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Old 04-07-2013, 04:36 PM
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Default Lets talk about the Bug Out Box



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While my wife an I are camping at Martin Dies State Park – which is closee to Jasper Texas – I thought this would be a good time to talk about our Bug Out Box. We do not call it a Bug Out Box per say, we call it our camping box. But it would serve either purpose.

If some kind of SHTF event happens and we have to bug out to the homestead, the box contains everything we need to prepare, cook and eat a good meal – pots, pans, coleman stove, propane, utensils, plates, radio,,,.

As my wife and I use the equipment in the box while we are camping, lets talk about how things are working out.



Related ArticleNever underestimate the effect of a hot meal on morale.

The Box – My wife and I use a Rubbermaid 36 gallon / 136.3 liter green tote, which measures 29.75 inches long, 20.25 inches wide, and 20 inches tall.

After several years of camping with friends and family I think the Bug Out Box is tuned enough for me to share my experiences.

Two burner stove – in my case I have a two burner coleman stove. But any good quality stove will work. Please do not think of this as a sales pitch for coleman, because it's not.

The first stove for the Bug Out Box was a coleman perfectflow stove with grill. After using the grill several it became clear the grill used too much propane. Over the course of a weekend the stove used a full one pound propane bottle to cook 6 times with. We need to get more then 2 days out of a pound of propane.

I thought about having a single burner stove, but we want the ability to cook more then one thing at a time. And, if one burner stops working, with a 2 burner stove, we have a spare.

Tinfoil – For cooking cooking at campsites over an open fire. When the opportunity presents itself we use the firepits at the park to cook our burgers, hotdogs and the such.

Why use propane to cook burgers, when you have oak wood and a grill over a firepit.

Instead of cooking on a nasty looking public grill, cover the grill with tinfoil.

Plates – While shopping at the local china-mart my wife found some oval plastic plates about 12 inches long and 8 inches wide.

Instead of carrying styrofoam or paper plates, we carry the plastic plates that can be washed and reused.

Box for forks, knives and spoons – This is a clear plastic box about 10 – 12 inches long, 6 inches wide and maybe 4 inches tall. The box keeps all of the knives and forks together so we do not cut our hand as we are digging through the box.

Instead of going with plastic forks, spoons and knives, our box contains a good number of metal eating utensils. We have some plastic utensils, but we also have a good number of metal ones.

Battery / Solar powered radio – The radio in my Bug Out box is the kaito solar radio. I first saw the kaito solar radio while on a camping trip with a buddy of mine and his wife. I was impressed that the radio worked well on nothing more the sunlight.

One thing I was not impressed with was the reception of the kaito radio. While camping at Martin Dies Park, which is close to Jasper Texas, the kaito solar radio had problems receiving radio stations from Beaumont Texas, which was about 75 miles away.

Shortly after I bought my kaito solar radio, kaito released a digital version, my radio is the analog version. I thought about buying the digital version, but as of yet have not made up my mind.

Collapsible water container – My wife and I use this for washing out dishes and otherwise holding water. It could be used to take a take a sponge bath, washing off, washing dishes, soaking sore feet, washing your hair,,, anything that needs water.

The container my wife and I keep in the Bug Out Box was bought at the local china-mart. Its intended purpose was for picking peas and snap beans. But we soon realized the tub would be well served in our Bug Out Box. It is not fully collapsible, its more like really flexible.

Other Items:

Antibacterial hand soap
Cooking utensils – large fork, spatula, spoon
Chemlights
Cloth hand towels
Clothespins – for hanging stuff up to dry
Dishwashing liquid
Flashlight with lithium batteries
First aid kit
Hotpads – for handling hot pots and pans
Insect repellant
Lighter and matches
Mixing boil – for hamburger meat, dips, chips,,, and other odds and ends
Paper towels
Pokers for hot dogs
Pots, pans and skillet
Olive oil spray
Salt and pepper – we get the party size in packages of two
Ziplock / food storage bags

What is a Bug Out Box used for

We use our Bug Out Box for camping, and for weekends when my family and I practice bugging out to the homestead. Whether its camping or cooking at the hunting camp, the Bug Out Box is part of our support chain.

The box is a support system for the whole group. Why should each person carry a stove, hand soap, cooking utensils,,, when we can pack a box for the whole group.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:04 PM
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Thank you for posting this.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:19 PM
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I've 2 blue zipper duffle bags that serve that purpose. Usta have an orange duffle bag that did that buy my kid took it to Bonaroo and I never saw it again (along with pots pans flatware plates grill toaster dishpan cloths and towels and my stainless percolator). I never understood why my dad said he should've raised dogs instead of kids).
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:50 PM
Mels thinkingitover Mels thinkingitover is offline
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The first bug-out box I packed I went with the "bigger is better theme." Ummm, not always, it seems. Sometimes you can pack a box so heavy 2 grown men can't pick it up. It seems I'm no longer allowed to pack big boxes for bugging out. My husband presented me with a stack of totes about half the height of the ones I had used. He mentioned it was that or a younger husband... I like shallow totes.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:05 PM
whirlibird whirlibird is offline
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The old cook box (chuckwagon box) has served many a campsite, from the cowboys, to the Boy Scouts, through today.

It's still a good idea for everyone to carry their own silverware and mess kit in their bags in case of emergencies but its always nicer to eat off of real plates using real silverware.

Keep the staples (spices, flour, oil, etc) loaded in the box so you don't forget them.

A folding grill is also handy for food cooking and prep as well as keeping things warm over coals/fire.

Funny part? I just started building another cook box a week or so back, trying to rebuild my prep gear with reality in mind.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:37 PM
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Thanks for the post Kev. We have two such containers, but were using them for various other grab and go emergency situations. Your post hit me between the eyes and makes a lot of sense.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:25 PM
strvger strvger is offline
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i use one of these: http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/c....aspx?a=513289

GI surplus medical boxes... got used to them doing my thing in the army. they are strong, secure, water-tight, and not too expensive (imho) for what you get as the used ones are even cheaper.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:00 PM
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Good stuff kev. I like it when someone has tried something out for a while, and works the kinks out, then posts about better tweaks and do's and don'ts.

The post earlier about heavy lifting made me think maybe one of those rolling hardcases might work o.k. for picnic use. It would at least roll for the bad back inclined, and if you were in a pinch, you could use it to travel ....


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Old 04-07-2013, 11:11 PM
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Thanks Kev...but would the water and energy it would take to wash the plastic plates off set using paper or disposible? Eventually, plastic would take presidence...depending on the length of the SHTF.

Styrofoam vs paper? You can use paper to start another fire. Everyone has an opinion...and not one is superior to the other, depends on the situation.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:23 PM
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Thanks for the post Kev. I have pretty much the same, and have mine mounted on a utility trailer which stays under a shed out back. It's always ready to roll should the need arise.

Stocked with many of the things you mentioned, plus some small tanks of fuel for cooking (in a separate compartment), charcoal, aluminum foil (cooking or headwear / see you included that) and even have an old small washboard for washing out dish rags, etc.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:35 PM
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I have two totes myself (one is just for the sleeping bags, air mattress, pump, and tent accessories) so pretty much one. I am thinking of rigging them up in my garage on a pulley system with some of my food/water preps on one plywood platform that can be lowered into the back of my pickup in a hurry. Any thoughts? Waste of time?
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:43 PM
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i have a bug out box its called a wanigan means kitchen in indian fits in my canoe is light waterproof and floats its painted blaze orange my 12 ga pump with pistol grip fits inside , axe and bow saw do to ,, stove ,dishes, knives forks fryingpan all in one spot and it makes a good table for mixing pancakes, bannok holds the coffey cup water pot im sure you get the pic.. its not to hard to portage either
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoOzone View Post
Thanks Kev...but would the water and energy it would take to wash the plastic plates off set using paper or disposible? Eventually, plastic would take presidence...depending on the length of the SHTF.

Styrofoam vs paper? You can use paper to start another fire. Everyone has an opinion...and not one is superior to the other, depends on the situation.
In the RV I use plastic plates plus Styrofoam and paper plates. What I use at each meal depends on what I'm eating, how much time I have, and how tired I am.

The disposables are nice for the end of a long, hard day. Paper plates don't hold up well with food that has water content like cooked veggies and spaghetti sauce. Foam is terrible for anything fresh off the grill.

We hand-wash and re-use the plastic silverware.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:58 AM
Purdy Bear Purdy Bear is offline
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We used to have something similar we kept in the back of the car, so we could stop anywhere and knock up a cup of tea - you know how us English love our cuppa!
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:38 AM
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Well? I guess ya gotta prepare for whatever locale yer in.
If you tried that here in my Area of Operations?
You'd be ringing the dinner bell for Yogi!!


Welcome to Wyoming.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:30 AM
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I do something similar but call them my camping totes. Sleeping bags, air mattress, pump, a lantern and flashlight, spare batteries in one tote. The other tote has all the cooking stuff and a small first aid kit. However, I do not have pots and pans in mine--we usually plan our meals so that we don't have to use pots and pans. We cook it in foil, on our tripod over the fire, or in the can it came in. When we camp, we put all our gear on the boat and head to a sand bar on the Mississipi. Lightweight is key! We have a set of plates and silverware just in case, but we mostly use disposable stuff and burn it up/trash it out afterwards.

I also generally buy one piece of new gear per camping trip, but I'm always on the lookout at garage sales and thrift stores and looking for sales/clearance. Also always on the lookout for things that would enable me to pack smaller and lighter. The only thing that has stopped me from a cookstove so far is having to stock the cans of fuel, though I will likely soon be adding that to my gear. Though it also increases what we need to take with us on the boat--stove, fuel, pots and pans. I also don't have a solar radio, so that's on the list, too.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:41 AM
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I have almost exactly the same set-up that I use for camping and extended road-tips - it is ready to go for Bug Out too. The only difference I have in mine is that my cooking pans also double as my plates/bowls etc as they were designed to do. It is nice to know everything is in one place and not have to worry if you left something important behind (although I managed to leave silverware behind last time because it was a family trip and I removed my small camp cook pans and my silverware is in the same bag).
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:16 AM
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Dune, I've done the same thing! When I was first starting out camping, I was going with some friends. They had some gear, I had some, and we kind of coordinated our gear when buying new stuff. Worked well when we were both getting going, but until we each had our own complete sets of gear, we couldn't camp without the other family! I found this out the hard way, and so did they! It was a great way to get started, though--it enabled both of us to start only buying half the stuff we needed, and it wasn't long before we both got up to speed.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whirlibird View Post
The old cook box (chuckwagon box) has served many a campsite, from the cowboys, to the Boy Scouts, through today.

It's still a good idea for everyone to carry their own silverware and mess kit in their bags in case of emergencies but its always nicer to eat off of real plates using real silverware.

Keep the staples (spices, flour, oil, etc) loaded in the box so you don't forget them.

A folding grill is also handy for food cooking and prep as well as keeping things warm over coals/fire.

Funny part? I just started building another cook box a week or so back, trying to rebuild my prep gear with reality in mind.
I too use a bug out box. I tried to model mine after the boyscout chuck box & the cowboy chuck wagon box, its somewhere in between? But is better to my liking. I have three, maybe four of these.
1st one has all cast iron ware, stuff just like the cowboys had, dutch oven, water boiler, 3-4 skillets & stew pots of different sizes. Hanging irons, hooks, grill, handles and gloves. I use a 4" pvc pipe with threaded cap to store the fire irons.
2nd one, box has two coleman laterns (one burner & two burner), white gas two burner stove, gallon of fuel, & misc mantels & etc.
3rd box is used for our portable kitchen, has formica top, drawer & shelves, Wards propane two burner stove, coffee boiler, skillets, stewers, silverware & misc kitchen gadgets, fish fillet knife, matches skewers, potholders, toothpicks, etc..........
4th box has coffee grinder coffee beans, canned vegetables, seasonings, canned meats, and I don't know what the boss has in it.
5th box has my fishing stuff, clothes line, files, matches, rope, handaxe, tools, & misc stuff too much to mention.

I probably left out saome of the good stuff, but hope you get the idea.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:20 PM
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LifePrepper LifePrepper is offline
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Kev - I'm really liking that silicon bucket.
Where'd you pick it up?

Biathlon - ringing the dinner bell for Yogi could be a good thing. More meat, and a nice warm pelt.
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