Monday, November 5, 2012

Building a Bargain Bug Out Bag: The Bag

Over the course of the next few weeks or months we are going to do a series on building a low cost bug out bag. Bug Out Bags are generally a kit that will sit and not be used on a periodic basis. I don't believe that they should require expensive gear.

 Bug Out Bags are designed to aid in your survival for 3-7 days; beyond that you will need more than what you can carry on your back. Many people pack things in their bug out bag that I find as non-essential. I myself fall victim to this, like packing fishing kits or what not. Stuff that really isn't going to do you any good in that 3-7 day range. Another problem people face when building a BOB is they transform into an Apocalypse Bag- packing everything you can in it. That isn't a good practice, because if you plan on bugging out with just the bag in the wilderness you probably need to go back to developing a better Bug Out Plan.

A Bug Out Bag is for just that, bugging out. It's a consumable item that you use up during your "bug out". It is not technically a wilderness survival kit. Wilderness Survival Kits are designed to gather food/water and build shelter whereas a Bug Out Bag has food/water/shelter. I've had time to go through my BOB and ditch things that I decided wasn't necessary and added some things I think are. I will do another video on my updated BOB soon.

With anything I always suggest buying the best that you can afford. Hopefully your BOB will never have to be used. But do you want a $1,000 survival kit sitting in the closet? Why not spend that money on other stuff. Do you really need a $400 pack that has been tested on Mt Everest, when your BOB is only going to help you for 3-7 days getting out of the burbs?

My BOB is mostly comprised of reasonably priced items. I do have a few expensive tools in the bag, but that's about it. My "expensive" gear that I have, and use, I use in the field on a routine basis, not to sit in the closet. Sure I could run and pack everything I own in a few packs and then bug out (and if time permits I will do so). But a BOB is a grab-n-go kit, so that would defeat the purpose (if I had to pack before I left).

Here are a few low cost options:

My BOB pictured above is the LA Police Gear Operator Pack and is really tough bag for the price. The bag is priced at $79.99 but has been on sale for almost a year. I got mine for $45 and its still at that price point. It is very comfortable and durable, has tons of pockets to organize gear. It also comes in 3 different colors (black, tan, and OD green). 3 colors that are perfect for a BOB

Another Pack that I have not tried (but I trust their products after using a few packs from them) is the LA Police Gear 3 Day BackPack.

Believe it or not, another pack I found of so-so quality is the Fieldline Alpha Ops Daypack from Wal-Mart. A friend of mine had this pack on and I questioned where he got it and when he told me Wal-Mart, I was like it must be crap. The pack felt pretty durable, although I cant attest to the stitching. But for the real budget minded it comes in at $19.

They also offer a larger pack, the Fieldline Alpha Ops Internal Frame Pack. This pack comes in at $39.

One more pack that's some what pricier is the Sandpiper of California Three Day Pass Back Pack. This pack retails for $54, also available at

One of my favorite rucksack's that I used in the Military was the ALICE pack. They can take an amazing amount of abuse and with a frame they feel rather comfortable. These Ruck's can be found locally at military surplus stores or flea markets. They can also be found on Ebay and Amazon; used an new.

Those are some low cost bag options to help you build your bargain BOB. Over the course of these articles I will try and show you some places these items can be picked up locally (like Wal-mart; to save on shipping cost). If you guys have any other low cost alternatives to any products in this series, please drop a comment in the box below.


  1. CONDOR makes relatively inexpensive packs and bags, Ebay, Amazon, or

  2. 3000 cubic inches
    Molle eveywhere
    place for 100oz hydration bladder

    Best bargain IMO..

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. There isn’t any camping expedition that I have gone without a bug-out-bag. I do usually improve the condition of my bag after every few months. My online search led me to this resourceful and informative article. Your content has been helpful. I also gathered some useful info from this site:


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