backpacking trip (small chance of soaking through my down items, maybe having to stop and repair a torn ultralight item) I am much more risk-averse when it comes to a serious situation. but if I had to choose between surplus/tactical gear and civilian backpack gear, I choose the backpacking gear every time.

I think a lot of people around here agree 30-40lbs is a healthy pack weight to shoot for, but most of us go over with just-in-case items that we can cache when we decide that speed is more important.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by ineffableone » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:29 am

A 75 lb pack is likely not a BOB but an INCH. Though you did mention including water, if your friend was carrying a lot of water then that can weigh a pack down quickly. Water weight is massive and really adds up fast.


I would suspect though as you were mentioning how your friend had gear that you did not see as needed for a 72 hr period that your friend was packing his bag more for a longer term than the short term. This is pretty common. Especially with people new to prepping. A BOB becomes an INCH very quickly when trying to decide what you want to take with you, and the weight gets more and more as the gear is loaded.

Funny part is I am betting your friend likely doesn't have his paperwork in his BOB. Photocopies of ID, insurance, SS card, etc are all wise things to have in your BOB but it is one of the most over looked items to pack.

I personally abandoned the BOB (72 hr kit) concept quite awhile ago. I have my EDC/GHB and an INCH. My EDC/GHB could function for 72 hrs if needed and my INCH pack can get me through any longer term evacuation.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by Boondock » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:31 pm

Kun2112 wrote:Go visit your local REI or similar outfitter … and ask the people who work there what they would pack for a two-night hike.
I think it'd be better to ask ZS. I like REI, but when I shop there, it's kinda like this:


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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by woodsghost » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:19 pm

+1 RonnyRonin.

I have been working to get my pack weight down below 40 lbs, even with ammo, water, and just in case items. Using military surplus gear. So, I have been working to get rid of items I really don't need, then camping to see if I am right or not!

It's a fun process!!!

It's all just one more excuse to get out and play in the woods. :)


EDIT:

As I"m thinking about it, I'm betting not all ZS members are recreational campers. I suspect most of the ACTIVE members are recreational campers and hikers. My time here and at other forums leads me to believe a lot of folks don't get out much, and don't pretend to. Some folks I have talked to in the preparedness community feel pretty strongly that their only choice is to bug in. For all sorts of reasons, but they are just not interested in the possibility of ever leaving their home. So these folks try to make their home a castle and don't put thought into leaving or camping or hiking. I suspect a fair number of ZSers fall into this category, but the people reading this thread are probably not those people.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by Dragon80 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:53 pm

I'm going to comment on one part of your insight. The build and weight of the pack itself.

I regularly blaze my own trails in very wooded and sometimes overgrown areas. There's no way an UL pack would stand up to the abuse I put my packs through without looking like Swiss cheese and that's a very big factor in my own personal pack choice. Having a pack that's built like a tank is sometimes more important than how much it weighs, afterall how will you carry your UL pack when one of the straps tears away from the body of the pack and loses all stability? This is just my observation after destroying nearly every civilian pack I've owned over the past 20 years.

Another way to think of it. If the pack you need weighs 4lbs more than the lightweight version, find another place to shed 4lbs. Look to your body first, because most people can stand to lose a few pounds or more and that's not only the cheapest but the easiest and most intelligent way to shed weight.
BOB also used for backpacking
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=114606

GHB dedicated thread in need of serious updating!!!
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=112108

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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:03 pm

I see weight mentioned as a portion of body weight. Your pack should be X percentage of the body weight of a healthy person of your height and build. I.E. if you're 220 with a BMI of 30 and you don't look like terry Crews on a mass cycle, then you shouldn't be basing your pack on having a body weight of 220lb. Dragon's comments reminded me, because technically if we're setting up your pack as 1/4 of your body weight and we assume you weight 200lb, your pack can weigh 50lb. if you lose 4 lb (in a healthy, over 10% body fat way) then you should have been building your pack for a lighter bodyweight to begin with.

In other words, look at a BMI chart and a mirror. you should probably be building your pack as if you had a BMI of 10-16, not 22. Losing fat doesn't mean you get to throw more weight in your ruck, it means you didn't start with the right weight. For the record, I try to structure my basic walking about pack as though I was still 175, even though I could drop to 6% body fat and still be over 180
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by Murph » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:45 pm

This is a great book, and I really like this part about pack weight:
Image

The author is talking about a week long trip hiking across the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area in Montana. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Marshall_Wilderness

Pack weight has been a subject beat to death many times on ZS, and I'm starting to think that the point will never get across to some people beacuse, "over-packers gunna over-pack."
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by eugene » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:27 pm

I have intentionally tried to keep mine smaller, even buying a smaller pack to keep it from getting too big. Trying to keep the bare necessities and leave more larger gear for the INCH.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by ViolentKooter » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:33 pm

Time for some knowledge to get dropped. It's stuff people confuse all the time - but relevant for this discussion. Body Mass Index (BMI) is not the same thing as percentage body fat.

Underweight BMI: <18.5
Ideal BMI: 18.6-24.9
Overweight BMI: 25-29.9
Obese BMI: >30

However, a BMI does not equate to being physically fit. At all. It does not account for people with a high muscle mass for their height. Example: a professional bodybuilder may be 5'11" and 295 lbs, which is a BMI of 41.1 and considered morbidly obese. However, his percentage of body fat is likely under 2%. Now compare this to someone who works a 9-5, slurps down 8000+ calories to maintain this size, and whose exercise consists of walking to his car, to his fridge and to his bed: his % body fat is going to be ridiculously high by comparison.

Moral of the story? BMI has NO PLACE in determining ruck weight.
Does body fat percentage? Also no - you can have a very strong core and legs (which will help you carry a heavier pack longer), but still have a high body fat percentage. You can have a low body fat percentage, and not be physically fit as well. Example: 5'8" 170 lb me can hike with my pack with water, my 6'6 165 lb friend (lower BMI, lower body fat percentage) got about 100 steps before giving up on my pack (38 lbs if I recall correctly when I filled up water bladder and bottles).

This said - here is my take on losing weight. If you lose weight to try to say you can add more to your pack, you're bad at this. Your body will become more accustomed to carrying your new weight (starting at 160, now you're 150 lets say), so your 40 pound pack (1/4 of initial bodyweight) is now 50 pounds (1/3 of your body weight). Assuming only weight loss and not an increase in physical fitness level, you will be in a world of hurt: we all know the difference a few pounds less of food and water helps. Advice like this causes injuries.

My take on BOBs - try to lighten your pack if you feel it is unmanageable. If you're not sure if you can handle it - go test it out. Not even necessarily for a night out, just a hike is fine. If you can't even get out somewhere with wilderness for a hike, strap it on and walk a few miles around the neighborhood or something. If unwilling to compromise durability and weight for some items, be willing to compromise somewhere else - like getting stronger to deal with carrying more weight, lose weight elsewhere, or suffer at the end of the hike/at camp/the next day.

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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:09 pm

ViolentKooter wrote:Time for some knowledge to get dropped. It's stuff people confuse all the time - but relevant for this discussion. Body Mass Index (BMI) is not the same thing as percentage body fat.

Underweight BMI: <18.5
Ideal BMI: 18.6-24.9
Overweight BMI: 25-29.9
Obese BMI: >30

However, a BMI does not equate to being physically fit. At all. It does not account for people with a high muscle mass for their height. Example: a professional bodybuilder may be 5'11" and 295 lbs, which is a BMI of 41.1 and considered morbidly obese. However, his percentage of body fat is likely under 2%. Now compare this to someone who works a 9-5, slurps down 8000+ calories to maintain this size, and whose exercise consists of walking to his car, to his fridge and to his bed: his % body fat is going to be ridiculously high by comparison.

Moral of the story? BMI has NO PLACE in determining ruck weight.
Does body fat percentage? Also no - you can have a very strong core and legs (which will help you carry a heavier pack longer), but still have a high body fat percentage. You can have a low body fat percentage, and not be physically fit as well. Example: 5'8" 170 lb me can hike with my pack with water, my 6'6 165 lb friend (lower BMI, lower body fat percentage) got about 100 steps before giving up on my pack (38 lbs if I recall correctly when I filled up water bladder and bottles).
Man, if you're muscular enough that BMI is totally not applicable to you, you aren't going to be taking advice on the internet about your weight. It's an easy (read: can be done with a tape measure and string at home) diagnostic that gives 90% of the population a good metric to place themselves in one of the basic categories: underweight, fit, overweight, OMG you're going to die. The mirror portion is so you can look in the mirror and go "Hmmm, these 23" biceps and my 500lb reps on the squat rack might indicate that I'm outside of the the scope of a BMI chart..."

On the other hand, if you look in the mirror and don't see a competitive professional athlete, then BMI is probably a good general scale for you. I'm built a bit more barrow and have a horse neck (for my size) so I tend to tape out no matter what I weigh. I peaked at 6'1" and 230lb, and then dropped to a still-chubby 185 when I enlisted. I still taped out. Similarly, one of my best friends has the barrel chest of an ox and a relatively normal sized neck, so he failed to tape more than once even when he was within a couple pounds of max weight.

If you don't have access to a hydro tank or a professional with calipers, BMI is a diagnostic. It's just a diagnostic. Talk to a real medical professional (my doctorate is in fabulosity and drawn in crayon) and they'll likely tell you in great detail why throwing BMI out the window is wrong for most people. It's like measuring your mile time or doing bodyweight exercises. Perhaps I have too much faith in ZSers that everyone more or less understands that a modicum of physical fitness is required to walk around with a pack.

TL:DR I believe BMI and body fat (which is harder to objectively measure) absolutely have a place in determining your ruck weight. They're tools like any other, and their continued use by the medical community as that (a basic tool) should be evidence positive that it has a place.
This said - here is my take on losing weight. If you lose weight to try to say you can add more to your pack, you're bad at this. You body will become more accustomed to carrying your new weight (starting at 160, now you're 150 lets say), so your 40 pound pack (1/4 of initial bodyweight) is now 50 pounds (1/3 of your body weight). Assuming only weight loss and not an increase in physical fitness level, you will be in a world of hurt: we all know the difference a few pounds less of food and water helps. Advice like this causes injuries.
This was my main point. If I lose 10lb in a healthy way (meaning it was fat I didn't need, and I'm within a healthy bodyfat/BMI range, and I'm not going to gain it all back the second I go off the fad diet or rehydrate) then I should scale my pack weight down, and likely shouldn't increase it unless I put on muscle. As always consult a real doctor (an MD, not a marketing director, naturopath, homeopathist, or personal trainer) before begiunnign a weight loss regimen, get off the internet, and if you're not exercising, you're wrong.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by itzybitzyspyder » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:27 pm

The emergency I'm preparing for lasts longer than 3 days and I plan for that. An INCH bag is a BOB it's just set up for a longer period of time and has more long-sighted needs to meet. If you pack your load up and in you should be able to determine for yourself what your carrying weight is. I don't drive. I walk and bike everywhere. My BOB/INCH weighs 60 pounds and I weigh 160 pounds. I jog in place with my bag for 5-10 minutes a day or until it wears on me. A BOB is for meeting your personal needs in a disaster situation and not everybody has the same needs. If it were feasible you'd shove your house in there but you can't so you have to pick and choose what you do and don't need based on the scenario you're preparing for and the amount of time you think it will last.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by prepper7 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:59 pm

woodsghost wrote:<snip> EDIT: As I"m thinking about it, I'm betting not all ZS members are recreational campers. I suspect most of the ACTIVE members are recreational campers and hikers. My time here and at other forums leads me to believe a lot of folks don't get out much, and don't pretend to. Some folks I have talked to in the preparedness community feel pretty strongly that their only choice is to bug in. For all sorts of reasons, but they are just not interested in the possibility of ever leaving their home. So these folks try to make their home a castle and don't put thought into leaving or camping or hiking. I suspect a fair number of ZSers fall into this category, but the people reading this thread are probably not those people.
Very true. And whilst a BOB is no less important for such folk, it's just likely to be something to be loaded into the car when the fire service knocks on the door with an evacuation notice (or a tree falls through the roof, there's a toxic spill two blocks away, they get the mum's-in-hospital-come-NOW! call, etc.).
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by ViolentKooter » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:21 pm

My above post wasn't directed at you specifically, Doctorr Fabulous. It was mostly for the people who just read here to gather info but never actually get out - just trying to clarify.
But, based on your suggestion for packing your pack like a BMI of 10-16... that means 66 to 105 lbs is my target body weight for 5'8" (talk about emaciated): Making my pack with water being 25% of my target body weight at 16.5 - 26.25 lbs. It's pretty difficult to pack that light for a 3 day pack, especially when water weighs 8.34 lbs for a gallon and an average pack is about 4 lbs. BMI is only applicable to people who haven't lifted weights in their lifetime, as they're almost always categorized as overweight or obese. Which pretty much makes using that target BMI as a tool for a target packweight invalid if you're 5'8" or less (which is close to 50% of men in the United States). This said - at 5'8" 170 lbs, I'm considered overweight based on BMI. I'm not ridiculously muscular by any means, and BMI already doesn't apply to me.

I'm just trying to point out that BMI and percent body fat are inadequate measures here, with body fat percentage pretty much never being a useful measure anywhere in health care. BMI is only useful in very few scenarios as well. I agree with the OP that an average pack weight to aim for is 25% of your actual body weight: adjusted based on needs, wants and fitness level. And of course your bank account, since ultralight stuff is something many people lust over but cannot warrant dropping the huge chunks of change on.

A better thing to do if you think you may be overweight would be target it based on 25% of your ideal body weight, which can be found using an ideal body weight calculator on Google. This would actually be applicable to a higher percentage of people. Overweight people would pack a lesser percentage of their actual body weight and suffer less, which would lead to a more pleasant experience - and a more pleasant experience leads to doing it more, potentially losing weight/increasing fitness level, etc.

And prepper7 brings up an awesome point he beat me to putting up here - people often wouldn't plan to hike with their pack. Not everyone's idea of bugging out is heading for the hills. Having a pack that weighs 50% of your body weight is okay if your idea of bugging out is walking with it to the trunk of your car, driving 200 miles to a hotel, then humping it to your hotel room. A 70 pound pack weighs 0 when it's not on your back :awesome:

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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by Kun2112 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:44 pm

RonnyRobin, Dragon80,I wasn't suggesting using ultra-light equipment, just lighter equipment. My old Osprey Aether 60 weighs 3lbs 11oz, and is plenty rugged. I lost footing and slid down some rough skree (shale) that beat me up a bit, but the pack held up wonderfully, and my aid kit was right where I packed it :) My Gossamer Gear pack is lighter, but it is a specialized piece of kit, and I wouldn't use it for a BOB.

Ineffableone, I would say some of the things he was packing weren't even INCH appropriate. Separate .223 and 9mm cleaning kits, for example--just add the 9mm brush to the .223 kit. 300' of paracord, two collapsible fishing poles, six folding knives, 16 loaded PMAGs, stuff like that.

Boondock, Fortunately every outfitter I have shopped at has been staffed by people who actively participate in backpacking, climbing, kayaking, whatever. For example: I just bought a whitewater kayak this weekend. I wanted a crossover that would handle class III+/class IV and was suitable for long self-supported trips. Even though the store had an overstock of a particular model that they were really needing to sell, the manager recommended a competing model.

Dr. Fab, The example I gave was for an individual with a healthy BMI and more importantly, a very healthy LMB to body fat ratio for a male. Fitness was implied, but not stated. I did not mean to imply that if you weigh 300lbs, a 75lb pack is ok. The example I gave was more to illustrate a point on how weight is your enemy.

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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:46 pm

ViolentKooter wrote:My above post wasn't directed at you specifically, Doctorr Fabulous. It was mostly for the people who just read here to gather info but never actually get out - just trying to clarify.
But, based on your suggestion for packing your pack like a BMI of 10-16... that means 66 to 105 lbs is my target body weight for 5'8" (talk about emaciated): Making my pack with water being 25% of my target body weight at 16.5 - 26.25 lbs. It's pretty difficult to pack that light for a 3 day pack, especially when water weighs 8.34 lbs for a gallon and an average pack is about 4 lbs. BMI is only applicable to people who haven't lifted weights in their lifetime, as they're almost always categorized as overweight or obese. Which pretty much makes using that target BMI as a tool for a target packweight invalid if you're 5'8" or less (which is close to 50% of men in the United States). This said - at 5'8" 170 lbs, I'm considered overweight based on BMI. I'm not ridiculously muscular by any means, and BMI already doesn't apply to me.

I'm just trying to point out that BMI and percent body fat are inadequate measures here, with body fat percentage pretty much never being a useful measure anywhere in health care. BMI is only useful in very few scenarios as well. I agree with the OP that an average pack weight to aim for is 25% of your actual body weight: adjusted based on needs, wants and fitness level. And of course your bank account, since ultralight stuff is something many people lust over but cannot warrant dropping the huge chunks of change on.

A better thing to do if you think you may be overweight would be target it based on 25% of your ideal body weight, which can be found using an ideal body weight calculator on Google. This would actually be applicable to a higher percentage of people. Overweight people would pack a lesser percentage of their actual body weight and suffer less, which would lead to a more pleasant experience - and a more pleasant experience leads to doing it more, potentially losing weight/increasing fitness level, etc.

And prepper7 brings up an awesome point he beat me to putting up here - people often wouldn't plan to hike with their pack. Not everyone's idea of bugging out is heading for the hills. Having a pack that weighs 50% of your body weight is okay if your idea of bugging out is walking with it to the trunk of your car, driving 200 miles to a hotel, then humping it to your hotel room. A 70 pound pack weighs 0 when it's not on your back :awesome:
Thanks for the catch, I meant a 10-16% body fat there, not BMI, although in retrospect that's probably still a bit light for anyone who's not an active athlete. Ideal body weight and my body fat/BMI idea end up with the same end result. People who know their level of fitness will just move on, they've got it figured out, and those who are unsure, pack some extra weight, or might need a reality check can get it before they try to hump a 70lb ruck up Mount Ihatemylife on a weekend. No hate, no beef, but the anti-BMI crowd has sounded off (loudly) here before, citing pro athletes. Most also refuse to submit even a headless photo (haven't asked on this board though) to prove that they're correctly fit enough to dismiss BMI.

In closing, 15-20% body fat (for males, more for females) is likely a more realistic goal, especially if you're looking at the possibility of needing to haul ass on foot. Just make sure you're still physically active and fit in addition to that.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by ineffableone » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:54 pm

Kun2112 wrote:Ineffableone, I would say some of the things he was packing weren't even INCH appropriate. Separate .223 and 9mm cleaning kits, for example--just add the 9mm brush to the .223 kit. 300' of paracord, two collapsible fishing poles, six folding knives, 16 loaded PMAGs, stuff like that.
LOL :lol: Ah ok then no wonder your friend's pack is so heavy. Sounds like he is not thinking things through on how to lower the weight very well. Hopefully you can give him some good pointers and help him lower that weight a bit. Though sounds like from your first post that he is pretty set on his course at this point and thinks it is all essential.

Maybe challenge him to take the pack out for a few camping trips and then see what he has to say? Use and experience is really the only way I know to lower the weight of a pack and honestly decide what is essential or not. I know I am still looking at every item I camp with to see how needed it is and if I will continue to pack it for the next trip out.
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Kommander
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by Kommander » Thu May 01, 2014 12:42 am

I know that some people pack their INCH for the car with the intention of dumping some stuff if they have to go on foot. I only have a bob but is rather heavy and I know what I would start dumping first if I had to.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by procyon » Thu May 01, 2014 4:09 am

Maybe off topic, but if you plan on bugging out by car - I'm not sure I see the point of a nice, high end pack.
Or any pack.
I would probably be looking at what my kids get to go off to college with. Luggage.
Most folks already have it, and leaving a suitcase/duffle/whatever packed in case you need to leave in a hurry isn't that big a deal to me.

If your plan is to head for the hills - then a pack and camping gear sounds good.
I'm just not sure living under a tree for several days would be my response to having to leave home for 72 hrs. Or my wife's.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by RonnyRonin » Thu May 01, 2014 4:44 am

procyon wrote:Maybe off topic, but if you plan on bugging out by car - I'm not sure I see the point of a nice, high end pack.
Or any pack.
just because the car is my plan A doesn't mean I don't have a plan B. if the car dies or the roads are blocked I don't want to be hoofing it with a suitcase under each arm.

Kommander wrote:I know that some people pack their INCH for the car with the intention of dumping some stuff if they have to go on foot. I only have a bob but is rather heavy and I know what I would start dumping first if I had to.
This. first and foremost I know if I can at least get my BOB in my car I'm golden for several days. Any duffle bags, totes, or boxes I can get in after that is just icing on the cake.


my next hurdle is building a smaller lighter pack to complement my fighting kit. the more I wear armor and chest rigs the more I realize I can't get away with not subtracting that weight from my pack. Really makes me evaluate how much ammo I carry when I realize I have to trade food or warmth in order to pack it.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by procyon » Thu May 01, 2014 5:07 am

RonnyRonin wrote:just because the car is my plan A doesn't mean I don't have a plan B. if the car dies or the roads are blocked I don't want to be hoofing it with a suitcase under each arm.
Good point. And valid for most people.
My plan B is that we generally don't go anywhere in just one vehicle. Married with 6 kids (only one permanently moved out yet) and all. If one vehicle breaks down - it is just going to get crowded for us in the second vehicle. But to me, if I had to leave home - it isn't safe where I am. And nothing I could carry in a pack would likely change that. If I am far enough out to be able to live out of a pack safely - I'm probably far enough out to wait on a tow truck or get a local hotel. But that is just my mind set.
And if I can't realistically drive far enough to be safe - I just don't see the reason in leaving home. But I do live on a farm in a rural area, so we are pretty self sufficient/reliant to start with.

But again, if you had to leave home - I can see your rationale for wanting to be able to function if your car broke down and you still needed to put distance between you and where you were. My GHB is pretty much designed around that thought. It could get me home (about 20 mi from my work site) if for some reason I couldn't drive or find a ride - and had to get there on foot.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by DeadCanadian » Thu May 01, 2014 8:18 am

Asking REI for what is needed for a 2 day hike is just wrong. Bugging out is not camping.

72hr is wrong, it is an old idea that does not hold water.

In general, YOUR BOB needs to fit YOU. Would you wear 52" pants ir you were only 30"? Would you wear a Canada Goose parka, "Because it is the best there is" when you live in Miami?

Why talk about the right/wrong of your buddies BOB? It works for him (if it doesn't, he will find out the hard way) then what has that to do with you? A BOB is not a cheap one size fits all made in China hat. Your abilities both physically and skill wise will shape your BOB and determine what you need. Why prep for a flood when your area has never had a flood in 3,500 years? Why plan to camp out in New York city when you can stay with friends in New Jersey? Why camp out when your house has burnt down when there are all these relatives you can live with? Why carry lock pick tools when you live on a farm and all the folks will help you if you have to leave your farm?

Let's hear some talk about your own bags and how it meets your needs with your skills and area, not your one-size fits all BOB philosophy?
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by itzybitzyspyder » Thu May 01, 2014 9:21 am

DeadCanadian wrote: Why talk about the right/wrong of your buddies BOB? It works for him (if it doesn't, he will find out the hard way) then what has that to do with you?
Open discussion leads to making better decisions. I welcome critique even if my own ego protests. I will merely point out things that I do and don't agree with. I've changed things in my own setup from 'what if' conversations with my friends. I wouldn't be much of a friend if I let a buddy carry an overweight pack out into the woods without at least voicing concern.
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Re: BOB philosophy revisited

Post by woodsghost » Thu May 01, 2014 11:52 am

DeadCanadian wrote:Why talk about the right/wrong of your buddies BOB? It works for him (if it doesn't, he will find out the hard way) then what has that to do with you?
First, if you care about your buddy, you don't want him/her to find out the hard way they did things wrong. You offer advice and try to help improve things. If they reject that advice, then thats on their head, not yours.

If your neighbor's house is on fire and they are asleep in bed, you try to wake them up. If they refuse to get out of bed, that is their choice.

The best way to wake someone up is to go camping with them. Have them haul their 75 pounds of horse crap over 10 miles (or 2 miles, most likely) of difficult terrain and they will make the needed changes gleefully! Or you will find out your friend is a total beast of a human and has no problem with that weight. Which is pretty cool when you see that happen.

Second, discussions like this have helped me make a lot of changes to my kit. I am at the point now where really, only continuous camping and hiking are going to really highlight the changes I might need to make. The one area where my kit can really benefit from the advice of others is food. I'm ok at this point, but I pay attention to what other people use and bring. I'm constantly looking for a good setup in that area.

So, my point is that offering advice is useful and helpful.
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