Loading... Please wait...

Bugging In or Bugging Out?

Posted by

Bugging Out or Bugging In?

The question of “Where should I be?” during a survival situation is extremely important and continued survival can rest on making the correct decision. Sometimes it is largely defined by the crisis at hand. Given a choice, it is far best to stay home, or “bug in”, because all of one’s extended resources are typically at home. In other situations, bugging out is required in order to survive.

How do I know when to bug out? When your life is more in danger staying put than it is out in the world with nothing but your bug out bag, leave.

Do I have to have a Bug Out Bag?

In one word: absolutely. Remember the purpose of a bug out bag is to provide for your needs for a minimum of three days. The southern part of West Virginia is recovering from devastating floods. Many people watched the water level rise until there was no choice but to evacuate, to “bug out”. Most families had no bug out bags; they just ran out of the house, seeking higher ground. How much better off would people have been if they had bug out bags to grab on the way out?

All bug out bags have similarities, but they are customized to the person who made it. Do not buy a pre-made bag and stick it in the closet! By building it yourself, you know what it contains, how to use what it contains, and that its contents are complete for your needs.

The Bag

What about the bag itself? Most commonly, a good quality, double-stitched backpack is used because it is designed to carry significant weight.

Food and Water

Your bag should contain some food. MREs (meals ready to eat) are calorie-dense and last a long time.. Freeze-dried emergency foods, such as Mountain House, Wise, or Augason Farms brands, are lightweight and only require boiling water to prepare. Add in some quick snacks, like protein bars, granola bars, snack crackers, etc. Your bag should contain water purification equipment and a few water pouches. Why not just pack water? Water is heavy, at about eight pounds per gallon. A bug out bag gets heavy enough with just the essentials without adding water weight.

Shelter and Firestarting

Make sure you pack some method of shelter. There are many different approaches from which to choose and it really does not matter as long as you are comfortable with it. Depending on the season, be sure you have packed the means to stay warm. Firestarting is probably the most important skill to learn after you are comfortable with your ability to provide drinking water. Again, there are many different methods and approaches and we will not cover those here. You will need an ignition device of some sort and those are generally inexpensive. For finding out how to start and maintain a fire,

GoogleTM and YouTube are your best friends. Once you are equipped, practice. The middle of a stressfilled crisis is the worst time to learn firestarting.

More Stuff

Always include general first aid supplies and a supply of any prescription medication you may be taking. Tucking away a little bit of cash in your bag is always a good idea. Be sure to pack your personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.) and toilet tissue. There is still no great substitute for toilet tissue. Take a full roll, gently remove the cardboard, smash it flat, and place in a quart Ziploc bag to minimize the space. Add a change of clothes and several changes of underwear and socks. There are some additional items and tools that you should also include: as a medium length fixed blade knife, a quality multi-tool, a shemagh or two, extra firestarting methods, extra water purification methods, maybe a paperback or playing cards to help pass the time. This list is not comprehensive. Remember, it is your bag—make it suit your needs.

Sign up to our newsletter

Connect with us: Facebook Twitter