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Sorry if this is a pretty basic question. I have heard that a go bag is supposed to be 10% of your weight. Is that the same as a 3 day BOB? I only weigh 140lb so 10% of my weight would be only 14lb. That seems a little light, personally and it doesn't leave a lot of room for gear. I am pretty sure my backpack for college weighs more than that. Can someone correct me if I am wrong?
 

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Isaiah 41:10, Acts 5:29
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The contents of your BOB or go bag will depend on where you are going, how, and why, and the contents will determine BOB/go bag weight and volume.

If your go bag only has to take you to a hotel or a different dorm for a few days, like if you have a house or dorm fire, then toiletries, tiny FAK, USB with copies of everything, extra underwear and socks, change of clothes, Bible, laptop, cell phone, and cords/chargers may be all you need. Ditto in case you're going to use it if you go to the hospital for inpatient care.

If your go bag has to support you for a 25 mile hike to your Uncle Fred's house, you're going to need more/different stuff. And a lot more skills. And urban and rural could be very different.

Whether you go on foot or bicycle or car or... will influence what you need and if you can carry it/bring it with you.

The biggest problem is too much stuff in BOB/go bag. And the wrong stuff. Skills weigh nothing. Skills can take the place of gear, or allow you to use something smaller, simpler, and lighter.

Soooooooo... in general, the lighter, the better, regardless of your size/strength. Multipurpose items help. Unfortunately, ultralight stuff usually (but not always) costs a lot more. Winter BOB will generally weigh more because of extra clothing and maybe a heavier sleeping bag.

Unfortunately, 10 percent may or may not be realistic. I'm guessing 20-22 pounds is probably minimum for BOB for most people if you plan on "camping" along the way. That's more than 10 percent for you (or me), but it would be 10 percent for a 220 pound person. I would aim for 10 percent and see where you are on your list of what you actually need when you get to 10 percent. Research and do your homework about different products before you buy. Prioritize your list and add up the weights on paper first.

Important... your choice of pack or bag will influence how much weight, too.
 

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There has been some threads on this subject, if I remember rightly it's something like 10th of your body weight. Obviously if you have a vehicle you can take more, but I'm talking about on foot.

Ideally it's best to train with varying weights over a good distance. You'll find out which your most comfortable with.

When packed everything I wanted to in a BOB I literally couldn't lift it off the floor - I tried it. Now the knowledge, and experience then kicks in, and you can lighten the load.

As for the 3 days, write down everything you use in those days, and then you can pretty much average out what you will need. Also it depends on your climate, time of year, gender etc. As always it's practice that makes perfect.
 

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Like everyone says. It depends. Three days is not very much time during SHTF. That could be as little as 15 miles travel if you're moving in cover, avoiding obstacles etc.

The answer is generally the minimum you need to reach your bug out location, whatever that may be. For some people a truckload of gear would be needed, for others they could do it with the contents of their pockets.

Of course your bug out location needs to actually be a stocked, protected place. Just merely bugging out to 'the hills' with the contents of your pack will probably just delay your death by a short time.
 

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I consider water to be THE most important thing to carry in a bob.
I use a hydration bag with 2L of water, (2) MRE entrees, a military poncho and liner, FAK, Knife, and Handgun.
This still only weighs 12 lbs.
 

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My bag is WAY TOO HEAVY... but my plan if ever needed is to pare it down for the specific situation taking just what the situation would require (don't need the insulated coveralls for example in the middle of the summer).
 

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Where did you hear that 10% of body weight figure?

More importantly... what does it really mean? Someone's idealized perfect comfort level for ultralight hiking? Or is it supposed to be a scientifically calculated weight having to do with body mass, optimum physical effort, calorie burn, and mileage? Is it just an arbitrary preference expressed in some book or article?

For comparison, US military doctrine (derived after studying thousands of hiking troops over many decades), has it that the average person will perform more energetically, for longer, moving farther/faster, and be able to recover more quickly... if he carries no more than 1/3 of his body weight (including everything carried on body: pack, weapon, battle harness, water, ammunition, boots, clothing).

Keeping to that limit allows infantry to hike far and fast, but arrive at their destination still ready to fight. In actual practice, hardly anyone in the military adheres to that guidance. Invariably they hump far more weight. But that's the medical/sports physiology answer. Carry no more than 1/3 of body weight (including the clothes you wear).

My 3-day GHB weighs 28.5 lbs (water/food weight included). About 14% of my body weight. In winter, I add another 5 lbs of sleeping system and winter bivouac clothing to that pack. I can carry that load all day & all night. After a military career where 60 lb rucks were an average load for training hikes... less than 30 lbs feels like a feather.

As long as you can keep a pack's weight below ~50lbs (roughly 1/3 body weight for the average adult male), your optimal pack weight is a function of how well you can hump it. Whatever load you arrive at, you should be able to move at your best daily mileage for several full days of walking. If that load kicks your butt on Day 1... it's too heavy for you. At least until you can make some improvement in physical fitness for hiking.

Don't get wrapped around the axle on exact minimum load figures (like 10%). Instead, focus on the capabilities you need for the environment (and time frame) you intend to tackle. A 14 pound bag briefs well... until you find yourself crossing winter snows & bitter temperatures for three days. What's more important? Sticking to some capricious & arbitrary lightweight recommendation? Or having a critical life-saving winter sleeping system that adds a few more pounds? Comfort while walking gets trumped by not freezing to death while sleeping. In the below-50-pound pack envelope, you carry the items you actually need, weight be damned. Up to a point...

That point is reached when you can't handle the load, at a good pace, for hours on end. 14, 20, 30, or 45 pounds? It doesn't matter as long as you are comfortable with it for several day's march.
 

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Hehehehe smart guys here ;) Yes, first decision is how will you travel? car? bicycle? on foot? if the first one, weight is not an issue. With the second one, you can be much more generous. With the third one...you have to know yourself well enough to set your limits. For me, after walking 3 days "in the wilderness", whatever that happens to be, I would need a rest, so I need to find a place that is within 3 days walk of where I would be, and then I can plan the BOB according to that time and that terrain. You need some kind of tangible objectives to plan your bob. If you try to "make the ideal plan" for all situations you will end up with a bag that is too heavy, yet still will not have all of the things you need. If you will need to travel a longer distance than you can carry supplies for, some people will find ways to make stashes along the way.
 

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Astronomy's advice is sound and the only thing I'll add is don't underestimate or skimp on a quality pack.. Whether 10lbs or 20+ pounds there's a noticeable difference on your back and shoulders between a Walmart one size fits all and well made pack ( I prefer a frame pack) by a good manufacturer.
 

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If it's winter you will have extra gear like extra food, more clothes and a warmer (more heavy) sleeping bag and it may also take you longer to reach your destination.
 

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Sorry if this is a pretty basic question. I have heard that a go bag is supposed to be 10% of your weight. Is that the same as a 3 day BOB? I only weigh 140lb so 10% of my weight would be only 14lb. That seems a little light, personally and it doesn't leave a lot of room for gear. I am pretty sure my backpack for college weighs more than that. Can someone correct me if I am wrong?
It depends are you walking, riding or swimming.
 

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As others say it has to be tailored to your environment / time of year, expected duration and purpose...

As far as a percentage of your body weight, don't sweat that so much. Those figures are only rules of thumbs configured to specific tasks -- ie, military guidelines assume you're talking about soldiers with a certain minimum fitness, that doesn't necessarily apply to everybody.

Start with enough cash for 3 nights in a hotel and a full tank of gas, and with that alone you're better off than the vast majority of the population.

If you're not sure exactly what the kit is for (or want to keep it general purpose) and just want a start, find out what you consider the essentials / bare minimum (10 C's, whatever) you'd want to have with you regardless, and let that serve as the core of your kit. Then you can build up from there, the rest (how much food, water, etc) can be pretty flexible depending on what you're doing and how long you're going to be doing it.

Then try it out... humping it for a while will tell you pretty quick if it's the right weight or if you need to cut it or alter your approach
 

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One thing you could do now, is train with your ideal weight in your back pack over a period of time (longer then an hour) doing varied terrain. If you want a 20ib pack then load up with that weight in bricks etc and walk with it.

I carry my weekly food shop in a similar way, and boy it really makes you realise you can't carry as much as you think you can over a period of time. Find your ideal weight that way and then you can work out the kit you take from it.
 

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The contents of your BOB or go bag will depend on where you are going, how, and why, and the contents will determine BOB/go bag weight and volume.

If your go bag only has to take you to a hotel or a different dorm for a few days, like if you have a house or dorm fire, then toiletries, tiny FAK, USB with copies of everything, extra underwear and socks, change of clothes, Bible, laptop, cell phone, and cords/chargers may be all you need. Ditto in case you're going to use it if you go to the hospital for inpatient care.

If your go bag has to support you for a 25 mile hike to your Uncle Fred's house, you're going to need more/different stuff. And a lot more skills. And urban and rural could be very different.

Whether you go on foot or bicycle or car or... will influence what you need and if you can carry it/bring it with you.

The biggest problem is too much stuff in BOB/go bag. And the wrong stuff. Skills weigh nothing. Skills can take the place of gear, or allow you to use something smaller, simpler, and lighter.

Soooooooo... in general, the lighter, the better, regardless of your size/strength. Multipurpose items help. Unfortunately, ultralight stuff usually (but not always) costs a lot more. Winter BOB will generally weigh more because of extra clothing and maybe a heavier sleeping bag.

Unfortunately, 10 percent may or may not be realistic. I'm guessing 20-22 pounds is probably minimum for BOB for most people if you plan on "camping" along the way. That's more than 10 percent for you (or me), but it would be 10 percent for a 220 pound person. I would aim for 10 percent and see where you are on your list of what you actually need when you get to 10 percent. Research and do your homework about different products before you buy. Prioritize your list and add up the weights on paper first.

Important... your choice of pack or bag will influence how much weight, too.
Excellent post from Old Fart. The only additions are that military and even backpacking has often tried to limit pack weight to one third your body weight. So, if you're 140 pounds, that max limit would be about a 45 pound pack. Your physical conditioning, experience, mission, and kit will provide a more accurate (and reasonable) pack wait.

Mission is the most important. My "go bag" was/is combat related. I have a 72-hour bag that I have close most of the time and it doubles as my "get home bag". While mission should dictate gear, weight will impact those decisions as well.

What's your "mission"? Do a basic risk assessment; determine the most likely threats in your area and start from there to develop your plans such as bugging in place, immediate evacuation, evacuating to where and how far, routes, alternate locations/routes, major obstacles, etc. Your mission will determine your gear and ultimately your pack weight.

I keep a case of water (or two) in my truck, my old office, anyplace I spend a lot of time. Carrying water is significant weight...have a plan.

For reference. My "base weight" for distance backpacking (50-150 miles) averages 13-16 pounds depending on the season. That includes everything (including the pack) except water, food, and fuel for my stove. While I have access to water sources, I maintain about 2.5-3 liters of water in my pack. The biggest adjustment is food, which determines how many days/miles I'll go before I need resupply.

Not all packs are created equal. As a general rule of thumb, if my pack weight is going to exceed 12-15 pounds, I want an actual pack frame and waist belt. An poorly fitted pack without a frame or waist belt will become a disaster if you have to walk more than a few miles. A quality pack is a prudent investment. Try carrying your pack contents a couple miles in just a large garbage bag...that's what will happen with a cheap pack, it will fail when you need it the most.

Best advice is to scrutinize everything you think you need. A common saying is we "pack our fears". While I have a military background and years of assessing redundancy, it's a hard habit to break and you can overload your pack quickly with unnecessary redundancy. All those "what if's" add up to unnecessary weight. Only experience will help reduce that weight...so once you determine your pack contents, do a couple outings and dry-runs to see what works, what doesn't, and assess what's really needed or not.

ROCK6
 

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Man I wish someone would have told the army we were only supposed to carry 10% of our body weight. My pack would've never been over 19 pounds, usually 17-18 pounds. Just for EIB testing they made us carry around 40 or 50 pounds & that was a bit lighter that what we would normally carry.

.
 

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Just merely bugging out to 'the hills' with the contents of your pack will probably just delay your death by a short time.
Hmmm 3 days? :D:


One could practically sleep for three days, or die within the first 30 mins. I think 20 lbs is a good start.
 
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