I’ve committed to give a talk later this year on “The perfect Bugout bag”. It’s topic that I’ve discussed with regularity over the years and one that also caused a lot of controversy and heated debate on the numerous prepper, survivalist and related fora. During my deployments abroad with Disaster Tech Lab I always carry a small bag/pack with my basic essentials. A bag that would enable to me to “survive” for a few days if all my other bags were stolen or lost. So I do have a some practical experience in this area.
Traditionally discussions of what a bugout bag should contain include most, if not all, of the following:
- Water, water bottle & water purification
- Basic First Aid kit
- Map & compass
- Emergency Shelter
- Matches, flint & tinder
- Weapon (handgun or rifle)
- Survival blanket, small sleeping bag
- Collapsible stove
- Insect repellent
- Wind-up radio
- Fishing kit & snares
- Cash or gold coins
In my opinion the above list is based on an outdated principle. It assumes that any bugout situation will see one ending up in a remote wilderness situation. This is no longer true and a lot of bugout type scenarios will now take place in an urban environment. With increased instability in certain parts of the world you could find yourself having to bail out of a hotel, taxi, public transport or other urban location and having to depend on whatever is in your bugout bag for the next few days. In such an environment you will not be placing snares or fish for food, you won’t have to build a basha for shelter, or need to carry spare clothes.
You will require a whole lot of different items. Ones that provide you with access to digital communications (phone or internet), digital copies of important documents, a method to power your electronic devices. Even a way to smarten up your appearance quickly.
What you don’t want to carry is a big knife or even machete. Even a stove and cooking equipment is excess weight. Water is also less of an issue.
Basically you will need a Bigout Bag 2.0
I will be working on compiling a summary of my personal recommendations of tried and tested items that I carry in my bugout bag but as I am also very interested in finding out what other people carry. And please note, “bugout bag” is only a generic term. You might call it your grab-bag or your EDC but it basically boils down to the same.
So please, after reading it take the time to leave a comment with your opinion or experience in the area of bugout bags.