Bug-out Bag: the Basics

Posted: January 27, 2012 by boyscout556 in Bug-out Bag
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Be Prepared, the Boy Scout motto and really the whole reason behind this site.   Having spent 7 years in Boy Scouts, and having attained the rank of Eagle Scout, a few things were drilled into my head by fathers that wanted to relive their younger years vicariously through there sons.  I mean really, go to any Boy Scout troop and I’ll bet 75% of the boys don’t even want to be there, but their dads are making them, mostly so the dads can go on the trips.  Either way, even being forced to be there, I still learned some useful skills, a few of which I might still remember.  First aid (trust me Scout Masters are obsessed with it), pioneering (knot tying, lashing etc. for those of you who were never forced to learn it.  I can lash a 30 foot tower together, not that it will ever help me), orienteering (map reading, using a compass, etc.  I don’t know what’s wrong with Land Nav but hey); all useful skills when you’re trying to survive in the woods.  One of the biggest things they repeated, other than first aid, was what should be in your backpack every time you go on a hike; The Ten Essentials.  This was a list that the Boy Scouts of America (and many other outdoors organizations) thought was so important that every Boy Scout (at least in my Troop) was required to carry them on every hike.  I mean let’s face it, that guy that lasted 72 hours and cut off his arm, (he cut off his own fucking arm) could do that because he had a knife with him.  If he didn’t have a knife he’d still have both arms, then again he might also be dead.  Now, thinking back, I realize that these ten items are really the basis of any bug out bag minus the guns and ammo.  And yes guns and ammo really are a necessity for a proper bug-out bag.

The Ten Essentials were:

  1. a pocket knife/multi tool
  2. first aid kit
  3. water bottle
  4. fire starter
  5. trail food
  6. extra clothing
  7. rain gear
  8. map and compass
  9. a flashlight
  10. sun protection

The first thing you notice is this list is meant more for a day on the trail rather than a few days of survival, I understand that.  I’m not saying “put this shit in a bag and you’ll be Bear Grylls”.  But it does provide a great basis.  If Bear actually packed this stuff he wouldn’t be drinking his own urine or giving himself an brackish water enema (seriously, here’s the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtIG4TuVnvg).  Upgrade the trail food to a few days’ worth of MREs or the like, add some extra bottles of water (or go with the enema, your call), a second larger knife (easier to cut off your own arm, you know, get you out in 60 hours instead of 72), etc. and you have the bare necessities of a bug-out bag.  Obviously a true bug-out bag will need a few more items (like ammo and a radio for starters), but if you just don’t know where to start I think this is the place, ten things packed easily into a backpack, that can be ready to go anytime.

And for those of you who ask “why do I need a gun, these ten items seem like enough, and guns scare me” just remember that there are assholes like me that will say, “what no gun?”  and take your shit, cause let’s be honest, when the SHTF it’s a dog eat dog world out there.


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