Keeping your BOB / GHB Fresh

Keeping your BOB / GHB Fresh

Bags are one of the keys to our survival in any given crisis or disaster, it is vitally important that our BOB’ / GHBs are up to the job we require them to do. That means keeping it ready and effective.

We can and do leave our BOB’s untouched for months and some of the items within the BOB’s can be left for years. That in itself could be a problem if we do actually have to bug out in a hurry.

Basically there’s not much point in having a BOB if its contents don’t work when we need them to, so we must keep the contents checked so that we are not left with a bag of junk instead of an effective survival system.

I keep a check card on top of my BOB that lists expiry / use by and best by dates for the time sensitive items in the kit. When they get close to their best by / use by / eat by dates I change them for fresh supplies.


Batteries (radios, flashlights, electronic sights, GPS devices)

Medical dressings (lose sterility after certain time frame)

Medical lotions (lose effectiveness after time)

Eye Glasses and Contact Lenses (your eyes age making the kit lenses useless)

Water Purification tablets (lose effectiveness

Food Stuffs (dry out, lose nutritional value, spoil etc)

Butane and petrol lighters drying out

Water filter Elements

Hygiene kit (toothpaste / deodorant etc)

Clothing (have you grown out of it?)

Wet wipes (they do dry out)

Vitamin supplements (lose strength)

In some cases during long term storage items such as switches on radios and flashlights can stick, radio receivers can simply refuse to work, magazine springs fail, medicinal potions can settle out etc

It’s always worth checking on how mechanical and electrical as well as medical items function when you check your kit over.

Remember to keep your batteries separate from the devices they are meant to power, there is a Sods Law that demands the more expensive your kit is the more likely the batteries in it will leak catastrophically.

Make sure when you do bug out the kit is going to do what you want it to do, first time and reliably.


  • Comments (5)

    • 8

      Ref title word “Fresh”;

      With key exceptions, throughout my pouches / preloaded vests / jacket / hard hat / I add a couple of moth balls (camphor). This serves as an anti-bug preventive measure.  For example, in hard hat’s inside rigging, are a couple of small stuffed items eg mosquito net (actually a bee keepers head net). I don’t want to have to barge out of here and and file evection notices against any bugs/spiders homesteading in loadout stuff.

      Camphor is a chemical that can be self defeating.  Just place so it’s properties don’t interfere with planned mission. For example, in large back pocket of a vest with maps and empty large ziploc type bags, a couple of moth balls will keep out the bugs and not affect wearing the garment.

    • 11

      My practice is to  -check my bags with the change of seasons – at the equinoxes and solstices.  Especially paying attention to the charge status of my batteries.  I quit using leaky alkaline batteries years ago – they have no place in my preps.

      Usually there are refinements and adjustments worth making.

    • 6

      Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been trying to go through my preps more often and charging batteries, checking expiration dates on food, etc… 

      I think i’m going to start adding expiration dates of certain things and reminders on my phone’s calendar and look at things more frequently. 

    • 6

      I’m in my preps at least once a month when I augment them with my freshly bought items, which is a good way to informally keep tabs on what’s nearing expiration, and I put reminders in my calendar, as well. Finally, I go through all my preps on April 18 and October 17 every year. (Those of you who hail from the same part of the world as I do will likely know the significance of those dates, and those who know me from reading my past posts have a hint!)

    • 4

      I’m on a very limited income so I take some use by dates with a grain of salt. Prepackaged sterile dressings in a solid container are still going to be a better and more sterile option that using someone’s shirt (which is covered in goodness knows what). Some things of course are more important, but I think for many items, in a major emergency are better than the alternatives