Thursday, May 3, 2012

Go-Bag / Bail-Out bags...


The Bail Out Bag (or BOB, for short) has become a staple in an era of vehicle borne military and PSD operations. It is generally a small to medium sized pack or shoulder bag stuffed with the bare essentials to get you through a bad situation. It's specific contents can vary depending on your own operational concerns, but may include extra magazines, signaling devices, water, Escape & Evasion supplies and medical adjuncts; which would all be pretty typical for military or para-military needs.
   When planning a BOB for personal use, I advocate taking a scenario based approach to deciding what goes in and what stays on the shelf. For example: if you periodically travel a mountain/wilderness area to visit relatives, you would want to envision a scenario where you perhaps have a vehicle breakdown - in the worst possible weather and at the worst possible hour - so, right away we can see some obvious needs to add to the list...

1) Signal devices (flashlights, road flares, chem-lights, whistle, VS-17 panel)
2) Water  (more if you are in an arid region, water filter or purification tablets)
3) GPS, Compass, Maps ( GPS has screwed more people than I care to recount, it behooves you to know your way around a compass)
4) Ammunition (if you are carrying a firearm - I would hope - have some extra magazines)
5) Small binoculars
6) First Aid kit/ Blow-out kit ( I would recommend at a minimum, a quality pressure dressing, an airway adjunct, a tourniquet, some kerlex roll gauze and a cravat.
7) Fire starting supplies (lighter, flint & steel, some kind of all weather tinder)
8) Edged tool (knife, multi-tool, folding shovel)

Point being....the absolute minimum to keep you alive if you have to sit in the woods awaiting rescue, walk to help, fight off attackers or any other number of scenarios.


   Understand, this is merely a very generalized list, you will need to build your bag to suit your own needs and environment. One thing to be aware of is the natural tendency to be a bit over zealous with your list. I advise you limit your bag size considerably , think diaper bag or camelback size. Rest assured, if you start with a large bag, you will find stuff to fill it with. The concept is to have an easily deployable, minimally burdening bag that you can grab and run with, and not a 100 pound mountain ruck.  

   I recommend the BOB concept for everyone, whether you are a soldier, a peace officer or a soccer mom. It can potentially change a bad situation from tragic to uncomfortable.

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