Part of being a prepper is knowing when you might need to bug out. By this I mean leave the safety of your home. Now, before I get started on that, I want to say that in my opinion, if you have to bug out, it should be as a last resort. By this time, you should have everything that you need in your home, you are aware of your surroundings and this is where you feel the safest. At some point, however, you may have to leave your home, either voluntarily or by force.
If you have to leave, or if an event occurs while you are on your way home from work, you want to have items with you to make sure you can get home safely.
Let’s start with a bug out bag if you have to leave your home. What should you have ready to go when you make that move? Remember, the time that you have to leave is not the time time to get your bag together. If you are in a situation where you have to get out quickly, time will be critical.
What size bag should you use?
Figuring this one out is easy. You do, however, need to take some things into consideration. First, are you carrying just for yourself? For you and another adult? For you and one or more small children. If you go by sizes of backpacks, I would say that anything under 35 liters is going to be to small and will limit what you bring with you. On the other side, if you go above 65 Liters, it might be to much space. Personally, I err on the side of going larger. My bug out bag if I have to leave my house is 55 liters and it fits everything I need perfectly. This is not a slight on woman, but most men are physically able to carry more so the more you can carry, the less your wife or children have to.
What size bag should I put in my car?
In the event that you are in your car at the time of an event and you have to leave your car and walk, you will most likely need a very large bag. If you do have to walk a substantial length, you will need more of certain items than if you were bugging out in your vehicle. In an event like this, I would say that a 35-45 liter bag would suffice. Figure out how long is your car ride to work?
For my home bug out bag, what should I have in it?
- Shelter: You can survive for 3 hours without shelter in a harsh environment. You can purchase a myriad of tents on Amazon. What tent you will choose depend on a couple of things. First, how many people will be with you? You can go with a bigger tent or several smaller tents. Just a word of caution, one huge tent will be easier to see but if you have several smaller tents, they would be easier to spread out and camouflage. You also have to take into consideration the area where you live and the seasons you experience. In some areas of the country, you won’t necessarily need a four season tent.
- Water: You can survive for 3 days without water. A water filtration system is imperative in any bug out situation. In my post on water, I told you that I have the Sawyer Squeeze and that has worked perfectly. Make sure that you have several bottles to store filtrated water.
- Food: You can survive 3 weeks without food. You can go two ways with this. Take from your stash at home if you have to go, bring survival food. I have found that survival food tends to be lighter than canned foods.
- Clothing: Once again, the clothing that you take depends on where you live and the season. If you live in the Northeast like I do, you can swap out clothes depending on the season.
- Defense: This is where things can get tricky. If you live in the communist state of NY and you are bugging out on foot, carrying a shotgun or rifle will draw unwanted attention. In my case I have several knives that vary in length from 3-4 inches to 13 inches. If I am bugging out in my car, of course I will bring the weapons that I own. Knowing how to camouflage yourself and your group is also an essential defense know how. Once again, depending on where you live, invest in some bear spray. Obviously this can be used to deter animals, or humans if necessary.
- Heat/Warmth-Lighters and water proof matches should work well in a situation like this. Before making a fire, however, make sure that you are aware of your surroundings because a fire will definitely draw attention to you.
- Lighting-I would have some chem lights handy or some small flashlights that can be recharged with solar powered batteries.
- First Aid-A well stocked first aid kit is a must in any survival situation. You are at the mercy of the terrain and the elements. You can either find these on Amazon, sporting goods stores or you can make your own. Making your own seems to be the cheapest way if you are working within a tight budget. What do you need in a first aid kit? Google that information, take several sources and choose the items you need.
- Multi-purpose Tools- These also are easily found on many web sites. Having at least one provides you an added sense of security based on the number of a items a multi purpose tool comes with.
- Miscellaneous-Rain poncho/small mirror/cash/prescription medications/OTC medications/copies of important papers/space blanket
Do I need all of the above for my car bug out bag?
The first thing that you really need to do is determine the longest length you might have to walk to get home. Based on that, figure out what you will need. Hiking boots, first aid kit, extra socks, knives for defense, and most of all, have several alternative routes to get home if it is possible. If there is a chance that you will have to spend the night outdoors, have a tent, sleeping bag and a space blanket to keep warm. Fire making materials would also help out.
A bug out bag is one of the first steps in making sure that in the event of SHTF, that you and your family is safe. Remember that the most important thing is to make sure that your bag(s) are ready to go at all times. Also, remember to seasonally switch out your clothes and make sure that you have all of the items that you need for your area of the country.
Are you ready to bug out if you need to?
Have you briefed your family as to the plans in case you need to bug out?
Do you have multiple ways to get back to your house from work if you need to abandon your car?
For more advice on prepping, I would strongly suggest you visit the following channels on you tube. They offer excellent advice on everything to do with prepping and defense. These are in no particular order.
- The Angry Prepper
- City Prepping
- Black Scout Survival
- Asymmetrical Preparedness
- The FieldCraft Survival Channel
- Kennedy Defensive Solutions
- The Patriot Nurse