A train derails near your home releasing a cloud of toxic gas. You have minutes, if not seconds, to grab what you need to survive and flee.
An F5 tornado is headed straight for your home like a freight train. Sheltering in place is not an option. You have seconds to decide what to take with you, knowing you will be on your own for days.
Rioters are burning down your city. Your home could be next. You need to evacuate immediately and make your way through a crowd of violent rioters. Police are nowhere to be seen.
And then of course there are the zombies …
A good bug-out bag – also known as a SHTF bag or Go bag – can save your life in any of these emergency situations, assuming it’s stocked with what you need and you know how to use it.
While there is a lot of advice out there, in my humble opinion a bug-out bag should be able to keep you alive for a minimum of 72 hours – 84 hours if you push it. It should have redundant systems for water purification, food, shelter, fire starting, First Aid, communication and of course self-defense.
There are plenty of pre-stocked bug-out bags on the market. Some are great. Some leave a lot to be desired, because the manufacturers skimp on the contents to maximize their profits. At best, these one-size-fits-all kits are never as good as something you can put together yourself. They don’t take into account climate, terrain and other factors, which are important for the end user to consider. For example, your survival needs during a muggy Florida summer differ greatly from what you’ll need during a snow storm in the Midwest.
If you’ve never tried to purify water, stop a bleed or start a fire with a ferro rod, it’s not easy, especially when you’re shaking from cold, adrenaline and fear. It’s best to train now before an actual emergency occurs. Go camping off-grid or take a wilderness survival course. They’re fun and you will learn how to use your survival gear the right way, but you will also learn what you don’t need to drag along. I strongly recommend taking a Tac-Med course too. Knowing how to stop a bleed is a vital lifetime skill. Our friends at the D-Dey Response Group have the best Tac-Med course available. They’re all former 18-Deltas – Special Forces medical sergeants who have saved lives on the battlefield.