A friend’s birthday is coming up, and in thinking of practical, useful gifts, I’ve settled on the idea that I’m going to put together something special. Nothing says “I’m thinking about your preparedness,” like a custom-compiled Bug Out Bag.
Some things to consider… First, it’s got to be small enough that it won’t take up much space- she’s an apartment-dweller, and doesn’t have much storage; second, it’s critical that the gear here be temperature-independent; IE nothing dependent on batteries, nothing that will freeze or melt, or run dry if it sits for a few years (or a month, based on how things are going…), everything EMP-proof. Also, it’s gotta be purposeful enough NOT to get cannibalized- the worst thing is someone having swiped the Ace bandage, and you realizing it when you’re splitting town due to a zombie attack on a twisted ankle… Besides that, the bag itself should be reasonably sized, water-resistant, and nondescript- I’m not a huge fan of stuff that screams “this is full of goodies” or “military” on it- better to be subdued or understated. Also, I’d like to keep it under $100!..
So, this is one-part shopping list and one part suggestion box…
- 1st aid kit - bandages, band-aids, alcohol wipes, benadryl, aspirin, ibuprofen (anti-inflammatories), alka-seltzer, chapstick, tampons (they soak up a lot of blood)
- snack bars/freeze dried camping food (5-7 days worth… I like Clif bars because they’re okay to eat cold or hot, and have some texture)
- peppermints or hard candy (for the long wait)
- water purifier/purification packets
- water bottle (fill this with some of the snack bars or 1st aid stuff)
- crank light (LL Bean has some really great LED ones for under $20- they’re clunky but they work great)
- matches/fire making tools
- extra hat/gloves/socks/thermal
- local area map & small compass
- plastic bags (garbage bag for water protection, small baggies for food preservation)
- buck knife & leatherman (I’d do just leatherman, but they just suck as a knife, however pliers are useful )
- ring/cord saw (because it’s so small)
- light-weight, packable rain slicker (Army Surplus vs the cheapo Wally World type)
- survival handbook (knot tying, basic traps, shelter making)
…What’s in YOUR BOB- and where do you keep it?