If you are new to being a Prepper, building your first Bug Out Bag can seem a bit overwhelming. Everybody you hear about has been tweaking theirs for months or even years and has a pile of gear built up. It's hard to know where to begin, but if you cover all of the basics for a survival situation you will still be much better off that 99% of the people.
A Survival Kit, (also called a Get Out of Dodge Bag , BOB or 72 Hour Bag) is made to enable you to survive self-contained for up to 3 days in an emergency. A lot of people plan their Bug Out Bag to keep them for much longer than 3 days, but there is always a limit to what you can carry in your pack and the 3 day target is a good place to start.
Here are the 7 basic types of gear you will need for your Survival Kit:
It is a no brainer that water is a survival basic for any kit. In a survival situation water very quickly becomes the a precious commodity.
1 Liter per day per person is really the bare minimum you should plan for. Your 3 day Survival Kit should have at least 3 liters of water.
To extend your ability to survive longer than a few of days you will need a water purification system. This could be boiled water and adding purification tablets, or a serious water filter.
You could also include a collapsible water bottle for extra storage.
Coffee filters could also prolong the useable life of your water system.
In your 3 Day Survival Kit, a small variety of backpack meals and energy bars can be sufficient. Backpack meals are freeze dried mylar pouches that you just add boiling water to. They are very light weight and can last up to 25 years.
Obviously a long term solution to meet your food needs is required for large area catastrophe, but for your Survival Kit backpack meals are a good set up.
When packing your Survival Kit you should think about what clothes you might bring on a weekend long camping trip.
A pair of hiking boots or water proof shoes.
A pair of long pants with multi pockets (preferably not blue jeans).
2 pairs socks (preferably not cotton).
2 Shirts (1 long sleeve and 1 short sleeve for layering).
A waterproof windbreaker jacket that is both warm and provides protection from rain and cold.
Include long warm underwear.
Hat with a brim.
At least 1 bandana
This list is quite brief, however a Bug Out Bag needs to be made for fleeing quickly in an emergency.
Surviving for 3 days means you are going to need protection from the elements and a warm dry place to sleep. You need at least:
Some type of tarp or tent and a way to set it up.
A ground tarp for underneath your tent/shelter to stay dry (or a sleeping pad). Never under-estimate the importance of this.
Some type of Bedroll. You might consider a lightweight quality sleeping bag.
5. First Aid Kit
It's important to have a well-stocked first aid kit in your home to deal with minor accidents and injuries. So it is doubly important to have one in your Bug Out Bag.
A basic first aid kit may contain:
alcohol-free cleansing, antihistamine tablets, antiseptic cream, aspirin (not to be given to children under 16), at least two sterile eye dressings, cough medicine, cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings, crêpe rolled bandages, disposable sterile gloves, distilled water for cleaning wounds and as an eye bath, medium and large sterile gauze dressings, or ibuprofen, painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant paracetamol for children), safety pins, scissors, skin rash cream such as hydrocortisone or calendula,small, sticky tape, thermometer (preferably digital), triangular bandages, tweezers, wipes
6. Basic Gear
Haven't we already covered basic gear? Yes, but there are other things that need to be included, and they don't really fit in with any previous category. This list because it is not exhaustive by any means, but is enough to get you by for a couple of days.
Rain Gear - 2 ways to stay dry in the rain. You could couple a poncho/coat with your tent/shelter for double protection.
Fire - A minimum of 3 ways to make fire.
Cooking - You should have at least one way to heat water (need for the freeze dried food), like a small pot/large cup. A small backpacking stove and a small fuel source for the stove could be considered.
Light - At least 2 dependable flashlights and a backup set of batteries for each.
Survival Knife - The most used and most versatile tool in your Survival Kit is your survival knife.
The simple truth about a disaster is that you might be dealing with a “Without Rule of Law" situation and people might to do things you can't imagine Be prepared to defend yourself is part of the prepper mindset.
You should consider having a firearm This is a highly personal choice, and as such I will not go into any further details. You may choose not to include a gun, and that is ok too.
You should consider all of your options for weapons. A big walking stick, or club, or even your survival knife could all be deterrents to bad guys. Knowing your surrounding is one of your best weapons. It's all about giving yourself options.
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