I guess it isn't for everyone, but even avid campers should have one. although a lot of the things in a Zombie Pack deal with personal protection, most of it is survival gear....and survival gear by another name is just camping gear.
What is a Zombie Pack? I googled it and it was mostly movies. So, I tried "Bug Out Bag".
Well, go google it. What do you find?
According to the End all Be all of information:
A bug-out bag is a portable kit that contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster. It is also known as a 72-hour kit, a grab bag, a battle box, and other popular names include "Personal Emergency Relocation Kits" (PERKs) GO Bag and GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) bag. The focus is on evacuation, rather than long-term survival, distinguishing the bug-out bag from a survival kit, a boating or aviation emergency kit, or a fixed-site disaster supplies kit. The kits are also popular in the survivalism subculture.
The top returned links are all about what to keep in your bug out bag or buying someone Else's bug out bag. So, I clicked through a few of the links. HOLY COW! You can spend a lot of money! Like, in the THOUSANDS! Most of the kits hover around $800. That's a lot of cheddar where I come from!
Pulling one of the AVERAGE $800 dollar kit's equipment lists, I notice that while it's a nice kit and very complete, it's actual worth is about 3/4 of what you are paying for it. Convienience fees. And, to be honest, making your own kit...to your specifications, is half the fun!
So, if you have one, what's in yours?
If you don't have one, what should be?
I have been through several iterations of my Zombie Pack. It isn't the perfect kit. Not in the slightest. But, it's a kit. You are limited by space and weight. You also are limited on just what skills you possess and deem worthy. So, I talk about what started in my first kit, it's iterations, what CURRENTLY is in the kit, what I want in the future and why.
My first iteration of the kit was made up of a spare school-type backpack that was given to me filled with items stolen from inside the house. I also had a 50 gallon tote with other items. The kit possessed:
- Box of .45 caliber rounds, as I didn't have spare magazines
- Box of 20 gauge shotgun shells
- Box of kitchen matches
- Cheap double edged match
- hand mallet
- plastic sacks
- bottle of water
- Change of clothes (with gloves, boots, and 'boggin)
- Cans of soup
- pots and pans
- lighter logs
- lighter fluid
- big tent
- 1 gallon bucket
I put this kit together while I was in college. When I got out, I had a LITTLE more money, so I upgraded some things while maintain much of what was already there.
- Better "heavy duty" bag
- Bought multiple .45 mags
- Bought a Gerber Machete
- Bought a Smith's Arkansas stone for sharpening knives
- swapped the mallet for a hatchet (can be used as a hammer AND hatchet)
- Bought Hyfire flashlight
- Bought water purification pills
- Bought Nylon Rope
- Added TONS of little items like: duct tape, JB Weld, fishing hooks and line
- Thermal blanket
- Hot hands
Well, as luck would have it, I had a LITTLE spare money laying around, so I started revamping the BOB.
- A new Mystery Ranch Sack...http://www.amazon.com/Camelbak-Tri-Zip-3-0L-Hydration-Coyote/dp/B004WJAOF6/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1345580362&sr=1-1&keywords=mystery+ranch+backpack
- 72 hours of food...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000SL2G58/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00
- Camel Bak...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SGM76O/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00
- First Aid Kit...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000SL2G58/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00
- Army Field Surgeon Kit...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007TR6NB2/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00
- 100ft of paracord...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002TT419G/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00
- 2 more Magpul 30 round p-mags...http://www.amazon.com/MAGPUL-PMAG-223REM-30RND-FOLIAGE/dp/B008S5Q0OY/ref=sr_1_5?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1345580394&sr=1-5&keywords=magpul+pmag
- Pup Tent...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00262JH2C/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00
- Folding Shovel...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WZCSTO/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i02
- Water Proof matches and carrier...
- Multi untensil...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WZCSTO/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i02
- emergency fire starter...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0010O748Q/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i01
- Collapsable water bucket...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000T0CMWU/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00
First thing I wanted to address was the bag. This spare bag I had was OK, but wouldn't be good to haul around. So, I spec'd out this guy. It's a BADDD Mamma Jamma.
Then there's the food. Turns out that these shows have done wonders for the ease of finding Surplus gear, not to mention a niche market that is now being filled by manufactures. So, I came across http://beprepared.com
While they did have a deluxe 72 hour kit, I didn't want to pay double for items I wanted to get on my own. So, I bought their 72 hour food kit:
Here is the contents of it. Pretty slick. I can't wait to try it!
Contents of 3-Day MRE Food Supply
That brings us the whole point of this post. What's in your pack and why? I would suggest taking an objective look at yourself and your abilities...or shortcomings. What can you do and what can't you do? If you had to take 100% and separate it between food, shelter, and protection, how would you divide it? Me? 70% protection, 15% for each food and shelter. No, that doesn't mean that I don't think I need the two latter. They just aren't that important to me IN REGARDS TO THE BOB.
My general philosophy on survival, in regards to the BOB, is that I can provide for myself long term. I just have to stay alive and effective short term. Food and shelter, as the overview shows, are just as important as protection. But, feeding myself and housing myself aren't my concerns in the long term. I can do that. That might be anything from scavenging for food to growing it, from squatting in a house or building a shelter. But, personal protection and speed is my main concern. I need to be able to quickly and easily get to where I need to go...while effectively protecting myself. Now, I do know plenty of people that ONLY pack weapons and ammo. I wanted to avoid that and at least have enough items to "go to ground" for a few days.
How about you? If you don't have the ability to hunt for yourself, or scavenge, then food may be your philosophy...so go heavy on the food. I bet you can get 2 weeks of food in your BOB pretty easy.
If shelter is your thing, you might carry a lot of fire starting items and a large robust tent, although I think we all see the potential problems with concentrating on this.
There are a lot of combinations of the 3 out there...so don't limit yourself.
Another thing to consider is your physical location...where you are and where you are going. If you live in an arid area, water is far more important, and although it's heavy, it is worth having. So, you may have to unload a few items...like your tool kit, which may be of no use in a desert. If you are headed to a densely populated area, food may be easy to come by, but personal protection may not. Especially if it's covered with zombies. So, go heavy on the ammo. If you live in Alaska...you may want to take nothing but shelter and clothes.
So, now we are down with the 1-Liners. You see what I have and why. So, what are the overarching things to consider? This list is FAR from all encompassing. But, these are the things I think of
- RULE NUMBER 1: Can you physically carry your pack?
- RULE NUMBER 2: Keep that pack handy and always take it with you (if you can). I know it sounds silly, but you may not be on the couch watching football when it happens.
- What's your #1 fear? Starving, freezing, or getting shot. Whatever the greatest of those is...prepare for it.
- Practice makes perfect. Take your kit out and use it. Just take it camping. It will show you what you have that you don't need and what you need and don't have.
- Revise it once a year. Consider WHY you have something and if it's worth humping across the country
- Can you use everything in your pack? Would you?
- Build the pack for where you are going. A pack with a ton of food isn't really needed in the suburbs, is it? But a tool kit to break into Wal-Mart sure would provide food for a long time.
- Know where you are going, why, and what you need when you get there
- The greater knowledge and skill you have, the lighter that pack will become or the more equipment you can bring. For example: If you know how to find good water and purify it, you don't have to carry water with you...or the tools to purify what water you do find. So, read up and practice.