Published:  2015-04-03 Views:  971
Author:  Fanie
Published in:  Suggestion/Aanbeveling
Being Prepared: Making Of A Stand-by Survival Bag


See the following handy article written by an American, but which will serve very well in our own local circumstances as well.This is one of the articles in the BEING PREPARED range of articles:


In this instruction I will help you make your own personal Bug Out Bag or BOB for short. A bob is a bag you put together so if an emergency happens you can get out of your house or car fast and get to a safe area. Or a BOB can be used in a survival situation to help keep you alive long enough for people to find you.

Types Of Situation That A Bob Would Come In Handy

A Zombie Apocalypse

A Tornado

A Car Crash

You have to evacuate the city

Hiking in the woods and you get lost

Basically anything you can think of


Step 1: Choosing a good Backpack



First you're going to want to find a bag to use for your kit. 

The first things you should look for in a bag are: Does the bag have good reviews, does the bag have a waist/sternum strap (These help centre where the weight is and takes some of the stress off of other parts of your body), is it MOLLE compatible (see, not necessary but nice for attaching things to your pack), and does this bag have a lot of storage. Some good companies that make bags are Condor, Maxpedition, the Bear Grylls bags by Gerber or the Condor 3-day Assault Pack.


Step 2: Choosing A Knife





Now there are many good knives on the market. But how do you know they are going to last and not fail when you need them. 

Finding A Good Knife

First look at the knife characteristics and ask is this knife full tang. Full tang means the tang of the blade extends all the way through the handle. This knife will be stronger so you can use it for batoning wood or even cutting down a small tree. But you could pack something with a rat tail tang. A rat tail tang extends about halfway through the handle and comes to a point. This type of tang is not good for batoning and chopping. But it can be used for it but you do have a higher risk of breaking your knife.

After that you should look at the edge of the knife. Plain edged knives are mostly used for chopping, slicing, skinning, carving fighting, etc. so they are mostly a good all around edge type. Serrated edges are used for sawing, cutting, whittling, and cutting rope or paracord. This makes serrated knives good for cars and if you get caught in ropes. 

Next you're going to want to see what kind of blade type the knife is. Is the knife drop point, normal straight, cut point, American/Japanese tanto, or something else (that was just me listing off a few). For a bob you're going to want a knife that has either drop point or normal straight because they are good for carving, piercing, drilling, and much more. The types are also strong and usually used on most survival brand knives. I wouldn't recommend a tanto style blade because they are meant more for fighting and not survival.

Finally you should look to see where the knife is made. Now just because the knife is made in China doesn't mean it is a bad knife. Gerber, Schrade & SOG are some good makes.


Multitools and Folding Knives

Some things to look for in a folding knife or multitool is does the blade of the knife wiggle a ton when the blade locks or does the blade even lock. Most of the time you're going to want the blade to lock because of safety reasons. Next you should see how the blade opens, is it an auto blade or a manual knife. If you're looking at multitools see what tools are on them and would they be useful. 


Step 3: Shelter




If you don't have a shelter you are exposed to the elements and everything else in the area. 


Tents make great shelter but are heavy and some what big when strapped to a backpack. But in most cases they will keep you warm and out of the weather. How do you know you have a good tent? Well the only way I really found out is to read reviews on the tent you are looking to purchase. See if the tent is big enough for you and see if the tent fits all of your needs.


Hammocks are very popular because they are small light and easy to set up. But most of the time you need to purchase the rain fly separate. They are great in the summer but when it comes to any colder climate they are bad. The reason they are bad in cold climates is that you would have wind blowing under you and wind blowing above you. 

Natural Shelter

Finally you could build your shelter in the wild. There are many ways to build a shelter. You could build a shelter off of a fallen tree or basically anything that you can think of. The problems with building your own shelter is that you expend a lot of calories doing it and your shelter might not turn out. Don't get me wrong making a shelter in the wild is a great skill to have and when you get good at it you can make shelters that will keep you warm all night.

Step 4: Water Filtration and Storage



One thing you're going to need is a way to filter water. The first and the best is just boiling water. From my information it will kill 100% of bacteria from the water. Other types of purification are:

Water Filtration

Now the first thing to look for in a water filter is how good is it at filtering out as much bacteria as possible. Some filters have charcoal filters (charcoal filter leave a charcoal taste behind) others use carbon. Also see how many gallons of water does it filter before it goes bad or you have to clean it. Some suggestions for filters are the Lifestraw, the Sawyer Squeeze and the Katadyn Vario Water Filter (very high end water filter).

Iodine drops and tablets can be good if you have about an hour to wait for the tablets to kill the bacteria. However, they expire, leave a weird taste behind, take a long time to work, and you need to be exact in how many tablets or drops you put in your water. One plus I could see is that they are more affordable than a water filter and they are in small containers so they don't take up a lot of space.


Water Containers

Some of the most common types of containers are a nalgene bottle, a canteen, and water bladders. You also have Platypus bags which work to.

Nalgene bottles are nice because you can find MOLLE compatible gear to put them in and you can buy nesting cups for them. Nalgene bottles vary in size and width. Most of the time they are wide mouthed and about hold about 2 litres of water. So one bonus to carrying something like this is that you have more water storage. Also if you can find a nesting cup that fits your bottle you have a cup you can boil water in. So those are the upsides to it.

Canteens are very commonly used by the military. Most canteens are the same size and come with their nesting cup. They hold around a liter of water so they are smaller than a nalgene bottle.

Water bladders can usually hold 2 liters of water. You can even hook some water filters right into the bladder making filtering water really easy. Not only are these easy to fill and filter if your backpack is water bladder compatible you have hands free water drinking. Water Bladders can be a down side if your bag is not water bladder compatible.

Step 5: Fire and Fire Tinders







Fire can keep you warm during the day and night. It can also cook your food on fire and use it to dry out your clothes if they get wet. 


Bic or Zippo lighters are easy to use and when a Bic lighter is all out of fuel you still can use it to start a fire. But they don't work the best in cold, wet, and windy climates. 


There are many different types of matches, namely: Strike anywhere, cardboard, basic, and wind/waterproof. Most matches are good, but the best would have to be the wind/waterproof matches. I personally have seen someone light on of these and stick it into water for 30 seconds and pull it out and it was still going so I think that the matches prove to be the best. I would have to say that strike anywhere matches would have to be the next best because you can light them almost anywhere. The one type of match that I don't like is the cardboard matches because they are hard to light and don't last long. 

Ferro Rods

A ferrocerium rod (ferro rod) throws hot sparks that can be used to start fires. You're going to have to learn how to use it be for you take it out and try to survive with it. In the end ferro rods are great fire starters. Not only do they work in the rain, cold, and wind, but they also are easy to use. Some good ferro rods are the Bear Grylls ferro rod, the Light My Fire ferro rod, and the Exotac fireROD ferro rod.

One final note on fire starters is that you could use some kind of tea cup candle to use to start a fire but that is just something to try. Also you should pack at least three different types of fire starters in your kit and keep them in waterproof containers or bags, so if the container or bag gets wet the fire starter doesn't.

Fire Tinder

There are lots of good things that you can use as fire tinder. Some of them are birch bark, chapstick (very flammable), cotton balls, sawdust, etc. All of those fire starters I listed are good it is just good to try to back a couple of them in your kit. I personally pack birch bark because it has a lot of oils in it that makes it really flammable.


Step 6: First Aid



First Aid

It would be good to have some sort of first aid kit in your pack. Even if it is just a couple of different types of bandages is better than nothing.

The first things that you could look for in a good first aid kit is does this kit have first aid instructions. Make sure that the first aid instructions cover a wide variety of different types of situations. 

Next you should see if the kit fits your needs. You should ask does it have enough bandages, does this kit have aspirin, does this kit cover what I need? 

Another thing you should think of is can I put anything else into this kit. This part would apply to people who have medication they need to take or if you have any allergy medication that you need.


Step 7: Tools





The three most important tools to have in your kit are a good axe, a folding or take down saw, and a flashlight.


The first thing to look for in an axe is what type of axe is it. This is good to know because you don't want axe head that is meant for splitting wood if you plan on going out and cutting down trees. Next thing you want to know is how long is the handle. Different sized handles can be good for different tasks. It will be easier to cut down a tree with an axe that has a handle that is 20 inches long compared to an axe that has a 12 inch handle (if you're looking for something compact then go with a smaller handle or a hatchet). Some other good chopping tools that work great to split logs (using Batoning) or chop down trees are the Parang, the Kukri, or a good full tang knife. If you're looking for a good parang that is affordable I would go with the Bear Grylls Parang. If you're looking for a good Kukri and you're willing to spend a bit more money I would go with the Cold Steel Gurkha Kukri. Finally if you want to go with the knife I would go with the Ka-Bar Becker BK7.

Folding Saw

Two things to consider when looking for a folding saw are mainly how small is it (this is more for your needs and how much room you have in your bob) and how are the reviews on the saw (just to make sure you don't buy something that isn't going to last). Those are the two main things to look for in a folding saw. A good and affordable folding saw on the market is the Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw. This saw works fast and has tons of great reviews.


Flashlights can be a great comfort at night and give you a sense of security. The first thing you should look for is how bright is the flashlight. You're going to want a bright flashlight so you can see what is in the dark. The next thing you want to look for in a flash light is what it is made of. If you have a flashlight that is made of aluminium it will less likely break if you drop then a flashlight that is made of plastic. Maglite flashlights are made out of high quality materials and they are quite affordable. Something else that you could put in your bag if you don't want a flashlight is a headlamp. 

Other Tools

Something else you could put in your bob is a folding shovel. A folding shovel is good because it is much more efficient than a digging stick.

Another thing that you should pack is some sort of aluminium mess kit so you have something to cook in.

Step 8: Plastic Bags



Bags can be used in so many different ways and that makes them so useful in survival situations. 

Trash Bag

Trash bags can be useful in tons of ways. First they are easy to roll up and put in your bob. The amount of stuff you can make with a trash bag or two is crazy. With a little thought you can make some sort of cover for your BOB so when it starts to rain your stuff doesn't get wet or you could make a poncho so you don't get wet. Another thing you can use a trash bag for is to make bedding. If you go around and put leaves in a trash bag you could have a nicer bed to sleep on during the night (also could make a pillow). 

Small Bags

The first main thing you can use a small bag for is to waterproof your small items (matches, lighter, food, etc.). Another thing you can use a small bag for is to carry water. Now carrying water in a small bag can be a bit difficult but let that stop you. If you get bags with seals on them it makes moving water a walk in the park.

Step 9: Rope or Cordage


There are many different types of rope and cordage, but the most populare to carry in a bob or survival kit is paracord.


Paracord is the most popular type of cordage in the survival community. The reason is because it has so many uses. You can make survival bracelets , fishing nets, bags, fishing lures, etc. Also if you can take the inner strands of the paracord out. The inner strands of the paracord can be used as fishing line, fire tinder, etc. Those are just some suggestions for what you can use paracord for. With a little thought you can almost make anything out of paracord. Paracord can also be used for almost anything a regular rope can do.

Other Rope

Other types of rope can be used for a lot of stuff to, but most of the time you use it for tying stuff up. But still it can be very useful when you need it. If you have some good rope you can use it to repel down a cliff or mountain (also climbing up). Some other stuff rope can do is hold up your shelter, tying sticks together, and much more. Also some bigger rope works good for dragging stuff around.

Step 10: Food and Random Stuffs










Some things you should look for in the food rations that you are going to pack is does it have a long expiration date (over a year) and does it have a lot of the stuff you are going to need when you are bugged out. Some things that meet these qualifications are biltong, SOS approved rations, military MRE (Meal Ready to Eat), and the dehydrated hiker meals. Some other good food that you can pack is instant oatmeal and noodles.

Random Stuff

This is just going to be some random stuff that is good to have in your kit.

Hand Warmers

A Good File

A Small Sharpening Stone

A Mosquito Head Net

A Compass

Toilet Paper

A Space Blanket

A Poncho

Some survival instruction books (some good ones are the SAS Survival book, Build the Perfect Bug Out Survival Skills, and The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide)

Pen or Pencil


Maps of the area

Some survival training is always good

Any other stuff you think would be important

Hopefully this guide helped you creating your bug out bag.