BOB Creep – The Easy Way to Gain Weight

It’s that time of year again when I move from my summer BOB to my winter BOB.  My winter bag is somewhat bigger than my summer bag and when I put my winter gear in I still have some extra space left.

For those of you who are interested I’m currently using a MOLLE (MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) type pack that I bought at my local Army/Navy store.  It’s very similar to this one and what I read in the reviews falls in line with my experience.mollepack_

Now, having a bug-out-bag with a little extra space in it is a dangerous thing.  Being a minimalist I like to keep a few basics in it, but I find that over time I’ll see some gadget or piece of equipment that would be really useful and I’ll think, “That’s not too heavy and it won’t take up too much space in my BOB.”  So I throw it in.

The next item to go in might be a poncho liner.  “What happens if I have to spend the night out and all I have is a poncho?  It sure would be nice if I had a poncho liner in there.”  In it goes.

Pretty soon I’m struggling to get the bag closed and it’s gained six pounds.  What started out as a lightweight, lean, mean, bug-out kit (actually a Get Home Bag in my case) has suddenly got some bloat.

Keep in mind that I carry this bag with me everywhere.  It’s never further away than my car in the parking lot and often times sits right next to me where I work.   During the work week I try to walk at least three miles with it every couple of days.

If you’re a gear head and don’t mind carrying around a heavy bag then I suppose this doesn’t pertain to you, but if you’re like me – a minimalist – then BOB creep is something you have to watch out for.

What’s the solution?  Ahhhh yeah.  Well, every few weeks I go through the bag and simply get rid of the stuff that I might have thrown in there that I really don’t need.  Sometimes pulling out gear is tough, but I’ve said this again and again:  the best thing you can have in your arsenal is knowledge and experience.  Gear is great, but you’ve got to test it.  If I go on three or four campouts and I find there’s a piece of equipment I don’t use I pull it out of the pack no matter how much that inner gear head whispers to me, “What are you doing, man?  You’re going to need that.  Put it back in there!  You’re screwed without that.”

You know what I mean.

Like I said, if you don’t mind humping a big pack all over the country side then this probably doesn’t apply to you.  But since I like to keep my pack lean and mean I have to watch out for BOB creep.

Do you have BOB creep?

-Jarhead Survivor