Go Bag Contents
A good start to complete Your custom Go Bag and be prepared for any emergency or STFU situation are make list with items you already has and can use right now to build useful bug out bag. This is essential at this harsh times have at least basic set of necessary items so even and worst scenario you have chances to survive. You should understand that there are not “ultimate bugout bag” around, one which fit all needs from desert till urban environment, but there are main thesis which people who want to compose his very own “must-have” list should know.
To make things clear at first – what is definition for Go-Bag, bug-out bag, 72-hour kit, bail-out bag? This is portable grab and go pack, box or shoulder bag, whatever end user found more useful for their needs and transportation purposes, which contains essential emergency and survival kit. The main focus on this gear is on fast and painless evacuation, not long term survival.
The following a list of items that I plan to put in, You can found some of them not so useful, but I have reason to include them.
The Pack or Go Bag
Must be a comfortable and large enough to hold all your stuff. The less outside pockets, hanging gear, fasteners and so on, the better as you are not to go show everyone what you have in your bag and all this “cool looking” gadgets tend to be ripened off by anything that come on it’s way. What can be worse then notice that You have lost your water bottle in middle of the nowhere or flashlight at the deep down, so good traveling shoulder bag in neutral color works the best.
Food and water to last for 72 hours
At least 2 litters of drinking water per day per person in average climate or 3 and more in warm climatic zone. Remember, dehydration = death. If possible include additional water for hygiene and cooking if situation allow it. Food, non-perishable high calories food like beef jerky, energy bars, canned meat or even complete canned meals, anything which You can use also uncooked. Another possible option are Meals Ready to Eat or MRE’s, but they often cost more then more quality food you can complete by yourself. Main rule, choose foods that are lightweight, has suitable shelf life, are high in calories and which you can eat without cooking as who know if you are able set up your stove or fire place to boil rice or make tasty spaghetti.
Warm and weatherproof clothing
Always think of extra warm clothes, one of the first bad things that happen to victims of various disasters are hypothermia, even in warm climates so weather appropriate clothing like wool or fleece sweater, warm headwear or even gloves (you can use them to protect your hands) are a must. Don’t forger include rainproof poncho or lightweight rain coat to be sure that you and your gear do not get wet or at least can use it as shelter from bad weather. Space blanket, dust mask and heavyweight thick leather or protective synthetic gloves goes as an good option.
Fire starting tools
Matches, ferrocerium rod, lighter and so on. They are small enough to be carried in extra quantities, packed into sealed zip lock bags or canisters. Get at least twice more and make some reserve.
Portable gas or propane stove with some extra fuel, spoon, small kettle with cover where you can put in all cooking supplies (including tea, coffee and some species) can save your time and bring some happier moments to current situation.
At least one folding knife like Swiss-Army knife or even better multi-tool like Leatherman with various functions which can be useful for quick field repairs. One fixed blade knife is a must along with small axe or folding saw depending on environment. Additional small sharpening stone would be nice to complete this list.
Medicine supplies and First Aid Kit
There are ready to use first aid kits available, but I suggest You compose one which fit best your needs including personal medications. Total amount should last enough also at extended evacuation period. Diabetics and other people which live depends on proper medication should add at least three times more supplies then needed for estimated evacuation period.
Light sources, Emergency Radio
Waterproof and shockproof LED flashlight with 2x extra batteries, LED headlamp with 2x extra batteries for keeping your hands free. Red filter for flashlight or additional red filters for headlamp is a good option as red light do not degrade your night vision. Portable, wide receiving rage emergency radio with same type interchangeable batteries as your LED lights for actual news. A good substitute for radio is small portable radio scanner if you are a bit more into radio thingies as this type of equipment often has wider receiving range. Some various color light sticks do not overweight you but can be really useful for signalling or just general lightning.
Sleeping Gear, Camping gear
Stay away from blankets, get a good sleeping bag which you can use at camping and have as your sleeping gear at emergency situations, sleeping bags are more useful and can keep you warm more efficient, consult with experienced campers to find what fit your needs best. Simple, NON inflating camping mat is a must, you can sleep on bare ground even in winter, small rocks and still feel yourself comfortable. Tent square and sleeping hammock or lightweight tent, you choose, but I suggest go to some camping trips and then decide what fits you best.
Scan and make backup copies of all your family important documents like passports, birth certificates, drivers license, prescriptions, insurances, credit cards, pet registrations and so on and write it on CD and extra flash drive. Most recent photos in digital and paper copies is a must. Give this document copies to all your family members, it cost a little but you have several copies in case some of them get damaged or lost. Also know where your originals are stored, keep them organized and ready to put into watertight container fast to get them with you when time comes.
Data from your computers
Get copy on some CD’s or external hard drive, good for regular backups and just keep your data safe.
Your local and country maps, navigation
A must, you must know where you go and where you shouldn’t go, good compass AND GPS with same type batteries as Your other devices use. Do not rely only on GPS, it can fail, batteries can run out and you stay without reliable navigation. Preset possible evacuation or just well know places way points in your GPS device is a good way to start.
Money and Valuables
Cash amount which let You live at least for month in “normal situation”, if world didn’t collapse, money is a thing which can get you out of all of this faster. Do not put everything in one place, hide well about 80%, other part keep near in case you need em fast for something, small value and coins is a must in your wallet. I would also add some gold coins or small gold bars well hidden, just in case. And as a golden rule – keep your mouth closed about what you have (anything, not only money and valuables), you never know who listen.
Duct tape, 550 parachute cord (7 strand MIL-C-5040H Type III), clothing repair kit – needles, buttons and sewing thread. Basic hygiene set with small antiseptic soap bar, toothbrush and tooth paste, pack of wet antiseptic wipes (take medium pack and use them for anything). Whistle, small mirror and lightweight binoculars or monocular with magnification around 8x. Small bottle of strong alcohol, preferably vodka or cognac for various uses like fire starting, wounds disinfection and so on. Large trash bags, zip lock bags for dry storage and lots of other uses.
Finally, have a PLAN, yes without good plan also prepared and stuffed with gear for every situation you most likely fail. Make sure that everyone in your family knows what to do when disaster strikes, where your gear are stored, where to go and who to call (if possible).
Stay safe, be ready for anything!