“A bug-out-bag is a portable kit that normally contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster.” Wikipedia
Bug-out-bags got their start in the military where aviators carried a bail-out-bag in their planes. Then during the Korean War, the term “bug-out” started to be used when a unit had to quickly vacate a position that was about to be overrun.
Nowadays, a bug-out-bag is a kind of survival kit that one grabs when they need to evacuate a place quickly. It’s typically packed with a variety of items to help one survival for a few days outside of their normal home.
Up until a few years ago, I never carried anything more on me than a set of keys, a wallet, and maybe a pocket knife. It was typical guy personal carry stuff. But then I got colitis and the real possibility of having an “accident” while I was out and about was something I had to be prepared for.
I began carrying a small knapsack with some wet wipes and a quick change of clothes. I take it with me in my car or RV. With colitis, “shit” can happen. It’s rare but sometimes it happens before I can get to a bathroom. I’m an old Boy Scout and the Be Prepared motto has stuck with me. Having the knapsack gives me a peace of mind that I can deal with an accident if it happens.
My Bug Out Bag
A couple of years ago, after attending a briefing from the Red Cross about emergency preparedness, I added items to the knapsack to create a bug out bag – a bag I take with me when I have to “bug out” of a place in a hurry. If there’s a fire, severe weather, or medical emergency, I may have to leave home (or my RV) at a moments notice. And the emergency could last a few days. The items in my bug out bag are meant to get me through a few days when I can’t get home.
Everyone’s needs are different. Some create a bug-out-bag to survive in the wilderness or an Armageddon type event. I use mine to deal with a temporary event.
Here’s what I carry in my bug out bag:
- Two pairs of socks, three pairs of underwear, and a tee-shirt
- A pair of long pants and a wind breaker.
- Wet wipes, small roll of toilet paper, a tooth-brush, and tooth paste
- Small first aid times (Tylenol, anti-diarrhea pills, antacids, band aids)
- Two small LED flashlights
- Swiss Army knife, Ear plugs
- ID, credit card, and $200 in cash
- A micro USB phone charger and a 16,000 mAh power pack
- A couple small food items (Cliff Bars)
So that’s what’s in my bug out bag. Others may carry more (e.g., prescribed meds) but this seems to work for me.
I always keep my knapsack handy. It’s in my home or in the car or RV whenever I travel. I keep bottled water in my home, car, and RV and will grab a couple of bottles if I need to vacate. And, vacate is something I’ve had to do a few times.
So far in 2016, I’ve encountered four severe weather situations (i,e. tornado warnings) where I had to get ready and vacate my RV for a storm shelter. And, I had one medical emergency where I had to get my ass to a hospital ER ASAP.
In each of these situations, there wasn’t a lot of preparation time. Maybe 15-20 mins and I had to be moving. I had my bug-out-bag with me each time and it came in real handy. The items I use the most are the phone charger and the Anker Power Pack. We rely so much on our phones these days. My cell phone can go a day before I need to recharge it. The power pack can charge my phone at least 4 times and get me through several days. It came in real handy when I was in the ER.
Emergencies don’t always give you a warning. The fire alarm could go off in your home or RV. The tornado siren could go off. Or you’re awoken by a severe pain in your side. When you’re faced with these situations, you pretty much can only take with you is what can hold and in each hand. And if bad shit happens, all you’ll have with you for the next few days is what you’re wearing and what you can grab.
If you don’t already have a bug out bag, I encourage you to put one together. You just never know when you might need one.