At any time in life, you may find yourself in unfavorable conditions and have to fend for yourself against nature whether it's in the form of a natural disaster or just a casual camping trip. That's why it's best always to be prepared.
Many nature enthusiasts wish to survive out in the wilderness on their own or wait out a disaster away from the city when some unseen circumstance causes them to leave their homes or even cities. But nature is quite unpredictable, and with nature disasters occurring at such a rate, you never know what can happen and when.
In the event of a flood, Earthquake, tsunami or any such activity that drives you out of the shelter of your home, you need to be prepared. It isn't just limited to use in times of natural disasters, but these bags are helpful when it comes to camping and hiking in the wild too.
In this article, we're going to be addressing the differences between a Bug Out Bag and an EDC (Every Day Carry) Bag. Let's start with the bug out bag.
What exactly is a Bug Out Bag and why is it so important?
Simply put, a bug out bag is a bag that can carry all your necessities that are required for survival up to 72 hours in the case of any critical event that renders your home unlivable. This bag contains all you need to be able to get by out in the real world and protect yourself and your family while you adjust to the situation. These items are crucial when it comes to a disaster, but you need to make sure that your bag is not too heavy to carry and walk with for an extended period while still being spacious enough to carry everything you need.
If you're not alone and there are more than two adults in your group of people, then you can take along more than just one bag. Secondly, since you can never see a disaster coming and can't know when you might need it, it is a handy tip to keep an emergency preparedness bag in your car as well as an easily accessible area in your house.
Since most people are not in the habit of carrying a bug out bag, millions of people lose their lives from situations that could have been handled easily had they carried one. It's no doubt that people must have wished they had been prepared when a catastrophe struck their lives, but that's just the thing, you never know.
Just like eating right and exercise, it's a lifestyle habit - not a fad. That is why it is so crucial to be prepared beforehand for any situation. There's no doubt that in the world we live in today, that is the best way to live. It's always better to be safe than sorry. If you plan for such a turn of events, then you'll thank yourself later on if you ever find yourself in such a situation.
That leaves the question, where can you get a decent bug out bag?
Bug out bags can be homemade or purchased premade. Most of the time premade bug out bags are the way to go since they're convenient and can save you a lot of time and money. However it's good to note that even the best bug out bags should include a few personal items from home like a spare change of clothes, a few hand towels, hygiene products, cash and maps.
If having it all done for you isn't your style, there's another option as well, and that is building a bug out bag yourself. The offers the upmost customization and offers a sense of satisfaction as all the items are hand-picked by you. If you intend to go with that option, then you may be wondering what kind of backpack you should go with.
No worries, you don't have to buy some overly expensive fancy bag, but instead, any kind of durable, waterproof, tactical bag would be more than sufficient. Try not to go with a duffel bag as it most definitely can slow down your pace, whereas a backpack would be a lot easier to carry and won't hold you back. All you need to do is make sure that its large enough to carry all the items and sturdy enough to hold the weight.
Now, last but not least, let's go over the bug out bag essentials:
What do you need to include in your Bug Out Bag?
Firstly, let's make it clear that there is no definite list that people need to follow. There are no rules set in stone as to what you need to have. That's to say that most of the items are necessities, some you may put in there out of personal preference and some are just because of common sense.
However, to give you a general idea, here is a list of items you would find in the common bug out bag:
Bug spray: this is an absolute necessity to prevent mosquito and other insect bites. You cannot focus on your plans and objectives if you're more focused on scratching and killing insects. Better to take precaution than be careless. Which is even more severe after a flood or hurricane as the standing water causes rapid mosquito breeding which can be dangerous in the case of a disease breakout.
Camping axe: this is a must as it will help you gather and store wood for starting a fire or building a shelter from the natural elements.
Camp cooking set: you will need to eat healthy food to stay fit, and that means you have to make sure it's cooked properly.
Soap and other products for hygiene: In such an event, you should not forget about your health and should take proper and measured steps to ensure your cleanliness. This is because unhealthy living conditions can lead to a lot of diseases which will slow you down and if it's dangerous, even cause death.
NOTE: Most pre-made bug out bags don't include hygiene products so be sure to at least throw in a roll of toilet paper, a bar of soap, a hand towel, tooth brush and paste and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in your bag.
Compass: you should always have a compass on you because it's not still easy to tell where you are by looking at the sun. Getting lost is a severe threat and needs to be taken seriously. It's better that you take all the necessary steps to prevent it and have such tools that can help you be aware of your surroundings. So always keep a compass handy.
Contact Numbers and other emergency information: even if you think you remember the contact numbers of loved family members or friends. It's always better to have them written down along with important emergency helplines. Also, make sure that you have it laminated cause you never know what may happen. So, it's better not to risk it getting wet.
Emergency whistle: you should have an emergency whistle for each family member. This is a massive help in case someone wanders off from the rest and ends up getting lost or finds himself/herself in any danger.
Extra Clothes and undergarments: you should carry at least one other outfit with you and wear your clothes alternatively, at least until you find some other items to wear. It's also imperative to keep clean undergarments and dry socks.
Blankets: make sure to buy the kind that is thin, lightweight and waterproof.
Survival guide: if you’re a newbie and don’t know the basics of surviving on your own in unfavorable conditions, then a guide can mean the difference between life and death.
Water purification tablets: these are very helpful if you can’t boil your drinking water.
Ziploc bags: It’s important to keep things dry and preserved. Especially food items. But you may want to stay waterproof cases as well for cash and other relevant documents.
Fire starters: the first choice would be a lighter but keep in mind that those aren’t exactly reliable and shouldn’t be your only source of causing a fire. You can keep matches as well.
First aid kit: this isn’t just essential for a bug out bag situation, but you should have one on you all the time in case of a medical emergency.
Flashlights: it’s not enough to rely on your phone's flashlight as you may run out of battery and find yourself helpless. Invest in sturdy, durable flashlights which can last you a long time and pack extra batteries too.
Food: you may need to hunt for survival but try to keep other alternatives as well. Such as nutrition bars or fruits and vegetables.
Knife: a knife is a primary necessity in this situation. Whether it’s for hunting or using as a weapon, this is one item you cannot afford to be without.
Other essential items: Tarp, sunblock, water bottle, Signal mirror, raincoat, Playing cards, Paracord, Multivitamins, Money, Maps. Shovel, medicine, hand crank radio, hand sanitizer or 100% proof vodka for sanitizing, important documents, etc.
Now, on to the EDC bag...
What is an Every Day Carry bag and what does it consist of?
An EDC is a bag which consists of items that can help you survive for up to a few hours, or a day to the maximum. It is generally a tiny bag and very easy to carry. While a bug out bag is used in the event of a critical natural disaster, that is not the case with an EDC bag. It can be handy when you need to get away from any danger and can even be used on a camping trip. It is just the items you may carry daily. In this way, it is very different from a bug out bag.
To name a few items that can be a part of your everyday carry bag: your electronic devices and their chargers, a strong flashlight, a compass, a lighter, a pocket knife and so on, you get the gist of it. You can either compile these up in a small bag or even put these things in your pockets because these are just essential items intended to help you while you find better shelter and get used to your situation.
As is the case with a bug out bag, you will also not be able to find a good and reliable EDC bag in your local stores and will have to either look for it online or buy a small pouch or container and build your own. If you look on the internet, you'll find lots of different brands marketing different styles and features. However, it can just as quickly be done yourself.
What's important is that it contains the necessary items. With that being said, let’s take a look at what a general EDC would consist of:
A knife can come in handy in more than one way, and its importance cannot be stressed upon. Rather than picking up just any knife and considering the work done, we suggest you do your research and then invest in an excellent knife. We promise you; it will go a long way.
A bright and long-lasting Flashlight
Once again, you cannot depend on your phone's flashlight and need to have a reliable flashlight with you at all times.
This may seem unnecessary but is a precious item to have on you. You never know when you may need to write down something so you may remember later or save some vital information.
Emergency Information Card and Important Documents
Try to keep relevant information and documents on a paper with you somewhere rather than just on your phone. Not only should you have your passport and birth certificate but it is imperative that you keep copies with you as well. You can put these papers in a waterproof case or your wallet.
If you have the license and proper training, then it's an excellent idea to carry a gun on you in case of self-defense or for hunting purposes. But make sure that you're very careful with it and always make sure the safety's on when not in use.
Do you have your EDC bag AND Bug Out Bag prepped? Leave your comments below. If so, feel free to share what items you've decided to pack in your EDC bag.