February 7, 2019

{Guest Post} Bug Out Bag Basics

Bug Out Bag Basics: 20 Must-Have Items
Thank you to Jake Haugen, Director of Sales & Marketing at www.ProvidentMetals.com for writing this guest post. I don't know about you, but I love reading about Bug Out information!!

In the event of either a natural or manmade disaster within the region you live, the common response of most people is to “bug out”—e.g., to freak out. Dependent upon the severity of the disaster, this type of reaction might be warranted, and it might be within your best interests to leave your home and brave the elements of the outside world.

If this is the case, you want to ensure that you are prepared for whatever the elements and situation at-hand might bring you. Along with having trusted compatriots around you, it is in your best interest to be prepared by having a “Bug Out Bag” on the ready—a bag that is filled with gear that will allow for survival following the first few days after a disaster.

For those who do not have a Bug Out Bag already prepared, here are 20 must-have items you should have packed and ready.

  1. Water Filtration System
Rather than worrying about how to get your hands on clean water following a natural disaster, you can store a filtration system and avoid all of this, making any water source drinkable.

  1. Water Bottle
In order to take your water with you, you’ll need a reliable, sturdy water bottle that can safely store your water for a later time. If space is a concern, try collapsible bottles or water pouches.


  1. Dried/Canned Food Rations
While the human body can survive for weeks without food, it is important to have food on-hand to ensure you are energized and strong enough to continue on.

  1. Basic Cooking Supplies
If you run out of your rations, you’ll need something to prepare basic food in the wild. A pot or small skillet over a fire can go a long way by helping you properly cook raw food.


  1. Tent or Tarp
A tent—or tarp hung between some trees—is an easy way to protect yourself from the natural elements and keep you safe during inclement weather or while sleeping.   
  1. Sleeping Bag
Whether for comfort or protection, a sleeping bag will ensure that your internal body temperature is protected while you sleep.


  1. Waterproof Jacket and Rain Gear
Once you become wet in the wild, it’s difficult to become dry. By providing yourself with a line of defense, you stand a better chance of braving wet weather.

  1. Extra Pair of Base Clothing
In the unfortunate case that your clothes become wet or soiled, you want to ensure that you have a change of clothes to protect your overall health, staving off conditions like hypothermia.

  1. Cold Weather Gloves
While protecting your hands from the cold, a thick pair of winter gloves can also protect your hands from many simple dangers found in the wild—splinters, broken glass and more.

  1. Headwear
A baseball cap will help to shield your head from exposure to the elements, protect your eyes from the glare of the sun and help keep you safe from ticks (ticks often drop from the trees and bush above). A quality winter hat or beanie can also provide your head with enough protection to keep you warm even in the worst weather.


  1. Flashlight
This is one of the best ways to ensure you have a light source when the world becomes dark. Consider packing two in your bag, and make sure to pack a few sets of batteries.

  1. Matches
If your flashlight(s) fails, matches can still provide you with a basic light source. Further, this is one of the best ways to start a fire either for sight or warmth.


  1. Bandages
Even minor cuts and scrapes can soak up dirt, debris and bacteria that can prove to be harmful to the body. Bandages are a great way to cover cuts and protect yourself and are essential to your bug out bag.

  1. Antibacterial Gel
Applying this onto a bandage before placing it onto a cut is a smart way to stave off unwanted germs from attacking your health.

  1. Tourniquet
In the event of a serious gash or cut, you’ll need more than a bandage. A tourniquet is useful in cutting off circulation to a severed artery/vein by applying compression, giving you a bit more time to properly handle the issue.


  1. Map
A map is the best way to mark landmarks you’ve encountered or to determine where you’re headed; furthermore, a map can be used to highlight areas you should consider visiting for supplies.

  1. Compass
With the aid of your map, you’ll be able to navigate just where it is you’re going, whether you have a destination or not.

  1. Money
Need to bribe someone for goods you might not have packed? Money can go a long way in influencing others. Consider storing a wad of cash for basic bribes and purchases, and carrying some lighter precious metals—such as an American Gold Eagle or Silver Dollars—to keep the attention of others.  

  1. Knife
There are countless ways in which a durable knife can protect you in the wild. Use them to hunt for food or defend yourself against an aggressor. Knives are also useful tools for clearing bush and chopping up small branches for firewood. Additionally, they are valuable to have when you need to dig a hole (better than using your hands) and for first aid to cut up a shirt to use as a makeshift bandage if you don’t have any.

  1. Axe
Similar to a knife, an axe has a variety of purposes that will help you in the wild, from cutting firewood to defending yourself.

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