Equipt Expedition Outfitters

Building a Bug Out Bag

Dave

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No matter where you live in America, every region has the potential for disaster. Pick your state, choose your fate. Blizzard. Earthquake. Hurricane. Tsunami. Fire. Gridlock. Volcano. Flood. Add in the potential for man-made drama and you’ll agree that it’s wise to stop and think about these problem sets, and how to prevail during the inevitable follow-on effects.

What are YOU going to do in the event that you can’t simply drive home from work one day?

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bag2.jpg
 
I think you made a good point on making your bag for the most likely scenario. When most of us think of bug out bags, we often think of "red dawn" sort of scenarios where we ditch everything and start living in the woods like a pioneer.

For me, I carry a "get home bag" in my truck. I work 30 miles from home, and feel that the most likely scenario will be some sort of natural or man-made event where I can't drive home. While I carry most of the items you listed, I don't recall seeing an am/fm radio on the list. I added this so that in an emergency while I'm walking home, I can hear reports about dangerous areas, blockages, obstacles, etc.
 
I think you made a good point on making your bag for the most likely scenario. When most of us think of bug out bags, we often think of "red dawn" sort of scenarios where we ditch everything and start living in the woods like a pioneer.

For me, I carry a "get home bag" in my truck. I work 30 miles from home, and feel that the most likely scenario will be some sort of natural or man-made event where I can't drive home. While I carry most of the items you listed, I don't recall seeing an am/fm radio on the list. I added this so that in an emergency while I'm walking home, I can hear reports about dangerous areas, blockages, obstacles, etc.

It’s there, I like the hand crank emergency radios for information:)
 
Thank you for your time and effort on this topic.

I have been working on my own set up and it keeps changing as my "giving back"/volunteering with my kid's Boy Scout activities evolve.
(BSA Merit Badge Counselor for: First Aid, Life Saving, Wilderness Survival, etc.)
It also looks like I will be a Volunteer U.S. Forest Ranger starting next month (more relaxing time but capable vs just responding as a SAR guy.)

Regarding "Choosing the Right Bag."

I am a fan of the Hill People Gear. It took a while to obtain some of the gear. I have the HPG UTE V1, the UMLINDI V2, and the current SAR Kit Bag.
It should be an asset to consider. It gets me out the house and back home.

Attached are a couple photos for your entertainment.
HPG kit.jpg
HPG Pack.jpg
HPG Ute.jpg
 
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Thank you for your time and effort on this topic.

I have been working on my own set up and it keeps changing as my "giving back"/volunteering with my kid's Boy Scout activities evolve.
(BSA Merit Badge Counselor for: First Aid, Life Saving, Wilderness Survival, etc.)
It also looks like I will be a Volunteer U.S. Forest Ranger starting next month (more relaxing time but capable vs just responding as a SAR guy.)

Regarding "Choosing the Right Bag."

I am a fan of the Hill People Gear. It took a while to obtain some of the gear. I have the HPG UTE V1, the UMLINDI V2, and the current SAR Kit Bag.
It should be an asset to consider. It gets me out the house and back home.

Attached are a couple photos for your entertainment. View attachment 64347View attachment 64348View attachment 64349
Awesome bags!!! Great start as HPG are amazing! Now we need a kit list if possible.
 
Great topic and write up. I think many people get lost on this topic thinking their bag needs to have absolutely everything you can imagine you might need in every scenario. Your concept of the most likely situation makes far more sense. Like many of you this is in my headspace, and has been for at least 40 years.
  • Update some of your "get home bag" contents for the changing seasons, depending on where you live and work. This can also inspire you to dig everything out, make sure it's still there and serviceable in addition to making sure you have what you need to spend a cold night outdoors if the season demands it.
  • Explore different routes home from work, both by vehicle and by foot. On 2 paper maps of the local area, identify these routes with prioritized selections and rally points along the way. Have your spouse or other trusted team member keep the other copy. This so they know where to look for you if they can as circumstances change.
  • Consider #10 bank line as an alternative to 550 cord. strong enough for overnight shelter and you can carry hundreds of feet in a small package. You can also use it as you would the inner threads of 550 cord, to sew repairs to gear or to use for fishing line in a longer-term emergency you get caught in.
  • Depending on your area, include routes by vehicle and by foot that include roads and some version of more concealed non-road versions. For example, for the first few miles from my work I can cut through neighborhoods and even across several golf courses whether on foot or in a vehicle. That would get me away from population rather quickly.
  • As you mentioned spend time with your pack on your back, to be accustomed to the weight and make adjustments to the load.
  • Personally I ditch the change of clothes except for more socks, so they can be changed frequently. This may vary for those of you who have to dress up more for work.
  • Consider beef jerky as a light, consumable on the move, source of food. A chunk held in your mouth and sucked on like a piece of candy can be a great way to push off hunger.
  • Throw some type of anti-chafe into your kit such as body glide. Those wear spots are going to show up quickly, especially if you get wet through rain or sweat.
  • Update your bag if you are intentionally headed outside your normal routine, such as vacation. Realize your 20 mile commute just became a 150 mile, "get home from the beach", scenario, that includes you and whoever you are responsible for getting home.
 
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