By Brian Meyer
There are more than enough posts out there that mean to tell you exactly how to pack your bug out bag, and while these are fine, there’s something personal about what you pack in your own bag, and how you do it.
This is the reason why instead of telling you exactly what to carry and how to carry it, we’ve gone ahead and found twelve items that you may have not thought about including in your pack. A good bug out bag is very limited on space, so each item must be vitally important to survival to be included. The items below focus on the basic points of survival, so check them out and see if there’s room in your bag for one or two more pieces.
Backup and Digital Copies of Important Documents
This is pretty self-explanatory and most often used for smaller emergencies like natural disasters. If your house floods or burns down, you don’t want to be hunting for important documents like birth certificates, social security cards, and deeds to property. Keep copies in your bag in both digital and paper formats so you’re always ready to move on with life after a disaster.
Gun Cleaning Kit
Possibly one of the most forgotten about items in a bug out bag, a small gun cleaning kit like this one from Otis Tactical works for a variety of calibers and is small enough to fit in your already full bag is just what you need to keep your gun firing correctly.
A simple whetstone and some oil is all you need to keep a good edge on your knife, which is why this is all you really need. Practice using the stone now while you can still get it fixed if you make a mistake and pack it away in your bag.
Along with a basic first-aid kit, you should include a one-handed tourniquet in your bag in case you’re injured when you’re by yourself. These are used often in the military for good reason. They come with a large pull handle so you can easily cinch off a wounded limb with one hand.
Moleskin for Blisters
Even the most seasoned hikers are bound to get a blister at some point, which means you’re just about guaranteed to get one if you have to bug out for a few days. Not only are blisters incredibly painful, but if left untreated they can rupture and easily cause infection.
Moleskin blister prevention are patches you can apply over blisters to allow them to heal without being damaged further. These are small and can fit easily into your existing first-aid kit.
Magnifying Lens for Fire Starting
There are quite a few options out there for starting a fire but one of the easier ones is using a magnifying glass. Not only can this help you use the sun’s rays to start a fire, but it can be helpful in removing splinters and other foreign objects in your skin.
With the reliance we all have on electronics today, it only makes sense to keep something to charge yours available to you when bugging out. A great option for solar chargers to keep in your bug out bag are the fold-out variety, as they can easily be attached to the back of your pack, allowing you to charge as you walk.
If you’re bugging out any time other than the dead of winter, bugs will be a definite issue. Not only are they annoying, but they can carry disease and without doctors readily at hand, you could easily survive TEOTWAWKI only to catch malaria shortly after.
There are hundreds of options out there, and you can even make your own. Try a few brands out and see what works best for you while you can still head to Wal Mart to pick a different variety up.
These helpful articles of clothing are extra small, but can save you from overheating, sunburn, smoke, and even bugs. Basically a neck gaiter is a sleeve of fabric you put around your neck. There are neck gaiters out there that cool as well as heat, so plan for the time of year you’re bugging out in accordingly.
Bonus: A neck gaiter can serve as a breathing filter by simply pulling it up over your mouth.
Being stressed out and changing your diet quickly can lead to a pretty upset stomach, and that can quickly lead to what nobody in the woods ever wants to get, and that’s diarrhea. Not only is it miserable and disgusting, but it’s a quick way to get dehydrated, which can kill you.
Keep an anti-diarrheal on hand to quell any uprising your stomach might have planned from food, water, or just downright stress.
Small Pry Bar
When you’re on the run getting into and through buildings is a huge plus. You can camp out in an abandoned building for the night, but not if you can’t get inside. A small pry bar can help open up boxes, doors, fences, and just about anything else that gets in your way.
In an emergency it can even be used as a weapon if absolutely necessary. All in all, a small pry bar is worth the weight in your pack and then some.
Large Zip Ties
Finally, nothing beats out some large black zip ties for versatility. You can use them to erect shelters, hold your pack together if something comes undone, and tie a flashlight overhead so you can have both hands free.
When talking about medical uses, you can use one as an emergency tourniquet in a pinch, hold a splint in place, and even close up openings in clothing to keep bugs out.