Everyone has heard of the bug out bag, who really understands it?
A lot of people out there have what they call their bug out bag. It will be better than nothing but do they really have what they need to survive? How long are they planning to survive? How long will it take to have it in hand and on the road if the need to evacuate is immediate?
There is a bit of misconception in general on what you are looking to accomplish with this item. If you look at what FEMA, local authorities, and some who claim to be authorities on the subject recommend you will find they suggest a lot of items that will help you survive for about 72 hours. If you have read any of the articles on this site you should already have what you need for that on hand. That is prepping!
This is where we sort of cross the line from prepping to a survivalist. A real bug out bag checklist will have things you will need to provide the ability to acquire food, water, and shelter. It will contain things to allow you to live off of your surroundings for a much longer period of time. You will need to have this ready and available for instant deployment. Like, if you need to bug out!
If you are ready to build a bug out bag and skip the explanation go to Where To Start and scroll down to Bug Out Bag Checklist and get your stuff now so you are ready before you have to be!
Why Bug Out
Here is another reason for the misconception of a bug out bag. I know if I have to bug out it will be the last resort. I do have a plan but it will not be used unless I cannot stay where I have prepped to survive. You may need to bug out for a short duration due to a flood or some sort of natural disaster. In this case, you will most likely be able to return within a certain period of time. For this, you can pack things from what you already have stored.
I myself would not bug out unless there is some sort of man-made disasters like economic collapse, war, or terrorism. If I were to make the decision to bug out, I would disappear in an instant and not plan to come back. You may be able to at some point but the point is to plan like you will not.
Bug Out Bag Contents
What I am writing here is my opinion. This is what I have come up with from my research and experience. I will back this thought process up with a few links for you to research yourself if you like but please come back to this site and finish what you are obviously interested in that brought you to this page.
Check out a few of these links from a few subject matter experts:
Now we can talk about your bug out bag list so you can build your bug out bag. I have given a description of what and why you should do this. Now it is time to do it. I will give you a list to start from and provide a link where you can get all of these items, and more if you wish. Go to Where To Start and scroll down to Bug Out Bag Checklist. There you will be able to build a bug out bag just like the ones I have set up.
Let’s start with the most critical decision. How do you pack and carry the items that will ensure you and your family‘s survival? Here are some of the key things to look for when purchasing a bug out bag:
- Size – Big enough to carry what you need but not so big that an individual can’t carry it for any length of time.
- Compartments – Multiple compartments allow you to carry more and makes it easy to find certain items while you’re traveling. Make sure to get one with loops to attach items (bedroll, tent) to the outside.
- Frame – A frame distributes the weight of a pack better and will allow you to carry your equipment longer, farther, and with less pain and strain.
- Durability – Your bug out bag will be subject to harsh conditions and will potentially be with you for a long time. Durability is not negotiable. And make sure it’s waterproof.
And by the way, everyone in the family should have their own bug out bag, each designed to suit the age, size, and needs of that individual. Make sure to distribute the essentials in each bag in case one gets lost or stolen.
You should also have backups for your most important needs. That means you need two ways to start a fire, two ways to purify water, two ways to cook food, two ways to light your camp, and so forth.
- Communication and Navigation
- Compass, maps, walkie talkies.
- Fire and Light
- Lighter, fire steel, flashlight w/ extra batteries, candles.
- Food and Water
- Cook kit, canteen, water purification, backpacking food, fishing hooks, and string.
- Medical Supplies
- First aid kit, rubber gloves, OTC medicines, prescription meds, N95 masks.
- Personal Hygiene
- Washing, dental, shaving, sunscreen, toilet paper.
- Shelter and Clothing
- Tent, sleeping bag, rain gear, two changes of clothes, mylar blankets.
- Tools and Weapons
- Hatchet, saw, knife, handgun w/ extra ammo, multitool, folding shovel.
- Miscellaneous Items
- Duct tape, plastic sheeting, trash bags, ziplock baggies, zip ties. paracord, insect repellant, cash, survival guide.
All bug out bags are a little different. I could keep going with ideas to add to one. The thing is you are supposed to be able to carry this bag for an extended length of time. The more you have in the bag, the heavier it gets. You do have to consider how much you want to carry. All I can say is be picky about what you don’t take but be sensible with what you do put in it.
Some consumables like protein bars and canned goods you throw in on the way out the door will be removed once consumed. Pack a bit heavy and if it becomes a burden you can lighten up on the way.
This article is to guide you through getting your bag ready before you have to be ready. I have also provided a place to get most everything you need in one place. Just go to Where To Start and scroll down to Bug Out Bag Checklist and you can find all that you need to get your bag started for each member of your family.
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