Ultralight Hiking Backpack to Keep in your Jeep at All Times

Bug-Out-Bag for an Offroad Expedition

Get ready to walk to reach civilization when you can't (or don't want to) get help. It might happen to you because it has happened to me (several times). This is my Jeep B.O.B.

 

Every Jeeper traveling alone in the remote wilderness should be ready for a long walk. Here’s how to pack your 4x4 trail backpack the right way.


Jeep Solo Off-Roading

 

Prepare your first expedition with your Jeep in the extreme remote wilderness. Carrying a hiking backpack with water, food, camping gear, and a first aid kit provides an extra level of safety.

 

Bug-out-bag for an off-road expedition


Bug-Out-Bag Jeep Expedition

When I started wandering alone with my Jeep in Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and British Columbia, I had a satellite phone, a CB radio, and a quality airband radio transceiver. I felt safe because I could reach just about anyone I wanted/needed at all times and ask for help. It didn’t take me long to realize that sometimes I didn’t want to ask for help because it was TOO EXPENSIVE.

When you start a long-distance journey in the wilderness, forget about receiving help from your friends and family members. They have jobs, kids, errands to run, and other responsibilities or scheduled activities. Unless you are injured or dying, they won’t travel hundreds of kilometers to bring you a serpentine belt or get you out from a puddle of mud. And if they do, well, you are lucky to be supported by extraordinary people.

But the fact is that asking for help in the wilderness requires to pay for commercial services. And I’ll tell you this: it’s awfully expensive. It’s beyond your imagination. Are you willing to pay $5,000 for a bush pilot to land on the closest lake and bring you a $40 crankshaft position sensor? Or $3,000 upfront (+ $300 per hour) for a tow truck located 100km away to come help you get out from a ditch?

Yes, sometimes it’s possible to get help from very comprehensive conservation officers or First Nations, but people are scarce in remote areas. What about a rescue team? Maybe you don’t want to pay for the helicopter and the whole team (including the dog) just because you’re lost and now out of fuel.

Helicopter Delivery Yukon Parts Jeep

Personally, I once found myself stranded in grizzly territory, and I realized it would be better for my health to bug out by foot (walking on the safest trail). I came back the next day with a bunch of nice guys who helped me to get unstuck (safely), and everything was cool.

Of course, the best thing should be to NEVER HIT THE TRAIL ALONE. But I know you won’t listen because I’m used to encountering solo off-roaders on the trail. And most (99%) don’t have any plan for a long walk. That is why I decided to share the contents of what I call my Jeep Bug-Out-Bag. It weighs only 14 lbs (including the backpack itself). Most online articles about B.O.B. have been written by survivalists, not by 4x4 adventurers. My goal is to always be ready for a fast 100km/60mi walk and/or to spend three days and three nights in the wilderness. So, I can go somewhere, get what I need, and even come back to my Jeep by foot. What matters the most is (in decreasing order): 1) Water, 2) Foot Care 3) Calories 4) Build a fire 5) Restorative Sleep

 

Backpack
Deuter X-Race 10L
Feet Rest

Foot Blister Kit

Bivy Sack

CoolMax Liner Socks (2x)

Snugpak Blanket

Smartwool Socks SE Sleeping Bad
Water Balaclava
Hydration Bladder 1.5L Stormproof Matches
2x500ML Spring Water UST Wet Fire Starter
LifeStraw Filter Mosquito Repellent
Calories Others
Granola Bars Headlamp + Batteries
MRE Military Ration Antiseptic Cream
Fishing Kit Soap
Total Weight: 14.0 lbs.

 

Note 1: I know that most long-distance hikers and survivalists won't agree with my strategy. But on my side, I just want to walk fast, get the help/parts/tools/fuel I need, and come back as soon as possible because my Jeep is unattended. I don't want it to be found by looters. Acting fast is the key in the wilderness.

Note 2: Even though it's not on “the list”, bear spray is mandatory. You should carry it at your belt (not attached behind or in the backpack) for a quick access. You wear a warm and rainproof jacket. You have quality hiking boots (waterproof + breathable). And I also recommend you to carry a survival knife that has a compass and a tiny flashlight. Like this one from Survival Pro-1 sold for less than 30$.

 

Survival Pro-1 Knife (with Compass and Light)

 

Survival Knife Jeep Expedition

Price $20 - $30

Amazon.com
(USA - Canada)

 

The list
20 items (including the backpack) / Total weight = 14.0 lbs.

 

1. Deuter X-Race 10L Backpack

Deuter X-Race 10L Backpack Bug out Bag

Compact, rainproof, affordable, and ultralight (1.4 lbs. / 600 grams). It's a genuine ultralight hiking backpack designed for those who need to walk extra long distances. It has a super breathable system that separates the bag from your back. Personally, as long as I keep the weight of B.O.B. under 13 lbs, I don't really feel it on my shoulders.

 

Price $90 - $110
Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)

 

2. Foot Blister Kit

Blister Foot Care Kit Hiking

It's well-known in the army that foot pain and injuries not only slow soldiers down but it also takes a toll on judgement, combativity, and morale. You need to walk like crazy? You won't regret to bring a Foot Care Kit.

 

Price $10 - $20
Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)
Newegg.com
(Worldwide)

 

3. Dry CoolMax Liner Socks

Dry CoolMax Liner Socks

Keep your feet dry and prevent toe irritation. Cheap and light. Made of polyester, nylon and spandex. Will dry in 60 minutes on a sunny day if soaked. It's widely used by hockey players too here in Canada.

 

Price $10 - $20
Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)

 

4. Smartwool Socks

SmartWool Ultralight Socks

Made of genuine wool + elastane. The cushioning is minimal but I like that product for myself because it's incredibly light (1.6 onces for a pair!). High level of elasticity. It's also machine washable.

 

Price $10 - $20
Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)

 

5. Hydration Bladder 2.0L

Hydration Bladder 1.5L Aquatic Way

This product from Aquatic Way is easy to fill in the bush (it has a huge opening) and doesn't leak (even if you remove the tube). It's also inexpensive ($20) and compact (14'' x 6.5' 'x 3.75''). In my humble experience, 2 liters of water is well enough to survive 36 hours (and 16 hours of walking) if (two conditions): 1) I hydrate myself properly before leaving my Jeep for good 2) Temperature is below 15 degrees Celsius.

Don't forget that water is super heavy. Two liters of water weigh 4.4 lbs (2 kg). You can't carry a lot and expect to walk fast. On my side, I'm normally surrounded by various water sources in Yukon, BC, or Northwest Territories. So, I made the decision to just carry a small 2.0L bladder.

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)
Newegg.com
(Worldwide)

 

6. Lifestraw Water Purifier

Lifestraw Water Purifier

 

Popular on the ultralight backpacker scene, this little water purifier meets EPA standards for water filtration. Removes bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc. You can also use it to drink your own pee (no kidding). Sold for less than $30 and weighs only 60 grams.

 

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)
Newegg.com
(Worldwide)

 

7. Two Bottles of Spring Water (500ml)

Two Bottles of One Spring Water 500ml

 

Ready to use water (whatever happens). An extra layer of safety. Weighs 2.2 lbs. / 1.0 kg.

 

8. Six Clif Energy Bars

Clif Energy Bars for a Bug-out-Bag

 

Comes in 10 different flavors (almond fudge, peanut butter, trail mix, oatmeat walnut, etc.). Each energy bar contains 23 vitamins + 10g of protein + 240/260 calories. You can buy a full box of it (12 count). Six bars weigh 0.89 lbs. and provide 1560 calories.

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)
Newegg.com
(Worldwide)

 

9. One XMRE 1300XT

MRE Food Ratio for Jeep Wrangler JK

 

Military food ration with a long shelf life. Various menus (up to 24 different meals). Contains a flameless heating sleeve (beware, it's hot for real), one beverage bag, utensils, napkins, coffee, fruit beverage, one entree, one snack, bread, and one dessert. Provides from 1250 to 1400 calories per MRE. Weight = 1.3 lbs / 0.6 kg.

 

Best MRE for Off-Road 4x4 Vehicle Expedition

Why an MRE in your bug-out-bag? Because it will lift your spirits to have a complete meal after a long day of walking. Think about it.

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)

 

10. TRS Survival Fishing Kit

TRS Survival Fishing Kit

 

I'm personally the worst fisherman in Yukon but have succeeded to catch trouts using this kit. I'm a believer now. And it's fun to use! Weight : 0.16 lbs.

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)

 

11. Bivy (with Hydroseal Floor)

 

I'm using the Outdoor Research Helium Bivy but it's really expensive ($150 +, mine was a gift) but there are many other bivy sacks available on the hiking market. As long as it's light, comes with an hydroseal floor, and is equipped with both a mosquito net and an overhead loop, go for it. Weight : 1.2 lbs.

Why not using a tarp? Unless you are an expert survivalist or an experienced ultralight hiker, I think Jeepers should stay away from tarps for three reasons: 1) Takes long to find the perfect spot to install it. 2) You won't sleep in mosquito territory. 3) You will freeze like crazy under a tarp if you can't build a fire.

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)
Outdoor Research
(Worldwide)

 

12. SE Survival Sleeping Bag

SE Sleeping Bag Emergency

 

Super compact, this emergency sleeping bag reflects body heat + great tear resistance. Weight : 5.8 oz / 0.6 lbs. Price : $20

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)

 

13. Snugpak Blanket

Snugpak Blanket for a Bug-out-Bag

 

Comes with a compression stuff sack. This thick survival blanket is ultralight (1.6 lbs / 0.7 kg), 100% water repellent, and antibacterial. It's the warmest blanket I've never tried in my life. Extra large size : 90" x 72" (inches). Rated 7 Fahrenheit / -13 Celcius.

Snugpak Blanket Bag

This blanket has the perfect size to fit a small size bug-out-bag (8'' x 5'').

*Yes, you could buy an ultralight sleeping bag instead. But sleeping bags under 4 lbs are way too expensive (example: Summit Spark SP1 $350).

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)
Newegg.com
(Worldwide)

 

14. Balaclava

Balaclava

 

The magic trick to not freezing during the night. Weighs only 59g. I like the Dimples Excel because you can wear it in 6 different ways.

Dimples Excel Balaclava for a Bug-out-Bag

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)

 

15. Stormproof Matches

Stormproof Matches

 

 

Those matches are extremely reliable in the bush and burns for 25 seconds. Contains 12. Weighs 59 grams (including the waterproof container).

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)
Newegg.com
(Worldwide)

 

16. UST Wet Fire Starter

Wetfire Fire Starter

 

You won't be in a mood to search for tinder after a long day of walking. This fire starter contains 6 individually packaged cubes that will light up no matter what. It can actually burn on water.

 

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)

 

17. Ben's Mosquito Repellent (3.4 oz)

Ben's Mosquito Repellent

 

This product is made in USA and is saturated with deet (choose the 100, not the 30). It's the most popular here in Yukon, Canada. Protect yourself against mosquitos, ticks, and other insects.

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)
Newegg.com
(Worldwide)

 

18. Energizer Headlamp LED

 

Lasts at least 40 hours in low mode and 8 hours in high mode. Water resistant (rated IPX4). Weight = 0.6 oz. Ridiculous price and three AAA batteries are included. It's below cost selling because Energizer makes money selling batteries afterward. Don't forget to bring backup batteries. Will add an extra weight of 0.8 oz (if you remove the useless 4th battery and get rid of the package). I keep my spare batteries in a Ziploc bag.

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)
Newegg.com
(Worldwide)

 

19. Savlon Antiseptic Cream + Bandage

 

I use Savlon Antiseptic Cream to heal and relieve pain caused by scratches (stray branches), mosquito bites, burns (campfire) and sunburns. Add short roll of sterile gauze bandage just in case. Weight : 5.0 oz (including a 2.25'' x 36'' bandage).

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)

 

20. Soap 40ml Sea to Summit

Soap 40ml Sea to Summit

 

Super small bottle (40ml). Enough for a full body wash (single shot). Biodegradable and not a bear attractant.

 

Amazon.ca
(Canada)
Amazon.com
(USA)

 

Additional comment: I know, hikers and survivalists will question my decision to not carry a first aid kit. But over my years of experience in the bush, walking on logging roads and 4x4 trails isn't that risky. Unless you are attacked by a bear or a cougar, I don't expect you to suffer serious injuries. Burning your fingers in the campfire or getting a sunburn are the most common problems and an antiseptic cream should help. And use the foot blister kit (see product #2) to keep your feet up and running.

Concerning my bug-out-bag itself: Others will complain I don't have items like machete, shovel, emergency mirror, extra clothes, duct tape, sewing kit, and 50 other things. Well, the purpose of my bug-out-bag is to walk as fast as possible to get help for my Jeep. Not to survive an EMP attack, a nuclear war, or the zombie apocalypse.

One last word: You should never ride a Jeep or any other 4x4 vehicle further than you are willing (or physically able) to walk home. On my side, my limit is 60 miles / 100 km. I also warmly recommend you to track your position on the map at all times.

 

 



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