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What Do I Need On My Bug Out Bag List?
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What Do I Need On My Bug Out Bag List?

Times are changing. This is an uncertain world we live in, and its not getting better anytime soon. We have had an increase in terrorism, there is more violent crime, and the weather patterns are changing. With all of these factors, there is an increased need to be more prepared. One way that you can be prepared is to have a bug out bag list. Having a current list with a bug out bag ready to go, and a plan is a great start to being more prepared.

What all do you need to have on your bug out bag list? There are different sites online that you can visit, and get an idea of what others have, or you can make your own, custom tailored to suit your needs and wants. As for me, I have seven main categories that I like to focus on, then I can add on after that, permitting that I still have room in my bug out bag.

1. Clothing

My bug out bag sits in my corner of my bedroom. On top of my bag sits a change of clothes that I can get into quickly, regardless of the situation around me. In the stack of clothes on top of my bag is a pair of cargo pants, two short-sleeved shirts, one long-sleeved shirt, a boonie hat, a fresh pair of underwear, a fresh pair of hiking socks, and my nylon-webbed belt. I also carry an extra pair of pants, a couple of extra shirts, and a couple extra pairs of underwear and socks.

My nylon belt is one that I had from the Navy. I prefer it rather than a leather belt. With a leather belt, your size can be in between belt holes. I need for my belt to be snug at all times, since I will be carrying a gun and a multitool on there, along with anything else I can think of.

2. First Aid

There are hundreds of different first aid kits that you can buy. All different shapes, sizes, and price ranges. I highly recommend that you build your own kit for a couple of reasons. One, you know exactly what is in there, and two, you will more than likely know how to use everything in there.

3. Food

When making a bug out bag, it is meant to survive on for 72 hours. You need to pack at least 3 days worth of food in there. This can include peanut butter, beef jerky, power bars, oatmeal, and rice.

4. Water

Since this is going to be your 72 hour kit, you need to have at least 3 days of water packed in there. The suggested amount that a grown human needs is at least 1 liter of water per day. You will more than likely be walking, so you will probably need more than that to stay hydrated and healthy. Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon, so packing a bunch of extra water can get heavy. In addition to your 3 liters, I also recommend that you pack some kind of emergency water purification unit. These are small and light, so it won't take up much room in your bag.

5. Survival Gear

This is the category that will probably take up the most room in your GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) bag. This is going to include things like a hatchet or machete, a portable stove, pots to cook your food with, utensils to eat with, and other small survival items. Although a compass or waterproof matches are small in size, these little things add up and take up room. This also includes a reliable bug out bag flashlight, more than one is ideal. Each person is different with different views, but for me, my survival gear also includes my firearms.

6. Shelter

One of the main considerations in this category is where you will sleep. Some sites recommend packing a tarp to sleep on, and a tarp to throw over yourself. I would rather stay dry, that's why I have a bug out bag tent packed. That is simply a tent that is smaller so its easier to pack. Your family tent that is 20' x 15', with 3 different rooms would not be reasonable to pack on your back. Remember, this is in case of an emergency, not a weekend getaway.

7. Communication

This can be a few different forms of communication. For one, this can be communication with ones that you are traveling with. If this is the case, a dependable set of 2 way radios with emergency channels and an emergency locator beacon is a good thing to pack in your bug out bag. It could also mean communication with anyone else. You may need to communicate with other people if you are hurt and unable to move. A whistle is small, but is a useful tool to have, especially if you are unable to yell for help. A signaling mirror is also small, but can be seen for miles away from the ground and the air.

This list is just for starters. You need to do your own research, and determine what needs that you have on your bug out bag list. This could also mean any medications specific to you or your loved ones. Once you have your list made, make it a priority to get your bug out bag put together, and then test it out one weekend, to make sure it works before you actually need it for a real emergency.


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