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Old 04-26-2008, 23:42   #61
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It has seemed that the one consistent critique of this rating scale has been that it's not exactly helpful to use a linear score in rating (80 is not necessarily better than 70, just different, etc.). To that end, I added an area chart to the rating spreadsheet that shows the distribution of points in each category. This should more accurately reflect that different people have different priorities to address. After you enter your scores on the main sheet, just go to the bottom and click on the "Assessment Chart" and you can see the graphical representation. Here is the new spreadsheet and a sample chart reflecting how my own GHB scored.

Semi-Official BOB/GHB Rating System Calculator Version 2.2

Survival/Preparedness Forum
Peace is our profession, war is just a hobby...

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Last edited by Geko45; 04-30-2008 at 12:17..
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:36   #62
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Well, I'm gonna cheat and start with everybody else's pics and hopefully gain ground. Last year I swapped the Alice pack off and got a Kelty, but never organized it past throwing in stuff to carry it around a little bit.

I need to decide how to focus for a default load. As a GHB it's too much pack, and for extended use it's short some maybe-critical stuff, and i have to parse whether useful items fit MY needs well enough to be worth hauling.

I'm good on shelter, firearms, meds, rain gear, food, knives, saw & hatchet, .. plain ol' camping gear I'm set.

I'm weak on electronics of every sort, 'gadgets' in general from GPS to Shake-em-Up flashlights. Don't care for em and work around needing them mostly, one less thing to break.. but I oughta get a decent radio.

maps. i have no clue what a proper set of maps is *supposed* to include, and i need to build a 'user specific map set'.. that covers at least a couple hundred mile radius in reasonable detail, and addresses camp sites, water transportation, railroads spurs, all the what-if possibilities I can imagine.

If ya'll havn't tried em, you might test the Bear Valley Pemmican Bars, they're my default food item for fast energy without cooking.

I really ought to take a huge pile of junk out in the woods and set up and tear down a working camp about twice. I have a nice roomy tent, but don't generally USE the darn thing if I can get out of it. A piece of flat tarp is faster setup, faster to dry off, works better for LIGHT rain or mist.. but ain't a tent.

It's not anything about packing I have to puzzle out, just deciding how much I want to carry how far.... the tradeoff on comfort.

Humping a load is opposite to my intentions. I try hard to remember that Stuff is just Stuff, and can be replaced. If it's not terribly expensive that's easier.

Once gear is tested, I'm more focused on backup gear than upgrading items to 'best possible'.

I prefer redundancy over excellence usually, especially if I have to give away something. Ya'll are helping considerably with the pictures.. makes the chore of sorting look easier.
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Last edited by mitchshrader; 04-27-2008 at 02:42..
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:50   #63
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Dam geko, I created a monster in you, lol

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Old 04-28-2008, 08:23   #64
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Originally Posted by WilyCoyote View Post
Dam geko, I created a monster in you, lol
I was already a monster...

Peace is our profession, war is just a hobby...

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Old 04-30-2008, 11:41   #65
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This post has certainly been interesting reading, and my score is..... in the 30s. However, mine has been tested in the real world and has come out with flying colors!

But, I come from a very different background I guess. I don't know where you guys live/work, but holy crap in what situation would you ever need a large 2 person tent, or a 40 watt radio thing???

I have spent my fair share of time in the woods, I was Infantry for several years at the beginning of my career. I love the outdoors, and backpacking (I have through hiked the Colorado trail). I hunt, climb rocks, and kayak. However, in my life the ability to start a fire is not as important as the ability to blend in around "normal" people. That is tough to accomplish in most cities while wearing a ruck with MREs, radios, water filters and topo maps! IMHO, an urban environment has a much greater chance of turning non-permissive than Yellowstone national park. Besides, when I go to the middle of BFE I plan for those contingencies at that time, but at least for me, that isn't an everyday occurrence.

The list that follows is what I see (and carry) as the perfect BOB. (I'll go in order of the semi-official rating system)

1. Shelter- Generally none. At times a light jacket (used as much to alter appearance/conceal a weapon as shelter). If you are dressed appropriately you should be able to last 3-5 days without additional shelter. (remember, I operate primarily in urban terrain)

2. Hydro- 2 ea commercially available (read vending machine) 20oz water bottles. They are light and refillable, and don't scream "hey over here".

3. Food- A small bag or two of beef jerky, a handful of hard candy and 2-3 high calorie protein bars.

4. Fire- A couple cheap butane lighters and a pack of smokes (note: I don't smoke, ever. I hate smoking, but it can be used as a way to break the ice with strangers. In reality, temporary relationships that you can exploit are your best security and shelter in most cases.)

5. Portability- Here is a big one. Like I said, NO RUCKs in the city, sorry but a low profile is just as important as a weeks worth of food. I have used laptop bags, briefcases, book bags, little retro canvas man purses, and anything that DOES NOT have molle webbing, Velcro patches, 1000d nylon, carabineers, (insert name of your favorite tactical nylon company here) labels, or a military pattern/color.

6. Navigation- I will usually have a Garmin eTrex GPS, there is nothing more accurate than a grid in case I need to remember where something is/was/happened. A locally procured street map of the city I am in as well as one for the state/region. Subway/bus/ rail schedules. Phone numbers for the local cab companies, and airlines.

7. Durability- There is NO substitute! Buy it right the first time and it will last for as long as you need it, or until you ditch the whole bag (I hate it when that happens!!)

8. Defense- This is probably the biggest variable. It depends entirely on my location and how I plan to travel. The only thing I can truly never leave home without is a set of FAB knives from Cold Steel. Made of a polymer they are not detectable by metal detector, and you can sew them into the liners of jackets, etc. When I am local, driving, flying a charter, or have local support it's another story. I like to have a pistol with appropriate concealable holster (I like the G23, but I'm not picky), and no less than 3 mags. If I am able to transport firearms I will usually bring a suppressed 22 as well. I also like to have a leatherman WAVE, and a good folder, but again this all depends on the airplane situation (I try to avoid checking baggage for short trips).

9. First-Aid- Not much. A couple of packets of pain killers is about all that happens. I always carry plenty in my actual operational kit, but not in the BOB.

10. Comms- According to your scale I'd be a 1! But in reality I'm usually covered. A prepaid cell phone and charger (not in my name, and pre-loaded with certain numbers they vary depending on where I am/what I'm doing.), a couple of prepaid calling cards, and a prepaid VISA (for internet time at Kinko's or any other anonymous internet Cafe type place).

11. Other things that didn't make your list-

CASH - Local currency (the equivalent to a couple hundred in small bills, and a couple benjamins)

Personal Hygiene- Travel tooth brush/paste, deodorant, and a razor. Maybe a small packet of baby wipes. If you want to fit in with “normal people” you can’t smell like you are on the run!

Passport - You just never know!

An old laptop, or PDA (again preferably NOT one you bought new that has your info attached to it), it doesn't have to be the latest and greatest, but in our world info is power! The ability to find, store, evaluate, and transmit that info is imperative. I quite honestly have found that my old Toshiba that I bought for $200 works great. It takes a beating well, isn't too heavy (it was the small one they made a couple years ago), I can wipe the hard drive on a regular basis, and I paid cash!

Thumb Drives- a couple cheap ones (one loaded with scans of all of my important documentation, [deeds, license, passport, marriage license, birth cert, etc], and one or two that can be loaded with info and passed off. The whole info is power thing again......

A digital camera- again, not your nice family picture/vacation one. This is the one that takes passable pictures, but you don't care if you loose it. Make sure you can hook it up to your computer/thumb drive to get the pics off of it. Info is power.....
Binoculars, or a monocular- They need to be small and at least 5 power to be worthwhile. If the situation has deteriorated this far, I will probably want to watch my destination for a bit before I just walk up and say HI. Besides, I have used them a whole lot more than I have wanted an MRE…..

Anyway that is my two cents. I’m not trying to step on anyone’s toes, just thought I’d share a different point of view. Take it or leave it, but remember it’s not always the end of the world when we need to be able to survive for a few days. “Overland Goals” are also not limited to the middle of God’s nowhere. The most dangerous environment I have ever been in has been FULL of people. It takes a very diverse skill set to be able to survive in them both.

Good Luck.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:44   #66
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Crap I forgot! I always have an LED headlamp, and a surefire type handheld light too!

Sorry My last post got sooooo looooong!
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Old 05-03-2008, 20:05   #67
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The rating scale, as mentioned numerous times throughout the thread (if you read it all) is not a grade. Low doesn't necessrily mean bad and high doesn't really mean good. The scale just an attempt to see whether people are apple or orange types. Numbers perhaps were not the best way to assign a rating, maybe a shape would be the best. The umbrella scale Gecko put up better portrays the spirit behind the rating system than a linear 0-100 score.

If you score a 30, that doesn't mean you got an F, it means you are a 30. There are so many variables from person to person when it comes to equipment, lifestyle, locale, strategy, skill set, and background that it's basically impossible to say what GHB/BOB is the best or whether one is better than another. All the scale tries to accomplish is to show how many others out there are like you and vice versa.

As a secondary benefit, the thread encourages people to talk about what they have put in their kits and why, in addition to what strategies they might employ. This gives others ideas which they can use to add or take away from their kit for their own benefit. This is exactly what you did after your 3rd paragraph. I took notice of several of your ideas, which I my adapt and employ.

So no, you didn't step on any toes, a lot of people get hung up on the score with a big WTF
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:40   #68
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Semi-Official BOB/GHB Rating System

Category Score Weight Points
Shelter 8 21% 16.8
Hydro 10 16% 16.0
Food 9 12% 10.8
Fire 6 11% 6.6
Portable 4 10% 4.0
Navigation 8 10% 8.0
Durable 9 5% 4.5
Defense 10 5% 5.0
First Aid 9 5% 4.5
Comms 9 5% 4.5
Total 100% 80.7

Congratulations! Your score is: 80.7

didnt figure any redundancy into that. and IMHO rateings dont help you hump that load outta dodge when its falling down around you


Last edited by Protus; 05-04-2008 at 05:44..
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Old 05-04-2008, 14:01   #69
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Geko45, very nice graph.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:36   #70
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Thanks for providing that perspective. (VERY GOOD)
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Old 06-30-2008, 17:31   #71
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This is a great thread guys!! I really appreciate all the pics and ideas!!!
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Old 07-20-2008, 16:31   #72
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Got some work to do, but thanks for the test and the spreadsheet!
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Old 09-21-2008, 19:06   #73
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i scored 63 but i am still working on it
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Old 09-21-2008, 19:22   #74
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I know, his is an old thread that got revived, but....

Originally Posted by WilyCoyote View Post

Remember, fight the temptation to count weapons or equipment you have on you, carry in your hands or vehicle.
Why would I not count as having a handgun? I always have a Glock either on my person or sitting in the night stand right next to my BOB. Why would I not count that because I do not have a duplicate Glock to actually put IN the BOB?
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Old 10-02-2008, 13:59   #75
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Well, I used the list that I am starting to build my GHB and my BOB and rated them to see how they stand. GHB 71.1 BOB 77.6 I am thinking that like usual I may be packing to much crap! Of course I don't have them complete in front of me. This is just my research and what I "think" I am going to put in there. So, time will tell. Thanks for all the work guys, you are making this easier on me.
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Old 10-11-2008, 00:47   #76
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Cuz its not something you have in your bag. The rating scale supporst the bag as a stand alone entity, a grab and go item. If you start counting what you carry on you then why stop at firearms...then u have to include what you always carry in your pockets and such and that starts getting away from the spirit of the scale, which if you've seen the post in its entirety, boils down to giving each other ideas and seeing how many others follow your GHB/BOB philosophy.
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Old 11-13-2008, 15:23   #77
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69.5 I can survive.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:53   #78
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Geko, that spreadsheet rocks. I just picked up my GHB Bag yesterday and have started my build. That helps so much.
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Old 12-07-2008, 13:44   #79
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Portability: 2
Hydro: 8
Feed: 8.4
Shelter: 16.8
Fire: 6.6
Combat: 5
Durability: 2.5
First Aid: 2.5
Comm: 1
Nav: 3

Total for BOB: 55.8
Comm and Nav killed me but if its a true SHTF situation why whould I want to be signaling for help? And for Nav I know the woods around here like the back of my hand.


Portability: 6
Hydro: 3.2
Feed: 3.6
Shelter: 10.5
Fire: 4.4
Combat: 4
Durability: 2.5
First Aid: 2
Comm: 1
Nav: 2

Total for GHB: 39.2

Once again Comm and Nav hurt.
At Thermopylae 1,000,000 Persians lost 20,000 yet failed to disarm just 300 Spartans. 80,000,000 lawful Americans would resist even harder. That we promise.

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Old 12-08-2008, 09:10   #80
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Woop! 51.5!

'Bout what I figured I would get.
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