Five little things everyone forgets in their ‘Bug-Out Bag’
With survival, prepping, and apocalyptic media all the rage, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of know-it-alls spouting how-to’s and buy-this, not-that’s when you’re trying to prepare yourself the right way. Everyone remembers their Mylar blankets, hand-crank radios, water tablets, firestarters and protein bars, but here are a few things that most lists out there overlook that can put you ahead of the game should everything go to hell.
Getting the Right Bag –
The conceit of a bug-out bag is that you’re prepared for anything. One thing you can’t account too well for is how long you’ll be on your own. Ideally, you want a crap-hitting-the-fan scenario to be over sooner than later, but you can’t carry around a wheelbarrow of supplies if things go bad for a while. You want the perfect marriage of portability, storage, and longevity. Enter the 5-day pack. Many manufacturers (Drago Gear, High Ground Gear, 5.11 Tactical to name a few) make quality gear in this department, but a tactical 5-day assault pack is the way to go. You’re not only ensuring space to pack enough gear to survive for a week or more, but you also have the freedom to expand on your pack with MOLLE systems.
Keeping Your Guns Compact –
No one forgets to bring a gun to an apocalypse fight, and preppers keep plenty of guns about for every possible situation, but seldom do we hear about one of the most important aspects of preparing a bug-out bag: conservation of space. Every cubic inch is prime real estate when you’re packing for survival. So, when it comes to firearms, why not consider a tool already tailored to the work? The Henry Arms AR-7 Survival Rifle is just that tool. An easily disassembled and reassembled .22 LR rifle, the AR-7’s few components fit snugly into its hollow stock and most of them are coated in Teflon for maximum durability against the elements. The best part? Carrying one won’t take up any space inside your pack. The whole collapsed unit fits perfectly strapped on the side or front.
A Proper Compass –
This should be numero uno, but you’d be surprised how often people fail to mention this essential survival tool or forget it entirely. Often, the small compasses found in “survival kits” or attached to other equipment like keychains or knife sharpeners are afterthoughts and their poor quality shows long after their perceived value is gone. A simple search of Amazon or an outfitter like REI will turn up a host of great alternatives to some middling doohickey the size of a dime. When the satellites for your GPS don’t work anymore, do you want to be the one who forgot such a simple, perfect tool? I think not.
Fishing Tackle/Sewing Kit –
If you really have to hit the woods to duck a disaster, chances are you will be near some body of water. Having tackle, bait, rod and reel could mean the difference between a hot meal and going hungry. Simple fishing for survival does not require a terrible amount of skill nor does it require a ton of equipment maintenance either. A small, portable “fisherman” rod-and-reel and toiletry-sized tackle box with a few lures and hooks can easily fit in your bag and be reused as needed. And that sewing kit? That isn’t just for stitching up the hem in your cargo pants or fixing a torn tent face. If you have fishing line, and you’ve got a needle, then when you accidentally cut open your leg somehow, you also have ad-hoc sutures with which to stitch up that wound. Just hope you’re not squeamish.
Trash Bags/Bandanas –
Again, these may seem like no brainers, but they get lost in the shuffle. Trash bags are obvious for cleaning up your camp, waterproof storage, and so on, but in a pinch they can make for a serviceable tarpaulin alternative, as well as impromptu weatherproofing if your tent springs a leak. Bandanas have a similarly wide variety of uses, including (but in no way limited to): tourniquets, shoelaces, tie-downs, bandages, slings, masks, water filtration, temporary food storage, and so many other uses. They are both items which have myriad uses and the only limitations are your imagination and creativity.
Did We Miss Anything?
We couldn’t get everything that people forget to add to their bug-out bag lists in our list, but we tried to get the real nitpicking things that we noticed. Did you notice something useful that no one else seems to catch? Let us know in the comments what you would put in your bag that’s clever, unique, and could help you survive the best way in a bad situation.