What to Include in a Bug Out Bag

As the practice of keeping a bug out bag surges in popularity, more campers and disaster preppers alike are beginning to see the advantages of advance preparation. There is no straightforward answer to the question of how much tactical gear will be necessary to handle every situation that could occur. However, there are certain categories of prepper gear that can’t be ignored.

Water and Hydration

There is nothing more important in a disaster or emergency situation than having a reliable source of clean water. It’s important to include either a filtration system or water purification tablets in any bug out bag. It’s also a good idea to include a metal water bottle or canteen, although some space-conscious preppers may prefer collapsible water bottles.

Food and Food Prep

An emergency food supply is secondary in importance only to clean drinking water. While protein and energy bars can be extremely helpful in an emergency scenario, anyone who wants to be fully prepared should also ensure that they purchase things like portable stoves and fuel, metal cups and cooking pots, and of course a P-38 can opener. After all, disaster preppers need to have their wits about them in an emergency situation, and that’s a difficult state of mind t maintain when the only source of nutrients they have had for days is cold protein bars.

Adequate Shelter

The third category any prepper needs t be concerned with is, of course, shelter. Pack a light-weight tent and tarp in addition to a warm sleeping bag and ground pad.

First Aid and Hygiene

Don’t neglect personal hygiene in an emergency situation. All-purpose camp soap is lightweight and easy to carry, as are specialty pack towels and travel-sized hygiene items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, and hand sanitizer. Of course, every bug out bag should also include a comprehensive first-aid kit.

The Right Tools

Those who are skilled in providing themselves with wilderness shelters and foraged or hunted foods may feel perfectly comfortable figuring out shelter and food as they go, but they still need certain tools to build shelters and process meat and foraged foods. These should include a survival knife, a multi-tool, and a machete. Don’t forget to pack a flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries as well, as these will become essential tools after the sun goes down.


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