Many can’t/won’t live in a small village or isolated retreat. The overwhelming majority of modern, first world nations, live in cities with buildings taller than any fire truck ladder. How about a BOB/GOOD/GO bag for the modern office worker and downtown megalopolis, skyscrape dweller?

Just as there are different considerations when living out on the edge of the wild, there are unique concerns in the big city. It is a trade off. I don’t think I need to worry about a grizzly roaming around the 44th floor water cooler. But I do need to think about my other options when the fire department’s aerial ladder can’t reach me in an emergency. Out in the wilds, fish hooks, snare wire, and knowledge about the local wildlife can be a lifesaver. In the ultra-urban, a door blocking wedge, alternative power for a cell phone, and knowledge about the two-legged wildlife can also be a lifesaver.

While those who can boast proven survival skills – like rubbing two scouts together to make fire, hitting the silhouettes faster than Gunny, or making an EMT/PA look slow and clumsy when the blood is flying – will probably do better than just survive in the concrete jungle. What about those we might care about who don’t have such skills or knowledge? In my case, I have some friends I care about who are just above clueless of how bad, bad can be. Slowly I’m getting them there; they are becoming more self-sufficient and capable. But in the mean time, how should I put together BOB/GOOD/GO bags for them?

I don’t have the full answer, but I have a working proposition. I’d like to share my current thinking and hopefully people can help me find the holes and better solutions. As I work through this, I’ll probably change many things, but I have to start somewhere.

Let’s start with some basic assumptions about a hypothetical, composite target person for this ultra-urban BOB/GOOD/GO bag:
– Adult female with above average intelligence and a desire to survive.
– Professional office worker who spends five days a week in heels and business suites with skirts.
– Works in one skyscraper and lives across the city in another skyscraper, both over twenty stories high.
– Single mother with two kids, ages ten and eight, and no financial support from the sperm donor.
– Kids spend five days a week at school/day care that is walking distance from home.
– Occasionally spends the night with maternal grandparents who are also walking distance from home.
– Grandpa is a retired gourmet chef who enjoys throwing a spread for his extended family every other weekend where mom, the kids, and the extended family have made it a new tradition to gather.
– Mom is a part time university student finishing her MBA two nights a week and one weekend a month.
– On those university nights and weekends, mom crashes at her lover’s townhouse near the campus while either the grandparents or a babysitter is minding the young ones.
– Let’s add a minor limitation of color blindness; just enough to prevent her from getting a driver’s license.
– And just for fun; add a nuclear power plant 25 miles away upwind and a coastal wharf at the downtown edge.

That’s the starting point. Over the next series of articles I will explore what I think would work for her.

D. Period – All rights reserved – 2009 – Use permitted by all only with attribution.

Originally posted on June 30, 2009 @ 4:55 pm