Quote of the Week

"One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils."
- Woodrow Wilson

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Why Not Take BOB For A Walk This Weekend?

Got any big plans for the weekend? If you can, why not take BOB for a walk. You know BOB, your Bug Out Bag, Get Home Bag, Survival Bag or whatever else you want to call it. Mine is merely a hiking day pack with a few extras items. I refuse to call myself a "prepper." I just like to be self reliant in the event of a minor emergency.

Whatever you want to call it, having some basic items packed and ready to go is a good idea for anyone to have. Especially if you spend time enjoying the outdoors in remote areas. It's not uncommon for an experienced hiker or hunter to get lost and have to spend the night in the woods. Or have car troubles on your way back from a remote area

What you should have packed will vary greatly per individual, what the situations they plan for, where they live, and a whole host of other items to consider. But most will cover in one way or the other, the basics. Certainly some tools, extra clothing, medical supplies. Most likely food, water (or ways to gather), fire starters and shelter materials. One can, and often will acquire a lot of stuff for their BOB. Sometimes too much.

With the popularity of some reality TV shows, many people are getting into have some type of prepacked bag of essentials for quick access when needed. A person just getting into this can spend hours watching YouTube videos and spend hundreds of dollars on Amazon and army surplus stores building a kit that they feel will allow them to survive an apocalypse of any variety; be it Biblical, economic, man made, natural or zombie.

Having a little something for any possible situation may seem like good planning, but it can cause a big issue. You may have to actually carry around that bag. While I highly recommend anyone, especially someone who lives in remote areas or spends a lot of time in the outdoors, to been well prepared; it's best not to over do it. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to walk or hike a distance to get to safety, carrying a bunch of gear you really don't need can be a great hindrance.

As hikers know, ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain. That's why I strongly recommend you keep things simple with your emergency gear. Like I mentioned before, my kit is merely a hiking day pack with a few extras. What those extras are will vary for each person and may not always be the same throughout the year. I take summer items out in the winter and vise versa. For example: having a small bottle of bug spray doesn't do me any good in the middle of a Wisconsin winter.

So, how does one determine if they have too much gear packed? Simple. Take your emergency kit for a walk. Sometime this weekend, put your BOB on your back and go for a 1 or 2 mile walk. You may want to take it to a hiking trail, so you don't look goofy walking around the neighborhood with an Army surplus backpack on, but make sure you go for at least a mile walk.

If your are worn out from that experience either you have too much gear or you're out of shape, and most likely both. Now you need to look into lightening up your pack.

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