The Civilian Contractor Red Zone Bug Out Bag - Wire Stock AK and balls not Included
Sometimes your Bug Out Bag takes a different direction and morphs into something between a go-bag, an active shooter bag, and a Bug Out Bag (BOB) due to your chosen occupation. Enter the Civilian Contractor Red Zone BOB; this is a heavy-weight’s version of a crisis management bag for places where encounters with ‘Bad Guys’ is a real possibility.
For Red Zone adventures, this is what I cobbled together to manage problems when SHTF on a de-buss or ambush gone real wrong. It’s a problem solving bag.
The plan is to grab this bag, have an assortment of needed items to fight through a problem available in it, support my team, and assist me in getting to a safe haven as well. That’s a lot for one bag, but it’s what I am shooting for with my ‘Red Zone Bug Out Bag.
In the Red Zone, you are often outside the reach of immediate support, so, it’s up to you to plan accordingly. Your ‘bag’ might not even be a bag at all. It might be the size of a 3 day pack and not even resemble my set-up.
It’s all about defining the threat environment you operate in, the problems you will most likely face, and sorting out the tools that are the best fit for you and your mission, as well as what you can reasonably expect to carry. That’s what goes in this bag.
So, let’s break it down…
THE BAG ITSELF
The type of bag really doesn’t matter as long as it holds the needed loadout in it in an intelligent fashion and can hold up under use.
Keep in mind that a good deal of the stuff you might deploy from this bag has sharp edges so stick to bags that can handle the wear and tear. This means NOT using your yuppie, North Face hiking pack or Wal-Mart special made by Jansport. Neither will take the extended abuse and you’ll be out a shitload of money if you do this or you’ll be back at Wal-Mart asking for a refund.
Sorry to offend any earth biscuits out there (not really), but the crap you might call a pack is best deployed to carry your stash of weed and school books not a professional’s kit.
This iteration, I am using a tactical currier style bag. I’ve used a ton of other bags for this purpose, but like the setup a tactical currier style bag provides. I am not settled on this style of bag, but it’s worked out well thus far as a preferred crap-carrier.
The first priority is staying in the fight. For this, my bag’s foremost mission is to keep my weapon running with needed ammo on the run - supporting my team with accurate, sustained fire is the name of the game. The extra rounds available in this bag might be a deciding factor.
For me, if it’s not on my person, in my hands, or in this bag, it’s not in the fight.
My mags are kept on the inside of the Red Zone Bug Out Bag in a Velcro backed mag shingle with a thin shoulder strap that holds 4 to 6 extra magazines. I can pull this rig out and separate it from the rest of my gear as needed, throw it over my shoulder or wear it as a low profile rig.
GRENADES and pyrotechnics
To support actions on the ‘X,’ I carry an assortment of smokes, flares, frags, white phosphorus, and various other bangs. A little bit of everything …just in case. These devices all have important roles, and you never know what is going to crop up to cause you problems. These tools speak volumes when properly deployed.
It’s not a sexy topic but, it’s crucial. I keep plenty extra batteries and make sure to have all my go-to cell phone, Satellite Phone, and extra 2-way radio gear stowed in this bag.
Redundancy is wildly important when it comes to communications equipment and batteries. The last thing you need when your face is in the dirt is a comms failure.
What’s in this bag does not even come close to being a replacement IFAK or CLS bag, but it’s smart to stash some extra dressings, nasal pharyngeal tube, and a tourniquet that can be easily accessed in the Red Zone Bug Out Bag.
Look to cover the big three – Blood loss, airway, and tension pneumothorax (air becoming trapped between the chest wall and the lung).
WHITE LIGHT, VISUAL AIDS, MARKING DEVICES, AND OTHER ITEMS
Having white light is crucial. Carry an extra flashlight, batteries, and some cyalume sticks for marking as well. I burn through batteries like a sinner and keep tons on hand.
WHAT THIS BAG IS NOT
The bag is really about redundancy. Almost everything in this bag you will find already carried on the personal load bearing equipment of the operator or contractor who put it together.
The Red Zone Bug Out Bag is put together for real world possibilities not end of the world type crap or for primitive survival. This bag is a living instrument carrying safety rescue devices and not packed full of bullshit because the lights went out for an hour in your neighborhood.
So, if you have the need, think about slapping together a Red Zone Bug Out Bag for the occasions that need to go that extra mile.
To the active Civilian Contractors out there who are working armed in a hostile environment: What do you keep in your Red Zone BOB?
~Bubba G Editor at Large
Bubba G. is an active protective professional presently performing contract duties in the Middle East and has well over 15 years of military, high risk contracting, international training and martial arts experience.