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This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list or description of a bug-out bag and the contents there of. This is merely an attempt to familiarize Everythingians with the concept and utilization of a bug-out bag without the emotional prejudices of over-hyped survivalist stories in the wake of Y2K (Note: Per PBS's Frontline interview with the Admiral in charge, the NSA was electronically blind for three days following Y2K). Bug-out bags, BOB’s, are also known as 72-hour Emergency Essentials Kits and variations thereof. The term bug-out comes from the military use of the term in similar application.

The study of emergency preparedness and survival situations has been a lifetime endeavor for me, first while in Boy Scouts and later in the Army and later while living in the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico. While living in New Mexico I kept small bug-out bags right next to the automobile survival kits in my van and in my wife’s car. A pleasant afternoon drive in the mountains can turn ugly mighty quickly and it is smart to be prepared. It may only be ten miles to town, but if you have to hump over 8500' tall mountains to get there then you had better be prepared for what you are facing.

Every person’s situation and location is different. Every person’s bug-out bag will be different as well. A mountain dweller’s BOB will obviously be different from the BOB of someone living in urban Florida.

The purpose of a bug-out bag is to have the bare essentials close at hand ready to go at a moments notice whether it is a minor emergency or TEOTWAWKI. It is not meant to carry all the comforts of home. It is not meant for use for weeks on end. It is meant to provide you with the bare essentials in most disaster and emergency situations that may arise whether you are mobile or stationary. The scenarios are infinite.

ESSENTIALS LIST – Most items on this list can be obtained on-line, at Wal-Mart, Army-Navy surplus stores or even garage sales.

  • A ruck-sack to hold everything, (not a military bag, a civilian bag is more stealth, you can carry a camo pack cover for field situations with a civilian bag you're just someone walking down the street with a book bag) you've probably got one laying around in a closet
  • Boy Scout Field Book in Ziploc bag (read it before you need it)
  • Any needed medications with copies of prescriptions
  • Spare eyeglasses
  • Identification (old expired drivers licenses work well)
  • Water purification tablets, water bag, water purifier/filter
  • 2 large garbage bags
  • 50' parachute cord
  • Space blanket
  • Lighter and waterproof matches
  • 3 8-hour candles
  • Small roll of duct tape
  • 3 cyalume chemlight light sticks taped together with extra duct tape (this prevents their premature activation, and gives a little extra duct tape to work with)
  • Knife, Swiss Army Type
  • Knife, Folding Hunter Type
  • Multi-Tool, Leatherman or Gerber
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Pepper spray
  • Whistle
  • Compass (get a good quality one)
  • Flashlight (small, waterproof), store batteries separately (check seasonally), headstrap for flashlight
  • Stocking cap
  • Polypropylene glove liners, leather glove shells
  • Neutral colored flannel shirt
  • Spare underwear
  • Spare socks, 2 pair, NOT COTTON
  • Military Camo Poncho (shelter and concealment)
  • 3 MREs or substitute off the shelf items
  • Small assortment of spices (cayenne, paprika, sage, etc. It is amazing what you can eat when it is spiced right.)

OPTIONAL List - The laws regarding the possesion and transport of firearms vary from state to state check your states statutes.

  • Survival Arms, AR-7 .22 semi-auto survival rifle w/spare magazine (the barrel and receiver take down, all components fit into stock, it floats, it is very light and is small enough to fit in a ruck-sack)
  • 1 brick .22 ammo (500 rds.)
  • Small single-action 6-shot .22 revolver and holster
  • Weapons cleaning kit
  • River-runner type sandals
This little kit should serve you well in most situations. Weighing in at under thirty pounds, it is light enough that it should be on hand for most situations.

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