Once you have everything you need for your bug out bag now it comes time to pack it. But packing your bug out bag isn’t just stuffing it in a big ball and hoping for the best. You need to pack it in an organized manner that allows you to find things quickly and know exactly where they are. Plus allow you to easily keep track of your bug out bag’s inventory when it’s being stored. As a former soldier I can’t stress the importance of keeping things organized and neat because when your adrenaline is going and your in a fight or flight state you won’t be thinking rationally. The last thing you want to have happen in an emergency situation is to be scrambling around trying to find your knife or fist aid kit. So here’s how you pack your bug out bag effectively.
1. Water proof it
Before you put a single item inside your bug out bag you need to have a system in place to keep your items dry. Obviously depending on where you live this might not even be a factor, but if your like myself and live in the Pacific North West you know that it constantly rains. If you live in a place like that having a waterproof layer is essential for your bug out bag. It also can help keep items separated, especially food or other liquids and helps prevent leaks within your bag.
A cheap and easy way to do this is to use household garbage bags, doesn’t matter the type but if you are going the cheap route you might want to use a couple instead of just one. For your clothes or items such as maps and matches place them in separate plastic bags (I recommend the freezer bags that can close up). This will protect them from any possible leaks from items on the inside of the bag. Trust me the last thing you want to do is wear something that had wet food leaked all over it.
2. Prioritize what you need
Your gear needs to be packed in order of importance. Ask yourself “ What am I going to use all the time? And What would I need to get at quickly?”
Your biggest priority items should be:
a. first aid kit b. knife c. water d. rope
If your bug out bag has a large enough pocket on the outside put your first aid kit in it. Clearly mark it so that others know were your first aid kit is. Remember you could be travelling with others, and if you are injured they need to know how to find your emergency supplies to help you. If you don’t have room on the outside then your first aid kit should be at the very top of your pack on the inside.
Other items such as rope, knife, flashlight, and water should be located outside the bag. (If it has pouches or you can tie them off to the side) Remember to keep any external items from bouncing around and making noise or getting caught on something by tying them off securely or closing any pouch there in.
3. Secondary items
Once you establish what your priority items are, you can now pack your secondary items. These are such things as
a. clothes b. hygiene items c. food d. radio or other communication devices e. anything else you need
Your clothes should be packed at the very bottom of your bug out bag. These are items you can get to when you have some downtime and not on the move. I highly recommend your clothes are packed in a separate plastic bag. (You can use any plastic bag for this) Again like having a waterproof layer this will protect your clothes from moisture or in case something in your bag leaks. It’s also a good idea to use a compression pack, especially for items like jeans that are more difficult to get into a small space. Remember to take the time and properly fold your clothes rather then just stuffing them into your bag. When your clothes are a giant jumble they’ll take up more space.
Next in order of importance should be your hygiene kit, food, water and anything else you feel you need to. Again it’s up to you to decide what you think is more important and what you think your going to need access to more. The last thing you want to be is a kit bomb where you have to tear everything apart to get at something vital. It’s also a good idea to separate these items into their own plastic bags to prevent leaks and getting ruined from moisture. Remember to label your individual bags with their contents if there not in clear plastic, this will save you lots of time rather then having to open every bag up to find out it’s contents.
Other Bug Out Bag Tips
- Other things you can do to maintain your bug out bags effectiveness is to create an item checklist to keep tabs on any items that you need to replace or repair.
- Keep your bug out bag in an easy to reach location in the event of an emergency. At home it should be located at or near the main entrance / exit of your home. If it’s in your car keep it in the back sear or trunk.
- Always keep your bug out bag packed and ready to go at all times. This way if an emergency happens and you have to leave your home, you can just grab it and go and not run around in a panic trying to find what you need.
- If there’s more then one of you let those in your family know where your bug out bag is, what’s inside it, and let them know how to use everything in it. Your bug out bag won’t do anyone any good if you’re trapped near work and your loved ones can’t find it.
When this website was focused on post apocalyptic survival one of the topics I mentioned was how to create a “bug out bag”. These are ready made emergency packs that you would grab when staying in your home was not an option. A bug out bag or emergency bag can be used for more then the possible collapse of civilization as we know it. In the event of a natural disaster, or if your stranded in the middle of nowhere, having an emergency supply of necessities can save your life.............