Bug Out Caches: Should You Make A Stash?

If your target location is another house or home, then you probably won’t need bug out caches. It’ll already be a shelter and you will have a good place to stockpile supplies. In this guide, I want to focus on less developed BOLs. In other articles, I recommend a spot that’s far away from civilization. If you follow this, there’s a good chance you’re looking at a woodland homestead-to-be.

Map of bug out caches.

If this is the case, some pre-stashed supplies can be a big help. To figure out what to do here, let’s ask some questions.

Can You Leave Bug Out Caches?

There’s a lot of woods. Some woods are privately owned, some are government property. If you, a friend, or a family member owns some property in the woods, this is an excellent place to plan to bug out. 

Your best case scenario for caching is to get permission first. If you know the owner of your spot (and I recommend you pick a spot where you do, if possible) you’re in a good position to prep it. If your bug out location is on public property, such as a national forest. Legally, I can’t recommend you leave caches, structures, or anything else there. If your cache is found it will be removed and you can be fined. That said, the point of caches is to remain hidden from everyone but you.

How Much Should You Put There?

The short answer to this is as much as you can, but there are a lot of limiting factors. 

The first limit is money. There’s no guarantee that you’ll need to bug out soon. For this reason, we plan to bug out, but we do it responsibly. 

The next limit comes from the kind of property it is. If you own the property, or if your friend/family is cool with it, you can do whatever you want. Build a camp, a full cabin, make a shipping crate bunker, buy a pre-built house. 

If space isn’t a limit, you’ll just want to keep in mind that you should split your supplies. You don’t know whether you’ll end up there or hunkered down at home. 

If you don’t own the land or maybe don’t have permission, then space is a big issue. Your supplies need to be invisible to anyone but you.

What Supplies to Put in Bug Out Caches

Things worth stashing fall into two main categories: Consumables and Heavy Gear.

Consumables are things like toilet paper, soaps, and food rations. Toilet paper (as we’ve seen with the Covid runs) is considered by many to be very important. As someone that has used leaves on a 100 mile backpacking trip, I disagree. It’s gross to think about while things are good but there are a lot of things you can wipe with. Toilet paper is bulky, hard to carry, and absolutely unnecessary for survival.

Soaps and sanitizers especially are a lot more important to stash. It’s hard to make things like this out in the wild. Hand sanitizer especially is very effective at germ control. It’s also relatively small. If you’re stashing anything, I highly recommend stashing sanitizer.

Food rations are worth stashing, but are hard to rely on. They’re finite, there’s no way around it. They’re nice to help you bridge the gap to your new Castaway style forest life, but they’re temporary. Don’t go overboard on them. Past a point, your money and energy are better spent on learning trapping, fishing, hunting, and foraging.

Heavy gear is another category entirely that you can stash. Many types of outdoor stoves and cooking tools are very heavy. They’d be back-breaking to haul so you really can’t bug out with them. If you can stash and leave these ahead of time, you can set yourself up in style for the end of the world.

Another type of “heavy gear” to consider is shelter/furniture. If you can, stashing things like tents, cots, chairs, or tables will leap you ahead of pure bushcraft camps. If you have the ability to create and conceal a whole shelter, you’re not bugging out, you’re just moving. 

Keeping Your Bug Out Caches Safe

Here we arrive at making sure your stash is there when you need it. There are two major factors here to consider.

The first factor is wildlife. If you’re burying tasty things in the forest there’s a 100% chance that you’re not the only one interested in it. Any supplies that you bury, food, soap, TP, has to be protected. Use metal containers as much as possible. Gophers and bugs will smell your supplies through anything. They can’t chew through metal.

The other factor is hiding your stash. Animals operate on smell, you don’t need to hide your stuff from them. People, on the other hand, love finding treasure. Any stash that you leave unattended need to be buried, or at least camouflaged. Ideally, your stash should be invisible even when you’re standing right on it. If you hide your stashes well, you’ll need to leave yourself a map based on natural landmarks to find it again.

To wrap it all up, if you can pre-prepare your bug out location, you should. If you’re financially able, build yourself a vacation cabin on some private land. Failing that, build a hunting camp on land that someone tolerates you squatting on. Worst case, hide some germ-ex under a secret rock that only you know the path to. Just be sure that your secret rock isn’t illegally in a national forest, wink.

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The Bug Out Camp: Turning Your Dirt Into A Home

Once you’ve escaped the SHTF scenario and you reach your bug out camp, there’s a lot of work to do. You can just plop down in the dirt, but it won’t be very comfortable. By taking these things into account, you can turn your Bug Out Location into a Bug Out Homestead.

Bug Out Camp cabin.

Bug Out Camp Sleeping Area

The most important things to keep in mind for your sleeping area are that it needs to keep you warm and dry. If you’ve got a survival bag based on my recommendations then you’ve got a tarp or at least a poncho and some paracord. This fabric will be the roof of your shelter. A roof is important because even if the weather is nice when you arrive, it won’t stay that way forever. Sooner or later it’ll rain and it’ll be absolutely crucial that you have overhead cover.

There are many types of shelters that can be constructed from simple tarps and rope. The simplest way to do this is to tie a line from tree to tree and then tie down your tarp over it to make a triangle shape.

You’ll also want to consider fire when planning your sleeping shelter. If it’s a cold area, you’ll want to face the opening of your shelter towards the fire. You can use an emergency blanket to direct heat into the shelter or to keep it in the shelter. You may also want to consider getting yourself off the ground. This will help you stay warm and help with bugs on the ground. The easiest way to do this is to cut and stack wood, with leaves or pine needles on top. 

Finally, you’ll want to consider an escape plan. If something like a bear or an intruder steps into your bug out camp, are you cornered? Or do you have a route you can use to bolt and re-orient?

Water Supply

The next thing you’ll want to lock down after your shelter is your water supply. You’re going to want to boil all your water. This can be done at your main campfire so you don’t need to go out to your cooking area. That said, even with boiling, you want to try to get the cleanest water you can. 

As a rule, you want to get your water from as close to the source as possible. Still water has the most risks. Rivers and creeks have flowing water, which is better. Better still is the smaller streams that feed these rivers and creeks. The absolute ideal is a natural spring, but those can be hard to find. 

Bug Out Camp Latrine

After shelter, the next thing you’re going to want to construct when you get to your new woodland home is a latrine. Unfortunately, you’ll have some trouble getting plumbing out to the middle of nowhere. 

The next best thing is planning where to keep your waste. You want to dig a fairly deep and slim hole. The depth is up to you, as deep as possible while still being safe to construct is your best bet. This likely won’t be the last latrine you’ll be digging, and that’s okay. You’ll want to keep it at least 50 yards away from water sources and your camp. Also try to keep it downhill and downwind. This will all ensure that it stays separated from you and your resources. 

If you’re worried about modesty and not about camouflage you can put up tarps. But, your best bet is just keeping it tucked away. Use a large flat stone or piece of wood to cover the hole when not in use. You can even keep a coffee can or other waterproof container of toilet paper and leaves nearby. It’s also a good idea to keep hand sanitizer out here to minimize bacteria transfer back to camp.

Bug Out Camp Kitchen

It’s a good idea to keep your food area 50 yds away from the rest of bug out camp. Keeping upwind as well will minimize the risk of bears or other wildlife wandering in. 

If you had the opportunity to prep your area or if you were able to bring gear with you, you may have some equipment. In addition to this, you’ll want to build yourself a relatively flat table space to prepare food on. 

This camp kitchen can be the place that you store any extra food supplies you have. Remember, in the woods you’re never alone! Stash your food either by hanging it from a tree or by burying it. Any wildlife in the area will also be interested in anything you’ve got. 

Finally, you’ll want to include a dish washing station at your kitchen. Hot soapy water is ideal for cleaning dishes. You’ll also want a sunny place to dry your dishes, as the UV rays will help kill germs. 

If you’re going to be dumping any waste water from cleaning, be sure to do this downstream. Gray water from your cleaning can pollute your drinking water. The last thing you want is to be accidentally drinking soap, it’ll clean you out real good.


After you finish constructing your kitchen, you’ll want to begin work on the armory. I’m kidding, but defense of your new home base is an important thing to consider. Know the terrain around your camp.  Wild animals or people with bad intentions could break up your group. Have plans in place for where to fall back or where to rendezvous if something invades your camp. 

Make use of natural barriers like bluffs, streams, briars, or ravines. These can isolate your camp and make it harder to surround or attack. 

If you have the manpower, having a nightwatch can be a good idea. It will give you precious moments to prepare if your camp is about to be under attack. 

Traps will likely be more dangerous for you to attempt if you’re unfamiliar with them. If you know them well, they can be considered.


Your communication station should go up right next to the armory. Again I’m kidding. If you’ve managed to stash a ham radio at your bug out location then power to you. People like you will be the reason that society will continue after the major disaster. 

The vast majority of people would do well to have an emergency radio set up in their camp. Not only does it provide entertainment, it provides a lifeline to the outside world. Hopefully, your bug out location is far enough out that you don’t run into other people, at least not often. 

Having an emergency radio will let you stay plugged into whatever there is still out there. If things get back to normal, you’ll know when it’s safe to return to your home.

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Get Home Bag: What Is It And What’s In It?

A get home bag is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a prepper bag designed to get you from where you are back to your home. This is important for several reasons, likely you’ve got loved ones that you want to get home to. These loved ones might even rely on you so getting home to them is especially important. You can skip to my shopping list, but this article will help you understand why you need what you need.

At the least, if you’ve got a get home bag, you’ve probably already got a bug out bag at home, likely even more supplies. Your get home bag is the small mobile version of these supplies designed to get you back to your main supply stash. So what kind of things should you put in a GHB, what kinds of things should you leave out?

Get home bag on mountain.

The first thing you need to consider is the weight. The primary goal of your get home bag is to get you home, this means you’re going to be mobile the whole time you’ve got it. Especially if time is of the essence you’re going to want to move fast. Keeping that in mind, you also want to plan to have about 24 hours of supplies with you. 

Get Home Bag Rations

Water is one of the heaviest things that humans need to survive. Fortunately, you really only need about a liter of water in your GHB. To hit the 24 hour mark, you’re going to want some food in there too. About 3-6 protein bars will do the trick. They may not be a long term solution alone for food but for getting home, they’re light and they’re all you need. Being able to slim down on the rations part of your bag is going to leave valuable space for everything else. This is especially important as GHB’s need to be as versatile and as light as possible.


A full set of survival ready clothing is a must. You don’t want to go bugging out in a suit and tie and you’ll be a lot slower if you try. You’ll want a good camping shirt and pants but most important is a good pair of shoes. If you try to go a long distance in dress shoes, you’ll regret it. You’ll want a pair of tennis or hiking shoes that you can stay on your feet in. In addition to those, your set of clothes should include a shady hat and a pair of gloves. If you find yourself bushwhacking, you’re going to want to be protected.

Get Home Bag Shelter

If you’ve got to hunker down you’ll want a poncho and a tarp. They even sell ponchos that have grommets in them so they can double as additional shelter. Hopefully you won’t need to stay overnight anywhere but in the case that you do, you’re going to need to stay dry and warm. Between the two of these fabrics, you’ll have an overhead cover and a ground cover. Additionally, an emergency blanket is another fabric that’ll serve you well. Especially so if it gets cold. Of course to construct your shelter, you’re going to need some rope, too. About 100 feet of paracord should be enough for anything you need to get through.


If you’ve got to camp out you’re going to want to want fire. It keeps the bugs away and it may be crucial to your survival if it gets cold out. A good firestarter is important. (Bic lighters are cheap and effective.) Some pre-prepared fire gel will get your fire going easily. For a DIY option, Some petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls will also work. 

If you’ve got to be out in the dark you’re going to want a headlamp, too. The headlamp is better than a normal flashlight too because being hands free keeps you ready. It’s also a versatile tool. Speaking of versatile tools, a multi-tool is always important. Frankly, a multi-tool is something worth keeping on you at all times, it just comes in handy all the time.

Get Home Bag First Aid

A First Aid Kit is always a good thing to have around. This is another item that even if you don’t have a get home bag, it’s still worth keeping around. Now more than ever we’re sure you know having hand sanitizer around can come in handy. Along with the first aid kit, having some extra hygiene supplies will bring some comfort. A toothbrush or some moist towelettes are a good example of these. An N95 respirator mask can also keep you healthy if there’s smoke in the air. And if there’s a serious disaster, there’s likely to be smoke.


As far as emergency communications, it’s a good idea to have a crank-powered emergency radio. This will keep you in the loop if situations change and can’t run out of charge. You’ll also want some sort of emergency signal (like a flare gun). If you end up in a situation you can’t get yourself out of it may be the difference between life and death. Finally, you’re going to want a map and compass of your local area to help you navigate. 

Finally on the interpersonal front you’re gonna want some cash. Whatever amount you have, keep the bills small and spread it out throughout your pack. Never put yourself in a situation where you have to show all of your money at once. If things go really south, you’ll want some protection, too. Mace is a must. It’s cheap, effective, and allowed almost everywhere. Additionally if you know how to properly keep and use one, a small handgun will serve you well if you have to use it.

This should pretty much cover the things that you really need in your get home bag. If you think of other things to add, as long as you follow the golden rule of keeping the weight down, you can expand the range of things you’re ready for. Remember, all the prepping you do won’t do you any good if you can’t get back to it!

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SHTF Scenario: What Is It And What Does It Look Like?

What Is A SHTF Scenario?

SHTF scenario is a term that’s gained a lot of popularity. Especially among preppers and people interested in prepping, and especially recently. What it stands for is “Sh** Hits The Fan”, which is a colorful phrase to describe a very bad situation. If you haven’t heard the phrase before, you probably get the mental image. In this article I’ll talk about some of the most popular theories on what’s finally going to hit and destabilize society. Pushing it to the point that the SHTF.

SHTF scenario aftermath

SHTF Scenario: Regional Disaster

Let’s kick it off with a very realistic example: Hurricanes. When a major hurricane is headed towards you, the government will issue evac orders. Normally, you’ll have some time to prepare. But this is a situation where having bug out bags and a game plan will really pay off. Let’s take this up a notch.

Not all regional disasters will give you advanced warnings. Major earthquakes and tsunamis come out of nowhere. And they can immediately throw a city into full chaos. This would certainly be considered a SHTF scenario, even though it’s just a local one. If you live on a fault line or a coast, you need to have a plan in place on where you’re going to go if something like this happens.

Nation-Wide Disasters

Let’s kick the natural disaster up another notch. Let’s talk country wide-disaster. If you’re read into this doomsday stuff one of the first things you learn about is Yellowstone. Underneath Yellowstone is a supervolcano. That supervolcano is due to erupt at any time, this is fact, not speculation. This science of course isn’t exact, so we don’t know when this will happen, or even if we’ll get any sort of warning. Unfortunately we also don’t know the extent of the damage when this will occur. Projections put the plume of ash alone from this eruption all the way east to Missouri.

Some estimates say that the resulting ash cloud could blot out the sun. Causing clouds for long enough to cause a nuclear-winter style cooling effect. That winter would wreak havoc on global supply lines and every society on the planet. A small meteor could have a similar effect. And we have absolutely no way of knowing when or where those could come from. This is a SHTF scenario that there really wouldn’t be a lot of “safe places” to go to. So you’d really need to have a plan for the continued survival of your and your family.

SHTF Scenario: Economic Collapse

SHTF scenarios don’t have to include some external natural event. Economic collapse is a very real possibility, one that we’ve seen in the relatively recent past. The great depression of the 1930’s resulted in unprecedented hardship. The financial system had to be completely reworked. This is just a local example, though. Economic collapses happen all too often around the world. And there’s no reason to think that something like this couldn’t happen to us in modern times.


Pandemics are another possible SHTF scenario. The Covid-19 crisis is a big deal, but it could have been a lot worse. The threat of biological terrorism is ever present. And the problem is that once the genie is out of the bottle on a seriously contagious and seriously deadly disease, it can’t be turned back. This was seen during the Black Death in Europe. Vast swaths of the population died and there was really no way of avoiding it. It worked its way through the population and you either were immune, you survived it, or you died.

SHTF Scenario: Man Made Disaster

Electromagnetic pulses could come from the sun, making them a natural occurrence. But they can also come from military weapons. A global reaching EMP would fry electronics across the world. And it would bring the grid as we know it down permanently. Power as we know it would need to be rebuilt from the ground up.

This brings us to the last SHTF scenario I’ll talk about here: war. It is a tragic reality that war rages across the globe every day. First world countries are not safe from this threat. We have been fortunate enough not to have seen a world war in over 80 years. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t numerous and very strong tensions between major world powers.

The world has been sitting on a powder keg since the cold war. If full scale war broke out between world powers, there’s not telling the extent of the damage. Since the invention of the nuclear bomb, the world has been afraid of a global nuclear war. A war of this scale would certainly constitute a SHTF scenario. And we’d all be lucky if we’re still around after to try and bug out.

There are a lot of possible scenarios that could mean you have to leave life as you know it behind. All you can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

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Bug Out Vehicle: How To Get Out Of Dodge In One Piece

When you need to get from point A to point B, there are few situations that you wouldn’t be better off in a vehicle. That choice of a bug out vehicle can be important. If things start going south in a big way, there’s no telling what’s going to be between you and where you’re going.

I’m also not going to assume that you’ve got the money to have a separate car only for bugging out. If you did you could trick out any vehicle you want to be a dedicated survival machine. Most people don’t have that luxury. Your bug out vehicle needs to be something you can drive every day. And it is also something that will carry you through an emergency. For starters, let’s talk about the kinds of vehicles that’ll be good in an emergency.

Bug out vehicle SUV in the mountains.

Bug Out Vehicle SUV’s

These are probably the most versatile class of “bug out vehicles”. They’re one of the most common types of cars on the market and not for their emergency capabilities. They’re just good sturdy cars that can haul things and can do a little off road without losing their axles. If you’re concerned about having a bug out vehicle if the SHTF, an SUV is a good choice for you. Because, it’s a good choice for a car in general.

Pickup Trucks

These are another excellent choice when you want something you can depend on in an emergency. And it’ll also be a good car for your everyday use. Pickup trucks don’t have the greatest gas mileage but they’re comparable to SUV’s. If you’ve got a family you’ll want to look for one with decent space up front. But the storage space in the back will be unbeatable.

Bug Out Vehicle Campers

Campers are luxury vehicles. You can’t commute with them, the gas mileage isn’t good. They also can’t go off road very well. That said, they’re a home on wheels. If you’ve got the money to upkeep a camper then you’ve got a bug out location on wheels. Just make sure that you get a quality, durable camper that will stand up to emergency conditions. A great way to get these benefits with more mobility is by making a bug out van!


Motorcycles have maneuverability and gas mileage on their side, but not much else. You can fit enough gear for one person on one without too much trouble but these are not the vehicles for families. Not the mention that motorcycles are already dangerous to begin with. And any injury is going to be more serious in a survival situation.


These are worth mentioning in their own section separate from motorcycles. They’re cheap, effective, and they can get places that a car can’t. If you’re on your own you can easily get all your gear with you on a bike and it’s less dangerous than a motorcycle.

Bug Out Vehicle Boats

If you live on or near a body of water, a boat is a good thing to consider. If you’ve got a pontoon or larger boat it will have a lot of the benefits of a camper. Otherwise even a small motorboat can get you away from wherever you are quickly. If you do go for a bug out boat, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’ve got paddles and a raft. The last thing you want is to strand yourself in the middle of a lake without a paddle.

One of the most important things to plan for when choosing your bug out vehicle is the amount of space. This translates directly to your supplies. You will, of course, have space for your bug out bags. But you can store a lot of extra emergency gear in a Pickup or an SUV. Things you’ll want to consider are shelter building supplies, extra emergency food, spare car supplies and tools. You can also think of anything else that you can fit in there without compromising the car.

For the average person just trying to prepare for the worst, I recommend picking an SUV or a pickup for your bug out vehicle. These cars will keep you rolling and let you pack up a lot in advance so when the going gets rough you can just hop in and go!

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Bug Out Gun: Do You Need One?

Do you need a bug out gun? Before asking this question there’s one thing to understand if you don’t already own a gun. Owning a gun is a big responsibility. They are of course just a tool, but they’re a very dangerous tool, and one that needs to be treated with respect. If you don’t intend on learning how to properly and safely use and maintain your firearm, you should not get one. Plain and simple. Below we’ll talk about the reasons that you might want a gun for bugging out, and whether a gun is the best choice.

Bug out gun and knife.

Bug Out Gun for Self Defense

Nothing is as effective as a firearm in the hands of a trained owner at self defense, this is true. That said, there may not be anything as dangerous as a firearm in the hands of someone that doesn’t know how to use one. If you’re not already a gun owner, you should decide whether you want to be one, with all that entails. If you’re only interested in a gun for an apocalypse, consider less dangerous options, like tasers or mace. These can provide you an effective way to buy yourself time and get away from whatever the threat is. That said, if you’re prepared to learn how to handle and safely own a gun, it can be an effective self-defense-tool to add to your bag.


Escalation is something that should be mentioned in the context of self defense. It’s a very important concept in firearm safety. Do not point a gun at anything you’re not prepared to destroy, ever. With that in mind, pulling a gun immediately escalates the conflict to life-or-death. If you’re faced with anything less lethal than a firearm, this could cut off the situation and back down your potential attacker. On the other hand, it puts the other person in a life-or-death situation. That could prompt them to take immediate action or do something unexpected. Pulling a gun on someone is issuing a lethal threat. Do not take it lightly because the person being issued the threat never will.

Knives and Other Cutlery

Knives aren’t as deadly as firearms but they are still dangerous. That said, they’re like firearms. If you’re untrained they could be more dangerous to you than to the other person. Don’t look at machetes or other knives that so often fall into the “mall ninja” category, they’re best left as tools. If you go around swinging machetes or swords because it looked cool in a movie you’re going to tire yourself out. You might even hurt yourself too. When choosing knives or other cutting tools, choose them for their utility in a survival situation. Don’t bother bringing them unless you need them.

Bug Out Gun for Hunting

Hunting is a very valid reason to want a gun. If the SHTF you may well have to provide food for yourself and your family in the long term. Guns are certainly effective tools for hunting but they come with an inherent problem. That’s ammunition. If you don’t have the know-how and the tools to refill your own ammo, you will eventually run out. For this reason there are other very attractive options for hunting. If you use a bow or crossbow, you can often recover your arrows or bolts. If you get proficient with a slingshot, you’re in even better shape as your ammunition is infinite. A gun is effective for hunting, but make sure you take the issue of long-term ammunition into account.

To sum it all up. If you’re considering a firearm for self defense I heavily recommend taking a safety course. Practice and maintain it regularly. Don’t give them to people that don’t know how to use them. Mace and tasers can be stopping methods that are less risky for the untrained user. As far as hunting is concerned, guns are effective but can be rendered useless. Make sure you’ve got a plan for if you run out of ammunition.

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Bug Out First Aid Kit: What Do You Need?

To determine what you want in your bug out first aid kit, you have to think about what could happen. By anticipating what kinds of injuries you could be facing, you can make sure that you’ve got the supplies you need. Once you’ve got what you need, you can avoid bringing unnecessary weight or tools you don’t know how to use. I’ll break down the reasons for the supplies I recommend here.

Well worn bug out first aid kit.

Small Cuts and Wounds – Bug Out First Aid Kit Bread and Butter

This is going to be the most common injury, it likely is in your everyday life. Because of this, you may take them for granted and not think that they’re that big a deal. They usually aren’t, but if a cut gets infected, things can get serious quickly. In the case of a small cut or wound it’s good to have some tweezers for cleaning and some medical tape. Band-aids aren’t strictly necessary and can be considered more of a luxury item. Medical tape will do the same job, just without the extra padding. In fact, if you’re using bandaids it may make it easier for dirt and debris to get into your cut.


You will likely be working with fire and hot things when you’re cooking so there’s assured to be at least a little risk. Depending on the reason you’re bugging out, though, there could be other compounding risks. In times of social unrest, people light fires. The reason isn’t always clear but this is a fact that we know from history and modern times. If you live out west or down under you’re likely well aware of the risk of forest fires as well. A tube of burn cream will be a good addition to your first aid kit.

Traumatic Injury – Specialty Bug Out First Aid Kit Items

A traumatic injury is any injury severe enough to be life threatening. To prepare your bug out first aid kit, the most serious thing you need to worry about is massive bleeding. If there’s unrest in the streets, there’s going to be broken glass. It only takes one misstep to do some serious damage to your foot. That’s not even to mention the possibility of bullets flying. They sell gauze pads with coagulant formula on them. These are about the best you can do for a major injury yourself. If someone loses an extremity, a tourniquet can also be useful, but be absolutely certain you know how to use it. Tourniquets can do more damage than good if not used properly. You’ll likely want normal gauze and plenty of medical tape, too.

Infection and Disease

You should have iodine tablets and/or other methods of purifying your water. Even with them, you may still face some sort of water-based illness. Diarrhea killed a shocking number of people before we really understood it. Having antidiarrhetics may very well be the difference between life and death. 

There’s an item you may want in your first aid kit for emergencies, that you probably wouldn’t think to look for. That’s fish antibiotics. Antibiotics for people are illegal over-the-counter. Fish antibiotics however, are perfectly legal, for fish only of course. Many sellers put out fish antibiotics that come in pill and tablet form. While this may be difficult for your fish to swallow, it can come in handy if your fish really needs them in a survival situation. Be sure you don’t buy fish antibiotics that come in powder form as they may not be absorbed well by your… fish. You swimming through what I’m putting down?

Mobility-Impairing Injuries

Last but certainly not least you need to plan for injuries that could affect your ability to move. This is crucial in a survival situation. Give me a bad burn on my arm over a sprained ankle when the SHTF any day! Make sure you’ve got a plan to be able to splint or otherwise handle an injury like this. Another mobility issue that can be a sleeper problem is blisters.

Any hiker can tell you that blisters aren’t fun. But, if you need to keep moving they’re going to be a major pain, and if you push them they can get worse. Moleskin can help with that. Moleskin is a thick adhesive piece of material that you can use to protect your blister. You can cut it into the shape of a donut and the thickness of the material will distribute pressure and keep it off the blister itself.

Other Bug Out First Aid Kit Considerations

If you have a medication that you rely on, you should talk to your doctor about getting a “just incase” stash. This obviously isn’t going to be an option if you have to take anything that has a street value. For other medications you might be able to get enough to keep you going for a while. You can at least wean yourself off easier if you can’t get any more after you bug out. You’ll want some basic gear for all medical situations too, rubber gloves, tweezers, gauze, a multitool. Consider a snake bite kit if you know you’ll be at risk of venomous snakes. You’ll want some major butterfly bandages and a suture kit (you’ll want to read up on how to use these too). Keeping these items in a waterproof bag will also be useful for keeping them safe. It’ll also give you a waterproof container for other purposes too.

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Bug Out Cooking Kit: What To Bring, What Not To Bring

A Bug Out Cooking Kit isn’t always straightforward to build. And pre-built ones can carry a lot of dead weight. What do you need in it? When I set out to answer this question I was hoping for a definitive list of the things you must have in your kit. Unfortunately, what I found is that it’s a pretty subjective decision. What’s right for one person may not be right for another.

So to answer this question I’ve got a few recommendations on styles and materials you should be looking for. And what you can do to ensure that the cooking tools you settle on are right for you.

Bug Out cooking kit in action.

The first thing you’ll want to be looking out for is weight. This is always important for anything that you are planning on moving or taking with you. Function is important. But, weight is the ever-present consideration that really defines what you can or can’t take with you. When you’re planning out your cooking kit, there are two ways to minimize weight.

Bug Out Cooking Kit Materials

The first is the materials your gear is made out of. Cast iron is (of course) right out. Stainless steel is too heavy for a full set of gear to be made out of. But, you can probably work in certain pieces for durability.

Titanium is an excellent lightweight metal, but it’s expensive. There are tons of titanium sporks out there for reasonable prices. You can get away with titanium silverware but going for a full titanium cook set will get costly. Aluminum is also an excellent choice for these metal cook pieces.

it’s cheap, very light, and pretty durable compared to plastic. Aluminum is a good metal to look for in your cookware as much as possible. It may not be the best for cooking directly over a fire, but aluminum cups and bowls will always be effective.

Bug Out Cooking Kit Pieces

The second big thing you can do to reduce your load is to reduce the number of pieces you have. You’re only going to want as many sets of things like bowls and cups as you have people that will be using them at the same time. Re-using and finding multiple uses for items is also important. In a survival situation, you really don’t need a plate and a bowl.

Anything that you want to put on a plate can go into a bowl. Likely, most of the meals you’re preparing in a survival situation are going to be one-pot. Separating your foods is a luxury, and not one worth carrying extra weight for. 

Bug Out Cooking Kit: How To Hold Fire

One crucial part of your cook set is going to be the stove. It can take many forms. But, you’re going to want something that can contain fire for long enough for you to cook your food. There are some light-weight camping stoves that use gas.

In a survival scenario, this is probably not a good idea as you have no idea if or when you’ll be able to get more gas. For this purpose I certainly recommend finding a lightweight camping stove designed for taking wood. If it takes wood, you’ll never run out of fuel!

So in a nutshell, here’s what I think is the bare-minimum for your cooking kit:

> A Lightweight Wood-Burning Stove

> A Cup For Each Person

> A Bowl For Each Person

> A Set Of Silverware For Each Person (This could be a fork and a spoon, or a spork.)

> A Can Opener

> A Wooden Cooking Spoon (Can be cut short to save space.)

My cooking kit shopping list can be found here!

Practice Makes Perfect!

This brings us to the last point I want to make in this article: Use your equipment beforehand! The last thing you want to do is pull out your stove for the first time and realize you don’t even know how to get it lit. The best (and the only) way to truly know what you need for your cooking kit is to use it.

You don’t even have to go out to the woods to do this (although I recommend you do anyway). Try to make dinner for you and anyone else you’d be feeding, using only your bug out bag cooking kit. You may find that you’re missing something, you may find you’ve included something you didn’t really need. You just have to try it for yourself! I hope this article has given you a good grasp on what you need to be on the lookout for, but unfortunately, this one comes with some homework!

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Bug Out Clothes: What To Wear When You Hit The Road

Bug out clothes play an important role in bugging out. Many people that are preparing for the worst will put a lot of time and energy into bug out bags, plans, and locations. Those same people may not stop to think about the clothes on their backs. Unless you’re bringing your home with you, you’ll need to bring clothes.

Survival supplies are the most important thing. But, you might have trouble getting far into your survival plan with stilettos or a suit and tie. Let’s break down what you should be looking for. Both in the clothes you wear out the door when you’re bugging out and the extra clothes you’ll want to pack in your bag.

Man in bug out clothes in the woods.

Bug Out Clothes: The Base Layer

First, the base layer. No clothing has more contact with sensitive parts of your body than your socks and underwear. These are usually under other layers of clothing. Because of this, they have a tendency to overheat or get uncomfortable first out of anything. When they do get uncomfortable, It’s going to slow you down or even take you out of commission for your exit plan.

For socks, you’re going to want to look for merino wool. They’re more expensive than the cheap cotton socks at your local dollar store but they will pay off. Merino wool is tough and most importantly it’s comfortable. This reduces your chances of getting blisters, even when wet. For underwear it’s not a specific material but a set of criteria you should be looking for. You want underwear that won’t bunch up, dries quickly, and is breathable. If you find a pair that satisfies these requirements, stick with it!

Bug Out Clothes: Shirts and Pants

If you haven’t picked it up yet, the overall theme of this article is that you want your bug out clothes to be functional. Shirts and pants that are breathable and dry fast will always be a good idea. They let you recover from getting wet faster and stay more comfortable.

Getting wet in a survival situation can be life-threatening if it’s cold out. For this reason it’s also a good idea to dress in layers. It gives you more flexibility with your temperature level. And it could give you additional options if only some layers are wet and others are still dry.

Bug Out Clothes: Colors and Styles

When looking for colors you want to blend in. Some preppers and survivalists recommend camouflage, but we don’t. If you and your family are all decked out in camouflage you’re going to look out of place in an urban environment. Worse than that, you’re going to look prepared. If people in desperate situations know that you’re prepared with supplies, things can gut ugly.

When you’re picking the style and colors of your survival clothes, it’s best to keep this in mind. Choose functionality over form, but don’t stand out in a crowd. There’s another interesting fact that can be important if you’re headed into the woods. Mosquitoes like the color blue. This refers to lighter blues and less navies but this is something worth taking into account. Mosquito bites can sometimes be serious, but they’re always annoying.

Bug Out Clothes: Shoes or Boots?

Shoes are also going to be one of the most important choices you make when it comes to your bug out clothing. If your plan involves walking you’re going to need something sturdy to walk on. We recommend a good pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots. The shoes will be lighter and less bulky. This may give you an edge on your total supply weight and on the wear on your feet.

The boots would also be a good option. They provide a little extra protection and support to your ankles. This is important to make rolling them less likely. If you don’t have these, go for something like sneakers or tennis shoes over dressier, fancier shoes. Once again, function over form.

Bonus Items!

Some bonus articles of clothing you may want to consider are ponchos or personal mosquito nets. The ponchos are really a good idea. Sturdy ones are still light, but disposable ones weigh almost nothing and can still be reused. In a survival scenario, a couple square yards of plastic can serve a lot of purposes. Most emergency kits should contain at least a disposable poncho.

They also make mosquito nets that you can hang from your hat. These are also a light accessory but they may be overkill depending on where you’re bugging out to or from. However, if you’re in a heavily mosquito dense area, or the mosquitoes are known for their disease, these nets may well be worth packing.

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The Bug Out Van: Take Your Home With You

Bug out vans are an exciting new twist on the growing van life movement. Van living and other forms of mobile living have been around a long time, but they’ve recently gotten a boost. You may have seen YouTube videos or articles about people building out stealth living vans. Some even convert old school buses! What does this trend have to do with bugging out or prepping?

Bug out van under a full moon.

Quite a bit actually. The biggest reason we build bug out bags is to buy us time to get away from possible dangers. Whether the dangers are forming where we are right now or they’re already on us. The bag is great but if you can’t make it away then it may not really cut it. Then what happens when you get to your bug out location? Do you have a structure there already or are you planning on doing some bushcraft? Investing in a bug out van could answer these questions. If you don’t want to limit your bug out to a bag, why not take a whole home?

The Growing Van Life

Let’s start off by talking about van living. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s worth diving into. It’s a fascinating movement of people that are avoiding the rent or house status quo. They’re doing this by building fully functional living spaces in vans or trucks. Some of these vans even have toilets and showers! For most van-lifers, this isn’t an attempt at prepping for bugging out. This is an inexpensive and free way to live your life. However, if the SHTF, these van-lifers wouldn’t have to bug out of their homes, they can bug out in their homes! 

If you’re the owner of a van that’s built out for living in, you’re set.  When the going gets rough, you can drive your home straight out of the area. If you’ve got a bug out property or a location you’ve scoped out, you can park your house right there and boom! Instant structure. If you’re living in traditional housing, a bug out van might be an investment into being prepared. If you’re considering this, let’s talk about some of the pro’s and con’s of living in a van. And whether they’d apply in a catastrophic situation.

The Pro’s and Con’s of a Bug Out Van

One of the biggest drawbacks to living in a van is privacy. It’s hard (and sometimes illegal) to get your windows fully tinted. And needing to park your home to live means that you’re always going to be in public places. However, if this van is your bug out vehicle, this privacy shouldn’t be a big concern. An essential part of a good bug out location is isolation. If people are finding your bug out spot then you’ve got bigger problems. Somebody seeing you getting dressed through a tinted window will be a small concern. 

Most of the drawbacks stem from a lack of a permanent location. Cooking becomes difficult, you can’t really expand your space, you may not have much storage room. If your van is for bugging out then you really shouldn’t be on the road long. It should be a vehicle to get you to a permanent location, and then you can build up any sort of camp you want you’ve got it set. 

Bug Out Van Mechanical Considerations

There are of course mechanical considerations. You’ll need to be sure that your van is waterproof and able to retain heat or air out if it gets hot. For any of these considerations, a van is going to be a more comfortable bet than a straight up bushcraft lean-to. However if you’re looking at the decision to build a small home or park a van on your bug out property, these are great options. Vans can mean that you can drive the home right to the property and use it in the meantime.

When you’re looking at whether or not to invest in a bug out van, there are a lot of things to consider. It can be a viable option if you’re looking for a permanent shelter that you can stock and move if you need to. Plus, when times are good you can go camping or even live in it! 

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