Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bug Out Bag

In the case of emergency you need to have a plan. That's why you need a bug out bag. The contents of a bug out bag can vary, but this bag contains supplies for you to survive for 72 hours.  If there is a disaster, this bag gives you enough time to reach a safe place. This kit is not meant for survival, it's meant to get from point A to point B in three days.

"Better to have, and not need, 
than to need, and not have."
-Franz Kafka

This kit contains the essentials supplies like food, water, clothing, first aid, shelter, hygiene, defense, tools etc for one person that fall into twelve categories
Bug out bag ready to go.
 A flash flood, extensive power outages, and tornadoes, while not a zombie apocalypse, make a bug out bag extremely useful. If you've ever broken down, just a bottle of water and a protein bar would be useful.

I started with an ALICE pack from a military surplus store. It has a lot of pockets and is well priced. I ditched the frame for space.

Water is the most essential item. You can live three weeks without food, but only three days without water. Three bottles of water will suffice, but I recommend a portable water filter which would allow you to drink water from any source. If space is a concern. you could get a collapsible water bottle, I opted for a typical Nalgene bottle. Opt for BPA free plastic bottles. BPA is a material in some plastics that can leech into water. A survival kit would require one gallon per day.

A box of protein bars is sufficient. If you are making a survival kit, add metal cookware and bottle  for durability, a portable cook top, and a can opener. You can get dehydrated meals but they take up more space and are expensive when compared to protein bars.

A change of clothes provides flexibility. You always need at least one set of dry clothes. If it's cold you can layer. Pack long pants, a long sleeve shirt, a fleece jacket, socks, underwear, a cap, working gloves, sunglasses, rain poncho, and a watch cap. This will allow you to adapt to the weather.
The only thing I don't have that I'd like is a shemagh. It's like a scarf but the name sounds rugged. Wetting it and wrapping around your head cools you down, it helps you avoid sand or dust, it can be used for warmth, or as a bandage.
Clothing items and a tarp.

A tarp and wool blanket are the minimum items needed. A tarp cab be rigged as shelter or enclose your car if the windows are broken. A wool blanket will keep you warm.
If you are looking for survival, you need a sleeping bag and tent

Heat can be crucial, even during summer nights. Always have a backup. If you only have one heat source, it will fail. I'm using a magnesium striker and a typical lighter. These will need to be stored in a waterproof bag. Tinder would be an excellent addition.


First aid is a must. I also include an emergency blanket, latex tubing,  and insect repellant. If I took specific medications, i would include them as well.


If you're having to rough it in your car or the woods, hygiene may not be a big concern, but hand sanitizer, a mirror, and toilet paper are items you will want to bring. I would also include Aquafor, which fills the need of lotion, chapstick, and items of that nature. A survival pack would include a mini-toothbrush  and all-purpose camp soap . Camp soap is a sheet that lathers when wet.
First aid, hygiene, and travel items.


While this is the most fun category, I'm keeping it simple. A multi-tool and a chainsaw blade are the minimum. A Chainsaw blade will cut through larger limbs better than a multi-tool or hatchet. If you want to up the cool factor, a survival knife and a hatchet fit the bill. While many recommend a machete, due to size a hatchet will serve you better. Don't forget parachute cord, duct tape, garbage bags, a dust mask, ear plugs, microfiber towel. and a small shovel.
A survival kit would need a sewing kit, fishing kit, swim goggles, and snares
Tools, lighting, and heat sources.


You need to have multiple light sources in case of failure. An led flashlight, candles, and a key chain light are a minimum. When a light fails, you don't want to be left in the dark. Don't forget spare batteries.


While you can get a solar panel and charger, a hand crank emergency radio is all you really need. Solar charging is expensive. Regardless of the situation, you want to stay informed.


You need maps that you can get from travel centers, or you can check your state's website. A map will beat a low battery GPS every time. Include a compass, a waterproof notepad, and a pencil. Quarters and small bills aid travel through tolls and in case ATM's are down. An emergency whistle is better than yelling and louder. Don't forget identification and medical records.


This is hotly debated category, a minimum would be pepper spray. Many people recommend automatic rifles and a hand gun. It's up to you. My pack doesn't include defense items. Adhere to local laws for fire arms and weapons.

Items like food and medication will need to be replaced yearly. This kit that I've shown today would cost you $300 if you bought each component new, but most of this stuff I already had . Thrift stores also have these items for bargain prices. 

"Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure."

The unexpected can and does happen. It's best to be prepared. You may not need all of these items, but any kit, even a small kit, is better than no kit. A lot of these items you may already have. 
I have included links to each item I suggest. I've researched, and the links are what I would or have purchased
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