A great Bug-Out Pack starts with planning and preparation. Your list is the key here. People who plan and prepare are better geared to handle survival situations. When you make your own bug-out pack, you know exactly what's in it and where. Preassembled bags are at best better than nothing. In Part 1 we talked about the need for a good pack, multiple water containers, and an army-grade folding knife. Now we move on to the other essentials.
Fixed Blade Knife or Hunting KnifeIn any emergency situation, let me remind you that you'll be in 'survival mode'. Be prepared to gather food and make a temporary shelter if you have to. A hunting knife is not something you need every day, but it's your best tool and ally in any survival situation. You're probably not going to need it in most cases. However, for extreme scenarios, this will be your best tool to gather food, make shelter, and defend. Choose a good-quality fixed blade knife that can slice wood and take down an elk for dinner. A hunting knife is not a must for everyone but survival experts highly recommend carrying one.
Water FilterIt may happen that in some emergency situations, you'll lose access to clean drinking water. Carry a portable water filter like LifeStraw that is capable of removing over 99% of all water-borne impurities and pathogens. What's great about this filter, is that. one will last you for days and provide you with 1000 liters of clean drinking water before you need a replacement. Another great option is Sawyer Mini Water Filter that allows you to drink water directly from the source - whether it's a bowl of dirty water, a puddle, or a river.
Emergency Blanket And Sleeping BagThese are extremely useful to keep warm at night and during the day. There can be a host of reasons why you're going to need to tuck under a warm blanket. Emergency blankets are a stark contradiction to the soft, warm, "blankets" that we imagine. This is more akin to a plastic tarp with a foil on the inside. The foil inside traps and reflects the heat back to you. Apart from keeping warm, you can also use them for collecting rainwater if needed.
When planning your 'Go Pack', you can forget fluffy sleeping bags. Instead, get something that's lightweight, and can be easily stowed in your sack. Quality emergency sleeping bags have ventilation that avoids condensation. When buying one, consider the weather and temperatures that it'll need to face. Sleeping bags like Life Bivy are quite affordable and at 7" can fit most people comfortably.
FireHave the capacity to strike a light in any given situation. Having fire will ensure warmth, cooked food, SOS signal, purified water, defense against beasts ..... the list is endless. Add fire-starting gear to your Go Pack. It's a must-have. They're inexpensive and you can simply pack a few Bic lighters and stormproof matches.
Finally, you need food. Pack enough food for 72 hours at least. Keep things simple and lightweight. No need to throw in a lamb shoulder. Pack energy bars, canned beans, rice crispies, nuts ... enough to keep you going for 3 days. Clif Bars are great on-the-go food bars and have a one-year shelf life.