Sunday, February 8, 2015

Epilogue: Some Final Thoughts on my Bug-Out Bag

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission. 
I realized that I had left some things out of Friday's post that I wanted to cover, and was worried that if I went back and edited them in then no one would see them. Thus, you get this post of semi-organized thoughts.

Pack Weight
Unfortunately, my BOB isn't light.

Fortunately, it's lighter than the rucksacks I used to hump when I was in college ROTC (which is, sadly, the extent of my military experience).

I shall do like I did for my Get Home Bag and give you its weight as a percentage of mine. This ought to result in useful data while still allowing me to retain some girlish vanity by not revealing my weight to you.

My Bug-Out Bag weighs one-third of my body weight. I realize this is quite a lot, as most hikers suggest that a pack should weigh half that. I don't disagree with them. However, let me say this in my defense:
  1. I don't plan to hike with it if I can at all help it. My primary means of bugging out is my car. If I do have to hike, something has gone terribly wrong. 
  2. That said, I can hike with it, at least a few miles. It may not be efficient, and I may be sore and hating life at the end, but I can haul it without sucking wind or feeling useless afterwards. 
  3. The pack that I have assembled specifically for walking long distances is my Get Home Bag, and that sucker weighs much less -- only one-eighth of my total body weight.
The main point to this pack, as I see it, is that it looks more like a camping kit than anything else. This isn't by accident, mind you; camping is essentially "taking stuff so you can survive outside your house", which is what bugging out actually means. 

This also makes it easier for me to test things:  I just sling up my pack, walk to a good site (hence how I know I can carry it), and go camping for a few days. 

Finally, it's good social camouflage: a hiking or camping rucksack doesn't draw attention and worry the way military gear might. Survivalists, and to a lesser (but growing ) extent preppers, are viewed with suspicion by most people, but camping is socially acceptable and normal. 

I do, however, worry that I might be missing something critical to bugging out by focusing on camping-style gear. Worse, I don't even know where to start looking for what I'm missing. 

Thank you for reading my 6-part series. Any advice you can give me on how to optimize by BOB will be accepted cheerfully and gratefully!

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