Bug-out bags are not just for when the SHTF — they are an overall family preparedness staple.
What should you consider when creating a fundamental bug-out bag suitable for your family? Get started by including one or more basics from each category below.
The Bug-Out Bag Itself
A bug-out bag isn’t your typical backpack. A bug-out bag must be rugged, reasonably large, and house several individual compartments (preferably zippered). It must be light enough to carry but sturdy enough to contain potentially heavy items. Don’t skimp on comfort and ergonomics. If you are ever in a position where you need to use your bug-out bag, you probably could be carrying it a long way. Ensure straps are padded, and the design distributes the weight as widely as possible.
Some form of water purification system is a must-have for a bug-out bag. At a minimum, include a packet of water purification tablets. Stock your bug-out bag with some long-lasting energy bars and MREs. There’s no need to go overboard here. You will want to cycle out the emergency rations in your bug-out bag periodically and can re-stock it with your favorites.
A thin, emergency mylar thermal blanket is an excellent addition to your bug-out bag. I’ve even seen small tents the size of a book that you could add as well.
For your basic bug-out bag, include a first-aid kit. Also, get a list of your medications and medical condition information (and those of any family members that will be bugging out with you), and stow that in the bag, too. You can continue to add to your bug-out bag as your needs change.
If you have a pet, be sure your basic bug-out bag includes a leash and collar, several rations of food, and any pet medications.
Add warm socks, gloves (both thermal and rubber), thermal underwear, a rain poncho (which has multiple uses), and a change of clothing. Sleeves and pants can be cut off, but you can’t create material that isn’t there. Go with long sleeves and long pants.
At a bare minimum, include a multi-purpose knife in your essential bug-out bag. I have a Swiss Army Knife that used to be the one Judi’s Dad carried around before he passed away. Talk about a versatile tool. Ideally, a bug-out bag should also contain a firearm and ammo.
Paracord and Tactical Cord
Having a hank of 550 paracord is something many preppers add to their bug-out bags for obvious reasons. Why not kill two birds with one stone and get one of our 550 Military Paracord bracelets? It is an easy way to carry cord to use if needed. You’ll want to get all one color, though, so you have one continuous cord length. If you are a big guy, our King Cobra Survival bracelet is the largest bracelet to carry the most cord. But first, check out the size difference here — it’s substantial.
With some planning and imagination, you can put together a bug-out bag that could save your life, and you can accomplish your mission of family preparedness. If you are new to prepping and paracord use, my Paracord Tips eBook has even more info you can immediately put to use. Now, let’s get prepared.