The bug out bag is a bag built to sustain the owner during a period of travel from an unsafe area to a chosen bug out location. For instance, you reside in town, but plan to get yourself out to a family member's farm if things go bad. The farm is just over an hour drive with the greater portion of that being on the freeway. The farm is 60 miles from your residence. If vehicle travel is available, the hour + drive would not even be a hindrance. Buit when things go bad, whatever has caused you to feel the need to “bug out” may also be motivating other drivers. Your route could be congested or even blocked. How long do you think it would take you to walk 60 miles unencumbered? How long will it take you to walk that 60 miles while carrying your supplies? If your main route is blocked, how much longer is
your secondary route? Can you carry enough supplies to sustain you during the duration of the walk?
\tA Bug Out Bag built for that scenario may be quite heavy. The idea of carrying enough food and water for a 6-10 day journey is not feasible. The human body needs a minimum of a gallon of water a day to sustain itself during average amounts of activity. Hiking 10 miles a day while carrying a stout rucksack is above average activity. A gallon of water weighs about 8 lbs. So 10 days worth of water in this scenario would be over 80 lbs. That doesn't include any other gear or food. So your best plan would include a way to carry some water, and purify more water when you needed it.
\tFood is another concern. Carrying 6-10 days of calories is doable, but it does have a significant weight. Technology allows us to use processes to greatly reduce the bulk and weight of foods for the trail. Freeze drying or dehydrating are 2 of these processes. It is important to get enough calories to sustain the activity level. I would suggest a minimum of 2000 calories per day or more for the activity of hiking with a load.
\tSome other concerns for a hike of this magnitude would be shelter during your rest periods. How do you plan to keep yourself out of the elements while you rest? What do the conditions along the route require? Also clothing changes and hygiene during your trek should be considered. Finally the task of security during your adventure. Having some sort of firearm along during a trek like this is advisable.
\tHere are some items you may want to include in a bag built for this purpose.
•\tShelter. Poncho, tarp, tent, hammock and rain fly, etc.
•\tSleeping gear. A bedroll made of wool blankets, a typical sleeping bag, a military sleep system, etc.
•\tWater. You will need some type of container (or multiple different containers) for gathering and transporting water, either chemical treatment options such as Oasis tablets or iodine tablets, or a filter such as a Sawyer mini or a Katydyn system.
•\tFood. The length of your journey will dictate the amount of food you will need to pack. The amount you need to pack will dictate how light and compact your food will have to be. Foods such as freeze dried meal options and dehydrated food options will be lighter and take up less space than meals such as MREs and similar products. Be sure to study your food choices to make sure it will meet your nutritional needs. Remember your vigorous physical activity of walking under a load will require more calories than a less active time frame. Be sure to include some food choices that require no preparation that you can conveniently eat as you hike. Items such as jerky, nuts, tuna pouches, dried fruit, and protein bars can be a great way to fuel the body while walking without having to stop your progress to prepare the food, therefor delaying your arrival at your destination.
•\tMedical. You will want to include a medical kit that is capable of handling potential problems during a journey of this nature. It should have items such as various sizes of bandages, non stick pads, tape of various kinds, antibiotic ointment, moleskin for blisters, as well as items to treat more serious issues like traumatic injuries from accidents. These items may include ace bandages, pressure dressings, triangle bandages for slings, tourniquets and rolled gauze for stopping major bleeding and packing wounds. Your medical kit should also include a supply of any medications you may take daily or need during your trek.
•\tOther gear. You may have need for a few other pieces of gear. One item I generally have in every bag is a good fixed blade knife. At least 2 methods for making fire. You may also need a small saw or hatchet for various chores necessary during your travels. I feel that a variety of cordage is a necessity as well. You will need some type of container to boil water in and potentially, depending on your food supplies, you may need to cook. In a bag built for a longer journey, you may actually need to stock it with some tools to procure food, such as a fishing kit, or a primitive trapping kit. I like to keep some type of stove in my bag as well. I find it is easier to get a stove going, boil your water for your meal, and be done with it, than it is to gather materials for a fire, get the fire going long enough to get water boiling, etc. Your bug out bag would still need to carry any supplies you are taking to your bug out location, unless you had stored these supplies at the loction previously.
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