Friday, April 8, 2011

Let me introduce you to BOB

Last night we went to the local camping store for a few select items. I ended up getting an emergency poncho, some waterproof matches and a whistle.

Are we perhaps preparing to go bush on some sort of boot camp training exercise? Making a home version of Man vs Wild? No. We were stocking my Bug-Out Bag (BOB).

What is a BOB? The BOB is something that C has been talking about for months now. Even before all the natural disasters that occurred at the beginning of this year in Australia, he has been banging on about putting together a bag that in an emergency you can just grab and go, and know you’re prepared for the worst. C jokes that my handbag is already a fairly good example but there are some things that a woman just doesn’t carry around all the time!

I know this sounds a bit nutty. But stay with me here. C’s careful explanations and advocacy, in conjunction with the recent state of the world, have convinced me it’s an idea with merit. It’s actually something that military people and survivalists always have. Some people have what they call a “go-bag” which is more a bag full of clothes they can grab and take with them if they have to travel at short notice. They use these on “Criminal Minds”, I notice. The BOB is a little more hardcore than that – the idea is you should be able to survive for a few days without power if you have to leave your home. And it should be light enough to carry on your back.

Now, I know we are not the only people that have a Zombie Apocalypse Plan. I know for a fact that some of my friends and internet tweeps have discussed what they’d do in the event of a “Day of the Dead” (or even “Shaun of the Dead”) –style zombie outbreak. The BOB is something that would be extremely useful for that, in that I could take it and make my way to our planned rendezvous point on foot if required...

But seriously – if there’s one thing that recent flash floods, cyclones, earthquakes and bushfires have taught me, it’s that sometimes you don’t have time to put the photo albums in the car... you just got to get out.

The BOB is designed for emergencies like natural disasters, but also circumstances like a sudden widespread power blackout (Eastern Seaboard US outage anyone?) or an unprecedented foreign military incursion (think “Tomorrow When the War Began”). Unlikely, yes, but wouldn’t you like to have a working radio and matches ready for when the world goes dark and you can’t charge your iPhone? Mine is going to be pretty basic, but C is determined to make his more comprehensive – stocked with long-term survival stuff like a kinetic-motion power charger, emergency blanket and a tarp.

In my BOB so far are things like: battery-powered FM radio, cigarette lighter, small screwdriver, cord, nail file, paw paw ointment, bandaids and nail scissors. I’ve added last night’s purchases but still have a few more things to add like MREs (meal-ready-to-eat), a multitool, hand sanitiser, a pillbox with paracetamol and water purification tablets, a compass/mirror and underwear for 2 days.

So are we paranoid? Crazily too prepared for disaster? I don’t know, but having a BOB even half-assembled seems like a logical thing to me. During the floods, when we lost power and the water was rising, I know I would have loved a bag ready and packed, sitting by the door that contained everything I needed if I had to evacuate suddenly.

Do you have an emergency evacuation plan? Or a BOB?

*After reading this post pre-publishing, C insisted on pulling out his BOB and showing me all the things he has in there. Frankly I was astonished. A few things I haven't yet mentioned that are in his BOB: a wire saw, water bottles, a filtered water bottle, fishing line, duct tape, insect repellent, plastic zip-lock bags, chem-lights and a small two-way radio. Not a word of a lie.


  1. I really wanted this to be about a real "BOB". The kind women used to worry about. A battery operated boyfriend.

    I can see your logic but quite frankly, I can't be arsed getting that organised, so I'll just say go you. Well done.

  2. I have never, EVER heard of the abbreviation BOB being used for that! Oh my god! O_o



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