If you want to really be prepared for a disaster, you need a bug-out bag: an emergency bag you can use to "bug-out" of town and get somewhere safe.
Let's break down what you need to build a top-tier bug-out bag for any disaster situation:
What Kind of Bag Do You Need?
...A good one.
I know that sounds like an oversimplification, but it's not. In fact, the quality of your bug-out bag can affect whether it'll serve you reliably in an emergency situation.
When purchasing the physical bag for your emergency kit, you must make sure that it is:
- Made of durable materials, and preferably double-stitched to prevent the straps or other parts from tearing.
- Waterproof, which may be necessary if you have to survive in inclement weather away from your home.
- Spacious enough that you can carry all the emergency gear that you need with you. (In total, you probably want your bug-out bag to have between 40 and 60 L of space, which is around the same space you need for a backpack to take a weeklong hiking or camping trip.)
Be prepared to spend a good bit of money purchasing a great bag. It’ll be worth it in the end.
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Key Principles to Keep in Mind
As you kit out your bug-out bag, you should keep a few major principles in mind as you select items and figure out how much you’ll take with you.
- A good bug-out bag should be light enough that you can carry it all day long without getting tired. (To that end, your bug out bag probably shouldn't weigh more than 40lbs if you're a man, or 30-ish pounds if you're a woman.)
- Consider the various pockets and security features of your bug-out bag. Some bags come with lockable zippers or actual locks, which can protect your gear from getting stolen. More pockets mean better organization!
- Don't forget to consider comfort, either. The best bug-out bags are reasonably comfortable to carry into the wilderness. Invest in a bag that has padded straps.
- Add some other items outside your bug-out bag, like a coat or a comfortable shirt. Put your boots near your bug-out bag so you're ready to go in an instant.
What You Need Inside Your BOB
Now let's break down what you should actually include in your bug-out bag.
The exact gear list that's best for you will vary based on your needs and location, but the major points you want to hit include:
- An emergency first aid kit
- Water bottles and water purification tablets
- An emergency radio
- A flashlight
- A lighter and matches
- A physical map of your emergency escape area
- Provisions like canned food or rations
- A survival knife
Ultimately, this is just a small taste of the preparation it'll take to build the ultimate bug-out bag. But follow the advice above and your bug-out bag will be ready enough to serve you well in any emergency situation.
For an even more comprehensive list of survival items to stock your bag with, check out our recent article that outlines 30 Survival Essentials You Never Knew You Needed.
Thank you for reading, stay strong patriots.
Justin | Right Wing Gear
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