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Bug Out Bag Basics For Beginners
For those people new to the survivalist movement, a bug-out bag us simply an advance-prepared survival kit that is ready to grab and go at a moments notice. The contents of every bug-out bag are different and tailored to the specific needs of the individual, but all bug-out bags should be stocked with supplies and tools necessary to survive for at least 3 full days.
When preparing your own bug-out bag or survival kit, there are some critical items you absolutely must include:
Bug Out Bag Essential Items
Without safe drinking water you will die and it most likely will happen sooner than the 3 days many people think the human body can survive without it because that 3 day statistic is based on ideal conditions, not strenuous conditions that are likely to be found in a disaster or emergency scenario.
The average adult requires about 1 gallon of water each day. Even though many of us do not regularly drink this much, it’s still important to have in an emergency or survival situation as you will probably be exerting yourself more than normal and therefore dehydrate faster than usual. Plan to stock at least 3 gallons of drinking water per person in your family. Extra water is always useful for cleaning, cooking and washing if possible.
Although not life-threatening in 3 days, a lack of food will cause you to have a low amount of energy which will affect the physical tasks you need to perform as well as your ability to think and reason effectively. Worst of all, you’ll probably be in a cranky mood when you most need to be calm and clear-headed. Plan to have pre-packaged foods with a long storage/shelf-life included in your bug-out bag. Canned goods are great options if you plan to be stationary, but if you will need to stay on the move then consider dehydrated or free-dried food and meals.
3. First Aid Kit
Your first aid kit should include items to treat basic and common injuries. Bandages, gauze, antiseptics, and tape are often included in every first aid kit, but be sure to pack any special medications and treatments that you need or normally take as well. Outside of weight considerations, you can never have too many first aid supplies so try to include anything you think you may need in case of a prolonged emergency or survival situation.
As you progress further into the survivalist lifestyle, you will hear time and again that the most important survival tool is a good quality knife. That’s great because you can’t hear that enough. Always remember the mantra “a good knife can save your life” and choose your new best friend very wisely. You should always buy a large, sturdy knife with full-tang construction. That means the metal of the blade extends through to the end of the handle which is a much stronger design than partial-tang knives that will easily snap and break under stress. Also, make sure your knife comes with a sharpener or be sure to pick one up separately otherwise your tasks will grow increasing more difficult to complete properly.
If you’re not going to be stationary, then you definitely want a reliable compass in your bug-out bag as it will help you navigate new destinations and then help you find your way back to camp. There are newer models that have a digital readout and even display a detailed map of your immediate surroundings all with GPS coordinates included, but if money is a concern then don’t hesitate to pick up an old-school magnetic version – they still work just fine today.
6. Fire Starter
If you’ve ever watched one of those survival-based reality TV shows, you already know how vital (and futile) starting a fire can be. Don’t embarrass yourself like those guys, bring a reliable fire starter so you’ll be able to stay warm and cook your food. Fire starters come a a wide variety of styles, so choose one you can easily operate and store – even a refillable cigarette lighter will work well for you in a survival or disaster scenario.
Bug-Out Bag Conclusion
Every truly prepared survivalist has a bug-out bag and if you don’t have one yet, get serious and start building your own. Remember, emergencies are unplanned and can and do happen anytime so don’t get caught napping on this one, be prepared to survive.
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