A Different Approach to Bug out Bags
By Joseph Parish
We all appreciate the requirement and the value of a suitably equipped bug out bag and most of us if we have not previously done so, want to put some form of bug out bag together. Naturally, such an undertaking can frequently be very bewildering as we reflect upon where to start at. It’s always a great deal easier when planning your bug out bag if you know what your final destination will be, regrettably many of us may not have a clue as to where we would be heading except out of the city.
If you have already established your survival retreat, all well and good for much of your equipment and provisions will likely already be there, so all your efforts can be directed towards those items necessary to get you to your target. On the other hand, if you do not have a firm location that you are heading for you will need to go into greater detail with your supply list. I am not going to go into all the bits and pieces which you should maintain in your bag as I feel that is already a dead horse. Every survival site and mine included have several dozen article on that topic alone.
As an preliminary guideline I think most people already understand that a three day supply of food and water for all family members is just about a golden rule these days. If your like me you will have a “Quick Grab” bag at home entirely packed and ready to toss in the bug out vehicle at a moments notice. In the vehicle itself I retain a small supply of additional food, water, several knives, fire starting equipment, water filtering bottle, etc. Generally we try to preserve those items that we believe would best support our family in the event we had to “Get out of Dodge” at a moments notice.
Most survivalists try to embrace as much emergency supplies within their bag as possible and the bags can become extremely fat with extras here and there. Usually it’s problematical to lighten your kits when it comes to your supplies such as the food or various pieces of equipment that you may need to endure the days ahead, however there is much that can be done in the way of clothing to conserve badly needed space. There are two approaches that you could consider in this respect. One is the use of the giant clothing bags that you remove all the air from with a vacuum cleaner. It sucks the air out and drastically reduces the space need for storage. The problem here is once you open the bag to remove a pair of socks or for clean underwear you are likely to find it extremely difficult putting the remaining clothing back into your bug out bag.
A much better method for packing your clothing would be to use the wife’s kitchen vacuum sealer and individually package each item of clothing. Now your pairs of socks, your extra underwear, pants or shirts will require much less space in your bug out bag. If you need to change your socks you merely have to open one vacuum bagged pair leaving the remainder of your clothes unopened.
Another great space saving tip would be concerning MRE’s. If you use these military meals in your BOV, you could remove the MRE from the box they come in and save a considerable amount of valuable space in your BOB. You will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of space that you will save with this little tip. If you know that you need two meals for adults and one for a child then create individual packages of three meals. Put the meals together and seal these items as one with your vacuum sealer.
The ideal situation would be to can all our survival goodies however few of us have the equipment to actually seal aluminum cans so the vacuum sealers are the next best thing. Their uses are endless ranging from clothing as stated above to any sort of custom kits you may desire for fishing medications, etc. In addition to saving space these sealed kits are waterproof and light weight. In the event it’s needed they slip easily into your vest pocket. I have heard of one survivalist that even enclosed some strike anywhere matches and included a bit of tinder in the kit as well. It’s handy and secure.
Every persons bug out kit is different. My needs and the needs of my family may not necessarily be the same as those of your families. What this amounts to is take advantage of other people’s ideas when you can and modify them to suit your own situation. As I always learn when I do one of my bug out exercises I usually take either too much stuff or more often not enough.
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish