Over the last year or so my personal bug-out bag (a bag designed to have just about everything you need to be self sufficient for 2-3 days) has undergone quite a transformation. Version one, having been put together by a rather poorly informed and under educated Butch, contained little more than a change of clothes, two flashlights, and some powerbars. Certainly better than nothing but not nearly adequate for even the lowest grade emergency situations.
My current bag is much more robust and I’ll list the contents at the bottom of the article for anyone who’s curious or has any input for me as I’m always looking to upgrade my supplies in a reasonable fashion.
Before I get to that I’d like to say a few things about my personal opinion on bugging out in general. First of all, I believe that in all but the absolute worst of situations my goal will be to Get To My House, not to run away from it. Sure, it’s possible that a massive earthquake could render my house unlivable, but even then my plan would be to stay on my property. The last thing I would want would be to become a refugee with no secure home base. Preparing for an event that is severe enough to cause me to flee my home and property would require a retreat location and full plan for evacuating the area. I’d love to have a cabin tucked away someplace secure for just such an occasion but I’m not quite there yet. In the meantime, my plan is to get home where I have all the things I need to be self sufficient for at least a couple of months. This bag should help me do that and if the worst should happen, I think it will serve pretty well in an all out retreat as well.
As such, I put my bag together with my typical daily routine in mind. I spend most days at an office, which is more than ten miles from my house, and takes me across a couple of different freeways. If we were to experience a minor earthquake or even just a power outage it could be very very difficult in not impossible for me to make it home in one day. I may find myself camped out in my office or even stuck in gridlock traffic somewhere. This is not some far-fetched scenario. In fact, something similar happens to people everyday. So it is with this mindset that I put together the following items into an ordinary looking backpack that I keep in the back of my car. I should also note that in just the past three months I’ve used more than a few of the items in situations that were not emergencies but where they certainly came in handy (I replaced them immediately afterward). Whether that was treating a minor cut or scrape, or feeding a hungry youngster at a soccer game it was nice to have my bag with me.
Set of clothes and comfortable shoes appropriate for current season/climate
Travel toiletry set
Over-The-Counter Medicines (assorted to your personal needs)
Small amount of personal prescription medicines (if needed)
AM/FM radio with spare batteries
Small first aid kit
Flashlight with spare batteries
Foil packets of tuna
Bag of trail mix
Butane lighter, matches, firestarter
Copy of health insurance i.d. cards
Copy of driver’s license
A few hundred dollars in cash in small bills
List of important phone numbers
It’s important to note that you need to pull out your bag and update the contents every couple of months to make sure items are fresh and/or appropriate for the season. A pair of wool pants and a heavy sweater will do you little good if you’re facing a five mile walk home in August. However, a pair of shorts, T-shirt, and running shoes would be a lifesaver. Good, effective preparation involves intelligent anticipation. I can not stress this enough. And while we can’t anticipate everything, and in this blog [unlike some others] we won’t attempt to, we’ll try to get ready for what’s most likely to happen and not give up our lives and hide away in a cave while waiting for the zombie apocalypse…