Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bug-Out Bag Redux

One of the tasks I aim to complete over the next several months is an overhaul of our bug-out bags. Bug-out bags (also known as G.O.O.D. bags and 72 hour kits, among other names) have the essentials you need for survival in the event you need to evacuate quickly or simply hunker down in place for a few days.

Our bug-out bags were the first preps I completed back when I was a wee baby prepper. I based them around these kits from Emergency Essentials.

The Trekker II Emergency Kits from Emergency Essentials 

The Trekker II kits have supplies for two people; we are a family of six with several small children. I bought extra sets of certain supplies (ration bars, emergency blankets, etc.) and added in things like diapers and formula. Then I created an emergency binder with vital information such as phone numbers, photos of each family member (in case we get separated), insurance information, and so on.

And that was that. Our BOBs have sat in the floor of our closet for a year and half. I have added a few odds and ends but I haven't truly updated them. The clothing I packed for my children is now two sizes too small, the family photos show an infant Baby Dear who doesn't much resemble the ornery man-child he is today, and I never replaced the flimsy multi-tools included in the kits with proper cutting instruments. Oops. Naughty prepper.

It's time to update and upgrade our BOBs and emergency binder. Here's the plan:

Bug-Out Bag Update Checklist:
  1. Emergency binder - Check all information for accuracy. Update with new photos, financial information, etc. as necessary. 
  2. Double-check to make sure all components (ie. flashlights, headlamps) are still functional. Make sure those darn Aqua Blox aren't leaking and consider a switch to the water packets mentioned by Bitsy
  3. Update clothing and shoes included in bags. Make sure they are appropriate for the season. Add extra pairs of socks for Hubby Dear and I. 
  4. Make a few upgrades. See below. 

  1. Backpacks - The bags included in the Emergency Essentials kit are inadequate. Not only are they on the small size, but they are also very uncomfortable to wear when fully loaded. I want to try out some new backpacks that will better distribute a heavy load. 
  2. A better knife - The kits came with two generic multi-tools. I am far from knowledgeable when it comes to topics like a proper survival knife, but even I know that I wouldn't want to depend on the flimsy blades that came with my kit. 
  3. Another way to purify water - The kit came with a few water purification tablets and some of the notorious Aqua Blox. I'd like to get a hiking filter so that we could drink whatever water we come across on the go. 
  4. Some cordage - Our kit currently doesn't have much rope or other cordage. Cordage is just too handy not to include in a BOB. 
  5. Upgraded electronics - The flashlight, headlamp, and radio included in the Emergency Essentials kits are pretty cheap quality. I'm looking for more sturdy replacements. I'm also considering getting a solar battery charger.
  6. Sleeping arrangements - Our BOBs currently include plastic tube tents and mylar "sleeping bags". If we ever really had to use these, we would be less than comfortable. I'd like to find light, compact, and warm sleeping bags. If we have room in our bags, I'd like to get a better tent as well. 

I still think kits like the one pictured above are a wonderful beginning for those newly-converted to preparedness. If lack of time and zero know-how are obstacles, these kits are great. Buy them and you're set. Just don't forget about updating them like I did and you might consider upgrading a few of the crucial components.

If you have not checked your bug-out bags recently, why not take this opportunity to make sure they are ready to go? Are you set for an emergency or are you overdue for an update?


  1. Thanks for the reminder. Mine are way behind!

  2. You might consider packing a tarp instead of a lightweight tent. It's lighter and much more versatile than a tent. Our Scouts practice different tarp shelter setups and find them quite comfortable to sleep under.