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Preparing a 72 hour kit. A.K.A. Bail out Bag (B.O.B.)

Eric Loden

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As September is National Preparedness month we want to start a series on Emergency Preparation.

I have picked the topic of a 72 hour kit, otherwise known as bail out bag, grab bag.

While our Emergency Preparation courses concentrate on training skill sets over gear procurement there are some essentials that you should have ready so that if an emergency situation arises you have some time to move without having to be concerned with gathering supplies along the way.

Home preparation is another topic we cover when you need to shelter in place, however what if you are not at home when you need to shelter in place?

Can you survive for 3 days wherever you are?

You should have a workplace plan if that is where you spend a large majority of your time outside of the home, but what if you are caught out and about?

A vehicle kit should be a bail out bag and maybe some additional supplies if you have the space. A bail out bag could be kept in the house, and moved out to the vehicle each day.... or better yet... redundancy. Having a bail out bag in your home, and one in your car is a great way to double your supplies extending your surviv-ability time or allowing you to share with a family member, or friend.

Now let's talk about what your Bail Out Bag might contain.

(It should be personalized to meet your specific needs, and outfitted to the area in which you live or travel)

Picking the bag: The bag does not have to be a brand name 1000 Codura nylon pack (although you get what you pay for) picking the bag is usually the first thing people do so they have a place to start putting the gear they collect. However the bag, pack, or case should be something to consider once you have an idea of what you want to fit in it.

As we like to say.. the more skills you have, the less stuff you will need.

When considering your pack, you have to think about the fundamentals, survival comes down to being able to provide yourself with the 4 Pillars of Survival: Water, Food, Shelter, and Fire.  Some are more readily available than others in your area, and some are more essential depending on where you live, or where you are going.

So we pack for the Plan we are putting into action.

Once we have an idea of what we are going to do, then we make a list of what we will need. Organize and Equip.

Some of the basics are as follows:

  • Metal water container (something you can boil water in to purify it if you need to
  • Knife (works as an all purpose tool and is an invaluable asset in survival (recommend a few knives for different tasks: Cutting, carving, food preparation, first aid, etc...)
  • MRE's: Meal Ready to Eat. Either purchase pre-made packs or make your own. Cooking kit would also be a good idea.
  • Matches, Lighter, Striker, etc.... have some means of making fire readily available.
  • Cordage: Para-cord, twine, string, etc.. Great for making shelter, hauling, and so many other uses
  • First Aid Kit, prescription medications
  • Extra clothes, Poncho, Tarp, etc.. items to make shelter
  • Flashlight, Whistle, Mirror, Radio, etc.. Items for communication
  • Compass, Map, GPS, etc.... Items for navigation

Once we have our supplies we need to Train on how to use them efficiently. (Simply having a hammer does not make you a skilled carpenter.) Gaining the skill sets you need might be a period of self discovery, or you might enlist the help of individuals with experience to aid you in skipping those downfalls and help you to succeed.

We like to separate Education from Training and state that simply learning how to do it once is only an education, ongoing practice or Exercise is when you really begin to train.

As your experience grows you may find better, faster, safer, cheaper, etc... ways of doing thing. We want you to constantly Evaluate and Improve your skill sets, and then adjust your gear accordingly, and thus the Preparedness Cycle starts over again. (Cycle diagram shown below.)

You may start off with a 75lbs pack, stuffed to excess and then over a period of time as you become more confident in your abilities you might end up walking into the wilderness with only a Swiss Army knife and coming back 30 days fatter than when you left.



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  • 9 months later...

Hey Jason, 


Most of the gun stores in town have started carrying some bulk dry food options, however the best deals can still be found online. If you are going shopping check out New Frontier Armory for some survival options. 


Looking forward to seeing you in class soon.

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