Why build a bug out bag?
What is the purpose of your bug out bag? What situations or scenarios are tailor made for a bug out bag? There are many different designs or templates for a bug out bag, depending on what you will expect of it in an emergency.
Some people use a bug out bag as a 72 hour bag. If a disaster strikes, and they have to leave their residence for a short period of time due to the emergency, they have the bag ready to go. It will usually only contain enough basic supplies to support life for 72 hours. A way to improvise shelter, food rations for 3 days, and water supply for 3 days, any medicines you need on a daily basis, etc. Potentially an extra or dry layer of clothing.
Some people call it a get home bag and will use it for just that purpose, to get themselves home after an emergency such as a natural disaster or localized event. If you work
1 hour drive from your home and suddenly using a vehicle to return home isn't an option, that 1 hour of driving will take you 2-6 days or more of walking to traverse. As well as the supplies of the 72 hour bag, it may contain 1 or more ways to make fire, A sturdier shelter option, more tools and implements, Water filtration or purification methods, etc.
Other people plan their bug out bag as a much hardier measure. They may call it a GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) bag, an INCH(I'm Never Coming Home) bag, etc. and just like the name implies, it carries all the supplies they may need (and can carry), if they never plan to come home. In these instances the bag is set up much more thoroughly even than the get home bag. It may contain several layers or changes of clothing, more methods for food procurement, a bigger medical component, maybe even comms gear, or firearms for security concerns. Many different schools of thought exist about how to build this type of bag and what should or can go in it.
I try to build any of my bags along the lines of the 5 and 10 Cs. These principles cover the basic necessities and for supplying the basic needs. The items in the list of the 5 and 10 Cs are things that would take the most skill, resources, time, calories, and/or energy to create in the wild. Here is the list of the 5 Cs. And a brief description of each.
Cover, Cutting tool, Combustion, Container, and Cordage.
•Cover: this can take the form of a poncho, tarp, tent, etc. But your first item of cover is your clothing choices.
•Cutting tool: generally I like to choose a fixed blade knife of intermediate length, but any knife can fill this niche.
•Combustion: this is usually a lighter, matches, or something like a ferro rod. You should probably carry multiple different methods of making fire.
•Container: this could take the form of a canteen, water bottle, or even a pot. You want to have some way to transport water, and also to boil water to purify it if necessary.
•Cordage: I like to carry several different sizes and types of cordage. Cordage can be hard to create in the field, taking lots of resources and time to get useful amounts. Some of the types I like to carry are bankline of different sizes (tarred, wound, nylon twine), paracord (because it has many uses), and even some light rope, usually braided nylon or polyester for strength.
These basic items are very helpful in sustaining life and health. They are used to meet the fundamental needs we have. These needs can be described by the Rule of 3s.
•3 minutes without air.
•3 hours without shelter.
•3 days without water.
•3 weeks without food.
Keeping your gear pared down, and making sure that every item you carry serves more than one purpose. I try to carry as little weight in consumable items (food, items that you use once and it is gone such as tinder) as possible.
Many people gather and store gear by the ton. Lots of people fall prey to the idea that more gear means more survivability. I have seen demonstrations of “bug out bags” that weighed upwards of 70 lbs. Stuffed with things. Most of which have never been removed from their packages. It is important to try out your gear and learn how to use it. Familiarity with your gear is a vital part of learning how to use your kit.
I would like to advise everyone to build their skills, because good skills make your bag lighter.
These bags should be in addition to your EDC gear.
Now we will talk about building some different types of bags, and some of the items
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