About a year-and-a-half ago after finishing bug out bags (BOB’s) for me and my husband, I saw on the internet a relatively inexpensive BOB that was a backpack filled with typical emergency items. It was being sold by a well-known online emergency supplier. I thought of my daughter and her husband who live in New York City. She hadn’t shown a great deal of enthusiasm for our prepping, and has little storage space, so I was surprised when she agreed having a BOB is a good idea. I agreed to send it to them.
However, once I started looking at the items in the prepackaged kit, I was not impressed with the quality of many of the items. For example, the ponchos, tube tent, emergency blankets, and first aid kit were mostly one-time use, disposable quality. Using the list of items included in the backpack, I priced all the items separately, mostly on Amazon, and found I could put the kit together myself cheaper and use better quality products. I was almost right. Once I started their emergency kit, I ended us spending a lot more money, but the result was a much better BOB.
Their situation determined what I put in their kit. They are two healthy, young adults with no children yet. They live in New York City on an island with no car. Even if they had one, the presumption is that in a SHTF scenario, they probably could not get across the bridges or tunnels in a vehicle. My SIL is a former boyscout with decent woodcraft skills. They are both experienced hikers/campers. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she and her husband had already discussed emergency plans with another couple who are their best friends.
In the event of a limited emergency, the four of them would walk north out of the city to the home of her friend’s aunt and uncle about 40 miles away from the city. For a more serious or long-term problem, the four of them would attempt to get to our location in North Carolina. That defined what should go in their BOB.
I also included redundant water treatment methods in case they need it while bugging in.
On the road–getting out of the city
We included several durable maps including road maps for all the states between New York and North Carolina. We also added maps for a couple of states where we have relatives in rural areas where my daughter and SIL could get assistance, if needed. My husband worked out some routes for them in an attempt to avoid the most populous areas.
We included maps of railroads for the the states they may have to travel through. Being on foot, they could follow railroad tracks to avoid dangerous roads. We included a cell phone charger that doesn’t require electricity as well as a radio, and quarters for pay phones. From my daughter’s experience in NYC during 9/11 and the power outage, we learned about the difficulty with communication.
They already have one good backpack. I sent them an alice pack and frame that I bought for $25.
Of course, if at all possible, we would attempt to reach them with a vehicle, but made plans for the worst case scenario.
We like it–make another one.
My daughter’s best friends had a baby a few months ago. I asked her what I should send them as a gift. After she talked to them, she told me that what they would really like is an emergency kit. The new father was impressed with what I sent my daughter. She recommended I send them a BOB, too. Her reasoning was I should do it for her because she would share whatever she has with them, anyway.
That has to be the strangest baby gift I ever gave to someone, but very satisfying. I was very proud of them that they saw the value of having the BOB. It wasn’t identical to what I sent my daughter because I assumed they would be together, and duplicates of some things wouldn’t be needed. I loved the picture they sent me of new daddy sitting on the floor with all the stuff I sent encircling him like a kid at Christmas.
|2||Gloves, Leather Work||Clothing|
|2||Underwear Sets, Heavy Insulated||Clothing|
|1||Book-Boy Scout Fieldbook||Communication|
|1||Book-Boy Scout Handbook||Communication|
|1||Maps, Various-Road, Railroad, Elevation||Communication|
|1||Radio/Flashlight-solar, crank, battery, AC||Communication|
|1||Ethanol, 190 proof (Fuel, Antiseptic, Drink)||Fire|
|5||Fire Starters ( 2 kinds)||Fire|
|2||Matches, Waterproof (50)||Fire|
|1||Matches, Wood Strike Anywhere (32)||Fire|
|1||Steel Wool, Cotton Balls (Fire Starter)||Fire|
|1||Stove Fuel Adapter, Es bit & 1 cube fuel||Fire|
|1||Stove, Backpacking, Es bit or Alcohol Fuel||Fire|
|4||3600 Calorie Emergency Food Bars||Food|
|1||Cinnamon Hearts Candy, pkg||Food|
|4||Freeze Dried Entrees for 1||Food|
|7||Freeze Dried Entrees for 2||Food|
|4||Freeze Dried Granola w Milk/Blueberries||Food|
|4||Freeze Dried Scrambled Eggs/Ham/Peppers||Food|
|1||Life Caps (60 caps) Vitamins||Food|
|4||MRE’s–Ready to Eat Meals||Food|
|1||Body Wash, No Rinse 4 oz||Hygiene/Personal|
|1||Hand Sanitizer, 3 oz||Hygiene/Personal|
|1||Shampoo, No Rinse 4 oz||Hygiene/Personal|
|12||Wipes, Germ X||Hygiene/Personal|
|6||Wipes, Wet Ones||Hygiene/Personal|
|1||Candle Holder, Uco||Light|
|1||Candle, 120 hour||Light|
|6||LED Headlamp Batteries||Light|
|6||Face Mask-N95||Medical/First Aid|
|1||First Aid Kit||Medical/First Aid|
|4||Ki03 Potassium Iodate (Radiation Antidote)||Medical/First Aid|
|$20||Quarters (plus additional silver coins)||Money|
|1||Tent, Backpacking 2 person||Shelter/Protection|
|1||Tent, Tube 2 person||Shelter/Protection|
|1||Can Opener, GI||Tools/Utensils|
|1||Stove Accessory, Cozy-Food Insulator||Tools/Utensils|
|1||Cell Phone Charger Adapter||Tools/Utensils|
|2||Cups, Hard Plastic||Tools/Utensils|
|2||Eating Utensils, Metal (fork, spoon)||Tools/Utensils|
|2||Eating Utensils, Plastic (fork, knife, spoon)||Tools/Utensils|
|1||Fasteners Pkt, Various (Velcro, Ties, Duct Tape)||Tools/Utensils|
|1||Fishing and Snare Kit||Tools/Utensils|
|3||Garbage Bags, Large (shelter, warmth, Water)||Tools/Utensils|
|GPS-Dad’s old one||Tools/Utensils|
|2||Knife, Sheath, Fire Starter (Christmas Present)||Tools/Utensils|
|1||Knife, Swiss Army||Tools/Utensils|
|1||Leather Scrap (Hold Fire Tender, Protect Hand)||Tools/Utensils|
|50+ ft||Paracord, orange and green||Tools/Utensils|
|4||Zip Lock Bags, Large and small (water,storage)||Tools/Utensils|
|2||Blanket, Survival Heatsheets (for 1 or 2)||Warmth|
|2||Blankets, All Weather||Warmth|
|2||Sleeping Bag, Emergency Bivvy Heatsheet||Warmth|
|1||SteriPen-Water UV Sterilizer||Water|
|1||Sublimated Iodine-Water Treatment||Water|
|2||Water Bags, 2.5 Liter, Backpacking||Water|
|2||Water Bottles, Nalgene 1 Liter||Water|
|1||Water Filter System, PUR (9 treatments)||Water|
|1||Water Prefilters, Pkt||Water|
|80||Water Treatment Tablets, Micropur (1 liter ea)||Water|
|18||Water-Drinking Pkts 4 oz ea||Water|
|2||Zip Lock Bags, 5 Gal (for use with PUR)||Water|
|To Be Provided By Daughter and SIL|
|Washcloths and/or small towel|
|Fire Fuel Items (Es bit, Alcohol)|
|Red Flyer Red Wagon or Shopping Cart|