IDEAS FOR A BUG OUT BAG
By Rick Fulton , (Part 1 of a 2 part series)
A bug out bag in the car trunk or bedroom closet is a first priority kind of grab and go kit, for immediate use the first two days of a disaster, and then as a building block for a longer period, if needed.
What should be in a bug out bag? The very first item is an inventory list inside, right on top. You immediately know what you have to work with.
Be the injury major or minor, you need a first aid kit in a plastic box which is sufficient to the needs of addressing anything that is immediately life-threatening. Commercially available kits may need to be somewhat supplemented with additional triangular bandages, a thorough first aid handbook and a large nail clipper
Disposable space blankets -- Small flashlight with extra batteries -- Zip lock bags
Sealed food bars -- Plastic ponchos -- Gel type ballpoint pens and small notebook
Extra money -- Wire saw (good for creating small pile of tender to light fires)
Multi tool -- Fire starter, plus lighter or storm proof matches kept in a plastic container
100 foot of para cord -- Blue plastic tarp for shelter -- Required daily medications
Survival whistle -- Life Straw water filter to drink from puddles (be careful with this)
Roll of duct tape -- Plastic trash sacks (Many purposes shelter or ground cloth)
Cell phone/charger -- Portable radio -- Compass -- Emergency blankets (disposable)
Soap/Sanitizing wipes -- Playing cards -- Folding shovel -- Collapsible hiking pole
Photo identification card for each person. Taped to it is a piece of paper, should be laminated, which has blood type and next of kin information, plus the home address.
A plastic bottle or container for fire lighting items such as disposable lighters or matches which can double as water bottle.
A firearm? Very much a personal choice, as long as you are familiar and comfortable with being armed. With modern ammunition now available, even a .22 caliber pistol can be adequate for snakes, protection against dogs and other similar-sized wildlife, and for signaling. There is room in the bag for fifty or more shells, plus what is in the loaded weapon. Keep the gun in a belt holster, and don't take it out unless it is for a last resort situation.
All these things fit in a day pack. Packs come in a variety of sizes and prices, but are generally inexpensive. Check and make sure you can carry it on your back. The situation might require you to make a hike. Remember, not everything goes inside the bag. A rolled tarp can be tied to the handle, and most bags have places for water bottles.
This list is intended as a starting point for a bug out bag, concerning what fits best for your local circumstances. You can certainly add as you believe is warranted, but just remember weight, and also remember this is intended to keep you and your family or group going for just a couple days. After that, there will be help coming to you.
Final point: Always know where the bug out bag is stored, and every now and then, use the inventory list, and give it a quick check. If you need it, above all else, keep the faith.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The author, an AFSFA member, was part of the Hurricane Katrina recovery mission in southern Mississippi for five months, immediately after the storm came ashore.