What is a bug out bag? In a nutshell, a bug-out bag is a way for you to be better prepared to leave your home, office or vehicle in a moment’s notice, just in case stuff hits the fan. As you can imagine, bug-out bags vary in size and contents depending upon several different factors including:
- What you’re preparing for
- Where you’re going to store it
- Who’s going to carry it
- How far it’s going to be carried
- How long you think you’ll need it
What is a Bug Out Bag Meant to Contain?
There are some basic items that all bug out bags should have but aside from those items, what goes in the bag varies widely. Every emergency bag should have these essentials: food and water for three days; a fire kit; items for shelter and warmth; a first aid kit; and lighting, such as a flashlight and glow sticks.
Personal or mass disasters don’t always happen at home so if you want to be truly prepared, you should make up several different bug-out bags. That’s why you’ll frequently hear the bags referred to by different terms including:
- Office bug-out bag
- BOB (Bug-out bag)
- Vehicle bag
- Get home Bag
- SHTF (Sh*t Hits the Fan) bag
- Bail-out bag
- Go bag
- GOOD (Get Out of Dodge) bag
- PERK (Personal Emergency Relocation Kit) bag
The concept of a bug-out bag is an eons-old military practice: soldiers had to be ready at the drop of a hat to go to war or change locations and since they never knew where they were going, basic contents were established and the rest was adjusted circumstantially. The idea has caught on in recent years with civilians who want to be better prepared for anything from household emergencies to global disasters.
We’ve already discussed different locations that may affect what’s in a bug out bag, but another major consideration is the carrier. A bug-out bag meant to be carried by a full-grown man is going to have vastly different (or simply more) contents than a bug-out bag meant to be carried by an 8-year-old little girl. That may sound like an odd concept, but it’s actually a great way to help your kids be prepared, too. After all, what happens if they get separated from you during an emergency?
Another way to approach the idea of a child’s bug out bag is to consider the concept that many hands make light work. If you make a bug-out bag for each family member, then each bag can have the same basic necessities in case of separation, but there can also be different extras placed into each bag.
For instance, a small child could carry extra aluminum foil, matches, or other light objects for the entire family in addition to the basic individual survival gear that’s going to be in every bag. Another benefit is that if you don’t have to carry your child’s individual items in your bag, you have more room for such things as extra water, food, cash, survival or first aid gear.
Now that you have a basic sense of what a bug-out bag is, you can start thinking about making your own bug out bag.