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Thread: Bug Out Vest

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    Bug Out Vest

    The other thread about how many mags one shoul carry if SHTF got me thinking about carrying fewer mags on my FLC vest and what else I could carry instead for a SHTF(sorry to keep using this term, I'm getting sick of it too) on a vest. This resulted in me think about building something along the lines of what one might call a bug out vest(best name I could come up with). My idea is something that carries most of you survival necesities, but would always be with you, versus a pack that can't be worn while driving or may have to be jettisoned for whatever reason. That way you have enough stuff to keep you going for at least a day or two. So far all I can come up with would be a setup with the following.
    1. The vest itself
    2. A way to carry 3-4 m16 mags
    3. A good flashlight
    4. A knife and or multitool
    5. At least 2 quarts of water(proabably more?)
    6. A couple MREs
    7. A FAK
    8. Other little odds&ends one might need, like a lighter, spare batteries, etc.

    Does this sound like a good idea? I was thinking about picking up a few more of those vests so that I could have one for different situations and rifles, but I'm tyring to decide if this is a good idea so I can line up other gear I'll need for this.

    I hope this post made sense, I'm probably to tired to be posting complete thougths.

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    The more I read these threads the more I think the people that hate firearms have a reason to hate guns.

    Seriously, has anyone used more than a mag in self defense since the civil war?

    If you are going to plan anything please make it water/food, and essential things. Im not saying drop your guns but you can spend your ideas and money on other things that will help more than having "500 mags full next to my bed".

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    Quote Originally Posted by perna View Post
    The more I read these threads the more I think the people that hate firearms have a reason to hate guns.

    Seriously, has anyone used more than a mag in self defense since the civil war?

    If you are going to plan anything please make it water/food, and essential things. Im not saying drop your guns but you can spend your ideas and money on other things that will help more than having "500 mags full next to my bed".
    105 shots in 2 minutes.

    http://www.afn.org/~guns/ayoob.html

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    1. The vest itself
    Okay, no problem here. I suppose this could easily be a coat/jacket, depending on the climate.
    2. A way to carry 3-4 m16 mags
    3 or 4 loaded rifle mags, all the time, anytime you're wearing the vest/coat? I'd probably prefer 2 pistol mags and leave the rifle mags in the car or BOB.
    3. A good flashlight
    I can agree with this, plus a spare set or two of CR123 cells
    4. A knife and or multitool
    Again, no question here.
    5. At least 2 quarts of water(proabably more?)
    That is at least 4 pounds of water... which is also rather bulky when bottled. Honestly, I might keep a single .5 liter bottle in my jacket pocket, but I can't imagine going around all the time with a half gallon of water strapped to my person.
    6. A coupl MREs
    Wow. MREs are REALLY bulky - you expect these to fit in a vest? I would think that a few powerbar/granola bar/cereal bars would be a more likely option. If you really want to maximize calories/volume you can get some of the mainstay rations.
    7. A FAK
    Nothing wrong here; I always carry a minimal FAK.
    8. Other little odds&ends one might need, like a lighter, spare batteries, etc.
    Sure, I don't see anything wrong with this either - spare change, lighter, sharpie marker, etc. are all things that people keep in their pockets that would prove very useful in certain situations.


    Looking at your list, I figure you expect to carry upwards of 15 pounds of extra gear about your body every day... because after all, isn't the point of EDC gear or a get home/bug out bag to have the stuff with you when you need it? Or am I totally missing the point here? The general concept is fine, but I think you might be better served to think along the lines of an ultralight hiker vs. an infantryman.

    Of course, if you are simply keeping the vest stashed somewhere and this is just for easy carry, then I see no reason why you can't load up all you want - presuming you are willing and able to carry it.
    Last edited by Chooie; 08-17-09 at 04:49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chooie View Post
    1. The vest itself
    Okay, no problem here. I suppose this could easily be a coat/jacket, depending on the climate.
    2. A way to carry 3-4 m16 mags
    3 or 4 loaded rifle mags, all the time, anytime you're wearing the vest/coat? I'd probably prefer 2 pistol mags and leave the rifle mags in the car or BOB.
    3. A good flashlight
    I can agree with this, plus a spare set or two of CR123 cells
    4. A knife and or multitool
    Again, no question here.
    5. At least 2 quarts of water(proabably more?)
    That is at least 4 pounds of water... which is also rather bulky when bottled. Honestly, I might keep a single .5 liter bottle in my jacket pocket, but I can't imagine going around all the time with a half gallon of water strapped to my person.
    6. A coupl MREs
    Wow. MREs are REALLY bulky - you expect these to fit in a vest? I would think that a few powerbar/granola bar/cereal bars would be a more likely option. If you really want to maximize calories/volume you can get some of the mainstay rations.
    7. A FAK
    Nothing wrong here; I always carry a minimal FAK.
    8. Other little odds&ends one might need, like a lighter, spare batteries, etc.
    Sure, I don't see anything wrong with this either - spare change, lighter, sharpie marker, etc. are all things that people keep in their pockets that would prove very useful in certain situations.


    Looking at your list, I figure you expect to carry upwards of 15 pounds of extra gear about your body every day... because after all, isn't the point of EDC gear or a get home/bug out bag to have the stuff with you when you need it? Or am I totally missing the point here? The general concept is fine, but I think you might be better served to think along the lines of an ultralight hiker vs. an infantryman.

    Of course, if you are simply keeping the vest stashed somewhere and this is just for easy carry, then I see no reason why you can't load up all you want - presuming you are willing and able to carry it.
    I don't think I explained this one fully. My idea wasn't to wear it every day, but instead keep it with a BOB as a supplement that could be kept on your person in the event that you need to leave. I was already having some troubles justifying the concept myself and I figured I would throw the idea out there to see what others thought.

    I probably am to optimistic about my plans for carrying that much food and water. I'll consider cutting back on the food, but considering my location I'm having troubles cutting back on water very much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoDak View Post
    I don't think I explained this one fully. My idea wasn't to wear it every day, but instead keep it with a BOB as a supplement that could be kept on your person in the event that you need to leave. I was already having some troubles justifying the concept myself and I figured I would throw the idea out there to see what others thought.

    I probably am to optimistic about my plans for carrying that much food and water. I'll consider cutting back on the food, but considering my location I'm having troubles cutting back on water very much.
    Aah, gotya - it is supplemental to your existing BOB. If that is the case, then I think you are on track. How do you plan on carrying the water? I suspect that standard 20 oz or 16.9 oz bottles would fit fine in a double mag pouch, but you might want to look into a camelbak or other hydration system. You would be able to carry a larger volume of drinking water with less bulk.

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    OP-I have a Maxpedition Versipack set up in a similar manner...

    + full size handgun/mags
    - MRE and water

    A bigger version(i have the Fatboy) may allow an MRE or two and some water?


    Quote Originally Posted by perna View Post
    spend your ideas and money on other things that will help more than having "500 mags full next to my bed".


    I thought the OP wrote "3-4 mags" for a possible disaster scenario?


    The more I read these threads the more I think the people that hate firearms have a reason to hate guns.

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    http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=29482

    "The new kit will consist of what I personally feel, for my individual needs, the absolute bare minimum for trying to stay 6' atop soil. This is a test. This is only a test. That being stated, I'm curious to see if I can squeeze shelter/cooking/firemaking/water-procurement into an extremely small, lightweight package, instead of turtle-backing. It will definitely allow for extended ranges, faster speeds, and infinitely more mobility.

    The system I'm rigging together may prove interesting, and theoretically, I think it's jam-up, but, I'm going to have to field test it to verify. Should be fun.

    For this outing, I'm nixing everything but the utmost minimal of what I see as essentials. "


    Kit, Interdiction, Black Bear, MARK 2, MOD 1


    It's an older picture, and every piece of mobile "survival stuff" I've got is either stuffed into my CFP-90, or scattered about the house.

    I recently moved, and my gear is so disheveled it's disgraceful.

    I'll try and sling up some pics of the kit I'm working with now in the near future. The vest is a ratass old Blackhawk Omega.

    The kit is nothing more than stuff NOT being used for its designed/intended purpose. The buttpack is attached to the webbing on the back of the vest, only to raise the center of gravity. Since the vest bears the load, it's a lot more comfortable than a standard backpack-based system.

    It comes down to mobility or utility. I personally feel that overpacking will be more of a hindrance than a help. It really depends on your personal "worst-case scenario".

    The vest-based system allows more mobility than a backpack-based setup. The backpack-based setup allows you to carry a lot more equipment. It depends on what the intended purpose of getting out of Dodge is. If I had an EOD vest laying around, or a MOLLE vest, it would be a better system; however my current MOLLE vest is used for shooting. Truth be told, if things go to hell in a handbasket, I'll have to seriously debate whether I would even think about bringing a long gun. Less is sometimes more, and the avoidance of confrontation is the best course of action. Mobility affords one the opportunity to decrease the odds of getting caught with your ass out, if you're following me.

    If you were forced to bug out on foot, and your goal was to set up some sort of base-camp, and you were with a small group, then I would most likely advocate a backpack/larger system.

    If you're in it alone, and things are nastier than they've been since 800 A.D., I'm going to go with the vest system.

    My reasons are simple:

    If you're bugging out on foot, things are probably bad; REAL bad. By lugging 100lbs of kit, you're only going to:

    1) Expend more calories
    2) Lose more fluids
    3) Eventually run out of supplies

    I will in no way, shape, fashion, or form, profess to be an expert. This is all experimental/learning stuff for my own steps upward on Maslow's rungs. That being said, we've got to be pragmatic about the situation. If things are bad enough out there, that you're forced to scrape a living off of rocks, a Jetboil, 10 mags, and 24lbs of MREs are only postponing the inevitable:

    We either eat dirt literally or figuratively. In that, at some point we have to make do with wild-edibles, primitive fire-making, scavenging/foraging, hunting, etc. or we're quite totally hosed. Rather than kit our way into surviving, we're better served by getting out there, and making the best of a bad situation, when we've got cozy beds to go home to, and a pantry/fridge full of treats.

    I'm not attempting to come across as a hard ass, because I am most certainly not a hard ass, but facts is facts.

    In an "OMFG, THE Apocalypse is at Hand" situation, tools are about the only thing worth a damn at that point, since all else is merely a short postponement of one's dirtnap.

    Now, on the other hand, if your BOB is functioning as a Get-Home-Bag, or a get to your bugout retreat on foot bag, then we're entering totally different turf altogether.

    Since that topic will most likely be the more common situation, and one that I'm also incorporating into my contingency planning, its already being discussed in the broader areas of this sub-forum. The vest-option, is something I consider to be the lightest-weight, highest-mobility, most challenging path to take. Especially, if you're working with gear that isn't optimally configured for this sort of loadout.

    The biggest benefit, thus far, to me is a comfortable, even displacement of load, making longer distances easier to tackle, with less caloric burn.

    If I eventually go with this configuration as my go-to bug-out option, I would probably want to go with a MOLLE vest, so that large portions of the front aren't wasted as mine is now. That being said, it's mildly hypocritical to say that, since the more pockets there are, the more likely I am to fill them with stuff.

    A vicious cycle...

    Last edited by Outlander Systems; 08-17-09 at 21:25.
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    I'm still trying to figure out the best type/method of fishing gear to take. Fishing, to me, is a viable way to acquire some grub. Snares, small and easy to transport. Rods are another animal. Maybe just some line, hooks, and lure.

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    I'm considering a 550-cord net, and a stick to mount it on.

    Net + Patience = Dinner

    In all seriousness, I've tried to figure out how to put together a compact rod for fishing, short of Stick + Line = Lunch

    A frog-gigging trident takes up almost no space, and, again, requires our good friend Mr. Stick to mount it to. It might even be possible to spear fish with it. That's well beyond my ken, but it would be interesting. Frogs are way easier to stab than a fish.
    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    Our president is a Tier 1 JOKE!

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    SoDak, I like where you are going with the vest idea and have done the same with a TT MAV.
    I'm not sure what type of SHTF scenario you are trying to prepare for or where you live. But the Idea of having something that can be worn comfortably and carry whatever you may need to keep going/fighting is a good one.
    I live in eathquake and fire country, if there was a massive earthquake, things could turn ugly really fast(NOLA/katrina) and I'd want to have as many mags as I could effectivel carry and still be mobile. For me this is 8-12 +2 on the gun.
    -instead of carrying so much water think about a purifying system, I like aquamira as it is light and very effective.
    -in place of MRE's think like an ultralight backpacker, freeze dried, dehydrated foods are lightweight and easy to cook. And stoves and pots are getting lighter and lighter. IF you're talking about long term survival think about a .22 and a slew of rounds
    -If you're trying to get rescued a signal mirror, flares, and fire starting goods
    -IFAK is a must, go with as much first aid gear as you can, that you know how to use

    think about the area you live/work in, do you commute? Does it snow? Tornado country? Hurricanes? Earthquakes? Fires? Mudslides? Flashfloods? Or are you preparing for the 2legged SHTF? OR both?
    Consider these things and some I'm sure I missed, and plan accordingly. Think about what you really need, and what will keep you alive. If you live in NOLA, I'd ditch everything but the water, and load up on mags.
    Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way. We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions-Aristotle

    The wise man sees in the misfortune of others what he should avoid-Marcus Aurelius

    For these things give thanks at nightfall:
    The day gone, a guttered torch,
    A sword tested, the troth of a maid,
    Ice crossed, ale drunk- Havamal

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    I bought a 5.11 Tactical vest ( http://www.lapolicegear.com/5tave.html )just in case I'm seperated from my B.O.B.
    It stays in the car with my other gear. I think it will fullfill your needs. Alltoids tin fishing kit, Survival straw, emergency blanket, compass,fire kit,multi tool, you get the idea. 2 pockets on the back for water bottles. I got the khaki , not looking so tactical may avoid some troubles.
    Last edited by Rooster15; 08-18-09 at 09:01. Reason: none

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    Thanks for the imput guys. You've given me some ideas and better dircetion on this matter.

    BTW if any of you guys are looking for a cheap molle vest, ghilliesuits.com is listing surplus FLC vests for $7.25 that are supposed to be new(I called and asked). I ended up getting 4 and they should be here on friday, so if you guys can hang on until then, I can give a report on these. I'm guessing they are just like the ones I got from sportsmansguide, but considering they were that cheap, I want to give them a good going over.

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    i like this idea, if it were low profile enough you could wear a large Carhart (sp?) jacket over it keeping out of the plain sight.

    maybe if it were integrated with one of the larger blackhawk or camelback carriers, with the larger utility pouches you could fit quite a few meal replacement bars, and carry 100oz of water at the same time. then still have the molle across the front and shoulder straps.

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    My FLC vests form ghilliesuits.com came today. No surprises thankfully. They are NIW FLCs in desert camo from SDS that were made on 7/05. They are just like the ones from sportsmansguide which I guess is good, especially since these cost less. I don't think these are the greatest vests, but I don't think they can be beat for $7.25. So if anyone has been looking for a cheap molle vest to try out for whatever reason, I think one of these would be a decent place to start.

    Here's a good thread from arfcom about these. It's got me thinking about dying a few of them green.
    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=10&t=270564

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    I think it is an outstanding idea. Didn't the idea of the tactical vest spawn from the old Army/Navy survival vest? So evidently there has got to be some merit to it. Right?

    But...

    The tactical vest is pretty cool, but IMO limits your capability. I recommend keep everything modular and PALS/MOLLE compatible. I have a few chest rigs and plate carriers and a good duty belt that works with a Molle battle belt. Backpacks, rucksacks, purses... Sorry, shoulder bags, should be Molle compatible. This will allow you to set your gear up the way you want.

    One thing I do disagree on is the idea of using a purse... Darn, sorry again, shoulder bag as a BOB. I have had a few and when loaded, bind on the neck, pull gear to one side and overall are extremely uncomfortable to use. I have carried significantly heavier loads with a pack with a fraction of the shoulder fatigue.

    That was my 2 cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerm View Post
    OP-I have a Maxpedition Versipack set up in a similar manner...

    + full size handgun/mags
    - MRE and water

    A bigger version(i have the Fatboy) may allow an MRE or two and some water?






    I thought the OP wrote "3-4 mags" for a possible disaster scenario?





    I second the Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack. Holds an amazing amount of stuff. In mine I have:
    Handgun
    2 Spare HG Mags
    2 AR Mags
    Some Food from the Costco Emergency Food Bucket
    1 Liter Nalgene Bottle
    Lighter
    Magnesium Fire Starter
    Vaseline trenched cotton balls
    Compass
    Swiss Army Knife
    Emergency Blanket
    Signal Mirror
    A few "wet ones"
    Light Stick
    Surefire 6PL
    Water Purification Tabs
    N95 Mask


    I'm still looking for a small med pouch that fits on the molle attachment point on the Jumbo...
    I have the "kit" but no intention bug-out if anything the kit will help me get home where I will Bug-In.
    Last edited by ColdDeadHands; 08-25-09 at 06:56.

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    I have some thoughts on the matter. If anyone cares I was a SERE instructor for almost 4 years for the military, and still teach in certain capacities to this day. I also own a company that sees a shit ton of gear of all descriptions and missions. I also have a job that requires me to remain low profile in a semi and non permissive environment.

    I think carrying a bunch of gear in any sort of military fashion is a poor choice. I would much rather look inconspicuous than invite questions from ANYONE, good or bad.

    One concept to think about is the ability to escalate or deescalate as the situation dictates. If you look like you're ready to get into a fight, guess what's probably going to happen?? Being prepared for a fight, but avoiding one, seems to me to be a better plan.

    I think the vest concept has significant merit, but as a layering system. I wouldn't limit it to just a vest as some jackets or pullovers might work as well or better. It should work in conjunction with, and compliment, the things you have on your person everyday. It should also allow you to layer over it, with a backpack, shoulder bag, or even a vehicle. That's right, your vehicle might assume the role of your "third line" especially if you have a family.

    I think with those parameters in mind I wouldn't worry much about water, but maybe water purification. If I were to carry water in a vest it would probably only be a liter or so.

    Being so heavy on mags on this particular layer might not be best.

    I wouldn't carry much food at all. I would "maybe" have one or two bars, specifically ones that do well in heat or cold.

    Everything else you listed looks decent, but I would maybe consider a prepaid phone and/or card, and maybe an inexpensive GPS or compass.

    All this talk about traps, snares, and fishing makes me question how realistic some of you are. have you guys actually tried to set snares and get food?? How about fishing with a survival kit?? That shit takes time and training. We're talking about being mobile and getting to somewhere we need to be, right?? **** some fishing and snares. Take a couple Clif bars and carry on. I'm not saying that shit doesn't have a place in survival, just not in the role the vest would fill.

    Having a mask on this layer probably isn't necessary either. In the bag or trunk, yes.

    I would also consider building multiple vests and having them all set up the same. Leave one in each car, one at work on the back of the chair, etc. Even if it seems redundant it gives you the ability to condense vests to one, or give one to your wife, friend, etc.

    I'll throw something together and shoot some pictures to see if it gives anyone any ideas.
    Josh
    (w)910.323.4739
    www.GreyGroupTraining.com

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    I agree with being low profile, here in Houston you couldn't layer clothing to hide the vest...way to hot. That's why I chose the Versipack, I have one for me and one for my wife.

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    Thanks for information zushwa. I'm interested to see your ideas on this subject.

    One quick question if you don't mind me asking. One of the reasons I was interested in carrying a few quarts of water is that the area where I live has a decent amount of above ground water sources. The potential problem is that it is mostly in the form of stock dams. I was under the impression that if it's water that livestock uses that it's going to be dificult to treat. What's the real story on this?

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