In this article, I am going to discuss a practical bug out bag, and how to build one. Many preppers seem to love bug out bags filled with tactical gear, maybe they should be called a tactical gear bag, and not a bug out bag.
There seems to be this idea that if you need to bug out, you are going to head to the woods, setup your tarp or other survival shelter, live off the land and your preps, then return home when everything calms down.
In reality, that is far from it. When I think of bugging out, I think of leaving home for a few days due to a localised disaster, possibly if you live close to an industrial estate, an explosion at a chemical plant, which will release dangerous gasses into the air, a nuclear melt down at a power plant, volcano eruption (escaping the cloud of ash) and so on… I will usually head to a hotel in a safer location, friends house, or relatives house, and ride out whatever is going down.
There are a number of situations that may force you to leave your home for a short time as I said above, and if the time ever comes that you need to leave home for a longer period of time, say due to your house being in the middle of the city, and there is a social collapse, and it is unsafe to return home for the foreseeable future due to rioting, fires…. a bug out bag isn’t going to be much use, you will need a lot more gear, but we will leave that for another post.
Just a note, bugging out should be your last option, I would prefer to stay in the safety of my home, and the area I know.
How to Pack a Practical Bug Out Bag
In my opinion, a practical bug out bag is a kit that has all the supplies you need to survive away from home, for 72 hours. Any more time, and you will need more gear. The bug out bag is for short term emergencies.
Lets take an example. Recently, I seen on Facebook, a chemical plant explosion, and all residents in the area surrounding it where evacuated for a few days. This is a localised disaster, so bugging out to a location out of the danger zone is what you need to do. This could be a hotel a few miles out of the danger zone, a friends house… not the woods, where you are going to setup camp, and live like Bear Grylls. That’s just impractical, and stupid, when there are other, safer, and better options available.
So, how do you know what to pack?
First off, think about going on a 3 day weekend break. What essential items do you need? Clothes, toiletries, food, water, meds…
This list is for myself, and my climate, you may not need warm clothing if you live in a hot location, so use your head when packing it.
I also have an EDC pouch, which includes my flashlights, chargers, and so on, this is always with me, so I will also have it to hand.
I usually wear jeans, t-shirt, and robust working or hiking boots, so the following on the list is going to be in my bug out bag as spares.
- 3x Underwear
- 4x Socks
- Comfortable Trousers
- Micro Fleece
- Warm Jacket/Fleece/Jumper
- Waterproof Shell
- Wool Hat
- Toothpaste (Mini bottle)
- Baby wipes
- Shower Gel (Mini bottle)
- Shampoo (Mini bottle)
- Face cloth
- Microfibre camp towel (very compact)
- Deodorant (Mini bottle)
- Hand Sanitiser (Mini bottle)
- Mouth Wash (Mini bottle)
- Toilet Roll
- Pain killers
- Anti hystimene
- Anti Septic Cream
- Plasters of different sizes
- Mini First Aid Kit
- 3 servings of porridge for breakfasts
- 3 freeze dried meals for lunches
- 2 Pot noodles and 1 serving of pasta for dinners
- Tea Bags
- Condensed Milk
- 2 Litres of water (I can filter and purity water)
Tools and Misc
Ok, so I had to include a few tools, just for the coolness factor, but also some are essential.
- Spirit Burner Stove (Can use this to purify water)
- Spare bottle of Meths for fuel
- Camp Stove for spirit burner stove
- GI Canteen and Nesting Cup – Eating and drinking from if nothing else is available
- ESEE 4 (Just for shits and giggles)
- FFP3 Respirator Mask
- Sleeping bag (Good incase you need to sleep on a friends couch)
- Coffee Filters (For filtering water)
- 2x Lighters
- £250 in notes
- Copies of ID’s, passports, insurances and other important documents
- Spare house keys
- My EDC Kit, This comes everywhere with me, a bug out situation will be no different.
– Chargers for phones
– A few meters of duct tape
– Mylar Thermal Blanket
– Flashlight and charger
– More first aid items (Plasters, bandage, medicated wipes…)
– Cable ties
– Nitrile Gloves
I believe this kit will keep me going for 3 days, and should I need to, I can still buy more food, and wash clothes, and possibly last a little longer.
If I had to leave home for a longer time frame, then the contents would be different, I will do another article on this soon though.
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