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A bug-out bag is essentially a travel kit designed for long-term use, but it may not be adequate for emergencies. Bug Out Bag was created for only one purpose – to provide adequate protection for the person in need of safe and rapid evacuation. Some Bug Out Bags are made for extended periods, and some are specifically designed to be used in a flood, hurricane, earthquake, civil unrest and even fire.
The design of a Bug Out Bag may depend on where it will be used; however, most Bug Out Bags feature one or more of these essential features: sturdy canvas and polyester construction with external gear pockets for securing items, zippered side access for wiping food and water and a watertight zipper and other elements to help keep things protected while in the waiting stage, storage compartments for dehydrated or stored food and other supplies, a supply loft for storing items in the event of an emergency, and a waterproof container to store personal items. While these may seem like all the features you would need in an emergency situation, it is essential to understand that in most cases, the user of a Bug Out Bag will never need all of them.
As Bug Out Kits have been designed for use in times of disaster, civil unrest and emergencies, the contents of the kit must be light-weight and highly portable. Even though the contents of a Bug Out Bag are highly durable and sturdy, they are small enough to pack into a pocket or purse easily. As a Bug Out Bag is not a traditional backpack, you can store the contents discreetly in a location with minimal risk of being seen or discovered by people trying to search for others in the disaster area. If it appears that all of the supplies inside the bag have been used, there is a simple solution. Get rid of the old bag and bring along another Bug Out Kit.
You must have seen Bear Grylls wildlife adventures on TV where he carries a backpack containing essential gear to survive. Even military and special forces are trained to assemble and use bug-out bags in emergencies.
By following some of the suggestions in this article, you will discover the possibility of a Bug Out Bag changing into a lifesaver during a crisis. Bugging out is the best preparation anyone can make before disaster strikes and can give one the opportunity to restore their standard of living. Bug-out bag shopping needs to be treated like purchasing a high-quality custom suit.
A Bug Out Bag Checklist!
Many people say, “A bug-out bag is an essential part of a survival kit.” They’re right! And why is it essential? It’s good to be prepared because you’ll never know when life will throw you into an uncomfortable situation. Remember that there are different types of gear, and people use them differently. However, some of the basic elements are the same. This list of items is not a complete list of what you must have because a few items vary depending on your situation. Of course, you will not be carrying nearly as much as you believe you might if you have not been out in the field carrying it. Unnecessary items will only add to the extra weight for you to carry, which is not desirable.
Before making a checklist, identify the items you need. The bug out bag checklist below divides the bug survival gear into several key categories. Identify the first item in each category: first aid kit, emergency rations, water, survival blanket, personal protection gear, toiletry kit, trash bags, a knife, fire starter, toolset, trash bags, candles or oil lanterns, duct tape, a radio, emergency whistle, a portable hobo stove, and other equipment. Check the expiration dates for the survival gear listed above. Replace or purchase new items as needed.
- A Hand Crank and Spare Knife – These will make your life a lot easier if a power outage occurs or if you come upon an accident. You might even have to improvise to get to safety if you do not have a fully-functioning knife. I recommend a folding knife as opposed to a large fixed blade. If you don’t have access to a knife, you could use a hatchet or other smaller and lighter tool.
- Bug Repellent or Sunscreen – Several different types of repellents are available, and each has varying levels of success. You will want to take plenty of sunscreen with you if you come into contact with someone who has already been stung. If bug spray isn’t enough, buy some insecticide to kill black flies, mosquitoes, and other insects.
- Multi-purpose Tools – You can use these tools for many different situations, and they are great additions to any bug-out bag. You should include a screwdriver set, a saw, a med-kit, and a flashlight in the core gear. They are a must-have item for your bug-out kit because you may need to cut into something which will require both hands and even help you find other resources in a time of need. You will have to use this flashlight to help you in dark places such as stairwells, manholes, or alleyways. It is essential to carry around an extra flashlight and some extra batteries, as one may run out while exploring.
- First Aid Kit – It includes antiseptic, Band-Aids, pain relief medicines, cotton balls, eye pads, bandages, and antibiotics. These items should all be in liquid form. The contents should be stored in a sealed container, preferably inside a Ziploc bag.
- Radio – While a Bug Out Bag does carry emergency radio equipment, you should make sure the one included with your emergency kit contains frequencies suitable to the area in which you live. Generally, if you live in a rainy or damp climate: an area that receives a lot of soggy weather or has a long period of colder climates, you should probably invest in a Bug Out Bag with radio included. You can then have extra equipment in the event of an emergency or for communication purposes if you get stuck in a remote area.
- Shelter – This can be a tent or temporary shelter, such as a cabin in the woods. It is crucial to ensure that the shelter is comfortable enough for the duration of the natural disaster. In many cases, tents and cottages are the best shelters because they offer protection from the elements and the capability to remain relatively warm and dry while awaiting rescue. An emergency kit should also include a supply of heat to stay comfortable.
- Emergency flares or bug sprays– While there may not always be an emergency, having an emergency flare or bug spray handy is helpful for many people. Most Bug Out Bags include one or two emergency flares. A flare or bug spray can draw attention to an area with a leak or flooding and signal that the area needs to be disinfected. Both are pretty effective in many situations. Pepper spray can also be packed along for safety, in case of unexpected wildlife encounters.
- Emergency Food and Water supply – Any random water source that might be contaminated or unable to be used must be removed immediately. A Bug Out Bag might contain some water containers if none is readily available. Boiling water is especially useful to make dirty water safe for drinking and sterilize equipment if it could cause infection or harm individuals. Klean Kanteen go-to water bottles are popular for bag packing. Keep several extra bags of supplies ready in your bug-out bag, and include drinking water, food, sugar packets, and soup cans. Nutritious and fulfilling food bars supply quick energy, combat hunger, and bad moods.
- Gloves – Having suitable gloves on hand is critical for several reasons. First, they will help prevent getting scratched or cut by the bugs. Second, having gloves will help protect your hands from any cuts or abrasions. Bug sprays also work very well with gloves, as they will also prevent the exposure of your skin to those chemicals.
- Fire Starting Materials – These include matches, lighter fluid, petroleum jelly, fuel, tape, flint, and steel. Do not put other flammables such as napkins, blankets, or towels in your bug-out bag, which may worsen the situation in case of a fire. They could make you vulnerable to smoke inhalation and toxic fumes from your burning house materials.
- Blankets – The blanket is used to keep the body warm and dry in cold climates. The individual may freeze during a long outdoor trip if it is not comfortable. The go-bag could be used as a makeshift bed for an hour or two if leftover.
- Emergency Numbers – Some people call out their local fire department during emergencies. Others go to the local police. To reach them, many people have their cell phones turned to vibrate so that they can ring for help even when they are away from their homes. Do not forget your radio and any necessary documents like birth certificate, identity cards, credit cards that you may need during a disaster.
These items are just a few of many you may want to have on hand, as many different items are commonly carried. Carrying around extra weight is cumbersome, especially in stressful circumstances. It’s also important to remember that what’s in your Bug Bag checklist may not necessarily be the most necessary item for you, and you should plan for that ahead of time. If you run into a critical situation, you’ll be prepared to handle it. Happy bug hunting!
Why Is A Bug Out Bag Important For Emergency Preparedness?
The most important part of an emergency kit is its supplies for the short term. A standard 72-hour kit has items such as bottled water, non-perishable food, sugar, a flashlight, earplugs, a handbook on how to stay safe in an unfamiliar environment, a cell phone with a receiver, a signal mirror, candles, fresh towels, duct tape, safety pins, plasters, and painkillers. The items typically included in BOBs are sleeping bags, potable water bottles, and food bars. A Bug Out Bag will include some of these items plus some extras to make life easier if there is a necessity to improvise. Any cash you may have in your kit should be secured in a separate location away from where you are traveling. A bug-out bag list is what most first-response tactical planners use to prepare for a disaster.
Suppose an emergency occurs while at home; a BOB can come in handy to safely contain food, water, or valuable personal belongings. The bug-out bag may prevent a catastrophic disaster from happening and provide comfort and assistance during a crisis. A BOB may be carried on one’s person, stowed away in a closet, or left behind in a site that provides easy access to emergency personnel. Regardless of how the BOB may be used in emergencies, it should be made accessible to family members during an emergency
Bug Out Bags For Camping, Hiking, or Traveling
Once you know what you want your bug-out kit to contain, you need to determine how it will fit in your vehicle. If you want to drive a long distance or stay outdoors for a long time, you’ll need a gear loft to store the emergency items you need on the road. If you plan on camping or staying outdoors for a short time, you can pack everything in your tent and have it all fit inside.
Most bug-out bags are designed to fit in the trunk or side of your vehicle. Having everything fit like this means you won’t have to stop and take everything out every time you turn around. Furthermore, it gives you added peace of mind. If you have to stop and take out one item, it’s at the very least going to be something simple like a water filter, rain jacket, flashlight, and cell phone. If you’re traveling for three days or more, having these items ready and available will ensure you don’t forget them and, in turn, risk being stranded in the wilderness with no way to get help. Having them also ensures that you have the emergency numbers ready in your bug-out bag. Once your bug-out bag has reached your destination, your first task should be assembling your emergency items at a safe site.
The second thing on your list should be survival food and snacks. Bugging out means you’ll be away from home for an extended time. You should be able to rely on yourself for food and water in an emergency. Several pre-packaged emergency food kits are available, but if you like to make your own, stock up on dehydrated and freeze-dried products. You should also pack some granola bars, sports drinks, bottled water, and any extra batteries you may need. Consider taking a few extra toilet paper rolls if toilets are unavailable.
The third item on your bug-out bag list should be the most essential: a quality knife. Bug-out groups have been known to carry nail clippers and other cutting tools in the woods, so you must have a reliable knife on your trip. A small folding knife works well enough to cut rope wire in an emergency.
Other items you might bring along are bug oil and bug repellent, petroleum jelly, a match, an emergency whistle, a first aid kit, a sleeping bag, and an SHTF kit. A bug or SHTF kit is often filled with essentials, including high-energy food items like granola bars, water bags, utensils, bandages, medicines, duct tape, tweezers, sewing tools, water bottles, etc. Most stores that sell pre-fabricated survival kits also carry bug-out supplies. If you choose this, keep in mind that you may have to buy in bulk to get discount pricing.
While water is an essential item on a hiking or camping trip, it’s very heavy, especially when packed for a long distance. So, how far can you safely pack water? The following is a Bug Out Bag Checklist.
Level 1 Bug Out Bag
The first element on a level 1 bug-out bag checklist has good food and water. It may not be a problem for many survivalists since they are prepared to survive without much food and water for several days. However, what about backpackers and climbers who intend to stay in a situation for more than one day?
A level one bug bag has many compartments and pockets designed for different types of supplies. There are five primary compartments on a level one bag. These include an insulated bottle to store food and drinks, a hydration pack for sports drink replacement, a hydration tube for drinks, a multi-purpose pocket, and an emergency blanket. Level one bug bags also usually come with a carrying case and include several zippered pouches to carry cell phones, pens, writing materials, flashlights, extra batteries, a laptop charger, and other items. They may need portable food and water and have a long shelf life.
The following are the items to consider here:
- Camping Bags – Bug Out Bags are light-weight and easily stored in a backpack. It provides many features and benefits, including securing food and water separately. They can also be used as emergency food and water storage during unpacking in case of emergency. Popular bug bags brands include Kelty, Sunbeam, Marmot, REI, Sunwatchers, Slumberjack, Wenoka, Columbia Bugabag, Big Agnes, North Face Campmor, Columbia River Raft, Backpack, and others.
- First Aid Kits – All backpackers and survivalists must carry first aid kits. You can include it in the bug-out bag checklist as well. This kit contains basic first aid tools like bandages, painkillers, antiseptic medicines, cotton balls, and tweezers. Some essential tools for first aid include needle-nose pliers, rescue tape, scissors, safety pins, tweezers, sterile gauze, needles, and burn pads.
- Survivalist Lighter – Bug-out hikers should always bring a quality flashlight with LED light. The flashlight must be waterproof and robust enough to handle the task. The best brand names for survival items include Black Hills, Coleman, REI, and others. Bugging out with a flashlight is one of the most important things to do in the event of a bug attack.
- Bug Out Tarp – Bug out tarpaulins are essential for every bug bag and backpacker’s kit. These tarps provide extra protection from the elements while allowing movement within the campsite. Bug tarpaulins come in different materials and sizes. Some popular ones are Cotton Fabric, Vinyl, and canvas. They are even used for shelter, rain collection and hiding your supplies.
- Headlamp – The right headlamp will help light your way in the dark. Headlamps are not that expensive, and they will last for years if used properly. Be sure you look for a powerful and well-built headlamp with a waterproof design so it will be able to keep you safe while also staying brightly lit.
Level Two Bug Out Bags
Bug-out kits usually include two essential items; a sealed tent and a bug-proof shelter. If you don’t have a level two bug-out bag, it is recommended that you buy a level one to store your emergency food supply and medicines inside. This way, bugs won’t be able to get into the food that you have stored inside your shelter. So, ensure that your shelter has been properly sealed. You can buy sealed tents at most outdoor supply stores.
A bug-out bag level 2 is required because it has two extra layers of emergency food and water supplies inside the kit that can be utilized if there is a need to improvise a meal or some clean-up. It also serves as a personal clean water storage system with an included water filter. There is also emergency medical equipment included in the kit.
The level 2 bag is designed to fit a backpack with a closed top. The top is then zipped up, leaving only the compartment for carrying food, water, and other emergency supplies. The main compartment is great for storing small items like bandages, aspirin, tweezers, cotton balls, disinfectant, and other first aid supplies. The second compartment can hold anything that might be needed for general bug-out procedures, like matches, a cell phone, a flashlight, and toilet paper. A top pocket is made especially for keeping a cell phone ready in an emergency. Last but not least, don’t forget to bring your flashlight and GPS. A real bug out situation is serious business, so make sure you take your time and prepare.
Level 2 gear also includes:
Sleeping bags and Comfortable Clothes – Sleeping bags should have a waterproof covering to protect them from condensation and leakage. It is imperative if the bug you are fighting happens to be a mosquito. If you don’t have a sleeping bag, you should invest in one or buy a small one. You won’t have to stop eating due to wet clothes and blankets in case of rain. When people think of bugs, they often think of mosquitoes, so a t-shirt with absorbent material is a must for anyone going to a campground. Other clothes that would be light but bug-proof are shorts with absorbent material, a fleece jacket, athletic shoes, wool socks, gloves, and a hat with a wide brim.
Fishing Kit – Bug out is often necessary for fighting a bug infestation. One of the essentials in an emergency bug kit is a fishing kit, which contains everything you need to survive for at least 72-hours with little or no food. It includes anti-fly strike compounds, special insect repellent, petroleum jelly, a face mask, and duct tape. You can also stock up on insect repellent cream, Cayenne pepper spray, and antifreeze tablets.
Level Three Bug out Bags
Are you just about ready to go on a hike with your Bug Out Bag?
The purpose of this bag is to contain all your items while you hike so that if you need to unpack at a later time, it will be much easier to do so without getting lost.
The first aid kit should include bandages, adhesive tape, cotton balls, safety pins, tweezers, painkillers, disinfectants, antiseptic cream, and ointment for skin irritations. Insect bites and stings can be treated using antiseptic cream and ointment. A bug bath should be used before bathing to remove any traces of bug residue.
Level 3 gear contains rope, a blanket, and rescue signals. The rope should be strong enough to hold someone and is also essential for guiding you in an emergency. The blanket should be waterproof and can be used as a flotation device in case of flammable objects beneath you. If your Bug Out Bag contains an emergency beacon, it is vital to keep it in a visible location. These are usually placed on the top of the bag, near the zipper or other access points.
The contents of your bug-out bag level 3 should include instructions on what to do in case of emergencies such as fire, flooding, carbon monoxide poisoning, falling or unconscious, and others. The level of expertise required for your circumstances depends on the type of bug and where you will be going.
It’s advisable to have more than one piece of information in your Bug Out Bag Level 3. For example, in case of a flood, you may wish to include a book on water rescue or consider carrying a map of the area in which you will be camping.
Some essential pieces of equipment that you should include in your Bug Out Bag Level 3 are flashlights, first-aid kits, matches, fuel, portable hiking stoves, garbage bag, duct tape, needle, thread, glue, a toolbox, a folding shovel, a compass, and a rescue whistle. If a flashlight is not available, you may wish to carry a hand crank battery-operated lantern, which can be attached to your backpack.
Last but not least, sufficient liters of water and food are essentials of any level bug-out bag.
Do you need a bug-out bag?
Many people have been asking, do you need a bug-out bag? Some people may even be thinking that they should bring a pack along just in case disaster strikes. But, do you need this type of kit? And, is it worth the money to buy one?
Bug-out bags are designed for quick and easy evacuation of an area that has been the site of an outbreak of a deadly or dangerous virus, calamity, or war. They were designed to be carried on the person and provide immediate first aid and comfort until a professional can provide medical assistance. So, if you think you live in a danger-prone area, you should consider buying one. Having an emergency Bug Out Bag on hand is an intelligent choice.
There is a large variety of bug-out bags available, including backpack styles. All these bags include the necessities, but not all carry the same supplies.
Even though it seems that there are a lot of other uses for the bug-out bag, it will always be helpful for just about any situation. When you need help getting out of a pinch, you should always have a bag on hand that you can use because it is such an important thing. The bag can come in handy in many different situations, and it is something that you should think about purchasing for any home. Whether you are protecting your home or you are just passing through, you should make sure that you have a bug-out bag in your home.
No matter what type of bug-out bag you choose to carry, it’s essential that you have one regardless of whether you’re going bug hunting, hiking, or fishing. A BOB allows you to get more out of your outdoor adventures. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hunter, whether you choose to bug out on your own or join an organized hunting group, having the right bug-out bag can make your trips more enjoyable.
How to Choose the Right Size and Type of a Bug-out-Bag?
The size of your backpack depends on what you are going to be doing. A small to medium-size bag will do the trick if you plan camping. If you are hiking, you will want one large enough to carry all of your clothing when you are out. If you take wildlife pictures, a large bag needs to be packed.
Consider the purpose of your bug or backpack. Backpacks can be made for many things from school to the mountains. A good backpack has all the compartments you need for your gear. Make sure your backpacks or other bags have room for your water, food, camera, snacks, and possibly an emergency beacon.
The second factor to consider is whether you will be wearing a helmet or not. There are many brands and styles to choose from; choose a comfortable helmet that fits your head and neck. My recommendation would be to pick a smaller backpack that has a main compartment for your helmet; this way, your helmet will stay protected while in the backpack. You should also consider how heavy you plan on carrying the backpack.
A small, light-weight backpack is best for outdoor travel, but heavy-duty packs are great for any hiking. If you are looking for the ultimate bug-out situation, I highly suggest going with a hard-shell double duty backpack. These backpacks can be waterproof, have lots of storage space, and even have a handle so you can carry them by hand.
The third thing to consider is where you will be carrying your bag or backpack. Backpacks are designed with several different compartments for different items. Think about which item(s) you will need with your Bug Out Bag. If you carry a lot of valuables, it may be best to go with a larger compartment with multiple pockets or compartments.
The fourth consideration is whether or not you want a removable compartment. This compartment can be used for different items such as bug oil, first aid kits, food, and water bottle. Zippers are another essential feature to look for when looking at a Bug Out Bag. You can’t have too many zippers! One final place to check is how long the zippers will last. If you don’t have a warranty, make sure the zippers are replaceable; you’ll have to pay for them if they are not replaceable.
Another vital feature is how much extra room the bags or compartments will give you. It’s recommended to have at least one extra sleeping pad, a flashlight, and some candles in your Bug Out Bag.
As they come in many different sizes, a BOB can serve as a temporary home for someone who might be displaced due to a natural disaster or emergency, giving them the ability to live and survive in a safer, more comfortable environment.
There are many different sizes of BOB, which come in a variety of different materials.
Some are made from extremely tough nylon, which can withstand more wear and tear. Others are made from lightweight, breathable vinyl materials that make it easy to pack away without fearing the contents becoming wet or tainted. Still, others are made from durable canvas, which accounts for light bodyweight but is strong enough to hold up against the elements.
Who Uses Bug Out Bags?
Many people have been in situations where they had no food and no supplies, and they survived by eating the food they had left behind. You need to have a reliable means of providing yourself with proper nutrition for the duration that you may be in the wilderness or in a critical situation.
The kit comprises survival-food items, water purification tablets, a first aid kit, medications, a flashlight, and other personal items prescribed by the National Emergency Survival System (NEMS). The contents are typically arranged to provide maximum protection to the wearer from any hazards faced outside the home or place of work.
A bug-out bag can significantly increase your chances of surviving when stranded. It will provide you with the right type of nutrition to replace whatever nutrition you would have usually gotten from your regular meals by eating foods stored in your bug-out bag. Many people think that it’s useless to have a supply of food that you can use for the time that you may be in an emergency. However, that is not true at all.
People think they can get by for a few days or even a few weeks by eating the foods they have stored in their bug-out bags. That’s not true either, and it is certainly not an excellent way to go because you are leaving a chance on the table for those that may still be living in your area. If there’s a power outage, the foods in your bags can be used as a last resort. These bags can be used to cook whatever is in them, but you should make sure that they have been freeze-dried and bagged. While it may not be necessary for every emergency, it is good to have them on hand.
Some people use their bug-out bags for other things as well. Some use them to carry around medications. It takes time to prepare these kits, and you should always have one that you can use. Using your bug-out bag for other things does not hurt, and you can be glad that you have that option if you ever find yourself in need of supplies.
A BOB could contain food and clean water to keep a family or a single person alive during severe weather or harsh climate. A multi-purpose BOB containing other personal items such as a personal flotation device or other emergency items may be more expensive. Although a cheap gear may also contain some of the same basic equipment, these will provide greater protection against toxins, germs, and other hazardous elements.
In addition to using a BOB for a survival situation, people also use BOB bags for traveling purposes. A BOB bag may be perfect for a family’s travel needs, but it could also be utilized as an apartment or hotel BOB during an emergency. Traveling with a bug-out bag can be more challenging than a traditional backpack since you do not always have access to a BOB during an emergency. However, a BOB can make trips easier because it contains extra food and supplies to keep a family or person alive.
In conclusion, you can use BOBs in many situations. Although used for emergency and survival situations, you can also use it for general purposes during everyday living. Bags are often easy to carry and maintain, which is why they are so popular. Furthermore, carrying a bag does not require a large investment in materials. As long as the contents are protected, a BOB can provide many people with the protection they need for a bug-out situation.