Putting Together A Bug Out Bag
While it is quite possible to purchase a pre-made Bug-out Bag, many people prefer to put their own bag together. A ready-made bag is certainly convenient, but "constructing" your own will allow you to personalize it to your specific needs and wants. You will have to take into consideration not only what will go into your bag, but the bag itself.
Choosing Your Backpack
When deciding which
backpack to begin with for your Bug-out Bag, there are several things to keep in mind: durability, comfort, capacity, and your body size. You can find a pack on eBay for only a couple of dollars, but whether you will be able to tolerate using it for any length of time is another matter. Many people recommend the Alice Pack. This is the old military backpack, but I would recommend that you avoid it. My husband used one when he was in the army and the things he remembers about it were the pain and discomfort it caused, and he was in a mechanized unit that only had to wear the thing sporadically. It is not worth paying even $5.00 for the Alice Pack if it opens up sores on your back.
There are a number of excellent backpacks that have internal frames and an intelligent design that will allow you to carry fairly heavy weights comfortably for long periods of time. If you are a woman or a small man you will probably want a bag like the TETON Sports Scout3400. Larger people will do better with a pack such as the High Sierra Long Trail 90. Both of these backpacks have a good cubic capacity and will make excellent Bug out Bags. They are comfortable and have plenty of pockets to make locating essentials easy.
Deluxe Emergency Backpack Kit is a great example of an emergency backpack that contains everything you need for any situation. Whether you chose a pre-prepared backpack or stock one yourself make sure you know the basic essentials to include.
The Basic Essentials
What you need for basic survival are
water, food, and shelter, and these three basics should be the first things for your Bug-out Bag. As you will be able to carry only a limited amount of water because of the weight, you should also carry along a filtration straw that will enable you to purify water that you find on your travels.
One of the easiest ways to provide for your food needs is with emergency rations such as
Mayday Emergency Bars, which give you your complete nutritional and caloric needs. You can also carry along some MREs, which will give you some variety in your diet. Make sure that you include a mess kit, and having a few candy and granola bars along is also a good idea. As tuna fish now comes in foil packets, several of these can be wedged in, too. Tea, sugar packets, and some condiments can be used to fill empty spots.
Shelter can be provided in a number of ways and probably the most space saving is by carrying along emergency blankets and tents. These are made of a very lightweight, space age material that will reflect you body’s heat back to you. You might combine these with an emergency sleeping bag, made of the same material. It would also be a good idea to include a roll or duct tape along with the shelter materials as you can use the tape to make the tent more weatherproof.
First Aid and Miscellaneous
Every Bug-out Bag should definitely have a
first aid kit included, and besides the basic items, it would be a good idea to have the means to treat more traumatic injuries. Celox granules or gauze can be used to stop arterial bleeding, and this can be a real life saver if someone has suffered from a bullet wound or other deep injury. Quikclot is another good product for dealing with heavy bleeding. Splinting material is available in a roll called Universal Aluminum Splint, and SAM Medical Splint can also provide temporary support for a broken limb.
It would also be a good idea to carry along a radio that does not need electricity to operate, such as the
Dynamo LED Flashlight and Radio which can use solar energy to work or can be cranked. The inclusion of a flashlight will make this device doubly useful.