Just for fun: Kit pics!

Disclaimer: This is frivolous— but I think it could be fun, and perhaps a good conversation starter, too. 🙂

I love it when people post pictures of the contents of their BOB or EDC laid out all nicely, so I took advantage of the fact that I’m staying with my mother (who just refinished her floors, giving me a nicer-than-usual backdrop with which to work) to do a full BOB layout and take some photos of my own. I’m hoping some of you will be Covid-winter-stir-crazy enough to get excited about doing the same and post your own kit pics here. My BOB is not finished and is clearly missing some important things (no, I don’t have a tarp yet), so no pressure to have a complete perfect set of things to post.

I think part of the fun of this could be asking questions about what’s what and why it’s there. It’s like a Where’s Waldo for preppers. 

Okay, your turn! Time to show off your kit!



  • Comments (32)

    • 7

      I don’t have a bugout bag as such, but I do have a pack I use when hunting in the bush for up to a week long duration. It would serve as a BOB if necessary. No contents photo but here’s a contents list:

      Backpack, sleeping bag, bivvy bag, hootchie (waterproof tarp), IFAK, katadyn water filter, 2 x 2l water bottles, multi tool, kyzlar fighting knife, small diamond sharpening stone, fire starter kit (flint, vaseline balls, lighter), headlamp, laser range finder 8x magnification), foam sleeping mat, army ration packs, small gas cooker, cups canteen, toiletry pack (toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper), small penlight with clear and coloured lens (the type military loadmasters use), gloves, giggle hat, spare batteries. Firearm and spare ammo.  I think thats it.

      Here’s a pic of my camp setup, spent a week like this, even as a 50 year old,  even in the rain:


      • 6

        I’ll take pictures of your set-up camp— that’s impressive! Had to Google giggle hat. What’s the pen light for? And how dry does it stay under the tarp in the rain?

      • 8

        My headlamp is for general chores and moving around camp at night, the last thing we want is to step on a deadly snake in the dark, but the pen light is for finer work and has a red filter if I need to be more discreet and to save my night vision. I got it as a thankyou from an C-130 loadmaster, who had 7 or 8 tours of Afghan, it’s a very rugged little unit that fits nicely in a pistol mag pouch. 

        That tarp does a good job keeping the rain out, although horizontal rain would slip under it in the setup shown in the photo. I have it pre-strung with paracord, with knots every couple of inches to make putting it up a very fast, simple process. If heavy rain is expected I dig a little trench along the side to redirect runoff away from my sleeping mat. These hootchies can be joined with others to make a larger shelter if required. The are in use with our army. 

      • 4

        Great picture Downunder! I’ve never slept under a tarp, always have done tent camping, so i’m curious to try it sometime. I think i’ll need to invest in a much better sleeping bag though…

        I would love a little pen light with a red filter. I get up in the middle of the night sometimes, and the red light would be nice to not blind myself and also to not wake up the wife.

    • 7

      Great BOB pnwsarah! Thank you for taking the time to lay it all out. I’d love to add my picture in the mix, but it may be a week or two to find some time to do so. So stay tuned.

      I take it the Chicken Recipe tube on the far right is for your dog? haha or are you gonna nibble on that if you get hungry? Do you have any food in your kit?

      Is the other walkie-talkie in your partner’s BOB?

      If you found $500 on the street tomorrow, what would you change/add to your kit?

      • 11

        Ha, yes, the chicken tube is for the dog, as are the collapsible bowls. He has his own BOB with additional food and supplies, but those three items just don’t fit in his saddlebag-style pack very nicely. My food is stacked next to the bowls— they’re Better Bars, which are free of common allergens (i.e., unlike Datrex bars, which I can’t eat) and have a year-long shelf-life (months longer than most energy bars). I have 30 of them in there, which is 5,700 calories. I just do a big order every 6-9 months or so, rotate the new bars into the BOB, and put the old ones in the pantry to use as trail food for hiking/running/camping.

        But… if I found $500 on the street tomorrow… I’d get the exact modified Stanley Cook Kit Josh described here on the blog and some Mountain House meals and reduce the number of Better Bars commensurately. This would provide more variety (different foods) and function (water-boiling without starting a fire) for comparable weight. 

        And since that cook kit would only set me back about $60, I’d also have enough for a tarp ($70), paracord ($10), a NAR CAT tourniquet ($30), the BigBlue 28W Portable Solar Panel ($72), a Novoo Explorer backup battery pack ($23), a Cnoc Vecto 2L Soft Water Bag to replace those suspiciously stiff and cheap-feeling freebies that came with my HydroBlue filter ($20), a larger IFAK pouch ($20) into which I could actually fit the epi-pen and splint, a backup charging cord for my iPhone ($40 for certified Apple products), a Leatherman Skeletool ($80), two fresh pairs of wool hiking socks ($30), and a couple of other odds and ends for my IFAK. 

        I have a “kit” on kit builder that I use to prioritize my remaining prepping purchases while staying under a monthly prepping budget, per Jon Stokes’ blog post on the subject

        And yes, my partner has the other walkie talkie in his BOB. 🙂

      • 8

        Those Better Bars look pretty good. Probably much healthier than the enriched flour and hydrogenated oil in other lifeboat rations. 

        Great picks for your $500! Most of those are more of luxury or upgrades to other items in your kit. Which is good because that means that you have the necessities in your BOB and the others would make your life easier and nicer, but you could survive off of what you have. Definitely add them if you have the money and weight, but just good to know you are set as it is now.

      • 7

        I’m delighted that you think that I have a really good foundation, here! I feel that way, too, though clearly I’ve got my next steps all planned out. 

        Better Bars are great, and they’re a smaller, PNW-based business, so I’m happy to support them!

      • 13

        Nice looking kit.  I’ve never tried Better Bars.  In my truck, plus in my get home bag (which stays in the truck), I carry Mainstay bars.  They have a 5 year shelf life and can withstand temps of up to 300 degrees F. This high temp storage is exceedingly important for southerners who keep them in vehicles during the hot summer.  The things actually taste great.  I rotated a batch out a few months ago so my Saturday helper & I ate the old ones.  Taste kinda like a shortbread cookie.  Amazed me that this food would be so good after years of high temps associated with the inside of a truck during our hot summer months.

        You know the temp range on Better Bars and how they taste?

        I’ll try to take a pic of my bag’s contents in a few days.  Won’t be as much as yours as I live in the south and don’t need the winter clothes plus it is simply a get home bag.  Worst case scenario is I have to walk 30 miles to get back home.

      • 6

        The good thing about pnwsarah’s strategy is that rotating through the bars every 6 months makes the temperature range not that big of an issue. If she does have the chocolate dipped ones though, she may have to keep an eye on those. 

        I’ve had some chocolate chip and chocolate dipped granola bars in my car before, and when i’ve opened them, all the melted chocolate was on one end of the bar. haha

        I’d love to see your BOB Redneck!

      • 8

        I just Googled Mainstay bars. I used to have things like that when I lived in CA and had to drive to work. Temperature-hardiness was a lot more important to me then because I kept the BOB in my car. When we moved north, I was able to take transit or run commute to work, the BOB moved indoors, I made a get home bag for work, and I could really prioritize kindness to my sensitive stomach in my food preps.

        All this to say, I don’t know the temp range on the Better Bars, but they taste good— better than the Coast Guard rations, though we did bust a packet of those open and array them nicely on platter at our going away party as a joke. They were the last food standing, but everyone who tried them was surprised at how good they were. (Less surprising: The large degree of overlap between the people who were still at the party after we had run out of booze, food, and other guests, eating something that looked like wall insulation, and the friends of my partner’s who were most excited when CA legalized recreational weed.)

        I would love to see your kit laid out when you have a chance to take the picture!

      • 6

        Since I live on my farmstead, I won’t be bugging out.  My get home bag, plus the extra stuff I keep in my truck, is simply to allow an old man to walk 30 miles home if necessary or to spend a few days in my truck if maybe stranded by an ice storm.  I recommend everyone have their primary vehicle so stocked.  In that case, your food needs to last a long time & be able to handle the extreme heat when stored for years inside an auto during summer days.  That was my reasoning for the Mainstay.  Not saying others aren’t as good or better but I know these hold up perfectly thru several hot Mississippi summers and the bars are amazingly tasty.

        I’ll try to get a pic on Thursday.

      • 7

        Oh yeah, that makes total sense. If I were you I’d do the same! Heck, if I used my car anywhere near as much as I used to, I’d probably keep something like a Mainstay bar in there even though it’s really the last thing I should eat in an emergency. My car used to be my de facto high-volume EDC, and of course I still have some supplies in there, but the focus has really shifted for me to having good preps at work and home. If I’m not at home when something happens, I’m much more likely to be near my office than my car. 

      • 9

        I saw that when I was looking at their website. Made in Oregon. I wonder where my datrex bars are made… kinda nervous to find out. haha

      • 5

        Thanks for the Better Bars recommendation!  I’m Gluten Free and had not yet discovered them.  I’ll be checking them out.

      • 5

        Oh I’m glad you’re going to try them! I know filling one’s BOB with a bunch of energy bars is… unconventional, but this is so much easier than using conventional bars that have a few months’ shelf life, and with gluten and soy out for me, my options are really limited. Fortunately, the Better Bars taste great! 

    • 7

      This is my get home bag that stays in my truck. 99.999% of my time away from the farmstead is at work, which is about 30 miles away. This kit and other gear I keep in my center console is if I maybe were stranded for a day or two after an ice storm, or worst case scenario where I need to walk home. I always wear comfortable hiking boots and jeans. Extra water & jacket is also stored in the truck. Water is very heavy, so if I had to walk, then I would use the Sawyer Mini or Lifestraw to replenish my supply from the numerous ponds & lakes on my way home.


      ghb display

      Here is the stuff I keep in my center console.  The knives actually stand up between my seat & the console.

      ghb console

      • 8

        Thanks for the pics! What kind of bag is that? It looks like it is well designed and not too large. Also curious what kind of stove that is— is “solo stove” the brand I see on there? It seems like you have a really good system. I also have both a LifeStraw and a filter— the former in the get home bag I keep at work, the latter in the BOB.

      • 4

        It is the UTG Tactical Messenger Bag and I’m very pleased with it.  It has lots of pouches & storage areas… including one on the side where that folding saw goes.  Yes, that is the Solo Stove Pot.  I set the pot off to the side of the wood burning stove.  The top of the stove, when turned upside down, fits into the stove body.  Then the stove fits inside the pot.  I find it to be real handy & takes up very little space.  There is enough room inside the stove to allow me to put those two 4 packs of tea bags.

        Inside my fire starter, there is a compartment where I store cotton balls impregnated with petroleum jelly.  Just to be safe, I carry additional petroleum jelly & cotton balls.

      • 4

        Great bag Redneck! Do you use anything in your GHB in any given month? I seem to tap into mine every so often for a bandaid, granola bar, or some Tylenol.

        That’s one of the things I like about my bag, is that it has things I need every so often. I just need to make sure I replenish things when I get home.

      • 5

        Nope, never needed anything from it.  I’m not on the road long enough to need anything.  However, that doesn’t keep me from being prepared for the unexpected.  Actually, I think about the only time I’d ever need to hit the kit would be if I came up on an accident and needed the Israeli Bandage or the tourniquet.  But the way the world is now, guess I need to include a shooting scenario too.

        I highly suggest preppers keep several Israeli bandages & CAT tourniquets handy… and not buried somewhere in your bag.  I keep one of each in my center console.  I’m certainly not a trained medic but if you find yourself in a situation, being maybe an accident or a shooting, and you need to keep someone from bleeding out, then just those two items could save someone’s life.  They both are designed where if you are alone & injured, you can apply them to yourself.

      • 4

        Thank you for the great video links. I took a trauma class a year or two ago and learned quite a lot in it about the worst case scenario. I always carry a CAT tourniquet with me now. I need to get some Israeli bandages though. Do you have a source you like to buy yours from?

      • 6

        Since I have Prime, I get mine from Amazon.  They are $7 each  for the 6 inch version but if you get a 10 pack, they are $6 each. 

      • 5

        Thanks for the link. I’ve added them to my cart 🙂

      • 7

        @Redneck— When I get my BOB all set (including a CAT tourniquet that I purchased as part of my January prep buy; I already have an Israeli bandage in there), probably my next highest-priority is more tourniquets and Israeli bandages— for work, both cars, etc. When I originally trained in non-professional emergency medicine (WFR in ’03) the expert opinion seemed to be that you shouldn’t use a tourniquet unless you were professionally trained (i.e., EMT or MD)— or unless it was so clear that the patient was going to die within minutes that there was nothing to lose by trying. By the time I CERTed (’18), the orthodoxy had completely changed, and the fire department and CERT leaders were encouraging us all to get familiar with their use and buy our own. I think I remember our instructor saying that was because we got a lot of data on outcomes from field tourniquet use from Afghanistan and Iraq. (Certainly squares with my timeline, since I took that WFR course right after the invasion of Iraq.)

        @Gideon, what trauma class did you take?

      • 9

        The way I see it, so long as the wound is not arterial (pumping out in squirts) then I would first try the Israeli bandage to see if that would stop most of the bleeding.  You can actually crank them down to increase the pressure on the wound, and that by itself may work.  But if that didn’t, then I would put on the tourniquet.

        Will not be easy making a decision.  As an untrained helper, last thing I want to do is cause more harm, which could put me in legal jeopardy.  But if someone is obviously bleeding out, then I’m gonna try to help.

      • 7

        pnwsarah – I am apart of a ham radio preparedness group and one of the other members had mentioned taking this course before and how he really enjoyed it. So a bunch of us signed up and went and took it. 

        The instructor’s website is: https://www.responseready.us/ 

      • 6

        Thanks, Gideon!

    • 7

      Pnwsarah – Check out this forum post that I just created about going through my old BOB. In the post I went through my BOB that I had made years ago and was seriously too heavy and large to manage. Out of that old BOB I found many many things that I needed to improve and change.

      So the below picture is a smaller more manageable BOB that I made in 10 minutes using a portion of items from my old BOB. I really am not happy with this, and need to seriously think about making a new one from scratch. Many categories are not covered in this newer small BOB, and it is going to be a work in progress.


      Contents going from top left to right:

      First aid bag, toiletries bag, Datrex lifeboat ration, roll of clothes, paracord, solar panel, sawyer water filter, bug head net, SOL bivy sack, mylar blanket, drop cloth, bag for water canteen, rain gear, large fresnel lens, sunglasses, local map and compass, bic lighter, firesteel, canteen cup, canteen stove bottom, metal canteen, gloves

      Thank you for encouraging me to go through my old BOB. I thought I was set with that and was good, but that is far from what it actually is. You may just have saved my life. If I did have to bug out and relied on that old heavy mismanaged bag, I might not have done so well out there.

      Check your bags everyone. You may think you did good a few years ago when you made yours (like I did) but as our prepping knowledge increases, we can look back on our preps and see how unprepared we truly were.

      • 8

        Ahh, Gideon, this seems like the story of my preparedness.  Set it for a few years, then revisit and start over.  Good for you in learning from your past self. So glad I found The Prepared this year as we learn from each other here.  Forward is the only direction available to us!  

      • 7

        Thanks Alicia! Well said 🙂

      • 6

        I loved your new thread, Gideon, and I replied there. And yes, lots of learning from past selves going on with my preps, too… the collapsible silicone dog bowls I just removed from my bag (see post on your new thread) were things I bought in 2018 and thought myself really clever for acquiring. It was a 3-pack and I thought, “Great, one for my dog’s food, one for my dog’s water, and one for the food they’ll give me at the Red Cross shelter.” Now I’m like, “Dude, if there is a Red Cross shelter, they will have bowls.”