Friday, July 4, 2008
It's been a while but we're back from a short sabbatical!
This time, since the pajama wearing fairies aren't so thick in the last few months, we're going to cover some things anyone should have in their B.O.B.
B.O.B. stands for your Bug-Out-Bag!
These are items that would be useful in situations all the way from anarchy due the fall of civilized society (The Stand) to escape from hostile invaders (Red Dawn) to the mass uprising of the undead hordes (pick a zombie flick...).
First- a crowbar!!! This is your life dammit! This tool can be used to pry open or jam doors, shift heavy objects, used as a hand to hand thrusting weapon and even has handy-dandy hook on one end that's long and heavy enough to go right through a zed-head's skull and wax their brain slurping butt! Cost-$12
- a backpack. We're not talking about your rollerblade-riding, latte-quaffing, co-ed, bag either. Get a real one. An Alice pack in medium or large. These packs have tons of pockets, the load is distributed evenly, and not just the shoulder straps, but all the closure straps as well are fully adjustable. Cost-$40-$45
-a tactical vest or harness. This item is a godsend. Loads of multi-size pockets with velcro and snap releases for quick access, without having to worry about your stuff falling out! Most have quick-hoops on the bottom as well, so you can use your canteen belt instead of a web-belt to hold the tac-harness secure to your waist. This baby can hold everything from extra magazines for your weapon to bubblegum. (And I'm all out of bubblegum!) Cost-$30-$65
- a canteen. YOU. NEED. WATER. PERIOD! Humans can go sometimes for weeks without food, but if you don't have water you're boned. In case of disaster (natural or otherwise) find a canteen with a case, underplate and belt. You can attach other items to the belt and if needed, the underplate can be used to build a small cook fire if dry ground is unavailable.Cost-$8-$15
-a tactical leg holster for your handgun. Find one with a quick release on both the belt and leg strap attachment. It won't do you any good if a zed-head grabs you by the holster strap and you cant get if off fast!Cost-$25-$40
- a katana. Unlike the more popular, barbarian-ish swords. The Japanese got it right. These swords are light, fast, sharp, easy to maintain and deadly. Try to avoid the "replicas" due to crap-quality steel even if the sword looks pretty.Cost-$250(ok quality)-$7300(sharp enough to cut god!)
-water purification tablets. While these tablets aren't a permanent solution, they will allow you to safely consume water from most streams when used correctly. You can also make most water safe by boiling for at least 15 minutes if have no tablets or other purification methods.Cost-$6-$11
- a good multi-tool. Many of the dependable models come with built in: pliers, knife, can openers, file, hole punch, small skinning blade, small boning blade and screwdriver slot with multiple bits. Cost-$26-$80
- a liquid filled compass. If you have to go cross country, you'll need some way to keep your bearings. It's EASY to keep going around in circles in a forest or even sometimes in open country when you don't have any landmarks and the sun isn't visible. You want to buy a liquid filled version for ease of viewing , triangulation and accuracy.Cost-$19-$55
- waterproof match holder and magnesium fire starter. When your out in the middle of nowhere, if you need a fire fast there's nothing better than some tinder and a couple of matches. If you're outta matches though, the magnesium fire starter rocks. Shave a SMALL pile next to your tinder and use your knife pommel and a rock to strike a spark.Cost-match holder $3-$5 magnesium starter $7-$14
-A Zippo lighter with spare flint. Let's be honest. If you have to have a lighter, Zippo is the standard all others are weighed against. THEY. WORK. Be sure to have extra flints and small can of lighter fluid for refilling it.Cost-Lighter-$20 flints-$3 fluid-$5
-chemical light sticks. Chem-lights have been around for a decade. Even though when you break them there's no way to adjust the amount of light they produce, they'll last for up to 8 hours in a pinch. Great for night signaling, or camp markers.Cost-$.99-$3.99
- camp utensils. Called "Hobo tools". One piece that snaps apart for use of knife and fork together. Seems unnecessary until you camp and give it a try.Cost-$6
-cooking/frying pan. Hey. A small ,non-stick frying pan can cook just about anything you need. Beans, fish, stew, steak, oatmeal, eggs, whatever. This one has a folding handle to conserve pack space.Cost-$5!
-a toothbrush. Come on. Do you want to survive by eating mashed up bugs or eating deer-burgers? It's your choice. Clean 'em or loose 'em.Cost-$.99-$4.99
-camp hatchet. For lopping off branches for firewood or as a backup hand to hand weapon, an all steel with padded handle hatchet is always a good idea.Cost-$22-$55
-duct tape!!! What are you stupid??? Duct tape is like the force. It has a dark side, a light side and it holds the universe together. Duct tape can be used for anything from holding the sole of you boot on to a temporary strap for your Alice pack if one of them breaks!Cost-$2.99
-military entrenching tool. Big word for a collapsible shovel. You can stick this puppy in one of the outside pockets of an Alice pack and you're good! The blade locks strait or at a 90 degree angle for if you need to use it as a pick. The all steel construction also makes it a great back-up weapon in a pinch!Cost-$8-$13
-a camp lantern/emergency radio combo! This thing rocks! Unlike most camp lanterns, this one runs off an led light! No fuel to carry, no fumes, HAND CRANK POWERED! 2 quick cranks gives you almost an hour of light! Plus, the emergency receiver radio works the same way! No batteries needed! Also, this thing can recharge your flipping CELL PHONE! Now charging your phone does take a lot of cranking, but in an emergency, hey, you'll have a phone that works you know??!Cost-$40 (worth every cent!)
-hunting socks.3 pairs. All wool, thick and warm but allows water to be wicked away from your skin so you don't overheat. Cost-$27 for 3 pair.
-sleeping bag or low temp emergency blanket. A low temp bag or blanket is necessary for those chilly or wet nights. Again, preferably wool.Cost-bag $50-$90 blanket-$28-$60
-dog tags. OPTIONAL. But if you do get dead, it might be nice for someone to notify your family so they know you won't be stumbling back, moaning some dark night.Cost-$6-$15
WE RECOMMEND YOU PICK UP COPIES OF:
"ROGUE WARRIOR" by Richard Marcinko
"HOW TO STAY ALIVE IN THE WOODS" by Bradford Angier
"THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL HANDBOOK" by Max Brooks
So, those are the primary items you should acquire.
By no means do you need to drop tons of cash on over-priced garbage.
TRENDY "SPORT" HIKING BOOTS- A good pair of basic work boots or (even better!) a pair of waterproof combat boots, more than do the job. They seem to be a lot more durable as well, but hey, that's just our opinion.
BIG BLADED KNIVES- If you need to lash the knife to a stick to make a spear, then yeah, buy yourself a 13 inch "Rambo" special. You don't need something like that though. A five inch blade is enough for anything you need to do. BUT. You get one of good quality. One with a tanto blade with just the single edge works well for cutting, chopping, whatever!!! (Emerson Brand knives are great! Not cheap. But great! Thank you Richard Marcinko for clueing us in -via your series of Rogue Warrior novels!)
Also, your can substitute items.
-If you have a good machete, you don't really NEED to buy a katana.
-If you have an ax of good quality, you don't NEED to by a hatchet (unless you have weight problems with your pack then yeah, go buy the lighter hatchet.).
-If you have a hand-crank charging flashlight, you don't NEED to buy a lantern (you should still get a hand powered radio though.)
We haven't even begun to discuss firearms or rations (food stupid!) yet, but that's a whole different can of worms so we'll cover that next time.
Until then keep your Guinness cold, your crowbar handy and if your tree monkey tells you "Goodbye and thanks for all the bananas...", it's time to BUG OUT!!!