Survivalism # 9: The BOB - Doing it wrong

Jack GoblinStarred Page By Jack Goblin, 9th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Emergency Preparedness>Hurricanes & Cyclones

The Bug Out Bag is a vital piece of equipment to a survivalist. But some survivalists fill their BOB with odd things.

Getting Ready to RUN!

The previous article in this series discussed BOBs: Bug Out Bags, a backpack, gym bag, or some sort of easily carried container full of essential items which can be snatched up in an emergency evacuation and taken with you. A well packed, intelligently designed BOB could be of immense value in the event of an disaster, both during and afterwards.

The problem is, there are those survivalists who do not pack BOBs to deal with emergency evacuations. It is more as if they expect to be thrown into the depths of the wilderness while at the same time being in the midst of a war zone and having to fight for their lives. They also seem to pay little heed to weight or space. The image of WWII D-Day paratroopers who were so heavily burdened they could barely clamber into the planes that were to drop them behind enemy lines comes to mind when these people begin describing what they feel is essential gear. Reality has little to do with such BOBs; fantasy is the driving force.

Or perhaps fight...

This can be seen with regard to weapons. In the fantasy BOB weapons are the main focus. Some survivalists propose taking semi-automatic rifles for rapidity of fire, bolt action rifles for increased accuracy and range, .22 rifles for the hunting of small game, shotguns for combat and general hunting, and handguns for self defense. And large amounts of ammunition for all these. This can be over one hundred pounds of weight in firearms alone. Knives, axes, bludgeoning weapons, throwing weapons: Some survivalists include these, too, in case combat (should it happen) becomes hand to hand. All this results in an arsenal sufficient for a small army. And which is so heavy and so large it can only be carried in a vehicle or cart.


In addition to weapons, 'tactical gear' is given priority. Camouflage clothing, night vision goggles, fire starting supplies, military style equipment, and some items that are simply bizarre. Such as reflective space blankets used not for warmth but in the hopes of blocking infra-red radiation to prevent being tracked by drones or satellites. Often the only food included in such BOBs are MREs: Military rations made for quick eating and requiring little preparation. Because when you are running from a hostile government or hoards of marauders fleeing burning cities and willing to kill for food, you obviously don't have time for fine dining.

Tanks in the streets? Probably not.

Although such attitudes conforms to the general public view of survivalists, it is NOT popular in the survivalist community itself. The BOB and its contents are a much debated subject among survivalists. As was noted in the previous BOB article, though, the conventional belief is that the following are of primary importance in a Bug Out Bag: Enough food and water (or water purification methods) and clothing for three days, prescription medicines and medical supplies and records, means of producing heat and light, hygiene supplies, and documents such as insurance papers, identification, and contact numbers and information.

The same conventional belief behind this list is that it is extremely doubtful anyone will be grabbing their BOB and running out the door due to a declaration of martial law, invasion by the UN, or the collapse of Western civilization. But fire, flood, earthquake, hazardous material spill, an event which forces people to leave their homes: These happen. Surviving them and returning and rebuilding would be the focus of most people's interest. That is what the BOB is usually intended to facilitate.

Conclusion. And a talk between a dog and a rabbit.

For those who DO expect the End Of The World As We Know It, though, the BOB is not a means to survive and return to a normal life. It's equipment for fighting a second American Revolution, or re-establishing civilization, or surviving in a Post Apocalyptic World. People like these are looked at with scorn, anger, and some degree of fear by more mainstream survivalists. Scorn because of such extreme beliefs. Anger because such beliefs make all survivalists look foolish. And fear because people so divorced from reality are unpredictable...

Below is a link to a YouTube video which supposedly recounts a dramatization of an on-line discussion about the contents and use of a BOB. The discussion took place on a survivalist board between several survivalists and a 'noob' convinced society was going to collapse soon. It did not go well. The video is an animation, with the part of the survivalists played by a anthropomorphic dog man, and the 'noob' by an odd character in a blue bunny suit. This shows the general attitude the survivalist community has for such a mindset.

Next: The BOV, and the BOL

Media Source: Wikimedia Commons, YouTube


Bob, Bug Out Bag, Disaster, Martial Law, Survival, Survivalism, Teotwawki, Weapons

Meet the author

author avatar Jack Goblin
Was born. Haven't died yet. Don't intend to anytime soon.

Thank you much for reading my articles. I hope they brought you pleasure and enlightenment. :)

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
9th Mar 2014 (#)

I like how you mentioned the part about reality and fantasy...

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
10th Mar 2014 (#)

NIce post!

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author avatar Rose*
18th Apr 2014 (#)

The ideal bug out bag should contain things like food (tins), tinopener, thin nylon tent, means of making fire, basic stuff like that

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