Water. Water should be #1 on the list for every 72-hour kit; it is the most basic and most important thing you need to survive. However, storing enough water for you and your family quickly becomes a problem. The recommended of amount of drinking water is one gallon per day per person. One gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds, so if you’re like me and packing for a family of three, 72 hours worth of water becomes 75 pounds of water—not exactly realistic to carry.
MOLLE organization systems are a great added feature for a BOB. MOLLE webbing is straps built into the outside of your pack that allows for additional gear and even other packs to be attached externally. If you have a sturdy pack with MOLLE webbing and carabiners, you can add a lot more gear on the outside of the pack that you otherwise might not have been able to pack inside your BOB.
Build Quality – The last thing you want is to be trudging through the windswept landscape trying to escape the oncoming storm surge and have your pack split open and spill your survival gear all over the place. The bug out bag should be made of durable, water resistant nylon and have high quality zippers (waterproof if possible) and double stitching all around. The shoulder straps should be firmly affixed to the bag and be well padded to help absorb the load you’re carrying. And if there’s a waist strap it too should be well-padded and preferably adjustable to accommodate people of different heights.
It is easy to improvise most things on this list but some can’t be improvised so easy on the go, thing is if you are bugging out to a safe area you can possibly keep things minimalist, and if you are lucky enough to legally obtain firearms then a reliable compact pistol such as a Walther P22 or Springfield XD 40 can be teamed up with either take down .22lr rifle (AR7-1022tdr) or .40S&W carbine so you can have close in capabilities and also reach beyond the typical shotgun toting highway raider.
A small size generic spray bottle (or two) with a good spray head (that does not leak) and fits on standard size plastic bottle threads can also be handy to direct fluids exactly where you want and reduce usage. Flushing wounds with water or alcohol, squirting metho through a small flame to put fire on something or someone, cleaning stuff you dropped (phone, torch, glasses), flushing eyes, mouth and teeth, ears, nose and other tricky holes, tracking the ration of your water supply one squirt at a time or just misting some water on your face to cool off … if you can spare it 😉
On another note, the only thing I had trouble with was #1. Yes, sleeping bags are big and fat and are a pain to carry, but they will make up for it in heat. You need that heat, at least here in the Pacific Northwest where I live. You use a space blanket or bivvy, you get either a miserable night (lucky), or hypothermia (normal). I wouldn’t mind packing a bivvy instead if I lived in a warmer climate, but seriously, don’t skimp on the sleeping bag.
An excellent resource regarding bug out bags is a new book by Max Cooper called, “Realistic Bug Out Bag, 2nd Edition: Prepared to Survive.” This is a monster book at over 600+ pages. It has scenarios, drills, and is full of useful and insightful information. I like that the author stresses planning and has a section devoted to bug out plans and how to practice & train your plan. He is also a huge advocate of designing a BOB that fits your needs based on factors that pertain to your situation. I highly recommend this book.
When a disaster strikes, the grocery store can quickly be overwhelmed. This can lead to people becoming panicked and dangerous. Knowing that you have a bug out bag and rations already prepared is a huge relief. Theres no need to have to fight people at the grocery store! Another big plus is that you don’t have to stop anywhere when you are bugging out. You just grab your bug out bags and hit the road.
One thing about Eberlestock packs is that they are built with high quality and they are tough. The packs are expensive but you won’t need to buy another pack again. Made with top-notch materials in the United States. Users have given it fantastic reviews and we agree, this is a high quality pack that can be used to carry a small load or a huge load. The pack is very versatile which makes it an attractive choice for a bug out bag.
I wanted a 4 season shelter/sleep setup that was 5 lbs or less, very compact, is not effected by geting wet, all of it being capable of being worn as a poncho. What I came up with was a highly modified Escape bivvy, a bag made out of a 6×8 PEVA shower curtain, a bag made out of a pair of casualty blankets, a bugnet bag. I used velcro to create a seall the way around the Escape. I added a removable hood, with drawstring and another drawstring at the neck. I made the bivvy a foot longer and 6″ wider at the shoulder. I created the other bags by installing a snap every 5″, all the way around and by sewing (1 edge only) a 3/4″ wide strip of muslin sheet. These strips “tangle” and hold in body heat really well. The casualty bag is stiff enough to serve as a pack frame, letting me save weight and money in my pick of backpack. The shoulder straps and hip belt can be padded with dark socks and underwear. This again lets me save weight and pack cost. My hammock is made out of monofilament gillnet, minus the lead weights, becomes a hammock via the muletapeThe bugnet bag is of course
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.