For those that are new to preparedness, you are likely seeing many terms and acronyms, flying around the articles that you are reading. That’s because within the Prepper community there are many terms that have been coined to reflect an idea or an event. Below I have covered many of them, and described what they mean in a general sense. I must point out that some of them are used interchangeably and that others may mean slightly different things to different people. This is also by no means an exhaustive list, but it covers the main ones most will see in the beginning.
BOB – Bug Out Bag – A bag that has all the items you feel are necessary to survive if you had to abandon your home. This is sometimes referred to a 72 hour bag, meaning that you have supplies in the bag to last you for 72 hours. This for many is intended as a temporary evacuation bag. Many use this bag when going from your current living location to a new Bug Out Location.
SHTF – This is the one you will likely see the most. It stands for Shit Hits The Fan. This refers to an event that has occurred that drastically affects you or the area you live. This could be a Hurricane or a complete grid down situation.
INCH – I’m never coming home – A bag that has all of the items you feel are necessary to survive if you had to abandon your home. Unlike the Bug Out Bag which is intend for a short evacuation, the INCH bag is intend to have supplies to allow you to survive without your home for a long term duration, be it weeks, months, years, or forever.
GHB – Get Home Bag – A bag that has all of the items you feel are necessary to get you home in the event of an emergency. This bag can vary greatly from person to person since getting home is relative to a person’s location. For example, my GHB contains some water, a hat, a flashlight and poncho. Of course I live 14 miles from my home so even if I’m walking the entire way it’s about a 5 hr walk. Some people drive 45 minutes to an hour one way to get to work though and that can take days.
EDC – Every day Carry – What you carry on your person every day. This, like the GHB can vary per person and what one person thinks is a required carry item another may not. There are so many videos on the internet about what people carry in their EDC that you’ll have plenty to reference. They are good for ideas, but what you carry is up to you.
BOL – Bug Out Location – A place separate from your home property….most of the time where you will go if you should leave home. This can be bare land somewhere, a hunting cabin, a big tent, or some people place a shipping container in the woods. Normally people will have supplies at this location for when they arrive so they are not carrying as much on the trip there. This location is used when you have to leave your home for an emergency. If you live in Hurricane areas, you may board up your home and head for your BOL in the hills where you know it will not flood for example.
GO Bag – Get Out Bag – A bag that has all of the items you feel are necessary to function if you had to evacuate your home for another location like a family members home or hotel. Very similar to a BOB, is a GO bag. They are so similar in fact that I have seen the terms used interchangeably in discussions. For me a GO bag is something that you take if you’re heading for a relative’s home or hotel for the duration of the emergency.
BOV – Bug Out Vehicle – The mode of transportation that will transport you to your BOL. So, you have a Bug Out Location, how are you getting there? Why, in your BOV of course. For many this is a motorized vehicle of some kind, but a bicycle can work also. It is a requirement that you’re BOV be able to go where your BOL is located. So, if you only have a Prius, but you need a 4×4 to get all the way to you BOL, you’ll be walking part of the way. This could me your carrying a lot of weight.
MRE – Meals Ready to Eat – Just like it sounds…..food in a bag. These are based upon the military meals that armies have lived on for decades. The current versions have a good variety and they are planned to have enough calories to get you through 1 day. They are relatively compact in size and weight, for storage in your home or BOL, or in your BOB or INCH bag.
TeoTwawki – The end of the world as we know it – Just like it sounds, the world of washing machines, automobiles, and cellphones are likely gone. Many books, videogames, and movies, like The Road are a TeoTwawki scenario.
WROL – Without Rule of Law – Just like it sounds, the emergency has caused so much disruption in the area of effect that Law has broken down. Emergency Services are either overwhelmed or not there at all. Thus allowing people to listen to their inner demons and act upon them. Looters are primary issue here on a short term emergency.
OPSEC – Operational security – This is the belief that you need to make sure to keep your preparations secure through not telling anyone you have them. For the Prepping community this is a tough one depending on your belief. Some people prepare to be just them or a small group they know in the event the SHTF. Others prepare with a community in mind, so are open with what they have. It is true that humans must have other humans to survive longer term, but to what extent you prepare for this is the real question.