I’m talking about a “Bug-Out Bag,” a ready-to-grab-at-anytime kit that gets you out the door and long gone, quickly and safely, when things go south. Even though you probably aren’t going to have a foreign hit squad on your trail, or Federal agents ready to kick in your door, there are still a number of situations where the Average Joe needs to have a bug-out bag — or a “Get Home Bag” (see below) — packed and ready to go. So I spoke with Creek Stewart, survival skills trainer, owner of Willow Haven Outdoor, and author of the upcoming book, Build the Perfect Bug-Out Bag: Your 72 Hour Disaster Survival Kit (May 12, Betterway Books), to find out what those situations are, and what we city-dwellers need to have to create an Urban Survival Bug-Out bag that’ll keep us from resorting to “Lord of the Flies”… for 3 or 4 days at least.
If you’re forced out of your home and need to survive on your own for at least 72 hours, Stewart says to remember the Core 4 Basic Human Survival Needs: Shelter, Water, Fire and Food – and to make sure your bag covers them all.
Stewart says to keep in mind the first bug-out bag you grab may actually be a “Get Home Bag” — providing you the essentials you need to get out of a stricken city and home to your family. Mass chaos and exodus would make getting from work to home very complicated, and a disaster-stricken city is a very dangerous place. So, just as military pilots have a “get-home survival kit” packed in their cock-pit, Stewart recommends having a “Get Home Bag” ready to go at your office or in your car. Stewart told me having Bug-Out bags at the ready isn’t about becoming a crazy survivalist in the woods or having a bunker mentality. There are plenty of options when it comes to picking up a survival kit, a kit that supposedly has all the latest and greatest survival gear all in one place. You can of course, be caught in a survival situation regardless of whether you have a kit or not, but once in a situation your survival may depend on whether you have a kit and does it have what you need. The point is it would be extremely rare to find yourself waking up in the middle of a wilderness environment with no clue as to how you got there. The key word is environment, building your kit and keeping your kit relevant allows you to adapt to any environment in which you expect to find yourself. The so-called off the shelf kits are well stocked but just how many button compasses do you really need, and then the quality is always questionable. As for sawing wood, they generally do not get the job done and a good survival knife will do a better job of cutting through the log or limb.
The retailers of survival kits will provide you with a dozen or so to increase the number of survival items they claim to be providing you, it sounds good in the advertisement. The retailers will advertise their kit contains 101 items and this makes you think you are getting a bargain along with everything you need.


Granted there is a psychological advantage to having what you think is a well-stocked survival kit but reality dictates you make sure you have what you need by doing it yourself.
The off the shelf kits will have items that you do need but again the quality is a factor and why buy an expensive kit knowing most of the items cannot or will not be used.
The point of this article is to help you build your own comprehensive 3 day survival kit for you and your family.
Tiny, light and infinitely transportable, this affordable little kit might save your life in an emergency. You can go fancier and build a kit in a small Otterbox waterproof case, but the whole idea here is to create something small enough that you have no excuse not to carry it and cheap enough that you have no excuse not to make one.
The items in this kit aren't the kind of stuff you're going to want to rely on through hard, frequent use.
If you want to include one of those Mylar survival blankets, wrap it around the outside of the tin after the kit is complete.
A Loksak makes a great waterproof case for the kit and can double as that clear water container.
Food: Packing fishing line as your cordage give you a multi-use capability, making the most of your limited space. You can also use your little cable saw, knife blade and cordage to create a spear to catch small game and fish.
First Aid: You've got duct tape and the ability to tear or cut your clothing, so you have the capability to close wounds and make Band-Aids, slings, splints or cover blisters. It will contain what is needed to survive after you have exhausted the normal supplies you had packed.
Once your supplies are depleted, your survival kit is there so you have the means to obtain what you need from your environment, when you do become lost. A survival knife is a priority and allowing someone else to choose it is akin to letting someone else load your firearm or pack your chute. You have to decide but keep in mind they are probably only good for sawing through rope or plastic restraints if you happen to have one taped to your body where you can reach it if you do become restrained by some cannibalistic family living in the backwoods.


Having a kit prepared will often mean the difference between relative comfort, and being caught in a dicey situation where you and your loved ones are at risk. They're small, light, works-in-a-pinch stuff, intended to give you a diverse level of extra capability should you find yourself stuck somewhere with nothing else to rely on. These remain the same no matter where you find yourself, desert, mountains, forest, whatever. Two unlubricated, plain condoms can each hold a gallon of water, while taking up very little space in your tin.
In a survival situation, small prey should be your focus, it's easier to catch, much more abundant and, cumulatively, can actually add up to a lot of food for not much work. A flat whistle is also a great idea, it's much louder than even the loudest shout and you can blow on a whistle long after you'd have lost your voice hollering. In other words, you had every intention of heading off into the great unknown, and whether you prepared properly may mean the difference between surviving and not. If you are an angler and are looking forward to a few hours on the river or lake then your kit does not necessarily need to be overloaded with fishing tackle. Once lost however, they can be used to obtain food, but then what, you still need shelter, fire and a clean source of water and other tools to find your way back or be prepared to shelter in place. The knives in most kits would be low quality, while any knife is a good knife if it is the only one you have, but why allow yourself to be stranded with a cheap one if you can help it. If you don't want to or can't carry a large length of steel on your hip and want a knife you can pack alongside this kit (but outside it, won't fit), we recommend the ESEE Izula, which will be just the thing for wood processing, fire making and shelter building in a real pinch.



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Comments

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