The most important thing to remember for your Bug Out Bag is: Water, Shelter, and Fire If you can maintain these things, your likelihood of survival is better.
History has shown that a person can go 3 days without water, but can survive 3 weeks or more without food. If you can secure your water, shelter and fire, then you can find food. Not having these 3 things to protect you from the elements can kill you a lot faster than a growling belly. I am going to list some of the things *we* keep in our survival bags for long term survival. These may not be the same things you would keep but it is a strong suggestion as to what you may want to consider. I have seven children, if you do not have any then you may not need some of the things I have so you would not add them.
Back Pack : Let us start with the backpack and what you need to look for.
A good sturdy backpack/bag. A bag with wide padded straps are preferable and a padded waist strap to help distribute the weight. You do not want a bag with thin straps that will cut into your shoulders. Expect your pack to weigh at least 20 pounds, but aim for less. You don’t have to buy the most expensive ones out there but it is your preference and comfort. I personally found my bag and bags for all my children kids to adults at the Menards Store who was having a special on backpacks that fit what I was looking for. I bought these bags for Apx $39.00 each and saw the very same bag at Cabbelas for $139.00. (Same manufacturer)
· A Canteen with a metal /aluminum cup kit like the military, multipurpose for eating, drinking and treating water for consumption. ( I prefer to carry 2- pint bottles of water as well but optional)
· Carry at least one metal sealable container for sterilizing water and transporting it.
· A way to filter water like an emergency sip straw that is antibacterial or:
· We made our own survival water treatment kit for long term and it consists of the following: 1- small ¼ pint bottle of 5% house hold bleach or hypo chloride powder, your preference, iodine tablets, ¼ bottle of 45% colloidal silver, two .9999 10 gauge silver wires, a short set of alligator type leads, 3- 9 volt batteries, sterilized cotton balls or pads, a small ziplock bag or container of sea salt and ½ pint of sterile carbon filter media. This kit if used properly will guarantee you several hundred gallons of clean water with proper natural filtration as per our training guide.
· Let's start with the obvious, every kit should have a small stash of water proof matches, a flint lighter, and a good flint/magnesium stick for starting fires. We also (Always have at least at least 10 ways ways to start a fire.)
· We include in our own designed fire starting kit the following in addition to the above: 1- 9v battery, steel wool, dryer lint, cotton balls soaked in Vaseline, a small refill canister for the flint lighter, a sterno like gel for easy fire starting, a short dowel rod and a 12” to 16 “ X 2” wide pine board approximately ¾ “ thick and a magnifying glass.
· For easy cooking (optional) Sterno can with folding pocket stove with fuel tabs (optional). However, you can use small bits of wood for this as well if you run out of fuel tabs. Tinder – Quick (optional) is also excellent. It lights even if it’s wet. I recommend setting up a rocket stove, many way to do so (see you tube)
· Mess kit (Optional) I prefer using my canteen cup to keep weight down. However I do keep a multi tool with spoon fork and knife in my pack.
· Large medicine b). Bottle with fishing gear in it: 2 small bobbers, hooks, a thread spool with fishing line on it, a few lures and some weights. It all fits compactly in the medicine bottle. (optional) backpack fishing reel that fits in the palm of your hand
· A small palm sized kit for seasonings, sea salt and pepper etc. (prefer a zip lock bag with sea salt for water treatment as well as field processing of curing meat)
· I carry a small pocket size book of edible / Poisonous plants, berries and roots, (Because I am not a pro yet, if you use your skills regularly, then you wouldn’t need this book which means less weight.)
· Snare wire: This is one way to catch food, however let me let you in on a secret..if you do not train/practice using these then they will be useless to you when you need them. Like with anything else, you need to have the knowledge and understanding of this before you can be successful with it. You cannot just place a snare wire somewhere and expect to catch something. Learning to spot tracks, and pathways that certain animals take is key to placement of your snares. Understanding the different sizes needed to catch different size animals is also an important factor. Obviously you wouldn’t use a wire made for rabbits to try and snare a hog.
For shelter I carry two things: I carry a Tarp and I carry a poncho which can double as an over garment to keep me dry while moving around. These are ultra lite at about 3-4 pounds. If you are in extreme cold you might opt for something else. If you have a very good sleep system though this should work.
Sleeping System: I do carry a military sleep system with the three bags and an outer cover for up to -50*
· Ponchos are perfect to protect from rain. Instead of a heavy duty one, use the lightweight cheaper ones like from the military, they are much lighter and easily replaceable if torn. They are also easy to fix with a little piece of duct tape if torn. The lighter the better!
· Duct tape: Not a whole roll, just a small amount to fix minor things that may need fixing. (a rip in a tarp or poncho)
· 550 paracord like we used in the military
A good multipurpose survival knife, I have one that has a screw off handle with a compass, fishing kit, matches, para cord, skinning knife, razor and a sling shot all built in. (you don’t need to spend over $100.00 for a knife).
· Small sharpening stone.
· A folding saw and shovel. (The shovel is kept in the bag mainly to help if we get stuck and need to dig our vehicle out but is also used to bury waste when we are camping.)
· Lightweight hatchet or knife capable of cutting small limbs etc.
· Wind-up (crank) flashlight/am-fm radio.
· Emergency Whistle
· Small Binoculars
· Signal Mirror
· Gun/Ammo (Carried on me, not in my bag.)
· 6-8 hour hand/foot warmers (The kind that heat when they touch air, you can buy them anywhere)
· Maps in Zip lock bags. Our maps have marked meeting points and 3 ways to get there for where ever we go.
· 1-large heavy duty garbage bag
1- Pair of dry clothes in a water proof bag like a large heavy duty garbage bag which can double as a rain suit if needed, underwear, hat & sunglasses. (Consider thermal underwear, gloves, mosquito netting)
Spare set of eye glasses
Handheld Oath Keeper radio
1- pair of dry wool socks and a pair of light weight socks in a zip lock bag
A separate compass and (topographical maps) if you can get them MGRS 1:50,000
A small national road map book pocket size.
A personal first aid kit (see first aid kit items list)
2- MRE’s, beef jerky
Food tab supplements 3-4 months worth comes in a medium size container
2-bottles of water 1- pint size
Some energy bars
Medicine pack (see medicine pack kit)
A small flashlight, I carry a small LED light as well as a hand crank
Emergency glo sticks
Personal Hygiene supplies: Camping brush/comb, camping tooth brush, small tooth paste, small shampoo bottle, small foot powder, small deodorant, small bottle of hand sanitizer, small hard bar of soap,
Bug juice, not the drinking kid. The kind used for killing and repelling bugs
Personal identification, drivers license, passport, medical cards etc.
Small coin sized silver increments of silver or gold for purchasing and bartering (if society is breaking down) government money may need be usable but have a small stash just in case.
A booklet of medicinal plants
Small seed bank for -1 to 2 people (NON GMO) see survival standards for necessary nutrition
1-lb of sea salt for additional food prep
Baking soda, Has many uses both nutritional and medicinal
Wrist rocket sling shot. We carry at least three within our family
Sheet of clear plastic 4 to 6 mill 3’ square. Distillation tent for capturing water.
Do your research, everyday new and exciting items become available making your chances of survival better and better. I recommend continuously going to survival shows, prepper conventions and modern homestead shows for up to date survival secrets and information.
First Aid Kit:
Depending on your preference you may select a variety of things to carry in your first aid kit, if you’re a medic you probably have a whole pharmacy as a kit but remember to keep it light in a personal kit. In my family's kit I have a large quantity of things but in my personal first aid kit I keep it to the basics.
Emergency poncho reflective blanket
Antibiotic ointment, Neosporin
Anti itch ointment (Benadryl Itch Relief stick)
4x4 gauze pads
Medic gloves non latex
Dust type filter masks
Small bottle of hand cleaner
Poisonous snake bite extractor.
· Allergy medicine
· Prescription medicine
· Band-Aids (waterproof basic band aids)
· Alcohol pads
· Small bottle of Alcohol
· Epi-pen (prescription only)
· Sling / handkerchiefs / bandannas
· Instant cold compress
· First aid guide
· burn cream
· K-103 tabs
Anything else you think might be necessary
Keep in mind that with the above materials, you may exceed the weight that you can comfortably carry so you might find that you can distribute the above over various family members so that you don’t have a lot of duplications which will reduce your weight, however you will limit the potential for each person should you become separated.
With these materials, any person with the right training, equipment and available resources can be self sustainable for a long period of time beyond the standard 72 hours usually planned for a bug out bag.
It is imperative that you school yourself on basic survival skills or get with an individual or organization that can teach you all of these things. Remember most of all there is strength in numbers and the likely hood of you surviving depends on the assets and resources you bring together.
Survival food: http://www.survivalproductsunlimited.com, I recommend going to this site and looking at the survival food capsule. I have heard of many people burying these in strategic areas for later consumption.
http://survivaltabs.com for sustainable easy to carry survival food.
MREs, beef jerky, vitamin supplements
Pack of various beans and lentils for long term consumption
Don't forget the seed bank!
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