For Part 1 – click on the link above.
Rourke from and I got together and decided to guest post on each others blog about our Top 10 Items necessary for a good bug out bag. I am sure that our choices will be different, that’s the whole idea about a bug out bag is the need to tailor your bug out bag to what you will use. This guest post really made me think about what those top 10 items would be. I had to do a bit of thinking and soul searching to come up with these items. There are quite a few that didn’t make the list but it did make me realize that I really don’t need some of the stuff that I currently have in my bug out bag. So here is my top 10 list.
- A good knife. I think this is the most important tool you can own. You need it to make shelter, to make traps to kill game,fire starting,cooking,dressing game and fish, you can use it to dig with. There are just so many things you need a knife for. It can be a folding knife or a fixed blade but it needs to be a good quality knife. There is nothing worse than a $10 knife that will just fall apart and not be of any use to you after the first days use.
- A Tarp. It can be a cheap blue or brown tarp or a very nice Sil-Nylon tarp but it needs to be at least 8×10 and preferably water resistant. Tarps can be used for so many things. Shelter is the main use for the tarp but it can also be used as a ground cloth for a tent, or used with a wool blanket to make a impromptu sleeping bag that will keep you dry. It can also be used as a makeshift pack to carry your stuff in then turned into your shelter.
- Cordage. This means rope,para-cord,fishing line,bank line and some good quality sinew for sewing up clothing or equipment. Rope can have many uses in building Shelter,Rescue,First Aid. Para-cord also has tons of uses from Binding a shelter together,to pulling the center stands out for field expedient sutures in an emergency. Para-Cord also makes a great emergency arm splint or a tourniquet.
- Portable Water Filter. This is a super important part of staying alive in an emergency. More than likely your normal water source is going to be out of commission and you need water to survive. Most lakes and streams are not safe to drink even in the high mountains due to Cryptosporidium and Giardia and in really bad cases Cholera. It is also best to have a spare filter to change the original one out after a while.
- A very good Back Pack. This is a very important part of the bug out bag system. You really need a backpack that fits well and is going to be sturdy. You don’t want to get a huge backpack and then fill it with a bunch of unnecessary stuff. It is better to have a smaller lighter weight pack and have only the basic essentials in it.
- First Aid Kit. This is where most people kind of fall short. Remember that you are going to use this bag when something goes wrong. You will more than likely run into a situation where your first aid kit will come into action. If you need to help an injured person or if that injured person is you the last thing you want to have in your pack is a small first aid kit with only a few bandages and some burn ointment. Make sure to get a comprehensive first aid kit that will be of some use to you or someone else that is injured.
- Stove and Cook kit. You never know where you might end up in an emergency. You might find out that all the shelters are full or you may be bugging out to a remote location. If this is the case you will need a small but well built stove and cook kit to cook with. I suggest a small multi-fuel stove. One that can use alcohol,fuel tabs,or wood. All of these will be light weight enough and for the alcohol and fuel tabs they weigh almost nothing. The wood you can find along the way.
- Head Lamp. Having a source of light is going to be very important in an emergency situation. I suggest a head lamp because it frees up your hands to do other things and still gives you a very good light source. If you can find one with either a red or green removable filter that is even better. It is also important to have a set of extra batteries for the head lamp in case the others run out of power. The one that I found for myself just happens to be waterproof and uses a small watch battery. It is a single LED lamp and uses energy very sparingly.
- Emergency Food Bars or MRE’s. Food is going to be and important part of staying alive. With out food and water you will not be able to keep up your strength. In an emergency situation it is going to be vital that you have your strength to keep you going. I like MRE’s because they provide so many necessary calories. You will be burning a lot of calories if you need to bug out especially if you bug out on foot.
- Survival weapon. This weapon can be anything from a .22 rifle to an AK47. It is important to remember that you are going to have to carry this weapon with you at all times so choose your weapon wisely. As most of you know I think the best survival weapon you can have is an SKS with a synthetic stock and a scope mounted on it. I like this configuration because it is good at short range and can still reach out and touch someone at quite a distance. The synthetic stock will lighten this weapon up quite a bit from its original weight. Having an adjustable stock is nice depending on how you are going to use it. I also suggest a single point sling, this makes it much easier to carry up front where you will need it to be.