While there are hundreds of articles and videos about bug out bags on the web, I recently realized in talking with a number of my friends, some people have not gotten around to building one yet.
It’s one of the basics things to have for those of us who try and live a preparedness lifestyle. You want a well thought out bag or kit that holds the basic survival / comfort items to support one person for 3 days or 72 hours if re-supply is not available. Many of the items you probably have around your house already, others can be gotten at Wal-Mart or Dollar General for low costs. Every family member should have one ready to go if for some reason you have to get out of your area in a hurry. Think fire, flood, chemical spill or any other scenario that would create the need to leave fast.
I’ve heard the following quote in one form or another in the last two weeks from a number of people online that I follow and respect.
“Don’t let making something perfect get in the way of getting something done that needs to be done.”
In other words if you don’t already have a bug out bag, just get one put together NOW and improve it as time and funds will allow.
Pick a bag, any bag for your supplies. Ideally it should be a well made back pack big enough for the supplies listed but not so big that you continue to fill it up until it’s too heavy to carry for any distance. Military surplus would be good but there are many non- military camouflaged options out there. If you can afford it, buy the best quality you can and skip the Chinese Walmart schoolbook bags unless that is all you can do at the time. And don’t forget to check your local Goodwill or thrift shops, I found some nice backpacks in them from time to time.
While a backpack is generally considered the norm, when our family bugged out before Katrina from Covington Louisiana to Dallas Texas, we did it with rolling suit cases…… so whatever you have, make it work until you can improve it.
3 days of clothing, not complete outfits!!
· 3 pairs of underwear
· 3 pairs of socks
· 1 pair of pants, 2 shirts, one long sleeve, one short sleeve
· 2 handkerchiefs
Personal Sanitation & Health kit
· Tooth brush and tooth paste
· Small bar of soap, hotel size
· Wash cloth and small compact towel
· Disposable razor
· Spare set of eye glasses / reading glasses / contact lenses & solution
· One week supply of any daily prescription meds you may be on, in case you are away for more than 72 hours.
· Deodorant, small travel size
· Small tube of Vaseline
· Small bottle of baby or other powder
· Roll of toilet paper, core removed, smashed flat, in a zip lock bag
· Bug repellent
· Head lamp, light weight LED
· Hand held flashlight
· Spare set of batteries for each
Good quality 4” to 6” fixed blade knife
Good quality multitool
Food = 3 days of food that is ready to eat with minimal preparation i.e.: Freeze-dried food while is lightweight requires boiling water before eating. (Also consider if storage in hot car will effect).
· MRE, good choice but bulky
· Small packages of nuts
· Beef jerky
· Foil packages of meats like Tuna, Spam etc. Optional would be small can with easy open tabs, otherwise you will need a can opener.
· Peanut Butter Crackers / Cheese Crackers
· Granola bars / energy bars
· Metal water container
· 2 or more 12 ounce bottles of water
· Aquamira filter straw
· Porta Aqua water tablets
· 3 paper coffee filters
Storage / Shelter
· 2 to 4 Contractor Garbage Bags
· 2 to 4 1 gallon or bigger zip lock bags
· 6 to 8 zip ties, 6” and 12”
· 6 feet of Duct tape wrapped around old credit card
· 50’ Paracord – or – Roll of Tarred Bank Line
· Real full size Survival Blanket
Fire Starting Kit
· Bic butane lighter
· Strike any wear matches
· Cotton balls soaked with Vaseline
· Ferial rod and striker
· If you have a cell phone
o Automobile cell phone charger
o A/C to USB power adapter
o Back up power pack to recharge phone
o Ear bud / microphone for your phone
· USB thumb drive with copies of personal information
o Please password protect this!
· 2 small note books, (Write in the Rain are the best), 3 pens, 2 pencils
· Small AM Radio with extra batteries and headset
Small basic First aid kit.
It’s also a good idea to mark your calendar to check the contents twice a year, around the time the seasons change. Rotate any seasonal clothing, spare batteries and check freshness dates of the food and medicines you have packed.
See my other post on the supplies that stay in each of our cars that includes water, tools and extra supplies here: http://tntacticalsupply.com/what-is-in-our-car-kits/
Feel free to give me your thoughts on contents and what items you might have in your family members bags that are different below.