Jump to content
MrsSurvival Discussion Forums

Who is BOB? What about GHB? Hint: it's "what," not "who"

Recommended Posts

If you're new to this world of preparedness, this thread is for you. If you're an old hand, you might find some new ideas, and we need you to share what your experience has taught you.




BOB = Bug Out Bag = Emergency Pack = Grab-n-Go

A BOB can be many things. There is as much variation in BOB contents as there are people. Basically, a BOB is a bag or backpack that contains essentials. It's always at the ready, usually kept at home, and can be grabbed should you need to evacuate rapidly.


GHB = Get Home Bag

This is a similar bag of supplies that is kept away from home, often at work/school or in one's vehicle. It contains the essentials to maintain a body until home can be reached.


EDB = Every Day Bag

Again a similar bag, often a backpack or a large purse, containing essentials that one carries every single day.


EDC = Every Day Carry

Items that one carries every day, but not necessarily in a bag, such as items in a pocket or on a keychain.


BTW, two or more of these can be one-in-the-same kit.



Getting started: Read about BOBs


These website give you some great ideas about what a bag should contain.










(from the wayback machine)



Next step: Plan your own


After following the above links, you should have a good idea of what your needs are in a BOB. Sit down with pen and paper or computer and keyboard and start making a list. You might want to post your list here, for critique. One last thing to consider: will your kit require seasonal changes?



Finding supplies


Some items in your BOB are easy to find, such as small bottle of water and granola bars. Others are a bit more complex, such as mylar sealed pouches of water and emergency rations. Locally you may find BOB supplies at your grocery store, Walmart, Costco/Sam's, Surplus stores, Discount stores (like Grocery Outlet or Big Lots), sporting goods stores and yard sales.


Here are some online resources:






www.beprepared.com (aka Emergency Essentials)








And many, many more.



Putting it together


Start putting together your BOB as soon as you have a bag. If you're like me, your kit will never be completely "done." You'll always be tweaking it; that's okay. Just make sure you have it at-the-ready between tweakings.



Where to store your BOB/GHB


Your emergency kit should never be stored far away, such as in a storage unit. It's recommended that your BOBs be easily accessible in case of an emergency evacuation. Should you choose to make a GHB, you'll not be storing it at home. Assess your situation and decide whether it should be in your vehicle, at work, at school, or somewhere else. Personally, my BOB and GHB are the same thing; it lives in my car.



Variations on Bobs


Remember when I said there is a lot of vatiation in BOBs? Here are some examples:













I'd love to hear back from those of you just creating kits, as well as old hands who have other resources to share. Happy packing!

Link to comment

I put together a bug out kit that all fits into a regular size backpack and isn't too big for me to carry. Each of my kids have their own backpack. With duplicates in it of things I have. I can carry more than they can though. My kit is enough to keep myself healthy (and clean) for a few days. I put most small things in small quart zip lock bags so there is more bags for various uses, I find them useful. Don't do 'cute' "small' or minimal. Load what you need and the weight you can carry, and if you need to lighten things down the road, you can.


Mess kit

6 pack of raisins

lots of bubblegum and hard candies(from Halloween, replaced yearly) For my kids

three complete dinners (turkey and gravy, salisberry steak and ravioli) Don't need can opener for these

6 fruit cups

2 packs of beef jerky

three pop top cans of vienna sausages

9 packs of cheese and peanut butter cracker packages

hot chocolate mix (three)

I container of granola/trailmix (fruit, nuts, granola) (about 2 cups)

salt, pepper and sugar packets

10 stick pack of ice tea with peach flavorings (sugar free, but you could go with sugared, I am diabetic, and need to think about that)

10 bucks in quarters, and 20 dollars in cash (1s and 5s)It is all I can afford.

Utility line


Toilet paper

Space blankets (2)

Potable aqua tablets

match case with water proof matches

Magnesium fire starter

Lighter (long one)

duct tape

leather work gloves

Uno (game)

blue tarp (to make a tent)

whistle/compass combo

small radio and battery (wrapped in tin foil)

multipurpose tool (screwdriver, knife, saw, pliers, can opener etc)

pen/pencil and paper

copies of birth certificates, social security cards, and pictures of each of my family members

small can opener


garbage bags (2)

book that I like to read over and over again



First Aid and hygiene:


filter masks (these are just run of the mill, but I am getting the better ones soon)

tampons and

sanitary pads (cause sure as shootin, something will happen and then I will get my period)


germ x hand sanitizer

small toothpaste


glow sticks




first aid kit (in a duffle attached to the backpack)

basic first aid guide


antiseptic towelettes



sterile dressings

non stick pads

roll gauze

triangle bandage

adhesive tape



diabetes testing kits, filled medication for 1 week of medicine for myself (I take 12 different RX's)


Benedryl tablets



Immodium AD

Childrens vitamins (3 kids, plus myself, for four days)

butterfly bandaids


cotton swabs

small aloe gel

iodine prep pad



Potassium iodide (for radilogical attacks)

EZ srub surgical scrub sponge

changes of underwear, long sleeve shirt and pants


I keep a 5 gallon water jug in the back of my car, as well as a gas can (unfilled)

I keep a first aid kit (complete, more extensive than the one above) in my car.


IN my bug out closet (right by the door) are the four bug out backpacks, first aid kit, four 1 gallon water bottles, 4 quart size canteens (always kept full),Four sleeping bags. I also have an area of food in the closet that are packed in boxes, that are enough for us to survive for two weeks. I can load them into the car if we aren't going by foot. I have a hand gun in the gun safe. I have a medium sized suitcase of clothes for the kids and I always packed. I can be loaded and ready to leave in about 5-10 minutes with enough things to last us for weeks (if we can add water or get to a water source).


I am in Arizona. The only thing I am really prepared for is a terrorist attack of some type. I am not completely prepared. I need them for the four of us. I sleep easier at night knowing that I have these things ready now and available. I am always searching for new things to complete what I have in my kit.



Link to comment

Thanks for all of this good info!


This is still a hole in my preps that I need to work on. One thing that has been holding me up is the fact that I have so many kids and that would be nine back packs to prepare. I think I'll just start with one for me and get it complete before starting another. I'm not sure that's the best plan or not.



Link to comment

Stephanie, I think anything is better than nothing. You might start out with one bag that has just a few things for all of you.


To prioritize, you could remember the "Rule of Threes" "You can live three weeks without food, three days without water, three hours in severe weather without good shelter, and three minutes without air."


Air is pretty much taken care of, although you may wish to stock some barrier masks. Shelter can be as simple as heavy-duty contractors (garbage) bags. With one snip, they become a poncho. Next water. Water is very important. 'Nuff said.



Link to comment

We have been into preps quite awhile and have three stages of preparation

1. BOB with essentials, water filter, shelter, food, com, arms

2. Longer term stuff to last 2-3 weeks

3. Containers with indefinate ability.

Remember the basics, provide for water, food,and shelter. Protection is there always and communication-preferably short wave for reliability. You can get into tweaking your equipment/supplies as time goes by-but I would be in a hurry. Yoy may need them soon, wc

Link to comment

Okay, I can't imagine a situation here where I would need to bug out. The only natural problems we get are blizzards and bad storms, which we should ride out at home. We aren't nearly dry or forested enough for forest fires. I'm too rural for the type of terrorist attack that would require and evacuation. We don't get earthquakes.


If people got ugly and the government collapsed, well I still don't know where we'd go that would be safer and better protected than home.


Am I wrong? Can you tell me what i might be missing?


I think GHB's are good for the car, and in wintertime I generally have supplies such as snacks, shovel, blankets etc.

Link to comment
Originally Posted By: Tracie
Okay, I can't imagine a situation here where I would need to bug out. The only natural problems we get are blizzards and bad storms, which we should ride out at home. We aren't nearly dry or forested enough for forest fires. I'm too rural for the type of terrorist attack that would require and evacuation. We don't get earthquakes.

If people got ugly and the government collapsed, well I still don't know where we'd go that would be safer and better protected than home.

Am I wrong? Can you tell me what i might be missing?

I think GHB's are good for the car, and in wintertime I generally have supplies such as snacks, shovel, blankets etc.

House fire.

Hazmat spill near your home (transporting from one place to another and the tanker rolls).

I'm glad to hear you have GHBs...they can double as BOBs should the need arise.

And you are right, in many situations, it is better to SIP (shelter-in-place...i.e. stay home). But...sometimes...that isn't an option.
Link to comment

I need to do this. We all have back packs I should throw something in them and make sure they are all in one place. Something *is* better than nothing. smile


I could easily put together tomorrow a backpack with these things:

granola bars

other snacks


copies of birth certificates

a couple small toys

small pack of matches

garbage bag for a poncho

I might have enough trial size hand sanitizer

change of clothes


Yep, I'd sleep better if we had these put together. smile


Like Tracie I don't know where we would go in an emergency but they'd be great if we were stuck AWAY from home.


Link to comment

I just placed an order with Emergency Essentials and they have a lot of this type of stuff really cheap.


I ordered a whistle on a rope for each child, I think .76


They have the emergency blankets for just over a $1


I got a dozen of the Mainstay Water Pouches $0.32 each (these are the Coast Guard approved waters that resist the heat and can last five years) so, I thought that would be really good to put in the BOB's


They had water proof matches for .45

and antiseptic towelettes *individualy wrapped for .04 cents each


Lots of stuff like that


Link to comment

I have a BOB fixed up for evacuation or need to evacuate due to flooding, fire or other emergency like a flu epidemic ( but in case of flu I would try to hibernate Staying In Place, as it would be alot more hygienic and I wouldn't be using up supplies that might come in handy in a BOB if it was needed for something else.

I also have a quart of water in a bottle in the pack, a clip on water bottle, both 1 qt. in size and a full gallon desert style canteen I can put over my shoulder, for potable water and filled just for extra water I can carry easily at home in the kitchen. Not just other stored water, which is also there. The creek outside will be for flush water.


I have a good tent and a pilates pad for under the sleeping bag and extra, thin type, space blankets to give out to others who may have evac'd due to flood and didnt come with anything if I had to go to the shelter. I can attach the sleeping bag in a plastic bag to the BOB and carry the tent in its bag if I had to bug out and camp outside.


I know where I can go on the fringes if I needed to rough it a few weeks. I am currently trying to dehydrate food enough to cover at least 21 days meals for the BOB. I have about a weeks worth so far.

I need to work on snare trap stuff, and a fishing survival kit.


I like the idea of GHB, get home bags.... I need to get one put together better and leave it in a locker at mha because I am there alot during the weekdays. In case of flood, I might have to shelter there or at a shelter in the nearest town. Its wise to be ready for that. I could get cut off from getting home for afew days in case of fire or flood around here. That GHB or BOB for mha would also include a fishing survival kit because I am close to Lake Champlain and could fish for fish to eat for supper or breakfast if I was stuck there to supplement my food consumption.


I want to get a larger backpack and can make a canvas rucksack for a bigger BOB of course..... been saying I would do that! .

Around here we have to be prepped for all weather conditions, as well.


Every month after payday I try and get more things that are useful in a bugout situation, or for SIP.


Even if you dont think you may need it, it's good to have a BOB and the get home bags/boxes.


All one has to do is rotate the food and water. The rest of the stuff is inanimate, materials and gear, clothing rotated by season.


Unfortunately, we might have to evac just because of the neighbors or folks acting out and our own home ground might become unsafe..... when we would like to think we could defend it, but it might be better to go hide out for a while til things calm down.....


My goal is to have the large discernably chosen pack ready to grab for a BOB or a walk out situation if SHTF or flu epidemic.... and yes a year ago the UK knew the avian flu went between humans.... not that this was broadcasted in the US>....... typical .....





Sooooooo, BOB are definitely important...

heck, what if we were attacked? The US military and the Canadian military can now attack across the border....

being exmilitary, this tells me that they are concerned about serious infiltration and actual attacks of any sort... and those of us in these corridor areas below the Canadian border could be targetted .... yes, I might have to head for the hills around me in such a case. By corridor area, I mean the Interstate not far from me that runs from Montreal to NY City. It is several miles away from me. The route roads here are often travelled by folks driving north and south.... I feel it is important to understand the possibilities of such a route ...


Things are not like they used to be here in the US. There are many internal threats, not just war in the big sandbox overseas. The sleepers are already in country! There are plans out there by some extremists and they will wait until its all set up. Even rural areas are not immune to such things. We dont really know what form it can take until it happens.


So, I have various plans..... and hope dearly I can really homestead eventually in a place that will keep me out of the limelight.


If our water supply was ruined, in any area, if we survive it to begin with and get notified, and know we have to get out, due to more threats against us.... the BOB is important. Its better to have it so it can be grabbed readily.

Heck, just bobbing out because of unruly neighbors, to get a break in nature instead, it is handy to have ready to grab.

My daypack is full to the gills... 20 pounds and the tent and sleeping bag I can carry by hand if need be.


It is currently set up for summer weather with appropriate clothing. In the fall I will change it over to cold weather. And be able to use my homemade or purchased larger backpack.


I feel the dehydrated no 10 cans of food, with such variety, can easily be utilized for good dehydrated meals with the largest pack for long term walking out but the bob is setup for a really sudden BOB situation and has enough survival stuff in it that I can use that if I absolutely had to walk out to my son's residence which is several states away. The food that is dehydrated can be packed into ziploc bags.

I would prefer to carry dehydrated food and only supplement by fishing, snaring game and small game hunting, or working for a meal as I passed by places, also work for water if it came to that. :spider:



"As for Staying In Place, this is what I am working towards to be the most practical, but also want my supplies movable. I am only having to look out for myself and not a large family, so getting a wagon and some bins, to pull behind me to be able to transfer some of that dehydrated food and supplies is one idea I had for a BOB situation of any magnitude."


Or dehydrated food and pails would be part of my HHG were I to move to a different place and probably will.


I like the idea of having canned food, but glass is breakable, so I feel dehydrated goods are better for this purpose. Or bulk grains and flours as well. Any canning will be repacked in boxes with dividers to buffer the jars but I would not neccessarily move them unless I had to. So, typically any canning I do would be for SIP stuff and regular kitchen culinary delights and practicality, because I have minimal freezer space and often the recipes I am learning about are so very wonderful!


So, I am doing ok with the BOB supplies so far, for short evacs.

But there is always something to define and fix up and procure for a BOB situation and its different for everyone, in every lifestyle and type of work they do daily.


I like the kit suggestions too.

Link to comment

TeamBettendorf- I noticed you have lots of lovely little children! Just a thought for you - when our son was little but still in diapers I bought a small pack for him and put diapers in it, and he could carry it quite a ways by himself! We used to take long walks with him to practice and put our packs on and off we would go. He needed those diapers and it saved a TON of room in our packs for other essentials. Also - I always watch for Jansport backpacks at yard sales. Even if damaged I get them and send them back to Jansport for FREE repair or replacement. Good luck.

Link to comment

Tracie---Remember Three Mile Island(nuke plant that nearly went balistic). Chernoble ring a bell with you about a reason you may have to evacuate and never come back??? Hopefully we will never have to move out but if it comes to that I am ready to get out. I do not intend to be a "superdome resident" or FEMA camp fugitive. We have a very loose agreement with lots of folks in different parts of the country that they are welcome here and we are at their dwelling. Nice to have prior arrangements. Again, hope we never have to use any of our preps in an emergency but like insurance--good to have it, wc

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Emergencies can strike at any time so we should all strive to have at least a little something with us no matter where we are or what we are doing. We could be at work, picking the kids up from school, shopping, running errands, on vacation, where ever and when ever.


You may have a fully tricked out B.O.B. that will get you through nearly anything, but if it's at home and you're not it's not worth much to you.


I think we should all keep multiple emergency kits of varying sizes and contents so that no matter where we may find an emergency we won't be completely barehanded. If circumstances are such that you've got your big bag with you then you are good to go. If the deal goes down while you're at work or shopping then maybe the kit you keep in your car or in your desk/locker/cubby at work will be available. If you don't have even that then you're down to whatever you have in your pockets or in your purse. Spread your gear around. Have redundant gear for the most important stuff.


I personally try never to go anywhere that I don't have at least one way to see in the dark, one cutting edge, and one way to make a fire. That's my rock bottom minimum for any place that I don't have to through a metal detector and/or body search and I'll carry more if I can. They might just be enough to get me back to my truck where there is more gear/supplies waiting or even home where there is even more. Do what you can with what you have.





Link to comment

Alan, your thoughts about the redundant gear are important. We have done that here. A while back, I made BOBs for daughter for her school locker and hubbby for work, and me for the car. Then I started thinking about how at school, they leave the building during a fire drill--so now daughter has a mini kit to keep in her purse, which she would always have with her and be able to take outside. Hubby has a kit in his car as well as the office. We all have one at home ready to grab.


My purse contains some items, which often prompts husband to jokingly ask, "Hey, you got a life raft or a parachute in there??" Which got me thinking.... do they make them so they fold up that small??? LOL


Also, make BOBs for your pets. Have pet carriers.


We also have all our camping gear in storage boxes, ready to grab and toss in the car. I am ready to camp with a moment's notice.


We aren't in earthquake country, tornado country, and the only bad things here are blizzards....I thought. Last week, not far from me in the town of Epsom, NH, a tornado killed a woman and ravaged the town. They had no warning, and they have no power still. Local news interviewed a lady who said, "We can be patient. Most of us are prepared for blizzards. My neighbors and I are sorting through the rubble for our canned goods. We'll be fine until they clear the roads..." She was calm. Must have been a prepper.


There might be situations where the house gets trashed--and your BOB in the car might be the thing that gets you through the first bad night.


If you live near railroads, be aware of what kind of stuff goes over the tracks. Same with highways. Hazardous chemical tankers can spill in accidents. What kind of industries are in your town? How far from a nuclear plant do you live? Is there a natural gas company with tanks that could catch fire, and how far do you live from these? Also, a far-fetched one, but still possible--do you live near a Superfund site that is not cleaned up yet? Could you be asked to move during clean up?


And finally....have a fire drill at your house. Set an alarm in the middle of the night, pretend it's a fire signal and see how long it takes you all to grab your BOB and get out of the house with your kids and pets. It takes longer than you think. In a fire, the BOB near the front door closet might not be accessible for you. Your important paper box might be down the hall. In a fire, you don't have time to hunt. So, maybe keep copies of important papers off site? In a fire proof container? Do you keep your purse or wallet handy to grab? Maybe you need a BOB next to the bed?


Here, before we go to bed, we all lay out our clothes and shoes for the next day. If there's a fire in the night, we could grab the clothes and shoes, and get out the window...and get dressed later.


Friends who lived through an apartment fire that destroyed their building in the middle of a cold January night said now they always sleep with a packed bag next to their beds and slip-on shoes laid out--as they had to flee in PJ's and bare feet.



Link to comment

Thanks Alan and Judy, for sharing your insights. I was just telling my dh this weekend that I've got all this 'good stuff' but it is scattered and in a tight, I'd be hard pressed to gather it all in a moment's notice. I'm working hard to rectify that. I tend to always 'see' myself home and surrounded by my comfort zone when crisis hits, and of course, that very well, may not be the case.

Link to comment
Originally Posted By: ATHagan

You may have a fully tricked out B.O.B. that will get you through nearly anything, but if it's at home and you're not it's not worth much to you.

I think we should all keep multiple emergency kits of varying sizes and contents so that no matter where we may find an emergency we won't be completely barehanded.

Very good point. Thank you
Link to comment

I ditto Stephanie....this is such an important issue!


I've currently got a really well-equipped BOB, but need to do more along the lines of first aid - add some scrubby surgical soaps and sutures...


I also discovered that BOOTS are really important!


I'm always wearing sandals in the summer or slip-on clogs in the winter. Unless it's snowing, I rarely wear boots. I now have a pair of tennies AND boots in the car, laced to my BOB, and appropriate socks for each.


Since I'm so fair, I also have sunscreen, and a neck cooler, for I'm the sort of person that needs a heat sink to function if it's above 80 and I'm working hard.


I filled an older backpack with the winter gear so that I know where its at and it is in a closet.


Such good ideas - we live near a railroad and sometimes there is something hazmat that crosses near us. Also, there is a liquid gas plant not too far away, I did hear an alarm there about two weeks ago, whatever spill was contained, but it did make me think.


NOTE: This alarm went off again today for 30 MIN! No one notified local authorities, yet we could see some sort of smoke or flames from a smokestack. The neighbors were all gathered at our end of the street, waiting to see what would happen.


It made me reflect .... HARD.


Thanks so much for all these good ideas! You guys rock! rocks



Link to comment

I am rethinking our BOB. I have Water Heavy things in there that I could use dehydrated foods and TVP for instead. I have a tilia foodsaver that I could utilize to make my own MRE's with.

Think I am going to do that next week.


Also MINI Bobs for the car. I don't know how many times we have been out and about -- miles from our house -- and if something had happened we would have been SOL.



Link to comment
Originally Posted By: Aint2nuts
I am rethinking our BOB. I have Water Heavy things in there that I could use dehydrated foods and TVP for instead. I have a tilia foodsaver that I could utilize to make my own MRE's with.
Think I am going to do that next week.

I'd love to hear how you make your own MRE's.
Link to comment

The problem is there isn't anyway to make a true Meal, Ready-to-Eat with the preservation methods available in the home. We can buy prepackaged ready to eat components such as soft pouch tuna, chicken, whatever. But that's no different than buying an MRE.


We can also vac-seal dehydrated or freeze-dried foods in plastic bags but those are not ready to eat. They have to be rehydrated first and possibly cooked if fully cooked food wasn't used in the first place.


There are plenty of ideas in these areas. Just Google a bit on "backpacking foods" and you'll find them. Not quite the same as a real MRE but with proper advance planning they'll get the job done.


Just make sure you pay attention to the calorie counts so that you don't shortchange yourself.





Link to comment

All good info. I got new bags for mini-bobs yesterday. We have most of our camping gear in one place, but not in a ready-to-go-in-a-moments-notice packings system. I'll be changing that. My daughter's brush with the SoCa earthquake yesterday has heightened my urgency in all these matters. DH and I shopped the sales yesterday and made a few more plans. I'm working to carry those out one by one today. Alan I just checked out your FAQ website and it rocks. Thanks for the info.




Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.