I'm going preface this thread by stating my purpose and philosophy regarding EDC, BOB, and preparedness and how these things influence or impact my life may not reflect your own. I want to encourage people to determine what will work them, what works for me might not be for you. I also didn't focus on firearms a whole lot and just kind of touch on it. Not everyone correlates weapons to survival. Later on I'll try to get into what's really in my trunk.
Also I live in Wisconsin and unless I'm traveling I am usually never more than 5 miles from home. If I'm traveling it can typically range from 30-120 miles so depending on where I'm going to be affects what I take. I'm working towards becoming more prepared and I feel confident in what I have, granted I could always use more weapons and ammunition. Who can't, right?
Anyways the biggest point of my thread is that I like to stay grounded and not get caught up having a bunch of gear to haul. From my time in the field and in the backwoods I think I've gotten down to the core of what's needed and what isn't. What the unnecessary crap is and what makes life a whole lot more comfortable. But keep in mind most of the time I'm not far from home and this is going to focus on what I try to have either on me or in my car at all times just in case. What this is not
is a bunch of stuff preparing me for the zombie, mutant, ninja, robot, alien invasion. I really feel that this is a pretty basic grouping of items for someone to begin forming their EDC or BOB without a bunch of fluff items. I'm sure people will have a ton of suggestions and I'm also certain that I've forgotten things. As a matter of fact go ahead and add a tarp and bungee cords if you like.
Without babbling a whole lot more I'll just go ahead and post up the pictures and then get to explaining my choices. Really quickly I just want to add that these items I chose due to price, quality and necessity. I also displayed a few repeats to show options. Here we go;
First thing I'm going to cover is communication aka cell phone, not every SHTF situation results in the complete end of the world. I have multiple batteries for my phone, as well as spare charger/car charger. Knowing you can use your phone and charge it is great. Having spare batteries and knowing you can go over a week without having to plug in is another win. Make up your own mind what works for you.
Let there be light! I showed a couple different options here; headlamp, hand-sized/operated, and pocket-sized. Nothing is better when you need both hands than a decent headlamp. Every bivouac I've ever dug in was in the dark, thank god for a headlamp (and red lens!) Can't go wrong though with anything from 4sevens, any light is better than nothin'. Displayed are Surefire 6P and Olight M20 Warrior. I also carry either the little Leatherman or even slightly smaller Streamlight in my pocket via pocket clip.
I also carry spare batteries. Surefire is to CR123 as a 502 cu in is to fuel, don't forget a spare bulb. I also have a couple spares for optics (CCOs) shown still in packaging.
Don't forget your cleaning kit either, ya never know when you might have time to break down your weapons and clean it up. Weapons tend to get dirty outside the safe in your mancave. Get it done, you want it go bang when it's supposed to.
I also showed a picture of gloves and sunglasses. Whatever works here guys, it's personal preference but it can make life a lot more comfortable. I get headaches from squinting when driving into the sun, Oakley has a an app for that. Gloves are also a big help with hot steering wheels, heated up weapons, scuffs, cuts, abrasions, blah, blah, blah. Your hands are delicate, and your livelihood depends upon them so take care of them.
I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time explaining multitools and knives. Pick whatever you want here. Gerber of Leatherman, Benchmade or Zero Tolerance, I don't care what you choose just buy something decent and keep it sharp.
If you're going to pack a sidearm have a holster. I hadn't planned to talk about these but I guess I did lean stuff up against a few of them in the picture. A holster for your pistol and a sling for your rifle are the real tacticool things to have. Just like with the light, sometimes you need both hands.
A source of fire is also important, I prefer to carry a couple things. Bic, firesteel/magnesium/ferro rod, and cotton balls smothered in petroleum jelly work well. Any idiot can get a fire going with these few things.
Protecting your feet is also really important. Whether you want hiking boots, hunting boots, military or law enforcement boots or whatever. Buy quality and consider the location and the weather. Waterproof or breathable, here again you decide what you need.
Hopefully I don't really have to discuss clothing but I guess I will even though I didn't show any in the photos. Dress for the weather, and do it in layers. Who cares what you look like when it's raining and you're dry, when it's freezing and you're warm, when it's blazing and you're cool.
Water and food are something to consider. Whether you want just water or water and storage there are lots of options. The top right carries only water and was issued to me but I think they're around $40 new. Camelbak makes both of the others, civilian and military oriented so as not to draw attention in the woods or the office. Food is not as much a necessity as it is a comfort. MREs last a long time and this is a military style MRE but civilian MREs are available also.
550 cord and duct tape has many uses, like you were told in preschool--be creative and the possibilities are endless.
Wet ones and kleenex are great for wiping your butt. Long stretches without showers lead to swamp@**, wipe it down with a wet one and feel instantly better. If it stings or burns be happy you're not getting an infection and save the whining and feeling sorry for yourself.
Last but not least! Ear plugs because you stop at the range instead of going home.
I'm sure there are lots of things that can be added and I'm going to continue to add to this thread as things come to mind (they already have). Feel free to make comments and hopefully this is a conservative start for beginners. I really want to avoid the gear hype and go with what can't be left out. Keep an eye out for updates with different load outs as well as bargain/inexpensive preps. I'll probably post up long range travel gear as well.
Keep in mind most of these items can be placed in a butt pack or pockets should one opt for just a water source instead of carrying capacity. The idea is to keep it light and not become a pack mule. Heavier load outs to follow.