BUILDING A BUG OUT BAG (Short-Term Survival Pack)

A few notes about a Bug-Out bag:
A bug-out bag is a bag with previously collected items needed if you have to “Bug Out” from your home quickly. In this particular case (below), it is based on a 72-96 hour kit. It is useful for situations other than hurricanes, such as camping, emergency trips, floods, fires, tornados, or any other disaster could cut off basic services--gas, water, electricity and telephones--for days.. The American Red Cross highly recommends putting together a kit for disaster preparedness, and has a lot of good information on their website.

Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. One way to prepare is by assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit. Once disaster hits, you won't have time to shop or search for supplies. But if you've gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.

The SAS Survival Guide written by an ex-SAS officer says a knife is your number one piece of survival gear; water, food, and shelter are close behind.

Do not pack a sheath knife that has a compass in the hollow handle, many believe that a hollow handled knife will not hold up to the task in a true survival situation… also, chopping on hardwoods, including hardwood trees with your knife can alter the magnetic field in your compass, and render it useless.

Put a light coat of grease or oil on the metal objects to be stored in your kit, including your knife and gun if you choose to pack one. DO NOT use WD-40 which contains distillates, and may eventually breakdown.

It is a good idea to try to use electronic components that use the same battery size (ie D cells). That way, you will only need to pack a quantity of 1 size of batteries. Most of the signal strobes, radios and many flashlights use D cell batteries.

There are many different types of survival guides on the market, it is a good idea to buy one, read it now, and then pack it. Make sure it has weatherproof pages, or pack it in a plastic baggie.

Get in the habit of using and replacing items in your bug-out bag about once a year. Things that will need to be replaced include things such as food, batteries, water, ointments, and possibly even bullets. Many survival situation foods including survival food tablets have a 10 year shelf life.

Here is what you should pack:

  • Backpack to carry all of these items (maybe 2)
  • A good quality Sheath Knife & Sharpener
  • Pocket Knife with can opener (&/or P38 can opener)
  • Multi-tool with pliers & screwdriver blades (Also a disk screwdriver) *
  • Scalpel & razor blades
  • First Aid Kit including a blood coagulant (ie Quick Clot) & tourniquets
  • Super Glue **
  • Medications to include Excedrin and Advil, each is good for a different pain
  • Multi vitamins
  • Antibacterial wipes and antibacterial hand sanitizer
  • Antibiotic
  • Antihistamine
  • Hygiene kit (tooth brush, soap, deodorant, etc)
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Food for a least 3 days per person (MRE’s, Canned, and/or Food Tablets)
  • Water for at least 4 days per person ***
  • Powdered Gatorade...makes water taste better and boosts electrolytes
  • Walter purification tablets and/or water filtration tube
  • Warm blankets
  • Space blankets
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Flare or Emergency Strobe light and extra batteries
  • Waterproof matches/Lighter/Magnesium fire starter
  • Triox fuel (aka Trioxane) packs (or other small fuel sticks, Hexamine)
  • Cable Saw (aka Wire ring saw)
  • Extra pair of clothes including socks
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Duct tape
  • Small to medium tarp with bungee cords
  • Rope (Climbing, packing, hauling, making traps)
  • Parachute cord (aka 550) 550 lbs of tensile strength
  • Wire
  • Fishing kit (hooks, wire, monofilament, sinkers, flys, etc..)
  • Safety pins & needles
  • Saline solution (wound wash, eye wash, etc…)
  • Iodine
  • Small quantity of bleach ****
  • Radio & batteries
  • Plastic bags
  • Condoms, non-lubed (waterproofing, storage, water carriers, etc..)
  • Signal Mirror
  • Chem Lights (light sticks)
  • Map of the area (for locating shelters)
  • Insecticide/Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper (a must have!)
  • Soap, liquid detergent
  • Hat, gloves and sunglasses
  • Money
  • Survival/Disaster instructions including safe foods, shelter & trap making.

Items needed at your discretion:

  • Pistol &/or short shotgun, ammo
  • Slingshot, extra rubber & ammo
  • Cell phone
  • Walkie talkies (& batteries)
  • At least 10 gals of Gas
  • Potassium iodide (KI) anti radiation pills
  • Tube tent
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper, Pencil
  • Phone Card
  • Mousetrap (catching food)
  • Cotton balls (tinder, etc..)
  • Snake-bite kit
  • Rubber bands

A few “luxury” food items - easy to pack, cheap, and have a very long shelf life:

  • Hard Candy (one of the most compact forms of calories available)
  • Powerbars (lots of calories and a decent supply of vitamins)
  • Granola bars (provides roughage, & keeps your lower GI tract in working order)
  • Slim Jims/Jerky (provides lots of protein & fat)
  • Drink mix/Kool Aid powder mixes
  • Instant soup or bouillon cubes
  • Sugar packets

A few notes on your first aid kit:
Your first aid kit must include a blood stopper or coagulant, and a lot of bandages including pressure bandages, and ointments, especially burn ointments (the most over-looked potential injury), also include an Eye kit, and saline solution. The SAS Survival Guide is the survival book recommended most frequently by people who specialize in survival scenarios. Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members.
Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of your car.
Keep items in air-tight plastic bags.
Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.

* A Screw Driver Disk (Sears) is a very compact way of having multiple screwdrivers.
** During the Vietnam War, it became apparent that Super Glue (cyanoacrylates) could be used to treat war wounds. Field surgeons began using the substance by spraying it over open wounds, which stopped bleeding instantly and allowed hurt soldiers to be transported to medical facilities for conventional treatment.
*** A person needs 1 gallon of water per 100 lbs of body weight per day in high heat environments.
**** Bleach can be used to purify water, 4 drops per gallon.

© 2008 - Sarasota Knife Collectors Club

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