Survival Kit

Do You Really Need a Bug Out Bag?

Why Would You Need a Bug out Bag?

Tools for an urban environment

My need for a bug out bag comes from my building trade and at times not having the right tool for the job. Or trying to find where someone put the right tool for the job, that you desperately need done. Finding the right tool in an emergency can be even more stressful, seconds can feel like minutes.

It makes total sense to gather and pack all of the most essential things, for your survival, into one place. Just as it does with power tools, screws, kitchen cutlery or utensils and so on. However, unlike a bottomless kitchen drawer, overflowing with little used utensils, your BoB needs to be lean.

What’s in a Name

It’s helpful to not get caught up with the name of this type of emergency bag, as it might discourage you of its usefulness. Whether you need a ‘Bug out Bag’, ‘BoB’, Go bag’ or even a ‘Get home’ bag, it should be able to do all those things. However, a lot of people may not see the need to do any of those things and then not prepare an emergency kit at all.

Before my first camping trip as an adult, I put together a bag of survival gear and wondered if it would be useful. By the time that trip ended, I had plenty of answers as to why I would need a Bug out Bag. During that trip, I was in and out of the bag so much that I tore off a zipper and broke one of the clips!

Ok, it was a cheap backpack but I realised the importance of having a one stop bag for survival. As a result, the next time I went camping, I had a new and improved version to take with me. I learned more lessons on each trip and used that experience to build a new one every time.

Why I Need a Bug Out Bag?

As mentioned, I don’t like searching for misplaced gear or tools, at work, camping or especially at home. It’s just a waste of time, searching for things that should’ve been in a place dedicated for them. So, for me, a dedicated bag for survival gear seemed a necessary thing to have.

It really becomes one less thing to think about or have to throw together at the last minute in an emergency. If the situation requires you to immediately get away to safety, you just want to be able to grab a bag and go. Even with a last minute invite to go fishing, your survival bag will be ready and waiting for you.

In either scenario, you can grab your bag and know that you have already thought through its contents. You’ve handpicked and tested every item, which will give you the confidence in sustaining your own life. Most importantly, you can tailor your design and contents to target the most likely scenario you expect to face.

Emergency preparedness is essential –

optical gear for a bug out bag
Any room in your BoB for these?

A Bag Worth Thinking About?

Just thinking about the potential emergency situations you’ll face, will make you that little bit more prepared. That is the fundamental lesson you learn when building your survival kits, especially with the pocket sized kit. If you take the next step, from just thinking and actually build a kit, then your survival chances just skyrocketed!

Before you build your Bug out Bag or Go Bag, put some thought into the gear you’ll want to carry. The size and weight of your contents will choose the bag for you and maybe force you to rethink some of your gear selection.

Versatility is Key to Good Survival Gear

The problem with emergency situations, is that you don’t know what the emergency will be in advance. You can only prepare for the most likely and then add some coverage in other less likely scenarios. To give you versatility with your bag, several specialized kits will need to be contained in the larger one.

As a result of that, your actual bag needs to have its own versatility, to adapt to all possible scenarios. For instance, you need a bag that is not out of place in the woods or in the city environments. That sounds difficult but it’s not and I will show you how I put together my Bug out Bag in the upcoming posts.

first aid for a bug out bag
Combine the 72 hour kit’s contents with your larger kit
storage options for a bug out bag
Find other ways to pack your gear for a BoB

What’s the Best Bug Out Bag?

Leaving the physical construction aside for a moment and focusing on the versatility of the bag itself. By that I mean that it can be altered in size and style to suit different circumstances. For example, a bulky military style bag that can be trimmed down to a more urban style and size. Also, that it can be broken down and used separately, to improve carrying ability and reduce fatigue.

The physical construction of the bag will help with this versatility and will need to provide these modular abilities. Therefore, the bag will need loops and other ways to attach gear and also have smaller removable sections. This is aside from the obvious need of quality stitching, materials, buckles and the like.

It Needs to be a Survivor Too!

Even a high priced, high quality bag will break if you don’t treat it well and look after it. My first survival bag, was cheap and I didn’t respect or treat it well and it broke, twice. I bought another cheap bag after that and it practically fell apart during another camping trip. The third bag I purchased was cheap too.

However, before I purchased it, I really looked at the stitching, material, clips and zips and they were good. Ten years later, with proper use and care, they still look good! Although, the bag is not versatile enough and is long overdue for an upgrade and some added survival fitness.

Two areas of the bag’s construction to look out for, is how it functions and adapts, or if you can make it adapt. For an example, the bag should have both a small and larger profile, if changing environmental circumstances require it. Another example could be the lack of waterproofing and if other measures can be taken. Like if adding protection from water damage with other smaller waterproof bags will suffice.

As mentioned, for function, the bag needs to be a heavy hauler and built to break down to smaller components. Most importantly, when you do break it down, you’re not compromising your survival ability. Also, you need to be easily able to add more capacity to your bag, simply by attaching additional external storage options.

The other function you need in your bug out bag, is adjustment, including straps and belts to pull the weight to your body. Also, to keep the load from shifting and unbalancing you while you travel, burning up precious calories.

knives for a Go bag?
You have other choices to make for your Go Bag gear
urban tools
More choices than you think!

How Do You Prepare for an Emergency?

Modern buildings are fundamentally designed to function in an emergency situation, such as a fire. This is achieved with extensive planning and studying of the potential emergency scenarios the building may face. Planning and workshopping scenarios in your life, will be the only effective way to plan for an emergency.

Obviously, it’s not possible to cover everything, however, some emergency gear works in a host of scenarios. For example, a well stocked first aid kit will prove to be useful in most emergency situations. Finding versatility with your gear will help you cover a lot more areas of emergency survival with your bug out bag.

Putting Your Plan in to Action

Once you’ve settled on the potential threats you face and the actions that you must take; test it out. Similar to the gear you choose for your survival kits, you have to test them and get used to working with them. No sense choosing an escape route that you have never been down and seen for yourself.

Spending a few hours planning and testing will give you back the precious seconds in an emergency that you need. Similarly, training and education in emergency procedures and techniques, will enable you to act without delay, again saving precious seconds.

Putting It All Together

Now that you’ve settled and planned for your most likely of threats and have chosen the appropriate gear, you can pack it! There is no point choosing the bag before you know what it is going to be carrying or how much it even needs to hold.

Fortunately, with all of your hard work in building the pocket survival kit and 72 hour kit. You’ll already know the essential things that you need to pack in your Bug out Bag. Any other items or space can be personalized towards yourself and the environment you’re expected to be surviving in.

Read these posts for the essential gear to pack inside your Bug Out Bag or Go Bag:

The Most Important Survival ToolWhat Are the Top 5 Survival ToolsWhat are the Best Survival Tools to Carry in a Bug Out BagWhat Are the Top Ten Survival ItemsPocket Survival Kit – How to Build Your Own72 Hour Survival Kit – How to Build Your Own

first aid kit
Essential first aid kit
first aid and toiletries kit

It’s Time to Bug Out – BoB

What I need out of my latest version of a Bug out Bag, is versatility and still be able to carry weight. The act of deliberately taking your most valued stuff and moving to another location, no doubt requires a special bag. More space for non essential survival items, such as valuables, need to be catered for in the BoB. Other comforts, never before needed in my Bug out Bag, are now a consideration with a larger sized bag.

What Should You Pack in a Bug Out Bag?

trimmed down 72 hour kit

It’s pretty clear that we will all face a potential emergency situation in our lives at some point. If you survive an ordeal without any preparedness on your behalf, then it was just luck that got you through. Not a good strategy in the long run and I recommend that you put together a Bug out Bag.

No matter what size the bag, whatever name you call it or the expensive gear you’re carrying, it will come down to your planning. With proper planning you can increase your chances of survival, even with a smaller bag. The next post will focus on the gear to pack in a Bug out Bag and after that a follow up post on how to pack it. These next posts will show you a versatile Bug Out Bag, that can used in many scenarios and is packed with essential survival gear.

Thanks for reading!

Next up, “What should you pack in a Bug out Bag?

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