When loaded and put on properly, your hips should carry the bulk of your pack’s weight. Because of this, extra padding in the hip belt can make a lot of difference. However, you should also make sure the hip belt isn’t so bulky that it ends up rubbing your hip bones or ribs uncomfortably. In an ideal world, your bug out bag’s hip belt should fit comfortably between the top of your hip bones and the bottom of your lowest ribs.
I you live an an area that gets cold, use a real back pack and not a bag so that you can carry a real sleeping bag and tent or tarp/mylar. Good luck out in freezing weather with a tube tent or space blanket! I have camped many nights in the snow and I have mostly done it with just a 9×9 mylar , tarp, and backpacking matris and sleeping bag. I think it would not be good at all with just a tube tent/space blanket that is on a lot of BOB lists.
What is a 72-hour kit? It is a kit (sometimes referred to as a Go Bag) in a backpack or tote that allows you to live away from your home for up to 3-4 days in an emergency. It is different from a Bug Out Bag (BOB) as a B.O.B. is meant for the possibility of permanently living away from home. Your 72-hour kit is intended to allow you to escape an immediate threat, live for 3 (or 4 if you stretch it) days without relying on authorities or going back home (though sometimes, home won’t be an option if it is bad enough and that BOB will be a blessing).
One of the interesting findings from the survey was that the majority of Americans believe that a major catastrophe will occur within in the next 20 years. When asked how prepared they feel compared to their neighbors, half (53%) said they were “about as prepared” as those around them. Nearly ¼ (23%) said they were “more prepared” and another ¼ (24%) said they were “less prepared” than the rest of the country.
One thing that the article doesn’t reference is “How many people will there be in your Bug Out party?” The point being, that although there are some items that need to be in everyones B.O.B, there are others that don’t require duplication. Figuring out which items can be used by all the members of your party can reduce duplicating these items in each bag. For example, does everyone in your party need to carry a 1 quart backpacking pot, or will 1 or 2 suffice for your whole group? Those types of items can then be parceled out to the members of the group, and cut the weight down.
The biggest misconception about bug out bags is the idea that the contents in and of themselves will be enough to keep you alive. The truth is that the contents of your bug out bag are only as good as the individual using them. If you don’t know how to make the most of the contents of your bug out bag or ration them appropriately, they won’t help you survive any more than a firearm without any ammunition. You should always take the time to familiarize yourself with the contents of your bug out bag and feel comfortable using everything so that you’re best prepared when TEOTWAWKI does occur.