The fact that you are reading this means you are new to being a survivalist. And you are confused as to what types of gear you must have in your bug out bag (BOB). You are not alone. As you will learn from all expert survivalists, deciding what to put it there and what to leave out can be daunting.
You must also learn that your survival depends on how well or ill-equipped your go-bag is. You will still stand a better chance to make it than 99 percent of non-preppers by covering the most basic items.
A BOB should pack enough gear to help you survive for at least 3-days in an emergency. However, you can go even longer if you pack wisely. Packing means picking only the essential items you cannot survive even a day without.
7 types of gear you must pack in your bug out bag
Over 70 percent of the human body is made up of water. We lose a good amount of that water daily through breath and perspiration. Saliva, urine, and stool also drain water from our bodies. Without replacement, dehydration creeps in. The situation will turn ugly when your blood volume starts to decrease. This will lead to hypovolemic shock and potential death in less than three days.
In an emergency, the need for water becomes even more pronounced. Experts recommend that each individual drink at least one liter of water per day to stay alive. Thus a BOB should carry at least 3 liters of water per person.
You can carry safe water. But you can also get more from open sources can help during an emergency situation. Thus you can pack water purification systems such as water boiler and iodine tablets. A good filtration system also is necessary. A good piece of advice is to carry water in a collapsible water bottle. Alternatively, you can carry premium quality bottled water (if you can afford). It will eliminate the need for water purification systems.
Food and Snacks
You can survive 3 days without food. But does this mean you should not pack it? By no means! Food is important because it will give you the energy you need to survive an emergency. The most preferred sources of nutrition are energy bars and backpack meals.
Backpack meals are great since you only need to add boiled water and they are ready. The fact that you can prepare them quickly and easily makes them wonderful choices. This is especially true for disastrous situations. Energy bars have high energy content to provide you with a quick burst of energy to deal with an emergency.
This does not mean you cannot prepare better and healthier meals away from home. When situation allows, just prepare usual meals. But you will have to pack energy bars and backpack meals. These will serve as fallback alternatives when you cannot prepare meals. It is also not wrong to carry some healthy snacks if there is space.
Most emergencies that require survival will, in most cases, find you outside your home. It is impossible to make it 3 days out in the cold without some shelter and appropriate clothing. It is always necessary to pack different types of clothing. You do not know when and where the disaster will strike. For instance, you may have to carry a rain jacket and a winter jacket.
Your choice of clothing should depend on the weather and climatic conditions. Environmental conditions in your area also matter. You must carry warm clothing to cushion you against extreme cold. You should also pack light clothes to wear in hot conditions.
Keep in mind that survival situation is not a fashion show. Therefore, be disciplined in packing your favorite outfits. Pack only the essential clothes that will help increase your chances of survival. I would recommend that you make do with just a few pairs of clothes to minimize the space needed to store them.
Among the clothes to pack include 2 pairs of socks, two shirts, and a jacket. The socks should be made of any material except cotton. Try to carry one short-sleeve shirt and one long-sleeved shirt. This will help with layering. Pack a multipurpose jacket to act both as a raincoat and a body warmer. Be sure to include some long jeans and a nice pair of boots. You may also need a bandana and a hat.
Shelter for Protection
Extreme weather conditions, criminals, and predators are all sources of danger; great reasons why you must have a shelter in your bug out bag. The shelter will protect you from the extreme environmental elements. It will also provide you with a warm and dry place to sleep.
At the basic, pack a tent (or anything of that sort) or a tarp and the means to set it up. You will also need a sleeping pad or a tarp underneath where you will sleep. Not to forget a bedroll. I would recommend a good quality sleeping bag.
Unfortunately, small bug out bags may not have enough space to organize a tent. A reliable alternative would be a one-time use space blanket. You will need to carry three space blankets to cover for the three days. A good shelter must be leak proof. It should also be spacious enough to fit your size.
First Aid Kit
Even the tiniest injury can become infected in an emergency situation. Such infection can cause serious health problems. A First Aid Kit is handy in dressing small injuries to ward off infections. For a BOB, a small First Aid Kit will suffice.
Fully equipped commercial kits are often costly. Besides, they may also carry many things you will not need. Avoid carrying unnecessary First Aid items or spending too much money. Simply build your DIY kit. This is possible as long as you can collect a few First Aid items. The major items to collect include disposable sterile gloves, sterile gauze dressings, bandages scissors, cleansing wipes, broad-spectrum antibiotics, OTC painkillers, tweezers and a thermometer.
A Weapon for Security and Safety
Criminals usually take advantage of emergency situations to loot and kill. It would be ironical to survive a major disaster only to lose your life or properties to a criminal. You may have to protect yourself from the dangerous wild animals.
In a “No Rule of Law” situation, a weapon such as a firearm may prove necessary for defense. Only in extreme conditions can you use the gun to defend yourself. The type of gun to pack in your BOB is your own prerogative. A small firearm would be better. It is concealable and easy to handle.
Besides a firearm, you could also pack a good survival knife. Most survival knives are multipurpose. Apart from being a weapon, a survival knife can help with clearing paths and camping area. It also helps in cutting ropes for making a shelter. You will need the same knife when preparing food.
A Collection of Essential Gear
We have been talking about the 7 types of gear you must have in your bug out bags. It may seem strange that I have included as one of them “a collection of essential gear”. Well, the collection refers to a number of things you cannot survive without. The list in the collection is bare minimum, but it is what you need to make it in a survival situation.
The essential gears include fire, cooking appliances, light source and survival knife. Having a lighter or matches is just one side of the coin. You must also learn the best ways to make fire. It is also important to learn how to tender the fire.
The cooking appliances to have in your BOB include a large cup or a small port. This will help in boiling water for use with dried foods and for drinking. A good alternative to making fire would be a small backpacking stove along with fuel.
There is no need to worry if you are new to being a survivalist. No survivalist got it right the first time with packing a bug out bag. You are in luck because of what you have learned in this resource. You can use the information to organize your BOB. Our list of 7 types of gear you must have in your bug out bag consists only of the most basic things necessary for your survival.
BUG OUT RESOURCES:
- Discreet Survival Backpacks for Bug Out Disasters
- Bugout Guide: 60+ Preparedness Resources for Getting the Hell out of Dodge!
- Travel Bug Out Bags: Your Lifeline out on the Road
- Bugging In vs Bugging Out: Have you Planned for Both Options?
- BUG OUT: Staying Away From High Density Population Centers
- Bug Out Bag Gear- A Guide for Building the Perfect Go Bag