US Military Duffel Bag as 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"

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

arentol
*
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:36 pm

US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by arentol » Mon May 09, 2011 12:21 am

What do you all think of a US Army Duffel Bag as a primary BOB?

Downsides:
Only one way in and out, no convenient side pockets.
Not designed to be comfortable for long hikes.

Upsides:
It carries a TON of stuff (EMR levels of stuff) and it seems like you can always fit one more item in it.
Cheap, $15 for a used US Military Issue one from Sportsmansguide.com.
They are tough, they last basically forever.

So my thinking is this:

I look at my BOB as something I use for short-term survival. A few days at the most, enough for things to settle down or to keep my going until I can set up a more permanent camp or reach a refugee area. I don't forsee having to travel by foot more than 10 miles per day with my BOB under any circumstances. Chances are very good that I will either drive somewhere out of immediate danger and then walk a short distance with my BOB to set up camp, or just walk with the BOB a few miles to get out of immediate danger and then set up temporary camp. So worst-case scenario we are talking 10 miles, and while 10 miles with an Army duffel bag is certainly a lot tougher than with a proper backpack, it also just isn't that hard and is entirely doable, even if it is 10 miles every day for 3 or 4 days straight.

Additional information:

The reason that I need such a large pack is because I have 2 other people to care for, and neither of them are up to carrying their proper share of survival equipment. So I basically need to carry about 1.8 peoples worth of stuff while they carry 0.8 and 0.4's worth respectively. I also can not realistically afford an EMR for my BOB. It costs enough for the stuff to go in it, let alone paying hundreds for the bag itself.

Anyway, what do you all think about a US Military Duffel bag as a BOB?

User avatar
Chris@MTCT
* * * * *
Posts: 3847
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:34 pm
Location: Spring,TX

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Chris@MTCT » Mon May 09, 2011 12:38 am

I would rather cut the soles of my feet off and walk a mile barefoot, then hump a loaded duffle more then a couple hundred meters at the most.

Plus the straps tend to break over a long distance aka a couple hundred meters.

Welcome to ZS. Stop by the intros and let us know a bit about you!
sigboy40 wrote: I carry around magical kit faeries that keep all my stuff in place. This way I dont lose anything.
Instructor at Milcopp Tactical

CEO of http://movementtocontact.com/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Please also like us on Facebook!

arentol
*
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:36 pm

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by arentol » Mon May 09, 2011 1:01 am

gravediggerfour wrote:I would rather cut the soles of my feet off and walk a mile barefoot, then hump a loaded duffle more then a couple hundred meters at the most.

Plus the straps tend to break over a long distance aka a couple hundred meters.

Welcome to ZS. Stop by the intros and let us know a bit about you!
I can understand not wanting to carry one very far. It isn't fun, but it isn't that bad, at least not for my 6'2" 230lb frame. I suppose if I was much larger or much smaller it might be more of an issue, but I actually am probably just the right size for one, which might be why it doesn't bother me so much. I used to carry one a mile or more at a time in the army at least a couple times a year and it wasn't a big deal at all.

The straps failing is a new thing to me. I think I only saw one break once in any of the units I was in during my 3.5 years in the army.

User avatar
TacAir
* * * * *
Posts: 7911
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:01 pm
Contact:

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by TacAir » Mon May 09, 2011 1:22 am

LOL

Your choice, your back.

I will say that anything you are looking for will be found - at the bottom of the bag.

I actually gave my daughter a super duffel bag for her BOBish holding bag. IOW, the duffle serves as storage - a way to keep everything together, then can be carried as needs be.

If you are going to be humping that big a load - why not buy a bicycle trailer and mod it for rickshaw style pulling? You will be a lot faster over the ground and then you can use several smaller bags - or modules for cooking, food, shelter and so on - thus saving the digging thru the duffel....
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
**All my books ** some with a different view of the "PAW". Check 'em out.
Adventures in rice storage//Mod your Esbit for better stability

User avatar
Crimson Phoenix
* * * *
Posts: 965
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:01 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Virtually any Romero film, 28 Days Later, Zombieland, but I didn't care much for the Resident Evil trilogy.
Location: Aggieland-South

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Crimson Phoenix » Mon May 09, 2011 3:39 am

I have two and use them solely for moving my clothes, towels, and bedding to and from home and college twice a year. I love how much you can put in them, their efficiency, and ease of use, but I still curse those things when they weigh at least fifty pounds each and I have to carry them one at a time just one block to the parking lot and up two flights of stairs up on a shoulder. Unless you're using them to move junk from a vehicle to a building and vice versa, I would rather have a rucksack or an athletic duffel. Dad claims to have filled at least one with books back when he was in the Army over forty years ago, but I fund such stories dubious after carrying those things myself. They do, however, make USGI duffel bags with backpack straps now, which I'd expect to be more comfortable over long distances, but I've got no personal experience with those things.

User avatar
Ad'lan
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 5731
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:45 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shawn of the Dead
Rabid (1977)
Location: Hampshire

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Ad'lan » Mon May 09, 2011 5:58 am

If you are planning on a walking Bug Out? No way. Give me something with shoulder support, a frame ideally. I don't mind humping weight a long way, but I'll be buggered if I do it with a duffel bag, that's just asking for issues.

For a quick grab bag from the house to the car? Yeah, might do.
My Guide to making your own Bowstring
My Guide to making your own Flint Arrowheads
My Guide to Fletching
My Guide to Primitive Fletching
Cymro wrote:Seriously, I'm not sure I'd fuck with Ad'lan if he had his bow with him. I just don't see that ending well.
Please Check out my PAW Story, Fagin

User avatar
Whiskey
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 1244
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:39 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Resident Evil Series
Land of the Dead
28 Days/Weeks Later
Zombieland
Location: KC, MO
Contact:

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Whiskey » Mon May 09, 2011 7:47 am

The new rolling deployment bag may be a bit better if you are set on using a duffle. It has better backpack straps, opens from the top,expands, and has some internal organisation.

You should really think about getting a decent rucksack if you are going to walk anywhere.

Still, your plan involves making it to a refugee center, a duffle may be just your thing.
ZSC:034 Kansas City
Fightin' 34th "Guardians of the Frontier!"

User avatar
oldsoldier
* * * * *
Posts: 1033
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:36 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead got it rolling for me, although, classics like White Zombie are fun to watch as well
Location: MA
Contact:

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by oldsoldier » Mon May 09, 2011 9:07 am

My one major issue I always had with these are the slick nylon straps. They always seemed to slide, and I always ended up either carrying them by the carry handles, or dragging them outright. Every deployment I have been on I had two of those things-one on my back, one laid sideways across the first. We would have to carry it several hindred meters (seriously? Could you park ANY farther away??), and we would end up dragging them, or hand carrying (last was 04, they MAY have redesigned them). God damned pains in the asses.
That being said, if you are loading a vehicle, these are excellent-shove what you can in it, shake it up, shove more in, stow & go. For this application, they excel. Carrying gear, not so much.
Feel free to check out our ZS chapter 022 FB page as well. This can be found here

User avatar
Murph
* * * * *
Posts: 5771
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:46 am
Location: Virginia
Contact:

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Murph » Mon May 09, 2011 9:22 am

Ad'lan wrote:If you are planning on a walking Bug Out? No way. Give me something with shoulder support, a frame ideally. I don't mind humping weight a long way, but I'll be buggered if I do it with a duffel bag, that's just asking for issues.

For a quick grab bag from the house to the car? Yeah, might do.
Ad'lan hits the nail on the head.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

User avatar
offcamber
* * * * *
Posts: 1964
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: West By God Virginia

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by offcamber » Mon May 09, 2011 9:41 am

If you already have the bag, I say load it up with your gear then test it out. If not, like you said, they only run around $15.

I think you will find, like others have mentioned, that they are not best suited as packs.

We went 4 wheeling in Utah one time (car camping) and found a cave up in the side of a box canyon that was accessible from where we parked. We humped our packs and gear up first, then returned for our beverages. I opted to load a bunch of beer and remaining gear into one of my military duffles and, wearing it like a pack, humped it up the scree field to the cave.

It destroyed my back, the carry handles dug into my shoulders terribly to the point where it felt like my arms were losing circulation, and every time i tried to hop a rock or negotiated an obstacle it pulled me off balance and tried to roll me down the approach..

In a word, it sucked.. i will never use one of those as a pack ever again.

User avatar
bltjr1951
* * * *
Posts: 876
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 12:12 pm
Location: USA

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by bltjr1951 » Mon May 09, 2011 9:45 am

There are guys on here that brag their BOB is 60-80 pounds and they can carry it forever.
If you can handle the weight, go for it.
I would think some pads for straps would come in handy.
I've got two, the one with pack straps will be used to carry clothes and light gear by some member. If anything use game cart to haul it.
And this isn't first time duffle bag has been mentioned.
Isn't there a pic of kid in one?
NAHC NAFC REI NRA GOODSAM SFBC MBC WWII
Fenris wrote:God-speed on all your innovative new ideas, lolz.
-fenris-
Veritas wrote:My bad, I obviously over-reacted. You are allowed to disagree without me being a douchebag.

User avatar
Chris@MTCT
* * * * *
Posts: 3847
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:34 pm
Location: Spring,TX

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Chris@MTCT » Mon May 09, 2011 2:20 pm

offcamber wrote:If you already have the bag, I say load it up with your gear then test it out. If not, like you said, they only run around $15.

I think you will find, like others have mentioned, that they are not best suited as packs.

We went 4 wheeling in Utah one time (car camping) and found a cave up in the side of a box canyon that was accessible from where we parked. We humped our packs and gear up first, then returned for our beverages. I opted to load a bunch of beer and remaining gear into one of my military duffles and, wearing it like a pack, humped it up the scree field to the cave.

It destroyed my back, the carry handles dug into my shoulders terribly to the point where it felt like my arms were losing circulation, and every time i tried to hop a rock or negotiated an obstacle it pulled me off balance and tried to roll me down the approach..

In a word, it sucked.. i will never use one of those as a pack ever again.
dude, it tried to kill you, don't you see that!
sigboy40 wrote: I carry around magical kit faeries that keep all my stuff in place. This way I dont lose anything.
Instructor at Milcopp Tactical

CEO of http://movementtocontact.com/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Please also like us on Facebook!

User avatar
ninja-elbow
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 14171
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 12:39 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: DotD '04
DotD
NotLD
Location: Portland, OR

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by ninja-elbow » Mon May 09, 2011 2:34 pm

I humped one around that I lived out of for 4 years. I still have it and one extra I found. My seabag (as us squids call them) is one of the few things originally issued to me I still have (1989). It is good kit but has it's limitations as noted above by others. One of my most "cherished" bootcamp memories was standing on the grinder and marching with all my bootcamp issued stuff and that seabag on my back. Fuckin horrible.

It is now a secondary gear bag for the truck.

radio: "Evacuation by 6pm..."
me: "Welp, gives me 8 hours... time to load up them seabags."
President ZSC011
Part Viking, Part Siamese

User avatar
Finch
* * * * *
Posts: 6273
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:25 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: GAR's Dawn of the Dead
Location: SEPA (there is a reason it looks like Septic)

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Finch » Mon May 09, 2011 2:35 pm

this thread makes my back hurt
AR/590/9mm/EOTech/GLOCK/Scooter Hater/Pie/Blue wire/pro-bayonet/The NRA/.50 beo>.458 SOCOM

my blog: GarandThumb.com

User avatar
Confucius
* * * * *
Posts: 3370
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: The last, best place

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Confucius » Mon May 09, 2011 2:37 pm

Two things
1: Get a proper backpack, it doesn't have to be expensive, good big packs come up on Steepandcheap (just one option) all the time for very reasonable prices. You'll be able to go much faster/further with a proper pack.
2: Evaluate what you need to carry. Truly, what survival equipment do you NEED? I think when it comes down to it you'll probably find you need less than you think.

User avatar
joekaveh
* * *
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:29 pm

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by joekaveh » Mon May 09, 2011 6:38 pm

as a BOB, No.

I do keep two in my bedroom and 1 in my car in case I have Plenty of time in an emergency to grab a bunch of extra gear in addition to my BOBs/INCH bags. I keep all my winter jackets in another one during the warmer months. I would never, ever use one as a BOB.
here's a tip: learn to swim

Donate Blood: http://www.redcross.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Check out my bob: http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=49972" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
rhunter1
* *
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:02 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead (remake)
Location: CONUS
Contact:

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by rhunter1 » Mon May 09, 2011 7:14 pm

arentol wrote: Upsides:
It carries a TON of stuff (EMR levels of stuff) and it seems like you can always fit one more item in it.
This, plus the fact it doesn't have any sort of suspension means NO-GO for me. But like others have said, it's your body. If you're asking the question then that means you probably haven't tried it. Put 50 pounds in it and go ruck around for 10 miles. [/thread]

Red Tamarillo
* * *
Posts: 606
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:25 am
Location: Australia

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Red Tamarillo » Mon May 09, 2011 7:37 pm

TacAir wrote:
If you are going to be humping that big a load - why not buy a bicycle trailer and mod it for rickshaw style pulling? You will be a lot faster over the ground and then you can use several smaller bags - or modules for cooking, food, shelter and so on - thus saving the digging thru the duffel....
Rather than you have the thing with wheels, how about the people that can't carry as much?
And if you wear a proper pack, your arms can be free to help, or carry a weapon if necessary.

Doctorr Fabulous
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 12257
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:06 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Evil Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days/Weeks Later

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun May 15, 2011 11:35 pm

I'll say this one: as a durable truck or trunk bag, they work great, hence why I've migrated to using one in my truck for keeping an extra set of clothes, hygiene gear, and extra ammo. And food. And this list grows every time I get in my car, because when everything is packed up, I can live out of my car for a month with just one seabag full of stuff.
Opinions subject to change in light of new information.
Image
http://i.imgur.com/wG6ZMjE.jpg

User avatar
universal_exports
* *
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 7:35 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: day of the dead
Location: central Arkansas

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by universal_exports » Fri May 20, 2011 9:19 pm

after 21 years in the military and 2 tours to Iraq, I Vote NO!

the only good thing is they will hold a lot of items, but lots of bags will do that,
I hate that the item you need is always on the bottom.
the straps occasionally come un done, causing you to have to hump it over one shoulder,
the straps dig into your shoulders after a long walk
I've had the straps rip off due to cheap sewing.
that E-tool you put in there always finds it's way to the center of your back while you are carrying it.

I'd spend a bit more money and get a backpack/rucksack or maybe a combo with BIG wheels and handle.

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 11933
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Bouncing in to Graceland

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Stercutus » Sat May 21, 2011 1:46 am

I humped a half empty one 24 miles one night many years ago. It weighed in at around 25 pounds. There were no issues. It is not well designed for this kind of use but I was in a difficult situation and had to make due. The most irritating part was because it was so lightly packed it kept sliding off my shoulders.

I have noticed that the quality on the newer bags is not what it once was. Duffle bags are great for carrying volume gear from the car to a short distance away so long as you don't pack them too heavily. That is the only thing I use them for.
"Big Thanks - I promise to advance your agenda within the secret and omnipotent councils of the Trilateral Commission"

“No-one likes us, we don’t care.”

User avatar
KnightoftheRoc
* * * * *
Posts: 4289
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:14 am

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Sat May 21, 2011 2:07 am

I'm also 6'2", and around the same weight. I've also humped one around in the army. Not something I'd voluntarily do again for any more distance than say, a city block. As you say, they can hold a TON of stuff. That's also, IMHO, their downside. Just because a bag- of any kind- can hold a city bus, two sixpacks of beer, and a ham sandwich, and a spare bicycle, doesn't mean carrying all that is a good idea. Sure, all of those things could come in handy at some point, but to me, I think it's covering too many possibilities, at the expense of likelihoods. I'd use one in a vehicle, but not as a pack, not when there are so many other, equally affordable options out there. For the same $15, you could get a medium or large ALICE pack, which still might not be ideal for anyone our height (the waist belt is no where near MY waist), but would be still better than a duffle bag.

Given your particular needs, I'd look at a large ALICE pack- it can hold a lot of stuff, and it has the frame, which will be a world better than the duffle bag with no frame even as an option. And, not to be nosy, but more information on how this loadout breaks down might allow the rest of us to offer better answers- with no need for you to give out anything too private. Is there some special equipment needed for medical requirements? Is one of the people a small child? Is one of the party on crutches or in a wheelchair? Believe it or not, your needs are probably not as unique as you might think.
silentpoet wrote: My first two warning shots are aimed center of mass. If that don't warn them I fire warning shots at their head until they are warned enough that I am no longer in fear for my life.

TMedina
* *
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 4:41 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by TMedina » Sat May 21, 2011 8:59 am

I'll harp on the lack of frame/support issue - duffel bags are fine for light, bulky items: clothes, boots, maybe TA-50. When you start actually cramming the kitchen sink into one, you'll feel the difference in the way the straps cut into your shoulders.

And if you only half-pack a duffel with heavy stuff, you get the damned thing slapping against your back. Which sucks, I don't care who you are.

-Trevor
"We can’t just go with MBAV because it’s out there and battle-proven." - Fred Coppola, deputy project manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment

User avatar
Bonecrusher Doc
* * *
Posts: 456
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:57 pm

Re: US Military Duffel Bag as BOB?

Post by Bonecrusher Doc » Sat May 21, 2011 1:12 pm

The US Army is changing their duffel bag. The major improvement is that you no longer have to empty everything out to get to the bottom. Hooray! But even without having tried it, I wouldn't use this new bag for hiking any further than a few neighborhood blocks. I have a maxpedition doppelduffel (ten times the price of an Army duffel, I know) which is actually halfway designed to be worn as a backpack and I still would never use it for any kind of bugout on foot.

Here's the link to the new Army duffel bag:
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/03/a ... s-032111w/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Image
Bonecrusher Doc wrote: I'd say this has at least a little justification as a mental exercise.
JamesCannon wrote:Yes, well there's the right way and wrong way to exercise, and the wrong way can lead to injury and/or damage. :P

Post Reply

Return to “Bug Out Gear”