If you’re new to prepping, one of the first things on your to do list should be creating a bug out bag for your family. Basically, a bug out bag is a “go bag” that you can literally grab and go if you needed to evacuate your home or location due to a disaster or SHTF scenario. This bag would be something you could fill with essentials, like food and water, a rain poncho, first aid kit, multi tool, gloves, rope, and other needed essentials.
If you are planning to make bug out bags for your family, choosing the right bag can be a bit overwhelming. You want to make sure it holds enough, but isn’t too heavy to carry over long distances (if you had to do so). If there are several people in your party, you can spread some of the items over all the bags, but keep basic survival gear in each back just in case you ever get separated. Before you worry with packing a bag, the first step is to select a good bag that will hold all your gear.
The kind of bag you will chose all depends on your needs. If you are bugging out alone, then your needs for bag size and features will vary from those of someone bugging out with small children too small to carry their own bag. Most people choose a backpack or hiking pack as their bug out bag, since they have lots of pockets, good sturdy straps, and are made for travel. A duffel bag can be a bug out back if you’re going to be in the car, or have an end stop in mind. They aren’t great for carrying, since they typically aren’t made to be worn cross body.
One thing you want to make sure of is that the bag fits your properly when worn. Most outdoor stores can help you to find a bag that will fit correctly, and spread out the weight evenly when filled. You don’t want a bag with flimsy straps that will dig into your back and shoulders, which can cause strain on your neck. This is an item where you can afford to splurge a little (if you can) since this bag is going to carry your essentials.
As far as features in a bag, you want one that has a lot of pockets, and can fit all of your essentials. Choosing a bag with a sternum clip, and hip pads will help keep weight of the bag displaced correctly, which is key if you have to travel long distances while wearing the bag. Another good idea is to make sure it has good airflow material on the part that touches your back. You don’t want to end up sweaty and chafed! Also look for any metal or hard parts that could poke or hurt you. You should be able to spot these easily when trying on in the store. Look for a bag with lots of compartments, that can store all of your items without having them fall over on each other and get jumbled up.
Also look for added features like a rain hood or a hydration bladder. While not necessary, these are features that could prove very useful in certain situations.
When packing bags if you have children, bear in mind that they won’t be able to carry as much as an adult. You may have to put some of their items in your bag to lessen their load. Also be sure that they can comfortably wear their bag for several hours, and has breathable material at the back just like yours.
Your bug out bags will need to packed and ready to grab and leave at a moment’s notice. If you keep them in your car, check food and water often for spoilage and expiration dates.
A bug out bag is a great survival tool, and choosing the right bag will ensure that you get the maximum benefit from them. If you already have a bug out bag packed and ready to go, we’d love to see a photo or hear about what kind of bag you chose. Leave a comment and tell us about your bug out bag experience!