The Why - Some may question why anyone would need a bug out bag (sometimes referred to as a BOB or SHTF gear / bag). Well if you ever questioned that, hopefully this will give you some more insight. Having a bug out bag is like having insurance when the insurance company won’t be there when you really need them. Looking at past events it can take up to weeks or even months before any substantial help arrives. Trust me you will be much better off having all of the necessities before hand, rather than having to scavenge for them after the fact. Looking at past and present events, it is impossible to tell when or where there will be a major catastrophe (hurricane, tornado, bombing, war, flood, biological / chemical warfare). If any of these things ever happen, you and your family will be VERY glad that you decided on being prepared and having a bug out bag. Most bug out bag’s are intended to help you survive up to 72 hours. In some cases this can be much more, depending on how prepared you are. Also many of the items would help you survive long term, if this were necessary (this would also require much knowledge before hand).
Clear the Air - Now some may categorize those having a BOB as a “doomsday prepper” but I don’t believe this to be the case. Prepping for any form of disaster would be a SMART decision if it were to happen. When disasters happen there is no electricity, no clean water, and sometimes not even a place to sleep. It’s almost as if we are forced to go back to living in unenlightened times, and when we are so used to technology and having everything hand fed to us this can be a huge shock. With this shock it can cause sane people to become rabid. You will want to be as far away from this as you can possibly be. In being prepared you will be able to protect yourself and your family from people that are not so prepared and lash out to get what you have.
The Reason - This guide is not to scare anyone, instead it is to inform and help people understand why preparedness is imperative. If any of these disasters happen hopefully you and your family will have a plan in place and all you would need to do is grab your bag and meet with your family at a pre-determined safe location.
1. Keep it to yourself - Do not tell your friends or co workers as they may not understand as well as you. Also they will know exactly who to go to when something does happen, and you will be most concerned about yourself and your family unless it is a friend that you want coming along.
2. Leave it alone - Do not take anything out of your bag at any time. This bag is prepared for emergencies, if you take something out and forget to replace it you are out of luck in a time of need.
3. Everyone is included - Have a bug out bag for each member of your family. Also it is a good idea to keep small survival kits on your person or close by at all times. Vehicles and daily carry backpacks can be good locations for these.
4. Gather together - If you know other people that are also prepared for these types of things, it can be good to work together if you feel that is best. Sometimes the added protection of others is worth working together.
5. Location - Have a pre-determined location for everyone to meet at in case you are all in different places. Also have a secondary location if the first location is not accessible Having more than two backup locations can be confusing, but it is possible and is a good idea. This needs to be well discussed with your family and/or friends early on. Coming up with good survival plans can mean life or death for you and / or your loved ones.
6. Survivalist - You are one step away from being an ultimate survivalist. Keep it up! The more you study and research how to survive different situations, the more comfortable you will begin to feel each and every day.
Great bug out bag examples: