Advanced Bug Out Bags
You did it!
So you got your basic bug out bag assembled. You feel optimistic about anything that gets in your way. Okay, maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but at least you have a leg up on most of society.
Now that you've got the basic essentials you need to focus on the elements that will make like a little bit easier.
I like to break the advanced kit into six groups:
These groups are in order of importance. When packing extra gear it's important that you have your priorities straight.
Let's break each group down
Basics - Shelter, Water, Fire, Food... There, that was easy!
Tools - Knives, Shovels, Lock pick kits, individual first aid kits (IFAK), GPS, Mulit-tools, axes and such are just some of the many tools you might need in your bag.
You're bag may differ and probably will differ from someone else based on location, needs etc. what you need to do is find tools that serve the purpose you NEED. If you live in the desert, you probably don't need an axe... or a parka.
Weapons - Firearms, slingshots, Air Rifles, blowguns, and tasers are weapons you may want to think about carrying. Weapons ARE tools. However, their distinct and controversial nature is why I separated them.
Weapons in a bug out situation are tools for defense, and hunting. They can also be considerable weight! If you're thinking about bringing a firearm, be prepared to sacrifice space and weight from the categories below. Ammo is heavy.
Hygiene - It could be argued that this could be above tools. Or possible even included in the tools category.
I agree, it probably should be. I separated it due to it's weight.
When packing hygiene products do not pack a giant container of soap or shampoo. Pack for two things; body, and item maintenance.
- Body - pack for dental hygiene (floss, toothbrush), body wipes for bathing and a nail clipper for your hands and feet. I also recommend foot powder if you think there's a probability of you walking during your journey.
- Item Maintenance - This refers to cleaning your stuff. If you're carrying a firearm you may want to carry a small cleaning kit. If you're carrying a mess kit, pack a tiny bottle filled with dish soap and a quarter of a sponge. I would also look into cleaning kits for your camelback if you're carrying one.
Admin - This is personal information, passports, ID's, birth certificates, etc. I'd recommend making digital scans of these and saving them to a usb. It saves a lot more space.
I also keep a small note pad and a "write in the rain" pen. Sometimes jotting down thoughts or keeping a journal of your situation can be helpful. That and the ability to make rudimentary maps.
... Also in admin... MAPS! Have a map of where you're going. You never know when a road will be out and you need to take another route. Don't depend on GPS. It may not work. Learn to read a map.
Leisure - These are items to help keep your sanity. Throw in your favorite book, magazine, travel game, etc. This isn't a "necessity" per se, but it's more of a morale booster.
I recommend finding something that you enjoy doing (keep mind of its weight) and keep it in your bag. Taking a mental break from the situation you're in, even if for the briefest of moments will help you more than you know.
Now that you have a bag worthy of praise, the game doesn't stop. Learn to use your gear effectively. Don't buy gear and not use it. If the time comes when you have to, you may find yourself struggling despite the fact that your gear is quality.
I also recommend cycling through gear with expiration dates. You're well on your way to positive preparedness. Keep training and teaching others as well.