A bug out bag is basically a survival kit that helps you survive in emergency situations. These bags are built to help you survive any kind of disaster, be it manmade or natural. Bug out bags are usually filled with essentials that can help you survive for at least 72 hours.
Is a Bug Out Bag Necessary?
Keeping yourself prepared is key to surviving a disaster. A bug out bag is basic to such survival. Without a survival kit such as a bug-out bag, living can become hazardous when you have to leave the shelter of your home during an emergency. Without a bug out bag, you make not only yourself but also your loved ones vulnerable to the hazards of a disaster situation.
So, yes, a bug out bag is necessary to increase your chances of survival during a disaster.
Include these Key Items to Create a Lifesaving Bug Out Bag
A bug out bag has to be comprehensive to help you out in a range of disaster situations. Here, we list the top ten items that every bug out bag must include:
The survival concept lists a rule of 3, which states that human beings can survive without clean and breathable air
for only 3 minutes!
Therefore, the first and foremost item that should go into your bug out bag is a breathing mask!
These masks are a must to help you survive in a situation where you may be deprived of air.
Buy breathing masks that can filter out impurities from the air and provide you with clean air. A well-built breathing mask is the only way to stay alive during an emergency situation.
After air, the survival rule of 3 stresses upon the need for water. According to the survival rule, one can go without water for only 3 days!
When you find yourself stranded and desperate during an emergency situation, keeping yourself hydrated is key to survival. Including clean potable water in your bug out bag is therefore crucial.
You can have ready access to potable water using portable water filters. Many models available in the market are lightweight and come with advanced filtration technologies to eliminate harmful bacteria from water.
These portable filters can be immensely helpful if you find yourself near water sources such as lakes, water springs and streams. Many models feature a handy attachment that allows to connect to a pouch to collect the clean water. Some models allow you to drink directly from the filter using a straw.
Another way to get access to clean drinking water during emergencies is by using water purification tablets. These tablets are small and can easily fit in your bug out bag.
You can also stock your bug out bag with emergency water pouches that usually come with a shelf life of several years.
There are also water bottles and bladders that feature a sturdy build and a design that protects water from contamination. You can stock such bottles and bladders in your bug out bag.
The food fact of the survival rule of 3 states human beings can survive without food for only 3 weeks. So, you need some food items that can keep you going after 3 weeks.
Emergency food items are designed to give you enough energy without being heavy on your bug out bag. Survival food items such as small food packets and food bars are available in the market for use during emergencies.
Such ration packets can keep you going for at least 3 days. These ration packets come with a long shelf life, usually many years. So, you can have them stocked in your bug out bag early.
There are also fishing kits that you can stock in your bug out bag. This kit is handy when you get stranded near a lake or river.
There are also instant food kits available in the market to help you in your survival. All you need to do is heat these kits, and the food items inside are ready to eat! These kits come with a long shelf life and they do not perish when exposed to heat. So, you can put them in your bug out bag and leave it in your car.
With enough calories and strength, you will be better equipped to handle the disaster facing you and think of proper rescue plans.
Shelter is important to protect yourself and your loved ones from the elements and even animals, depending on where you are stranded.
A high-quality tent designed to handle emergency situations is a must in your bug out bag. Go for waterproof tents such as Mylar-made tents, which not only repel water but also keep you warm.
Other key additions include a sleeping bag and blanket. You can go for either of these.
If you are going for Mylar blankets, a sleeping bag may not be necessary. Mylar blankets are water and windproof, and have high heat retaining capacity. In addition, they are lightweight.
If you prefer sleeping bags, choose kits that are resistant to tear and water, and have excellent heat retention. Shop for lightweight sleeping bags for greater convenience.
Clothing protects you from the elements and enables you to take rescue steps more efficiently. Here’s the list of clothing that your bug bag must include:
- Protective Gloves – High-quality gloves that can protect you from harsh cold and sun are important. A sturdy pair can keep your hands safe from bruises and infection when you are required to take rescue steps such as pulling out branches, leaves, sharp items such as glass, or other risky objects, off your path.
- Water-Resistant Jacket – A good quality jacket protects you from harsh winds, heat, cold, and reduces risk of physical injuries. They are a must if you live in an area that is known extreme climatic conditions.
- Extra Pair of Clothes – Carry an extra pair of clothing to change when you are wet. Damp clothes can make you feel wet and uncomfortable and also increase the risk of hypothermia.
First Aid Kit
Invest in a comprehensive first aid kit to help you deal with medical problems, should they arise, during your survival journey. Your first aid kit should include:
- Antibiotic Ointments
- Sterile Gauze
- Anti-bacterial wipes
Well-stocked first aid kits are available in the market. Such kits enable you to take immediate action in case of cuts, burns and other injuries, and sudden abdominal or body pains.
Having high-quality lighting devices in your bug out bag is a must to keep yourself safe after sunset. Lights also provide illumination during rescue operations and are lifesavers when they serve as rescue signals.
Choose lights that come with long-distance illumination, high brightness levels, water resistance, sturdy build, and a long battery power. Go for solar illuminators if you want lighting devices without batteries.
You could also consider headlamps if you are looking for lights that leave your hands free for disaster management tasks.
Navigation Guidance Tools
Navigation tools can guide you in the right path when you are in an unfamiliar territory. Some tools can also serve as rescue signals enabling you to send distress alarms to your loved ones or a rescue team.
Some navigation tools that your bug out bag must include:
- GPS trackers – These units help you navigate in the right direction. They can also send rescue signals to satellite, and pass on the information that you need help.
Most models feature an alarm system that signals your loved ones if you get trapped in a dangerous situation.
Keep an extra pair of batteries or solar chargers to have your GPS trackers always ready.
- A Local Map –When disaster strikes, even familiar areas can become stranger territories. Having a local map is always handy. A local map is also helpful during evacuation process.
- Compass – Choose a well-built accurate compass. Take the time to learn to use the device.
When shopping for navigation devices, choose those with a sturdy waterproof design.
Be prepared to use your self-defense tools when the need arises. Some must-keep self-defense items for your bug out bag include:
- A Sturdy Knife – A sharp well-designed knife is always a great weapon for self-defense. Ensure that the knife comes with a sturdy sheath to prevent accidents.
- Pepper Spray – Pepper spray is efficient against humans as well as animals. It causes irritation to the eyes and causes temporary blindness, giving you time to escape.
Multi-Purpose Tools and Fire Starters
Tools such as shovel, axe, folding saw, duct tape and crowbar are extremely handy for a variety of tasks including trench digging; shelter-building; self-defense; repairing tents, bags and clothing; lifting heavy things; and clearing paths.
Fire starters are a basic item that can help you to light a fire for cooking, and keeping yourself warm. It can also serve as a rescue signal.
A well-built bug out bag is your first line of defense against any disaster or emergency. Take the time and effort to build a well-stocked bug out bag.
Your bug out bag is as important as the items within it. Choose a high-quality bug out bag to give you reliable company during emergencies. Choose bags made of thick, durable and water-resistant material. Ensure that the bag is airtight and has generous storage space, including several pockets and compartments, and expandable space.