Ditch the junk: Get what you need in your pack for when you bug out
There are dozens if not hundreds of bug out bags available for purchase.
Yet, many times these bags are saturated with a wide variety of junk. Most of the stuff in these bags are ineffective, cheaply built tools, and non-nutrient foods.
Packing your bug out bag yourself is the best way to ensure that you have the best chances of survival. Here are the only contents that you really need in your bag and why you need them in your survival kit:
- Water – Water is the number one item that you need in your bag. You will need to have at least 3 liters to sustain you for 3 days.
However, you will not want to drink your water right away. Save it for when you cannot find water.
- Water purification tablets & water filter – When you find water you will want to ensure that it is clean.
Water purification tablets and water filters are a step to ensuring that you do not get sick from bacterium in the water (keep in mind it is still a good idea to boil water).
- Dehydrated Foods – Dehydrated Food should be packed in airtight containers and stored in an easily accessible area.
You want to ensure that you have meat as well as fruits and vegetables.
DO NOT store foods which are high in sugar content. Do not pack candies and other needless junk (such as potato chips, candy bars, and gummy worms)
- Arm axe/hatchet – Your survival kit needs to have an axe which is no longer than from your elbow to your palm. Your axe will serve as your primary firewood tool as well as your secondary knife.
Bushcraft essentials (such as making bowls and utensils) will greatly have the time reduced from the axe. Shelter developments will rely heavily upon having this tool in your bag.
- Knife – You knife will be your primary tool. Without it you will not be able to survive.
From creating tools, to cleaning food, to making adjustments to your living space, your knife will be used daily.
Ensure that you buy a knife that has a steel blade which runs up through the handle.
- Multi-tool Pillars – A multi tool (either pillars or a Swiss army knife) will provide you with a vast amount of tools which you will not have to then pack individually.
As your survival pack is dependent upon keeping down the weight and maximizing the functionality of the contents within, this is an essential tool.
- Socks – Have at least 4 to 7 pairs of socks in your kit. Your feet are your only means of mobilization in an emergency situation.
You will need to ensure that they stay dry and that they are free from bacteria. Anyone who has been in the military will tell you that the number one key to keeping yourself safe is to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Those being stated, pack a second pair of tennis shoes or boots with your socks.
- 2 shirts and a pair of pants – This is all the extra clothes that you will need. You need to have a shirt that is functional (no a frames, halter tops, or belly shirts) so that you are protected from the sun.
Your shirt will also serve as a tool when it becomes too frayed to function as clothing. Your pants need to be full length (no tight shorts, no booty shorts, no jeans which already have holes in them.)
The more pockets you have on your pants the better.
- A first aid kit – The first aid kit which you choose to have in your bug out bag needs to have gauze, superglue, needle, thread, antibacterial cream, rubbing alcohol, a flashlight, band aids of various sizes, a heat blanket, tweezers, a common first aid and treatments book, aloe, and Benadryl (of equivalent).
You may also want to include an inhaler should you need to open the airways quickly.
- A military shovel – You can purchase these shovels at any military consignment shop or from a variety of survivalist shops.
You will want to inspect the connectors for the shovel for any damage as you would not want to have the shovel break upon first use.
If you see any rust you need to look for a new one as well as rust is corrosive and will limit the life of the tool.
- A tarp – A tarp is an excellent way to provide a quick shelter while establishing a lean-to or other more permanent structure.
Tarps with reflective surfaces can also be used to heat water and dry clothing naturally.
Keep in mind that you do not want a tarp that is blue or too reflective as it will only then serve as a beacon for your location. Natural greens and browns are preferred.
- CV radio – The best way to know about what is going on in a survival situation is to have communications with the outside world. The CV radio will provide you with the means to do this and not be tracked in most cases.
- Solar battery recharger – This is primarily to be used for your flashlight. Keeping your few devices (such as your CV) which rely upon batteries charged is essential.
These are the only items which you will need in your survival kit.
Sure, you can add bells and whistles which will make your bug out bag a bit more luxurious.
Keep in mind that the more stuff you add to you kit the heavier it will be. Also, the more stuff that you add which is flashy and draws attention, the more prone you will be to attacks from others which have not prepared for the worst case scenario.
One final note: It will do you no good to have all this content if you do not have survival training and wilderness survival training or if you put it all in a bag that says “please come take my stuff and kill me”.
You want to have a bag that is inconspicuous and the skills needed to use the things inside the bag properly.