View Full Version : Building a Bug Out Bag

March 2, 2009, 09:10 AM
I am looking for some good tactical pants, shirts, vests, etc. Wanting to put together a Bug Out kit and do it on a budget. Any suggestions on reasonably priced gear? I am really looking for clothing but any well priced gear is a help. I have looked through sportsmansguide.com and cheaperthandirt.com


March 2, 2009, 11:21 AM
Take a look at LA Police Gear (http://www.lapolicegear.com/closeouts.html)'s closeout pages and their 511 (http://www.lapolicegear.com/5tacl.html) Closeout pages. As long as you stick to closeouts you can get some very good quality stuff for a reasonable price.

March 2, 2009, 11:31 AM
Sorry for posting on top of you; I am seeking the same info. If you get any good advice I'd appreciate a 'head's up'.

The only things I have right now are a basic first aid kit, (WalMart had them for about $10.00 so I bought 5 of them; 2 for backpacks, one for each bathroom and one for the workshop): a 9mm carbine with matching pistol for each pack, some jerky, a survival blanket, Leatherman, compass, mirror, fire starters, 1/2 dozen Bics in each pack, extra large bandages, 100' of paracord, decent hunting knife, small Brinkman flashlight and extra batteries, one of those cable saws, hatchet, and a couple of cheap canteens. Oh, and ammo and a basic cleaning kit. I also have a couple of the cheap rip-stop, 6X8 tarps for emergency shelter. Haven't got sleeping bags yet.

Right now I have only cheap backpacks but I am searching eBay for something decent. Maybe Maxpedition or something similar. Seems what the troops are carrying would be plenty good.

Might get some rechargeable, solar powered, hand held, walkie talkies in case we get separated. Seems like a rechargeable AM-FM radio would be handy also.

Any advice is appreciated as I am not one trained in survival. Now if you need a crippledy-azz machinist, I can help you out.

Again, my apologies.

Good luck

March 2, 2009, 12:25 PM
Phew ok...

I'm going to run up a quick guide, this is by no means all inclusive, but if you wish to go this route, this should be very helpful. Also look over Backpacker magazine, the Gear Guide should be available now.

Pack Packs are very important, with a good pack, you can go a much longer distance, carry more gear comfortably, and feel less sore at the end of the day. First, there are two types of packs, internal and external frame. Internal frame is by far the most popular these days for good reason. They're more comfortable, the internal rods can often be molded a bit to your back. Packs will range in size determined by capacity [in cubic inches] and size of your torso. Ensure that the sales associate measures your torso length, as the packs will range from XS to XL, and this helps in proper adjustment of shoulder straps and hip belt. Look for a pack with a good, sturdy, comfortable hip belt. This belt is very important as it places the weight in the pack on your legs, which have the largest muscles, and make it more comfortable to carry. Find a good material, most of the better packs are made of ripstop nylon. Look for good padding along the back, as well as ventilation to take away sweat.

Tent A good tent is lightweight, has enough space for you, your partner, and your packs, has good ventilation for those whom may deal with hot nights, and has a good rainfly that goes all the way to the ground. These days a lot of tent poles are being made with carbon fiber rods to reduce weight. Look for a tent that has quick together clips. Get a sealant for the seams. And above all, practice putting up the tent at home or in your yard.

Cooking A good packstove and cookware are important for the psychological value of warmth and hot food. Considering these are for Bugging Out, you may wish to look over Whisper, which makes multifuel stoves, designed to burn gas, diesel, white gas, propane, butane, etc. Look for stacking cookware, and if you can afford it, titanium is very lightweight.

Sleeping bag There are two types, down and man-made materials. Down is great because its lighter, synthetic is more water resistant. Bags are measured in the degrees they should be effective to. Shop accordingly, too heavy a bag and you'll be drenched in sweat on a warm spring or fall evening. Too light a bag and you'll be having to bundle up more for warmth. Also, invest in a pad for underneath the bag. It adds a layer of warmth, and does add a layer of comfort.

Knife Do yourself a favor and spend the money to get a good quality knife. It'll last longer, be more resistant to damage, and keep an edge longer. Get a good sharpening kit and learn how to use it.

Clothing Look for clothing that can be layered, is light, versatile, warm, and comfortable to wear. If you can find clothes that can be easily packed, thats a bonus.

Just a few basic thoughts, but as in a lot of life, what you pay is what you get with gear. The good stuff is often pricier but, if you're planning to survive off of it, may be worth your while. Ensure you try everything at least once at home, then take it out to a spot where you can pull up your car, and try it out at a spot. Take the equipment out a couple of times a year, the more you use it, the easier it'll be to use under a stressful condition. As a bonus, you'll have some fun :)

March 2, 2009, 12:39 PM
I will definitely heed your advice.

BTW, I have the Ruger MKIII, also. It's so pretty I hate to shoot it.

Gotta get busy or the wife will wonder if I'm spending my 'retirement' properly.

Thanks all.

March 2, 2009, 02:28 PM
Right now I have only cheap backpacks but I am searching eBay for something decent. Maybe Maxpedition or something similar. Seems what the troops are carrying would be plenty good.
I think we're similar ages (I'm 53) and so my "bug out" walking range is limited. But I still insist on staying prepared, but I keep one small kit in the car ready to go and another full fledged BOB that I'm working on that will remain in a closet.

For the car I wanted something that was small enough to fit behind the passenger seat. There are too many cases of people trapped in their car unable to reach the trunk. In my case I chose the Quakehold! (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FJQQVI) Grab-n-Go Emergency Kit, 2-Person 3-Day Back Pack. The thing is tiny but has enough of the basics to get you by if stuck in the car. There is a tiny bit of extra space and I augmented it with three more 12 hour light sticks, six chemical warmers, a few extra water pouches (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014EW1BM), a Swiss Army Knife (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VY4OJS), a good quality windup flashlight/weather radio (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014SWPO6), and a seriously good flashlight (https://www.fenix-store.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_65&products_id=362) with 3 spare sets of batteries. With a little creativity it all (just barely) fit in that little tiny pack. :D I recommend keeping one in each car - right behind the passenger seat. Or since you're married, one basic kit with extra water and warmers, and one augmented kit in each car. You can keep the spare in the trunk.

If you wanted something not too much bigger but a lot nicer then you could transfer the contents (or gather your own contents) to a Camelbak M.U.L.E. (http://www.amazon.com/CAMELBAK-M-U-L-E-100-BROWN-PRODUCTS/dp/B000UK84US/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1236021524&sr=8-2). But it's also enough bigger that you might be tempted to move it to the trunk.

I'm too old to be spending days trekking through the woods running from zombies, plus I live in a small town and have 20 miles of well armed rednecks between me and the nearest freeway. No way any evil zombies will ever make it this far and there is no other reason that I'd have to abandon my home that wouldn't also force me to abandon the bag. But just in case I have a Camelbak Commander (http://www.amazon.com/CamelBak-Commander-100-Hydration-Pack/dp/B000FT4UOI/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1236021721&sr=8-1) that I'm using to build into kit. That 100oz of good tasting water could come in mighty handy. So far I have added a couple of changes of very light but rugged pants and good socks, a great knife, and a first aid kit. I'm still working on the rest of that one but again with where I live it's not a high priority right now.

April 22, 2009, 12:26 PM
I might also suggest a small hand crank shortwave http://www.ambientweather.com/etgrarseands.html

does am/fm/noaa/and shortwave that way you can hear whats going on in the rest of the world. and perhaps look a gettin a ham radio license and carrying a small HT to communicate of 'long' (farther than tin cans and string) distances with any others in your area.

April 22, 2009, 12:50 PM
sportsman guide is a good place to look espcially in the mil surp for packs, tac clothing. A couple more places to look would be cabelos, sierra trading post, and coleman mil surp.
you also might try your local surplus and/or sporting goods retailers.
I live in fla, so a bug out kit is an essiential item.
one more thing you may want to consider is bug repelent. it's stressfull enough to go into shtf mode with out every creepy crawly chewing on you.

April 22, 2009, 12:53 PM
A good place to get started on the basics is at www.beprepared.com They have the best prices on MRE's and water purification I have seen online. They dont have much clothing, and no tac gear, but that stuff wont do you any good if you are dying of hunger and thirst.

April 28, 2009, 10:31 PM
The very first item you should aquire is "Ragnar's Urban Survival"...
A Hard-Times Guide to Staying Alive in the City. This book will explain the pros and cons of "bugging out".