In this article, I’m going to look at how to make the best use of the bug out bag and make sure that it does not become much of a hassle. This is supposed to be a bag designed to give you everything you need for at least 72 hours without weighing you down too much. This is also in consideration of the fact that a lot of people end up carrying more than they are supposed to, and in the process leave behind some important items.
Is a Bug out Bag Essential? What’s the Purpose?
Theoretically, the bug out bag is intended to give you everything that you need to make it through an ordeal for at least 72 hours outside your house before you get to any help. For this reason, the bag is supposed to be part of whatever plan you have in place for disaster preparedness.
It’s a common practice for people to throw in everything that they come across in the name of emergency packing. If you pack like this, I assure you that you will have too much to carry. It could slow you down way too much. Therefore, the ultimate question in this situation should be what you need in a bug out bag essentials to survive, and not what you WANT to have with you when you are on the road.
Typically, the bug out bag is supposed to carry you through about 72 hours, at least according to the FEMA recommendations. What you carry in your bag will vary from one person to another. As you prepare for this, remember that the choice of whether to bug out or to hunker down will be key in choosing what to carry in the bag.
The structure of the bag should be so that you can easily grab it and leave quickly. It should always be packed beforehand with all the supplies you need and be ready at a moment’s notice. It would also be best if you had some prior practice on how to handle the bag so that you aren’t surprised at how heavy it is. That way, you have time to consider what you might be able to leave behind.
At the bare minimum, the bag needs to have three of the essential things that you need in your life during such an ordeal; food, sufficient clothing, and a means of shelter.
Why Do You Need a Bug out Bag?
One of the best questions that someone ever asked me was, “Do I really need the bug out bag?” This is an excellent question, and the answer to it will depend on the purpose for which you want the bag in the first place. There are two different types of these bags that are available in the market today.
There is the kind of bag that you basically strap on to make your way into the woods or the one you usually get when you want to take an adventure into some remote location with your friends for a retreat. This is a perfect bag for those who plan to disappear into the forest until you are sure that the disaster has passed and everything has eased up.
For many people, the bug out bag is more like a pre-packaged suitcase with all the things that they will need in an emergency. This is important because it allows them to leave quickly without having to waste time packing. This is a good type of bag for those who live in areas prone to disasters, such as earthquake areas, hurricane areas, and flood-prone areas.
The good thing, especially for those who live in such disaster-prone areas, is that today there may be warnings beforehand about the possibility of a disaster striking. As a result, you have more time to get your act together. Notwithstanding this, you have to make sure that you prepare beforehand to be ready for the challenge ahead.
How your Bug out bag could hurt you? Common Bug out Bag Mistake
Many people never give the bag much thought, and in the process, they may pack more than they really need. The main concern here is the weight of the bag. Your bag is supposed to help you leave a serious situation, which means that it should help you get away as quickly and as far as possible. You will need to carry your emergency food supplies, medicine, shelter alternatives, and other necessities to get you through whatever situation you find yourself in.
In general, your bag needs to be between 1/3 and 1/4 of your overall body weight. Therefore, if you weigh 200 pounds, your bag needs to be around 50 pounds for you to carry it along easily if you can make it lighter but still carry everything that you need, all the better.
Now that we know how much weight you are supposed to carry let’s move from the theory into reality. Think about it. Are you really ready and prepared to walk for three days straight with 50 pounds on your back? Remember that this is three days on perhaps different terrain, maybe rugged.
If you have never imagined what this feels like, try thinking along the lines of carrying three gallons of water, the recommended amount of water that every individual need. If your bag is too heavy for you to carry around easily, it could certainly make you uncomfortable or even hurt you in the process.
How you pack your bag is another important factor for your consideration. If you pack your bag in the wrong way, it could create a distorted center of gravity for you. Distortion in the gravity center will make your bag lean to one side and leave you off balance. Without proper balance, you will have little reasonable movement because you will be too tired to go far.
Think about it, what is your normal daily schedule like? You probably go to work in the morning, come back in the evening feeling tired, eat, and go to sleep. You may not have the time to work out much. For this reason, you need to try and get some real exercise and learn how to handle your bag appropriately.
Apart from the mistakes that you will make when packing your bag, the bag can also hurt you because of the attention that it can draw. In the event of a disaster, many people will be displaced from their homes. People may be desperate and in urgent need of the supplies that you carry. Let’s call them hoarders for this reason.
Just because you have been intelligent enough to prepare your bug out bag does not mean that everyone else shares the same level of sanity. Some see you packing and preparing your bug out bag in the event of a disaster and think that you are paranoid. Once disaster strikes, they could, since they haven’t prepared, resort to criminal activities to get by.
With this in mind, if you have a huge bag on your back, you are constantly a target. Remember that these individuals may also have kids they need to take care of, so your package could seem like an excellent way to keep their little ones alive.
But how do we get out of this mess?
Things to Consider When Choosing a Bug out Bag
Having looked at the mistakes that can make the bug out bag a hazard, we now take a look at how to prevent such mistakes, and in the process, we learn how to make the best use of the bug out bag. Solving the issue of being a moving target is very easy. You need to be smart about how you go about packing.
How to Select the Best Bug out Bag
When you are packing your bag, you have to remember that it is not a convenience store but a lifesaver. I have come across lists of things that people pack several times, making me wonder what they really are planning to do. Once I saw a list that had fishing gear.
I wondered whether the individual was going on a camping trip or preparing to flee a disaster situation. Perhaps he/she had envisioned the possibility of having to chance upon a water body and make good use of some food. However, there’s no guarantee that this water would be fresh and free of toxic chemicals in the event of a disaster. What this means is that the fish that you could get from it could be poisonous.
Remember, you are basically planning to stay on your feet for at least three days until things get better. Make sure that your bag contains all the important elements you need, the BASIC elements; if you are lucky enough to pack all of them in the bag without reaching the weight limit for your body size, great!
Some plan to carry around things like their books or their Kindle to help them read and pass the time. In the process of doing this, they tend to leave out important supplies. While you must try to keep your mind occupied to avoid stress, at the same time, planning for a disaster means that you are planning for discomfort. With discomfort, the probability that you will come across a power source is minimal.
Even if you do, there may be many people already there trying to power their devices. To pass the time, you need to think about other things like having conversations and bonding with those around you. The stronger the connections you form with those near you during this time, the higher your chances of surviving.
Realistic Bugout Bag, Make Sure You Blend In
Just so you are aware, so many people feel desperate during disaster situations that even those who seem to be holding their own are scared of the uncertainty deep within their hearts. Nobody knows for sure how long the disaster will persist, and at the same time, no one knows what will happen an hour or a day from that moment on.
To be on the safe side, you should be able to blend in well with those around you. You have to learn to interact with people, learn to read the situation, and anticipate any sudden actions that might pose a danger or situations that can be beneficial to you.
In as much as there is strength in numbers and an elevated sense of security, you should also take care to understand that when things get tough, you might actually need to know when to leave the pack behind and stay with your own.