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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

11 Must Have Items For Your Bug Out Bag

Level III Lv3 Molle Assault Pack Backpack--TANBy Gerald Thomson

First you're probably wondering just what exactly a "Bug Out Bag" is. This is a military term used to describe to gear a soldier keeps packed and ready at all times. In the event that soldier needs to be rapidly deployed the soldiers kit is pre packed and ready to go. While this usually refers to all of a soldiers kit, you only need one bag. This bag will contain only essential items to keep you alive.
Depending on your location and the time of year will determine what exactly you will have in your bug out bag. Despite this there is some kit that is essential and should be in everyone's kit. Here are 11 items every bug out bag should include.

1. First Aid Kit
Of all items this is your most important, remember in the event of a collapse or natural disaster you have to rely on yourself, there won't be any 9-11 service, no paramedics, and no clean hospital beds if you are injured. Make sure your first aid kit whatever type has a few pocket CPR masks. These masks will keep you from getting an infectious disease or from having to eat a casualties vomit.

2. Flashlight
I recommend using a flashlight that doesn't require batteries such as a wind up with LED lights. I keep two in my bug out bag in case one is lost or breaks. Some models also have the ability to be used as a charger for items like cell phones, radio's or even iPod's. Another option is getting a head lamp which will allow you to go hands free. While these use batteries they tend to have longer battery life then their hand held counterparts.

3. Radio
Having a radio provides two things, information to the outside world, to safe zones or evacuation centers, and a distraction. While I don't recommend blasting music where ever you go (If there are any radio stations left that are playing music) as this can give away your position to others. Like flashlights try to find one that doesn't require batteries.

4. Knife and Multi-tool
Both are excellent choices and I recommend having both. For a knife you don't require a massive blade, a six inch blade is more then enough to be used as a tool and weapon. For multitools you can go the cheap route and purchase one for as little as 20 bucks, however I recommend spending a little more, say in the 80 to 100 range as these offer better quality which in turn means longer life and more resilient to abuse.

5. Fire Starter
Fire is vital to ones survival, so carry a few different types of fire starters with you. The obvious first choice would be either a lighter or matches which I recommend having several with you. Also carry a couple magnesium fire starters which are excellent at starting fires. Another option is to use steel wool and a battery, simply spread apart the steel wool and rub the top of a battery on it. Make sure that these two items are stored separately, the last thing you want is to have your backpack burst into flames, especially if it's still on your back.

6. Water Purification
In the post apocalypse chances are good that much of the fresh water will be contaminated. Also carrying several days worth of water is heavy, noisy, and unpractical. To keep from becoming sick keep a few bottles of water purification tablets with you and a few clean bottles (Any type will work). Simply add a couple tablets to your water and in about half an hour your water should be safe to drink. It's important to remember that these tablets won't remove all forms of bacteria, virus' or other contaminants.

7. Rope
Rope is necessary for a number of tasks such as building a shelter, climbing, repairing clothing and equipment, and building traps and snares to catch animals. I have three types that I carry in my bug our bag, the first is para-cord an extremely strong and lightweight cord that can be used for everything. The second is nylon cord to be used as general purpose rope such as tying up objects and building shelters with. The third is a heavy duty climbing rope for climbing and to be used as an improvised harness or "Swiss Seat"

8. Foot-powder
In the wasteland your feet will probably be your only form of transportation, you must take care of them. If your feet are injured your mobility is compromised and you become a target.

9. Shelter
I keep two large tarps with my bug out bag, rather then a tent which can only be set up one way and requires multiple parts, a tarp can be rigged up any way you need with the resources you have at hand. Tarps can also be used to collect rain water.

10. Compass
While a GPS (Global Positioning System) is easy to use and can provide your location within a few feet depending on model, they also rely on batteries and satellite's. Batteries will only last so long before needing to be recharged, and even though there are thousands of satellite's in orbit, they will start to breakdown quickly. A compass on the other hand if kept in working condition can provide your location for as long as you need it.

11. Food
Like water food is important to keep yourself going. With food you can go two directions either buy military style or inspired rations or canned food. Both have long shelf life, but canned food has one advantage it has water used to package the food which can be consumed adding extra nourishment. Remember with canned goods to check for air leakage. This can be done by simply pressing on the top of the can. If the can's top is rigid and doesn't move or moves very little it should be fine. If the top can be pushed down a lot then there is a air leak in the can and the food has most likely gone bad.

Like I mentioned earlier these are what I consider must haves for any bug out bag. Your location, budget, and other factors like time of the year will determine what other items you have in your bug out bag. For more ideas of what you can use to make your own bug out bag or to look for supplies for own visit my website The Razors Edge a post apocalypse survival guide. My website also have other tips and information, and videos on the post apocalypse to help you prepare.

A little about me
I am a former Canadian Forces soldier who has served the military honourably for 7 years. My website is a collection of that military experience mixed with my fascination for the apocalypse and end of the world related topics. I wanted to create a practical real life guide that can help you survive if our civilization collapses.

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