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In the event of a major catastrophe, whether it be environmental, social or economic, you may decide at some point, that your home is no longer a safe place for you and your family. If you’re considering a backup plan to travel elsewhere, you’ll need to make sure you have ample provisions to see you through your journey. Today, we’re going to discuss the bug out bag and seven tips to help you get packed.

Plan First, Pack Second

Before you can consider packing your bag, you need first to make sure you have a well-devised plan for relocation. Identify your destination and alternative routes to get there. Don’t presume you’ll be able to drive and do a trial run, with your family ensure everyone knows what to do should your bug out plan be your last resort. It’s important to gauge the distance you’ll travel and potential obstacles along those paths before deciding what to pack in your bags.

Select the Right Bag

Each member of your family should carry his or her own respective bags. No more than two per person and you should select a bag design that can be carried on the back. Opt for a lighter fabric as opposed to heavy-duty, as part of your travel may require you to be agile and quick. A heavier stock material bag can weigh you, or your family down and make traveling slow. Consider a material that is water resistant, should you be forced to travel in the rain or snow or have to potential cross bodies of water.

Necessities Only

You may find yourself, or your family members inclined to pack things that may not be essential for survival. Don’t pack pictures or sentimental items. These will only occupy valuable space in your bag and weigh you down. Have the conversation with your family to make sure everyone understands the bug out bag is for the survival of the journey to the secondary location, possibly longer.

Nourishment Basics

Pack water, enough to sustain each member for a few days. Water may be scarce in your journey, so make sure you start packing with it. Only pack snacks or food prep items that are light and take up little space. Consider nuts or protein-based snacks as they are light and offer a nutritional protein boost should your bug out journey be longer than anticipated.


Be prepared with fire starting tools, small cutting tools, and rope. In the event your travels involve an overnight outdoors, you may find yourself in a position to erect a makeshift camp. Fire may also be needed to boil water or prepare freshly trapped meat. Handheld knives will come in handy for preparing camp or food, and larger cutting tools may be essential for cutting wood. Don’t overload your pack with too many tools, however. Select the few that offer multi-purpose uses and can be carried easily in a bag.

First Aid Basics

Be sure to include first aid basics, including gauze, antiseptic and tape. You won’t have enough room in your bag for a massive supply of first aid essentials, so choose what you can fit based on multi-use capabilities. Bandages and pain relievers, for example, can be useful for a tough trek.

Radio and Communication

In the event of an environmental situation that requires you to evacuate your home, you’ll need to find a source for news and updates from the media resources. Plan as though all internet and cell service is compromised. Pack a radio with additional batteries to help you stay connected to news around you as you travel. You can be alerted to a safety station or water distribution. A radio can also prepare you for additional disasters, should a second wave of storms be moving in, or earthquake aftershocks are expected. Also, consider packing walkie-talkies for use with your family on the move, should you need to separate on your journey.

Prepare your family plan then pack your bags. For more tips and advice on what to pack or how to design your bug out plan, contact us! Sign up for one of our Science of Skill courses today and start preparing.

John Bishop

Category Survival Tactical

Type article
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