Get your survival bag ready, because tomorrow may not be the yesterday you are used to!
Unless Instructor Zero is your daddy or you were raised by wolves you will need gear to survive! One can never be too prepared however there are five different types of survival bags. You need to determine what your most likely emergency situation will require of you, in order to decide which bag you need. The principles to which you plan your bag apply to any type of bag, the amount and skillset of the tools you pack may differ.
•Aim to get you home or to your BOL
•Kept in your car
•Aim to survive at least a day
•Lifestyle depending, the travel time/distance will be limited
•Multi-tool, pocket knife
•Aim to survive away from home/BOL
•Kept at your house
•Aim to survive for a week or longer
•No limit to time/distance of travel
•Min 2L water + purification tablets •Canned food, tools to acquire food
•Water-resistant jacket, foldable tent •Axe, shovel, fixed-blade knife
Different types of bags:
I don’t refer to this as a “bag” because these are all items you rely on frequently and provides the most basic functionality and personal safety. Most of these items are carried on your person, but you may also have a designated EDC bag for an extra mag, multi-tool, flashlight etc.
Most people believe this is a waste of money, as it is only a simplified version of the BOB, but it will help you survive for at least 3 days. This bag will include basic first aid, fire starting tools, water bottle and/or portable chargers.
INCH (I’m Never Coming Home) Bag:
This bag will help you survive for a few months! An INCH bag assumes your Bug Out Location is compromised so you will have to provide food, clean water and shelter for yourself. This bag will have more sophisticated gear than a BOB.
Why do you need a Survival bag?
Preparedness is the key to survival. If you are not prepared, you and your loved ones are vulnerable. When SHTF and you are forced to make do with your situation this bag will be your lifeline. A survival bag is essential, because not all emergency scenarios come with a warning.
Okay, most important, the bag itself!
Don’t be a cheapskate! Saving money now may cost you your life later! A quality bag is essential. Your bag should meet the following criteria:
- Made of thick, durable fabric with airtight construction.
- Has a chest strap and/or padded hip straps.
- Includes a shell or are water-resistant.
- Has high quality zippers and clips.
- Includes several pockets and compartments and/or roll-top construction for expanded storage.
Your survival bag needs to comply to 3 principles:
1. Serve the ability to stay dry and warm
2. Serve the ability to start a fire
3. Serve the ability to get a hold of and purify water.
Keep in mind that your Survival bag will not contain the same items than the guy next to you, however the ideal bag should be easy to transport which may limit your options. So assess each category thoroughly to determine what YOUR must-haves in a life-or-death situation will be. These are applicable on any type of bag.
There are 7 basic types of gear you will need for your survival bag:
- First aid kit
- Basic gear (refer to the following category list)
Even the most hard-core survivalist will prove to have a hard time creating some items which are difficult, if not impossible, to re-create from raw materials. So make sure to represent each of these categories in your bag in some way.
- Water containers and purifiers
- Fire making tools
- Cutting and digging tools
- Tarps, rope and cordage
- Clothing and blankets
- Basic first aid and chronic medication
- Communication equipment
- Basic gear: Compasses, binoculars, SOS devices, radiation detectors, money, documents
Use the following checklist to ensure that your bag will save you’re a$$ in any emergency situation:
- Extra ammo
- Cleaning kit
- Pocket knife
- Pepper spray
- Stunt gun
- Tactical pen
Water (Containers & purifiers)
- Metal water bottle- keep water cool, also allow to boil water
- Water filtration system
- Chlorine/ iodine tablets- purifiers
- Condoms- store water or serve as water-resistant storage
Food (Fire making tools)
- Flint/ lighter/ matches/ magnifying glass/ emergency tinder
- Fire laces
- Vaseline + plastic straws- combination can be used as candles
- Foldable metal stand, pot, mug and spork
- Snacks, canned food, non-perishable rations
Shelter (Cutting & digging and tarps, rope & cordage)
- Fixed-blade knife
- Foldable saw
- Foldable shovel
- Crow bar
- Blade sharpener
- Heavy duty rope
- Zip ties
- Sleeping bag
- Duct tape
- Fishing kit
Clothing and blankets
- Beanie/ balaclava
- bandana/ scarf
- Hand & feet warmers
- Rain jacket
- Emergency “space” blanket
- Change of clothes
- Medical instrument kit (scissors, tweezers etc.)
- Chronic/ prescription medication
- Chest would seal
- Aspirin, NSAIDs, anti-bacterial ointment, anti-histamines
- Safety pins
- Antiseptic wound cleaner
- Walkie Talkie (extra set of batteries)
- Radio (extra set of batteries)
- SOS devices (mirror, whistle, light sticks)
- Survival and First aid cheat sheets
- Emergency cash
- Important documents
- Gas mask
- Reactive skin decontamination lotion
- Head lamp (extra set of batteries)
- Flashlight (extra set of batteries)
- GPS tracking system
- Portable solar charger
- Radiation detector
- Sewing kit
You may not use every single item on this list, so take your time to go through each category one-by-one to ensure you prepare properly for the emergency situation you are most likely to find yourself in.
Finally, I cannot stress this enough, SERVICE YOUR EQUIPMENT! You may need your bag a week from now, two years from now, or even never, but you need to keep your knives sharp, check the batteries and ensure that your food and medical supplies have not expired. Rather have it and don’t need it, than need it and don’t have it!