Two Letters Re: A Different Perspective on Packing a Bugout Bag

F.J.’s BOB article was dead on – Kudos!
We tend to approach things head on as opposed to tackle out problems at angles.  Why do I say it this way?  I challenge any of your readers that have issue, first, in a calm environment to take a pleasant – stress free hike in both the summer and the winter.  Leave on a Friday afternoon, and come home on a Sunday.  Be somewhat adventurous – Hike in Friday night, set up camp, then Hike 10 to 12 Miles Saturday.  Then Sunday Hike out another 6-8.
Pick a date two months in advance and go with a friend or a group – and don’t change it. (Yes, this probably sounds like the Boy Scouts of America planning.)
Have fun and report back.
“Huh you say? What’s the point?”
Well – -you don’t know what the weather will be like, you have to think about what to pack, you hopefully will know your water sources but should have a full hydration pack starting off with and at least two Nalgenes.  Then when you get back, lay out into two piles everything you used in one pile, and everything you did not in the other.
I’m 220 pounds, over 40 and out of shape , and thought I was going to die – but I did it that weekend, 22 miles in 2.5 days.  I figured I could buy a new sleeping bag when I was schlepping that thing across that mountain vs. my beloved cliff bar – oh but my very cool 7 inch survival knife…..looked cool.  I felt like Don Rickles in Kelly’s Heroes and wanted to pay someone to carry that for me instead of carrying it – or the extra set of tent stakes I had, or the silly camping hammer I carried (now I look at rocks in a totally respectful manner!)
It teaches us something  about ourselves if nothing else – and that is what is essential and what is not.  One of the other dad’s went on to tell me the following week how his son did the entire AT with a tiny pocket knife (we were friends, but he helped me learn an important lesson).  Again, putting things into perspective – yes in a TEOTWAWKI time and place, my 7 inch survival knife will be much better than cool – it may be the line between life and death- but so may the decision between taking that versus 200 rounds of .45 ammo and humping it maybe two miles  before collapsing from a coronary – again providing we know ourselves.  That weekend I learned a lot – and hopefully will lose a lot more. – “Charlie-02”


Dear Mr. Rawles:

I had to reconsider my BOB when my wife tried to move it off the bed in the guest room and realized she couldn’t even lift it, let alone carry it for miles if needed. I had a small bag packed for her too, but her’s is mostly clothes while mine carried a lot of the “common” gear. If anything happens to me she’ll need to be able to grab my bag. I also had to consider that I’m no longer able to carry that much very far anyway. My solution is to use a large rolling Stanley FatMax toolbox, instead. I found a nice one – with big wheels – at the local big-box home improvement store for less than the cost of a decent pack.

I was able to pretty much combine both of our two packs into the tool box and managed to add more food. I still keep a pack too, but it’s a lot lighter now and has the just the essential stuff I grab all the time for short hikes, overnight camping trips, and such anyway. I can still manage to lift the box into the back of the truck or get it into a car by myself if needed. But I now know that I’ll use a lot less physical effort rolling that box along than trying to carry it all on my back if I have to. – Deputy Dan in Georgia