The term bug out stands for moving out of your home and spending time in an unfamiliar outdoor environment. A bug out bag is basically a collection of equipment as well as other emergency materials which help you in surviving such a situation.
Normally, the only time when you would need to amend in your home is in case of an emergency. That is why in such a situation you cannot rely on the government or public infrastructure. This necessitates that when you are making a bug out bag, you have to make it entirely self-sufficient. The bug out bag should be able to help you in surviving a certain number of hours or days without any external assistance.
While many people might be of the opinion that such a situation would not arise, but natural as well as man-made emergencies are becoming more and more common all over the world. Moreover, it is not a good idea to be unprepared for such a situation. During times of emergency, you cannot attempt to gather resources right then and there. That is why having a bug out bag prepared in advance is one of the best alternatives which you have.
Today, we would spell out the A to Z of creating a bug out bag which can help you in dealing with such situations and can also help you to stick to your budget while preparing a bug out bag.
Before we go into the details of creating such a bag, you have to look at the essentials which you should always include in this bag. The essentials can be basically divided into 10 different categories.While creating such a bag, as long as you are able to take care of these 10 categories of supplies, you can be sure that you would be able to survive the wilderness.
This, however, is easier said than done because, in each of these categories of supplies, there are multiple equipment options which you need to include in your bag. In addition to these, if you’re in a particular type of geographic region or in a man-made calamity, you might need some other multipurpose tools as well. These can be included under the miscellaneous tools category.
We would now go into the details of the supplies in each of these categories to help you create the perfect bug out bag.
1. Water supplies
A normal adult, an individual would require a minimum of 1 L of water each and every day. Ideally, you should consume at least 2 L but in emergency situations and in order to survive, you would need at least need a 1 L of water each and every day. The requirement of water may also change depending on the weather conditions like if the atmosphere is hot and humid, and the perspiration would be on the higher side and that is why the amount of water required would also be more.
In today’s day, we would assume that you are collecting the supplies keeping in mind a 72 hour emergency period. Thus, you would at least need 3 L of water for 3 days. When you’re looking at collecting proper water supplies, you can divide them into 3 categories:
- Water Pouches
- Water storage equipment
- Water purification equipment
We would go into the details of these 3 options below.
- Water pouches:
Water pouches are your sources of ready-made water which you can consume at any point in time. Generally speaking, instead of getting a water pouch directly of 1 L capacity, it is a better idea to buy smaller water pouches which are easier to use.
Ideally, you should opt for the 125 ml water pouches which can be easily stored in a compact space as well. You can go for the Datrex emergency survival water pouch (24 packs of 125 ml each).
- Water storage equipment:
In case, you run out of water pouches, you would have to collect water and store water from nearby sources. That is why water storage equipment is also necessary. Some of the options for water storage bags are:
- Bormart 3 L hydration bag
- COJOY collapsible water bag 5 L
- Water purification equipment:
In emergency situations, when you’re collecting water from natural resources, it is a better idea to purify it to make it fit for human consumption. Only then, you would be able to use that water. There are different water purification systems which you can opt for. Some of the systems which you can use our:
- Portable Aqua water tablets
- Survival filter pro 01-micron water purifier pump
- Life straw personal water filter
Once you are able to gather these 3 types of water supplies equipment, you can be sure that you would be able to arrange portable drinking water for yourself in emergency situations. You can opt for the equipment which we have listed above while creating your bug out bag, Food supplies:
2. Food supplies
In emergency situations, you have to make sure that you are having some suitable food supplies for yourself. You cannot rely on the natural food chain either. That is why, instead of thinking about having balanced meals, you have to opt for food supplies which are portable as well as lightweight so that you are able to include them in your bug out bag.
Some of the things which you have to look into while choosing the food supplies are:
- Amount of calories
- Amount of sugar
- Nutrients included
- Shelf life
Once you are able to get each and every food supply or food item based on these 4 parameters, it would become easier for you to choose the one which you can include in your bug out bag.
We would now share with you a few probable options which you can include in your bug out bag.
- Augason Farms 72 hour one person Kit:
This food kit consists of 42 different servings which provide you with 2560 cal per day. Moreover, you have to just add water in order to prepare these meals. The shelf life is also over 20 years. The amount of sugar content is negligible as well and limited only to maple brown sugar oatmeal. The recipes which are contained in this food kit are:
- Creamy chicken flavor rice
- Hearty chicken flavored vegetable soup
- Creamy potato soup
- Maple brown sugar oatmeal
- Banana chips
Thus, this particular kit scores well on all of the parameters mentioned above.
- Wise foods 72-hour Cook-in-Pouch Kit:
This kit consists of 18 different servings spread across breakfast as well as other meals. The ingredients of this kit can be cooked in the pouch itself. It has a 7-year shelf life. It consists of high amount of protein and less amount of sodium.
The recipes which are included in this kit are:
- Chili Mac
- Pasta Alfredo with chicken
- Gluten-free Teriyaki chicken
Thus, this is another good food supply option for the bug out bag.
Once you are able to pick any of these food supply kits for your bug out bag, you would be able to take care of your food supplies during the 72 hours of an emergency.
3. Shelter options
Whether you’re in an urban environment or whether you are in the countryside, it is always better to carry your own shelter option along with you. Weather can be pretty unpredictable during emergency situations. That is why you have to always opt to get shelter option. In addition to shelter option, you have to carry extra clothing options as well.
Some of the supplies which you should always carry along with you when it comes to the shelter options are:
- Emergency poncho
- Sleeping bag
- Emergency survival blanket
- Waterproof nylon tarp
- Survival tent
The supplies are more than enough for providing you with shelter during times of emergency. Moreover, these are very portable and can be easily included in your bug out bag. Some of the shelter options which you can opt for are:
- Survival Shack emergency survival shelter tent
- Coghlan's emergency poncho
- Emergency survival mylar thermal sleeping bag
- Primacare HB-10 emergency foil mylar thermal blanket
- Chill Gorilla 10” Hammock Rain Fly Tent Tarp
Once you are able to include the shelter supplies in your bug out bag, you would have more than enough arrangements which you can make in order to have proper protective shelter in case of an emergency.
4. Fire starting supplies
When you’re out there in the wilderness, the fire would not only help you in protecting yourself but it is useful for a variety of other functions like:
- Cooking food
- Providing warmth
- Attracting attention
Thus, when you’re making your perfect bug out kit, it is important to include supplies which can help you in starting a fire in 3 different ways. This would ensure that you are having proper redundancies in order to start a fire whenever needed. Some of the equipment which you should include in your bug out bag in order to start a fire is:
- Waterproof matches
If you’re looking for exact products which you can opt for, these are:
- EDC waterproof lighter
- Coghlans 940BP waterproof matches
- Survival spark ignition survival firestarter
- Coghlan's emergency tender kit
Once you are able to include redundant Fire starting methods in your bug out kit, you can be sure that you would be able to create fire even in moist and humid conditions without any problem.
5. First aid kit
First aid kit can help you in saving a lot of lives including your own in times of emergency. During times of emergencies, you cannot rely on pharmacies or external sources of medicine. That is why you need to carry a 1st aid kit along with you in your bug out bag.
You need to understand that the more the number of supplies in the 1st aid kit, the better it is. Also, if you are opting for 50 item 1st aid kit, it does not mean that it would occupy a lot of space in your bug out bag. In most of the cases, when you’re searching for an emergency 1st aid kit, it would be pretty compact. This would ensure that you are able to opt for a higher supply bug out bag which is portable and lightweight.
Some of the options which you can choose from are:
- Be smart get prepared 250p first aid kit
- 2 in 1 120p First aid kit
- 163p waterproof portable 1st aid kit
You can pick any of these 3 first aid kits for your bug out bag. These consist of an extensive list of supplies which would help you in being safe as well as medical equipped in times of an emergency.
6. Tools as well as other gear
In emergency situations, you need versatile tools which you can use for multiple purposes. Moreover, if you’re taking specialized tools with you, each and every tool would require more space as well as add weight to your bag. This is not a good idea. That is why you have to always start with the versatile tools. Some of the tools which you need are:
- Survival knife
- Multipurpose tools
- Knife blade
- Wire cutters
When you’re having these tools along with you, it would be comparatively easier for you to get things done. If you’re looking for the specific tools in the upper categories which you can buy, they are:
- 12” Tactical Bowie Survival Knife
- meter MT-13 Stainless Steel Multifunction tool
- Blade Mate Survival Knife
These 3 pieces of gear ensure that you are able to carry out with most of the functions quite easily. These are also pretty compact. Therefore, you can include these in your bug out bag quite easily.
7. Lighting options
In emergency situations, you cannot rely on electricity. Also, when you’re out there in the wilderness, you would not have access to electricity at all. Instead of just sitting in the dark, you have to increase your situational awareness with the help of proper light. The presence of light would also help you in defending yourself as well as being more efficient an emergency situation. That is why you have to carry your own lighting sources. At least, you should have a couple of light sources so that you have redundant light systems. Some of the options which you can opt for are:
- Keychain LED
- Glow sticks
- LED headlamps
You can pick any of the 2 between these light sources. This would ensure that out there in the emergency situations, you are able to move around quite easily as well as protect yourself by having proper illumination.
8. Communication gear
The traditional communications like smartphones as well as the Internet would most likely break down in emergency situations. While carrying a backup of these modern gadgets is a good idea but in addition to that, you have to be prepared for the eventuality that these systems would indeed go down and you would have to go for the old school communication as well as location systems. That is why you have to opt for extra communication gear. With the help of proper communication, you would be able to get help and you would be able to end the emergency situation. That is why you have to make sure that you are having reliable communication gear. Some of the options which you should look into are:
- Solar powered AM/FM radio
- Satellite radio
- Independent GPS system
- Waterproof map
This communication gear would ensure that not only, you are able to contact the authorities but also you would be able to know what is happening around you. Thus, you would have situational awareness. In addition to that, you have to also follow the basic tips like carrying the extra battery for your smartphone. Moreover, you have to always have a solar powered charger along with you as well. Relying on solar Power ensures that you would be able to live off the grid or if the grid goes offline, you would still be able to survive. This would ensure that the gadgets which you have currently are remaining operational for a longer period of time.
Some of the equipment which you should definitely buy is:
- RunningSnail solar crank weather radio
- DeLorme inReach SE satellite Tracker
- Aqua Quest Trail Map case
- SE CC4580 MilitaryLensatic Compass
When you’re including this equipment in your bug out bag, it would be easier for you to remain in touch with others. Also, even if you have lost your way with the help of this equipment, you would be able to reach your destination quite easily.
9. Self-defense equipment
Emergency situations are unpredictable. You not only have a risk from wild animals but also, people can be pretty unpredictable when they are fearful. That is why you need to have proper self-defense equipment along with you. The importance of safety cannot be underestimated during emergency situations. In addition to a gun, you need to also carry redundant safety equipment so that if you’re not able to use the gun due to certain reasons, you would be able to use the other self-defense equipment which you have. Some of the things which you should carry along with you in self-defense are:
- A revolver
- Plenty of ammo
- Survival knife
- Stealth knife
- Walking stick
In times of emergency, it is a prudent idea to stay always alert and cautious. You have to keep this self-defense equipment handy. Also, rather than using the self-defense equipment for the 1st time in emergency situations, you have to familiarize yourself with self-defense equipment. This would ensure that you are able to use them more effectively in times of emergency.
Most of this equipment is operated manually with the sole exception being of the revolver. That is why, even if due to some reason you’re not able to use your revolver, the other self-defense equipment would always help you in protecting yourself.
10. Miscellaneous gear:
Miscellaneous gear, as well as equipment, can mean a lot of different things. That is why, when you’re looking at the options of miscellaneous gears, you have to also look at the option of personalizing the bug out bag. You would know any special needs which you would have in times of emergency. That is why you have to always look at personalizing the bug out bag as per your convenience. Some of the equipment which you can include under the miscellaneous category is:
- Rolls of toilet paper
- Paracord bracelets
- Duct tape
- Paper as well as pencil
- Knife sharpener
- Extra batteries
- Solar powered batteries
- Dust mask
- Personal hygiene items
- Sewing kit
- Bottle opener
- Fishing equipment
While the miscellaneous equipment might not always be needed in emergencies but if you need any of this equipment it would be very difficult to arrange in times of emergency. That is why it is always a better idea to keep your bug out bag ready with this miscellaneous equipment. You need to keep in mind that you have to predict what you would need in times of emergency and create a bug out bag accordingly. Once you are able to do that, you can be sure that you would be able to tide over the emergency period without any harm.
Most of the equipment which we have mentioned above would not add a lot of weight to your bug out bag. Neither would it take a lot of space. That is why, instead of leaving your bug out bag empty, it is important to include these things.
So, instead of thinking that emergency would never come when you would need to use the bug out bag, it is a much better idea to be prepared in advance. At one point in time or the other, you would surely need your emergency bug out bag. In such a case, if you’re just looking for different supplies, it would be very difficult for you to gather them at that point in time. Moreover, at that point of time, it is your priority to take care of yourself as well as your family rather than thinking about the supplies which you need. Owing to this very reason, it is always a better idea to create the perfect bug out bag in advance. If you are able to keep your bug out bag with the equipment and gear which we have mentioned above, you can be sure that you would be able to protect yourself in times of emergency. Moreover, you would be able to be better equipped to deal with the situation. This would immensely increase your probability of surviving
Moreover, at that point of time, it is your priority to take care of yourself as well as your family rather than thinking about the supplies which you need. Owing to this very reason, it is always a better idea to create the perfect bug out bag in advance. If you are able to keep your bug out bag with the equipment and gear which we have mentioned above, you can be sure that you would be able to protect yourself in times of emergency. Moreover, you would be able to be better equipped to deal with the situation. This would immensely increase your probability of surviving any emergency.