Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't really have a Bug Out Bag put together. Since I live in the country, I plan to Bug In if at all possible. Thinking of putting a bag together though "just in case". It would actually be an INCH bag since if I had to leave, things would have to be really bad and very little chance of returning. My question is, for those who have BOBs, did you ever buy tools for it that you ended up finding out were completely unnecessary? I'm watching Doomsday Preppers and a martial arts expert has a young lady ditching some of her gear. Just wondering if anyone ever bought stuff only to find out later they wasted their money. Maybe you bought something because it was "cool" and you just had to have it. One of the items I keep wasting money on is crappy machetes. I'll buy one and then later find something I like better. Anyone have thoughts, or gear to avoid buying?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,655 Posts
Not useless, but not worth the space taken and weight carried for benefit given. First thing that comes to mind is my entrenching tool. It's useful, but not enough to carry it. I've gone through lots of knives too and don't carry any of the big ones anymore. I do carry a machete though which serves the chopping needs for building shelter and getting through heavy brush, but it's worth it working with my smaller knives which do the cutting, cleaning and common tasks much better than a big knife. If I need an edged weapon to defend myself of kill someone/thing, the machete is quite good for that. I have carried an axe many times, but I live down south in the tropical/swamp environment and you really need to choose your tools on your surroundings. The machete is better here than the axe in my experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good to know. I was about to purchase an E-Tool. I may still get one, but for camping. Not for my BOB. What's your preferred machete? I started with a cheap one from Harbor Freight. Then I bought the Gerber saw back, but found out it wasn't a full tange blade. So I ended up buying an Ontario saw back 18". I'm thinking the saw back machete could replace the need for a hand saw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,655 Posts
You've got to go on what's best for your area. Iowa gets pretty cold to my knowledge and your trees and vegetation are more northern with pine. Not like southern swamp tropical climate at all. If you find the need to dig positions to work and survive your environment than an entrenching tool may be good for you. And an axe compared to machete. Up north I'd carry an axe instead and have, but I'm not there right now. I'm down south. I've had a few machete's from Ontario's, to a lot of the various one's I've simply gotten from local stores with wood handles. I like the Cold Steel Latin I've got on my rig now, but it's still new and hasn't seen too much use yet. It's flexible, at the right length and has a good grip which I like, so I'm not worried about it having used plenty and knowing characteristics I like and need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,655 Posts
So I ended up buying an Ontario saw back 18". I'm thinking the saw back machete could replace the need for a hand saw.
I forgot to mention. Having had one myself you really should put the saw back through the measure before you carry it. I found that saw back near completely useless except for soft green branches which you can chop through anyways. And it made it much harder to get the machete out of the sheath which could be a life taker if you needed to defend yourself. Your life when you can get it out fast enough. A handsaw works much better and I carry a retracting Gerber myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I forgot to mention. Having had one myself you really should put the saw back through the measure before you carry it. I found that saw back near completely useless except for soft green branches which you can chop through anyways. And it made it much harder to get the machete out of the sheath which could be a life taker if you needed to defend yourself. Your life when you can get it out fast enough. A handsaw works much better and I carry a retracting Gerber myself.
Good to know. Thanks for the info. Now to buy a hand saw and a plain machete. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,074 Posts
If we buy something and then find out we don't like it, keep it anyway as a backup. In fact I'm a great believer in the "two of everything approach", with small items.
Then if your pocket radio busts you'll have a backup. Same with a torch, compass, matches, knife, machete, tin opener etc.
I can recall plenty of incidents from reading explorer books, for example a guy nearly starved in the Amazon jungle because he couldn't shoot game for food because he found that his ammo was mostly cheap substandard duds. Also some of his canned food was useless because the cannery had scammed him, they'd put a stone in there instead of a lump of meat.
And a group in the Arctic got scurvy because the processing factory had accidentally destroyed the vitamin C in their concentrated orange juice.
Even Scott of the Antarctic ended up with scarcely any fuel for their stove because faulty seals on the fuel cans had deteriorated and a lot had evaporated or leaked away.

So our backups should be a different brand to the original in case we discover that one brand is no good in the field, for example here are my two different hiking radios; the chances of them both breaking down or being affected by cold, heat or humidity at the same time are hopefully remote-





PS- if any new preppers are reading this, don't just store stuff in your basement and forget it until Doomsday. Instead regularly consume some food and drink (and other items) from your stocks on a rota basis (the oldest first) to make sure it's still okay, then nip down the store next day to buy new stuff to keep your stockpile topped up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,655 Posts
Good to know. Thanks for the info. Now to buy a hand saw and a plain machete. lol
I've done a lot of good business with KnifeCenter over the years. Give them a look. Quite a few people like the Cold Steel machete's beside me if that helps and Gerber makes a pretty fair hand saw to me, but looking at the new offerings since I last bought one, that Benchmade with the vertical grip has be one of the best to actually saw with since it's at a traditional saw angle. Harder to pack I'm sure though which is where a retractable handle/folding saw is easier. Of course there's the E-Z saw by Gerber also there and the OutdoorEdge Griz. Still with where you're at, you might just consider an axe.

http://www2.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_store.html?ttl=camping and sport axes&a=axe&

saws - KnifeCenter

machetes and clearing tools - KnifeCenter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the links Fuzzee. Lucky Jim, great idea not having two of the same item. I never considered that. I will definitely put this advice to use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,799 Posts
I did include a small bow saw and spare blades in my BOB. I dont have a Machete or an Ax or a Tomahawk. I have found with the bow saw it ties to the outside of my pack and it will zip through trees and thick branches much faster with less effort (and noise) than any of the other options. Its not as heavy as an Ax either! I have just found the bow saw to be much more useful based on a lot of camping trips than the other alternatives.

Never been much of a fan of the E-Tool. Its something that would be useful and looks good on paper but I havent found any that are durable enough to pick up the check, rate the added weight. I have a pretty good collection of quality hand tools at my BOL so I havent found much of a need to include such tools in my BOB.

My BOB is for getting me from point A to point B, not for living out of the rest of my life and I guess that has had an impact on what I carry and dont carry. Maybe I am a little off target on my line of thinking here...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did include a small bow saw and spare blades in my BOB. I dont have a Machete or an Ax or a Tomahawk. I have found with the bow saw it ties to the outside of my pack and it will zip through trees and thick branches much faster with less effort (and noise) than any of the other options. Its not as heavy as an Ax either! I have just found the bow saw to be much more useful based on a lot of camping trips than the other alternatives.

Never been much of a fan of the E-Tool. Its something that would be useful and looks good on paper but I havent found any that are durable enough to pick up the check, rate the added weight. I have a pretty good collection of quality hand tools at my BOL so I havent found much of a need to include such tools in my BOB.

My BOB is for getting me from point A to point B, not for living out of the rest of my life and I guess that has had an impact on what I carry and dont carry. Maybe I am a little off target on my line of thinking here...
No, I think your on target. Your right, it's not for living out of. Just getting to your destination. Guess I better have a destination in mind before I put a bag together. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
To me, no BOB is complete without including an entrenching tool. I have used mine extensively:

- to dig out a small recessed area to build a fire, and to dislodge or excavate surface rocks for fire rings;

- to dig holes for a latrine and for burying animal entrails from game so such wastes can be buried;

- to level ground for pitching a tent;

- to free up stuck off-road vehicles; and

- if you are ever in a situation where someone may be shooting at you, you need to dig in and get below grade, or you will be dead.

There is a reason we give our soldiers shovels as standard issue.

Just saying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
- to dig out a small recessed area to build a fire, and to dislodge or excavate surface rocks for fire rings;
You can do that with a knife

- to dig holes for a latrine and for burying animal entrails from game so such wastes can be buried;
You can burn them.

- to level ground for pitching a tent;
If the ground is that unlevel, you'll be there for a long time with a e-tool, and would be better off finding another spot to pitch a tent near by. I've never had this problem before which couldnt be solved with finding another area within 50 feet.

- to free up stuck off-road vehicles; and
If its in a car then the extra weight doesnt matter, if its in your bag then its extra dead weight

- if you are ever in a situation where someone may be shooting at you, you need to dig in and get below grade, or you will be dead.
Do you know how long it takes to dig a fox hole, let alone a trench with a e-tool?

There is a reason we give our soldiers shovels as standard issue.
Do troops in Iraq/Afghanistan actually carry one even if they were issued one? I thought the weight items like that took up has been replaced with armor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Over the years, I have also found my entrenching tool to be invaluable. When I was in the service it was just another piece of my TA-50 that had to be cleaned if used and truthfully, we usually had a full sized shovel along on the bivouac sites. However, in the decade since leaving the service, I find that I grab it often. The dang thing is just handy and isn't big enough to be a nuisance to carry. Will I need it in my GHB or my BOB? Maybe, maybe not. But since it is attached to the outside, I'm carrying it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,655 Posts
I seem to remember saying something about digging positions and surviving in your environment than keep the entrenching tool. If you think you'll need it though. Carry it in the truck or car with you is not the same as lugging it a 100 miles. All areas of this country are not the same either. Some ground is more rocky, some is not. Some ground is harder, some is not. Some ground is flat with little to no cover, some is not. You've got to weigh how useful every piece of gear is for you and decide whether you want to carry it or not. But one things for sure, not everything works for everyone and another can't really tell you whats going to for you. You have to find out for yourself. People can make suggestions, but you need to put it to the test. I myself don't have enough need for an E-tool right now. I certainly did in the Army when some asshat over me kept wanting me to dig a hole here, and dig a hole there, than another over there and another over here. But I'm not in the Army anymore and I decide what needs to be dug and what doesn't. And I've found there are alternatives like using what's in nature so I don't have to carry it. You need to find out for yourself though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,074 Posts
If we're undecided about whether to take something, TAKE IT ANYWAY if it's small and light..:)
For example the Apollo program cost billions of dollars, yet 3 men nearly froze in Apollo 13 because it never crossed anybody's mind in NASA to have 3 of these aboard costing just a few pence and weighing just a few ounces-


Still on the cheap lightweight theme:- If we don't want to lug a bulky tent around in our ruck, using a simple fly like this instead will save our life if we're caught in the rain, we'll be snug, warm and dry underneath it in our sleeping bag-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,799 Posts
Fuzzee; But one things for sure, not everything works for everyone and another can't really tell you whats going to for you. You have to find out for yourself. People can make suggestions, but you need to put it to the test. I myself don't have enough need for an E-tool right now.
I think that there pretty much sums it up very accurately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
What a great way to speak to one another.
At least the conversation never drifted off topic......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
Back on topic.....

I actually have a contents list of my BOB handy and I will review it from time to time.
It helps to remind me what is in there, and to evaluate the contents.
Im in the camp that believes on being self sufficient and self reliant. I dont believe in the secondary location purely because you dont know what is going to happen.
You may never make it to the secondary, thus leaving you without.
I actually just emptied my BOB yesterday (not because of the mayan thing) and removed redundant items.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,799 Posts
Back on topic.....

I actually have a contents list of my BOB handy and I will review it from time to time.
It helps to remind me what is in there, and to evaluate the contents.
Im in the camp that believes on being self sufficient and self reliant. I dont believe in the secondary location purely because you dont know what is going to happen.
You may never make it to the secondary, thus leaving you without.
I actually just emptied my BOB yesterday (not because of the mayan thing) and removed redundant items.
Ummm, I dont and perhaps I should. I do take mine camping quiet a bit and use the stuff in it and of course replace what I use. That seems to work out pretty good for me and having to use it to actually exist, from time to time, helps me keep things in there relevant. To my way of thinking I think thats the ultimate test of a BOB. I mean we all know how a fire steel is to be used but how many of us actually get out there and USE it to start a fire on a regular basis?
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top