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Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy
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robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
"get-me-home" not "bug-out" on 10/07/2013 18:21:07 MDT Print View

Heh, here’s a gear tip for all you survivalist types looking to rebuild the planet after the fall of civilization;
Don’t forget a watch that winds up instead of uses batteries!

Kinda getting hard to find, not especially accurate or durable, but will last a very long time if well cared for.
I’ve always hated wrist watches and don’t own one to this day, and in the past have actually used a cheap wind up pocket watch backpacking. I carried it rubber banded into a plastic bag, buttoned into a shirt pocket.
Odd how I never use a watch in my day to day life but really value one for pacing myself when backpacking.

In our humble cottage we have my I dunno how-many-times-great-grandfathers wind up pendulum clock, which was one of his wedding gifts. It dates to 1885 and still works great. I also inherited a century old Elgin pocket watch which still works well enough. So, when ( if ) the lights go out at least I’ll still be able to tell time!

My wife and I live on a somewhat remote off grid homestead we’ve built ourselves in the hills of Washington state. We’re used to this life, no running water, butchering all our own meat, heating with only firewood and just finished building a root cellar.
I’m a gun nut given to casting my own bullets and loading my own ammo and my wife tends to hoard food as I do guns and ammo.
So I imagine we will be somewhat better off than most should the grid ever go down. In fact, such an event hardly bothers me at all, provided in is not permanent ( But of course I hold no fantasies about what life would be like after a true civilization-ending event ).

Thus, the idea for me is not to “bug out” but rather to “get home”!
So my concern is with “get-me-home” bags as opposed to “bug-out” bags, much less “Inch Bags” ( I’m-Never-Coming-Home bag, for those truly displaced after the End Of The World As We Know It. ).
At home I have a dwelling with two foot thick bullet proof walls, solar power system, well and gravity feed cistern, sufficient food for several years, enough weapons to equip a decent little militia and what-not. Thus my survival plan is to simply go home.

Now and then I do travel a bit for work, often to somewhat out of the way places. I always try to camp when I’m working jobs like that, as it saves me the cost of motels. I’m always carrying a backpack of supplies in my car as I never know when I’ll be called away from my cozy desk job to do emergency field work.

More to the point of this thread, I have recently given thought to putting together a UL or at least close to UL “Get-Me-Home” bag, as it seems to me that UL thru-hiker type equipment and tactics ( stealth camping, rising early and getting a fast start, then stopping for breakfast some time later, and stopping to cook dinner early, then camping some miles away, etc…) fit well with the “get-me-home” bag requirement and mission.

This kit is currently a work in progress due to limited funds and time but so far my list look sorta like this –

Backpack –
Homemade along the lines of Ray Jardines design, of ordinary nylon. Hopefully this winters project!

Shelter –
Homemade polycryo tarp, walmart aluminum stakes, 3mm nylon cordset, “All weather sportsman’s blanket” for ground cloth.

Sleeping –
Homemade large rectangular quilt or “quillow”, with nylon cover, 1” of quilt batting, fleece lining and netting sewn to the top. These quilts I have already made.
Walmart blue foam pad, probably cut down a bit.

Cooking –
Walmart grease pot ( the new taller ones with handle) with wire bail added, Pepsi can stove, hardware cloth stand, foil wind screen, Coghlans spoon, empty cottage cheese container with lid for bowl/cup/leftovers container. These kits I have already made.

This is where I get a little heavy, as day to day we typically wear close to 100% cotton, not particularly appropriate to the environment through which we may be traveling and may not be well suited to a long walk home.

Dri Ducks rain gear
Surplus 65/35 poly cotton BDU trousers
Fleece vest from Bi-mart
Uniqlo “heat tech” thermal underwear bottoms and long sleeve top,
Light colored long sleeved synthetic dress shirt, probably something from Good Will.
Swiss surplus wool gaiters

Currently I have a ratty old Walmart down parka that I carry in my car so I’d probably toss that in as well.

Tools N’ Stuff-

Knife - small sheath knife but possibly SAK one hand Trekker?
Fire starters, Bic, matches
Sewing kit, duct tape

Well, you get the idea!~ We already carry first aid kits and tools of various sorts in our cars, and I don’t pack flashlights in emergency kits because they don’t do well in long term storage. Instead I pack a few light sticks.
I always pack a little water in our cars, about 1/2 gallon, in mylar pouches. These withstand repeated freeze/thaw cycles without injury, and in the warmer months add more in whatever containers are handy.

These kits should be in the low teens without food and water, and just over twenty pounds with, and hopefully not to expensive.
Anyway, that’s just my take on it

Edited by Bawana on 10/07/2013 18:23:30 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/07/2013 19:39:29 MDT Print View

Anyone read Cormac McCarthy's The Road?
I loved how the people that built the bunker and prepared for everything apparently never made it to their bunker....


Aliens, guns, suicide, raingear, Trishield Grid....

But nobody mentions cold, hard CASH?

Access to cash in emergencies can never hurt. I'm not talking some far-fetched global-civilization-ending-crawling-from-our-bunkers and rebuilding the free world scenario, but a simple natural or man made disaster and subsequent loss of power for a few days to a couple months.

In the wise words of the Wu Tang Clan (more specifically Method Man on the hook):

Cash Rules Everything Around Me
C.R.E.A.M. get the money
Dollar dollar bill y'all


I suppose guns and bullets certainly couldn't hurt in the long term.
I remember a time years ago when a transformer blew and took out power to a huge area in my neighborhood. It only took 4 hours before people tried to loot the local Rite Aid.

I vividly remember living in Los Angeles during the riots. Every day would end with a brilliant sunset produced by the smoke of all the fires burning. Even grandmas were breaking store windows to steal diapers, baby formula, and children's cloths.

As for Justin's vision of a heavenly future where all humans are happy and live in harmony on Earth....ummm.
You have more faith in humans than I do, friend.

Here's a Cormac McCarthy (from The Crossing) quote to ponder:

"He said that while one would like to say that God will punish those who do such things and that people often speak in just this way it was his experience that God could not be spoken for and that men with wicked histories often enjoyed lives of comfort and that they died in peace and were buried with honor. He said that it was a mistake to expect too much of justice in this world. He said that the notion that evil is seldom rewarded was greatly overspoken for if there were no advantage to it then men would shun it and how could virtue then be attached to its repudiation?"

. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 10/07/2013 23:10:56 MDT Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 07/07/2015 09:54:03 MDT.

David Gardner
(GearMaker) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/08/2013 10:04:36 MDT Print View

My main worry in a survival scenario is other humans, as in "The Road."

My kit:

Gossamer Gear G4 pack
Feathered Friends Winter Wren sleeping bag
Neoair UL mattress
Montbell hoody down jacket
Gore-Tex bivvy bag
Polycro tarp/tent
Tyvek body suit
Dry Duck poncho
Rain shell and pants
Thick thermax sweats
Bike shorts (no chamois) for hiking
Long-sleeved sun shirt
Broad-brimmed hat
Mini binoculars
Micro LED headlamp with extra batteries
Aqua Mira
Sawyer mini water filter
First aid kit (bandages, neosporin, moleskin, 2 ace bandages, aspirin
Chouinard expedition sewing kit
24" machete
GOLD Gear Fanatic Solo Ti cook kit with 8 oz alcohol & 14 Esbits (also burns wood)
3 kinds of fire starters (vaseline soaked cotton balls, wood chips, magnesium block)
2 mini-Bic lighters
Sparking steel with striker
Hand-cranked flashlight/AM/FM radio/cell phone charger
Cell phone with battery case (4 days continuous use)
Hiking shoes
Thin socks (2 pair)
Thick socks (1 pair)
Gold & silver coins
Hanging bear bag
7 days hi-calorie no-cook survival rations
2 half-quart water bottles
10 oz Glenlivet
1 oz high-grade 420 with rolling papers
Toiletries kit (tooth brush, floss, chapstick, sunscreen, tweezers)
Signaling mirror
Mini Victorinox knife with scissors
Gerber mini "leatherman" tool
Reading glasses
100' paracord
10' nylon sail repair tape
Heckler & Koch HK 91 7.62 mm NATO with 3 30-round mags, sling, bayonet & 200 rounds
Glock 19 9mm pistol with 3 14-round mags in concealed carry hip pack & 200 rounds

Total weight without guns = 20 lbs.
Guns & ammo = 30.4 lbs

My wife's kit is essentially the same, but with a Ruger 10/22 rifle & 1000 rounds and no pistol.

Edited by GearMaker on 10/09/2013 01:18:04 MDT.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
tools on 10/08/2013 12:26:16 MDT Print View

Good list David.

Might want to give that gerber saw a workout though, and see if it can be relied upon.
I gave one of those gerber saws that retract the blade into the handle to my wife and she busted the blade in one month work about our homestead. Replaced it with a Fiskars folding saw which is still going strong in it's second year, and it has been very heavily used as we use it for construction as well as wood craft.

Not sure I like the Fiskars hatchet though,as it has a plastic handle? I've seen too many of those break. My favorite hatchet ( and my wife and I must have ten of 'em ) is the all steel Estwing. Balance seems a bit off at first, but you get used to it, and it will never break no mater what you do to it. grab it up in both hands and chop through the wall of your house if you need to, it can take the abuse. The blade is very fine and is my favorite tool for saddle notching logs.

Heh, nice rifle the HK 91.
Once upon a time about twenty years ago I went backpacking with a FAL and three 20 round mags, one in the gun, and one in each side pocket of my backpack. On that trip my wife carried a bolt action .22 rimfire.

The trip was up high and dry, so we also needed to carry all our water...

I swear, that dang FAL just about pulled my arms out of my sockets by the end of that trip! Just to dang heavy for me to hump the boonies with! So despite the fact that I did love that rifle and the caliber, I switched to 7.62x39, first in an AK, then and SKS.

I found the AK carried well and certainly worked well, but even just three 30 round mags in a chest pouch were still a bit awkward and heavy. Switching to twenty round mags helped, but reduced my capacity.

Now the SKS was the most convenient to tote of all. A chest pouch ( the so called Chinese Bra ) of 200 rounds on stripper clips can actually be worn with a backpack with reasonable comfort!

That chest pouch with 200 rounds of 7.62x39 on strippers weighs right about eight pounds fully loaded, so I kinda think your weights are rather low!

Every year for about a decade I took my winters meat with an SKS, so I got real good at sneaking through the woods a blowing the head offa something with it, and I used one at several Appleseed shoots, so I felt quite confident with this setup.

But ya know, I'd not want to be without a good .22 rimfire rifle. My wife has a marlin 60 with a Simmons scope and sling, and I made the best shot I ever did on game with that rifle, an off hand shot at a turkeys neck at a full fifty yards.

I reckon the .22 rifle should wear iron sights and a scope and sling.

But the fact is a few years back I went and sold all my AK and SKSs, and my only semiauto rifles now are .22s. I hunt with lever action rifles these days!

My wife never did handle a rifle bigger than a .22 al that well, and I reckon she can be a terror with one if she wanted to despite the tiny caliber. lying prone, hidden under a bush she can spit five fast rounds into a bandits face at 75 yards in two seconds time with her pet Marlin.

So I reckon if I ever had to head out on foot the only long arm taken would be a .22.

Anyway, I believe 200 rounds of .308 is about 10.5 pounds ( 150 grain bullet ), 200 rounds of 115 grain 9mm has got to be six pounds and your HK has got to be about nine pounds dry? Might want to check those weights!

Edited by Bawana on 10/08/2013 12:28:31 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: "get-me-home" not "bug-out" on 10/08/2013 13:13:20 MDT Print View

@ Robert van Putten-

And your address is...?

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
you and everyone else - on 10/08/2013 13:44:58 MDT Print View

It's amazing how many relatives say "if the stuff hits the fan we'll all just go to Bobs house!"

So we built a bunk house - No kidding. Had to have a place to put all the bodies, not to mention stage supplies. Not that I think it will ever come to this, so it serves as a combination guest cabin / garage / root cellar for now.

Fact is, our place is pretty durn hard to get to when the winter snows close the roads.
I love it, its like having a moat for six months out of the year. The first time my one neighbor on this mountain drives his car on up past our homestead in the spring I always complain about the traffic!

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/08/2013 13:57:21 MDT Print View

Don't shoot when I come by once it all hits the fan. I'll be the guy with the little cuben backpack and a bottle of bourbon.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
boom sticks on 10/08/2013 13:58:18 MDT Print View

Funny that will all the sidearms and rifles on my wish list, 1/3 of them are .22s.

I wish Springfield still made the .22/.410 M6 Scout. I've seen a few for sale on line but they're hard to find under $400. Someday.

I'll eventually convert my son's .22lr Cricket to a pack rifle using the PRK kit Probably knock this out before spring.

I checked out the 10/22 takedown. It was still pretty bulky when broken down and didn't seem to be worth the effort. Long term plan is to build one from Tactical Solution components after I buy a Scout.

I've heard too many complaints about the AR-7 to give it serious consideration even though I like the design.

Stepping up to 5.56 / .223, I really want to like the mini-14 but like the AR-7, performance reviews are spotty.

David Gardner
(GearMaker) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: tools on 10/08/2013 14:09:03 MDT Print View

The Gerber saw is a locking folder. 5" blade with 6.5" handle, 3.1 oz. Saws through a fir 2x4 in about 30 seconds.

I use a military-style sling to carry the HK91 in front. Way to heavy to carry all day.

You are right about my gun weights being low. I just weighed everything and got the following:

HK 91 with sling & three 30 rd mags = 13.3 lbs.
200 rds 7.62 NATO = 10.5 lbs.
Glock 19 with three 14 rd mags = 1.7 lbs.
200 rds 9mm = 4.9 lbs.

Total = 30.4 lbs.

I'll edit my original post.

Edited by GearMaker on 10/08/2013 14:11:53 MDT.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
different saw on 10/08/2013 14:39:07 MDT Print View

Oh, the saw my wife managed to mangle was one of these where the blade slides out. The steel seemed awful brittle -


robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
not to worry on 10/08/2013 14:48:31 MDT Print View

Ben, now why would I shoot someone carrying a bottle of bourbon? :)

Probably give ya a place to crash for the night and send ya on yer way with a pack full of food if I could at all afford to.

I've always wanted an accurate .22 handgun, say a Ruger Mk11 or similar, yet somehow never seem to be able to justify the purchase.

A good accurate .22 sidearm, a 30-30 carbine and I reckon a feller is all set.
But that's just me!

I have three thumb busters and a lever gun chambered for .44 special, I cast slugs and reload for that caliber and have a pile of powder and primers. So I reckon that's my long term solution to keep banging away around the homestead. Handles all the shooting I figure on needing.

But traveling on foot? No more than a .22 rifle and maybe a Glock 9mm.
I have a Glock 26 that I often carry backpacking, not to mention to work and about town. Not a bad compromise between weight and shoot-ability

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/08/2013 15:42:58 MDT Print View

Craig -- I agree, "The Road" is how I envision what would happen if the place falls apart. There is not enough game to feed 300 million people, so it will be soylent green time.

As to currency, I think booze, pills, smokes and paper-porn (no more youtube) will be pretty useful for barter.

On the realistic side, I carry some emergency bags. One is for the car in the winter in case we get trapped. The other is for air travel in case we get stuck in the airport. Other than that, I will shelter in-place.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/08/2013 16:49:50 MDT Print View

"There is not enough game to feed 300 million people, so it will be soylent green time. "

Except that amount would dwindle very fast in just a month.

David Gardner
(GearMaker) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/08/2013 16:49:53 MDT Print View

.22 LR, 30/30, .44 special, .223/5.56 mm NATO are useful, but for the soylent green/zombie apocalypse scenario I want a round that can drop big game or a bad guy at 300 yds. Also, the .308/7.62 NATO round (like the .223/5.56 NATO and 9mm), being military, is relatively abundant and cheap, with a reasonable chance of being scrounged or scavenged after everything falls apart.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
range on 10/08/2013 18:03:22 MDT Print View

Heh, I dunno about 308 being "cheap" these days!

300 yards is a stretch fer me, but I can certainly drop a guy or a deer at 200 yards with one of my 30-30s easily enough, - If they are standing still and I can see them! - And that's good enough for me.
I don't believe I've ever shot any game past 50 yards. My property is 1/2 mile long but it is so heavily forested and rugged that the best shooting range I can come up with is 75 yards, and that's shooting down part of my driveway!

I like the idea of being able to engage out to 500 yards, and any rack grade military rifle should be able to do that in the hands of a good shooter. I do love a good semi-auto rifle. Ya get all snug in the sling and in a good prone position, wiggle yer butt to find yer NPOA, and anything that wanders into your zone of fire gets nailed. Big Time. One hand supports the front of the rifle, the sling pulls it snug into yer shoulder and all yer right hand does is squeeze that trigger nice and easy, and reload now and then!

My wife and I recently watched a movie called "Jack Reacher" with Tom Cruse.
In one scene at a shooting range he is all snugged up to a Remington 700 all wrapped up in the sling and rolls into a shooting position. My wife really got a kick out of that scene and laughed "I know how to do that!"
We do enjoy long range shooting and the short range reduced scale target work done at Appleseed shoots. It's allot of fun.

But realistically, I'm never going to do that "for real". I'd never shoot game at such extended range. I can't see that far in the rugged hills I live in, and how the heck could a felller justify shooting someone at 400 yards? How could you call that self defense?
How could you prove that in court? After all, most emergencies and disasters are only temporary, and the rule of law will be reasserted.

Maybe if your position is taking fire from that distance - But that's not likely going to happen. Someone wants to loot yer place, rob or rape you, they need to be up close and personal to do it. I reckon self defense is a close range kinda thing.

Also, I don't have a militia at my back, with everyone taking care of there designated fire zones, with resupply, medivac and all that.

If I'm defending my homestead I'll take to the forest around me. I see or hear the bandits coming, we grab our rifles ( always loaded ) and head out the back door at a run!
Work my way in, select a shot, kill a bandit, and vamoose. Flank, work back into range, and kill again with a single shot. I "still hunt" much like this, and nobody knows the rugged hills around my place like I do. I could keep this up all day and drop any number if I had to.
It would be folly to stay in one place and let yerself get pinned down. Nobody has all the other fire zones covered so you'll get flanked and killed, or maybe burned out. So, for one man on his own, mobility is the key.
I've tried humping the boonies with a pack and a FAL, so I know it ain't for me.
But I know I can run like heck with a 30-30 carbine and 60 rounds in my pockets, and ain't nobody gonna be able to run me to ground or outflank me.

So, the six pound 30-30 carbine, which is inexpensive, light, short and handy, easily reloaded on the run, no magazines to mess with and truly devastating out to a few hundred yards ( ever see the wounds one makes on a deer? Ugh! ) is fine for me.

Heh, maybe I'm just to old to carry much more weight?

Not that a semi isn't also good at short range though! I used to dearly love my AKs and reckoned one was shorter, handier and easier to shoot than a 12 gauge shotgun, which is often touted as the very best thang for home defense, has up to 30 rounds on board, has great penetration, has legendary reliability and used to be pretty cheap to buy to boot!

But anyway, I don;t pack weapons in my "get-home" bags. My wife and I carry pistols day in and day out, so we'll just make do with those for self defense. A .22 rifle for foraging is very tempting ( they never fail to fill the pot! ), but an extra 5 pounds of food instead makes more sense in most situations.
Bugging out is a different story though.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
Mandarin on 10/08/2013 18:11:13 MDT Print View

Maybe this is defeatist, but if society collapses in the US in my lifetime, I will most likely need little more than a workable knowledge of the Chinese language.

I really do want to learn to hunt someday. None of my friends or family are hunters or gun owners so I don't have a good sense of gun selection.

Until then I'll have to rely on my good looks and charm. So basically I'm screwed.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
Nah on 10/08/2013 18:33:05 MDT Print View

No yer not! You already know about backpacking, and that puts you ahead of the majority of the population!

Most folk will be looking like this -


And you'll be looking like this -


That counts for something, eh?

Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/08/2013 18:38:43 MDT Print View

Having a bug out bag helps people in a societal collapse exactly like having a ccw and a handgun helped people in the Aurora shooting.

It provides a safe place for people prone to bugging out and fantasizing, but in reality does little when needed most.

David Gardner
(GearMaker) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/08/2013 18:55:01 MDT Print View

Really? I was not aware that anyone at Aurora had a CCW or handgun, but I'm open to being educated.

My philosophy is that you can't go wrong being prepared. At least then you have options. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

At any rate, all the things on my list get regular use, they're not just purchased and stashed away. Some for camping, some for hunting, some for sport. So it's just a matter of keeping them all in one place, just in case.

That being said, "bug out bag" may be a misnomer in my case. It's more of a disaster preparedness package. Here in earthquake land we're told we should plan on being self-sufficient for at least 72 hours if The Big One hits. Whatever the scenario, my first plan is to shelter in place unless that becomes untenable. Then I want to be able to move, and quickly.