How fast could you leave?

how fast can you leaveSo here’s what I am thinking…Something happens, anything, doesn’t matter really. The question stands…How fast could you leave your house and be prepared?

Yeah, I know, you want to ask me, “Prepared for what?” I am saying, it doesn’t matter. I am asking you, “How long would it take you to leave your house and be prepared?”

Now, if you can’t answer the question, then you aren’t prepared enough. Yes, it is a fair question, and I believe it is a fair observation to say that if you can’t answer the question, or you have lots of trouble answering directly, then you aren’t really prepared enough.

Here’s what I am getting at…If I had to leave the house “prepared” I could do it in about 3 – 5 minutes. I could handle all of the top threats/risks associated with emergencies, disasters, and grid-down incidents for 45 – 90 days minimum. Probably a lot more if I knew I had to stretch it out. Yes! I am serious about that.

We have two basic locations for those things we would take. They are grouped according to “perishable” and “non-perishable” stuff. While the food that is ready to go is really non-perishable, it is food and it lasts much longer in a more climate controlled environment so it is in the house. The “gear” I consider non-perishable.

The food, including seeds, is located in the kitchen right next to the door that goes to the garage. The gear is located in the garage next to the large double-car garage door. Both locations are easily accessed, nothing restricting access, and can be accessed from the outside with minimal effort if you know what you are doing.

There are total of four cases of six #10 cans each all freeze dried food, plus two 6gal plastic buckets of freeze dried food pouches. Then a single 2gal plastic bucket of seeds. In the garage there are four large totes and six small totes that make-up my primary GOOD BOB gear. All of that gear mitigates all, yes all, of the threats/risk categories for incidents. And I can have all of that loaded correctly in the bed of my pick-up or my wife’s SUV within minutes. If I had to just throw it in the vehicles I can do that too, so I could probably reduce it to 2 minutes if I really hustled or had my wife’s help and wasn’t worried about it being neatly packed.

In the event that I had more time I could then go to my secondary totes and food boxes. And I won’t bore you to death on the details but it would significantly increased my survival time and comfort level.

Leaving Qucikly during grid down bugoutBut, why the heck am I even asking you this question and giving you my example?

Because I want to think about your situation and the time it would take for you to be mobile in a crisis situation.

Yes, of course you could shelter in place is needed, we all know that. But I was wanting to prompt you about “having” to leave in a hurry…could you do it and take the basics with you?

And this is really not about the time required, the vehicle, or anything along those lines. This “prompt” is about organization more than anything. Are you organized enough to get your food and gear out the door quickly if you needed to?

Here is one of the problems I see with preppers…their organization is not properly thought out. Yeah, “properly” being the operative word here. They may be organized, however, the method they use may well not be a practical organized prepper methodology for many situations.

I have seen incredibly organized preppers while visiting their homes. I have been seriously impressed many times by the sheer volume of food and gear. But, I have seldom, almost never, seen their preps organized in such a fashion to allow for graduated movement. Meaning, they can take a limited number of containers and still have a wide variety of what they need. Mostly I see box after box of wheat, then box after box of oats. And that goes on and on, even a whole box full of candles…but not a single match in the box of candles or a can opener in a case of food.

What I want to propose to you is a reorganizing of food and gear. Place a variety of food in each box. That provides you with a decent quantity and variety of food…even if you can only grab that one box before you have to leave. Same is true for gear. Have a few primary containers with gear in each that provides for the most basic of needs should you have to leave your home.

In the coming days I will be posting additional articles in this series that will show you how I’ve done it. You might like my system, you might not. But, it may get you thinking of what is the right system for you and your situation. Ready To bugoutAnd that is a good thing, a very good thing.

Where I want you to end up is the ability to leave your home in minimal time, under 10 minutes, and have the right food and gear to get by on. Sure, if you have plenty of advanced notice you can take it all, that is the ideal situation. But, emergency incidents are rarely “ideal.”



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GOOD – BOB (Get Out Of Dodge – Bug Out Bag)

Bug Out Bag, Get Out Of Doge bag, grid-down


Let me describe what a GOOD or BOB is before I go on. A “GOOD” bag is a Get Out Of Dodge bag. A “BOB” is a Bug Out Bag. Both represent your last chance at survival in a serious disaster or grid-down situation where all you can carry to survive on is contained therein. Yes, that serious.

72-hour kit is not a BugOutBag or get out of dodge bag grid-down

72-Hour Kit

The GOOD BOB is not to be confused with “72-hour Kit” or a GHB (Get Home Bag) by any means. A 72-hour kit is a far more conventional item that a family would use to evacuate their home with to get by for the 72-hours it would take to get more organized and formal emergency efforts into place. 72-hour kit is for the normal emergency and disaster situation where help will come. A GOOD BOB is more along the end-of-the-world scenario stuff.

In my series “Prepper Myth” I take “myths” that have been talked about by other so-called prepper experts and I give my view on the myth and the author’s response. In an upcoming post “Prepper Myth #6: BOB’s Need to Last 72 Hours” <click here to read more> I respond to a person holding themselves out to be an expert commenting on bug out bags. Their response was so outrageous that it drove me to write this article on GOOD BOB bags sooner than expected. It amazes me just how much bad information is out there. Bad enough that it will get people killed; probably whole families.

First, as always, let’s describe the “mission” for a GOOD or BOB: ahhhhhhhhh, well, ahhhhhh…..preparedness gear equipment must have clear Mission

Yeah, I can’t quite define it. Can you? Let’s drop back and paint a picture of the situation we might ourselves in that would require a GOOD BOB. Then maybe we can define the mission.

The situation would have to be so bad that staying in your home is no longer an option, leaving your home was the only sensible option. Maybe the only remaining option left to you and your family. Otherwise, why would you want to leave your home? Your home, I assume, is where are your preparedness gear, equipment, food, and water capabilities would be stored; or at least the bulk of it. So why in the heck would you want to leave! But for now, play the game with me, you have to leave your home.

Ah, so why a GOOD BOB? What I mean is, “Why not a BOV?” Yeah, I come from a government job so I love acronyms. BOV = Bug Out Vehicle.

Yeah, throw your critical gear and food into your Expedition SUV, your Ford pick-up, or whatever else you might have for a quick getaway should it be needed. Doesn’t that make sense? But, there may be that 1 in 100,000 chance that you can’t use a vehicle to bug out.

Oh, come on! Yes, I know there is the EMP crowd where the entire grid goes down. Then there is the martial law crowd where no one is allowed on the roads. And other special focus crowds where they maintain that no vehicle traffic will be possible. Yes, I too think it might get to that but it will be a gradual shift to it, not a single catastrophic event more than the earlier odds that I quoted. So for me I say use the truck vs. a GOOD BOB.

Now, does that mean I don’t have a GOOD BOB? Of course I have a GOOD BOB but for entirely different reasons than most. It is part of my “building block” or “modular” system of prepping. But I look at a GOOD BOB as an TEOTWAWKI option.

Let me explain…

During most disasters and emergencies vehicle transportation is possible, as well as preferable. Yes, there are the inevitable traffic jams. But that is your responsibility to avoid. That means have a plan, multiple routes, and leave early. For my GOOD BOB scenario I assume you already have that covered. Besides I am talking more about a hard “grid-down” situation more than a soft disaster or emergency.

So my GOOD BOB is designed for one thing: Sustain life as long as possible.

Ok, so now you want to know what is in my GOOD BOB bag, right? OK, but we have to realize that what I just stated above was the “mission”; Sustain life as long as possible.

One point I want to clearly state, the mission doesn’t include anything along the lines of getting us from point A to point B. That is a whole other story and outside the scope of the GOOD BOB. And I will cover BOL (Bug Out Location) in another post in the near future.

Let’s review for a minute what I feel you would be facing in a situation where a GOOD BOB would be needed. The risks and threats, in priority order, would be:Bug Out Bag get out of dodge violence will be main threat risk

  1. Violence
  2. Lack of medical care
  3. Dehydration
  4. Starvation
  5. Exposure

Your resulting priorities, in priority order, would be:

  1. Safety
  2. Stabilize the situation (don’t make it worse)
  3. Conserve resources and property
  4. Normalize your situation as much as possible, as soon as possible

Now that is over with you can begin to appreciate what a GOOD BOB must be able to do. But that being said, I am going to push you away from a GOOD BOB and towards a EOTWB (End Of The World Box). Why? Because I think that is the best option, the best solution for all potential scenarios. How so? Because you don’t know what the exact situation will look like when the time comes, so design a solution to meet all the possibilities to the best extent possible.

Safety is always the number one #1 priority in emergencies disasters and grid-downBased on the priorities I outlined above, the number one priority is safety. And the number one threat to that safety is violence against you or your family. Multiple means of protecting your family is the first thing you have to look at. For that I say guns and knives, plus bullets and sharpening stone. But the #1 way to stay safe from violence: avoid it. So I include items for that as well; and that includes communication equipment.

Next is lack of medical care. So mitigate that problem, you are it; and so are your family members. That means everyone carries a IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) <read about IFAKs by clicking here>. And that means everyone carries an IFAK, even children. If they can walk more than a block they can carry an IFAK. Then you must have at least one TBAK (Team/Family Basic Aid Kit) <read about TBAKs by clicking here>. I would prefer two kits in your family, maybe one for each parent.

Inside that “safety” group I also put dehydration as well. I do so because it can occur quickly enough to affect you and your family in a matter of hours; for sure within a day.

I am itching to start listing exact pieces of gear and equipment but I didn’t clear up the “box” vs. “bag” decision on my part. Rubbermaid 24-gallon Action Packer Bug Out Box for emergencies, disasters and grid-downWell, it is for convenience sake more than anything, but you can judge for yourself. Remember, I think there is about 1 in 100,000 chance of actually carrying your GOOD BOB; I think a vehicle is not only preferable but also almost assuredly possible. So I put my “stuff” in a Rubbermaid 24-gallon ActionPacker container that has a nice tight lid and handles.

I can walk out to the garage, open the door, grab my box, my wife grabs her box and both go into the truck. I snatch the case of bottled water by the garage door and we drive away. Oopppsss, one step I forgot to mention; I open the gun safe and remove our AR’s and Sign 226’s before doing anything else. But you got the idea. There is no fumbling around for a bag, no gathering anything else, it is all right there.

So what happens if we have to carry all that stuff? Well, a bag is included just folded up nice and neat out of the way. Everything we need to survive is in the box and can be transferred to the bag is needed.

Safety is number one priorty in emergencies disasters and grid-down


So here goes…

SAFETY (this is the absolute #1 priority)


Retrieved from the gun safe:

1 x AR-15
1 x Sig P226

Stored in Ziplock bags in the box:

8 x 30-round Magpul magazines
205 x 5.56 rounds (M855)
3 x 18-round Mecgar magazines
55 x 9mm rounds (147gr XTP)

1 x Tac Vest that has –

3 x double mag AR pouches
1 x IFAK
1 x Magazine drop pouch
1 x Tactical light pouch
1 x Radio pouch
1 x Survival pouch

1 x Blackhawk pistol belt that has –

1 x Serpa Level III pistol holster
1 x Double pistol magazine pouch
1 x Hard plastic AR-15 magazine holder

1 x Camelbak, 3-liter, 3-color desert
1 x Boonie hat, multicam

Survival Items – Stored in a single Ziplock bag together. These are the essential survival items that will go with me no matter what. They would be moved to the vest or carried on my person.

BOK (Blow Out Kit) – 1 x CAT tourniquet in pouch & 1 x 4”x6” Field dressing
1 x ESEE 6” fixed blade knife
1 x Spyderco Paramilitary2 knife
1 x Gerber model STL 2.0 (black) knife
1 x SOG Micron knife
1 x NDuR survival straw
1 x 5-color camo point kit
1 x set of 2-part Aqua Tabs
1 x P-58 can opener
1 x Gerber multi-tool “Suspension” model (22-01471) in pouch
1 x Shemagh (desert color/pattern)
1 x Headlamp, Petzl, Tactika
1 x Gloves, tactical

Communication Items – Stored in a Ziplock together.

1 x Motorola T5500 FRS/GMRS radio
1 x Concealment ear piece with lapel mic
1 x charged “rechargeable” Battery pack
1 x 110vAC charger
1 x 12vDC recharger
1 x pouch
1 x Set of instructions

Stabilize the situation, don’t make it worse –

Misc. Items – Stored together in Ziplock bag.

2 x Set of ear plugs
1 x Pair Safety glasses, clear
1 x Pair Safety glasses, tinted
1 x Box Chlor-Floc water purification (30 packets – 8 gallon capacity)
1 x Compass
1 x Bic lighter
1 x Box stormrpoof matches
2 x Boxes waterproof matches
1 x Write in the Rain pen
1 x Write in the Rain tablet (3”x5”)
1 x Tablet paper (2”x4”)
1 x Spork (Vargo Eagle)

Sanitation/Personal Items – Stored together in a Ziplock bag.

1 x partial roll of toilet paper
8 x Germ-X hand sanitizer packets
3 x Sun-X sunscreen packets
4 x Bug-X insect repellant packets
3 x Shower Pill body towels

1 x Pair pants A-tacs
1 x T-shirt, long sleve, Marpat
1 x Tactical shirt, 5.11 Tactical Series, multicam
1 x BDU top, multicam
1 x Cap, baseball, brown
1 x Helmet, bump, (PT-B Helmets)
1 x AR-15 vertical fore grip, storage for extra bolt, and integrated tactical light

Cold Weather Items – Stored together in a Ziplock Bag.

1 x Socks, Smartwool
1 x Watch cap, fleece, flat earth brown
1 x long underwear, bottom, Minus 33, Merino wool
1 x long underwear, top, Minus 33, Merino wool
1 x Poncho, Survival Systems OPSEC

Misc. Items – Stored in a Ziplock bag together.

2 x Roles of surveyor flagging
2 x Chemlights
2 x Maxpedition carabineers
1 x Grimloc Molle D-ring
1 x Blanket emergency survival (not Mylar style)
2 x Paracord 550, 30’ length
6 x Snares, small animal, wire

Power Items – Stored in a Ziplock bag together.

1 x SolarAid SolPad7 solar battery charger (AA & AAA)
4 x Batteries, AA, Duracell Quantum
4 x Batteries, AA, Energizer, rechargeable
4 x Batteries, AAA, Duracell
4 x Batteries, AAA, Energizer, rechargeable

9 x Meals, freeze dried, Mountain House
1 x GI canteen cup (stainless steel)
1 x Water filter, MSR Sweetwater (plus extra cartridge)

condor 3-day asault bag pack makes a great Bug Out Bag get out of dodge bag

Condor 3-Day Assault Pack

And lastly the pack – I like the Condor 3-day assault pack. It is large, comfortable, lots of compartments and can snug down tight. In the pack’s side compartments I keep two stainless steel 1-1/2 liter water bottles. In the pack’s bladder compartment I put another 3-liter Camelbak bladder.

Could I carry all of this in the pack along with a full water load, tac vest and weapons? Absolutely not! It would be way way too heavy for me. But remember the premise from the beginning – I am not planning on carrying it anywhere, it goes into the truck. Carrying the pack is Plan B.

I think in a coming post I will go into more detail about why I carry the different items, or why I choose a specific item over another. But for now you will get the idea what I consider my EOTWB (End Of The World Box).

stupid Prepper experts will get you killed, well intentioned but ignorant

Well-intentioned but uniformed.

Now a word of caution, there are a lot of wanna-be prepper experts out there pumping out all kinds of information. Most of it is their personal preference or their viewpoint based on their military experience, their deep-woods survival skills, etc.

Very few folks have actually been in a large number of emergencies and disasters to have that kind of first-hand information and experience. And even fewer experts have training in assessing and analyzing information in the perpper world. I really don’t want you to get caught listening to one, accepting their word as gospel and then you and your family die because the guy didn’t have a clue.

Yes, I want you to challenge my information and guidance as well. That is why I try to share the principles that should guide you. You’ve heard the saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for today. Teach him to fish and you feed him for the rest of his life.” I try to teach you to fish. I want you to understand how to figure things out on your own. I give you information such as my go-box list to get you started, a jump start on making your list.

MissionAccomplishedHowever, my list is probably not your list. So use the principles of LIPS and risk/threat assessment and mitigation to guide you through developing your own list. It is important, vitally important. For one day your family may be 100% dependent on the preparedness actions you’ve taken.

Thank you for sharing this time with me and I hope you have found some value in it. Feel free to send me questions and comments about this article, I would appreciate your feedback.


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TRAP: You think your 72/96-hour pack is light? Take a day hike for 6 hours…without Ibuprofen!

heavy back packI’ve seen folks load up what they intended to be a “72-hour pack” or a “Bug Out Bag” and think they are going to hike 1,000 miles to safety with it. But hang on a second – How much does that thing weigh?

A toughened, physically fit soldier can carry about 70 – 90 pounds of gear for a while. Are you one of them?

I am in good physical condition, workout regularly, and carry a 45 pound pack as part of my job during fire season. And let me tell you that is a heck of a chore! So, load up your “bag” (whatever you want to call it) and then go for a good hard mountainous hike for 6 – 8 hours and tell me how you feel afterwards.

Hey, you might even find out some interesting things about your boots and come to understand “Mole Skin” or “Second Skin” as your new best friend. But try out your pack before you think you have it loaded for the ultimate bug-out.