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Disaster Tip of the Week: The Most Important Thing You Should Consider When Creating a Bug-Out-Bag or BOB

Go to nearly any preparedness website or survivalist message board and you’ll read and hear talk about Bug-Out-Bags or BOB’s. The most common theme is other people asking what others carry in their BOB’s or even people showing off photos of their BOB’s. You can even find short and long lists of what people carry, down to the types of bags an individual might prefer to carry.  

One of the elements missing from these discussions is the right way of how to develop a Bug-Out-Bag from the start. The first and most important step in developing your Bug-Out-Bag is deciding where you are going to Bug Out to, also called a Bug-Out-Location or BOL.

Why is this so important? Because you should base the packing of your Bug-Out-Bag on how long it will take you to get to your Bug-Out-Location and by the method in which you plan on traveling to your Bug-Out-Location.  For some, this means traveling all the way on foot, and for others by vehicle or other means. If you don’t have your own Bug-Out-Location you can and should start with how long it would take you to get to a designated evacuation site or shelter.

If you pack only take three days worth of food or supplies into your bag and it takes you five days to get to your location you obviously will not have enough.

Some other things you should consider before packing your Bug-Out-Bag will be:

  • Who will be travelling with you, and how fast or slow will they be traveling
  • Will you be able to head directly to your Bug-Out-Location, or will you need to take detours for security reasons
  • Will you be traveling all the way or part of the way by vehicle or other means
  • Is your Bug-Out-Location stocked with supplies or do you need to bring them
  • Are others going to be meeting you or expecting you at the Bug-Out-Location
  • Is there a time frame in which you must be at the Bug-Out-Location  
  • Can you carry the supplies you need to get there

Once you have all this information you can then begin to build your Bug-Out-Bag properly to your specific needs regarding water, food and other supplies you will need on your trek.