What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

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Summit111
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What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Summit111 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:56 pm

Been hearing about people using bug out bags. I was visiting with someone who is a Mormon, and they all claim to keep bug out bags at home with several days of supplies.

Here in hurricane country, we usually have several days notice before of an evacuation, and we have time to pack up vehicles to leave. We have copies of our Insurance, investment statements, bank statements, birth certificates and passports, back up computer drives, and all other irreplaceable documents in a plastic container ready to go. I was thinking it might be a good idea to have the so-called bug out bags prepared in case we have to leave in an extreme emergency quickly.

What do folks generally put in them, and how long do you expect to need them on the road?

Summit
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Mike Scott
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Mike Scott » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:35 pm

In the extreme, Bug Out Bags are designed for TEOTWAWKI. We don't have one of these.

Hurricanes etc are also good reasons to have one. Everyone should be prepared for a week long emergency whether it is weather related or not and consider the differences between a "stay at home' vs "needing to leave" emergency. We do not have hurricanes here but we have had a few days without power/water/lights/heat with ice storms and tornadoes.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by nanoanalyzer » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:38 pm

My BOB has 4 diapers, 50 wipes, a clean bottle, a onesie, leg warmers, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a few small toys, and a health insurance card. That bag has to be ready to go 24/7.

Personal information BOBs don't really help you in Tornado Alley. Might as well keep your safe/documents in your safe place.
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CFM300
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by CFM300 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:45 pm

I think the phrase is pretty broad and not well defined. Evacuation bags, survival bags, go bag. Whatever you call it, it needs to have the things that are relevant to your situation/geography/climate.

2retire
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by 2retire » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:45 pm

In case you don't know TEOTWAWKI; The End Of The World As We Know It.

Bug Out Bags are bags kept by people that have a serious belief that the end is coming, be it from political or environmental causes. Typically a bug out bag contains the necessary supplies to get you from you current home to where you plan to live out the rest of your life away from society, under the belief that society will devolve into anarchy.

Supplies for a hurricane would be called and emergency kit, not a bug out bag. When someone calls something a bug out bag, that tells you something very specific about that persons beliefs and psychology.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by jhfenton » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:50 pm

Mike Scott wrote:In the extreme, Bug Out Bags are designed for TEOTWAWKI. We don't have one of these.
This is usually what I hear when folks talk about Bug-Out Bags: an end of the world scenario or at least serious civil unrest necessitating an immediate departure with no time for preparation.

I have all the makings for one or more BOBs in my walk-in bedroom closet: a large range bag; a military rucksack; water; protein bars; ammo; a gun safe full of rifles, pistols, and shotguns; knives; flashlights; batteries; and, of course, my clothing and shoes.

But I don't actually keep a BOB packed. I could have two bags packed and ready to go in 10 minutes if it came to it. Most of the stuff is just in my closet because that's where I keep my gun safe.

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femur
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by femur » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:53 pm

I have an old backpack i keep under my bed that has dog/cat food and leashes, $400 cash, copies of identifications and insurance policies, some snacks and water bottles, a first aid kit and a couple other minor things.

I grab it if there is a fire in my house and need to get out or if there is a hurricane (i'm near the Texas coast).

GatorMD
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by GatorMD » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:06 pm

I don't have a "bug out bag" per say, but I have more of a "get home bag" that I keep in my vehicle. It contains items like a change of cloths, emergency blankets (the shiny silver kind), torch lighter with long burning candles, pre-packaged potable water bags, a days worth of rations and a few other misc items. In my mind, the possibility of being stranded somewhere secondary to some sort of weather or environmental disaster is far more likely than encountering an end of world scenario. My wife has a similar bag in her vehicle.

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patriciamgr2
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by patriciamgr2 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:09 pm

I am not a member of the LDS Church, but I really admire the sensible planning for emergencies. I actually read the 2012 Preparedness Guide, although many sections relate only to Church members.

Where I lived in the past, local wards held Preparedness Fairs with presentations on assembling your 72-Hour Kit (I think that's what BOB means). I asked & was granted permission (as a non-member) to attend portions of one & found the speakers extremely sensible & practical. In that area, stores (eg Smiths) would offer case sales to help people build their long-term food stores. What I appreciated was the range of emergency situations that were covered: other prep guides seem to focus on total disaster scenarios which are less likely than the usual flood, fire, etc. Also, some ladies demonstrated how to use your food stores in everyday cooking, as you buy new pantry items, so that the store doesn't go to waste. [A commercial company called Thrive offers some online videos on that topic.]

There are blogs online which offer some checklists which may be helpful. http://preparedldsfamily.blogspot.com/ is one example. I haven't consulted this personally; it was a suggestion from a friend. Good Luck.

P.S. Fun fact: in my local WalMart, the section containing the freeze-dried food canisters, while near the camping gear, is referred to as the EOW aisle (End of World).

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Noobvestor » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:16 pm

The idea behind a BOB is that if something goes awry where you are you don't have to pack a bag to get a move on - you can just grab this prepacked bag and rush out the door. By virtue of its size (something you can carry easily) it won't address long-duration situations. Some people (like: preppers) think of them as a temporary solution, or a bridge in order to get to a larger stash or safehouse. To me, it's just an all-purpose way to feel like I could leave in a hurry under whatever conditions. I think the rule of thumb is that they should last 3 days.

My BOB is for emergencies, predictable (power outages) or otherwise (riots or who knows?). It contains some basic medications, cash, clif bars, a water bottle and other things that could help in everyday/temporary situations as well as an old compass, local map, spare Leatherman, space blanket, lighter, etc... that are less likely to come in handy unless something really goes wrong and I need to stay outdoors and/or distance myself from home. Basically, though, we're talking: food, water, shelter - the essential stuff.

Data is one thing I haven't added yet, though I do have a passworded flash drive I should probably just load up with the docs you mentioned in your post.

Of course, if the worst happens (nuclear strike, zombies?) I'm probably toast, regardless, living in a largish city.
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mjb
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by mjb » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:26 pm

I just keep my camping backpack in a packed state. I live in a low disaster area, but it never hurts to be ready for a week without water or power. I have had several friends and family members in either and/or both of those situations.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Cheyenne » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:52 am

My wife has a bug-out bag with all the aforementioned necessities (in addition to a hand-cranked radio and magnesium fire starters). The only problem is the bag is much too small to hold all the freeze-dried food she has been accumulating in the closet. I've been trying to convince her that what we really need is a small airplane (I used to have one and like a fool, sold it, and now she won't let me get another one) so that we can bug-out in hurry over the heads of everybody else who will also be bugging-out on the highways.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by whomever » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:01 am

1)An interesting take from someone who experienced Katrina:

http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs ... p/map.html

It's been a couple of years since I went through that fairly extensive site, but IIRC there were some interesting points. One was that after the author ended up in Houston or Dallas or somewhere, he didn't have the paperwork or information he needed to float a resume, or his professional licenses, etc. So one of his pieces of advice was to scan that kind of stuff and have a copy packed. I really liked the site because of the focus on that kind of real world experience, instead of instructions on improvised snares for deer.

2)The better half and I worked 15 to 20 miles in different directions from our house in Seattle. We kept a backpack in each car. We're backpackers, so the packs and contents were mostly retired-from-first-line-service camping clothes and an old sleeping bag. No tent or stove. A few days of food, headlamp and batteries, etc. Other sundries like a paper street map, lists of phone numbers and addresses of friends, etc. The idea was that if the big earthquake happened while we were at work we'd have the option of staying with near-to-work friends or walking home over a couple of days, depending on circumstances. The kinds of clothes we usually wore to work weren't optimal for a couple of days of winter camping in Seattle.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Crow Hunter » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:37 am

I keep a backpack filled with useful things like a wind up radio and matches and space blankets and water and several different light sources. I keep it packed in case we have to evacuate for some reason (natural or manmade disaster) or if we just need to use them because the power is out and we can't go anywhere.

I have used the stuff out of the bag several times in the last few years because of bad weather. The wind up radio and the chemlites were exceptionally useful a couple of years ago because of a series of storms knocked out our power for a while. It was summer and quite warm and kerosene lamps put out quite a bit of heat for the light they generate. Those little chemlites don't.

I actually need to check the expiration dates on the water/cliffbars that are in there. They may be getting close to being out of date.

I also need to make myself up a get home bag to stash in the car as I work about 25 miles from where I live.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by likegarden » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:53 am

We live in an area without hurricanes, tornados, floods, earthquakes, long power outages and war out in the suburbs with a well functioning police force. North Korea rockets could not reach us on the East coast. We have no guns either. I survived WW2 as a child and there was no sudden emergency. Bombing raids were standard, so my mother had BOBs to run with into the basement, but such events would be known well ahead in the US. I know where our documents are and could assemble them in a few minutes, so no panic here and no BOB. I also do not believe in market timing and catastrophic financial markets.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Grasshopper » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:02 am

I live with the threat of wildfires, I have had 2 come within a half mile of my property. I am also a red carded wildland firefighter, so I have a fire bag ready to go at all times, this will sustain me for 48 hours. Laptop and tablets, and pets are all I need to round up. :beer

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by bpp » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:10 am

My house is my bug-out bag. This is the place we run to when things gets hairy, not from.
Last edited by bpp on Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by DFrank » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:37 am

We carry what I call a "get home bag" in each of our vehicles. We live in earthquake country (SoCal), so that's my primary concern. We both work about 20-25 miles away from home. There is no route from work to home that doesn't go under or over quite a few bridges/overpasses, so after a large earthquake we may not be able to drive home for quite a while. Depending on how the situation develops, we may want to walk home, which would take a couple days. So, the bags are buult around a medium size daypack that contains enough supplies for 3 days. They contain some clothing, first aid kit, emergency shelter, food, water, water purification capability, and so forth. They also have a handheld ham radio so my wife and I will be able to communicate with each other if we aren't together.

We also do a lot of backcountry exploring on our 4x4, so the bag that lives in that vehicle could also be used in case we have a vehicle breakdown or other emergency while in the backcountry.

These are things I hope to never use. I look at it as a relatively small investment that could turn out to be invaluable, but gives us some peace of mind meanwhile.
Dave

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by saladdin » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:53 am

2retire wrote:In case you don't know TEOTWAWKI; The End Of The World As We Know It.

Bug Out Bags are bags kept by people that have a serious belief that the end is coming, be it from political or environmental causes. Typically a bug out bag contains the necessary supplies to get you from you current home to where you plan to live out the rest of your life away from society, under the belief that society will devolve into anarchy.

Supplies for a hurricane would be called and emergency kit, not a bug out bag. When someone calls something a bug out bag, that tells you something very specific about that persons beliefs and psychology.
Bingo.

People who use the term are using it for a reason. They want to differientiate from a normal emergency kit. My take is that they are proud they are planning for zombies and want ALL to know about it. If you want to know why just ask the next person who uses the phrase bug out bag and after the 4 hours conversation you'll know better next time.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Cindyjrn » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:31 am

saladdin wrote:
2retire wrote:In case you don't know TEOTWAWKI; The End Of The World As We Know It.

Bug Out Bags are bags kept by people that have a serious belief that the end is coming, be it from political or environmental causes. Typically a bug out bag contains the necessary supplies to get you from you current home to where you plan to live out the rest of your life away from society, under the belief that society will devolve into anarchy.

Supplies for a hurricane would be called and emergency kit, not a bug out bag. When someone calls something a bug out bag, that tells you something very specific about that persons beliefs and psychology.
Bingo.

People who use the term are using it for a reason. They want to differientiate from a normal emergency kit. My take is that they are proud they are planning for zombies and want ALL to know about it. If you want to know why just ask the next person who uses the phrase bug out bag and after the 4 hours conversation you'll know better next time.
Perfect!

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Naismith » Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:19 am

We also live in a disaster-prone area and keep a couple backpacks with the kinds of things mentioned (including cash, see the other thread on that topic).

Rotating food is important, both to keep things edible and to be comfortable with what you will be eating in an emergency. We always had the kids do it in June when school got out (also start of hurricane season). We would use up the older foods for camping trips or just in regular meals (last night I made apple crisp out of MRE apple slices). We plan the meals for three days and put each meal in a gallon ziplock bag--maybe a can of chili and some rice that just needs hot water. We do use some freeze-dried foods from camping supply as well as the more standard foods that any grocery carries (tuna lunch kits).

And of course include disposable plates, etc. The one time our church was called by the Red Cross to help in an emergency, they didn't ask for food, they asked for paper plates.

But we do prefer to call it a 72-hour kit rather than Bug Out Bag, because of the association of the latter with extremist/zombie stuff.

CFM300
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by CFM300 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:02 pm

2retire wrote:When someone calls something a bug out bag, that tells you something very specific about that persons beliefs and psychology.
When I lived overseas, it's what most of my friends began calling their evacuation kits. "Go bag" was popular as well. I don't think either revealed anything terribly interesting about beliefs and psychology.
saladdin wrote:People who use the term are using it for a reason. They want to differientiate from a normal emergency kit. My take is that they are proud they are planning for zombies and want ALL to know about it. If you want to know why just ask the next person who uses the phrase bug out bag and after the 4 hours conversation you'll know better next time.
Or, they're being ironic.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by JonnyDVM » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:30 pm

My favorite part of this thread is someone casually using the acronym TEOTWAWKI and expecting the rest of us to know what they are talking about. I don't have a bug out bag. I don't have an emergency bag. I'm not concerned about it. A bug out bag seems to imply skipping town in a hurry. As a boglehead I'm at the point where I've probably got enough assets to buy my way out of most trouble. No town skipping necessary.
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by The Wizard » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:45 pm

JonnyDVM wrote:My favorite part of this thread is someone casually using the acronym TEOTWAWKI and expecting the rest of us to know what they are talking about. I don't have a bug out bag. I don't have an emergency bag. I'm not concerned about it. A bug out bag seems to imply skipping town in a hurry. As a boglehead I'm at the point where I've probably got enough assets to buy my way out of most trouble. No town skipping necessary.
That depends.
I'm not a survivalist, but when power is out, it's hard to buy gasoline, cash or credit.
Food and drink, I'm not sure, maybe Katrina and Sandy survivors can tell us how that went.
It's good to be prepared for reasonable events that can happen in your area, "reasonable" being the operative term...
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by ClevrChico » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:05 pm

bpp wrote:My house is my bug-out bag. This is the place we run to when things gets hairy, not from.
Ditto. The big threat here is tornadoes, so I prep the basement when storms are predicted. I setup chairs in the storm shelter room, carry down some bottled water, and a laptop to charge the cell phones if needed.

When there was lowland flooding here, the interstate was a parking lot. If you're not first in line to bug out, it's going to be tough. I'd rather shelter in place with my neighbors.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by livesoft » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:17 pm

The Wizard wrote:I'm not a survivalist, but when power is out, it's hard to buy gasoline, cash or credit.
Food and drink, I'm not sure, maybe Katrina and Sandy survivors can tell us how that went.
It's good to be prepared for reasonable events that can happen in your area, "reasonable" being the operative term...
I have posted a few times about my personal experience with hurricanes, tornadoes, loss of power, etc. that included Rita, Ike, Sandy, directly and peripherally Katrina. Prep for hurricanes is relatively straightforward because one generally knows they exist and are coming. I did notice some panic in NY colleagues about Sandy even though sheltering-in-place was easy and best even with the power out.

I will say that matches are generally useless, but a butane lighter or two is useful if you want to use a camp stove to cook. One should not have to go out to buy gasoline, food, etc at all for many days, so no need for cash.

I just spent more than a week camping in the wilderness. One problem is that if one has a heart attack or other major health problem and one is 4 days from health care, then that is going to be a problem. Otherwise, it is pretty straightforward to survive.

Nowadays, a hand-crank/solar-powered LED flashlight is cheap. A solar-charger for one's smart phone is useful, too. The phone can be used as a GPS, music device, etc. even if one cannot call anyone. A radio is not as useful as it might seem because one needs very local info and the news on the radio is usually not local enough.
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by patriciamgr2 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:12 am

Some natural disasters involve mandatory evacuations. Sheltering in place is not always wise or even possible.

Friends of mine were recently given 15 minutes to get out of their house & stay out for approx 4 days (wildfire). Other friends were out shopping & weren't allowed to go back home at all. If you haven't packed a 72-hour go bag and--IMO perhaps more important--made a checklist of what to grab, your evacuation will be less orderly. If you don't have a "go" bag or "get home" bag in your car, things may be more difficult.

My friends forgot (a) med's & (b) either a computer or a flashdrive with important information (which they intentionally do not carry in their wallets/on their phones for security reasons).

While they had an easy evac (not many families affected; gasoline, food, water & hotel rooms available); they had to scramble to replace med's & deal with service center for HO insurance policy without any policy information. A few minutes of planning would have saved some hassle.

I would be interested in knowing whether some of the more dismissive posts in this thread come from people who have actually survived a natural disaster. Those with hands-on experience may be able to offer a better perspective for the OP.

Good Luck to all

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by bpp » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:51 am

patriciamgr2 wrote:Some natural disasters involve mandatory evacuations. Sheltering in place is not always wise or even possible.
[...]
I would be interested in knowing whether some of the more dismissive posts in this thread come from people who have actually survived a natural disaster. Those with hands-on experience may be able to offer a better perspective for the OP.
I didn't mean to be dismissive. Our house has kept us safe through typhoon, earthquake and nuclear meltdown, and is likely be one of the better places to be when the next tornado comes through town (better than being in a car, certainly). But we also aren't in an area susceptible to floods, mudslides, tsunamis or wildfires, so sheltering in place is generally a good strategy for us. YMMV.
Last edited by bpp on Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Hedonic Regression » Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:45 am

patriciamgr2 wrote:Some natural disasters involve mandatory evacuations. Sheltering in place is not always wise or even possible.

Friends of mine were recently given 15 minutes to get out of their house & stay out for approx 4 days (wildfire). Other friends were out shopping & weren't allowed to go back home at all. If you haven't packed a 72-hour go bag and--IMO perhaps more important--made a checklist of what to grab, your evacuation will be less orderly. If you don't have a "go" bag or "get home" bag in your car, things may be more difficult.

[...]

I would be interested in knowing whether some of the more dismissive posts in this thread come from people who have actually survived a natural disaster. Those with hands-on experience may be able to offer a better perspective for the OP.
100% agree. There are natural and man-made disasters that can require a swift evacuation from one's home, and it's not paranoid at all to be ready.

Just this weekend I was taking a look at NYC's "Go Bag" checklist and making sure I have what I feel I need. NYC regularly runs ads advising residents to be prepared. We certainly rank higher on the man-made threat index. Even having a nearby fire or water main break is already a more likely a occurrence due to density and age of infrastructure.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/get_pr ... lies.shtml

'The Cloud' and USB sticks also make it much easier these days to have copies of important documents in case you're at work and may then spend many days not being able to enter your home. Be sure to use good encryption.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by livesoft » Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:51 am

My spouse is a member of the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Folks who have an interest in this sort of thing can join up, learn some things, and help out their community.
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by ddurrett896 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:51 am

Summit111 wrote: Here in hurricane country, we usually have several days notice before of an evacuation, and we have time to pack up vehicles to leave.
Summit
Same thing you would pack with the several days notice - but ready in minutes. That's a bug out bag!

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Drew777 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:06 am

In response to the title of the thread, they're typically used be people who invest all their money in gold and land in the middle of nowhere.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Flashes1 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:19 am

I'm very concerned with the political direction of the country including racial and wealth disparity strife. I have a cache hidden in the house with portable water filter, magnesium fire starter, dried food supplies, hand gun, hunting knife, etc. Enough to get me to my plot of land in the middle of no where. I'll hopefully never need it but the peace of mind I get from the $30k I've invested in the land and supplies is worth it.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by neutics » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:52 am

Late to the game, but I didn't see anyone mention that the LDS church commonly runs a 'Bishop's Pantry' which caters to providing essentials for low-income individuals, but also has a huge storehouse section to buy massive bags of dried beans/rice and other mixes at lower cost than even Costco. You do not have to be Mormon to use the storehouse side (I am not) and they were generally very welcoming and even gave lessons in canning.

Of course, with so much dried food you are going to need a ton of water to cook and prepare it, which is a scarce commodity in an emergency.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by surfstar » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:34 am

I would have to questions one's faith if they are religious, yet feel the need to have a bug out bag at the ready.
Won't their higher power "protect" them? Wouldn't the end of days, be all a part of their plan?

:confused

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by DFrank » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:24 am

neutics wrote:Of course, with so much dried food you are going to need a ton of water to cook and prepare it, which is a scarce commodity in an emergency.
Excellent point, and why we have 225 or so gallons of water stored at our house. We live in earthquake country, so that's the emergency scenario we prepare for.
Dave

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Flashes1 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:27 am

surfstar wrote:I would have to questions one's faith if they are religious, yet feel the need to have a bug out bag at the ready.
Won't their higher power "protect" them? Wouldn't the end of days, be all a part of their plan?

:confused
I'm by no means any kind of religion expert, but I've never heard of any major religion affording any kind of physical protection. None whatsoever.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by livesoft » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:36 am

neutics wrote:Of course, with so much dried food you are going to need a ton of water to cook and prepare it, which is a scarce commodity in an emergency.
This is simply not a true statement for prepared folks. I was away doing some backcountry camping the past week or so. Water was never a problem. There is really no need for dried food, too, since plenty of "wet" food will keep almost forever on the panty shelf. That includes milk, canned (or bagged) fish, chicken and meat, soups, rice, pasta, vegetables, oatmeal. And so on. I don't see a need to have more than a week's supply because one can drive out to an unaffected area of the country after a week or two if needed.

I can go get water from the local ponds, but when a hurricane approaches, we put a 32-gal Rubbermaid Brute food-quality garbage can in our tubs and showers and fill them up. Then we put the lids on them. One can take a shower with a garbage can as a companion without a problem. The lid keeps the stored water potable and clean. With this tactic, there is no need to fill a bath tub, but it could be done in additional to filling the Brute containers. When the containers are not used to hold this extra water, they are used to hold our hurricane supplies such as roof-tarp, hammer, nails, etc.

One may ask, "But with no electricity what do you cook with?" I guess folks who have to ask that question have not been camping with a gas stove nor grilling with a propane grill.
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neutics
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by neutics » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:43 am

livesoft wrote:
neutics wrote:Of course, with so much dried food you are going to need a ton of water to cook and prepare it, which is a scarce commodity in an emergency.
This is simply not a true statement for prepared folks.
Good points livesoft, but my point is that most folks are not prepared and the majority of our population lives in urban environments where potable water may not be as plentiful. Sure, I've survived in Hawaii for days by using purification tablets and/or a purifier, but it's a different story in the SW.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by profnot » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:05 pm

Two things I've added to emergency items in my car:

>A water heater coil (to put in a coffee mug or pot) that plugs into the cigarette lighter so I can heat soup, etc. I purchased it at an RV supply store.

>A clean empty can and some short fat candles with matches. Lid opens but is still intact 1/2". A friend's mum was glad she had this in the car when she was unexpectedly delayed on the road for several hours during a snowstorm. It kept the entire car interior warm.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Thebigc » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:20 pm

jhfenton wrote:
Mike Scott wrote:In the extreme, Bug Out Bags are designed for TEOTWAWKI. We don't have one of these.
This is usually what I hear when folks talk about Bug-Out Bags: an end of the world scenario or at least serious civil unrest necessitating an immediate departure with no time for preparation.

I have all the makings for one or more BOBs in my walk-in bedroom closet: a large range bag; a military rucksack; water; protein bars; ammo; a gun safe full of rifles, pistols, and shotguns; knives; flashlights; batteries; and, of course, my clothing and shoes.

But I don't actually keep a BOB packed. I could have two bags packed and ready to go in 10 minutes if it came to it. Most of the stuff is just in my closet because that's where I keep my gun safe.
I thought the gun was suppose to keep you safe? Sorry couldn't resist.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by bhsince87 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:35 pm

I've maintained a bug out bag of some sort since I was a teenager in 1979. A broadcast came over the radio telling us we should be prepared to evacuate our home within 2 hours because of a problem at Three Mile Island. Some folks hopped in their cars and took off immediately, prepared or not. Our family was in a bit of chaos, because we were not prepared to leave on such short notice.

A few years ago, we got a call that we had to evacuate immediately because there was an ammonia leak at a food storage facility nearby. Thankfully, we only had to stay away for a few hours. But when the call comes, you never know if it will be a few hours or a few weeks.

Anyone who lives near a highway, rail road, airport, river, industrial site, port, or within a few miles of a coast (think tsunamis, not just hurricanes), should be prepared to bug out on short notice. Heck, with space debris, asteroids, and crazy terrorists, people just about anywhere on the planet could be asked or REQUIRED to hit the road on short notice.

The folks here who pin a negative connotation to people who prepare in such a way, or even just use the term "bug out bag", should seriously reconsider their thoughts on this subject.

It's really no different than a form of cheap insurance. It takes a little time and effort to pull one together, and hopefully, you'll never need it. In that case, you've wasted some time and maybe a few dollars. But if you ever need it, it will certainly reduce your stress level and increase your comfort. And it could even be the difference between life or death.
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by Spirit Rider » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:52 pm

bhsince87 wrote:The folks here who pin a negative connotation to people who prepare in such a way, or even just use the term "bug out bag", should seriously reconsider their thoughts on this subject.

It's really no different than a form of cheap insurance. It takes a little time and effort to pull one together, and hopefully, you'll never need it. In that case, you've wasted some time and maybe a few dollars. But if you ever need it, it will certainly reduce your stress level and increase your comfort. And it could even be the difference between life or death.
I too find it rather amusing that several people have disparaged the concept and the users of a bug out bag. Especially, when probably 99.9%+ of all people who have a 72 hour emergency preparedness kit (that they call a bug out bag) are not preppers or doomsday cultists. They can have their prejudices, but a bug out bag has come to mean just an emergency preparedness kit in current language.

Mostly all Bogleheads would have term life insurance when it is really death insurance. Yet, somehow spending a few bucks for something that might actually save their life or more importantly, the lives of their family members. Who is the more rational?

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by k5 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:08 pm

(In NYC) - Always good to be prepared. Generally people prepare for the worst sort of things (major disasters are typical), but I tend to focus on the low/medium as just basic preparedness. Reasons to have a emergency bag you can quickly grab include: a fire, gas leak, extended power outage, medical emergency - any reason you might have to quickly leave, and perhaps spend a day or two away from home. Always keep copies of important documents in ziploc bag, and some $.

FEMA has a good site on being prepared (and there are many other useful sites) http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

I have several colleagues who you might identify as "preppers" (think: doomsday, rapid decline of the dollar, retreat into the woods and survive on rabbits -type stuff), and then I know many people who are blissfully unaware/unprepared, and every gamut in between.

My father always kept emergency supplies in our basement (tornados and large storms in our hometown) - usually as kids, it was a fun excuse to pretend-camp, make shadow puppets, and eat canned goods. Looking back, however, being familiar (the whole family) with disaster scenarios, first aid, tools & supplies was very beneficial (a lot of people buy a bunch of junk they can't even carry, and they don't remember what's in the bag, or even how to use it).

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by patriciamgr2 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:34 pm

Yes, emergencies can occur--why wouldn't a rational person want to be prepared?

In my life, I have been in a urban area during unrest; in Manhattan during the 1977 blackout (although my area didn't experience any arson or looting); in a large city when an underground flood shut down a variety of office buildings including mine; in a foreign hotel when it caught on fire; in a different foreign country when westerners were advised to vacate the area where we were staying; in a flood in Reno which closed the high rises near the river with mandatory evacuations; two instances of water supply problems ('"boil water" orders, during times when power was interrupted); and one multi-day power outage due to a winter storm.

Stuff happens. The authorities are busy addressing the problem & may not have the time or resources to help uninjured civilians. In general, I respect people who demonstrate self-sufficiency. But, of course, it's an individual decision.

Best Wishes to all.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by jhfenton » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:39 pm

Thebigc wrote:
jhfenton wrote:But I don't actually keep a BOB packed. I could have two bags packed and ready to go in 10 minutes if it came to it. Most of the stuff is just in my closet because that's where I keep my gun safe.
I thought the gun was suppose to keep you safe? Sorry couldn't resist.
You do know that I meant a "gun safe" as in an armored container for firearms, as opposed to keeping my gun free from harm? :beer

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:09 pm

surfstar wrote:I would have to questions one's faith if they are religious, yet feel the need to have a bug out bag at the ready.
Won't their higher power "protect" them? Wouldn't the end of days, be all a part of their plan?

:confused
I think the answer to that is:

"God helps those who help themselves."
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by bertilak » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:36 pm

I knew someone whose "bug out bag" consisted in large part of 6 or 8 credit cards. The idea was to collect as much cash as fast as you can so you can move fast, far and incognito. I guess it depends on what one expects to bug out from.
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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by freebeer » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:02 pm

patriciamgr2 wrote:...Friends of mine were recently given 15 minutes to get out of their house & stay out for approx 4 days (wildfire). Other friends were out shopping & weren't allowed to go back home at all...
I suspect that this wasn't a total surprise out of nowhere but rather that your friends actually had days to prepare before the final evacuation order.... at least this is the pattern in the vast majority of wildfires so if otherwise that would have been very exceptional. Not to suggest that having emergency preparation in advance isn't a good idea but it's unlikely for it to happen out of nowhere with 15 minutes notice at home or while you are shopping.

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Re: What's a Bug Out Bag and who uses them?

Post by patriciamgr2 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:32 pm

FreeBeer: Lightening strike less than 24 hours' before on dry, parched land; local fire authorities may have mistaken early morning smoke for intentional, agricultural burn; shift in hot, dry winds...

Local media repeatedly referred to short evacuation notice time (largely because of complaints about the short notice making it difficult to evacuate horses & livestock). Others in the area got several hours' notice and, luckily, many outside the area mobilized to house animals. [I'd send a link to the news coverage, but it's too location specific for me to feel comfortable sharing.]

Perhaps fires are better behaved in your area :happy ; I hope so. Again, let me emphasize, deciding whether (& how) to prepare for emergencies is an individual choice--depending on your assessment of the risks in your area. My personal assessment favors having the ability to act quickly; YMMV.

Best Wishes to your family.

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