Looking at the basics…..
So What Does Bug Out Mean?
Bugging out is simply leaving an area to escape from a pending or present threatening situation; evacuating.
Why Would You Need to Bug Out?
There are many situations that could lead to a person needing to bug out. Over the last decade alone in the United States there have been many devastating events that have lead to the need to evacuate.
Some of These include:
Hurricanes Tropical Storms Wildfires
Tornadoes Flooding Blizzard / Ice Storms
Depending on the situation and intensity of the threats, local officials can call for mandatory large or small scale evacuations. If this happened, Would YOU Be Ready?
Having a Good Bug Out Bag Can Save Your Life!
One simple Google search will land you on a variety of examples of bug out bag options. There are pre-made bags available to purchase, lists of necessary items to build a bag, and thousands of photos of others’ bags to give an example of what you should carry. We believe a good bug out bag is one made of durable water-proof material, has a good amount of storage, and is comfortable to wear long-term; if necessary. An important point to make is that the weight of the overall stocked bag will only get heavier with each step, use caution when deciding what to put in your bag. Use as many good quality multiple purpose items as you can, this will help free up space and lighten your load.
First, start with the basic five categories you’ll need to focus on to survive:
Fire, Shelter, Purified Water & Food, First Aid, Signaling Device & Security.
For fire-starting there are many different devices that are small and compact to use. Here is a short list of a few: Magnesium fire-starters, Flint Striker, Fire Lighting Squares, and Storm-Proof Matches. It is recommended that besides having a few of these items you also learn to manually start a fire in case your bag and tools are compromised. The following link will show you 9 ways to build a fire without matches: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/04/29/9-ways-to-start-a-fire-without-matches/.
You will also need a shelter of some kind. You can either purchase one, use a tarp and paracord to build one, or learn to build a shelter using items natural elements. Here are a few items that may make building a shelter easier: Survival Thermal Tent, Survival Camp Set, and Mylar Tent. To learn how to build a wilderness shelter: http://www.wilderness-survival.net/shelters-2.php.
Having clean purified water is an absolute must! If bottled water is not available, there are many other ways that water can be purified. There are products like water purification tablets, Life-Straw, water micro-filters, and water treatment drops that can all be carried in a bug out bag and take up little space. If stuck in a situation where these items are not available, other methods such as boiling the water or creating a charcoal filter would be alternatives. Here is one link that shows how: http://www.practicalprimitive.com/skillofthemonth/charcoalfilter.html.
The bug out bag should also contain a three day supply of food at the least. Many people choose to pack freeze-dried or dehydrated meals such as MREs, granola bars, dried fruits and snacks, trail mixes, or jerky. MREs can be made simply and cost effectively at home as well. Further instructions for that can be found here: Ready Nutrition, Apartment Prepper, or Ready Store.
First aid supplies should also be included in a bug out bag. It is also important to mention that having basic first aid and CPR skills would be beneficial knowledge to have prior. A good first aid kits is essential, here are a few we recommend: First Aid Emergency Kit, World Travel Kit, or Rapid Response Trauma First Aid Bag.
Signaling devices are necessary items for attracting attention and getting help in a disaster. It is recommended that a couple of these items also be included in a bug out bag: Emergency Signaling Mirror, Signaling Kit, or Emergency Strobe Light.
Last of the five categories is security, a necessity for a few reasons. The first being self defense against wild animals or dangerous people. Secondly, a weapon such as a knife has multiple uses such as building shelter, making fire, creating snares, and dressing out animals for food.
Other Item Ideas for a Bug Out Bag:
Personal Identification (in a water-proof bag/container)
Clothing – Remember to pack & rotate according to the season
Underwear / Wool Socks / Hiking Boots
Watch / Compass/ Map (in waterproof container)
Flashlight & Head-lamp
Sewing & Fishing Kits
Whistle / Magnifying Glass (if not in your signaling kit already)
Metal Mess Kit (for eating & boiling water) / Soap for Cleaning
Hygiene Supplies (toilet paper, tooth brush & paste, deodorant, soap)
Thermal Blanket / Bed Roll / Sleeping Bag
Tools: Multi-tool, Camping Shovel, Snare Wire, Wire Saw
Manual Can Opener (P-38 or 51)
Hand-Crank Radio / Walkie Talkies / Batteries or Solar Recharger
Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitizer
*Ammo For Weapons / Cleaning Kit
(Remember Ammo is Heavy, Keep That in Mind)
As mentioned, pre-stocked bags can also be purchased, though you may need to add a few items to it.
For more information on these, you can look at the following:
1 Person Kit: http://amzn.to/1d3eimH
2 Person Kit: http://amzn.to/1eU1LG2
4 Person Kit: http://amzn.to/KWJXz2
We Hope You Found This Information Helpful and If you Have Any Questions or Comments, Feel Free to Ask Us !
Sharon Pannell is a self proclaimed "Prepsteader", both prepper and homesteader. She authors the blog The Trailer Park Homesteader where she teaches others about the importance of disaster preparedness and self-sufficiency. Sharon believes everyday the stuff can hit the fan, it is not one big epic event necessarily and it only takes one set back to create a hardship; so big or small prepare for it all ! Along with her blog, Sharon can also be found managing her other social media sites including her Facebook Page The Trailer Park Homesteader, TTPH Pinterest Page, and TTPH Twitter Page.