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  1. Good thoughts. I, too, have been plagued by the “I don’t want to be away from my stuff” mentality…it can be paralyzing and negatively impact all those you touch. Thanks!

  2. Can you tell us what is now in your BOB ? What did you take out? What do you recommend? Sounds like you are using more of a hiker mindset with very light gear?

  3. I enjoyed your article immensely. Though not as dramatic, I have been going through a similar mental switch. Thanks for talking about it so eloquently.

    It’s almost heresy these days to put conditioning, living in the present, and gaining skills through dirt time, but that’s the truth of it.

  4. Thank you for an excellent article. It is reassuring that there are others that have gone through similar thoughts and actions. It would be very helpful to understand what you recommend for the BOB. I’d love to get to 20 lbs. Thank you!

  5. 20 lb pack for a 10 day hike sounds dreamy…I am not an experienced minimalist hiker and would love to know what’s in there and how you shed weight. Thanks!

  6. Thank you! I, too, would like to see your BOB list. A knee injury has challenged me to limit what’s in my emergency get-home bag, and a new look at it would help. Prayer and trust in the Lord is also at the top of my list; and now we’re working on skills.

  7. This article strikes close to home for me. I went from readin Infowars, Breitbart and Drudgereport all day long to hardly ever, and my stress/worry went down ten-fold. You said perfectly what I think I learned, too: the world is sinful, be prepared, enjoy your family, th end.

  8. Great post. Praying, trusting, and doing what we can to be prepared is all we can do. To the other commenter, I have stopped listening to the news 24/7. My mind only needs so much of that. I am not sitting with my head in the sand, but certainly not filling it with junk either.

  9. Thank you all for the kind words, and for taking the time to read the story of my ongoing journey.

    In response to the contents of my BOB:
    By no means do I proclaim this to be the final answer to my needs or yours. It is what I have found to work for me in my particular area. I had to constantly remind myself that this would not be a camping trip, it is not an I.N.C.H. bag, and my only mission was to get to my BOL as quickly as possible. I also assume that I will already be wearing one set of climate appropriate clothing.

    1. Osprey Stratos 24-quite possibly the most comfortable bag I have ever worn. The suspended trampoline mesh back panel is heavenly and you can store extra clothing and gear behind it if necessary. Rain cover included, doesn’t draw unwanted attention.
    2. ENO DryFly tarp-this can be used as a stand alone shelter and can be configured in multiple ways; completely waterproof.
    3. ENO Sub-7 hammock w/ Atlas straps-I tried ultra-light tents that cost more than my first car and just couldn’t get it to work for me. I can put this hammock up even in low light, in less than a minute. My part of the country is very mountainous with plenty of trees and almost no flat areas. Hammock simply works better for me.
    4. MSR Pocket Rocket stove w/ 2 4oz fuel canisters.
    5.GSI Halulite Minimalist Ultra-light cook set-the MSR fuel canisters nest perfectly inside; includes spork and koozie
    6.Katadyn Hiker water filter and 1 LifeStraw for water purification.
    7.Leatherman Wave multi-tool
    8.Black Diamond Headlamp- white and red dimming LED’s with one set of spare AAA batteries
    9.Medical kit-only the most commonly used bandages, a tourniquet, OFF wipes for bug repellant in summer, anti-diarrhea pills, Advil, dental floss, several packets of alcohol, iodine, bug sting wipes. I squeeze all of this into a slip-on, elastic fabric knee brace.
    10.Clothing-1 pair PrAna Brion hiking pants, 2 pair Darn Tough wool hiking socks, packable polyester shell rain jacket, 1 green/black shemagh. I also carry a spare set of contacts and glasses in a hard case.
    11.750ml stainless steel water container w/ screw off cap.
    12. 1 roll of toilet paper with center cardboard removed, 1 pack of baby wipes, small toothbrush
    13.Fire kit-3 BIC lighters, magnesium block, and a flint striker in waterproof container
    14.Fishing kit-narrow 50ft roll of Kevlar, braided, green line with 6 hooks; assorted crimp-on lead weights.
    15.Food-instant coffee singles, single serve energy drink mixes, several tea bags, Clif bars, Cup-o-Soup packets, instant oatmeal packets, crushed Ramen noodles,4 life-boat rations bars. GNC offers small packs of multi-vitamins that provides energy and daily vitamin requirements. I carry 8-10 of these packs. All of this I fit into a 1-gallon zip lock bag.
    16. 4″x5.5″ New Testament-waterproof Sportsman’s Bible
    17.25ft of 550 cord, 2 velcro all-purpose straps.
    18.Eton hand-crank radio w/flashlight-the one from Wal-Mart, $30
    19.Maps-Virginia and Tennessee for me. I also made my own laminated map of the most likely routes I would be taking. Most of this is through farm country along Interstate 81 and after years of travelling this route, I marked abandoned grain silos, dilapidated barns, or anything that would provide discreet shelter, before lamination.
    I add a lightweight Kelty Cosmic 20 sleeping bag in the winter.
    That’s it…

    Like most of us, I carry various coats, hoodies, gloves, boots, flashlights, and knives in my truck and will sort through these items when the time comes.
    Remember: Pounds=Pain! This is only the minimum to get to a pre-determined location. It will not be comfortable and most likely will be miserable. Your only goal should be to carry just enough to stay alive and get to where you’re going quickly and discreetly.


  10. Yannow, as I get older, I’ve come to realize that what is really going to floor even preppers are the things that come out of nowhere. Who would have predicted the Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill in 2010, but it did and for a while, it appeared that the poisoned water would have a very large effect on Americans. Its a good thing it didn’t – not many were prepared to walk away from their hard won work on their retreats.

    1. Thanks for your question. My wife carries an identical bag in her vehicle, with the addition of several female related items. If forced to leave from home, we have 3 separate bags, each loaded according to weight. Dad carries the ammo and majority of survival gear, Mom carries the clothing, some gear,and medical supplies, Daughter carries food and toiletries.

  11. D.D.,

    Interesting article and appreciate your thoughts on the mental evolution of prepping.

    I have also “progressed” past the need to be near my stuff. The only problem I have is that I travel very frequently for work, both across the US and the world. I have a fairly condensed list of items I always pack in my carry one backpack and/or my checked baggage. Obviously the biggest fear is the long trek home with minimal gear.

    That scenario still keeps me up at night.

  12. Thank you, outstanding perspective, very insightful and useful! I am always amazed and thankful for the wealth of knowledge so freely shared here….

  13. I am so glad you mentioned Ferfal from Argentina. His book was very instructive and destroyed many myths in day to day survival when a economy collapses.
    My friend and I call his book the Argentina Man.

    The bottom line is prepare for the best and trust The Lord.

  14. I am glad you mentioned Ferfal of Argentina.
    Another excellent example is Bill Bonner and his ranch in Argentina that he lost to locals and corrupt government even though he has millions.

    Just prepare the best you can and trust The Lord

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