Bug-Out Bags / 72 hr. Kits
You never know when you may have to evacuate your family on short notice. From Hurricane Katrina to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the very real threat of natural disasters or even man made disasters could make you want to pack up your family and flee on very short notice. The 2011 Hurricane Season is well underway and the gulf coast has been lucky so far.
What is a Bug-Out Bag / 72 hr. Kit ?
A good Bug-Out Bag / 72 hr. Kit is a collection of basic emergency/survival food, water and other gear that would be required in a disaster scenario, natural or otherwise. It is compact, transportable and consolidated into a single sturdy backpack or two so you are able to grab it and leave in a hurry. I have a Large Kit at my home and also keep smaller versions in my cars/truck at all times.
The actual bags could be as simple as a sturdy frameless backpack or duffel bag, or as elaborate as a Framed “Alice” Pack or similar framed backpack. The best Bug-Out Bag is one that you are able to pack the most gear into and still carry comfortably in the field.
What Goes into a Bug-Out Bag /72 hr. kit ?
When anticipating the “worst case scenarios” you must make sure to pack essential items necessary to sustain your family for 3 days (72hr) to a week or more, depending on how many family members etc. You should start by thinking what if there is no food, no water , no electricity , no type of public services for days or weeks. What types of gear would you and your family need to survive?
17 Essential Items for Your Bug-Out Bag
1. Emergency/Survival Food Rations are prepackaged rations that are generally divided into sections according to calorie content. Most experts recommend 1200 calories per day per person. A 3600 calorie Bar is enough for 1 person for 72 hrs/ 3 days. These type of rations are small and Easily packed into your bag or kit and they have a shelf life of 5 years or more.
2. Emergency/Survival Water is basically water packaged into bags or boxes for easy
Packing. You may also want to consider packing water purification tablets/drops
Or water filters like (Katadyn) and a collapsible 3-5 gal water jug, these items are
Smaller and lighter, so easier to pack.
3. Flashlights/Lighting are also needed. You may choose to pack several small LED
Flashlights, but be sure to pack spare batteries. Ideally you should pack one or two
Dynamo/Hand Crank Flashlights or Combo’s that don’t require batteries. You may
Also want to consider Lightsticks which are cheap and easy to pack.
4. Emergency Radio there are tons of options for you here. I opt for the Dynamo/Hand
Crank Radio/Combo which combines a am/fm/weatherband radio with a camp light
And cell phone charger. At the very least you should pack a good Dynamo Radio
That is a am/fm/wb style.
5. Shelter you should pack a survival tube tent (2 person) and a good tarp for a ground
Cover or rain fly for your tent along with a bundle of 550 paracord or rope.
6. Space/Emergency Blankets are also a must. You should pack several, enough for at
Least one per person. You may also consider, the newer Space/Emergency Bags that
Cost a little more but offer much more protection and comfort.
7. First Aid / Medical , This is a MUST PACK ITEM. You should pack a First Aid Kit
That will handle the size of your party or family. There are numerous options that
Are available here. You might also consider packing Multi-Vitamins and other OTC
Medications such as Anti-Diarrhea medicine like Pepto Bismol , in a survival or
Emergency situation diarrhea can cause dehydration and become life threatening
Very quickly. You should also pack any prescription medicines your family needs.
8. Knives / Tools You should pack the basics at least. A Multi-Tool and a Swiss Army
Style Knife are MUST HAVE. You should also consider packing a Good Fixed Blade
Survival Knife, and a folding shovel.
9. Compass you should pack a good quality compass and learn how to use it. In
Emergency Situations GPS might not work, so a Good compass and a Map of
The part of the country that you are in are vital to navigation.
10. Fire Starting You should pack a minimum of a couple of butane lighters and/or
Waterproof matches. You should also consider a magnesium fire starter.
11. Emergency Signals You should pack a survival whistle and a signal mirror at a
Minimum. You could also consider pencil flares or other options that are available.
12. Sun Block / Insect repellent should also be packed into your bag or kit. You can
Also add these items to your First Aid Kit.
13. Ponchos are another lightweight item to pack into your bag or kit. When the
Weather is bad and you have to go outside your shelter you will be glad you did.
14. Hand Sanitizer such as Purell is another good item to pack.
15. Tarp A good sized ( 6×9) or better tarp is a good item to include in your bag/kit
It can be used as a ground cover or rain fly for your survival tent or with some
Rope stretched between trees or poles could be used as a shelter.
16. Roll of Duct Tape you know the saying 1001 uses. It’s true you can use this item
In numerous ways in a survival situation.
17. Rope/Cord a compact bundle of 550 paracord is like duct tape 1001 uses. Be sure
To pack a bundle in your bag or kit.
THE ABOVE LIST OF ITEMS REPRESENTS THE BASIC ITEMS THAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN ANY BUG OUT BAG OR 72 HR KIT. THERE ARE OTHER ITEMS THAT YOU COULD CONSIDER DEPENDING ON YOUR SITUATION.
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