094: Choosing and Packing the Correct Bug Out Bag for Stability

medical preparedness
Medical Preparedness for Senior Citizens
October 5, 2015
guerilla strategies
Awesome Military Tactical Defense Maneuvers – Guerrilla Strategies
October 12, 2015


  1. If you don’t know where to start in prepping, this is where I am getting the outline of my discussions here!
  2. I will be doing a Warrior Dash 5k on October 10th.  We will be doing the St. Jude heat, because it’s not worth doing unless we raise some money for charity.  If you would like to donate to St. Jude, please go to http://theprepperpodcast.com/warrior2015
  3. Episode 100 is coming up, and I would like to do something for you.  Give me ideas of what you would like.
  4. You will notice that this is a replay of a previous podcast, but as I have been going  through the beginning stages of starting your journey into preparedness, I thought it best to cover choosing bug out bags before I discuss what goes in it.


Choose the Correct Bug Out Bag and How to Pack it for Stability and Proper Fit

bug out bag

Which comes first, the bag or the gear?

  1. Gather supplies, then choose bag
  2. Get bag, then choose supplies
  3. I recommend getting bag first
    1. So you don’t pack your house in it

When choosing your bag, keep this in mind for a great fit

  1. Color
  2. Capacity
  3. Torso Size
  4. Load Support
  5. Gear Access

You will be visible if you look different than everyone else

  1. Do not want to draw attention
  2. Be prepared without “looking prepared”
  3. Choose neutral or mute colors
    1. If you use camo, OD green, or black you scream, “I am prepared and tactical” or “I have lifesaving equipment in my bag… Just take it.”
    2. If you use bright colors, you draw attention.  People can’t help but notice you

If you are going on a night trip, don’t pack for a month’s trip.

Choose the correct bag.

  1. 1-2 Nights
    1. 20-50 Liters
    2. 1.5-4.5 lbs
  2. 2-3 Nights
    1. 50-60 liters
    2. 2.5 to 5 lbs
  3. 3-5 Nights
    1. 60-80 liters
    2. 2.5 to 5+ lbs
  4. 5+ Nights
    1. 80+ liters
    2. 4-6+ lbs

Choose a Pack based on Torso Size, not overall height.

  1. Measure yourself
    1. Base of your neck to your hipbone
    2. Women and children sizing is available from most manufacturers
      1. Their torsos are shorter
    3. Up to 15.5 in
      1. XS
    4. 16-17.5 in
      1. S
    5. 18-19.5 in
      1. M / Regular
    6. 20+ inches
      1. L / Tall

Determine the Load Support or Frame of the Pack

Types of frames

  1. External
    1. Better Weight Dispersal
    2. Further from body
  2. Internal
    1. Close to body
    2. Poor weight dispersal
  3. Hybrid Framed
    1. Perimeter Frame
      1. Trade off
      2. Better weight dispersal than internal
      3. Closer to body than external

bug out bag

Get to Your Gear Easily when it Matters by choosing the right pack.

    1. Unloading your pack stinks
    2. You want a pack designed to organize and compartmentalize
    3. Typical Pack Pockets
      1. Main Compartment
        1. Where you will place the bulk of your items.
        2. Pack items that you don’t need constant access to
          1. Heavy items need to be center of pack, near your back
          2. Medium weight items get packed around the heavy core.
          3. Keep all the weight possible at your spine
          4. If weight is too high, you will be off balanced
          5. If weight is too low, you will lean forward to balance and overwork your back
      2. Sleeping Bag Compartment
        1. I prefer lashing on bags and tents
        2. This would be a good spot for a hammock pack and mosquito netting
        3. Keep the weight a little lower here
      3. Water Bottle Pocket
        1. I don’t like these, but I will place bottles in these as long as I can tie the bottle.
        2. If I can’t tie the bottle, it doesn’t belong to me
      4. Hip-belt Pocket
        1. Great for ID, a little cash, maybe a food bar
      5. Top Lid Pocket
        1. Keep low weight here
        2. This may be used to fine-tune the balance of the pack
      6. Front Pocket

Keep light items that you will be needing a lot in in all outside pockets

Lots of utility features are available, so use what you need.

You can’t buy what you didn’t know was there.

  1. Compression Straps
    1. I use these for tightening my pack down to keep weight on my spine
    2. I also lash things down with them
  2. Hydration bladder with drink tube
    1. This is almost perfectly designed to keep your heaviest item on your back
    2. You can drink on the fly
  3. Daisy Chain
    1. Perfect for items on carbiners
    2. Great for lifting bag
  4. Pole Loops
    1. I don’t use these much
  5. Rain Hood
    1. Tucked away in a Velcro compartment to pull over bag
  6. MOLLE Compatibility
    1. Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment
    2. Lots of compatable options
      1. Tool sheaths
      2. Pouches
      3. Medkits
      4. And More
  7. I typically lash these to the front straps for ease of access
    1. Compass
    2. Gps
    3. Whistle
    4. Small – medium survival knife

Make your pack fit like it belongs on your body.

Adjust your pack every time you wear it, and do so in this order:

  1. Hipbelt
  2. Shoulder straps
  3. Load lifters
  4. Sternum Strap
  5. Stabilizer Straps
  6. Final tweaks

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Ken is addicted to fitness and mountain biking. He is such a thrill seeker, people are starting to be concerned!He enjoys MTBing, Hiking, Climbing, Geocaching, Orienteering, Weight Lifting, and Wilderness Survival.

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