Bug Out Hammock? A Bed That Goes With You!

Should you bring a bug out hammock for your bag? When you’re bugging out, there are a few primary goals that rise above the others. You need to keep things light and keep moving quickly to reach your destination. You should keep a low profile when you can. Hammocks are an excellent solution to sleeping. Not to mention that they’re way more comfortable than a lot of other sleep options.

Woman in a bug out hammock.

There aren’t a lot of other items that provide so much comfort with so little weight. Hammocks are just ridiculously comfortable. People use them all the time without it being a survival situation. If you don’t have a hammock your other options are leaves and wood.

Backpackers And Campers Already Use Hammocks

When you think of hammock you may think of the wide woven rope hammocks that you see on a lot of porches and patios. These are very comfortable. The problem with them is that they’re enormous! In come camping hammocks. 

Camping hammocks are usually made of parachute-like materials. When you feel them, they’re quite thin. This might lead you to believe that they’re not durable enough for a serious situation. Despite how light they stay, they can handle it. The nature of them keeps them off the ground and out of harm’s way for most of their use. As long as you don’t wear knives on your belt, you’re not going to hurt them either.

Camping hammocks are still big. They can easily fit any full grown person. That said, they fold down small. Camping hammocks come with compact bags that compress it down to fit in darn near anything. Often, the bag is attached to the hammock. This is important for keeping track of it.

The thing it’s more important for is a pouch that keeps things close in hand at night. You can keep your flashlight, your multi-tool, even a firearm right there with you. This will keep you ready for anything at a moment’s notice.

I’ve personally spent many nights sleeping in camping hammocks. You can even get name-brand hammocks these days for under $30. I can attest that they’re comfortable and very easy to set up.

Setting Up A Bug Out Hammock

Most hammocks come with a carabiner on their end for attaching it to your hanging solution. Mine came with a couple cheap metal-ish S-hooks. They did the job for a while but eventually one gave out. If your hammock doesn’t come with any, they’re worth picking up.

They’re sturdier than other options and aluminum carabiners are light, too. As an eagle scout, I recommend just having a lot of carabiners in general. They’ve got a million uses for hanging on to things and for construction.

You can buy (and some come with) special straps. These elastic straps make setting the hammock up dead easy. These take all the rope work out of setting up your hammock. With these straps, setting up your hammock takes minutes, if it even takes more than one.

Even without them, you just need to tie some knots and play around with them a little to get the right hang. The paracord that I’m sure you’ll have in your pack will serve you well.

Another much needed upgrade is a roof. With another simple line you can throw your tarp or poncho over the top. Boom, for less than the price of your backpack you’ve got a lifted tent. You’ll be more comfortable than you were on the ground, and likely warmer. You can tie the edges of the tarp to give yourself a floating tent that’s sealed from the wind.

For the weight, a hammock is the best “luxury” item you can include in your bug out bag. It’ll turn scraping by in a stressful situation into a relaxed backpacking trip away from trouble.

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Best Bug Out Backpack (And Other Bags) [2020]

If you’re planning a BOB, you’re going to want a bug out backpack. Or at least some other sort of bag. One of the most important parts of your bug out bag is the bag itself. You won’t make it far if you’re trying to carry your gear and supplies in plastic shopping bags. 

One bug out backpack next to another.

The biggest rule to keep in mind when you’re picking and packing your bag is to try and keep it at 10% of your weight. Max, you can go up to 20%, but that’s for the most physically fit. This means that if you’re 200 lbs, you should shoot for 20 lbs. This should be kept in mind if your bug out plan involves any kind of walking. 

The list below gives you a variety of bags that are ready for action. These can be bug out bags, get home bags, or even car go-bags. If you’re looking for a bag, you can find one to fit your needs here!

Best General Bug Out Backpack

The first bug out backpack in the list here is a good all around backpack. This bag can roll into pretty much any situation. The company that makes it is veteran owned and they stand by their products being combat-ready. You don’t get a better endorsement than that.

Let’s talk features. Cinch straps allow you to compress or expand this bag into what you need. You can fit this bag to any job you need it for.

It’s got specialized compartments. Close to the main pouch you’ll find a water bladder. This makes this an excellent hiking bag on top of a bug out bag. In the front you’ll find a universal holster. Securing your defense will be an important part of securing your supplies.

All in all, if you’re looking for a general purpose bag that will stand the test, look no further!

Best Big Bug Out Duffle

This bag is beefy. Users love the spaciousness of it. One reviewer even boasts that he can easily carry 120 lbs of gear in this bag!

Of course, a bug out bag shouldn’t be that heavy. That said, this makes an excellent INCH bag, if you can transport it! 

You can fill this bag with a tent, sleeping bags, pillows, all sorts of bulky or luxury items. If you can bug out with your car, having this bag pre-packed will let you take anything you could want!

When bags have enough space for a lot of weight, sometimes they have trouble holding up. This is not one of those bags! This bag is durable, and it’ll stay durable time and time again!

Best Backpacker’s Bug Out Backpack

This bug out backpack blends the strengths of my previous two picks here. It’s spacious, more spacious than you strictly need. But with that, it’s still lightweight and easy to carry.

As far as backpacking bags go, this is an excellent price. You’re getting a lot of value for just $50.

This backpack has a lot of space on the inside. It’s got large pockets and a generous shoe pocket at the front bottom. Even more than that, the side straps allow you to strap in tools or shelter on the outside.

Reviewers agree! With a 4.5 star rating out of over 1000 reviews, this bag is the real deal. Owners rave about the value! This is a $200 value bag that they’re selling for much much less!

Best Bug Out Backpack For Kids

If you’ve got kids, your bug out plan get’s a lot more complicated. They’re small, and their supplies is small, but they still need quite a bit. They can’t carry much themselves. But, getting them their own little backpack will keep the strain off. It’ll also let them contribute to the family’s overall survival.

This bag doesn’t have a lot hanging off of it. Those with kids will know that having less for them to catch on is a good thing. 

Parents all over love this bag for their children. It’s comfortable and still spacious. Kids love it, too! They love being able to carry their own things and having a bag all their own!

Keeping spirits up is an important part of bugging out. Giving your child a job, even a small one, helps them feel important!

Best Bug Out Briefcase

I wanted to include one more type of bag. This bag bridges the gap between your average backpack and a messenger bag.

Designed for police, this bag has many pockets and a lot of space. This will let you organize your gear and keep it all handy.

The uses of this bag seem endless. Some owners use it as a gear bag while they’re in the gym. The low profile and mute colors disguise anything you put inside as being of little interest.

Some owners even use this as a diaper bag! It’s a lot less frilly than the floral diaper bags you see everywhere.

This bag is versatile. If you’re looking for a casual bag with a lot of possibilities, this is the bag for you!

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Bug Out Location Prep: What Can You Do?

Can you do some bug out location prep and pre-build your camp? I talked about this in my piece on caching at your bug out location but I like talking about bushcraft style camps. You’d be a lot more comfortable if you can build a vacation home and bug out to it. It’d be a lot easier to prep there and basically just move if things go south. That said, it’s not fun to talk about. 

Bug out location prep done right in the woods.

I think there’s something in a lot of people that makes us want to build a camp in the woods. When we were kids, play usually involved a lot of “bases” and tools, and they were fun to build. The grown up version of this is bushcraft and it’s a whole animal of its own. It just so happens to fold into bugging out perfectly. 

Can You Build At All?

Building a bushcraft base is not really a low impact activity. Pre-building your location will need permission to use the land. If your plan involves a national forest, people will get mad at you for making a war camp in the middle of a hiking trail. But, if you own the property or you know the person that does, then you’ve got options. This is also a great place to stash supplies ahead of time.

Bug Out Location Prep: What To Build First

I’d love to tell you that your first priority is a cool canopy treehouse so you can live like a movie character. Unfortunately, the truth is a little less flashy. 

The first thing you should consider building is a latrine. Digging a hole is no fun, it’s best to do this while you can still go get a burger and a nap after. To dig your latrine you’ll want to go for a deep, slender hole. Go as deep as you’re comfortable digging. If you have to bug out for any real length of time, you’ll need to dig another eventually.  You can cover this hole with a piece of wood or a big flat rock. 

Since you’re pre-building, you should even consider blocking it with a seat. If you’re worried about modesty, you can make a “stall” out of tarps, but you should take these down before you leave. Leaving the ropes to hang them is fine, but tarps might not be there when you get back.

Bug Out Location Prep: Building Your Shelter

At least I think it’s fun. Rule one of a shelter is that it needs a roof. It’s basically what makes a shelter a shelter. Even the most basic roof will block the sun, which is important. Sunburns and heat sickness are a couple of effects of prolonged sun that are normally minor. In a survival situation, anything that throws you off your game is more dangerous. 

What’s even more dangerous, is getting wet. If you’re wet and it gets cold, you could be in serious trouble. This is why keeping your shelter as waterproof as possible is crucial. This can be done in a lot of ways. The easiest and most common is to pile at least a couple feet of leaves, mud, or other debris on top of your shelter. This should keep water from making it all the way down. Leaks can be patched with more mud.

Other Helpful Bushcraft

Now that you’ve finished your shelter, build another one. No, seriously. In a survival scenario, a second shelter is a great idea. Likely, if the first one was your first ever, the second one will be better.

If anything happens to one of them, you’ve got the spare. If you end up linking up with anybody else, the extra space will be useful. Speaking of the space, having a spare sheltered room will be useful for supplies.

You can also work on building a fire pit. Half digging, half construction, a fire pit will help contain embers and heat. Certain designs can even be used to direct heat towards your shelter. This can also obscure light from a distance. This could be useful to avoid attracting attention.

All things considered, there’s really nothing you can build that won’t help you out. Besides maybe giant rickety structures that will fall on you.

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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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First Aid Shopping List For Bug Out Bags

This first aid shopping list will give you a good versatile first aid kit you can keep in your bug out bag, get home bag, and your car as well.

This can be slimmed down and tweaked to hit size goals, but it covers all of your most likely injuries and forgoes a lot of luxury items that other guides may recommend. I consider everything in here to be necessary and have organized the list based on injuries.

Bug Out First Aid Kit Shopping List all packed up.

The Bug Out First Aid Shopping List

  1. Small Cuts and Wounds
    • 1 Roll Medical Tape
    • 4 Alcohol Pads
    • 1 Tube Antiseptic
    • 3-5 Q Tips
  2. Burns
    • 1 Tube of Antiseptic Burn Cream
  3. Traumatic Injury
    • 5 8”x10” Sterile Heavy Gauze
    • 3-5 Blood-Clotting Trauma PAds
    • Butterfly Strips or Suture Kit
    • 1 Tourniquet
    • 1 Blood Clotting Agent
  4. Infection and Disease
    • 3 Days Anti-Diarrheal
    • Potassium Iodide (Radiation)
    • 2 Course Antibiotics
  5. Mobility Impairment
    • 1 Ace Bandage
    • 1 Moleskin
  6. Other
    • Multi-Tool with Snippers and Tweezers
    • Emergency Blanket
    • Snakebit Kit (Dependent On Location)
    • 2 Air Masks
    • 3 Days Pain Killers
    • 2 Safety Pins

This will give you a robust first aid kit that will cover all your likely injuries without focusing on fancy gear or unlikely scenarios. It can be slimmed down to fit smaller kits as you decide what you think you’re more or less likely to need. Let’s jump into my recommendations. I put together my list based on what I would pick. I value quality, but I also value keeping costs low. My picks are a blend of that.

If you’d like to skip the list here and jump right to the shopping, I’ve put together a full wish list on amazon with everything from the list included!

——–> Click Here For The Full List! <——-

First Aid Shopping List: Small Cuts and Wounds

Medical Tape – Nexcare First Aid Tape

Alcohol Wipes – COVIDIEN 6818 Webcol Alcohol Wipe (200 pack)

Small Cut disinfectant – Neosporin (.5 oz)

Cotton Swabs – Sky Organics Cotton Swabs

Burns

Burn Salve – FAE-7011 SmartCompliance Burn Cream

Traumatic Injury

Gauze Pads – Medline Sterile Abdominal Pads (8″x10″, 18 ct.)

Clotting Gauze – QuikClot Advanced Clotting Gauze

Butterfly Bandages – AM WHT CRS MP60333 American White Cross Butterfly Wound Closures

Tourniquet – Recon Medical BLK-1PAK-FBA Tourniquet

Trauma Packs – CELOX Traumatic Wound First Aid Packets

Infection and Disease

Anti-Diarrheal – Gericare Anti-diarrheal

Iodine – IOSAT Potassium Iodide

First Aid Shopping List: Mobility Impairment

Bandage Wrap – Mighty-X Elastic Bandage Wrap

Moleskin – Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Plus Padding Roll

First Aid Shopping List: Other

Multi-Tool – Gerber 30-000469 Dime Mini

Emergency Blanket – ANMEILU Thermal Blanket

Venom Extractor – Sawyer Venom Extractor

Air Filtration Mask – SuppyAID KN95 Protective Mask

Pain Relief – Aleve Tablets

Safety Pins – SINGER Assorted Safety Pins

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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.

Defense

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.

Communication

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.

Clothes

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.

Fire

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.

Communication

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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Best Bug Out Emergency Rations – Pre-Made Meals!

Emergency rations aren’t a good permanent option. To last as long as they do, they can’t be very natural. They’ll often also have some slight imbalance to nutrients. That said, they’re a very important part of your short-term survival plan. They’ll easily keep you going for days, months, even years if you’ve got nothing else. They’re an excellent thing to stockpile in places you can prep like houses or cars.

Emergency rations roasting on an open fire.

I put together a list here of the best emergency rations I could find to fit a variety of situations. Your 3 day emergency rations shouldn’t look like your 3 month rations! With the ones I’ve got compiled here, you’ll be covered for hunkering down or bugging out!

Best One Month Emergency Rations – Augason Farms 30-Day

I really like how all-in-one this solution is. This 30-day meal kit takes all the guesswork out of picking and planning your meals. That’s what you pay for when you go for kits like these! 

Some emergency ration solutions have you on pretty slim diets. This one plans for 1800 calories a day. This is just about the perfect number for a wide range of people and body types.

You won’t be hurting on quality either. Rations are never as good as the real thing, but these come pretty darn close!

One thing to keep in mind is that the foods themselves aren’t packaged on an individual basis. You’ll want to have bags to keep the food fresh as you work through the ~7 day bag.

All of this with a 30-45 day pre-prepared meal plan makes this bucket a slam dunk!

Best Breakfast Emergency Rations – Augason Farms Breakfast

Getting into the longer term, we’ve got the Augason Farms Breakfast pail. Depending on the size you end up with, this could be a 15+ day supply of breakfast. Not only will it last you a long while after you open, it’ll last 30 years before you do!

This is an incredible deal for this amount of food. Trying to put together this much yourself could easily get much costlier. 

Not only are these good for survival, but they also make great camping meals! 

Splitting up your foods into breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a luxury. You’d think you have to forgo luxuries in a survival situation, right? Not with this kit. This kit will have you eating warm oatmeal and flapjacks well into the end of days!

Best Lunch & Dinner Rations – Augason Farms Lunch & Dinner

I told you about Augason’s breakfast pail, but pancakes aren’t a balanced diet. This lunch & dinner pail rounds out the menu and will keep you stocked with a variety of meal options!

Most people think of simple one-pot meals when they think about prepping. Things like soup, stew, and pasta come to mind. This pail will satisfy that! With survival classics like beef stroganoff and chicken noodle soup, you’ll be well covered!

This is another pail that can easily carry you 15 days, even more if you ration down. By stacking a few of these, you’ll have a lasting food supply that’ll ensure your survival!

If you’re looking for quality survival food, Augason Farms is a name to remember!

Best Emergency Calorie Bar – Grizzly Bear Emergency Rations

I love these crazy things. These are so simple and easy that it’s silly not to try them out. For starters, what are we even looking at? These “Calorie Bars” are vitamin packed calorie cubes that have specific measured sizes. Each pack of these is made up of 9 cubes, with 400 calories per cube. This makes it very easy to measure and plan out your calorie consumption. 

You might expect these to be hard to choke down. After all, they’ve basically chewy multivitamins, right? They actually have a crumbly texture and taste more like sugar cookies than anything. 

Who doesn’t want to eat sugar cookies instead of survival soup?

In addition to all of this, they last 5 years and can withstand extreme temperatures!

Best 72 Hour Emergency Rations – Readywise 72 Hour

From Readywise we have another great example of an all-in-one solution. This package will easily keep you and your loved ones stocked for 72 hours. 

Reviewers even recommend this survival supplies for camping and vacations! If that’s not a glowing recommendation of it’s quality in a survival situation, I don’t know what is.

Like many emergency food packs, these come in big bags for each food, so be ready to re-seal.

That said, those who’ve tried them love the quality. The shelf life is 25 years so these make another good long term solution for food stores. You can buy these, stack them, and forget them until you need them!

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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

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

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.

Bikes

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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