What is a Bug Out Bag? It’s basically a 3-day survival toolkit on your back. Some people plan their bag out bags to last for longer, but 72 hours is the general rule of the thumb to get you out of emergency situations. You need one that is custom designed for your situation. So how do you build a bug out bag? Follow these steps:
1. Pick out the bag
The bag is the first thing on the list. You want a bag that will work for you. Go for a discrete bag. In an emergency or survival situation, you don’t want to tell the entire world that you’re carrying food supplies. It’s not being selfish. It’s self-preservation. You’re protecting yourself from being a target. People will want to rob you. The thing you have to understand is that when push comes to shove, when a person’s life is threatened, survival instinct takes over. Society niceties are thrown to the curb. A starving mob can’t be reasoned with. So don’t attract it to yourself.
2. Light and compact is better
More weight translates to reduced mobility and more pain. These are the last thing you need to be dealing with in an emergency situation. Most likely there’ll be a gridlock so moving around in your car won’t be an option. You may find yourself having to hike. So before you even begin putting things in your bag, ensure that the bag itself is as light as possible. Smaller packs give you more mobility.
3. Weather proof it
Keep a waterproof cover like a black trash bag. However, since you may not have time to waterproof the entre bag when there is sudden downpour or when you fall into the water, it’s a good idea to waterproof the items before putting them in the bag. For instance, you can put them in containers.
You want a bag that will hold many essentials, but not too big to carry. Extra pockets, are key for holding all the items you need. Go for one with extra straps too. That will make it easier to carry.
5. Compartmentalize your bag
You’ll need to be better organized if you want to retrieve your items faster. Stuffing one large compartment with everything will slow you down, and since it’ll be in an emergency, add on to your frustrations. This is worse when it happens at night. It’s always a better idea to keep similar items in the same compartment. For instance, you can keep food supplies in one compartment, and first aid items in another.
Get a multi-tool, instead of tossing a bunch of tools like pliars, knives, screw driver and scissors in your bag. Go for a multi-tool with some blades and a few extras. It’s ideal for hundreds of little tasks that you will end up encountering away from your home. However, get a good, durable product, and not something that will break down when getting at a screw.
7. Prepare a Checklist
It’s much harder to think straight when your endocrine glands are pumping adrenaline into your blood. Come up with a checklist of procedures and items beforehand. Time is essential, especially at the onset of an emergency. Which supplies will you have to refill? Are your first aid items stocked? Which essential documents will you need to carry with you? Who will you need to call?
With your bug out bag ready, all that’s left is stocking it up with the items you’ll need in case of an emergency- water, food, tools, medication, phone, power source, fire starters etc.