A few days ago someone posted this thread regarding Things That are NOT Needed in a Bug Out Bag, which perked my attention. Normally, we like to focus our attention on what should be included in our bag but never really consider the opposite question: what doesn’t belong. I know for a fact that my bug out bag is stuffed to the gills with as much as I could fit; certainly, this will include both necessary and (probably) unnecessary stuff as well.
Seeing as though I enjoy being a very organized and thorough person, I realized that this is a big part of what an organizer does, and that is deciding what doesn’t need to be in a person’s house. To make things worse, preppers tend to stockpile more stuff than the average Joe which only contributes to overcrowding. In this case, however, the question is what does and doesn’t belong in your bug out bag?
Let me post a small part of the OP’s comments (I’ll leave out his explanations to save on space):
“What commonly listed items do you NOT include in your SHTF backpack?
Across innumerable backpack/BoB/INCH threads, I see certain items repeatedly included that I consider dead weight and of limited utility.
A couple I’ve noticed:
- Folding Shovels/Entrenching Tools
- Survival Manuals and Military Field Manuals
What say you? Any commonly listed favorites that you can live without?”
I immediately looked at his list and said “Wait a minute… I have those things in our bags!” Others chimed in and said they don’t keep things like:
- a deck of playing cards
- chemical lights
- hand warmers
- precious metals
- plastic spoons, knives, and forks
- gill net
- medical supplies (that you don’t know how to use)
- a tent
- D-cell flashlight
I keep most of those things in our bags too… yikes! Am I doing something wrong? And, if you do also, are you doing something wrong too?
I say not at all. My bag is not his bag. Similarly, your bag is not my bag. What you choose to include is your business. Of course, space and weight are huge considerations in any bug out bag build, so I recognize the need to reduce and remove unnecessary gear. In fact, I did just that not too long ago. Seeing as though I couldn’t have unused space, however, I quickly filled it with things like more freeze-dried food.
From my own experience, here’s some examples of personal items…
A Few Things I Used to Keep (but have since removed):
- backpacking tent – now I just keep a sturdy tarp and paracord to makeshift a shelter if need be (and save loads of space).
- kukri (sort of like a machete) – it’s a neat toy but I’m not very experienced with one so I choose to rely on a good fixed-blade knife instead.
- commando (wire) saw – where to start… other than they’re worthless.
- fishing kit – I’m not planning on heading into the wilderness or even be anywhere I could catch fish in the first place.
Some Things I Still Keep (but probably don’t need):
- assorted personal hygiene items – we have an entire small travel kit that includes far more than just toothpaste.
- flask – gotta’ have at least one vice!
- carabiners – don’t see me ever really using these, especially since I only keep paracord.
- facial tissue – doesn’t weigh much and I had a small pocket that just begged for them to be there.
- various entertainment – crosswords, deck of cards, kid’s coloring book, etc.
- emergency mylar blankets – these things are horrible but for some reason I just can’t bring myself to take the last ones out.
In all honesty, there are likely plenty of other pieces of gear that I might not use, it just depends on the situation. So, what about you? Any of these items sound familiar? What did I miss or am I wrong?