A complete guide to securing and packing a bugout bag

If you’re new to prepping, you might not be familiar with what a bugout bag (BOB) is and what it’s for. BOBs are an emergency option that you store somewhere in your home so you can grab them quickly if SHTF. Always pack a BOB in advance so it has items that you can use in a survival situation. (h/t to TheSurvivalCorps.com.)

What’s a bugout bag?

You can make a bugout bag out of any sturdy backpack, as long as it’s spacious enough to carry various items that can sustain you for three days or longer. BOBs are designed to help you survive this three-day period by covering your basic needs as you head to a safe place.

Ideally, a BOB will have many compartments. They’re also bigger than the normal bags you use when traveling. Some high-quality models will be reinforced while others are also water-resistant.

BOBs are crucial for a disaster situation because you won’t always have spare time to pack when you need to evacuate.

When SHTF, you might have to leave your home A.S.A.P. With a BOB that you’ve prepared in advance, every family member can simply grab a bag before the group heads to safety.

7 Factors to consider when selecting a BOB

When getting a bugout bag, your choice will depend on your needs and your location. Here are seven factors to help you choose a BOB for you and your loved ones.

  1. Color – Aesthetics isn’t a priority when SHTF and a BOB must be discreet so it doesn’t attract the attention of looters or attackers. A bag with neutral colors ensures that you stay hidden if you don’t want to get picked out from a crowd.
  2. Comfort – Consider your comfort when carrying a BOB. A heavy bag will be more of a nuisance than a necessity if you need to evacuate. Practice carrying your BOB so you know if it’s too heavy for you.
  3. Compartments – You’ll need a BOB with many pockets to keep your gear organized. You don’t want to lose items like water filters and fire starters, especially if you’re outdoors. These smaller items will be easier to reach if you keep them in smaller side compartments instead of under bigger items like a blanket. Lots of pockets mean you won’t have to waste time rummaging. (Related: What’s in YOUR bug out bag? 10 must-have multipurpose survival tools.)
  4. Duration of use – A BOB is for emergencies, not camping trips. It should only contain enough gear, items, and supplies for at least three days.
  5. Quality – Since you’ll use a BOB for emergencies, the bag itself must be durable enough to sustain some light damage. Consider getting a bag with a modular lightweight load-carrying equipment (MOLLE) system so it can carry pouches and tools on the exterior. A MOLLE bag has pouches attached to its sides, making it easy to reach various items. MOLLE bags also have rows of heavy-duty nylon fabric called pouch attachment ladder system (PALS) that are stitched on MOLLE bags so its easier to attach and remove pouches and accessories to your equipment.
  6. Simplicity – BOBs must be sturdy, but they don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Keep your pack light, and don’t cram it with devices that need heavy chargers. Remember, when SHTF you must stay mobile so you can travel for as long as you can without getting too tired.
  7. Size/spaciousness – When deciding on a bag, think of how much you’re going to carry. It should be at able to hold at least 50 liters or 3000 cubic inches of supplies. With a bigger bag, you might be tempted to pack too much.

Make a list of items before you pack your BOB so you can check if you’re missing anything. Include non-perishable food that will also keep your energy up while traveling, water filters, firestarters, and blankets or warm clothing.

When you’re done packing, let your family know where the BOBs are hidden so they know where to go when SHTF.

Learn more about preparing the proper survival gear at Gear.news.

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