A Few Things to Consider Having When Bugging In or Out
Whenever you consider a SHTF situation, the question will arise of whether you will be “bugging in” or “bugging out”. The range of your supplies will be altered dramatically depending on what you choose to do. It’s best to be prepared for either, because there is no way of knowing exactly what is going to happen and to what degree. I have a plan for both, and while it will break my heart to leave much of my supplies behind, I have conceded to the fact that it will require me to choose only the most valuable supplies for a trip that could take me into the unknown. This is why I strongly believe that it is very important to pack items that function on multiple levels. While this mostly applies to the “getting out of dodge” adventure, the same idea is put to good use when hunkering down in your primary place.
The following list does not completely cover all of the items or tools required to survive such as a good knife, medical supplies, fire starting etc… Consider the items included as supplemental to a well-balanced stock pile or bug out bag.
This form of preparedness has its limitations in the usefulness of the item, as well as its weight. It would be wonderful to be able to pack a bag until it is bursting at the seams (and believe me I have tried), but the truth is you most likely will not be able to carry it very far for very long. It’s an amateur peppers’ dream to purchase each useful item to solve every foreseen issue, but in the end there are far more items that will fit into the bag than what you can actually carry. This is why I am suggesting a few items that often are overlooked. These exact items may not be for everyone, and there may be arguments against them, but it’s the creative thinking that I am hoping you will apply to your own situation.
- Tin Foil: It is lightweight and has multiple functions. You can pack a fair amount folded into any BugOut bag to use for cooking, boiling water, prepared and unprepared food transportation, and while I have not actually tried this it may be used for signaling as well.
- Krazy Glue: This “super glue” can be used as a repair item, as well as a major wound closure. It is lightweight as well, and doesn’t take up very much space. Note: I suggest the actual Krazy Glue product because in my own experience, other forms of super glue have not performed as well.
- Instant Coffee: A small bag of instant coffee could get you a long way. The caffeine in it can give you the extra burst you’ll need to push forward. It is important to remember that caffeine is a diuretic, and in low water situations, this item could be detrimental if you are dehydrated. Still, instant coffee may be a real mood booster if the days have been long and nights have been short.
- Solar Charger: A solar charger (which can be found on Amazon.com) will only set you back $25, but it can be a useful tool. If you have any devices that require batteries (such as a flashlight) the solar charger can be used to charge the batteries during the day for use at night. Some chargers can also be used to recharge smart phones in the event that they are still functioning. It is a much better option than carrying a few dozen batteries that have a life which is far less than rechargeable ones.
- Powdered Gatorade Packets: Energy drinks can help you to better maintain water intake when the situation arises. The caloric value is not much, but in desperate times it could be enough to get you a little further down the road. There is a limit to how much you should consume versus your water intake, but being a lightweight space saving product has its perks.
- Paracord: Everyone talks about this one. I am including it to reaffirm the “must have” for a multitude of uses such as building shelters, securing food, repairing gear, etc….
- Making Packaged Foods: Buying MRE’s to pack in your B.O.B. is not a bad idea by any means, but if your adventure takes you further than expected, having some back up is not a bad idea either. Foods that are sustainable, cheap and easily stored such as rice and beans can be packaged for later use. I bought Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers, along with a 25lb bag of rice from a warehouse club, and broke it into 4 separate portions. One of the Mylar bags of rice could be enough to supply you the energy to get through a few extra days.
One thing to consider when purchasing anything for “bugging in” is what the barter value will be. The more uses an item has, the more trade value it has. In a scenario of economic collapse, there will most likely be scavenging taking place. If prepared, the aftermath will leave some of us with comfort items, medical supplies, and various other supplies with a high market value. There are some items you might already have, and a few you might consider getting.
- Liquor or Wine: Over 50% alcohol content or 100 Proof is the best way to go. This item will most certainly be highly valued in our society, and has dual capabilities. 100 proof or higher alcohol can be used as a source of fuel or as an antiseptic. Depending on the person, alcohol can help you sleep, reduce anxiety and produce a mood enhancing –like state. This of course is if the alcohol is used in smaller quantities. There are many adverse effects of alcohol, and I advise using the product for fuel or antiseptic. Alcohol will dehydrate you if consumed (the hangover) which is never good when you are in any survival situation and need to keep your wits about you. However, having bottle of wine or whiskey on hand could make you the coolest guy on the block if it can no longer be sourced elsewhere, which could help you attain ammo or food through trade.
- Honey: This sweetener also has antibacterial attributes, and can be applied to cuts and burns to help prevent infection.
- Bleach: Best known for a disinfectant, and laundry whitening, bleach can also be used to purify water. There are some guidelines to follow when using bleach to purify drinking water and more information can be obtained here http://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/EmergencyPreparednessandResponse/Factsheets/WaterPurification.aspx
- Vinegar: Can be used as a natural cleaning agent, as well as an antifungal agent. One of the many uses for vinegar includes getting rid of athlete’s foot. It can also be used to kill weeds naturally when gardening.
- Olive Oil: Most often used for cooking, Olive Oil will also help burns and scrapes heal faster, as well as relieve pain for insect bites and earaches.
There are probably many more items that could be on this list. I think back to a recent post on this site that explored the many uses of Borax for example. It is important to get creative in either situation. The more you know going in, the better chances you have of making it out!