But what to put in it? Water. Food? A knife and/or multitool. You best good luck charm? A lot depends on your personal preference, but how do you know if you haven’t missed something important?
Well there is a guide to it lots of people go by. The “10 Essential Things.” Some of you know about this. For the other reader. (I think I have 3 readers now…)
And it’s not just for BOBs and emergency preparedness. It also applies to outings in the woods and camping, or otherwise having fun.
- map and compass. A topographical map, preferrably. The compass will keep you from walking in circles if you have no map.
- eye protection, but a hat may serve for sun protection
- food and water. Couple canteens and energy bars, minimum. Water purification can be useful to stretch your 2 canteens out with other sources in most areas. And check out Lifecaps for a food replacement in pill form. Especially if you are a bit on the beefy side, like me.
- extra clothes including a way to keep dry, like a poncho. A rudimentary shelter would also fall under this, and a poncho can double for that. Or a space blanket.
- waterproof means of firestarting (and a spare type) Strike anywhere matches in a safe and a disposable lighter in a separate waterproof container.
- pocket knife! And a larger knife if you can swing it. 'Large' like a machete-large.
- first aid kit, and this should include insect repellent and sunscreen.
- means of communication, from a whistle to a signal mirror to a cell or satellite phone (or all 4!) Remember, a radio reciever with a hand crank is a one way form of communication that is better than nothing. It can at least get you the weather.
Additional ‘nice to haves’ include terlet paper, and for those of you in the more enlightened areas of the country, you personal firearm and accoutrement. I’d also like some line, like paracord. Also, fishing line and hooks, and one list recommends a $50 bill. In case you come out of the wilderness and are next to a convenience store, it'd be nice to get a few ho-ho and bottled water after nearly starving to death.
The Eleventh Item you carry with you always. It's between your ears. All the prep in the world won't help you if you don't use your brain.