Assembling a Three Day Bug Out Bag
Your bug out bag is your lifeline that contains essential items that will provide you with resources for the first few days after a crisis strikes. It needs to be relevant to your circumstances, include everything from food to medicine and supplies and be easy to transport under difficult conditions. Planning ahead and deciding what to include into your bag is one of the most difficult, yet important decisions that you will make. Here are a few suggestions that can help.
Relevance is Key
There is always a component to packing that includes items that you will be using no matter where you go. However, there are a lot of optional items that should be included that relate to where you will be fleeing. This includes things like clothes, food and supplies. Remember that you are packing items that will be used then and there, not everything plus the kitchen sink. Choose items that you know or think you will need, not items that are nice to have but won’t get used.
For example, it’s always a good idea to have a tarp or some canvas on hand, but if you know that you won’t be setting up shelter in the wilderness or in rainy conditions, then it’s nothing but dead weight that takes up space. Consider the terrain you will be traversing, what tools you may need when you’re on the road and supplies that will be essential for surviving the first few days following a disaster. Eliminate the rest.
Back to Basics
Remember that your survival, aside from using common-sense and making good choices, depends on access to water, food, shelter and safety. Your bag should include items that relate to these basic categories. Everything else is optional and little more than fluff. There are endless suggestions and discussions out there relating to what items are most important in a bug out bag. However, at the end of the day, only you can decide what will work best based on your needs and expectations.
Water options can include a small filter or some purification tablets. However, they only work if you have access to a source of water. If not, then you want to bring some water bottles with you. Are you going to be hunting or fishing for food during the hours following a disaster, or will you be relying on energy bars and freeze dried items instead? Plan accordingly. What about shelter? Do you have a place to go where you can hunker down, or will you be setting up camp in the wilderness?
All of these questions need to be answered during the planning phase of your exit from the hot-zone. However, only you can decide on what to take with and what to leave behind.
Expect to need at least 2000 calories per day, per person. Choose dense foods that are high in nutrients and high in carbohydrates. Don’t waste money or space on filler foods such as chips or items that are high in sugar. Make sure that you choose foods that require minimal water and don’t require cooking.
Choose items that relate to the area and climate that you will be entering. Always bring a couple of pairs of extra socks in addition to at least one pair of heavy-duty cargo pants and a long sleeve shirt.
Medicine, Paperwork and Cash
It is important that you bring important paperwork with you, such as legal documents, emergency contact information and identification. You should also have enough cash with you to last a few days in case ATM machines, banks and other sources of money are offline and unavailable. Finally, make sure that you bring medicine with you as well as prescriptions for refills if necessary.
Remember that your 72 hour bug out bag is not intended to provide you with a steady supply of survival items. Rather, it is a stop-gap resource that gives you basic resources until the dust settles after a crisis. What goes into your bag is up to you, but make sure it includes items that you know you will need as opposed to things that are just taking up valuable space.