What is a Bug Out Bag?
Imagine you’re out into a situation where you and the rest of your neighborhood have been hit by an unprecedented disaster, like a natural disaster (hurricane, flood or earthquake), a massive power failure or get lost in the wilderness for as long as time sees fit.
It’s here that you need a bug out bag to store some essential rations for the foreseeable future in order to increase your chances of survival. For this, you need a bug-out-bag. This portable kit can help you persevere or survive a disaster environment for up to 72 hours, hopefully until things get back to normal.
A person can normally go up to three whole weeks without any food, but their water capacity can only last for 3 days and if they go anywhere out of their optimal body temperature, they won’t make it past 3 hours. With this in mind, you need to plan out all the essentials for your survival kit as it could make a big difference in life as well as death.
However, it is pivotal that you store only those items that greatly boost your chances of survival, backed by the knowledge of how you’re supposed to use them.
This article covers over 13 crucial survival items you’ll be needing to get yourself out of the wilderness or out the other side of a disaster.
But that doesn’t really mean that you can stuff everything into your survival backpack as you’ll be weighing yourself down when it comes to progressing through the worst of times. In other words, you can’t carry everything with you. But you may not need to take everything for that matter.
So here’s our list of the essential survival products that you need to store in your bug out bag:
1. Survival Knife
A survival knife is what you’ll need for plenty of cutting in a real survival situation. So it is rudimentary that you get a reliable (and affordable if need be) survival knife for such occasions. Be sure to pick one that’s not only high in quality but also comes with a variety of uses.
Ensure that your knife is able to cut strings, ropes, sharpen sticks and skin games. Your ideal knife has to be razor sharp and strong to cut the toughest of the tough materials with apparent ease. And you should always carry a backup knife with you just in case you lose the first one because things like that can happen when you’re trying to survive.
For a proper survival knife, we recommend the HK-47 Folding Tactical Knife by Hermann Krüger.
2. Fire Starter
Starting a fire is arguably one of the most vital aspects of survival that you need, especially if you want to fend off hungry predators, keep yourself warm in a freezing atmosphere or prepare a meal for yourself. And with that being the case, you already know that you have to have proper fire starting skills and the necessary tools to start a fire.
We suggest having at least items to start a fire in your survival kit. But do take our word and avoid fire starters. Instead, carry either a match, a striker and a bic lighter. You can further help your cause by packing some tinder as well as other lighting aids like EverStrike Fire Starter. Also, be sure to carry your fire starter items in waterproof containers and that they’re easy to access in your kit.
3. First-Aid Kit
Going into unpredictable situations without a first-aid kit is not just a disservice, it’s absolutely devoid of thought and sense. You’ll especially be needing one if you’re heading off into the wilderness at a moment’s notice. A first-aid kit needs to be accessible whenever and wherever. For vehicles, having a dedicated first-aid kit is also a must.
General first aid kits are a great start, but you must include pressure dressings in case an injury occurs and you want to prevent bleeding.
A great way to go about this is with our First Aid Kits. Also, if you’re not formally experienced or trained, store a first-aid manual and go through the most crucial practices.
4. Map & Compass
It may be the 21st Century but that doesn’t mean you should rest all of your navigational hopes on GPS devices and apps. You should also carry a compass and a map just in case you don’t have Wi-Fi access or mobile data with you at hand.
It’s also a good idea to have a topography and a road map to be on the safer side of a disastrous situation. And since they’re lightweight and easy to carry, there is simply no reason for you not to store them in your bug out bag.
Of course, having a map and a compass is all good, but you also must know how to read and navigate maps and possess the know-how of operating a compass as well. You’ll find an assortment of courses and training that can teach you the basics of these skills, allowing you enough leeway to practice those skills on your own.
5. Proper Clothing
If you’re planning on heading out to the wild, you have to have the right attire for it. Hypothermia, for example, claims more lives in the wild than anything else, which is why other than having a fire for the camp, proper clothing is also recommended to get around this phenomenon.
For such situations, layering your clothes is necessary, as well as wearing loose and layered clothing along with wool as the underlayer.
As a general rule, cotton must be kept out of the equation as it keeps moisture which makes clothes less insulating, is heavier on our bodies and much more difficult to dry out. This, as a result, could lead to pneumonia, hypothermia, etc. It is for this reason that clothes that are made from wool and synthetic materials are preferred.
6. A Bow Saw
With a bow saw at your disposal, you can turn a survival situation on a cold night easier for yourself. So be sure to choose a lightweight, durable metal frame saw.
A bow saw can aid you in cutting through logs and making firewood. Other than that, you can also use it to cut down big branches to make a shelter that your survival knife might have trouble doing by itself. You’ll need an excellent bow saw to not only give you enough firewood but also help set the fireplace for cooking a big hunt, like a deer.
7. Hygiene/Signal Mirror
You’ve probably heard of the rather sad moments when helicopters pass over people who were lost and utterly weak to muster the energy to signal for help. That’s why you should carry a heliograph or a signal mirror with you for just such occasions. Because they’re pretty fragile, it’s important to store them in your first-aid kit to prevent them from getting damaged and access them with ease. These compact, lightweight tools are able to reflect light from far away distances that are good enough to catch the attention of faraway ships or rescue teams.
8. Emergency Survival Whistle
If you get too deep into the woods where your voice isn’t loud enough to reach out, then a plastic whistle is just what you need. These are also recommended in case your voice is shot due to flu or allergies. What’s more, is that plastic whistles are lightweight, won’t rust and can also float.
9. Water And Water Filtration
Earlier in this post, we talked about how an average human being can’t go for three days without water. As such, you should drink at least 1 gallon (or two gallons to be on the safe side) of water a day. Even just a couple of sips of pure filtered water can make a world of difference. However, that much water can take a real toll on your peak performance, which is necessary if you want to move around.
Of course, you could find plenty of water sources outside of your house premises, but because it lacks a formal filtration process, it could end up making you really sick. That’s why always having a water filter, the the PureWell personal water filter straw is a wise course of action.
This personal water filter straw has been a revolutionary breakthrough for campers, trekkers and survivors alike. Instead of carrying an entire filtration system on your back, all you need is to drink through this straw-like device and it automatically purifies contaminated water into clean drinkable water. Be sure to also pack at least one fold-able water pouch that you can refill with clean drinking water to have on the go.
10. Cordage (Rope, Paracord, ect.)
Cordage like durable paracord is suitable for setting up tents, helping you climb out of steep places, drag a big game with you, tie a bunch of firewood with you, etc. It’s pretty sturdy as its made of nylon or metal wires.
Paracord also works great for clothesline, fishing line, food line, etc. It may be light but it’s made of high-quality materials that can make your survival situation a whole lot better. We recommend ReadyCord paracord as it is a special kind of paracord developed Special Forces and applies to a variety of uses.
Being shrouded in pitch darkness can even cause the most seasoned of adventurers confusion or disarray. Hence, it makes all the sense on earth to carry a flashlight or a torch with them. That’s why if you intend to wander off into unknown territory or go out by yourself after dark, then it is crucial to equip your survival kit with a reliable flashlight.
The good news is that flashlights have become lightweight and smaller over the years, not to mention more effective and efficient in the last couple of years. We advise you to scope out our Ultra-Bright Zoomable Tactical Flashlight.
Having all the above-mentioned items is only one part of the equation, but as we said earlier, you have to know how to make use of them as well. That being the case, the two critical elements that you need to be aware of to give your chances of survival a bigger and better boost include:
12. Physical And Mental Fitness
Fitness is essential for self-defense as it is also crucial for your survival in the wild. Being physically and mentally fit will enable you to better endure the stresses of survival. It can be quite draining setting up a fire and then building a shelter all while trying to stay positive and upbeat, especially when you haven’t even had a proper meal. And this is why being physically and mentally fit will certainly improve your chances of besting the wild.
It should be common sense that in order to increase your hopes of survival, you have to know how to use all of the aforementioned items in this list. An ideal example is that of a compass and a map. Being equipped with a map or a compass isn’t enough to get you out of a territory you’ve never been to. You must have the proper guide and procedure on how to use them so that you can navigate your path to safety.
Perhaps the most appropriate way to use these tools is to simply get comfortable with them. Fortunately, there are tons of written and digital references available for you to learn from, as long as the information you receive is from an actual survival expert who can demonstrate how to use the tools to back their knowledge.
We understand that that is a lot to undertake, but when it comes to surviving, don’t leave it to chance, especially your own well-being when you’re out on your own in the wilderness. That’s why it’s essential not only to have the necessary survival products with you but also the knowledge on how you’re supposed to use them as well as being mentally and physically able to withstand the tests of mother nature. Your survival kit can store even more stuff than what we’ve listed in this post, but these are absolutely critical and must never be overlooked.