Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bug Out Bag

I'm not much of a ''Prepper", but have always lived by the motto of Be Prepared.
My Dad and Mom were scout leaders my entire childhood, that's what comes from being the 5th of 6 kids.
Some of my earliest memories are of Boy Scouts bandaging my ankles, while I acted as if I had sprained it, and getting splinted when my Dad changed the scenario.
I followed in their footsteps, leading my twins Girl Scout troop for 7 years. Dr. Jean Layton in a very different role as Girl Scout Leader

Be prepared is essential for all of us. You never know when a fire, earthquake or chemical spill could occur, necessitating escape with little or no preparation.

So each of us need to have the essentials of life quickly grabbable.
Unique to each person in the family, so they can carry the essentials of life that will keep them safe for 3-5 days.

I'm not going to go deep into the world of "the end of the world" preparation.
That will be an accumulation of the life skills posts over time.
Each of us need to be safe right now.

Is your BOB ready?

Let's begin by grabbing a backpack that fits your family member.
Even the smallest child needs a bag, but it might be carried by an adult. Each person needs to keep the bag right next to slip on or easily tied shoes, not flip flops or sandals.
A small child's pack will hold their comfort items, diapers/wipes, a water bottle, jerky, granola bar and little else.
But for the tweens and up:

A tarp and rope to create shelter.

This is 8x10 for coverage of multiple people or to be able to create a ground cloth as well as triangle tent. The paracord looks thin but is very strong, perfect for setting up the tarp as a tent. If weight is a concern, use a 5x7 tarp instead.

A thermal Blanket or Wool Blanket 

I put both into my bug out bag since the emergency mylar only hold up for one or two uses, but can be a perfect reflective surface for signaling. The wool blanket can even be worn if needed as outerwear.

Safety equipment:

Shovel, Knife, Matches, Lighter and Kindling, Bandana

You'll only need one shovel in a family, everyone should have a knife and way to start a fire. Kindling is really simple- a ziploc baggie with cotton balls dipped in petroleum jelly. I pop those Bic lighters into each of my inner bags, you do not want to be stuck without a fire if it is needed.
The bandana is used for many, many uses.

Food and Water:

Dehydrated food-Make sure to address food allergies. We pack these Gluten Free MRE's for my gluten free family, Bottle of water, water purification tablets,  Water filter, Candy/Granola bars/Jerky, Metal bowl and cup

Personal Items:

Depends on the person but minimum of 1 month's medications, sun and prescription glasses, Teddy bear, deck of cards, lightweight book, Car and home keys, thumbdrive with pictures of licenses/passports/birth certificates and home inventory, Diapers if a child is in the group, sanitary supplies for women.
If needed, sanitary napkins work for wound care.
I add in underwear, a silk or running polyester t-shirt and wool socks for each.

Weather dependent:

Cold: Hat, wool socks, hand/foot warmers, Wool sweater, fleece pants
Hot: Sunscreen, sunhat,
All clothing needs to be wool or fleece, not cotton.

Cotton is Rotten in the Rain.


Battery charger for phone, extra charger, headlamp, wind up/solar radio

The radio is essential for information but the spare battery is as well.  I like the redundancy.


First Aid Kit, Dressings, Pain Relievers, Benadryl, Kaopectate. Homeopathic Kit, Moleskine, and a Magazine for use as a splint

These are a trauma kit and a homeopathic essentials kit.  For me, these are the best medical kits to have along.  My Acupuncturist husband includes his acupuncture needles and a tiny bottle of rubbing alcohol. I also carry a flask of brandy for anesthetic purposes.
Get the best kit for your skill level, but make sure to be including a first aid book for reference.


Sharpie, Wet paper notebook, topographical map of the general area, Garbage Bags (3), Ziplocs, Duck Tape, Shoelaces, Cash, a bar of soap (travel sized), travel sized sewing kit and a tiny dollar store chess/checkers set.
Anything you choose should be as light as you can make it. Don't forget the entertainment items. Especially if you bug out to a shelter, there will be lots of time to use.

Now mind you, this all adds up to close to 40 pounds of gear once water is included.  Make sure you can swoop it up and run for at least 1/4 mile with it. Otherwise, get lighter gear or leave things out.
I leave a much more extensive BOB, just inside my front door, ready to pop in the car. No need to attract a car break in, but ready.
If you have pet, pack a BOB for each of them, full of food and water plus a toy or bed/blanket.  Keep it in the car. Figure out in advance what and how you will get them to the car.

If you want to know lots more about Bug Out Bags, consider a search on Facebook or Google for Prepper groups.  They exist in more places than you might think.  Getting to touch and understand the items in your pack is essential.
Personally, I have a hard time including a gun in my bag but you might be inclined.  Know how to use it, and how to shoot well.  I do, but it would certainly be the last resort, unless you are threatening my children.
Then all bets are off.

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