After talking to survivalist and prepper friends and watching videos night after night after night, I have a fairly descent handle on this business of building a complete bug out bag. I am not an expert in any way, and will enjoy input from anyone. When we actually have to bug out, the possibility arises that we may never be able to go home again.
This is the reason we need to make our bug out bag so complete. When disaster strikes, we may be okay, but the rest of the population who are not prepared, will be a bigger problem than living in the wilderness.
Bug Out Location
We need to plan our bug out location so we have a safe place to go. Many people plan bug out destinations with a network of others and will meet at that place for safety reasons. A group of people have a greater chance of survival than one or two people but don’t rely on your bug out group to provide for you. That is your responsibility!
As you travel you want to be what survivalist refer to as a “grey person”. We don’t want to be noticed or stand out for any reason.There will always be someone that thinks that what you own should belong to them. Knowing exactly where you are headed, gives you the ability to stay out of the public eye and not draw attention to yourself.
Let’s start with the actual bag that we want to use to carry all our necessities in. The best backpack is one made of durable material, strong construction, comfortable to carry, of basic color, and with compartments on the outside of the main pack. When your backpack is full, it should not be over 45% of your body weight.
You may be planning on taking off in your vehicle but at some point in time you will have to carry your pack so be mindful of the weight. Take a weekend and do a practice run with your loaded bug out bag to make sure you can manage the weight.
A bug out bag that makes sense to me is made by Kelty and is called a Coyote. You can checked them out at Kelty.com, at sporting goods stores like L.L. Bean or Cabelo’s and even Wa-lMart carries some styles. My main reason for liking this bag is the fact that the top compartment detaches and serves as a mini survival kit in the form of a fanny pack or sling pack. (EDC)
Take the little kit (EDC) with you for a day of scouting and leave the heavy stuff at your base camp. Having compartments on the outside of the big bag makes it easy to access your first aid kit. This is where you will all have your conceal to carry firearm, loaded, should you need either of these two items in a hurry.
Water and Food Supply
The need to stay hydrated is a main concern if you are traveling by foot and carrying a backpack. Have at least two or more options for water. This could be a LifeStraw, aqua tablets, water purification powder or prepacked pouches.
Don’t overdo the water pouches since they add weight to your pack. If your bug out bag is Mollie compatible, hook on a military canteen with the container on the bottom that can be use to heat water. Visit an Army surplus store.
Have a zip lock bag with such things as instant tea and coffee, powdered fruit drinks, powdered protein drinks, and recovery drinks. Instant packets of soup are a good idea and they will lay flat in your bag and not take up much room.
Fold up some heavy duty aluminum fold and put in that bag to use for a make shift bowl. Add a flat water bladder to use for water purification at the camp site.
As far as food is concerned, always look for the highest caloric intake possible and the smallest in size. Add a couple packs of freeze dried food that you just have to add water to, heat and eat. Their shelf life is around 20 years.
You can add protein bars of your choice but check them out for expiration dates. Another good product would be some energy gel used by bikers and 5 hour energy shots.
Shelter, Warmth, Fire
Now that food and water are covered, lets talk about shelter and warmth. For your personal use, put in an extra pair of jeans, couple pairs of wool socks, a bandana, and a light-weight but wind resistant jacket. Roll them in a small drawstring bag so it can double as a pillow.
For fire starting, have a little water proof container or strong zip lock bag with tender, waterproof matches, flint or fire starting tool. Throw in a bic too, why not! Rig up a fishing kit with hooks, line, sinkers, and little troll for digging bait.
Hobby Lobby sells many sizes of plastic, press close bags for making up all your kits for your bug out bag. I would suggest using a small one purchased there to stuff some cotton balls in that are laced with vaseline to use for fire starting. If you purchase a bag with the detachable EDC bag, (Every Day Carry) make another fire starting kit for it also.
Shelter can be a light weight 2 person tent or if you have a large poncho and paracord, make a lean-to. Some people would rather be off the ground so they carry a survival hammock. Wrap up two large heavy duty trash bags with reusable zip ties and they can be used for shelter or stuff them full of leaves for a mattress. Add a light weight sleeping bag and a polar shield blanket.
First Aid and Hygiene
Some of the things the first aid kit should include are, band aids, gauze pads, anti-septic and antibiotic creams, aspirin, nsaids, tape, eye wash, tweezers, little scissors, your personal meds, and some duct tape wrapped around a small piece of plastic or cardboard. You can purchase compact, first aid kits and customize them to your needs.
Another survival kit to create is one with all your personal information in it: copies of ins. cards, I D’s, pictures of family members, phone numbers, a map of your area and state, sewing kit and another bic lighter.
Fix up a personal hygiene bag with toothpaste and brush, baby wipes, some toilet paper, packets of hand soap, shampoo, nail file, comb or small brush and insect repellent wipes and a bug net. If you have special needs, put the items in this bag.
The one item all survivalist, preppers and campers say not to settle for second best is your survival knife. If you purchase the right knife, it can take the place of other equipment that’s heavy to carry like a machete, axe or hatchet. Most prefer the fixed blade to the folding blade and would rather have a straight edge compared to a serrated one.
The hard core gear is going to depend on the needs of your bug out destination. Another necessary item would be a flashlight and headlamp with extra batteries.
People are also packing solar units for charging batteries and cell phones. Find a portable AM/FM crank radio and a survival guide. Your choice of self-defense is just that, a choice. I’ll be taking my 22 rifle and a 380 pistol, and ammo for both.
I’ve tried to cover what you will need to survive when you have to bug out. Everyone has their own needs and ideas and we should be willing to accept that. Do more research (I know I will), if you wish and of course, our ideas may change as we become more knowledgeable about survival. For now, this is what I know and as always, “Keep Your Chin in The Wind”, you will survive!