Bug out Bag for the London Riots: exitus acta probat

13 Aug 2011

Now this isn’t going to be inflammatory, I thought it worth posting my BoB that I put together.

I found myself getting off a flight back from the West coast of the US on Monday afternoon, straight into a rioting city: not the usual riot of choice of where to eat and drink, but actual rioters, a lamentably unopressed mass raising their head to loot and vandalise. Streets that I’d known for 29 years as safe places now had riot police on them, and places I knew not to go without a good reason (Clapham Junction, for all its gentrification and ‘Nappy Valley’ is a good example) were ablaze. Happily it wasn’t needed, but I certainly slept better knowing it was there.

With a clear destination in mind, a mode of transport (freshly fuelled car pointed in the right direction) and several routes, I packed my Goruck Echo as follows:

  1. Magazine: never underestimate the problem of boredom. If I got stuck on my way out and had to Rest In Place, I wanted something with no power consumption to keep me amused.
  2. Goruck Echo: the smaller version of the Perfect Bag (Goruck make several versions of my Perfect Bag, from the tiny Echo to the suitcase-on-a-back GR2). Also attached is a non-inflamatory patch (it doesn’t say, for example ‘if you see me running keep up’ with an EOD tech on it), and a bright orange load-bearing carabiner. I like my carabiner.*
  3. Two phones: fully charged, two different networks.
  4. Headphones/handsfree. See (1) but with a power drain.
  5. Fully-charged iPad: who would bug out without one? Also, goes with 11.
  6. Basic first aid: sterilising foam, and spray plaster. Also included are eye drops, in case of heavy smoke, and my favourite lip balm.
  7. 5-Hour energy drink, and ear plugs: two sides of the same coin.
  8. Spare electricity for the who phones: A Mophie Air juice pack, that contains about 80% of the iPhone’s charge, and a Nokia DC-11 that can charge any newer Nokia or Micro USB device (the Nexus S uses Micro USB).
  9. Cliff bars: in a pinch, about a day’s worth of food between those two.
  10. Medication: lactase pills (I’m lactose intolerant, so I take these everywhere), and paracetamol/codeine.
  11. Sony Nex-5 with an 18–200mm telephoto lens: there might be an opportunity to snap photos of whatever was making me leave in a hurry.
  12. Fenix PD-30 torch: incredibly bright (painfully so), small torch. Good for dazzling an oncoming mass, or lighting my way.
  13. 2L Camelbak: speaks for itself, but 2L of water in the hydration pouch of my Echo is about a day’s water.
  14. Leatherman MUT. Like Gibbs says, never go anywhere without a knife. Or in this case, knife, saw, pliers, screw driver, seat belt cutter…

*It should be noted that girls who use a Goruck are unusually cool, and demonstrate incredible taste. (The same is true for boys, but not to the same level as we are genetically pre-determined to like things with PALS made out of black 1000D cordura.)

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