Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Official GHB/BOB rating scale (LONG)

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by WilyCoyote, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. First off, this is long so get a beer and a pen!

    A BOB (Bug Out Bag) or GHB (Get home bag), for the purposes of this thread, is defined as a person portable collection of equipment that is preassembled with the specific goal of assisting a person or persons with rapidly obtaining a short or long term overland goal. It's contents include equipment needed for sustaining life or otherwise assisting the user in acheiving the overland goal.

    Rate your BOB/GHB under these categories. The phrase GHB/BOB includes the method of carry and its contents and does NOT include anything you have in your pockets or carry on your person or in your car, etc.

    *IMPORTANT*If you have a redundancy in any category, add +1 to your score in that category if your redundancy is a 1-5, and +2 if it's a 6-10. The highest score you can achieve in any category is a 10. Only one redundancy bonus can be applied per category.

    Portability-This category defines your GHB's/BOB's ease of movement and accounts for 10% of the final score.

    Hydro Power-This section defines your GHB's/BOB's ability to keep you hydrated and peeing clear and accounts for 16% of your total score

    Feedability-This section defines your GHB's/BOB's ability to keep you fed and accounts for 12% of you total score

    Sheltering Ability-This section defines your GHB's/BOB's ability to keep you warm and dry and will account for 21% of your overall score

    Fire Making Ability-This section defines your GHB's/BOB's ability to aid you in starting a fire and is worth 11% of your overall score

    Combat-This section defines your GHB's/BOB's ability to protect you from malicious harm and does NOT include any weapons you already regularly carry on your person. This category accounts for 5% of your final score.

    Durability-This section defines your GHB's/BOB's ability to take abuse and accounts for 5% of the overall score.

    First Aid-This section defines your GHB's/BOB's ability to keep you and others alive in the event of injury or incapacitation and accounts for 5% of your overall score

    Communication-This defines your GHB's/BOB's ability to stay in touch with others and/or gather real time intelligence on the situation at hand and accounts for 5% of your overall score

    Navigation-This section evaluates your GHB's/BOB's ability to aid you in finding your way and achieving your overland goal and accounts for 10% of your final score

    Portability scoring chart-10%:

    1. What do you mean I have to carry it by myself?
    2. Check this out, it's got nifty wheels on it
    3. Duffel Bag/Full Ruck
    4. 3-5 day internal or external frame pack
    5. Comfortable Day Pack
    6. High-School style backpack (Jansport, Etc)
    7. Shoulder pack/camera bag/large EDC pouch
    8. Lunch Box
    9. Small EDC Pouch/Fanny Pack
    10. Now which pocket did I put that in? (Altoid Tin style)

    Hydro Power scoring chart-16%:

    1. Ok we're gonna risk drinking the swamp water...You first, Dale
    2. Wow this iodine tab makes the water taste like %$#@
    3. (#2)+ but don't worry this tabs takes the bad taste out
    4. 1x Lg brand name water bottle (Crystal Springs, Dasani) or military canteen
    5. 2x (#4)
    6. Fully filled hydration pack (100 oz or less)
    7. Gallon jug of water or equivalent
    8. Straw style water filter
    9. Basic Hand pump style water filter (dirt, bacteria, chemicals)
    10. Advanced Hand pump style water filter (dirt, Bacteria, chemicals, cysts viruses)

    Feedability Scoring chart-12%:

    1. Mmmm that beetle sure looks tasty
    2. Hard candy
    3. Candy Bar
    4. Big Granola or Power Bar/Bag o GORP
    5. Freeze dried single serving meal
    6. MRE
    7. 3+ Days of Freeze dried single serving meals
    8. 3+ Days of MREs
    9. Weeks Worth of Freeze dried single serving meals (count Coast Guard lifeboat rations here)
    10. Weeks worth of MRE's or better

    Sheltering ability Scoring chart-21%:

    1. So C-C-Cold
    2. See, you just cut holes in this garbage bag here and you have a poncho!
    3. Real poncho
    4. Long-sleeved wool/poly pullover
    5. Blanket
    6. Winter parka Shell
    7. Winter parka shell and liner
    8. Bivouac
    9. Small tent or tarp
    10. Large tent

    Fire making ability scoring chart-11%

    1. Now all I need is a lightning bolt to strike my woodpile here
    2. Book of paper matches
    3. Wooden strike-anywhere matches/storm proof matches
    4. Butane lighter/Flint-steel kit
    5. Butane 'Hurricane' or windproof lighter/Flint-steel kit with magnesium
    6. Any of #2-#5 + Fire starting aids (such as tinder box, sterno paste, sawdust/wax)
    7. #6 + Road flares/Signal Flares
    8. Portable liquid fuel camp stove w/ fuel (gas/ white gas)
    9. Portable Isobutane/propane or equivalent stove w/ fuel
    10. Deluxe Propane Portable cooking set (more than one burner) with fuel

    Combat scoring chart-5%:

    1. Toe-nail clippers
    2. Pen knife
    3. Swiss Army knife/Multi tool
    4. Tactical Folder (Benchmade, Kershaw, etc)
    5. Fixed blade combat or boot knife
    6. Large combat knife (Ka-Bar, Old School survival knife)
    7. Mouse Gun
    8. Handgun
    9. Pistol caliber carbine
    10. Rifle

    Durability Scoring chart-5%:

    1. No, don't hold it like that it'll tear! (Garbage bag or plastic shopping bag, etc)
    2. Red and white polka-dotted pillow case with a stick or other hobo custom job
    3. Made in Kerplekistan for pennies on the dollar
    4. Yeah, pretty cool, huh? Bought it at a flea market
    5. Military surplus is good enough for me
    6. REI or other sporting goods brand
    7. Maxpedition/Tactical Tailor/Hazard 4, very durable ballistic nylon stuff
    8. #7 + equivalent internal storage for loose items, i.e. EDC/First Aid pouches, etc
    9. Extremely durable hard cases: Pelican, etc
    10. #9 + customized foam inserts or internal storage for loose items, i.e. EDC/First Aid pouches, etc

    First Aid-5%:

    1. Rub some dirt on it, it'll be fine.
    2. Barney print boo-boo kit.
    3. Small pre-fab First Aid kit
    4. Pre-made hiker's first aid kit (Ozark Trail, Coleman, etc.)
    5. Pre-made hiker's kit with useful additions such as moleskin for foot blisters, sterile pads and butterfly bandages, OTC meds
    6. #5 + needed prescription meds.
    7. #6 + variety of prescription meds
    8. Small trauma kit with large bandages, OPA's/NPA's (if you have to ask, you're somewhere below the rating)
    9. Full trauma kit with clotting agents, OPA's/NPA's pressure dressings and splints (portable SAM splint style) for traumatic injuries, and IVs
    10. Field Surgical kit or Medic bag with sterile fields, scalpels/hemostats, sutures, disinfectant, Rx meds, clotting agent, and IV/SubQ/IM capabilities.


    1. HELLO! Hello... hello...
    2. Signal mirror
    3. Signal mirror, flashlight/chem lights
    4. #2-#3 + Signal mirror and hand launch flares or flare gun
    5. Strobe light beacon and/or portable FM/AM radio
    6. Shortwave radio receiver
    7. Multiband receiver and/or handheld walkie-talkie under 5 watts (e.g. FRS/GMRS)
    8. Handheld/portable single-band transceiver at 5 watts or more (Ham VHF/UHF or CB).
    9. Ham radio handheld/portable transceiver with wide band receive and multi-band transmit at 5 watts or more.
    10. Radio bag with antennas capable of wide band receive and multi-band transmit at 40 watts or more.


    1. Where am I and what am I doing in this hand basket?
    2. Compass from a Crackerjack box
    3. Small hiker's compass and map OR basic GPS receiver.
    4. Small hiker's compass and several maps
    5. Several laminated maps and decent quality compass.
    6. Laminated maps with lensatic compass with preplanned routes indicated.
    7. Advanced lensatic compass and high quality topo maps and pre-planned routes.
    8. Lensatic compass and numerous area topo maps, primary and alternative routes and danger zones indicated.
    9. GPS receiver with internal maps.
    10. Advanced GPS receiver with detailed maps and pre-plotted destinations, primary and alternative routes.

    Determining your final score. The scoring is automatically done in the following fashion. The number you score in each category is divided by ten and multiplied by the percentage that category is worth. For example, If you score a 7 in Feedability (worth 12%) then 12 is multiplied .7 x12 getting a category score of 8.4. The category scores are then added for your final score. See the link below, provided by Geko45 for a spreadsheet he created that does the scoring work for you.

    After entering your scores in the spreadsheet, look below and click on the Assessment Chart tab for a graphic representation of your style of kit. This will show you where your kit is weak or strong and where you have made sacrifices in some areas to improve others. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT YOUR NUMERICAL SCORE IS NOT A GRADE!

    My first post here is continually edited to stay the most updated with respect to revisions. Please post with any suggestions, but before you do, read the whole thread to make sure your suggestions haven't already been discussed.

    Thank you Geko45 for your time in putting together the spreadsheet and your continued support of this thread!

    Semi-Official BOB/GHB Rating System Calculator Version 2.2 SCROLL DOWN TO POST #25 for a link to the spreadsheet

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  2. My GHB, planned for a two or three day trek to get home scored a 49.4
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011

  3. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot CLM

    Nov 1, 2002
    Ok, I'll play. This is for my GHB (water and weapons not pictured)


    High school style back pack is exactly what it is.

    I think I should get more points because I keep 6 (not one) "power" type bars in a naglene like container.

    I have 6 20 oz bottles (8 oz less than a gallon) and a Katadyn filter bottle and MicroPur tablets (redundancy bonus)

    I have a one man emergency tent and a Heetsheets emergency bivy (redundancy bonus)

    Combat=10 or 5
    Kel-Tec P11 with 21 rounds and Winchester 1300 with 12 slugs and 20 assorted shot. This technically is not in the bag, but they stay in my truck which is where the GHB stays too. If not counted then I've got a folder and multitool actually in the bag (redundancy bonus).

    All name brand stuff designed for the intended purpose.

    Total score is 76 with weapons, 68.5 without

    P.S. firemaking ability should really factor in somewhere.
  4. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    If I understand your scoring system, 91.5
    This might be in my kit, but that doesn't mean I am taking it all with me.
    i.e. Am I wheeling it or am I carrying it?
    Am I going combat ready, or low profile?
    Am I taking all my water, or drinking some, and leaving some?

    Other comments:
    Why would MREs rate higher than backpacking meals?
    Where does a Hammock fit in this scoring thing?
    It can be strung low, like a tent, with tarp cover and waterproof drop cloth.
    The scoring system favors those who pack too much (like me). You may not need all of the stuff...

    The top % categories, do not line up with the bottom categories. This could be corrected by changing the order.
  5. Akita

    Akita gone

    Jul 22, 2002
    I either scored 1.95 or 312.
  6. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot CLM

    Nov 1, 2002
  7. WoW Gecko, That's AWESOME, makes it very easy to do the math!

    Remember, fight the temptation to count weapons or equipment you have on you, carry in your hands or vehicle. Just rate the bag and its contents. The goal is not to make a 100 (in fact that's impossible), just to see where most peoples bags rate under this scale.

    Categories were assigned worth based on importance eg "Basic 3" get more value than the others, shelter over water, over food. Rest are valued below those.

    RWBlue: MRE's rate higher than single serv backpacking meals because they contain more calories, have extra incidentals, and include their own heat source for cooking. I would rate your hammock/tarp as a one man tent. I edited the categories so they's line up
  8. Inverness11

    Inverness11 Standard Member

    Apr 30, 2006
    New Hampshire
    Oooo, I got a 51.5

    I'd also include a flashlight in the rating
  9. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

    Jun 25, 2004
    Amarillo, Tx
  10. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

    Jun 25, 2004
    Amarillo, Tx
  11. lilc


    Nov 16, 2007
    Portability (15%): 4
    A generous 3-day internal-frame pack w/ some extra MOLLE pouches, weighing in at 33 pounds loaded

    Hydration (20%): 10
    Advanced backcountry water filter, purification tablets, and boxed emergency water rations

    Nourishment (15%): 8
    4 days of MREs (complete packs) and some Daytrex emergency ration bars

    Shelter (15%): 10
    Ultralight tent, groundcloth, emergency bivvy, space blankets, and clothing

    Combat (15%): 9
    Automatic pistol, spare magazines, cleaning kit, ammo, and combat knife

    Durability (15%): 8
    US-made by a reputable tactical supplier

    TOTAL: 84.5% (B+) :wavey:
  12. lilc


    Nov 16, 2007
    Because a "Meal, Ready to Eat" is just that: ready to eat.

    Mountain House freeze-dried stuff, while tasty (I take it backcountry camping), demands that you have three inportant additional things you might not have when SHTF: clean water, a pot, and a heat source. Sure, if you had a pack of MH and you were clever you could improvise and acquire these items, but they remain mandatory, while an MRE doesn't even require a can opener.

    Every tried to eat freeze-dried chicken stew without cooking it? :faint:
  13. Warp


    Jul 31, 2005
    I agree on the MRE vs Mountain House thing. I switched from MH to MREs after my last backpacking trip. The ease of prep and lack of needing anything else is very nice. And what hapepns if your pot is boiling water over your stove and you have to leave right now?

    I scored a 73.5.

    I would like the scoring system extended. Medical, communications, navigation, etc.
  14. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    I guess I look at my food differently. I carry fast food (granola bars, hard candy) and food that needs to be cooked (backpacker food). If I think I am going to have to move, or want to continue walking, fast food. If I am too tired to walk, sitting in for the night, I can eat a warm meal.

    I think the value of a warm meal on a cold day is underrated.

    I also carry some hot chocolate. It really made a difference when I went out for a week in the woods and it was COLD and WET.
  15. Warp


    Jul 31, 2005
    The catch there, to me, is the "think you are going to have to move". In a bugout scenario how sure will you be that you won't have to move for X amount of time?

    I don't know of a warm meal is under rated. People really like hot food. When it comes to MREs, thank god for those FRHs. Though you can also heat them the old fashion in hot water way, if you want them hotter...ran out of FRHs, etc.

    I carry Cliff Bars and jerkey as on the move food, along with the MREs.

    Hmm, hot chocolate. Good stuff in the cold. I have extra FRHs and the MRE hto chocolate in there IIRC. Sounds good right now even. :)
  16. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    The same can be said for a tent.

    How long does it take to setup a tent or hammock?
    How long does it take to boil water?

    Then again, why am I arguing over an arbitrary point system. :wavey:
  17. Warp


    Jul 31, 2005
    Good point on the tent.

    My BOB doens't have a tent right now. :tongueout:

    That is part of what I have to work on. I have stopgap measures. But then again where am I going to go that a tent makes sense anyway?
  18. MajorAmby


    Jun 23, 2005
    I must say, this is a great idea WilyCoyote. Big THANKS to you for doing this!

    I'm a VERY big fan of simplicity, but I had a small problem that might be worth looking into.

    I was thinking about this as I evaluate my own GHB / BOB, and I think that this may warrant another category or two (maybe more, but I hate adding onto things and making them more complicated than they need to be). Communication, Navigation, Information, and possibly an Environment Adaptation category.

    I suppose they can be combined in any which way, but here are my reasonings...

    Smoke signals, Pencil / Paper, Hand Radios 2-mile range, Hand Radios 10+ miles, HAM, Sat phone, updated contact lists, etc...

    Maps, GPS, Topo maps, memory, etc...

    How-to books, entertainment, pen / pencil & paper, contact information, laws, etc..

    Environment Adaptation:
    Flashlights, NVG's, N95 masks, duct tape, paracord, surgical gloves, respirators, anti-radiation protection, Raft, Portable fan(s), Fire making abilities, Medical Kits, etc...

    I think I see your point, that those categories on there right now are the main things to worry about, but I think these other things count for a little bit I suppose. Again, I don't think all of these categories really need to be that separated, but I think they (or one or some) might be worth putting into the equation. It's totally up to you though... what do you think?
  19. Cali-Glock

    Cali-Glock Mountain Man

    Feb 11, 2002
    California Sierra Mnts
    Too Cool! Great way to quickly see where your (my) deficiencies are. My goal this month was to build new GHBs for my wife and myself. Currently we have fanny packs in our vehicles, plus some extra stuff in our vehicles. (Blankets etc.) But stressing the whole thing has to be in one unit is key. Our Fanny packs rate 50 but that is optimistic (Using a few redundancy points in there). (Portability 9, Food 6, Hydro 1, Shelter 5, Defense 5, Durability 7)

    In the overall rating what about:

    What about fire? Light? Signal Mirror? Communications?
  20. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    uhm, i don't fit those categories Very easily.. as the weapon + ammo isn't carried IN the bag.. but it is specifically a BOB weapon.. lets Pretend it's in the bag, cause it weighs the same..

    i'm basicly prepared for 3 days, 50 miles, nominal. food, shelter, etc, and just at 20-22 kilos depending on water & clothing.. 45-50 lbs.

    i have what i need, but were I younger and larger i'd have more frills. can't do it with the spreadsheet but on my own score i'd put it at 80% and subtract a few points for no long arm. say 75% roughly, and that'd be about a passing grade in my book. adding another 15 lbs+ for a long arm & ammo, etc, would make it unfeasible to carry. it's edgy now.. but i won't starve or freeze or be unarmed.