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Old 07-26-2016, 08:53 PM
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jayclimber jayclimber is offline
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Originally Posted by dompamar View Post
Hello everyone!

How many of you have actually done a field test with your bug out gear? I have to admit, that I have not tested my actual BOB and its contents overnight. I have gone on some backpacking trips and have used a lot of my gear that is currently in my BOB...But I have not done a dedicated BOB Field Test.

I've seen a lot of people talk about testing and recommend it. But I haven't seen a dedicated thread that for people to post what they learned. So I thought I'd start this thread so that people with be encouraged to do some testing and then share what their results.

I think it will be good for many of us to hear some real stories from people who have actually gone out and tested their BOBs.

What items worked?
What items were dead weight?
Did you really need 13 knives? ;p
Did you carry your BOB AND a Rifle?
What challenges did you face?
Was your bag too heavy?
Was it lighter than you thought and could you add more items?
Were you not in as good of shape as you thought?
Is one type/brand of item better than another?
What items are overlooked?
Should you have brought water instead of soda? ;p

etc...etc...

What are some lessons learned?

PS: sorry if a thread like this already exists...I did a few searches and didn't see any.

Thanks
Actually think these are great questions! It is said fairly often on this forum to train with your gear! Know its pros and cons and how it works. Does your load out work for your AO? What time of year is it? Where you physically able to carry it? Work with it? All this needs to be worked out!

Luckily, I've grown up in the outdoors climbing, backpacking, skiing, scouting and being an Army "Brat" didn't hurt either! So being comfortable living and surviving in the outdoors isn't an issue... But, putting all that experience together with dedicated gear for 3-season use and winter use all packaged and ready to go was a little different. Add weapons and ammo to the mix and then the thoughts of concealment and E&E tactics not to mention navigating to a predetermined BOL with all the above, whew, its a lot to seriously consider...

I bought 2 separate BOB (one packed for spring, summer, and fall and the other for strictly winter) and have tested both! I have walked/hiked to our BOL in summer and am planning on the same this winter! Here is a little of what I learned to help answer your specific questions!

-What items worked?
***quick dry, durable clothing. Lightweight, quick dry, and small packing. I had quick dry hiking pants and long sleeve button up quick dry shirt on with a spare set in my bag. Will keep the bugs off of you and dry quick after river/creek crossings! 2 changes of quick dry underwear, 2 prs wool socks, LW microfleece pullover and rain gear. plus a LW pair of gloves and a wide brimmed hat. Along with approach hiking shoes on my feet!
-What items were dead weight?
***Personally, my only real dead weight would have been a 5x8 piece of camo netting that I packed in case I needed to conceal my self and location while en route to my BOL. I didn't use it but will still pack it anyways! I also carried too much water, especially since the bulk of my route follows a river valley...
-Did you really need 13 knives? ;p
***I packed a leatherman tool, a folder, and a small fixed blade!
-Did you carry your BOB AND a Rifle?
*** I did! Ohio is an open carry state and I checked with a friend of mine on the local PD (he also happens to be prepping) he didn't see any issues although he did give me a few things to be careful about. I kept my rifle unloaded but I do have my CCW so my pistol was carried as usual! Carrying a rifle over several miles was different and I used a 2 point sling that enabled me to keep my hands free with it across my chest or at times I did strap it to the outside of my pack in a scabbard...
-What challenges did you face?
***I have experience with maps and cross country navigation, but the obstacles such as an unexpected river crossing and traffic posed a dilemma. Also the unexpected dog barking made me a bit skittish of being seen and causing alarm.
-Was your bag too heavy?
***My bag weighed just under 30 lbs... But with a plate carrier (15 lbs) and belt (8 lbs) and rifle (6.5 lbs) my load came in under 60 lbs... Now being an avid backpacker and mountaineer, this was no surprise to me and I was relatively comfortable moving with the load.
-Was it lighter than you thought and could you add more items?
***No and I really wouldn't want to add more...
-Were you not in as good of shape as you thought?
***Thank goodness I am in relatively good shape (I run, do light weight training, and circuit train) and train with my load and gear, along with backpacking and climbing trips throughout the year I was OK...
-Is one type/brand of item better than another?
***I do pay attention to quality with the bulk of my gear and it does pay get better stuff, I have my favorites but, my equipment is a good mix of everything!
-What items are overlooked?
***I think a lot of folks overlook 1st aid, navigation, preplanning, gear repair kit, gun cleaning kit, and proper clothing and never taking the time to learn it and train with it before hand....
-Should you have brought water instead of soda? ;p
***Water!!!!

etc...etc...

-What are some lessons learned?
***I would say that it took me 2 times as long to get to my BOL than I had planned... I was constantly looking over my shoulders and felt like my head was on a swivel. Every noise made me pause, and my senses were overloaded at times... Getting from my house to the town limits took really long. tried to be slow and quiet and not disturb anyone or anything and stay off the major streets and roads. I ended up dropping into the river valley sooner than I thought to just bypass people... I was uncomfortable on the street. I stayed in contact with my wife via cell phone just to check in and also texted my Police friend a few times to check in with him. He actually met up with me at one point to just see how it was doing! My BOL is my grandmas farm which has a pond, a well, a small creek, and partially wooded. I camped in her woods that night and my wife picked me up the next morning. My shelter was a 5x8 SOL tarp and I used a fleece blanket for a sleeping bag. I normally do a tent and down bag but figured the tarp was worth trying out, wasn't that bad, I'll stick with it for my BOB...

Anyways, it was a great test and learning experience. I hope more people try it and fully test their gear!

Hope this helped!
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:43 AM
Johnnny13 Johnnny13 is offline
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I've found that a small amount of the basics are what works. If your moving in your car then you can carry as much as you want. If your moving by foot then 30 pounds would usually be the max. It's about survival and defense. Everything else can be found.
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:46 AM
preperguy preperguy is offline
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Last time I hiked I learned I needed more water. I found out inflatable pads and pillows are uncomfortable. I prefer a roll up pad. I didn't take one because I couldn't tie both a bag and a pad to my pack. I need a better pack. My sleeping bag fell off and down a small cliff. Luckily I was able to go down and get it. Need a better way to tie it down. I need more water.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preperguy View Post
Last time I hiked I learned I needed more water. I found out inflatable pads and pillows are uncomfortable. I prefer a roll up pad. I didn't take one because I couldn't tie both a bag and a pad to my pack. I need a better pack. My sleeping bag fell off and down a small cliff. Luckily I was able to go down and get it. Need a better way to tie it down. I need more water.
Each of us has our own priorities, but some seem to be more like back packing than BOB type of gear. For example, my "sleep" system, is a light tarp(poncho), SOL Bivy sack+fleece. Minimal clothing--essentials for fire/water, defense. Also multi tasking like a poncho--which gives warmth, rain protection, ground cloth/shade etc is more practical than purposed items.

But sleeping bags, roll up/inflatable pads/pillows are not in what I would consider for a BOB. The lighter the better! The more mobile the better. The more you blend in (Gray man) the better...High energy food/water are going to be essential. In many cases, movement at night may be better, and rest during the day.
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Old 07-29-2016, 01:40 AM
preperguy preperguy is offline
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I got rid of the inflatable things. Trust me if you sleep in the ground you will wish you had something between you and the ground. But a person can get used to it. If we're talking gray, a roll won't make any difference. That's just me.

If I can go on a two week hike and be comfortable, eat, drink, stay dry, that is perfect for a BOB. Just add a weapon. If a person wants to test a BOB there is no better way than a hike. Even a two day hike works. Do a few in different seasons. Or as long as it would take to get home from work or to your BOB location.

I'd really like to add a hammock and ditch the ground/tent sleeping.
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preperguy View Post
I got rid of the inflatable things. Trust me if you sleep in the ground you will wish you had something between you and the ground. But a person can get used to it. If we're talking gray, a roll won't make any difference. That's just me.

If I can go on a two week hike and be comfortable, eat, drink, stay dry, that is perfect for a BOB. Just add a weapon. If a person wants to test a BOB there is no better way than a hike. Even a two day hike works. Do a few in different seasons. Or as long as it would take to get home from work or to your BOB location.

I'd really like to add a hammock and ditch the ground/tent sleeping.
That is what I decided and I carry a hammock, bivy bag and tarp/tent in my 8 pound survival bag. I have set everything up and tried it, but haven't tested it overnight as of yet.
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Old 08-05-2016, 04:51 PM
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I went out last week. We live on a small farm. I carried my rifle around for a bit and very quickly realized how uncomfortable it is. I definitely need a sling. I also realized that you can only carry so many items in your pants pockets, so I think a utility belt/fanny pack could come in handy.

Great replies so far!
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