The Dummies Guide to Bug Out Bags

What you need to have packed when it is time to get out

Outdoor survival preparation is taking off at a rapid pace. With the current economy and political status of various countries declining, many have predicted that a catastrophic event will soon occur which will force the common man (or woman) into survival mode.

It is for this reason that many people have started to compose bug out bags.

But if you do not know what to put in a bug out bag it is ineffective.

What does it mean to Bug out?

Before you can even start planning a bug out bag, you need to know what bugging out is.

Bugging out is when a person is forced to make the decision to leave his or her current living environment in a hurry in order to survive.

In most situations, bugging out is due to a governmental crisis where a person’s chances of survival are better in the outdoors.

Typically, martial law is associated with these situations as well as events which cause a total economic collapse.

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While bugging out is associated with panic and chaos, those that chose to bug out do not have to be.

What are bug out bags good for if bugging out is a hurried departure?

Bug out bags are a form of disaster preparedness for temporary outdoor survival.

Your bug out bag also has essentials which will sustain you over a period of time (such as flint and steel, string, and dehydrated food). 

In the event that a person is forced to flee, those which are prepared with a bug out bag are more likely to survive.

Those which do not have a Bug out bags are far less likely to survive as they will have to gather the bare necessities and compete with others in the same situation.

Bug out bags typically hold the essentials needed to survive for an average of 3 to 7 days. 

They are not intended to be your long term survival goal, but rather the emergency kit to get you to a place where you can implement outdoor survival skills to survive.

What should I have in my bug out bag?

When it comes to survival you will need to have food, water, and shelter. It is therefore critical that you have such in your bug out bag.

Water should be in bottles and equal a minimum of 3 liters (enough to sustain you for 3 days).

Your food should be non-perishable, preferably dehydrated food. Make sure that you do not pack food which requires special tools to open or to prepare.

bug out bag

Pack a tarp to serve as a shelter. You can easily use sticks, rocks and other natural elements to quickly build a shelter while you prepare for a more sustainable means of survival.

Toothpaste. Often overlooked but critical to a bug out bag.

Your teeth maintenance is paramount to keeping you healthy. Problems with your teeth can effect anything from your focus to your heart (as bacteria can go directly from the root under the teeth to the heart).

Apart from the three basic needs, you will need to ensure that you prepare for emergencies and other such situations by having a realistically packed bug out bag.

Have a first aid kit, have clothes (especially socks), flint and steel, a flashlight, rain gear, a Swiss army knife, a survival knife, an hatchet or hand axe, and a shovel.

Where there are several pre-made survival kits available, you will always need to modify your bag to fit your needs. Those which are in areas that have an extremely dry climate should pack more water.

What to avoid?

A great deal of people will argue that you need to have weapons in your bug out bag. I would agree that you need to have a knife and an axe.

They can serve as tools for a long time.

Other things to avoid:

  • Pet food (if you are in a survival situation your pet should not be your top concern)
  • Liquor – alcohol dehydrates. The only alcohol in your pack should be medical alcohol
  • Food which will expire
  • Clothing which has no purpose (polo shirts, thongs, flip flops, etc.)
  • Shinny and flamboyant packs – A bug out bag is meant to be unseen and avoid attention. Having something that draws attention is counterproductive.

Where should I keep my bug out bag?

Once you have established the contents of your bug out bag, it is critical that you have your bag in a location where you can get to it at all times.

This means that you do not store your bug out bag in your home.

In the event where you are not able to return to your home (whether from a natural disaster or a man-made disaster) you would be out of luck and your chances for survival would be bleak.

Neither should you have your bag just exposed to the elements as it would be stolen or damaged.

Find a location that is both secure and safe from the weather and from prying eyes.

Will a bug out bag ensure my survival?

NO, it will not, but it will ensure that you can survive.

You must have some items in order to get started on your wilderness survival.

However, you must prepare with outdoor survival training, emergency training (such as CPR), and then practice your plan.

Your bug out bag is temporary solution.

It’s important to be prepared for anything and everything. Taking the right precautions and training allows you to protect your family in any emergency.

dummies guide to bug out bags

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