What is a Bug out Bag?

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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2019
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Survival experts suggest people caught in natural disasters or other emergencies should be prepared to wait up to 72 hours for help to arrive. To accomplish this feat, a number of people keep an emergency kit filled with essential supplies in a safe location. This 72 hour survival kit is also known as a bug out bag, possibly in reference to military slang for a forced evacuation. A bug out bag may not be a bag at all, but more of a combination of backpacks, water containers and camping supplies.

A well-equipped bug out bag should contain items designed for personal comfort and survival after a disaster or power outage. It should be assumed that the water supply is contaminated, electric power will not be restored and rescuers are not going to arrive for at least three days. This mentality should help to create a useful list of supplies to keep on hand in a bug out bag. There are also lists of critical items available online or in literature published by professional survival experts.


Essentially, a bug out bag should contain such critical items as prescription medicines, a first aid kit, personal hygiene items, bedding, clothing, fire making supplies, food, purified water supplies, tents and self-powered light sources. This should provide enough support for the average family until rescuers arrive or a safe shelter can be located. Other items to include in a bug out bag may be a self-powered radio, electronic copies of important papers, personal protection items, solar blankets, garbage bags, maps, and a published survival guide.

Supplies for a bug out bag can usually be found in department stores, but specialized outdoors shops may offer emergency survival kits containing portable gear and water purification systems. A bug out bag can be constructed from a backpack or a large duffel bag, or a collection of smaller bags lashed together on an oversized backpack frame. Avoid purchasing foods with short shelf lives, however, and be sure to replace any outdated medications or canned food products regularly.

Even people who take advantage of early warnings and evacuate to an official shelter ahead of the disaster may find themselves short on essentials. A bug out bag allows families to escape a natural disaster quickly without sacrificing basic necessities such as clean water, clothing and food. A bug out bag can also be useful for emergency trips to the hospital or times when a home may be rendered uninhabitable for a short period of time, such as a fumigation or utility cut-off.


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Post 1

Bug out bag. Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare. I see so many bug out

bags with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for

drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is

fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called

Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with

the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take

three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to

last 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein

bars, fiber & water.

I will run out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water

filters that filter the water as you suck.

You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,

after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code

is... healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws

that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good

idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head

but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy

off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site

on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!

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