095: Getting Versatile Bug out Bag That Won’t Break Your Back

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72 Hour Kit, Bug Out Bag, Get Home Bag, Get Out of Dodge Bag, or Whatever Else You Want to Call It

Bug Out Bags can Give you Everything You Need for a Weekend Camping Trip.

bug out bags

This is just a 72 Hour bag based on getting you from your location to your destination.

You have to carry this on your person while trekking, so size, weight, and components are a priority.

Yes, I have done a bug out bag podcast before, but when I did that, I was new at podcasting.

Today, I also am keeping in mind that this is for beginners, so I am going to leave some more advanced items out.

Choose a Backpack or Hiking Pack for Hands-Free Awesomeness.

I choose back packs over duffles because packs are much easier to carry.  You can go hands-free.

Video: Kelty Courser 40 Internal Frame Backpack Review

Video: Kelty Courser 40 Internal Frame Backpack Review

I used to say that Internal Frame packs were my favorite, but now I think hybrid packs are a better option (part internal frame and part external frame) for stability and weight distribution.

Just go over to last weeks podcast on how to pack your bug out bag for suggestions.

Carefully Choose Your Supplies for a Lightweight Multipurpose Bag.

Keep Your Energy Levels Sky High with the Proper Food and Water.

energy bar

Clif Bar Energy Bar, Variety Pack, Chocolate Chip, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch, 2.4-Ounce Bars, 24 Count

Keep foods you normally eat.  I recommend, based on your needs, a mix of the following:

  1. Granola and Energy Bars
  2. Trail Mix
  3. Dried Soup Packets
  4. Vacuum sealed rice
  5. Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  6. Water purification tablets and/or sawyer straw filters



Unless You are a Nudist, Keep the Elements Off with the Right Clothing.

  1. You will need a full set of clothing, Both short and long sleeve.
  2. Have several pairs of socks to keep feet dry.. 
  3. Get a Poncho, or rain jacket and pants for adverse weather and a hat to keep the sun off.

Get Excellent Shelter and Bedding For a Packable Castle that is “Good-to-Go”

Shelter is a big deal during a bug out. 

  • It can be your separation from weather, insects, or critters. 

Bedding performs a couple functions. 

  • Bedding acts as a miniature shelter.
  • Bedding acts as insulation.

Keep a variation of the following bedding items for a good night’s sleep:

thermal blankets

Emergency-Mylar-Thermal-Blankets-Pack-of-10-0 Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10)

  1. Space blankets and wool blankets will keep you warm.
    1. Space blankets take up less space, but are Mylar, which isn’t very durable.
  2. Bedsheets take very little space but will make a space blanket more comfortable
  3. Hammock or hammock net.
    1. Both can be used as a hammock, but the military hammock nets can be used for fishing and trapping.
    2. I have the Grand Trunk Hybrid Hammock and my children have the Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock.
    3. Consider the Skeeter Beater Hammock instead.

Keep rain and wind away with a good shelter.

A word of caution here: Shelters will not protect you from Lava or Expelled Toilet water from Jetliners.

Aframe Emergency Shelter

A VERY fast A-frame, open on both ends, made with a tarp and chordage

  1. Tarp: You can make A-frame shelters and lean-to shelters with it. Collecting water, waterproofing pack.
  2. Small hiking or dome tent. I prefer 2 person tents. I actually have the Alps or Alpine Engineering Mystique 2.


Light Up the Night with the Right Flashlights

You need lighting.  It can get dark fast when no lights are around.

  • LED Flashlights are cheap and effective. I prefer battery operated lights with hand crank or shake backup.
  • Headlamps are great hands-free lighting.

Keep Warm and Toasty with a Roaring Fire

tea light candles

Richland® Tealight Candles White Unscented Set of 125

  • Signal Flares provide a rescue beacon as well as a single use fire starter. 
  • Tea light candles can make a fairly long lasting flame that has much utility.
  • You need Lighters (BIC is a favorite of mine) and waterproof matches in your bag for firestarting.
  • I would also  keep a Ferro rodand a few kindling items as a backup.



Stay Safe and Secured by Having some Awesome Gear in Your Pack.

There are many different things that you can use to defend yourself.  Kick some butt with the following items:

  1. Survival knife: I have the Colt tactical survival knife (cheap option) or the Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife: The tool that will build almost all of your other tools.  Keep one on you and one in your bag.
  2. Pepper SpraySabre is great, so is Kimber.


 Utilitarian Tools for the Tough and Tactical

Need to dig a hole, build a shelter, or navigate back to camp?  Keep a variety of tools to help you do almost anything.

  1. Good Mulitool: I have 3 Gerbers (like the Suspension), but Leatherman Skeletool is awesome also.
  2. The SOG Compact Shovel or Military E-tool
  3. Pen and paper for your own memory and to leave notes to rescuers
  4. AM-FM weather radio with battery and crank option.  The Midland WR300 or Midland XT511 are awesome.
  5. LOTS of paracord. Extremely versatile. X-Cords 850 Test is good
  6. Map of the areas that you are in, the Ranger compass or Suunto compass, and training.
  7. Aluminum foil and tin foil for makeshift cooking, eating, and drinking. Also great for leaving prints behind.
  8. Duct tape
  9. Prepaid phone and phone card. The SpareOne phone is a cool option.
mobile phone

SpareOne Plus Emergency Mobile Phone

  1. List of important phone numbers
  2. Extra credit or debit card
  3. Extra cash
  4. GPS is awesome when charged. Garmin eTrex is a good basic option, and the Garmin Montana has awesome functionality


Fix a Broken Bone, Laceration, or Decapitation with a First Class First Aid Kit

Do you want a premade first aid Kit or do you want to build one?

Pre-Made Kits: Most premade kits are just aweful, but a few stand out above the rest in my book.

  1. Elite GI Medic Bag
  2. First Aid Only Responder Kit
  3. Ever Ready Responder kits 

Do you insist on building your own kit?  If so, I have two things that you should do.

  1. Purchase the Voodoo Tactical MOLLE M3 Medic Bag and
  2. Take my First Aid Kit Building Course

You Should also keep a stash of volatile maintenance medicines (asthma, heart, epi, etc.)

A Clean Prepper is a Fresh Prepper.  A Fresh Prepper is a Happy Prepper.

When we prepare, navigation and knives are an obvious choice.  I promise you that three days can make you reek of stink.  Keep a few items that will build your comfort.

  1. Toilet paper
  2. Feminine hygiene products
  3. Toothbrush with broken handle
  4. Diapers and Baby wipes for the children
    1. Vacuum Sealing is great for space saving.
  5. The Emergency Zone Bucket Toilet is good for camping or short term scenarios
Emergency Zone Bucket Toilet

Emergency Zone Honey Bucket Style Toilet Complete Set with Liner and Chemicals

It is easy to go overboard with all of this stuff and end up with a 90 pound bag.  DO NOT DO THIS.  Unless you are a marathon runner, you probably aren’t making it 5 miles down the road with a bag of this size.

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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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