Well I have discussed the Bug-Out Bags that our children packed in my last post, What’s in your Bug-Out Bag. If you are wondering what in the world a Bug-Out bag is, you should know the purpose. A bug-out bag typically resembles a wilderness pack. There is a reason for that. The purpose of the bag is to get you from where you are to a place of safety, when typical routes or transportation are not available.
The first this I will discuss is the bag itself. I prefer a backpack over a duffel bag. It frees up your hands while trekking and working. It is a personal preference on the bag used. The best option is a pack frame pack, but I currently have a stocked hiking backpack with water bladder, just because I had the pack. I still plan on getting a frame pack so I can tie other equipment to it. Your loads are going to get heavy, so consider giving the older children some packs that they can use to carry a small amount of their stuff in to keep your weight down.
FOODS (keep foods you will normally eat, and you don’t mind eating as you rotate your food stash)
1. Granola Bars and Energy Bars (lightweight, high in energy and nutrients, tastes good)
2. Possibly some Trail Mix
3. Dried Soup Packets (you can get your nutrients and water at the same time, although sodium takes some water from it.)
4. Small air-vacuumed rice packets.
5. Water. The recommended is 1 gallon per person per day. So a family of four needs 4 a day or 12 gallons in a 72 hour bag. Not realistic, so we carry what we can and add the next item in the kit.
6. Water purification tablets. They take little space and allow you to drink water from natural sources. This is important, since you probably cant carry 12 gallons of water.
1. Full set of clothes, both short and long sleeve. With my military background and hiking experience, I will tell you not to have a pair of socks, but SEVERAL pair of fresh socks. Also, when trekking, take frequent breaks to air out your feet. Your feet will thank you.
2. Poncho, or rain jacket and rain pants.
3. Hat for keeping the sun off
Shelter or Bedding Items
1. Space blankets. Possibly wool blankets. Keep pack space in mind.
2. Someone gave me the idea of a bedsheet. It takes very little space and will add a little comfort and more insulation when used with a space blanket.
3. Hammock or hammock net. Hammocks take a little less space, but the hammock nets can be used as a NET. Both will keep you warm.
4. I always keep tarps. Good for makeshift shelters, collecting water, or waterproofing your pack.
5. Small hiking tent or dome tent. Sometimes you don’t have time for a proper shelter, and a quick tent is a decent substitute.
Light or Fire Starting
1. Flashlights. LEDs are best because they last for a really long time. Battery operated lights are legitimate, but consider crank or shake lights so there is backup when batteries are drained. Also, LED headlamps are awesome. Once again, they free up your hands.
2. Small signal flares
3. Tea light candles, but not during the summer in the south. They will melt, since this bag will probably be in your vehicle.
4. Lighters. I have 4 Bic lighters and a long flexible butane lighter. Bics almost always work, but the butane lighter is fairly wind proof.
5. Waterproof matches
1. A good survival knife. This is VERY important. No hollow handles! Ka-bar is always good. My personal favorite survival knife has been the COLT TACTICAL SURVIVAL KNIFE for price and build.
2. A good multitool, like a Leatherman or Gerber. Make sure you have a lifetime warranty before you buy it. 3. Compact Shovel or military E-Tool 4. Pen and paper make a great tool for your memory, or for you to leave notes to rescuers.
5. AM-FM Weather Radio with Battery and Crank option
6. Lots of paracord. Extremely versatile. Not only as a cord, climbing rope, and lashing material it can also be used for the internal fibers for fishing line or snares!
7. Map of your area and a compass. Learn to use them! They are no good if you don’t know how to use them.
8. Aluminum foil. You can fashion this into anything (reflectors, drinking cups, bowls for cooking, etc.)
9. Duct tape is good for blisters, and repairs.
10. Pepper Spray
11. Prepaid phone AND prepaid phone card. Possibly a better idea would be the SpareOne phone.
12. List of important phone numbers (including banks)
13. Extra credit card and/or debit card
14. Extra cash of about $300 ($600 for a family of 4)
15. Even if you have a map and compass, a decent GPS is a great tool when charged.
1. A good First Aid Kit. First Aid is quite possibly an entire blog post in itself, so I will limit what I say. There are lots of good pre-made first aid kits. If you choose to make your own (like I did), make sure you have anteseptic, bandages, gauze, hand sanitizer, small soap bar, advil/asprin/tylenol/ibuprofen, at least 1-2 weeks of your prescription medications (since it takes very little space). Consider medicines that can’t take extreme hot or cold, but have a stash that you can get to in a hurry. Add any other meds you know you will need.
1. Toilet paper can be pressed down and take very little space.
2. Feminine hygene products
3. Toothbrush (break handle in half for space saving if desired)
4. Diapers and baby wipes if you have little ones or a viable substitue One thing to consider on all of the items is that if you have the means, you could use vacuum sealing to reduce size and lengthen shelf life or the Bug-Out Bag Contents. Just remember, once you cut open the bags, they are no longer sealed. If you have all of this in your pack, you will have a great start. Everyone will adjust the list to their needs. If ANYONE of you guys have suggestions of what you have in your bag, PLEASE add it to the comments. Also, if you would like my recommendations for any of the items listed, just comment. As always, check out my facebook page, twitter page, or email me if you have any questions, or future blog suggestions. If any subject related companies that would like to sponsor this blog, or anyone has comments please email me.
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