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Need help trimming down B.O.B.

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Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby whitedog420 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:34 pm

I have a one hour trip to work and a lot of wilderness and some small towns in between home and work. I keep a Get Home Bag in my trunk in case of any number of emergencies. My bag is filled to the brink and fairly heavy. I could get a bigger bag to hold more stuff but I think it weighs too much as it is so I'm looking to take a few items out of it. I'm going to copy and paste my bag's inventory on to here for you all to take a look at. I've underlined a few items that I think I can do without. Any thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.

To note: my hunting knife in the bag will be attached to my hip if I ever have to traverse with the bag on my back. Also I have winter bag in my car for the colder months, but most of it is clothing items I would add as an outer layer. When it says "bag" that means a Ziploc bag.




Large Section:
Bag 1: Full roll of duct tape, pen, notepad, string saw, two flares, Iodine drops, Matches
Bag 2: Blister dressings, 85 piece First Aid kit,
Bag 3: toilet paper roll, hooded poncho, mesh facemask, body warmer

Waterproof container: 9 volt batteries, whistle/compass/thermometer/magnifying glass, lip balm, two LED flash lights, super glue, two cigarette packs, four AA batteries, floss
Other items: 8.5oz peas & carrots can, hunting knife with magnesium stick, Folding stove, steel cooker with cups, lifestraw, 2 bags freeze dried food, wool socks

Medium Section:
Bag 1: 4.5 oz dried apples, steel wool, nail clippers, .5 oz degree deodorant, six bungee ties, two ziploc bags, 4 multi color chalk
Bag 2: Wash rag, bandana, wool socks, mouth cover masks, utility tool
Other items: 100 ft 7 strand 550 paracord

Small Section:
Items: 4oz insect repellent, small knife and fire striker, gloves, alieve 24ct
Outside bag: water bottle, water filter bottle, rain cover, 2 glow sticks
Outside mesh pocket: Reflective markers, S-biner
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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby Permafrost » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:54 pm

what is your total weight?

This does not seem like that much stuff. You could probably loose the nail clippers & deodorant. Might want to replace the two flashlights with a headlamp. Canned food is heavy, might try some form of high calorie emergency bar like USCG lifeboat rations. The bandana can be used as a wash rag, I am not sure you need both.

What is the chalk for? and what is a body warmer?
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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby Senah » Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:22 pm

I know you didn't ask for major feedback, but I think you could lighten up the weight and also make a few good substitutions.

I think since you have a fire starter as a backup, a lighter (even just a Bic one) is always better than matches. With matches water and wind can render them useless quickly. With a lighter you don't have that problem. Also, put some vaseline in there to get tinder going. The first aid kit seems pretty major (85 piece?) - is it prepackaged? If so, you could likely trim it down.

And the iodine drops being liquid are probably in a dark glass bottle which is breakable and not as good against many contaminants in streams - switch to a broader water treatment tablet (takes longer but safer). While talking about that, get a plastic expandable water bottle/filler like a camel back or plastic jerry-can which is much lighter than a water bottle and takes up less space. It can also usually carry more water. Why do you have a steel pot instead of aluminum? The latter is more expensive, but so, so lightweight. Probably don't need the cups either.

Food - peas and carrots are worth nothing in terms of energy which you would need a lot of - a Snickers bar would be a much better energy investment for the weight (or several). Definitely drop the canned good - too much weight always.

Skip the entire roll of duct tape and get the small rolled up kind (or do it yourself) that doesn't have the cardboard center. If you can learn knots there isn't much you can't do with paracord that you can do with duct tape other than patching, so you wouldn't need all that much.

Batteries are overkill, as are the flashlights, and the glow sticks will be mostly useless. Get a headlamp with 1 set of extra batteries and an extra bulb. Don't store the batteries in the headlamp. It has different settings and is hands free. You can also put it on a red light setting (make sure you buy the right one) which is not so visible to others if that is an issue.

I agree about dropping the deodorant and nail clippers - why do you have the chalk? I would put some sort of small emergency survival manual or print out pages and put them in a zip lock in the bag. Also, have a toothbrush. Why do you have steel wool?

Initial thoughts. You may have insightful reasons for some of those things, especially depending on where you live, so discard suggestions as appropriate.
Senah


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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby arkieready » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:14 am

I'm interested in what's in the 85 pic first aid kit. If it's mostly band aids, or does it include oral meds. Aspirin (for heart issues if you are old enough to be concerned) pain/fever reducer, Benedryl for allergic reactions, any daily meds you require. Tummy meds like Imodium, pep to, etc. you don't need many of each, they are light, and a fever or case of diarrhea will stop you in your tracks. Burn ointment, antibiotic ointment are good to have. Band aids and minor wound care is nice, but duct tape and toilet paper do the same.
I agree with ditch the can of vegs, low calorie.
The flares? IDK
Dump the cigarettes!
Refresh your pack seasonally and you can rotate bug spray and body warmer.
Be sure your food stuffs are as calorie dense as possible.
Water bottle and water filter bottle are redundant
Would you consider eliminating the folding stove and packing food that doesn't need cooking? Will your freeze dried meals rehydrate cold?
I also have a b.o.b. Weight problem and beat myself up over it.
Thing is, we all have to pack according to our needs. Just keep refining it, it will only get better.
P!

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.

--Robert Frost--
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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby turfa » Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:40 pm

Couple of things I did. Got rid of the roll of duct tape. I re-rolled about 10 ft. on an old credit card for my get home bag. I also reduced the TP by savings a cardboard inner roll, and winding TP on a pencil till I had a dia. equal to the tube. Then stored it inside the tube. I don't see the need for a stove in the bag, as long as you can start a fire to heat water.
I also carry a water filtration bottle and an aluminum water bottle. One for filtration and on that I am able to set on the fire to heat water for my food. Add plastic spoon and fork.
I carry two large trash bags (55Gal) They are light in weight. I can use as rain coats or sleeping bags if needed.
Lots of idea's out there. Good luck
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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby Photon Guy » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:03 pm

Although this has not been mentioned on this thread but I would like to bring it up about keeping firearms in a BOB. I know some people keep firearms stashed in their BOB but for me, I just don't see the point. A sidearm in my opinion should be worn on the hip or kept concealed but readily accessible. To stash it in the BOB would just add extra weight to it and it wouldn't be readily accessible. A pistol can be kept in a holster on a tool belt that can be quickly put on in the case of an emergency. To me, that sounds more practical than stashing it in the BOB.
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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby whitedog420 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:32 pm

Thanks for the replies. Great information and suggestions.
I do rotate all the food items in my bag.
I will lose the can of peas and carrots. I do carry some energy bars in my glove compartment, so I can put a couple in the bag as well.
The chalk is for marking things such as trees, road signs, or even the road. I have four but I will lose two of them. For little weight and room, I think it's worth carrying them.
Both water bottles are in meshed bottle holders on the outside of the bag.
I'm not a smoker, but I keep the cigarettes as possible barter.
I will remove the lesser of the flashlights and put one of my headlamps in the bag.

When I have more time, I will have another reply, but thanks for everything.
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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby Photon Guy » Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:38 am

whitedog420 wrote:I'm not a smoker, but I keep the cigarettes as possible barter.

Cigarettes can be good for bartering but Im wondering just how long they last, even if you keep them in the box.
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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby danthman114 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:12 pm

i keep everything simple in mine. I field strip everything that doesn't need to be there.

something for water, 32 oz stainless bottle for boiling and a canteen. and a water filter JIC
something for fire,
something for shelter, hiking tarp or military poncho
gun. usually my sig 380.
knife. swiss army knife and an esee4
alittle food but always looking for food while out.
first aid kit WITH superglue
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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby 295linda » Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:25 pm

I would ask myself by what means would I get home-- walking? using a bicycle? horse? some other method? If walking, I would keep a really good pair of walking shoes at work or in my vehicle and plan on carrying an extra pair of wool hiking/walking socks and some kind of blister repair (Liquid Skin, moleskin, etc.) to keep from coming up lame. I'd like to have my walking staff with me too to help prevent falls and to use to discourage any threatening dogs. I might use a CamelBack to carry a load of water with me instead of a backpack and skimp on the "nice to have" stuff if I knew I would be walking for a day or two to get home. I can go without food for a while but don't want to go without drinking water -- and where I live in the Mojave one of those Lifestraws is next to useless since there is little surface water to be found. I would also want a means of self-defense -- at least some bear spray and a good size folding knife if I lived somewhere that didn't permit concealed or open carry of firearms. I'd also want a small butane lighter, a little plastic bottle of waterproof matches and a small candle in a metal container so I could start a fire if I needed one for warmth.

I would also ask myself what kind of weather I could expect to encounter and plan for that too. I would want to have a lightweight Gortex hooded jacket to wear to protect against rain and wind, a folding wide-brimmed cloth hat for sunny days and would carry some kind of lightweight waterproof ground cloth if I would be sleeping at least one night on the ground. I would not attempt to walk any distance in near-freezing or below-freezing weather since I'd rather stay put than risk hypothermia -- but that's just me.
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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby Hiker72 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:43 am

What type of bag/pack do you have? Also do you have a map of your area?

Question on the note pad - is it a "rite-in-rain" or just regular paper?

I just use energy bars for my GHB, so don't worry about a cook set or freeze dried food - this could save some weight.

Noted you have a life straw and a "water filter bottle" - just use one or the other. I use the life straw.

Strip and repack the first aid kit. Determine what you really need.

Drop the bungee ties - you've got 100 feet of paracord.

Condense the roll of duct tape to about 10 feet wrapped around a business card.

Make sure the flashlight and headlamp can use the same batteries if you want to carry a spare set.
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
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There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure. - General Colin L. Powell
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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby whitedog420 » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:44 pm

Some of this stuff was either small or cheap or both and I thought at the time "Gee, that could be useful." All that junk definitely adds up over time. I will go through the bag and take out the excess this week and re-post the results. Thanks for all the help.

hiker72, it's regular paper.

295linda, the bag is mostly for an extreme situation where staying in my car is not an option and there's no other way home. An event such as an EMP comes to mind, which may not be probable, but I figure if I can be prepared for that extreme then most other scenarios should be covered. I have a winter bag in my car, that has an extra layer of winter clothes in it and some other things like hand warmers. That bag I won't carry, I'll just slip on the clothes on top of what I have and be on my way.
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Re: Need help trimming down B.O.B.

Postby whitedog420 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:56 pm

Here's an updated list of my bag. It carries a lot lighter now.

Large Section:
Bag 1: Full roll of duct tape, pen, notepad, string saw, two flares, Matches

Bag 2: Blister dressings, 85 piece First Aid kit, bodywarmer

Bag 3: toilet paper roll, hooded poncho, mesh facemask

Waterproof container: whistle/compass/thermometer/magnifying glass, lip balm, keychain LED flash light, super glue, two cigarette packs, 2 protein bars, alieve 24ct, BIC lighter

Other items: hunting knife, stainless steel cooker with cups that has a 33gal trash bag and aluminum foil stashed inside, lifestraw, 1 bag freeze dried food

Medium Section:
Bag 1: 4.5 oz dried apples, steel wool, .5 oz degree deodorant, 3 bungee ties, two ziploc bags, 2 chalk

Bag 2: Wash rag, wool socks, mouth cover masks, utility tool

Other items: 100 ft 7 strand 550 paracord,

Small Section:
Items: 4oz insect repellent, mirror, wool socks, LED head lamp

Outside bag: water bottle, water filter bottle, rain cover, 2 glow sticks
Outside mesh pocket: Reflective markers, S-biner
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