Bug-Out Bags: What Do You Need?

What to Pack in Your Bug-Out BagNo one ever wants to be in a situation where they have to drop everything and leave in an emergency. However; given the increasing concerns today, many people choose to prepare themselves just in case.

Most people are not super paranoid, but if you take a rational look at the world and make some basic steps to protect yourself by building a bug-out-bag, you could help protect you and your family in an emergency.

Sometimes people make bug-out-bags for fear of a big and dramatic event initiating the end of civilization. But there are many more common events that happen all of the time that would make having a bug-out-gag well worth it. These events include:

  • Tornado
  • Home Invasion
  • Flood
  • Terrorism
  • Earthquake
  • Home Fire
  • Riots
  • Hurricane
  • Tsunami
  • Mass Shooting

What Makes a Good Bug-Out-Bag?

There is a wide selection of off the shelf bug-out-bags that are sold online and if you are not interested in individually picking out the bag essentials, this is a good option. However; because they are mass produced and sold to the general public they often do not include options for your specific location. For example, you would not have the same supplies if you lived in the desert versus living by water. Also, you should make sure to pack enough supplies for your entire family. Pre-packaged bug-out-bags may not include enough supplies if you have a larger family.

What to Always Include

Regardless of any variables, there are some simple rules that you should observe when deciding on the content of your bug-out-bag. Please see below:

  • Keep it simple - You are not trying to build a mobile home to carry around. Many prepper websites list dozens of items to pack. This not only adds cost, but weight as well. Pack simple, reliable things to cover your basic needs.
  • Make it easy to carry - Make sure you can carry your bug-out-bag comfortably. You may have to walk for a long distance. If your bag is ill fitted or too heavy, you might as well have taken your chances sheltering in place.
  • Plan for a specific period of time – 72 hours is a good place to begin as this is about how long a person can live without water. Once you start planning for weeks out, your bag will get too complicated and heavy.
  • Be self-sufficient - If you are thinking about packing an item that needs something you don’t already have, forget it. The chances of finding that key item in a chaotic emergency situation is slim to none. If you are moving to safety, the last thing you want to do is worry about scavenging. Pack supplies that can be used both individually and together to save space.
  • Only pack what you need - Remember the goal is to survive, not luxury. If you do not need it to survive, leave it behind.

Bug-Out-Bag Essentials

Below are some of the essentials every bug-out-bag should include. Please remember to customize this to fit with your family.

  • Tarp or emergency shelter (can be used for shelter and signaling)
  • Map and compass
  • Water and high energy / low weight foods (like MRE’s or energy bars)
  • Extra socks
  • Multi-tool
  • LED flashlight
  • Magnesium fire starter
  • Hand cranked radio
  • Survival blanket
  • Paracord

Hopefully you will never be put in a situation where you are forced to flee your home. But, as you can see with some basic planning you can take steps to ensure the safety of you and your family.

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