Here’s the problem with bug out bags: you fill them to the brim with all the essentials you think you need then, one day, you read an article or buy an eBook that tells you about this other item you had no idea you need it.
What do you do? Do you add it to your bag, making it heavier, do you ignore it, or do you sacrifice something else from your BOB in order to make room for it?(BOB is the abbreviation for bug out bag)
I can’t make that decision for you because you’re the only one who decides what goes and what stays… but what I can do is give you a list of items you probably never thought about. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have a more complete bug out bag that you’ll be proud to show to your prepper friends.
Note: these items are not, for the most part, suitable for an Everyday Carry Kit (EDK).
A stainless steel water bottle
Such a bottle can serve two purposes. One, it helps you boil your water as part of your purification / filtration process. Two, it makes a decent cooking pot. In both cases, you just put it on the side of the fire (not directly in it) and just watch as the bubbles start going up. One thing, though: you need to make sure the steel (or titanium) is not too thick; no heat will pass through it. Opting for a single wall bottle is a must.
Freeze-dried food has two huge benefits: it’s super-lightweight and it retains most of the vitamins, minerals and fiber of fresh food. It’s a fact and it’s been proven.
The only downside to it is that you need extra water to cook it. Obviously, the one you have in your BOB is just for drinking but if you’re equipped with water filtration and purification tools and devices, you might as well replace some of the canned food (which is heavy as heck, anyway) with freeze-dried.
Keeping our nails clipped is something we take for granted now but, in a disaster situation, I just can’t imagine what I would use instead. Biting your nails could get you sick with all the outdoor work you’ll be doing and using a knife to do the job is nearly impossible.
A hand-powered chainsaw
You never know when you’ll need one to cut branches to make shelter, for instance. A hand-powered chainsaw isn’t for everyone but it does have one big advantage: it needs no fuel or electricity.
Sure, you can use an axe or even a folding survival saw but this one is more lightweight and will fit much better in your bug-out bag.
I don’t know about you but ever since I started flossing in addition to brushing my teeth, I’ve had zero cavities. I don’t know what I would do without it. Small, lightweight, perfect for every survival backpack.
Most preppers can’t imagine themselves coming out with a broken limb from a catastrophic situation… but the sad truth is that a lot of us are going to get injured. I know you don’t like to think about this but having an arm sling in your BOB will help. A lot.
A Few Elastic Bands
If you have long hair, a few of these will come very handy when you’ll be running (or walking) for your life.
An Inflatable Canoe
You have to admit, an inflatable canoe is probably the coolest bug out vehicle (BOV). Just make sure you get one that’s below 10 pounds, otherwise you’ll have a very hard time carrying it on your back. And, of course, don’t forget to add a paddle and a pump. Get it only if there’s a body of water around your location that can become a part of your bug-out plan as an alternate route to take.
A lot of people are pro and a lot of them are against packing an e-reader. And not just because it will be useless in case of an EMP but because a lot of them don’t see it as essential. And that makes sense: you should only pack the things that are important. But what if you need an e-reader? You can load all your eBooks on it with all kinds of knowldge. You can load your favorite novels to keep your mind busy in times of chaos when you’ll also be bored out of your mind.
My point is this: don’t let anyone tell you what to pack and what not to pack. Read everything about BOBs. Find out every possible item you could add to your bug out bag and decide which ones are for you and which ones aren’t. Keep in mind your location, your climate, the disasters that are most likely to happen as well as your medical and physical condition.
Lastly, don’t forget that your bug out bag’s contents is not fixed. You can add or remove stuff to it as you see fit, making it smaller and lighter as months pass by. We all make mistakes and we all learn from them so don’t be afraid to make them.