Your bug out bag can be a lifesaver if you have to evacuate when SHTF. It’s your grab and go emergency kit, and should be filled with everything you need to get you through several days on the go. But when you put all that stuff into a bag (especially one that you will carry or wear on your back), it can get quite heavy. You don’t want to leave anything out, but you don’t want to make it so heavy you can’t comfortably carry it either. Fortunately, there are some hacks you can try to lighten your bug out load, without skimping on contents. Here are a few ways you can save space without cutting corners.
Roll Your Clothes
We all know that rolling your clothes saves space in your suitcase, but the same is true for your bug out bag. Remember to pack enough clothing to get you through a few days, but don’t try to bring an accessorized wardrobe. You can also try rolling items up inside your clothes too, like a hairbrush, personal care products, or even cooking utensils.
Choose a Tarp over a Tent
If you pack a tent inside your bug out bag, you know that it can add a lot of bulk, and take up valuable space. Have you considered swapping it out for a tarp instead? Depending on your needs and climate, you may opt to keep the tent, but a tarp is definitely a viable option. It will take up less room, fold flat with no poles to worry about, and will still get the job done in most situations.
This is one area where you can definitely lighten your load, and save space. Many personal care products come in bulky packaging that really serves no purpose. Try putting medications in a pill box or plastic baggies (labeled) instead of in dozens of little bottles. Take items out of cardboard or plastic packages.
Choose Smaller, Multipurpose Items
One of the ways that you can really weigh down your bug out bag is by carrying several items that do similar jobs, or packing useful items that are just too big. By choosing supplies that can fit more than one task, or are smaller in size, you can lessen the weight of your bag. Buy smaller cooking utensils, multipurpose tools, smaller versions of things like toothbrushes, toiletries, and survival gear. These swaps will make your bag lighter, but still give you the supplies you need.
Don’t Get a Smaller Bag
You might think it is a good idea to get a smaller bag if you are trying to lighten your load, but the opposite is true. A smaller bag is going to make you cram it even more full, which is going to weigh it down. Stick with your same bag, just put less stuff inside!
One helpful tip I read was to empty out your whole bug out bag, and evaluate each item to see if you really need it. If you think you’ll definitely need something, pack it. Otherwise, leave it out. That way, you have true necessities, and won’t be weighed down (literally) with excess stuff. Do you have any tips to lighten the load with a bug out bag?