December 14

How to Pack Your Bug out Bag


Everyone is expected to have a bug out bag packed for an emergency, but many are not prepared for one. So, when an emergency happens, we see people running around to buy basic items that are suddenly scarce.

Don’t be one of those people. You should be ready for any emergency that would most likely force you from your home. When these emergencies happen without warning, all you need to do is grab your bug out bag and hit the road. Get prepared ahead of time, the following tips will help you easily pack your bug out bag.

Deciding What to Pack

Don’t pack more than you’ll need

When packing for an emergency that could last for 72 hours or more, it’s tempting to pack everything you *think* you will need it. If you do so, you will have a lot of items in your bag that you don’t need, and you’ll end up struggling to find items that you need from the bag. Your bug out bag should hold your essentials, not your wants.

Leave some room

One important tip that many people tend to forget is to leave extra room in their bug out bag for items that they may have forgotten to buy. There are times you may need to pick up extra items along the way. It is important that you have room in your bag, or you’ll have to carry the extra items in your hands all through the journey.

Pack spares

Always have a backup for every item so that if one item gets lost or broken, you can easily replace it without panicking. For example, if you have a water filter, you should also pack water purification tablets. This way, if the water filter gets broken, you can use the water purification tablets.

Change your stock periodically

You should always go through your bag-out bag’s content frequently to keep track of the items near their expiring dates. Check your vitamins, medicine, canned food, and other items and replace them if need be.

Know your route

When planning what to pack in your bug-out-bag, you should keep your environment in mind. If you plan to go out to a remote location, carry items that are suitable for a remote environment. Similarly, if you plan on bugging out to a place in the city, you need to pack your bag for a city bug out.

How to Organize Your Bag

Now that we have discussed what you should pack in your bug out bag, we also need to discuss how to pack the bag. There are two ways to pack your bug out bag. The first way is to pack the bag in terms of function. You need to organize your items into non-urgent, urgent, and emergency categories.

The bottom of the bag

Pack the items you are going to need the least at the bottom of your bag. These are items that you most likely would not reach out for in an emergency. If your bug-out bag has a compartment at the bottom, you should place your sleeping bag first to give it a nice soft cushion when you place the bag down. Non-urgent items include:

  • Bedding
  • Extra clothing
  • Hygiene
  • Miscellaneous supplies.

The middle of the bag

Once you have placed your non-urgent items in the bug-out-bag, you need to pack your food, cooking gear and water. These items don’t take up lots of space. They need to be placed where you can easily access them. Urgent items include:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Fire starting items.

 The top of the bag

Those items that you need to access within a moment’s notice are your emergency items.           You should keep them on you or at the easy to reach parts of your bag. This way, if you need your flashlight, you don’t have to search deep into your bug out bag. You should be able to unzip the top compartment and find your flashlight. Emergency items include:

  • Flashlights
  • Self-defense gear
  • Communication gear such as phones, radios, whistle, or walkie talkies
  • Foul weather gear
  • Personal tools such as a survival knife

The second way to pack your bag is in terms of weight. When packing your bug out bag,  organize it in a way that doesn’t force you to hold a bad posture while carrying it. The last thing you need is a bag that keeps you off balance and puts all the stress on your back. This could slow you down, lead to back pain, or cause injury.

So, the best practice, as we have earlier said, is to put the heaviest containers closest to your spine. And keep the items you’ll need access to more often at the top compartment.

Packing a bug-out bag can seem like a daunting task, but you can pack your bag in an organized way with the above tips. Then, take a walk around the neighborhood with your packed bag to test its weight and balance. Feel free to replan and repack your bag until you find what works for you.


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