A bug out bag is a pack that contains enough items to survive for 72 hours. The idea is that if you need to make a hasty retreat in the event of an emergency, you can grab your bag and have enough supplies to evacuate to a more secure location. Creek Stewart of Willow Haven Outdoor explains how to put together your bug out bag in this guest post for The Art of Manliness. The post covers ten supply categories to consider when creating your kit: water, food, shelter, fire, first aid, tools, lighting, communications, self-defense, and other miscellaneous gear.
The term ‘Bugging Out’ refers to the decision to abandon your home due to an unexpected emergency situation–whether a natural disaster or one caused by man. A ‘Bug Out Bag’ is a pre-prepared survival kit designed to sustain you through the journey to your destination once you’ve decided to ‘Bug Out’ in the event of an emergency evacuation. Typically, the Bug Out Bag (BOB) is a self-contained kit designed to get you through at least 72 hours. This kit is also referred to as a 72-Hour Bag, a Get Out Of Dodge Bag (GOOD Bag), an EVAC Bag, and a Battle Box.
The thought of having to evacuate your home due to a sudden and imminent threat is not at all unrealistic. The reality is that sudden and uncontrollable events of nature and man do happen. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, storms, earthquakes, floods and volcanic explosions can strike fast and hard–wreaking havoc on homes, vehicles, roads, medical facilities and resource supply chains such as food, water, fuel, and electricity. When Hurricane Katrina struck the Southern US Coast just a few years ago, tens of thousands of people had to evacuate their homes with little warning. Unprepared and with no emergency plan, many of these people were completely dependent on scavenging and hand-outs while living in make-shift shelters–fending for themselves in a time of complete chaos and disorder. A 72-Hour Emergency Kit packed with survival essentials would have been an invaluable and priceless resource. In our unstable and unpredictable world economy, we would be foolish to think there is also no chance of a terrorist or military attack from forces domestic or foreign that could possibly force us to evacuate our own home. An act of war is not the only threat from man. Dams burst, power plants go down, pipelines explode, oil spills occur, and other man-made structures and facilities can fail, resulting in disaster. Outbreaks of sickness and disease could also warrant an evacuation.
We cannot control when, where, or how disasters strike. But we can control how prepared we are to deal with a disaster. There is a fine line between order and chaos and sometimes that line can be measured in seconds. When every second counts, having a plan and the tools to see that plan through are crucial to survival. The Bug Out Bag is your #1 resource in your overall Bug Out Plan and may very well be your key to survival one day.