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Need info for an emergency "bug out" kit

1242 Views 15 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  LAK
In light of recent events, I'm going to finally do something I have been considering for a while. I want to put together an emergency "bug out" kit that I can grab in an emergency situation. It should have everything I might need in a worst case scenario. What are some recomendations of necessary items? Please provide links to other sites that might be of help. Thanks.
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I am no sort of militant survivalist nor have I had any sort of specific survival training that would give too much credibility to me as an expert. I have no misconceptions about us surviving in the wilds of western North America. This is purely and urban survival sort of kit that isn't terribly different from what we would take on vacation, except with more food, medicines, and such a a little less clothing.

That being said, at various times, we have a "GO" (Get Out) box that is a large Pelican Case (1650 series, I think)in which we have clothing, toiletries, first aid, some permanent packaged food (some of which was harvested from MREs, some just dry foods), as well as a variety of general purpose medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, tums, imodium, Benedryl that will work for nasal allergies as well as skin rashes and help with severe bug bites. We have a couple of bottles of antibacterial hand wash that requires no water to use. One of the better additions is a giant bottle of multivitamins. Flashlights, you can't really have too many or enough batteries in reserve. There are other items that may or may not be useful such as a regular charger for cell phone batteries, but most likely we would be recharging while in the car.

Gear in the GO box gets changed out on a regular basis because we use it to travel anyway. When not on vacation, we like to have at least 3 full changes of clothes, plus extra socks and underwear. For winter stuff, heavier clothes take up more room, hence the limit of 3 sets.

Already in both family cars are various roadside emergency gear including tire plug kits, a 12v air compressor (and I have used both on the road and it really isn't too hard to fix a puncture out in the middle of nowhere if the tire is NOT completely flat and no longer sealed against the rim), more food, jumper cables, tow cable, mixed set of tools (in case a mechanic finds us stranded and doesn't have any tools, then s/he can use mine to fix my car), flashlight, toilet paper (hey, you never know) and paper towels. In both cars, there is probably 2 or more rolls of duct tape. There are also some work gloves and if it is winter, then a set of tire cables are included also.

Not knowing what will be going on in the next few days, we took some time to change out some clothing, added some specific items relevant to our current conditions (the wife is pregnant), and feel pretty good about the GO box. Both cars have first aid kits as well.

The GO box we do is not intended for anything extraordinary really, just based on practical needs that we might have. We could leave straight away with the GO box because of a dire emergency (flooding, big fire swallowing the landscape, etc.), but don't anticipate ever having to leave with just it alone.

Firearms and weapons are your call. For me, today seemed like a really good day too see just how many magazines I have and to go ahead and check their condition by loading all of them. We don't keep firearms in the GO box for storage, but right now it does hold a few of the mags and a couple boxes of ammo for each gun that we might leave with. We have a home defense shotgun and while it remains loaded at home with a single spare box of 00 buck tactical, there are now several boxes in a carry pouch with the shotgun. If we leave, then it will be ready to go with us with ammo.

45 Shooter, I realize you probably posted your query based on the horrific incidents that occurred today and it was for the same reason that we took inventory. I don't think that we live in an area where we will have much concern for terroristic problems - I mean you go past two tactor supply places getting out here. I doubt we will have any problems unless some local people decide that the rules have all changed, which I also don't see happening.

The GO box is like the first aid kit we have. We have used it for several little incident things like cuts, scrapes, etc., but have never had to use it for emergency stuff, but it is there if we do. The nice thing about having a GO box is that we can (and have) used it for taking spontaneous trips when friends invite us out or because we hear something fun is going on down in Austin and it starts tonight. For things like that, we can be on the road really quickly.

Just like when you travel, pack items that are practical and try to pack items that have more than one function or can be used in a variety of situations. Knives can be used for many jobs and I carry one and my wife has one as well. We have a compass in each car an that is one of those items that you might overlook, but like a gun, when you need a compass, you need it now. They have glowing parts and can be used in the day or night. Spare shoe laces are great because they can be used to replace broken shoe laces, or be used to tie up things. Much of our stuff is compartmentalized into freezer sized ziplock bags that also can be used to store unfinished food or hold water. Spare clothing can be balled up to make pillows. For anything packed in the box, try not to bring two non disposable items that serve the same function unless you actually need both of them. For example, you don't need to pack steak knives if you already have a good pocket knife. Do bring extra batteries or flashlights because the batteries do get used up and the bulbs may burn out.

I am sure I am forgetting stuff, but hopefully this will help.
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Double Naught: Nice list. There are a couple of additions that I'd make (I know, everyone has their own two cents).
1) Wind/waterproof matches.
2) A set of two way radios and a portable
CB radio (if things get too bad, cell
phone towers may go out of service).
3) A regular am/fm radio.
Good job DNS.

Edited because it's pretty sad that there was a spelling mistake in a sentence that small.

[This message has been edited by shane45-1911 (edited 09-12-2001).]
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I would add;

I would never discount the possibility that you might end up on foot for 101 reasons. So even if I am packing a vehicle I would have the grab bag (backpack) packed with as much as I can reasonably carry - including the bare essentials. And keep it that way in case you have to leave your vehicle behind in a hurry. replacing any item to the pack after use, or have doubles of those in the vehicle that can be left behind.

As mentioned, guns really are much influenced by personal preference. In addition to a fullsize service pistol/long gun of choice (plus ammo, parts, cleaning/tool kit etc), I consider a reliable, accurate .22 pistol a good idea with several hundred rounds of the most accurate ammo that shoots in that particular gun, + spare parts. A compact cleaning kit like the Otis cable pull-through kit can be used to clean any gun with the right brushes, patches etc. And a carefully selected tool set for each gun. Any tools that overlap guns will save space and weight of course.

A good water filtration device, preferably one that has a combination charcoal (chemical) and ceramic micro (microscopic badguys) filter system. The Katadyn Combi Filter for example. If you have no filter remember iodine will not kill cryptosporidia (cysts). The right amount of bleach will do if you can't boil it. Coffee filters, fine cloth, or sponge at the filter hose intake will make your filter elements last longer. Collapsable water container, or at least two 1-quart clean containers per person so you are not limited to what you use on the spot if you are on the move on foot.

You MIGHT find cheaper prices on various sites: run keywords "Katadyn+Combi+filter" on www.dogpile.com

Food items will probably be a sort of "minimum" ration for a day or three in a grab bag, and should preferably not need cooking. There are many options here according to taste - best to think this one through carefully as you are not going to have the energy to walk far otherwise. I think beef or game jerky is best. It has alot of food value, and is light. Dried fruit and nuts, some iodized salt if they are not salted. Lots of other choices too, but personal tastes will dictate much, and you can't go overboard on this or your grab bag is going to go from "heavy" to "way-to-heavy" in a hurry.

Shelter. There are many light, compact options there, and you can no doubt pick that one to suit your needs, or improvise if neccessary.

In addition to matches, there are a few really good little fire starter devices like the "Strike Force". They are compact and can be used with magnesium shavings (those G.I. type blocks) and or dry tinder. A tube of the right gel-type glue makes a good fire starting aid too (make sure you pack this in something that won't allow it to get into the rest of your gear if the tube busts open for any reason). The Strike Force and magnesium blocks available from Brigade Quartermasters and such suppliers. The magnesium blocks actually have a striking flint edge - but can sometimes be awkward to use if your fingers are half frozen, but the Strike Force is just plain convenient.
search keyword "Strike Force"

I would have one lightweight cooking pot with handle/lid - made of stainless steel. For boiling water if need be, cooking if you get the chance, or catching *rainwater. I stay away from aluminum. Steel can be easily cleaned with soil/sand/grit,gravel and some water after cooking. *For catching rainwater, a large clear plastic sheet - which can also be used to make a solar still.

A pack or three of disposable gloves - they will keep your hands clean if you have to get under the hood of your car or change a tire, gut and skin a rabbit, clean your gun, etc etc etc saving water if you are short of it.

Under medicines I would go to your doctor, explain what the purpose is, and ask him/her for some good painkillers and a broad spectrum antibiotic - plus one suitable for an absessed tooth. Anyone who has ever had an absessed tooth will agree with me on this one

And make sure you take them back to the Doc, and get a fresh replacement on the expiration date.

Another item I like is the marine (boating) type little 12-gauge flare pistols. They are an easily justifiable safety item if you happen to live in a jurisdiction that absolutely forbids any type of firearms being carried. I don't know of any place offhand that you couldn't carry one in a backpack or car. As a last resort, it might, at the very least, buy you a few seconds - or discourage some thug altogether. I wouldn't want to discharge one in a dry forest or grassy area though for obvious reasons, unless it were an imminent life and death matter.

One last thing - hat/headnet and at least thin one thin cotton longsleeve shirt/pants and cotton gloves. Less hassle than tubes, bottled liquids or sprays for those insidious tiny critters in my opinion.

[This message has been edited by LAK (edited 09-12-2001).]
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On aspect of preparedness that can be critical, but which is easily addressed is footwear. I heard from a friend yesterday evening who had to flee Manhattan. He managed to catch a train, but had he not been able to do so, he was looking at a 40 mile trek back home. He popped into a convenience store and quickly bought some bottled water, jerky, and trail mix. He then popped into a shoe store and bought a set of running/hiking shoes to replace his dress loafers.

While the modes of attire required by our occupations may make it difficult, it is best to wear shoes in which one wouldn't mind walking a LONG way.

Yeah - I would rather pay $200 for boots that fits perfect, and feels comfortable, than risk a cheap pair that feel just "OK". "OK" can quickly turn into "very uncomfortable" after a few miles. High-tops give ankle support, and protect them from knocks and sharp objects.

But there is alot of very cheap runner/hiker stuff for $30 and up if you are lucky and can find one that fits really well.
First identify where you spend most of your time. Come up with a bug out plan and THEN figure out what to put in your kit to carry out your plan. Alot depends on where you plan to survive, for how long, and survive against what. Do you need supplies for 72 hours, a week, or the rest of your life? Are you planning to count on some outside help or not? When I worked in an office, I planned to walk home in case my car got flattened in the underground parking lot. My pack was equipped with just what I thought I needed to get out of the building and walk home. I could walk home in 6-8 hours. Just in case my pack was equiped to spend at least 2 nights on the street or in a rescue shelter. I included a good city map. I know my usual way home but what if that way is blocked or dangerous? What if I'm given directions to a shelter? Because I live in the city I could scrounge, or purchase anything else I may need. Also there is a well structured emergency response system. So I can pack light. Air Force pilot survival kits are also designed around a plan for rescue within 72 hours. Remember to the basics. Water, food, shelter, fire, knife, and a way to signal rescuers. Most other things are "nice to haves" and can be improvised, bought, traded or "obtained". I have two kits, one in the office and one in the car. The car kit reflected the basics and items to keep the car running. I also carry auto club maps of the bordering states in the car.
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Be sure to check Skunkabilly's "Emergency Packs" thread, also here in Tactics. Some more good info there.

If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
Someone earlier mentioned shoes. Footwear is one of the things you do not want to go ceap on. Bargain, sure. But your feet need the best support they can get. I personally would pack at least 2 pair--one lightweight set of walking shoes, and one set of boots. The make of the boots is not important, but they support they provide is. Make sure that you can run or walk in both, and that they are comfortable. Combat boots are OUT. Those darn things hurt!!
Water and water filtration/ purification are biggies!

I think the "DNS" Go box is a winner. Seriously, how many of us are that prepared in a way that it won't take an armored assoult vehicle to get us out of harms way because of poor preparedness and "Over Packing"?

Bravo DNS!


"Make the First Shot Count"!
According to the Marine Corp Survival manual, this is what should be in a survival kit:

In preparing your survival kit, select items you can use for more than one purpose. If you
have two items that will serve the same function, pick the one you can use for another
function. Do not duplicate items, as this increases your kit's size and weight.
Your survival kit need not be elaborate. You need only functional items that will meet
your needs and a case to hold the items. For the case, you might want to use a Band-Aid
box, a first aid case, an ammunition pouch, or another suitable case. This case should be--
· Water repellent or waterproof.
· Easy to carry or attach to your body.
· Suitable to accept varisized components.
· Durable.
In your survival kit, you should have--
· First aid items.
· Water purification tablets or drops.
· Fire starting equipment.
· Signaling items.
· Food procurement items.
· Shelter items.
Some examples of these items are--
· Lighter, metal match, waterproof matches.
· Snare wire.
· Signaling mirror.
· Wrist compass.
· Fish and snare line.
· Fishhooks.
· Candle.
· Small hand lens.
· Oxytetracycline tablets (diarrhea or infection).
· Water purification tablets.
· Solar blanket.
· Surgical blades.
· Butterfly sutures.
· Condoms for water storage.
· Chap Stick.
· Needle and thread.
· Knife.
Include a weapon only if the situation so dictates. Read about and practice the survival
techniques in this manual. Consider your unit's mission and the environment in which
your unit will operate. Then prepare your survival kit.
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".....Include a weapon only if the situation so dictates.."

This what the Marine Corps is teaching these days!???
Originally posted by 45 Shooter:
In light of recent events, I'm going to finally do something I have been considering for a while. I want to put together an emergency "bug out" kit that I can grab in an emergency situation. It should have everything I might need in a worst case scenario. What are some recomendations of necessary items? Please provide links to other sites that might be of help. Thanks.
A kit to throw in the back of your 4x4 to survive with while you get to your secure location should have at minimum:
Food w/cooking gear and utensils.
Water and a backpack style filter and chemicals to purify water.
First-Aid Kit
Survival shelter
Sleeping bag
Shortwave and regular radio w/batteries
Means of battery operated communication (cell phone, CB), w/extra batteries.
Extra clothes w/heavy shoes or boots.
Rain gear.
Leather gloves.
Skinning knife.
Leatherman multipurpose tool.
Cash. Both paper and coin.
Pet food if you are taking any pets with you.
Make necessary adjustments to the quantities of the items above in relation to the number of persons bugging out with you. If any.
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This is directly off the Marine Corp website. They have a majority of their field manuals online, this being one of them.

I'm not exactly sure what they mean by this, but it does seem to contradict all I know of what the Marines are taught in boot.(Without my rifle I am useless, without me my rifle is useless).
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Not shocked, but surprized. I would like to guess that the assumption is that an issue arm would be present already - that the inclusion of another weapon would be a duplication, and would only be in cases where normally unarmed personnel were assembling a kit. But looking at the list, it is evident that quite a few items listed would be standard issue gear anyway.
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