Having a bug out bag available and ready for any situation is probably one of the most important things you can have prepared for survival. These should be packed and readily available to serve as a “I need to leave home right now” kit. They also serve as useful tools and supplies if you must shelter in your home too.
Even if you never have to use the kit, it provides huge peace of mind and reassurance that you can handle almost anything that comes in your direction. And for that reason, it is well worth the investment.
If you are new to bug out bags and preparing for emergency situations, it can be slightly daunting to begin with. But luckily, we are here to provide you with all the hints and tips to make sure that nothing is missed. The list of things that you would like to take in an emergency is always a lot longer than what you can take.
Even the most experienced survivalists struggle and have a tough choice deciding what should be packed and what should be left behind.
- 1 What is a Bug Out Bag?
- 2 Common Tips & Mistakes We Have Encountered
- 3 Bug Out Essential List
- 4 Best Bug Outs
- 5 Considerations For Water
- 6 Considerations For Food
- 7 Fire
- 8 Shelter
- 9 First Aid Kit
- 10 Conclusion
What is a Bug Out Bag?
Put simply, a bug out bag is an essential kit with all of the necessities for packed up for you and your family should an emergency arise. It is an essential item should you have to flee your home at moment’s notice or if you need emergency shelter. Basically, it can serve you in any survival situation should you need it.
Because an emergency can happen to any of us at any time, we do not always have the time to prepare a kit stocked with food, water, and provisions. What would you do in the event of a natural disaster such as a fire, earthquake, tsunami? Many of us are not equipped enough to deal with it.
You may have heard of a bug out bag being called any of the following
- Emergency Survival Kit
- Bug Out Bag
- Evacuation Kit / Bag
- Go Bag
- 72 Hour Kit
There are many variations, and in the following article we are going to provide you with all the details you need to make an informed decision about packing your own / buying one and what items you should consider in your kit.
Common Tips & Mistakes We Have Encountered
The most common thing that we experience is that people want to pack half of their house, personal and sentimental belongings in their bag.
You do not need to pack a whole bunch of extra gear; this is only going to add weight and slow you down / increase fatigue when you need to make a quick exit. The point is to survive! This essentially boils down to hydration, hunger, warmth, uninjured and being dry. You can consider anything else a bonus when you are in this situation.
Another consideration for this situation is that your planned method of escape will not always work in the way that you have envisioned. Take into consideration your surroundings and what risks you may come across. Instead of thinking of specific scenarios, be more focused on things like where you can get fresh and clean drinking water should you need it, what will the temperature be at night vs in the day.
When traveling, you can’t always assume that your family will always be together, you may get separated at some point. And as distressing as this may sound, it means that you need to prepare every person individually. Don’t split essential gear or kit between the group in case someone splits off from the group, they may need it! For example, it’s a bad idea to have all the water in one bag and all the food in another.
Bags For Children
For children, everyone over 10 years old should have their own bags if you get separated from the others.
And children under 10 years old can have their own bags but you should make sure that theirs are built more for comfort. They should have some basics to keep them comfortable until an adult is able to find them. Having those extras such as food and water is also a good idea in case you runout or lose other supplies, it means that you can raid their bag.
Most importantly, don’t take shortcuts. You may think that it is okay to miss some things out but part of the purpose of these bags are to equip you for the unknown.
Bug Out Essential List
As we mentioned above, you should be prepared for the unknown and missing out on supplies or equipment may land you in some hot water if you seriously need it in that moment in time.
When you are considering your bag list and what to buy / pack – we recommend that you consider the number of occupants in the household. If you have kids and pets, they should also be a consideration into your plan, but we will go into this more later.
- First aid kit: This should be at the top of your checklist. The size, weight and complexity will vary depending on the space you have, but the essentials such as band aids, sanitizer, plasters, and tourniquets will all prove to be very useful.
- Chargers/Power source: You will want to make sure that you have some variations of these so that you can keep your phone charged to call for help. Hand cranked chargers, generators and usb solar powered chargers are all extremely useful.
- Water or Filtration: Hydration is one of the most vital elements of survival. Make sure to pack water purification tablets or a filter in case you run out of water and need to drink from rivers/streams or rainfall.
- Food that is ready to eat: Make sure that you equip food that has a longer shelf life than usual, this is more practical in an emergency. You will want food that will keep your morals high and your energy levels up too. Think of items such as canned food, jerky, nuts, protein bars and so on.
- Toiletries: These are essential, make sure to pack a spare toothbrush, soap, toilet paper etc. When bugging out, hygiene vital to make sure you don’t pick up infections or bugs.
- Firestarter: If you know how to start a fire, you will almost never go cold. Think about packing a flint fire starter, lighter and some paper or tinder to get the fire started easily.
- Warm clothing: Think of items with long sleeves. Not only will this keep you warm, it may also protect you from the suns rays and bugs or poisonous plants.
- Survival tools: To be prepared for all situations you will need a small variety of tools. Things such as a signal mirror, tape, multi-tool, and pepper spray for defence will help you in almost all situations.
- Emergency documents: You may not always have time to grab every document that you need. So, it is a good idea to take photocopies in case you need them.
Best Bug Outs
The team here at Okoca also like to be prepared for survival situations. Which means that we have tried many variations and makes us uniquely qualified to help you choose yours!
Below we have compiled a list of the best bug out bags that we have personally tried. With the best kit for survival and for the best value.
Basic 2 Person Bug Out
The basic 2 person bag comes amply supplied with all of the basics you may need to get out of a tight situation. This is a great way to ensure piece of mind for your home should you need it in a survival situation
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Deluxe 2 Person Bug Out
This kit is a little more advanced than the previous basic one and will help you prepare for one or more advanced situations. The deluxe survival bag comes equipped with a lightweight but durable rucksack with all of the essentials that you may need. If you need to bug-out quickly, this may be the perfect pack to grab and go.
Premium 2 Person Bug Out
If disaster truly comes, we need to be prepared, it may be imperative to survival. With the premium kit, you will be prepared for any situation for you and your friends or family. These supplies are ready to go and there is no need to waste valuable time trying to think about and pack all the things you may need. These extra few minutes could be vital to your safety.
Surviving off grid is not an easy task, even for the most experienced of us out there. But having the right tools make it so much easier.
This kit is fully equipped for any scenario and includes everything packed in a sturdy but lightweight backpack that is equipped with it’s own hydration system and tactical flashlight, tent, sleeping bags, blankets, first aid kits, cooking stove with emergency fuel and more!
This bag has been carefully selected that will ensure that you survive off grid and give you a fantastic foundation for survival. Everything in the kit weighs under 30 lbs to ensure that you can carry it long distances without the risk of fast fatigue or injury.
Family Bug Out Kit
If you do have a larger family, you may need to opt for more than a 2 person kit. The family survival kit is best option to ensure the safety of you and your family. It is loaded with critical survival gear and offers everything from tents and sleeping bags, emergency tools, full dental and hygiene kit and much more! The perfect kit to protect your family from disaster!
Pet Survival Kit – Dog or Cat Options
When preparing for any future events, don’t forget about some of the most beloved companions in our homes – our dogs and cats! Because our pets become so close to our hearts, it is not an option to leave them behind if you need to evacuate quickly. Their survival is just as imperative as ours. Make sure their health and well being are also covered! Both options for dog and cats do vary slightly in terms of what is packed but you can expect all the following to keep your pets safe and healthy. They will also like that you have thought of them!
Considerations For Water
As we already know, water is critical for survival, here are come quick tips and tricks when thinking about your water supply and how to be safe outdoors. It is always important to weigh up the best options
- Make sure to always have water purification tablets or filters to hand
- Can you shed some extra weight and take less water? Make sure you can ensure a fresh source of water outdoors if you plan on taking less.
- Make sure to collect water up stream and check for animal carcasses of stagnant pools before drinking
- It may seem wise to conserve water, but make sure to always stay hydrated. This will be the fastest way to slow down yourself or the group and become ill if you are dehydrated.
Considerations For Food
You can survive up to 3 weeks with no food, but it is good to have some handy snacks that are high in energy and will keep your body fit and healthy. The biggest risk of not eating is decreased mood, morale, and lower energy. This will slow you down and possibly injure you. Here are some handy tips and tricks to follow when out in the wilderness
- Bring food that is ready to eat and requires no more prep than boiling water
- Ensure you pack maximum nutrition food
- Long expiration dates are a must
- Bring food for survival and not taste or comfort
- We recommend you try to stay away from coffee which speeds up dehydration, stick to water if possible
- Avoid too much salt, again this speeds up dehydration
If you are outdoors for extended periods of time, you will need to build a fire. Make sure that you have the right materials and equipment for survival in order to start one quickly should you need it.
A simple lighter is the best choice and the easiest way to start a fire but in case that breaks or runs out of gas, you should always carry a spare such as waterproof matches or a flint. These are provided in most basic bug out bag kits.
This is the more difficult element of being outdoors. Mostly down to the climate, it is difficult to predict when the weather will turn in your current location or if you will need to hunker down quickly.
Experts describe shelter in three parts: What you are sleeping on, in and under.
Where possible, make sure that your survival kit includes some sort of variation of a sleeping bag, tent, blanket, or way to stay warm.
When camping in secluded areas, if you are camping in a tent and not the safety of trees, always be sure to light a fire outside. This will deter predators and let other humans know that you are there. This will increase your chance of rescue.
If you have strong smelling food or meat, try to cook, and eat it away from where you are sleeping as wild animals have an acute sense of smell and will know you are there.
Finally, as a last resort you should have some means of protecting yourself should things go against your plans. It will be extremely rare that you need to use it, but it’s better to prepare.
First Aid Kit
Make sure that you are prepared for what may be around the corner with a well stocked first aid kit.
- Remember menstrual products if you require them
- If you need glasses, make sure you have a spare
- If your climate is hot, pack sun screen
- Small towels can be useful for a number of things
- Prescription medication if you require it
Nobody wants to be put in the situation where they need to evacuate their homes, or shelter indoors due to an emergency. But it can happen and it is essential that you prepare for the eventuality as it could determine you and your families health and safety.
In this article we have done an over arching review on the use of a bug out bag, what you should carry in one, the essentials that you need to equip, our favorite bags and more!
Here are our top-level comments to summarize in your survival situation
- Always be prepared, it is better to spend the money and not need to use it
- Long life food is essential
- Always have clean drinking water
- Equip yourself with a safety pack for pets
- Children over 10 should have their own basic pack
- Solar powered equipment such as chargers are essential
- Always pack photocopies of documents
- Be careful with weight, more is not always better
- Keep a list of essentials stored for things you need to grab quickly
As mentioned in this article, we have added our favourite bug out bags and equipment that are tried and tested by members of our team. You can check all the items using the button below.
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