There are specific items that need to go into the bug-out bag. Remember that you’re packing this bag with 72 hours survival in mind. The items that you pack need to reflect survival mode and not be geared toward pampering or high end tastes.
Food for Your bug-out Bag
You’ll want to pack enough food for the three days that the bag is intended to be used for. You should not pack heavy canned food items. Not only will these weigh down your bag, but they’re awkward and they also take up too much room.
If you try to pack three days worth of food in cans, you’ll end up regretting it. Remember that you might not have an opportunity to get the time to stop, take out canned food and eat it.
You may be eating on the go. So instead of canned foods, you’ll want to look for lightweight, portable foods. These are foods that have a long shelf life. You’ll want meals like MREs or food that you’ve prepared in advance and freeze dried.
Beef or other types of jerky can be eaten quickly and so can Snicker bars or pop tarts. You can take foods like trail mix, breakfast bars or protein bars. Remember that foods that are in pouches are lightweight, easy to mix and many of it tastes fine cold.
Plus, you can simply rip open the top of it and keep on going. Emergency food ration bars are also a good idea. Look for foods that offer good protein. You can find peanut butter in pouches that can give you the energy to keep on forging ahead. Plus, tuna comes in survival pouches.
Besides being able to eat while on the go, the reason that you want to look for foods that you may not need to prepare is because it may not be safe to start a fire in order to heat something up.
While you may be prepared, there will be others who didn’t and a fire draws attention. If you’re in a good, safe place where you can use a fire, you’ll be able to warm up food.
You want to pick foods that are easy and quick – such as instant mashed potatoes because all you need to do for those is just put some water into the dehydrated potato mix.
Any pouch packed food that says all you need to do is to add water is a good choice to put in a bug-out bag if you know you have a supply of water onhand. It’s also wise to take along a lightweight pot or pan to use to cook food.
When you get the opportunity to safely cook food, you’ll need a way to do that. Remember that the bag is intended only for 72 hours. Some people do bring a folding camp stove, but you have to remember that you also have to bring a way to fuel the stove.
A better choice to make sure you choose cooking gear that can be used over a campfire. You’ll need to bring a way to start the fire. You can carry matches or fire starters.
The Best Way to Bring Water in the bug-out Bag
After you get the food supplies that you need to have squared away, you’ll need to make sure that you have an adequate water supply. You need to plan to take enough water so that you have at the minimum of a gallon per day, per person.
It’s important to stay hydrated, but you’ll have to work within the confines of space that you have in the bag. Water, like canned foods, can be heavy. If you’re carrying three gallons of water, you’ll be carrying around about 24 pounds of weight.
Carrying that much additional weight can be a difficult task. What many people do in this situation is they carry enough water to make it through the first 24 hours.
They bank on being able to find a water supply source while they’re bugging out. This is not the best route to go. There are no guarantees that you’ll find water. Don’t carry any water bottles.
These are bulky and can easily be damaged in transport. If you bring water in containers that rupture, you’ll end up with a soggy mess of supplies. The best bet for this is to carry water that’s not as bulky.
You can find individual emergency water packets that don’t take up a lot of room. These packets have a shelf life that can last for years. You can also look for specific water packets that are listed as a 72 hour water survival preparedness.
In addition to the water, you’ll want to bring items that can help you purify water such as purification tablets. The reason that you want to do this is because if you do find a water supply, you can treat that water with the purification tablets and use it rather than using up your supply.
The Clothing You’ll Need
Taking along the necessary clothing supplies is an important addition to your bug-out bag. Many people don’t look at clothing as a necessary tool for survival, but they are.
Wearing the right clothes can make a difference in your survival. You’ll want to make sure that you pack two changes of clothing. Some people count the 72 hours that a bug-out bag is used for as meaning that they need to pack three changes of clothing.
But this is incorrect. You’ll already be dressed as you’re leaving. There’s no need to pack what you can carry on your body as far as clothing goes. Even if it’s summer time and the weather outside is on the warm side, you’ll want to bring long pants for cooler evenings.
You’ll also need to bring along a long sleeved shirt. When you’re bugging out, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to go through areas that are heavily wooded. It’s also highly likely that you’ll be moving quickly.
In heavily wooded areas, it will be easy for you to brush up against poisonous plants such as poison sumac. You don’t want to be dealing with the stress of an itchy rash on top of dealing with everything else being in upheaval.
Wearing long pants and long sleeves will keep you safer from insect bites and will make it easier to spot ticks that might land on you. Bring undergarments for the 72 hours and you’ll want to bring an extra pair or two of socks.
Being on the go can make socks wear out quicker than the rest of your clothing items. You’ll also want to bring along boots. These will help you be able to navigate through rougher terrain.
If you’re wearing tennis shoes or unsuitable shoes when the SHTF situation hits, you might not have time to change into better ones while you’re rushing out, but the moment you can change, do it to protect yourself against sprains and foot injuries.
You’ll need to bring something to keep dry if it starts to rain. Some people don’t think of bringing rain gear along because they think that if the weather gets bad, they can stop and set up shelter.
But this isn’t always an option. You need to bring rain gear – such ponchos – to keep as dry as possible while you’re bugging out. Make sure that you have a hat to protect yourself against the sun’s rays.
You’ll also want to bring sunglasses. Even if it’s wintertime, you’ll want these. If your area is prone to snow, you’ll need a way to protect yourself from the sun’s rays on the snow.
A lightweight jacket that’s good for warmth is a must-have for a bug-out bag. This will help keep you warm and dry. And sometimes, your 72-hour bug-out journey might devolve into something longer, so you want a wide range of clothing items, not those just suited for one type of weather.
Shelter Items Need to Be in Your bug-out Bag
You can’t stay out in the elements. You have to be able to get out of the wind, the cold, the heat and away from pests that like to snack on people. You need a way to keep dry.
There’s a reason that people die from exposure to the elements. It’s because you weren’t meant to live without shelter. Being without shelter can make you more prone to infections, serious injury and death.
There are plenty of lightweight, portable items that you can use to create shelter. Ideally, it would be a good idea to bring along a tent. You can find these in a range of prices.
They have the ability to hold one person if you use a single person tent or a multi family member tent. But keep in mind that the more people who will seek shelter in the tent, the heavier that the tent will be to carry in your bug-out bag.
You can pack a tarp in your BOB and with some rope, a tarp can be used as a quick, makeshift shelter. In a pinch, you can bring along some of the extra large thick garbage bags to be cut and used as a temporary shelter.
If you’re traveling in a group of family members or loved ones, then each person should at least have a couple of garbage bags. This way, if you become separated, each person will have a way to get out of the elements.
Additional Items for the bug-out Bag
There are other items beside the basic food, water, shelter and clothing that you need for your bug-out bag. These items can make a difference in how you’re able to survive.
You need a folding shovel to be able to dig in the ground. You’ll need this to dig a fire pit, to break through snow and to bury waste. You’ll also need a multi tool device that can be used for a variety of reasons.
Pack a device that you can use to cut items. You’ll need a knife or scissors, but it’s wise to take both. You’ll need a way to be able to cut cord to tie off things and for other practical uses.
You’ll need personal hygiene items. Remember that you need to make sure that you have enough of these items for three days. Packing a first aid kit in your bug-out bag is extremely important.
You can buy a first aid kit that’s already put together or you can build one yourself by adding the things that you need. A lot of people like to create their own first aid kit because they can add items in greater number or in better quality.
Make sure that you have an emergency blanket in your BOB. This can be used for warmth, but it can also be used as part of a first aid treatment in the event that someone goes into shock.
You’ll need a way to get through an area if there are things in your way. Some people bring a small axe for this purpose. Bring tape that can be used to seal any leaks in a tent or a backpack. Duct tape can be used to help create a splint in the event of an emergency.
Flashlights are great to have in a bug-out bag. You’ll need to carry ones that are solar powered, so that your batteries don’t run out. Having an emergency radio is also smart.
You can find versions of these that are small and lightweight. Many of the solar powered ones can also be used to charge a cell phone. If you have a small baby, you’ll need baby items such as formula, cloth diapers and baby medications.
There are a lot of positive and negative views on whether or not to bring a weapon in a bug-out bag. That’s a personal decision, but you should keep in mind that in a SHTF situation, the rules in society may have broken down.
There are already people now who wouldn’t think twice about robbing you or attacking you. When situations like SHTF ones occur, it can add a level of lawlessness and human greed that’s a whole new ballgame.
You could be forced to fight for your life and you need a way to make sure that if you are attacked, you have a way that enables you to defend yourself.