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.
I am in the process of finishing up the first book in a new survival fiction series that I think readers of this blog and my other novels will relate to. Set in America in the near future, this series of stories will deal with a collapse scenario caused by coordinated terror attacks, riots and widespread civil unrest. Considering the situation that is unfolding in Europe now and potentially spreading, I think this type of SHTF scenario is more likely than the solar EMP collapse I have written about in my previous novels.
At 70 years young I have survived many natural disasters. These include tornadoes, wild fires, earthquakes and many hurricanes. In each case the “government” did NOT show up within 72 hours! That is why I never recommend a 72 hour BOB. My personal BOB is packed with enough light weight food to last two weeks. To accompany these provisions I always carry snare wire and a light weight fishing kit. I also carry at least two books, a wild edible foods guide and a book on medicinal wild plants and how to prepare them. All of these should be used from day ONE. Reserve the food you carry in your BOB for those unlucky days when you can find nothing else to eat. You WILL last a lot longer if you do and you will not starve to death.
The most popular option is the backpack. For adults, it should be of good quality and an ergonomic pack. It’s not so important for children because they will not be carrying their full packs. Look at a military surplus store or at a sporting goods store for a hiking pack. This will help prevent back injuries and increased durability. If your child can carry a backpack with most of what they need in it, this is the best option.
Consider your family’s situation. How many people are in your family? Does anyone in your family need special consideration? Allergies? Medicine? Do you have an infant? All of these things will determine what you want to pack in your 72-hour survival kit. Keep in mind that your pack should be as minimal as possible—the more you pack, the heavier your 72-hour kit will be.
When calamity strikes you’ll still need to eat and if there are no shelters in the vicinity stocked with emergency supplies what are you supposed to do? The answer is the Food Insurance bug out bag that provides you with copious amounts of prepared food sealed in vacuum pouches and ready to be eaten. Every Food Insurance meal has a shelf life of more than a decade and requires only a bit of water to prepare. Everything from lasagna to omelets to rice and beans are here along with the stove to cook them. Add some of your own survival gear like a tactical flashlight, survival knife, emergency blankets and water filter and you’re ready for whatever comes down the pike.
Scenario #2: Wildfires happening in the Northwest and California had people evacuating their homes, sometimes with only minutes to spare, and having no place to go until they could find shelter with friends or family or in government shelters, depending on what was available (this is a real-life situation in California and the Northwest almost every year).
Remember that this pack should be prepared and stored somewhere easily accessible and rodent proof. It is also a good idea to review the contents of your pack every 6 months to ensure you have appropriate clothes packed for the season and that your gear and rations are in order. This will help you feel confident that your Bug Out Bag is ready to go at a moment’s notice!
Packing a bug out bag can seem overwhelming as the task of not forgetting something important can be daunting. There are many checklists out there that will tell you the essential items you should always keep in your bug out bag. You can buy an already packed Bug out Bag, like this one here- Urban Survival Bug Out Bag, which contains essentials items like food, water, and a first aid kit. You can also check out our Bug Out Bag Checklist and personalize your bag yourself.
Prepping is kinda associated with people who prep for stupidly over the top unlikely SHTF scenarios were if the world as we know it has gone then yes maybe a lot of electronics will be useless, but not all, the longer you keep your mobile alive the longer you could have access to what is basically an e-reader which could house millions of survival books and associated materials like mechanics, first aid etc etc, I’d rather carry my tiny phone and a few batteries and a small solar charger than the weight of a stack of books, because in reality you’d need much more knowledge to survive than the significant majority of people possess in their heads, knowledge is power.
Size – Everyone overestimates how much they’re carrying when they go backpacking (if everyone who claimed to carry a 100 pound pack actually did we’d have thousands of hiker deaths every year in the US alone). But a survival situation is one time when you need to be cold-light-of-day honest about how much you can carry and what that load should be comprised of to give you the best possible chance of survival. As a general rule you shouldn’t carry more than 15 or 20% of your body weight, which for most people will be between 20 and 40 pounds. With this in mind you’ll want to take into consideration the weight of the pack itself (which must be deducted from the total load) and its volume so that you wind up with a bug out backpack that can carry the appropriate amount of supplies.
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