A bug out bag is an item anyone who is even slightly invested in prepping should own. A bug out bag is a collection of things that should give you everything you need to get through the first few days on the road. You should be able to grab it in a minute, and it should be your best friend when times are tough.
Obviously what you put in your bag is of the utmost importance. Let’s look at 18 items that no bug out bag should be without.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHTEEN
1. An Easy-to-Carry, Weather Resistant Backpack: You will need something to store all of your goodies in. Your backpack should keep you stash warm and dry in all environments.
2. At Least 2 Liters of Water: First and foremost, you need some water. Water is the key to life, and the key to keeping yours going more than a day or two.
3. 30 Water Purification Tablets: A secondary water option for long term survival. As we will soon see, redundancy is essential.
4. Protein or Granola Bars: You’ll want some light weight, non-perishable, high calorie and nutrient food. Other good ideas are crackers and peanut butter, beef jerky, freeze dried food and MREs.
5. A First Aid Kit: A must-have for any survival kit. You can buy one, but making your own will help you get acquainted with how everything works.
6. An LED Flashlight: You will need some light for darker times. LED flashlights last longer and shine brighter. Store some extra batteries.
7. A Portable, Battery Powered Radio: This may be your only source of information while on the road. Store some extra batteries.
8. A Survival Knife: You will use this a lot for things like chopping wood, opening cans, etc. I can talk for ages on the subject but here’s a quick, important-thing cheat sheet:
- A stainless steel or carbon blade
- A 6-9”, single edged blade with a sharp point (nothing hooked, flat or rounded)
- A 4-6” fixed handle, with full tang, solid pommel and no-slip grip
- A sheath you can connect to your person, with crossover strap so your knife doesn’t fall out
9. Strike Anywhere Matches, A Piece of Emery Board, in a Plastic Container: This is your fire starting kit. The emery board is used for striker.
10. Dental Floss, Fishing Hooks and Sewing Needles: These tools can be used for:
- Making fishing lines
- Sewing torn clothes and fabrics
- Stitching wounds
11. Paracord, Plastic Sheeting and Duct Tape: For making rain shelters and sealing broken windows.
12. Garbage Bags: For removing waste, and fashioning into ponchos.
13. Warm Hat, Gloves and Socks: Keep your extremities warm to maintain your body heat.
14. A Mirror: For signalling to others visually, and inspecting wounds that are hard to see.
15. A Whistle: For scaring off animals and signalling to others.
16. A Pencil Wrapped in Paper: For leaving notes to others.
17. Photocopies of Important Documents: You should have some copies of any important documents you have, such as:
- Your passport
- Driver’s license
- Home and vehicle info
- Contact phone numbers
18. A Compass and Maps of the Area: These will help you escape trouble and navigate you and your family to safety.
Keep your bug out bag in an out of the way place, but a place you can grab it quickly when needed. If disaster ever strikes, it will be your lifeline.
For more reading, check out How to Make a Wilderness Survival Kit.
Good luck and stay prepared!
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