The Last Guide You'll Ever Need

Bug-Out Bags

In Pre-Apocalypse on January 30, 2009 at 11:09 am

A friend of mine is preparing for the Apocalypse. In his list of equipment he has included a bolt cutter. Instead of arguing further with him that carrying a 15 pound bolt cutter around will be a waste of time and energy, I’ve decided that each person intending on surviving this armageddeon should prepare two bags. One has all the items that are considered luxuries like soap, radios and bolt-cutters. The other bag is smaller and only contains the necesseties. This is called a bug out bag. It has all the essential gear you need in the event that you have to make a quick get away. (Continued)

Bug out bags can come in handy, not only in the event of an apocalypse but also in many non-apocalyptic situations that require a quick exit including:

  • Earthquake
  • Forest Fire
  • The mob putting out a hit on you
  • Being framed for a crime you did not commit, resulting in a nation wide man hunt, and your only hope to clear your name is to find the people who framed you, including the one-armed man.

What exactly needs to go in your bug-out bag will very greatly depend on your circumstances. The rule is simple, what will I need to survive for at least 72 hours?   The wikipedia article and Zombie Squad both have pretty good lists on what to include, but use your head and adapt the list to your own circumstances. The bag needs to have just the bare essentials, but nothing less. Some items in the Equipment Checklist I wrote up for you can be used for your bug-out bag. But most of those items are intended to help you survive past the 72 hours.

If you going to be “bugging out” with more people then just your self, make a bug-out bag for each person, or in the case of very small children, pack their stuff with yours. Update your bug-out bags on a regular basis.  Junior’s bug-out bag will not be as helpful if it is packed with clothes that fit him 5 years ago.

In most cases you’ll have enough time to haul all of your gear where you want it.  But if your town’s nuclear reactor is moments from a meltdown, you won’t want to be dragging that bolt cutter down the street.

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  1. Dear Survivor,
    As much as we argue about this… I honestly think that a bolt cutter will be necessary for scavenging and survival. While it can be used to open locked structures in order to find supplies, the real bonus is that it is multi-purpose (you can use it to clear brush, frontier amputee machine for frostbitten toes, or even unassembled, it can be used for making planting holes, or two badass weapons to fend off zombies). Plus your standard 30 inch bolt cutter only weighs 4 pounds. Stop whining and buy one! And also invest in some binoculars.
    The Future King of Upper Michigan

  2. A metal file would be far more useful, I have quite a few depending on the situation. If thats still too big, grab a hacksaw and make it small enough. And if you think that list you made will help us survive 72 hours, you need to think again. you didn’t list ammo, food, water besides a canteen, Do you want to live on a canteen of water for 72 hours? You really need to rethink your post man.

  3. Interesting… I have somewhat of a bugoutbag in my bedroom, only all of these items are in a safe. I think i will have to recycle one of my old hiking backpacks to fill. If my parents ask I can con it off as a survival pack for if Mt. Rainier blows its top. And yes, Bolt cutters seem unnescicarily heavy, that could be in the trunk of your car, but not in what should be a lightweight pack of essentials. Only thing i could suggest is mabey a small (solar powered would be amazing) gps system and a 20 (or 40 or 60)pack of batteries.

  4. GPS unnecesessary, so are batteries; crowbar good for looting.

  5. Will a GPS even work after an apocalypse? Atlas works fo me.

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