There are plenty of reasons why you need a bug out bag (BOB). Terrorism, civil unrest, tsunami, extended power interruption, and earthquakes are just a few of those reasons. A well-equipped bug out bag will help you sail through at least 72 hours amidst the uncertainty. For beginners, the confusion is in what to include in the bag. Experienced preppers know that a bug out bag is a personal choice. This is a beginner’s guide to preparing a bug out bag.
At the basic, you should curate you BOB to complement your comfort levels. It should also complement your skills set and your personal preferences. Most of this will require you to do some homework. Try to figure out the potential challenges you might experience. Your climatic conditions and your geographical area of habitation should inform your decisions. All these should be in relation to your abilities and talents.
With that in mind, use the following tips and tricks. They should be able to guide you to proper preparation of a bug out bag.
1. Create a Plan
During my school days, my commerce teacher had a saying. He said doing anything without first making a plan is a reason why poverty will never end. We can borrow that analogy and use it in relevance to preparing a BOB.
In your plan, ask yourself a few questions. Where is my workplace? Can I have my BOB with me at the office? Is there an appropriate rally point? Should I create a bank account for my loved ones? Should plan A fail, do I have any alternatives? Are there a reliable means of communication? If you can find answers to these questions then you have a plan.
Have a conversation with your loved ones telling them of your preparedness plans. You can then draft a workable plan that you will use in the event of a disaster. The plan must include necessary contact information, a checklist of activities and locations. You can stick the print out to the inner side of your survival gear closet.
2. Decide the Size of the BOB
How big should your bug out bag be? The rule of the thumb is that it should be small enough for you to carry on your back. It should also be light enough for your carry on your arms. Despite the small size, you should pack it to take most of the survival essentials.
The contents of the go back should be enough to take care of your family for at least three days. A heavy bag may carry everything. However, it will slow you down in a scenario where speed and agility are needed. The capacity of the pack should match with the duration the emergency is likely to last.
Such bags differ in aspects other than size. The material used in their design decides their net weight. A heavy duty BOB could be strong and durable but it will slow you down. Lightweight materials are better even though they may not be that strong.
3. Pack your Bug out Bag Wisely
Inside BOB is a no-go zone for luxury items. The temptation to include luxurious stuff might be too much for prep beginners. You must be extremely wise when packing your pack. Trying to fit all the necessary items a family needs in one or two small size BOB impossibility. You must sacrifice several things that are unnecessary for your survival.
Unless you are planning for one person (you) there are no one-size fits all. Take for instance a snack or food. While one person may be okay with cheese, another may be having problems with dairy products. This requires that you pack according to the needs of those you wish to protect. Here is the essential stuff you must pack in your BOB:
It is impossible to live for more than 3 days without water. In a disaster, the supply of clean and fresh water may be interrupted. While packing your go bag, include a number of items that can help you improve water reserve. Examples of things to include are 3 to 4 liters of drinking water, several collapsible water bottles, portable water purifiers, hard BPA-free water bottle and a canteen.
The food you pack must be highly nutritious. Even if you consume a little, such food should provide you with balanced nutrients and energy to move on. Resist any temptation to pack junk foods. You should carry dehydrated and canned foods because you cannot be sure of the water source.
You do not know the availability of water in a disaster. Therefore, you should carry little of foods that need water to prepare. Examples of foods to carry include protein bars and green powders. Others examples are energy bars and MREs (meals ready to eat).
You will also need certain cooking items to help you prepare food in the wilderness. I would recommend you go for a metal cooking pot, stove fuel tablets, pot scrubber, a metal cup, a portable stove and a spork.
• Protective Clothing
Clothing is as important as food. When a disaster strikes, you must have the right clothing to protect you from the elements. The kind of clothes to pack is a personal decision. This is because we all differ in terms of body type, tolerance levels, and fitness levels.
The riskiest outcome of not using the right clothing is hypothermia. Respiratory problems may also be risks. You have to be able to define the functions of each cloth you have chosen to include in the pack.
• First Aid Kit
In emergency situations, injuries are the prime scares to life. A First Aid Kit is one of the most important items to include in your bug out bag. It does have to be a big kit. Let it be a small one to reduce the amount of space it will take. Besides the kit, you will need insect repellent and an emergency thermal blanket.
• Others Essential Items
In addition to the above-described items, you will need survival and navigation tools. Survival items may include a survival knife, a tactical flashlight, and a firearm. Others include a machete and communication device among others. Navigation tools include maps and compass among others.
You should also not forget stuff that will help you with personal hygiene. Examples are hand sanitizer, toothpaste, and toothbrush. More items are dental floss, tissue paper, wet napkins, small towel and all-purpose soap. These are the basic hygiene items you must include in your BOB.
There you go. Our list is as nearly exhaustive. However, it is a worthwhile beginner’s guide to preparing a bug out bag. Remember to be disciplined if you have to make the most out of your BOB. Even the most advanced preppers started from somewhere. You have to know that your survival and that of your loved ones depend on the go bag. Make a good preparation and the disaster will pass like it never happened.
Dan Stevenson is an experienced survivalist and chief editor of The Survival Corps. In addition to his primary job functions, Dan Stevenson has been recognized by the survival community for his extraordinary commitment. For more information please Visit Here