Guest post by Mark Hedman, CEO of LA Police Gear
When everything falls apart, you may need to bug out fast with a well-stocked bail-out bag. In case of a disaster, you’ll need the right gear essentials to survive. Catastrophic events can happen at any time in today’s world. Look at all of the natural disasters, medical epidemics, and threat of nuclear war and terrorism always looming over your head. So, prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
DIY vs. Store-Bought Kits
There are plenty of places where you can buy ready-made kits at an affordable price. They contain the survival essentials, such as supplies for water treatment, dehydrated food, blankets, medical supplies, and more.
However, they don’t contain other vital items, such as a stove or shelter. If things really go south, you’re going to need a way to cook and a roof over your head, even if it’s only a tarp. Plus, every family is unique, and there may be special medical needs to address. Yes, everyone requires certain essentials, but there may be additional items that you want to pack.
Cost also becomes a factor. Pre-built bail-out bags can be expensive, so sometimes you can come up with cost-effective solutions to create your survival supply. Buy a dehydrator and make your own shelf-stable food. Purchase a few items at a time if you’re on a budget.
However, building a bug-out bag supply can also be more expensive because you find all kinds of useful things that you can add. Some luxuries are okay; just remember, this bail-out bag needs to be something you can grab quickly that’s easy to carry.
You may not have time to load the family van with a million different useful things. It’s also easy to spend a significant amount of money on items for one typical-sized bug-out bag.
Useful Items for a Bail-Out Bag
Creating a bug-out bag should be a fun experience, and having a plan makes the process easier. Let’s look at some things that would be a great addition to any bail-out bag.
Choosing the Right Bag to Bail Out With
This choice is pretty important, and it may take some trial and error. Some say to choose the right bag for you, whether that’s a duffle bag, a tactical backpack, or another durable bag. Others say purchase the bag after you have your survival items.
Food and a Preparation Method
Food is critical for survival. Select a variety of non-perishable food, such as canned, dehydrated, and virtually anything with a long shelf-life. You may want some items that require water for preparation and others that don’t. Anyone who’s ever watched a movie about a zombie apocalypse knows how scarce water might be. Plan for scarcity.
Calorie-dense foods and protein bars are excellent to have on hand, as well as MREs or dehydrated food pouches. Manufacturers of dehydrated foods are becoming more creative, making tasty, gourmet meals. Canned food is always a reliable food source, as long as you remember a can opener. You do not want to end up like Adrienne Brody in The Pianist, starving and trying to find a way to open a can of pickles.
Other items to include are:
- Portable stove
- Stove fuel
- Pot scrubber
- Metal cooking pot
- Metal Cup
- Metal eating and cooking utensils or a spork
- Ramen Noodles
Try to stock up enough food for each person for three days at the very least.
Hydration and Water
One essential item for survival is water. You can go without food longer than water. One person needs a minimum of one liter of water per day. Items related to hydration to add to your bail-out bag include:
- Water purification system/filters
- Water purification tablets
- 3 liters of water
- Canteen or metal water bottle
- Collapsible water bottle
Try to pack away two purification methods. Also, make sure to change your stored water every season.
Shelter and Bedding
You don’t have to be too fancy when thinking about shelter. You can create a tent out of a tarp if need be. Fill a trash bag with leaves to make padding to lie down on. Sleep is critical to survival, especially during tough times. Some bedding and shelter items to add to your bag include:
- Ground pad
- Wool blanket
- Sleeping bag
- Tarp poncho
Choosing clothing for your bug-out bag is where personalization comes in. Everybody is different and tolerates heat and cold differently. You also need to base clothing choices on the climate in your area. Strategic layering helps maintain a healthy body temperature.
At a minimum, you should have two sets of clothing in case you get one wet. Remaining in wet clothing puts you at risk of hypothermia, even if it’s not below freezing at your location. Here are some ideas for clothing to keep in your bail-out bag:
- Wool socks – at least three pairs
- Long-sleeve shirt – lightweight
- Convertible pants
- Rain poncho
- Medium weight fleece for cold weather
- Hat with a brim
- Shemagh (versatile scarf)
When you re-evaluate the items in your bug-out bag every six months, you can swap out the seasonal clothes.
First aid is a critical element of the bug-out bag. You can buy a standard first aid kit just about anywhere. These kits come with basics supplies to treat cuts, burns, and other minor injuries. However, it’s a good idea to purchase or create a first aid kit with more than just the basics. You may also need supplies for more severe injuries, such as broken limbs or trauma wounds.
If you’re looking to buy a more sophisticated kit, some even come with useful guides for treating a variety of ailments, from snake bites to hypothermia. They often come with more hospital supplies, such as butterfly closures and trauma pads. An adequate first aid kit may save your life.
In reality, everyone should create a bail-out bag to prepare for the inevitable. Maybe there won’t be a nuclear war any time soon, but there’s a good chance you’ll be affected by a natural disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake. You may be cut off from public resources and be on your own for days or weeks. So, it’s critical to have the necessary survival items to weather any storm.