The point of this article is to help you build your own comprehensive ultimate survival kit/bug out bag for you and your family. It can often take up to 3 days for help to arrive and reach you in emergencies. Having a kit prepared will often mean the difference between relative comfort and being in a dicey situation where you and your loved ones’ health and well-being are at risk.
Most of the items listed are relatively cheap and require minimal space. A survival kit is an essential item, and there is really no excuse not to have one. About $200 and an afternoon will often be enough to set one up, and you’ll have the safety and peace of mind that come with knowing you’re prepared.
Tactical Bug Out Bag Essentials
Here’s a selected list of items. You don’t necessarily need all of these items, but really think hard before crossing one of your lists. It’s always better to be over-prepared than underprepared and how much food to stockpile per person.
- A weather-resistant container or backpack: to store your kit items in.
- A copy of important documents: Your passport, driver’s license, contact phone numbers, etc. These will come in handy if you need to drive, identify yourself, pass checkpoints, etc.
- 3 liters of water per person: if you have space, the store even more. But 1 Liter of water/person/day is the minimum recommended.
- 3 day’s worth of non-perishable: survival food list you can store for long periods, prepare easily, and are high calorie/high nutrient. Some ideas: Peanut butter, beef jerky, fruit cup, raisins, crackers, chicken noodle soup, MREs, ramen noodles, granola bars, instant oatmeal, freeze-dried food. Some high-calorie junkie food is fine here, as it will supply maximum calories with its limited space and offer some comfort in an emergency.
- A mess kit: knives, forks, spoons, cups, and plates to eat your food with. Disposables are good, as water may be limited in an emergency, and you won’t want to waste it on dishwashing.
- First aid kit: an essential item to your kit. There are many kits available for sale at a low price. If you’re looking to build your own kit and become acquainted will all its items.
- Battery-powered portable radio: it may be your only info on the disaster. Have a backup set of batteries as well.
- Medication: keep an extra stash of any medications needed by your family. You never know when you’ll have access to a pharmacy again.
- An extra pair of glasses/contact lenses: for anyone who uses them.
- LED flashlight: a bright, energy-efficient LED flashlight (go for yellow or white-colored light, as it is most visible). Have an extra set of batteries.
- Swiss army knife: many potential uses on these babies.
- Lighter: I prefer a lighter to matches- takes up less space, easier to use, and is less likely to be ruined by water. I’ve always been baffled why some kits recommend matches.
- Pencil and notebook: if you need to take or leave notes, write down information, etc.
- 50 water purification tablets: to purify water. Unscented household bleach and an eye dropper will work as well.
- Personal hygiene: shampoo, bar soap, liquid soap, disinfectant, sunscreen, bug repellent, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, lip balm, wet wipes, tissues, dust mask.
- Tools: hammer and nails, adjustable wrench, bungee chord, staple gun, crowbar.
- Sewing kit: for fixing clothes and gear.
- 3 oz. Gel fuel: for cooking if the power is out.
- 3 garbage bags: for waste. It can be used as ponchos as well (the clean ones, at least).
- 6 Ziploc bags: put food leftovers in, can be useful in other ways.
- A Warm blanket: to stay warm if the power goes out. 1 per family member.
- Extra clothes: to stay warm and dry. And remember- you can’t have too many socks.
- Poncho: protection from the rain/snow.
- Compass; critical should you need to evacuate and travel to another location.
- Candles: for light if the power goes out.
- Mirror: for grooming/treating wounds that are difficult to see.
- Whistle: signaling others, scaring off animals.
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape: for sealing broken windows, among other things.
- Large heavy-duty: plastic bags and plastic buckets: for waste/sanitation.
- Emergency cash: have some cash on hand, including quarters for phones.
- Maps of the area: should you need to evacuate and move to another location.
Optional Bug Out Bag Kit Items
- Compact camping stove: for boiling water, cooking food. If the power goes out or finds yourself on the move, this can come in extremely handy. It’s worth considering, but it can be bulky and expensive, so I was hesitant to include it in essentials.
- Camping Gear: (tents, sleeping gear, etc.) if you live in an area with a lot of wilderness, this can come in extremely handy should you need to evacuate your home.
- Gas masks: if you live in an area that could be a terrorist target or could potentially face a chemical disaster, this is an idea. I’ve heard painter’s respirators with activated carbon filter canisters can be used as a decent, less expensive substitute.
11 Common Bug Out Bag Mistakes That You Need to Avoid
The bugout bag is important to anyone who is keen on preparedness. It is an important element that you cannot take for granted when things get tough and disaster strikes. Take your time to learn all you can about preparedness, reading books and blogs, and watching TV shows about how to be prepared.
If you have to leave your home during a disaster, you may not know when you can come back. Because of this, if you make some mistakes in preparing your bugout bag, you could be in a lot of trouble. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make with bugout bags.
What Is a Bug Out Bag?
Basically, your bugout bag is your ultimate survival kit and bug out bag shelter, the one thing that will house everything that you need to get you through whatever disaster situation you happen to find yourself in.
The bugout bag should help you think small. You know that you are not planning a holiday experience somewhere in the wild. You are trying to get as far away as possible from a disaster. When you are getting your bag ready, you need to remember that this is meant to carry only the things you need.
You need to remember the bugout bag because besides keeping all your basic, essential provisions in it, it is supposed to keep you going for at least three days, not a year, so plan accordingly when you are packing.
Why You Need a Bug Out Bag?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is one of the main sources of legitimate and accurate information on the bugout bag and one where preppers usually seek expert advice.
The bugout bag is important, not just to you but to those you love. It is packed with necessities to help you to survive a disaster ordeal. Natural or otherwise, emergencies often strike without notice. This should be reason enough to get you planning for the worst-case scenario.
Imagine a situation where there is a chemical spill, and you need to evacuate immediately, or if there has been an earthquake, and you have to get as far away from the area as possible. How would you handle this situation?
Take some time and imagine if you were given 15 minutes to leave your house and vacate to safety. What would you carry? What would you leave behind? It is for this reason that you need to have a bugout bag.
A bugout bag is all about preparedness. This is not something that you are going to pack overnight and be ready to go. This is something that you should prepare for many weeks or even months in advance. Preparing a bugout bag ahead of time helps you carefully plan what you need to take.
Also, updating the bag regularly keeps the contents relevant to your needs. It is all about making sure that you don’t get caught unawares. When preparing the bag, you have to have in mind every room in the house. Every important aspect of the room must be considered so that you do not run the risk of leaving behind anything that you would find useful to you in the long run.
Don’t Select the Wrong Bug Out Bag: Picking Haphazardly
You need to spend some time and select your bugout bag carefully. This bag could be your lifeline for several days. Many people often look at bugout bags that they find on websites and decide to purchase them just because they think they look awesome. No. To be precise, there was a time when I was checking out a bugout bag that was being reviewed on a particular website that I used to frequent.
This bag was hyped as a military-type bag, and indeed it seemed to have a lot of room in it. With a lot of room and the military concept behind the bag, I was totally hooked on it, considering that these are guys who basically spend a lot of time on the road, so it sounded like a good buy. Besides, the bag looked cool to me too.
I immediately made an order. When I got the bag, it was just as I had hoped for, with all the cool compartments. On the other hand, the bag weighed close to six pounds without anything inside. How would I carry this after packing in all the stuff that I wanted with my small size? Luckily, I happened to know someone big enough who could make some good use out of it.
So, what did I learn here? When you want to purchase a bugout bag, it is important to ensure that you try it out before placing an order. While today we are fascinated with shopping online, when it comes to your bugout bag, take your time and purchase it in a store. Try it out; make sure it fits and be functional, and then you can take it home.
Before you purchase the bag, go to stores where these bags are sold, like an academy or any sports store that stock such. Speak to their salespersons and tell them what you need. Take your time and find a bag that fits your size, shape, and physique, and that will not become a bother for you when you are using it.
To know if the size will be perfect for you, try inserting some weights in it to see if it really is manageable. Try and walk around in the bag for at least 10 or 20 minutes inside the store and determine whether it will be comfortable for you. Remember that those 20 minutes are crucial to you since you could be carrying the bag for days.
Eventually, I managed to find one bag that was just perfect for me, but I can guarantee you that I had to be very patient to find what I wanted.
Purchasing a Bag That Stands Out Doesn’t Blend In, The Attention Seeker Bugout Bag
I always thought people with esteem issues were the ones who were attention seekers until I came across particular bugout bags that did just that. From my experience, you need a bag that does not really attract unnecessary attention. Of particular note is the color of the bag. You need not pick a bag with screaming colors. You don’t want to get all the wrong attention directed towards you. If yours has bright colors, you may have just turned yourself into an easy target.
To avoid this, always go for the dark and plain-colored bags, with careful choices in navy, black, grey, or khaki-colored bags. At the same time, focus on the design of the bag. Make sure that it is not too fancy. In such a situation, you should be looking for something functional rather than fashionable.
When packing, always try not to pack anything outside the bag, especially anything that chimes or jingles, because this could attract the attention of not only people looking to pilfer the contents of your bugout bag but also animal predators that might also lie in wait.
Packing Too Little Food or Water, Which is More Important?
As we said earlier, when it comes to survival outside your home in the event of a disaster, water is at the top of the list of what you’ll need. You have to carry enough water to get you from one point to another. Packing water purifiers and iodine tablets to use in case you come across a source of water that might be contaminated are also a must.
But, what happens if you never come across a source of water? Always make sure that you carry with you as much water as you could need.
Packing Unnecessary Equipment and Items, Don’t Overload The Bag
A lot of people make the error of panic packing their bugout bags. You have to know how much weight is enough for you to tug along and what should be in the bag.
The highest amount of weight suggested for you to tug along should be on the higher side of a quarter or a third of your weight. Still, a third of one’s weight is an extreme measure for those built for this kind of thing. Considering that not everyone has the build for it, hauling around a third of your weight through rugged terrain and many other dangerous conditions is not easy.
When you are packing, you need to remember the real possibility of walking through treacherous conditions, running for your life, or even having to stay still and wait for some uncertain situation to pass before you can continue on your journey. As has been said in the past, always plan for the worst, but hope for the best.
Forgetting The Children’s Bug Out Bag
Understandably, you will end up packing a lot of supplies for your children inside your bugout bag, but at the same time, consider packing some supplies for them in their own bags that they can carry with them. This will include things like snacks, small toys, or anything that can make them comfortable.
The best thing about this is that by carrying their own bags, it will have eased enough space on yours to carry other useful stuff that you will need on your way. Of course, you should not overload your kids’ bags because this will only slow down your journey and give you twice the challenge you are trying to avoid.
Keep In Shape, Understand How Much You Can Physically Carry
Keeping in shape is important when planning for emergencies. Once, I was walking down the street, and I happened to chance upon some guy pacing on the sidewalk very early in the morning with a big backpack. I questioned what he was doing, thinking that the weather was fine, and there had been no disasters reported on the news for a very long time.
But, since I was an early morning jogger, I had the chance to meet him again a few more times. The third time I met him, I gathered up some strength and asked him what he was doing. He told me he was getting in shape for a backpacking trip that he had been planning for a few months. That was when it hit me! What a splendid idea!
Getting in shape before an emergency is an only common sense. While I can understand that having to do the whole activity with the bag on one’s back might be a tall order, you can do some exercises that will help you get into shape and be ready for your possible crisis.
Not Packing Supplies to Fix Your Bug Out Bag If Repairs are Needed
In your journey, you may come across various terrains, diverse weather situations, and many other circumstances that could rip your bag. For this purpose, you should have a sewing kit with you to take care of any tear that might happen. You need a small, heavy-duty sewing kit. Some are available that can double as suturing needles.
If you don’t bring anything to help repair the bag, you could lose some of your bag’s contents along the way or have to carry the bag on one arm if one of the straps lets go. The bag is supposed to be conveniently strapped around your shoulders, and any other position would change the convenience and comfort levels of carrying it around, which in turn will slow you down.
Lack of Familiarity and Hands-On Training with Tools In The Bag Contents
If you are the kind of person who packs their bags a long advance, be sure to check through the contents from time to time. You need to know what is important and what is not. You have to check the packed clothing to ensure that they fit in with whichever season you are planning for, and for the kids, they still fit.
If your bug out bag is packed with gadgets that you don’t know how to use, it would be a useless effort. The items that you bring in your bug out bag has to be Important for your survival. The only way the item can show important is only when you know how to use it correctly.
There are contents of your bag that may have either dried, expired, or leaked. These need to be thrown away. When you organize your bag, you have to be familiar with the contents, so you don’t leave anything to chance. This also helps you to find something in the bag.
Pack Sharp Objects Correctly
Always make certain that all the sharp things that you are taking with you are correctly covered. This means that you should have the right kind of protection for things like knives, axes, or machetes.
Besides the fact that they could cause an injury, they could become a weapon toward you. Even in your hands, they could become a hazard if an accident occurs. If not correctly concealed, they can harm you, or tear your bag, something that you surely must avoid.
Don’t Pack At the Last Minute
Last-minute packing is one of the worst things you can do. It would be best to wait until there is a disaster for you to start emergency packing. That’s the perfect recipe for mistakes. You are much more likely to leave important things behind and instead carry with you many unnecessary items.
There is a good reason why we call this preparedness. It’s to get you ready in case disaster strikes. You must get your things perfectly inventoried to ensure that you know where everything is.
Don’t Have a Planned Escape Route
When you are planning the route, you need to consider the following important factors:
- Consider where you are starting your journey from and where you are heading to
- Consider the person that you are taking with you on the journey
- Consider the mode of transportation that you will be using on the route
- Consider the equipment or anything else that you will have to carry or bring along with you
That being said, there are important tools that you must have to get through or to use the bugout route as desired. These are:
- A compass
- Pen and paper to document notable things you come across along the way
- Communication equipment
Finally, once you have all of these in check, you need to plan for the route assessment. Route assessment is all about being familiar with the route, and making sure that you are comfortable with it, and any other alternatives that are available.
For a proper route assessment you need to do the following:
- Familiarize yourself with the area
- Look for any possible routes that can be used as alternatives and from there prioritize them
- Make sure that the alternative routes have been documented on the map
Take some time and run through all the routes to know them well enough.
With these tips, you should be able to make your way out of any situation and get you and your family to safety. Don’t forget to practice your escape route with your bugout bag packed. Involve everyone that will be coming with you. Being prepared is much safer than panicking in the face of adversity.
Quick Reference Bug Out Bag List
The following is an ultimate bug out bag list that can help you plan for the things that you will need for your bugout experience:
Waterproof tent or tarp
- Dehydrated meals
- Sleeping bag (ultra-light)
- Mosquito net shelter
- Water filter & bottle
- Water bottle
- Solar water collection bags
- Map compass
- Survival knife
- Can opener
- First aid kit
- Road maps
- Topographical maps
- Firearms if necessary
- Antibacterial soap
- Transistor radio
- Nose and mouth mask
- Extra clothing
- Duct tape
- Drinking water
- Source of heat
- Insect repellant
- Wet napkins
- Hand sanitizer
- Travel toilet paper
- LED headlamps
- Money in small bills
- Emergency whistle
- Face paint
- Resealable bags
Ultimate Survival Bug Out Bag Bare Essentials
When you start creating your checklist when planning your bug out bag, many people often run to the internet searching for an answer. There are a lot of designs that you will find from people’s experiences, from self-proclaimed experts, and others.
When you do this, you might end up with a very lengthy list of supplies that you will need to get you through the ordeal. But, not everything on the list that you select will be helpful to you. When you think about it, everyone will compile their own list depending on their experiences and needs. Circumstances differ from one person to the other.
You might actually end up with a hefty bag with contents that you may not need. Instead, let’s have a look at a straightforward structure for your bugout bag, a building that will surely aid you in building a realistic bug out bag.
Bug Out Bag Essentials
While there is much that you could pack in your bug out bag, really, you don’t need to have a lot, just the bare essentials.
Check out…ultimate survival kit / bug out bag guide
Water is Critical
This is the most important thing that you should plan for. You can survive for days on water only, even if you run out of food. You have to bring enough water with you because you can never be too certain about there being clean water wherever you go.
Nevertheless, if your escape route runs along with a good source of fresh water, you can replenish your supplies along the way. The most important thing to remember about water is that you must have clean water.
Contracting waterborne diseases, especially during an emergency, is not hard. For the same reason, you have to be careful because there might not be any medical facilities around you. Clean water is a must.
When determining your perfect water bottle, try and make certain that you get strong but lightweight. Getting a strong water bottle is important. If it happens to fall, it should not crack or break and spill your water. Today, different manufacturers have really awesome water bottles for such purposes, such as the Nalgene water bottle.
A water filter is necessary to help you get clean water. As mentioned previously, you might find a water source at some point on your way, but this does not necessarily mean that it will be water safe for drinking. You have to treat at least and filter the water before you drink it.
If you can collect rainwater, for instance, you cannot just drink it directly. This is where a good water filter will come in handy. Some will use UV pens, chlorine, or water treatment tablets for this purpose, but a good filter will also do just fine.
Some of these elements also need you to use batteries, which hopefully you’ve included in your bag. You’ll also need a manual filter, something that will keep you going for days without worry.
Climate-Appropriate Clothing and Shelter
Once you have your food and water in check, next, you must consider clothing and shelter. Don’t forget that our concern here is to get nothing but the basic survival needs.
This is supposed to be as simple as possible. Your clothes choice should make it easier for you to survive once you have gotten away from the immediate dangerous situation. You will need two pairs of long pants, two long-sleeve shirts, two pairs of socks, and two underwear changes. For your long pants, you need to get very strong and durable options like types of denim. Also, consider a pair of sweatpants if it’s cold.
If it’s hot, still bring jeans, but also bring some shorts. Although they leave a lot of your body exposed, it’s also important to stay cool. Make sure you have enough coverage to protect you from the sun, remembering too that much of that can be accomplished with sunscreen.
The biggest factor in selecting your clothes is to keep your choices as functional as possible. This is an evacuation situation, a disaster, and that’s all you need to worry about.
You need a protective covering of some type for your head pack, at least a baseball cap. You’ll also need a raincoat or poncho. Make sure that nothing is too heavy, or it could slow you down.
With shoes, be sure to pick the right kind. It would be best if you had shoes that will allow you to walk for a very long time without having to worry about your feet. Your shoes need to be comfortable, sturdy, and, most importantly, worn in enough so that you can walk a long distance without feeling like throwing them away.
If you are evacuating during the cold season, don’t forget to pack a pair of gloves.
In an emergency, you’re not looking for a shelter that will be a replacement for a warm and welcome home, but if you chance upon one on your way, make do with it. In terms of shelter, you are looking for something to ward off the weather elements.
The most popular choices people make in this regard are normally from a tent to a simple tarp. Tents can be rather strenuous to carry with you. Besides, carrying a tent with you will probably be difficult and perhaps time-consuming to put up and tear down.
A simple, lightweight tarp probably the best choice to keep you protected from the weather elements. The main aim here is staying alive, and at times this might come at the expense of living comfortably.
You might also carry a sleeping bag with you, but make sure that you get one that will be very easy for you to carry and will not take up a lot of space. Today you can get wonderful lightweight sleeping bags. Sleeping bags can cost you up to $550, but you can get an emergency sleeping kit for under $150. They are so light they can be folded to fit into your hands.
Bug Out Bag Essentials Survival Needs
Your bugout bag is about survival, not just for you, but for your family too. If you have children, you have to plan for them. You always have to make sure that everything that works for you works for them too.
Assuming that your kids are coming with you, you must make sure that you pack bugout bags for them too. These bags should be very light but carry the essentials that they will need along the way. As an adult, you have to plan for them, take risks for them, monitor them, and know when they are struggling. The kids will likely be going through more stress than you but will probably not know how to deal with it or even have the words express their feelings.
Light and Fire
When it comes to fire essentials, you need to be safe. Get disposable lighters, but make sure that you keep them in a waterproof bag. It is still important to have some backup. Carry a box of matches with you too. Some people choose to have lighters and firesteel as options and to ignore the matches. However, there are situations where you might not start a fire anything but matches, so keep a box with you.
Insofar as putting up a source of light is concerned, headlamps are a great choice. One of the main reasons for this is that they are not only lightweight, but they are also awesome for kids. You do not run the risk of losing them or have the inconvenience of having to carry it in your hands while juggling other things too.
For every member of the household, two headlamps would be great if you can carry them. When choosing the headlamps, you need to look at how efficient and effective they will be in your situation. You should use lamps that use AAA batteries; if you can get rechargeable, even better.
As we mentioned earlier, the fact that you are carrying with you a well-stocked bugout bag makes you stand out. Because of this reason, you need to have protective protocols in place. When you set out on your own, you can devise ways of survival to get you by very easily. However, when you are out there with your loved ones, you need to protect them. Even when you are on your own, you still need to make sure that you have a means of protection.
For a lot of people, carrying a gun is the ultimate go-to source of protection. There are different kinds of guns that you can pick for this purpose, but the most important thing is to ensure that your weapon is concealable, like a pistol. If your weapon is not concealable, anyone who notices you from afar can plan on how to take it from you and perhaps use it against you.
One more thing, keep the weapons away from the kids!
For communication, you may see suggestions that you get the military-grade or limited range radios. If you feel that’s necessary, OK. This is important, especially if you are traveling with a large group of people, and you need to stay connected to one another. However, simply staying close to one another is really the best communication equipment you can get. For your phones, you should have a way to charge them. Solar chargers are the best. Walkie-talkies can come in handy too.
If you are getting special communication equipment, teach your family how to use them before an emergency strikes. You can learn, go through the tutorials, and try them out so that you all know what to do. It would be useless to have terrific communication equipment and not know how to use it in a disaster situation.
Since we have probably covered almost everything, you will need as essentials, how about some general tools you should not leave behind?
A good pocket knife will save you a lot of trouble, so make sure you have one with you, and remember to keep it concealed and safe not to harm yourself or anyone around you with it accidentally.
A pair of pliers is such a good multi-use tool and is always good to have with you. They are convenient and will definitely be useful. There are times when you can have them double up as hammers for small nails.
You will need something to boil water and to cook with like a lightweight pot. You’ll also need a first aid kit. A good first aid kit is not one that will allow you to perform a successful surgical operation, but one that allows you to take care of some of the basics, like dressing a wound.
Just because things are tough and out in the wild does not mean that you need to forget about hygiene. By maintaining proper hygiene, you will be able to ward off some communicable illnesses. Ensure that you have some soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and any small elements that will help you in your bugout bag.
For the ladies, you’ll need tampons and/or maxi pads. You will not need your makeup. You might have to camouflage yourself in mud for protective purposes from time to time. You never know what nature will throw your way.
Duct tape; never forget to carry this with you. It’s good for almost everything!
Bandanas come in handy for many reasons, and not just for covering your head. They can also be wrapped around a wound or act as an arm sling.
Spare batteries should absolutely be on your list.
Also, carry with you some form of identification. You never know when this will come in handy.
Together with your plan, it is equally important to ensure that you get the proper navigation equipment to keep you on course. It would be best if you had a detailed map with you. For those with smartphones, the temptation to use Google Maps will be there, but I can guarantee you that Google Maps will only get you so far without a good network connection. If you run out of batteries, you run out of luck.
You must know how to read a map, use a compass, and give and use directions. If there is a pre-arranged location where you are supposed to meet others, make sure that you have at least three routes to get to these locations, just if any of them is impassable.
Those who constantly go on hikes in such areas, try and mark the common spots such as streams, the presence of wildlife, and so forth on your map so that you have an easier time finding them.
Identification and Money
One other thing, though this might not really sound like being so high up on the list for a lot of people, try to carry with you some form of identification. You never know when this will come in handy.
Ensure that you have your identification cards, social security cards, birth certificates, and any other form of identification, especially for your children. These must be kept very carefully.
As you make your plans for evacuating in an emergency, take your time and spare some money aside for this purpose. Ensure that the money you have set aside is in currency denominations that are small enough not to have trouble finding smaller denominations when you are in need.
There is no limit to the amount of money you can set aside for this as long as you are sure that what you set aside will help you get through the toughest times.
Bugging Out Basics: Choosing The Best Emergency Bug Out Bag for You
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.
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