Ah, the contents of a Bug-Out-Bag, one of the great points of discussion amongst Preppers and on survival blogs. Everyone has personal preferences and different needs so naturally the contents of a good BOB are going to vary. There are certain items that just about every bag should contain and other items that only certain folks would require (such as prescription medicines or eyeglasses).
As we dialogue back and forth through the prepping community there is one item contemplated for inclusion in the BOB that brings out more strong feelings than any other. That is, of course, the firearm.
Some would say they absolutely have to have a gun in their go-bag. That having one is vital for self defense and they couldn’t imagine having to bug out without one. I can see the point here and do agree that bugging out without a firearm would be a terrible position to put oneself in. After all, a situation that has gotten bad enough to make you flee your home absolutely calls for having weapons handy.
On the other hand I’m not a proponent of storing firearms in insecure places. I personally keep most of my firearms in a big safe that’s bolted to my floor. I have one handgun in a more accessible location for easy access in a smaller safe that opens quickly but still keeps it secure from burglars or curious children. I could not imagine having a gun in my bug-out-bag, especially since mine spends most of its time in my vehicle. Recall that my bag was actually stolen earlier this week. I can’t imagine having to tell the local police that there was a stolen handgun floating around town. They probably would have locked me up for having it in my car in the first place. Definitely think about your state and local laws before deciding where to store a firearm.
My situation may be different than many others though. My BOB has always been intended to get me home where I plan to bug-in. Many others pack their bags with the express intention of having to bug-out and may keep their bags in secure locations inside their homes. If I had a bag expressly for this purpose it would almost certainly contain a firearm. If it did contain a firearm then it would definitely be stored in my big safe.
So let’s say you’ve thought through all the scenarios, weighed the pluses and minuses, and have decided that you want to keep a firearm in your go-bag and you have a good plan to keep it secure. Now the question is which gun to choose.
Personally I would probably go with two. One being my favorite handgun, the Beretta PX4 Storm and the other the Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 .22 rifle. The PX4 is the obvious choice for me as I’m very confident with it and can even carry it with a decent degree of conceal-ability even though it’s a medium sized pistol. In a tough situation it’s important to me to have a gun I’m comfortable with, not some micro-sized pea shooter.
Regarding the Henry, I think this is a great gun to have in a survival situation. The company’s motto for the gun is actually, “Don’t leave civilization without one”. I wrote a bit about it here and will only repeat myself to say that the rifle breaks down quickly into three pieces all of which fit inside the stock, which in turn would easily fit into a backpack. It’s extremely light, easy to put together quickly, and pretty accurate as well. I think the option of having a long-gun in a bug-out situation, especially one that is so concealable, is awesome.
So there you have it, my thoughts on firearms in bug-out-bags. Would love to hear what you all think in the comments section.