Imagine the scenario… It’s Christmas morning. You wake up and find yourself surrounded by the apocalypse. The Zombic Ebola virus has gone pandemic, planes are falling out of the sky, countries are lobbing nukes at each other, and zombies are roaming your neighborhood. It’s time to go!
If your stocking, hung by the fireplace with care, was stuffed with these goodies, you would have the perfect Holiday Bug Out Stocking to take with you! Even with out an apocalypse, any guy interesting in prepping would enjoy, any or all of these prepping suggestions below.
Of course, no bug out stocking (BOS) would be worth its weight if it didn’t cover the basics of food, water, shelter and fire.
When bugging out, you’ll want to keep it as lightweight as possible, so you can make it to your retreat area quickly. Doing so will require calorie-dense food and obtaining water on the way. This MegaOne Vanilla Meal Replacement Shake Mix contains 4500 calories in a single pouch; perfect if your retreat is within 2 or 3 days walk. Mixing the powder with your water keeps you topped off with energy while staying hydrated. For those preferring solid nutrition, these Millennium Energy Bars are compact and convenient. At 400 calories per bar, 12 of them gives you 4,800 calories.
For on-the-go water, a LifeStraw allows you to take advantage of water found along your route. However, while convenient to use, it isn’t very good for filtering water to take with you. For a lightweight solution, it’s hard to beat the Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets with PA Plus. Coupled with a Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Bottle and Stainless Cup will give you water on the go and the ability to heat your water.
A lightweight fly, like Snugpak All Weather Shelter will keep the elements off you, as you keep warm in this travel light Snugpak Jungle Blanket. It’s not rated for extreme cold, but its compactness ensures you’ll have something to keep you warm. To help you start that fire, we recommend your BOS contain both a UST Strike Force Fire Starter and a Zippo Lighter for convenience. The Zippo can be refueled with a variety of liquid fuels, making it versatile when scavenging.
After covering the basics, you’ll need items for light, first-aid, some tools, and sanitation. It’s hard to beat a good flashlight, unless it’s one that’s hands-free. The ideal LED Headlamp Flashlight will have several dimming options, to conserve battery power, and a red light function for preserving your night vision.
For the bumps, scrapes, and scratches along your bug out route, your BOS needs an UltraLight & Watertight First Aid Kit that’s capable of seeing you through the several days it will take you to get to a safe location.
No Bug Out Stocking would be complete without a multitool and knife. A very good knife that doesn’t bust the budget is the Morakniv Fixed Blade Knife, and makes a great general purpose knife that performs well. For a multitool, either a Swiss Army Knife or a Gerber Multi Plier makes an ideal choice. The variety of tools available in Swiss Army Knives is almost endless. Without getting too big, the Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife by Victorinox is a great compromise between size and function. Neither of these include eating utensils, so consider adding the Titanium Spork.
It would be a good idea to include something to help with navigation, and it’s hard to beat the Military Tritium Compass. Couple with a good set of maps, you’ll be sure to find alternate routes to your retreat and stay on track.
If you have an extra-large BOS, consider including the following. To keep your flashlight and smartphone charged, the Goal Zero Solar Recharging Kit is compact enough to fit into most packs (and large Bug Out Stockings). As your LED headlight uses AAA batteries, you’ll need AAA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries with the AAA Insert for the solar charger.
For a serious look at getting prepared, be sure to order my book, “The Preparedness Capability Checklist: A Planning and Evaluation Tool for Becoming More Self-Reliant,” available from Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. It also makes a great stocking stuffer!