Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rethinking what's in the bug-out bag

After seeing what's going on in Japan I think that we should all update our bug-out bags and items stored in the vehicles.  Think about the folks in Japan.  When the camera panned on those standing up on the hills when their homes were washing away, I didn't see any carrying backpacks.  They left with nothing.  You always need something either on you or within a minute or two of you.  For example, when I travel, my main bag is usually in my truck.  When I was just in Hawaii last week it was on my back almost every minute (not at the pool or beach, but it was within a three minute walk back).

What are the main issues with the folks in Japan?  Food, water, shelter (warmth) - let's not get into the nuclear issues.   I'm not going to give a specific list today on everything in my pack instead I'm writing about a couple of things that I carry that may be a little different than what others carry.  Also, three days is not enough food.   I have added a larger supply of food that doesn't need any preparation.  We all think about carrying our little stoves and fuel but if possible most of your food should be able to be eaten without preparation.  This should be your bug-out and short term survival bag, not a permanent bag.  True that you can go for a while without food, and the tv has been stating that fact.  But what's also true is that if you do not have food you will not be thinking clearly, and in a situation like that, it's no time to not be thinking clearly.  Pack food!  

Most people have a mylar blanket or two to provide warmth.  Not me.  I have my little sleeping bag (not the big bag that's stored in the trailer).  http://www.majorsurplus.com/Army-Digital-Fleece-Sleeping-Bag-P14011C1957.aspx Why?  When in a situation where you are displaced and don't know where you will be sleeping, having an actual blanket will allow you to have a better night sleep.  Mine is tied onto the bottom of my pack.  I also have an extra large plastic trash bag.  This will provide some shelter from rain as well as add additional heat.  Try this experiment.  Sleep on your own bed tonight but only use a mylar blanket then tomorrow sleep with a fleece blanket.  Even on your own bed, which will already provide more comfort than sleeping on the ground, see which provides you with a better night sleep. 

What about water?  There's water all around but it needs to be filtered.  All those people are waiting for bottles of water.  I could drink the stuff that's pooled because I have a filter. 

Don't take this wrong, I am prepared for survival and not just short term comfort.  I have about 50 other things in my bag as well.  I also know how to make a survival shelter, hunt for food, etc. But that's it for today.  The three absolute basics.  Food, water, shelter. 


  1. Your comments about the Japanese without packs made me think and started a discussion in our house about the need for bug out bags. Certainly the next thing to do.


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