How To Prepare For A Winter Storm

You can really get left out in the cold if you fail to prepare for a winter storm. What steps do you need to take to make sure you’ve got everything your family needs to stay safe? If you’ve read my other pieces on general survival and the rule of three’s, this should sound a little familiar.

A winter storm you might need to prepare for.
Photo by @joshhild of


The most obvious problem you could run in to when you prepare for a winter storm is staying warm. As long as you don’t lose power, this is a non-issue. Unless you live in an area that doesn’t normally get cold, your heating system will support you through the storm.

What you need to prepare for is if you lose power. If you have natural gas in your home, you’re in luck. Gas stoves and fireplaces can still be used without electricity, although you may need matches or a lighter to get them going. If you do not have gas heat, staying warm will require a little more preparation. It’s always a good idea to have chemical heaters (Hot Hands and similar brands) on hand. They’re easy, convenient, and can last for hours. You should always have plenty of coats and blankets on hand, enough for all members of your family. Speaking of your family, there’s quite a bit more you can do to secure them if you lose power in a winter storm.

Continue reading “How To Prepare For A Winter Storm”

Bug Out Car Supplies Shopping List

This bug out car kit will give you a good list of supplementary supplies. It’s not quite a bug out bag and it’s not quite a get home bag. This list exists to give you a nice shopping list for luxuries that you wouldn’t take on foot. But, they’d be nice if your car can do the carrying for you.

Car filled with bug out car supplies.

Weight is such an important consideration when we plan. It’s the primary factor of what you can and can’t take with you. There are ton’s of items like tents, or iron cook-wear, that are just too heavy to consider.

I’ve got a good article about what kind of vehicle you should bug out in, and this folds in. If your car has more storage space, then you can take more fun stuff with you!

This will also include some car specific gear. If your car’s coming with when you bug out, then you’ll want some supplies for it. Cars can take a lot to keep them going. You don’t want to be caught empty handed if your car’s having problems.

The Bug Out Car Supplies List

  1. Car Supplies
    • Spare Tire 
    • Wheel Wrench 
    • Tripod Jack
    • Jumper cables
    • Reflective Triangles
    • First Aid Kit (Check My Other List)
    • Fire Extinguisher
    • Tool kit and/or a multipurpose utility tool
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Compass
    • Duct Tape
    • Empty Gas Can (Never Keep This Full Inside The Car)
    • Fuses
    • Siphon/Pump
    • Transmission Fluid
    • Coolant
    • Oil
    • Wiper Fluid
    • Fix-A-Flat
  2. Bonus Bug Out Supplies
    • Bug Out Food (Dried Food/Calorie Bars)
    • Drinking Water
    • Camping Tent
    • Bolt Cutters
    • Extra Clothes
    • Second Weather Radio
  3. Extra Cold Weather Supplies
    • Snow Brush 
    • Snow Shovel 
    • Warm Clothing
    • Cat Litter (For Traction) 
    • Extra Blankets

Now we’ll jump to the 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. I also left some things out of the recommendations. Things like clothes, blankets, and even rations are subjective and covered in other places.

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!

Get it here!

Car Supplies

Lug Wrench – EPAuto Telescoping Lug Wrench

Car Jacks – Camco 44561 Olympian Aluminum Stack Jacks

Jumper Cables – Energizer Jumper Cables

Emergency Markers – CARTMAN Warning Triangle

Fire Extinguisher – First Alert Fire Extinguisher

General Tool Set – CARTMAN Orange 39-Piece Tool Set

Light Source – Multi-Function LED Work Light

Magnetic Compass – AOFAR AF-5C Orienteering Compass

Duct Tape – 3M 2979 Multi-Use Duct Tape

Gas Can – UI-50-FS Red Galvanized Steel Type I Gasoline Safety Can

Car Fuses – 272pcs – Car Blade Fuses Assortment Kit

Fuel Siphon – Koehler Enterprises RA990 Multi-Use Siphon Fuel


Bonus Bug Out Supplies

Camping Tent – Bessport Camping Tent

Bolt Cutters – WORKPRO W017004A Bolt Cutter

Emergency Radio – RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Solar Weather Radio

Extra Cold Weather Supplies

Snow Brush – AstroAI Snow Brush

Cat Litter – Dr. Elsey’s Premium Clumping Cat Litter

Travel Blanket – World’s Best Cozy-Soft Microfleece Travel Blanket

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Yellowstone: Bugging Out When It Finally Goes

This whole website is about preparing for scary and dangerous situations. Even with that being the case, I try to keep it positive. The bright side of prepping is that you’re prepared. When you know you’re prepared, you can relax. You know that whatever comes, you’ve got a plan. You can keep your cool and you’ll continue your life. With this in mind, there are few situations that will radically change life as we know it. Those situations are pretty unlikely. The chance of a Hollywood style disaster sending the world into chaos is extremely low, everywhere except for Yellowstone. 

This is why Yellowstone scares the hell out of me.

Potential aftermath of a Yellowstone eruption.

Yellowstone: The Numbers

On average, Yellowstone catastrophically erupts about every 690 thousand years. It’s been 630 thousand since the last one. That puts us well within the range of another “big one” at any time. It’s worth noting that we don’t have a ton of data on this, and we can’t predict when eruptions will happen. But these numbers are close enough to keep me worried. I live in the midwest, Yellowstone is in Wyoming. If it’s halfway across the country, why am I concerned?

What Is A Supervolcano?

I’ve seen it very eloquently put: Volcanoes make mountains, supervolcanoes erase them. Most people are familiar with the Mount Saint Helens eruption. It’s the most well known US example of a volcano.

The last time Yellowstone erupted, it was 4000 times bigger than that. Projections put the survival rate in Wyoming at next to 0 if it were to go. While it’s true that the most violent threat of a volcano is it’s debris and lava, the ash is the most far-reaching. The entire western US would likely feel the shaking from the eruption. There isn’t a part of the world that wouldn’t feel the ash.

The Last Supervolcano

The last time a supervolcano erupted it was around 70,000 years ago. This is known as the Toba supervolcano in Sumatra, Indonesia. We weren’t there at the time but evidence from the environment shows devastation. Scientists believe that the eruption caused a “volcanic winter” effect. This effect blocked out the sun for 6 to 8 years. To the wildlife afoot, this must have truly looked like the end of days.

Yellowstone: What Can You Do?

The point of this site is preparation. All this doom and gloom is meaningless worrying unless we can put it to good use. The possibility of a supervolcano eruption should do a few things. For starters, it should bring some humility. There are so many massive  things in the world that are out of everyone’s control.

On the other hand, some things are in our control. We can take it into our own hands to be as ready as possible for these massive disasters. By taking our fate into our own hands we can relax. We can rest assured in our knowledge that we’ve done what we can. What exactly can you do?

For starters, if you live within the blast zone of this disaster, you need an exit strategy. For a lot of people living close to Yellowstone, there’s nothing to be done but move. Disasters like this are huge and happen quickly. Within a certain range, destruction is inevitable.

That said, if you’re anywhere within the larger ash zones, you’ll have a chance to flee. If the big one goes, there will be a mass exodus. Many people will successfully get away from the brunt of the disaster. This explosion will shake the world, but life will continue. Being a refugee in a state you’ve never been to is a whole lot better than being part of Pompeii part two. 

The Supplies

On top of this plan, you can make sure that you’ve got the supplies to keep going as you escape. You may be stuck in your car, or even on foot with a bag for days or weeks. If you have emergency rations and supplies, you’ll be able to keep trucking along to safety.

Air masks and respirators will be the absolute most important piece of gear you have. The second this event hits, they’ll be impossible to find. The world’s production won’t level out on these for years. If you make sure you’ve got enough masks for you and your family, you’ll be in a much better position. 

The prep for this event isn’t much different from the prep for other major disasters. The real piece of knowledge to take away from this is just the possibility that it’ll happen. Most people know that a hurricane or a tornado could throw their world around at any time. The fact that there is a massive supervolcano under America’s most beloved park is shockingly less well known.

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What Does A Pandemic Look Like?

I’m going to try not to make this another Covid article. As I write this, information is cloudy. To know what is/was really going on with the virus and its response will take the clarity of hindsight. A pandemic is a serious thing, which is why we have to identify what it looks like.

Pandemic response tent in Macau.

That said, two things have proven true. The world will eventually be okay, we’ll get back on track. The other is that this virus wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Mortality rates are in question but it’s clear that we aren’t looking at the New Black Plague. The world population is largely unchanged. The lives lost are tragic, but society continues on.

Identifying a Pandemic

So what does constitute a pandemic? It’s actually a pretty loose definition. It’s normally defined as a disease/virus/germ, that effects many people across borders. By this definition, seasonal flu’s every single year are “pandemics”. This likely isn’t the pandemic you’re thinking of or trying to prepare for. If you’re worried and prepping, the pandemic you’re worried about is more intense. You’re thinking death in the streets and uncontrollable spreading. This describes something else. Something that has a much higher chance of coming from somewhere more sinister. This sounds like a bio-weapon.

Some conspiracy theorists think that Covid is a bioweapon. I don’t know if this is true. What I do know is that if it is a bioweapon, it’s not a very good one. When people talk about the risk of bioweapons, this isn’t what they talk about. There are hundreds of truly terrifying diseases locked up in research centers. If you were a terrorist, there are much scarier options to choose from.

Are we at risk of biological terrorism. The information, especially now, is cloudy. Biological weapons are outlawed by the Geneva Convention, but criminals don’t follow laws. The only thing we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

That said, when do you bug out in the face of an epidemic?

Emergency Responders In A Pandemic

I’ll start by identifying some markers and we can look at how they could be flags it’s time to get out of dodge. Let’s start with hospitals. At the start of Covid a big concern was keeping hospitals from hitting capacity. Fortunately, they never did. If they had, this would have been a red flag. If hospitals are pouring out into the streets, this is a sign that society as we know it isn’t handling the pandemic.

How about police? In the face of Covid, police put on masks. They didn’t stop responding, they didn’t abandon their jobs. If police stop responding to calls, or they fall apart all together, that’s a red flag.

Stores and Supplies

Let’s look at supply chains. When there’s any sort of public panic, there will be runs on supplies. Stores will run out of key items. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way. As an item starts to run low, word gets out that it’s getting scarce. As word gets out, people will blast the supply even more. This is what happened to toilet paper and hand sanitizer at the start of Covid. But then something important happened. Stocks leveled back out. You can find these things again in most places. This means we avoided what would have been a red flag.

If the grid broke down due to people abandoning critical infrastructure, this would have been a huge red flag.

When you’re trying to decide whether it’s time to head for the hills, you have to take stock of the situation. Look at everything objectively and make a rational decision. 

Before you have to make that decision, you want to be prepared for it. This is why it’s so important to have a bug out plan and a hunker down plan. If you have the space, you need to have emergency supplies. Once you realize you need these things, it can be far too late to get a hold of them.

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Best Bug Out Shoes – All Shapes And Kinds

When you hit the road to bug out, there’s no telling what will be in your way. You may not have your vehicle long, if at all. If you’ve got to hoof it, the most important thing you’ve got is your bug out shoes, maybe even more important than your bag. You won’t make it far in flats or loafers.

Pair of bug out shoes in the forest.

The best shoes for bugging out are sturdy but lightweight. You want hiking shoes. They come in a variety of shapes and styles but one thing doesn’t change: they’re made for walking.

Below is a list of the best bug out hiking shoes for men and women that I could find. Whether you prefer the ankle protection of boots or the weight of sneakers, I’ve got you covered.

Best Bug Out Hiking Shoes

Men’s Bug Out Shoes

Women’s Bug Out Shoes

Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe

Merrel is a great brand for anything hiking footwear. It’s the brand that I personally wear when I’m on the trail. My boots were tried by fire on a 100 mile mountain-backpacking trip. They haven’t stopped rocking and rolling since.

The first thing you notice when you get a good pair of hiking shoes is how they feel on your feet compared to sneakers. You’ve got to break them in but after you do they feel like they’re made for walking. 

These Merrel’s feature Vibram soles. Vibrams are a staple in footwear. You’ll find them in quality shoes from motorcycle boots to sneakers to those shoes with toes.

The next thing you might notice about these shoes is that they’re waterproof. Unfortunately, they only come up to below the ankle. This means they’ll only only protect you as far as they cover, but that’s what pants are for.

The tongue on these shoes isn’t it’s own flap, it’s all one piece. This means you don’t have to worry about dirt or debris getting into your shoes. If the SHTF, you know there’s going to be debris.

The best part about these shoes might be the price. For under $100 in most sizes and colors, these shoes pack quality! They’re a great value for a great shoe!

Best Bug Out Trail Shoes

Men’s Bug Out Shoes

Women’s Bug Out Shoes

Salomon X Ultra-3 Trail Shoe

These shoes look about as far from a hiking boot as you could be. But that couldn’t be more wrong. They might look like sneakers but these hiking shoes will keep you trucking with the best of them.

Salomon makes a quality shoes, these are the proof!

Let’s start with the comfort. When you’re out on the trail, especially if you’re moving fast, comfort matters. If you’ve got an uncomfortable shoe, it’ll get unbearable if you have to push it. These hiking shoes have padding all throughout to conform to your foot. Not only are the shoes designed for your feet, but they’re also designed for the differences in your feet. The men’s and women’s shoes differ in their shape to make sure that they fit as accurately as possible.

The tread on these shoes is specifically designed for rough terrain. The shapes on the bottom of the shoe help catch traction, especially on downhills.

All of this and a durable, hardened toe protector too! These shoes are seriously sturdy! That doesn’t compromise their weight for a second. Weight is a very big part of bugging out. These shoes keep the weight low so you can spend it where it really counts.

If you want a pair of hiking shoes that’s light and agile, without sacrificing durability, these are the shoes for you!

Best Bug Out Hiking Boots

Men’s Bug Out Hiking Boots

Women’s Bug Out Hiking Boots

Timberland White Ledge Ankle Boot

If you’re looking for a more traditional pair of hiking boots, this is likely what you were thinking of. Timberland and a known, trusted brand. This one’s a mid-length boot, only just covering your ankle. This is about as high as I’d recommend for a bug out boot. Any higher and your boot will be get pretty heavy. This length provides the support and ankle protection you want from a boot. But, it still keeps light.

The 100% full grain leather is naturally waterproof. Timberland also uses waterproof seam-sealed construction. This will keep your whole foot warm and dry, nothing’s getting in!

The metal on the boot is rustproof and designed for speed. These will keep you quick to lace and it’ll keep your laces in good shape.

Timberland’s are a high-quality shoe, and you pay for quality. Even with that said, these boots come in under $100. For a good pair of boots, that price is a deal!

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What’s A Faraday Cage? How Does It Fit Into Your Prep?

A Faraday cage isn’t always a cage like you might imagine. You can buy them pre-made or make them out of just about anything. I’ve made one out of a shoe box and a roll of aluminum foil. To answer what a Faraday cage is, I’ll start with how it works.

Satellite monitoring for events that could call for a faraday cage.

Faraday cages work by blocking electromagnetic fields. This includes things like wifi and phone signal, but also EMPs. This EMP blocking effect is the part we’re the most interested in for prepping. In my example from above, the aluminum foil formed a complete seal around the inside of the box. With the aluminum touching completely, it forms a shell. That shell absorbs and redirects these waves and pulses. So why might this be necessary?

Where Do EMPs Come From?

There are a couple things that could cause an EMP you’d need to worry about. The first is the most obvious: EMP weapons. EMPs were first discovered when the US government was testing nuclear weapons. They observed that detonating these nukes high in the air had an EMP effect felt on the ground. These EMPs fry electronics and bring down electrical systems. Everybody knows this now, and if a foreign power wanted to, they could use it.

The risk of another country using these kinds of weapons is high and it’s low. CIA agents and government officials always say that we’re much closer to global war than we know. While this is true, it’s also true that a global war is bad for everyone. Even the country starting it will be worse off for having done it. The world has enough nukes to blow itself up twenty times over, a global war could end life as we know it. For this reason, the risk is also low.

In this war scenario, it’s likely that the bombs would be a lot stronger than EMPs. If nukes start flying, we won’t have to worry about bugging out or prepping either way.

The other EMP risk is scarier because we can’t predict or control it. That’s solar flares. Massive solar flares could crop up at any time and knock down the grid. One happened 150 years ago that would have done this, but the grid wasn’t up yet. These flares aren’t even particularly rare. Our electric life as we know it just hasn’t been around long enough to see one.

What To Put In The Faraday Cage

So you see the risks here. The next question is, what do you put in a Faraday cage? There are lot’s of pre-built professional Faraday cages at a range of prices. You can get one to fit any need. The only limit is your budget. I recommend, at your entry level, getting an emergency crank radio and a flashlight.

Emergency radios are incredibly important. They’re a lifeline. It’s easy to forget how connected you are. If something big happens, you’ll be aware of it in hours, likely minutes. If cell phones, the internet, and TV all go down, you’re cut off. The blackout could be a small cyber attack or it could be the end of the grid as we know it. The first things to come back up, or possible the last to go down, are emergency radio broadcasts. If you’ve got a shielded emergency radio, it’ll keep you hooked in, even when everything is going down.

If I had a lot of disposable income, I’d go even bigger than that. I’d put together a Faraday shed with a full HAM Radio in it. It really is the truth that your budget is your limit. If you’ve got the money for it, you could Faraday harden your bedroom, your entire house! 

This is a tangent. The average person, you and me, should look at realistic solutions. The realistic solution is this: get a small Faraday box/bag and put a radio and a flashlight in it. If you’re including these items in your bug out bag, it’ll pay to protect them.

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What If The Grid Goes Down? (How To Survive It)

The fact that you’re reading this article means you’re hooked into the grid. The grid refers to the power grid. It’s the massive interconnected system that keeps everyone powered and communicating 24/7. This is a far-reaching, complex system kept running by hundreds of thousands of people. What if it all suddenly stopped? Is this even possible?

Useless power lines if the grid goes down.

Yes, and it’s terrifying.

What Can Cause It?

I’ll start with how this could happen. The flashiest options are also the least likely. One method of taking down power grids would be with EMP attacks. These electromagnetic pulse weapons are just missiles with a heck of a payload. There’s a chance that another world power could use one of these, but it’s not likely. This would be a massive act of war that would lead to the destruction of society as we know it. 

Unfortunately, there’s a natural phenomenon that’s unpredictable and just as dangerous. That’s solar flares. There are solar flares all the time, most of the time we don’t notice. About 150 years ago, just such a solar flare hit us. Some scientists believe we’ll see another one within the coming decades. It knocked down telegrams and some operators even reported getting shocked. Since the technology was new and not big, damage was small. If a solar flare of that size happened today, the damage would be trillions of dollars.

Not only would the damage be expensive, it would be disruptive. This is much scarier for the average person. Governments and big companies will get supply chains back on track, but how long will it take. You can bet anything that the gap is going to be chaos.

But even though some scientists believe a solar flare is coming, it’s still not likely. What is likely, are cyber attacks. USA Today states that a cyber attack hits the grid about every 4 days. All it would take is for one of these attacks to be more successful than they are. Power outages already cost us $33 billion a year to fix, and that’s with them being as small as they are. 

So if the big one hits, what happens?

What’ll It Look Like If The Grid Goes Down

First off, it’s going to get quiet. Most people aren’t used to the silence that would follow a grid down event like these. Fortunately and unfortunately, it wouldn’t stay quiet for long. Some businesses might have generators but stores would close fast. At this point, the panic would start. You’d see a drastic spike in “survivor crimes”. These are things like looting and self defense around the looting, the things you might see around other disasters, but worse. This makes stores and major streets dangerous places to be. 

If the grid was knocked down by a cyber attack, it should be back up soon. This is why preparation is important. If you’ve got even a week up supplies at home, you don’t have to go out and try to get it. You can hunker down with your family and wait for things to get back under control.

Irreparable Damage

If it was an EMP, this may be a different story. EMPs damage circuitry. This damage can’t be reversed from a distance. Electronics would need replacing. The time to get the world back up and running gets a lot longer. There’s a chance that the world may never fully recover from the chaos that follows this. This is the kind of situation that bugging out can help. Once stores are picked clean, looters will turn to residences. Your supplies are only good if you can hold onto them. Getting out of dodge, especially in urban areas, will put space between you and unrest.

We live our lives completely intertwined with the grid. In a way, the fates of the grid and society are intertwined. By preparing for major disruptions, you detach yourself from this reliance. By having plans to follow, you keep yourself from falling into the chaos.

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Hurricane: How To Bug Out Or Hunker Down

Bugging out in the event of a hurricane is different than a lot of other bug out situations. For starters, you’ll have some warning before you need to get out. You’ll likely be able to return after a temporary period of time. You also know if you’re in an area that’s at risk. With all these things considered, what questions do you need to answer about your evac plan?

A hurricane rolling in.

When do I need to bug out? 

Step one is keeping an eye on when you might need to leave. Where do you get this info? NOAA has a website specifically for keeping track of active storm risks. It can be found right here: . If you live anywhere near the east coast, it’s a good idea to check this site often during storm season. This is especially useful for planning travel or outdoor activity. If you’re thinking about going camping or boating, makes sure you know the storm schedule. 

What should you bring with you?

I’ve got some articles about what to put in your bug out bag, so you should have a good baseline. There’s no telling what can happen when you have to bug out. Even with a solid evacuation plan, you should try to be ready for anything. That said, your bag should fit your plans.

If you’re planning to go to a public shelter, there are things you likely won’t need. You won’t need a heavy cooking kit. You can leave the axe and saw at home. There are other things you can spend the weight on! This is a good time to consider luxury items you wouldn’t normally. Pillows and blankets are in short supply at shelters. Not to mention, it’s nice to have comfort from home. Bringing these will ensure your family will stay comfortable. 

Another thing to keep in mind is keeping entertained. There’s a chance you’ll be in the shelter for a week or two. That’s a whole lot of down time. Bring things like iPads or laptops, but also make sure to bring non-electric stuff. There’s no telling if you’ll have continued access to power. If you bring books, notebooks, and games, you’ll have entertainment that won’t die on you.

What if you can’t make it to the hurricane shelter?

That all said, prepping and preparedness is about planning for the worst, not the best. There’s a chance that for one reason or another, you won’t get to the shelter. For this reason, you don’t want to slim your bug out bag down too much. You can drop some weight for luxury, but make sure you stay self sufficient. Make sure you can still start a fire, make a basic shelter, and clean up drinking water. A hurricane brings a lot of water. You’re going to want to make sure that you can get some clean for drinking. You’re also going to want to make sure you can get dry and keep warm. 

Should you always evacuate when there’s a hurricane?

The government actually doesn’t recommend evacuating unless your area has a flood risk. I don’t either, to an extent. When evacuation orders hit, everyone hits the road at once. Usually more people than even have to. There’s been a trend recently of over-evacuating. This can be very dangerous if the storm hits while everyone is still choking up the highway. You stand a much better chance hunkering down at home than in a car. 

If you can evacuate ahead, this might be a good opportunity to visit family or vacation. Evacuation can be very expensive. Hotels sell out and are costly in the first place. By staying with friends or family, you save money and likely have a more comfortable time. If it looks like something serious is headed your way, that might be a great opportunity to visit family. If you’re going to spend money on a hotel, you might as well go somewhere nice and make a vacation out of it.

When you’re wondering whether your bug out plans are complete, answer these questions. That’s the crux of planning. Figure out what questions you’ve got, and then make sure you have an answer. If you answer all your questions, you can rest assured that you’ve done all that you can. That is, until you look up some more questions to answer!

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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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