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In recent months, I have been evaluating the items I have in my EveryDay Carry (EDC) backpack. Your bug out bag documents are those pieces of paper (or digital documents) you’re going to want with you if forced out of your home. And for those of you who have already constructed your bug out bag, this article serves a specific purpose: to help you determine which documents are worth adding to your bug out backpack, and how to store them.
Obviously, discussing documents (even the important sort) is not the most exciting survival topic. And in the wake of any of these disasters, you’ll be glad you packed copies of your most important documents.
Go to Kinko’s, find a copier, and make yourself a backup stash of every important piece of paper you can find. Plus, laminating paper copies is easy if you get yourself a laminator and is relatively inexpensive for the amount of extra protection it grants you.
These will keep water away from your vulnerable paper documents and ensures everything stays neat and tidy. Without a way to contain your documents they will get tossed around, smashed, and crumpled inside your pack.
One of the biggest drawbacks to paper copies is they get heavy when added up, and there is nothing you can really do about that. Obviously, paper is light in small quantities, but once there’s a stack, it suddenly becomes very heavy. Digital copies are the most efficient and lightest way to keep backup documents stored for bug out emergencies. The best part about storing digital copies is that you can save almost as much as you like. However, it’s more likely the world you flee into is one where you can still find computers and electricity, in which case it will be helpful to have digital copies of important information on backup. But these computer devices are both are heavy, and fragile (the opposite qualities of good bug out gear). But you can mitigate this risk by investing in an industrial strength protective case, but now you’re adding even more weight to your pack.
No matter how you store your digital bug out bag documents, you need to be cautious with the device they are stored on. You can invest in online tools that will serve as a decent barrier against simple intrusions.
There are a ton of different levels of security that you can buy for digital documents – it all just depends on how big your budget is. You can choose to hide files deep within other files, buried in a sequence of random names and numbers that only you would be able to follow. This creates a digital labyrinth that anyone trying to access your information would have to blunder their way through before they actually found anything – buying you a lot of time. As mentioned before, one of the most significant drawbacks to using digital means to store your bug out bag documents is the power necessary to access them.
USB’s need a computer with a USB port, handheld computers (like smartphones and tablets) require electric charge before they can be powered-up and things like external hard drives require both a working outlet and a USB port. None of those would be accessed by traditional means in a world where the power is out for good. You should invest in a portable, packable solar panel today that works great for just this purpose.
In our 104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist, we suggest taking a small portable camping stove to boil water and heat food. Crank generators convert your physical energy into electrical energy – you just have to make sure you have enough energy and get crankin’! There are a lot of bug out bag documents you could choose to save, especially with the extra space provided by a USB or handheld computer. Keep the numbers of those closest to you, the poison control hotline, any number or contact listing that would be helpful in an emergency.
This serves two purposes: one, it ensures that you have all of the appropriate contact information for emergency situations. Keep this as a luggage tag, attached to the outside of your BOB, or in an easily accessible file in your digital databank for easy access. Keeping a databank of phone numbers, mailing, email and physical addresses of your friends and family can come in incredibly helpful. Depending on how far you have to travel and where you end up, having a number of conversational translation books on hand could be a lifesaver. If you are traveling in a car, on a motorcycle or even by bugging out by bike, bring a repair manual or a book on engine maintenance. If you have a computer or a survival radio do not forget to bring or download the instructions and repair information before setting out!
These are the most personal items you can choose to include in your bug out bag document stash. Items like these do not provide any hard survival advantages, but they will keep you sane in a world gone mad. Another item that does not provide hard survival benefits, but can keep you from falling off the deep end. Actually, any federal certificate is good to have a copy of in your survival bug out bag document stash.
These can be student ID’s, work ID’s, military ID’s, any official identification with your name and face on it.
If you take any medications regularly (like insulin, inhalers, or anti-anxiety meds) keep a copy of your exact prescription handy.
In the event of a disaster or emergency, finding your medications will be hard; having the names and doses written or typed out will make it a lot easier. Hopefully, medical experts will help you no matter what – but having this documentation might endow them with a level of peace of mind. This includes listing allergies, medications frequently taken, chronic illnesses or injuries, mental health history, immunizations and reasons for prior hospitalizations. Any and all of your medical information and history is important, and will likely come in very useful. Having a will may seem like overkill but it could ensure that your children or parents or friends get your heirlooms (and not the federal government or looters). It will also give you great peace of mind that, if you do not make it out of your situation, your belongings, and final wishes will be cared for. But when you are getting ready for survival under rough circumstances, you will probably pack your weapons first, medical supplies next, food, water purification, and other tools all before you even think about packing a file full of important papers and a survival USB loaded with important documents.
But regardless of their dull nature, documents are just as important to ensuring and enabling survival in a disaster-ridden world, as are your guns and Band-Aids. They will make your life easier, and will increase your chances of making it in the long run.
Filed Under: Bug Out, Featured About Will BrendzaWill Brendza is an American writer who spends most of his free time bogged down in fearless and wild wilderness adventures.
When he isn't involved with brave acts of reckless lunacy, he can be found at craft breweries, deep in the Colorado wilderness or nowhere at all.
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First you need to realize that most survival situations won’t have us bugging out, but instead we will be bugging in, staying home and doing what it takes to survive where we are most comfortable. Do not choose a bug out location where there is a lot of people to avoid riots and people who want to steal your supplies.
Choose a location where there is a good source of food or where you can start up your garden. So after considering the above tips do you have a better idea on where you want to bug out?
Zip-ties are never really thought of when packing for survival, It can be used for so many things to include simple things like Using your zip-ties for your knife and tree branch and make a spear for defense or hunting and fishing. I had to recently check my bug out bag at the urging of my son when some severe thunderstorms were blowing through the area. I became interested in preparing a more versatile bug out bag following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Over a ten year period our bug out bag has grown from one large pack to include an army duffle bag and another back pack.
Our bug out bags are designed to get us to a safe place and provide enough food, water, shelter and security for a 72 hour period.
What’s inside my bug out bag – it’s not necessary to write this the list as I’ve included in today’s show notes.
Other things not in the bags but that I would bring along – tent, camping supplies, an evening’s worth of fire wood items related to security such as money and defense.
The first thought is an impeding hurricane such as Isabelle which rolled through the area in 2003.
Beyond that the scenarios are of the order that forces beyond our control require us to leave because our safety is in jeopardy. DisclaimerNeither this site or its owner are in anyway providing anything other than personal stories of what was required to plan and accomplish tasks for a personal to do list.
A bug out bag is a convenient unit that has all the vital substance you will need to make due for 48-96 hours. Presently a return home pack is not quite the same as a bug-out sack on the grounds that it is not utilized as a part of departure purposes.
An alternate contrast between the two survival packs is that a return home pack is intended to have supplies for a shorter measure of time than a bug out bag.
Some regular bug out bag checklist for a return home pack would be water, nourishment, mechanical instruments for autos, tire filler to settle a level tire, cover.
If you were born in the 70’s or earlier you probably remember when the term Bug Out Bag was virtually unknown.
Scared yet excited, Rick raced anxiously to retrieve the large bundle he had carefully hidden in the corner of his garage. This need came when I had to purchase a new carry due to a shoulder injury and could not carry my over the shoulder sling pack. Because ensuring you pick the right bug out bag documents helps 1) prove your identity, 2) affirm your survival skills, and 3) sharpen your survival knowledge.
Having the proper bug out documents stashed in your pack is a very functional, rational means of making your survival life easier.
Paper copies are easy to access, cheap to produce, and don’t require a computer, internet connection or external energy source to access. Laminating your bug out bag documents is the best method to protect these important papers, and is highly recommended.
Use a photo scanner (you can often find one at local libraries or copy stores) to scan everything you need and most of what you want. If you want to keep an emergency laptop computer ready to bug out with, this may be a good option for you. Survival books, cooking books, fiction novels, and how to guides stored on a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Like handheld computers (and other electronic devices in general) most USB flash drives are not built to withstand any abuse or the elements. Allowing you to surf anonymously and encrypting your digital data. And as with most things in life, the more you pay (typically) the better security you’ll receive. Mislead them with strange file names that only you will recognize and don’t make a lick of sense to anyone else. The more specific the file type, the less chance there is that anyone but you will be able or willing to open the stored documents. Some are only large enough to charge up a flashlight, while others are more than capable of ramping up the wattage for bigger jobs. And two, in an event that you are the victim of an emergency, and someone else finds you and your Bug Out Bag, they will have the means to contact the right people. Even with a gigantic amount of digital storage space you would struggle to store all that memory.
But translation apps do not weigh a thing, and they can be purchased for cheap (some can even be acquired for free). If you have a stove generator or some solar panels, you will need some guidance for managing those suckers. They will not help you fix engines, or navigate you through unfamiliar terrain, but they can make you feel a lot better.
You cannot cross the US border without them, and a passport is the ultimate form of identification in the USA. Usually, people keep their actual driver’s license in their wallet (and not tucked away in an obscure pocket of their BOB’s), so photocopy it and snap a few pictures to have as backups. If you get hurt or sick and need immediate medical attention the doctors will be a lot more inclined to get to work knowing that their patient is actually going to pay for the services they provide. Because let’s face it: any event that forces you to grab your bug out bag and flee your home is a dangerous one. Making a will can feel like is a grim process, but there is arguably no other document you can put in your BOB that will be of greater utility. Electronic storage of your documents using flash drive technology like most USB flash drives ARE sensitive to EMP and can be ruined in such an event.
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Your kids have their bug out bags ready, and your vehicle is stocked up just waiting and ready when you are. If you will stay at your location for a long term, you have to make sure that your location has a good source of resources that you can use. When you are near a water source you don’t have to look for water in other places, going to other places to find water can be dangerous for you. It is also best to know the weather in your bug out location so that you will be able to build the right shelter.
Keep in mind there are dangers to bugging out and you will need to decide whether or not bugging out with your kids makes sense.

A poorly made bug out bag, can slow you down, make things harder and could limit your chances of surviving. I do this 2 to 3 times a year and it takes a bit of effort but the timing was right and so I went along with his suggestion. I believe it wasn’t until after my first child was born that I thought more about what the aftermath would be like of a major earthquake in the area where I lived.
I realized that if disaster struck my family it would be up to me to provide that initial care and comfort. The bags themselves were not necessarily designed as bug out bags but they serve the purpose well and will continue to be of service until the need for better bags becomes more apparent. The vehicle we drive usually contains a full tank of gas and has a 24 hour supply of water, food, heat source, candles and road travel emergency equipment such as spare oils, jumper cables, rope, duct tape, flashlights, spare batteries, etc. What could happen that I say to the family okay we got three minutes get the bags in the car and we gotta roll. I won’t list out what might force us to bug out but living near DC and a nuclear power plant require prudence and planning for my family and I. No responsibility is to be attached to the owner or site for what you actually do with the information provided. Since they are implied for clearing and crisis circumstances, a bug out bag ought to be an in with no reservations one set. A Get Home Bag is much the same as it sounds a sack that is loaded with the important supplies to get you home. As we said over, a bug out pack normally has supplies for around 72 or somewhere in the vicinity hours.
You will normally be utilizing a return home bug out bag checklist as a part of urban territories, so you may need to bring insurance of some short, maybe a spread or weapon in the event that you are enrolled to convey one. Nowadays at least three out of four people you meet in a social context are likely to be familiar with the term.
Your initial supplies have run out and you have no choice but to rely on your skill as a hunter. I could have done the opposite as well and only placed in the bag what was essential and leave a pile of other items on the floor. It’s these overlooked but important details that give you a survival edge during a bug out. And in an emergency survival situation, being gentle with your bug out bag will be low on your priority list. There are a number of ways for generating power without the power grid that society is so dependent on. Just make sure you are prepared to follow the concealed carry laws of whatever states you find yourself in. This event in history was … [read more]How To Survive A Riot When All Hell Breaks LooseRecent events prove that riots are real and dangerous. A good bug out bag should allow you to evacuate an area and keep you and your family alive until you have a safe place. I’m glad I did as there are always things such as food and water that need to be rotated out and it also gives me a chance to evaluate the contents of the bag. Since I became a listener to the survival podcast in 2009 I have gained new knowledge about bugging in and bugging out situations and preparations and I realized that with most things you rely on bug out bags are not meant to be packed once and thrown in a closet somewhere only to be brought out in time of emergency. In today’s show notes I link to other articles and websites with great bug out bag preparation and in depth explanations on the planning and implementation of bug out bags.
Back in 1973 the home we live in now had its roof tore off by a powerful twister and the home was unlivable for several weeks. Flooding is one disaster that the news is full of these days and that could be another reason to get the hell out dodge before it’s too late. Fewer individuals realize what a return home back is, and they normally mistake it for a bug out pack, so today I need to go over precisely what each one sack is and what makes them distinctive. Some standard bug out pack things are water, sustenance, gloves, matches, and cover, yet the full substance of a bug out sack are significantly more escalated and generally rely on upon nature in which you live.
This implies that it is a pack that you normally convey with you, or have promptly assessable with all survival gear. Within your lifetime, you may encounter many different kinds of situations where you will need to rely on your own survival preparedness. I chose the former because I was in a hurry to switch bags and walk back out the door which didn’t give me the luxury of time to pack it like I wanted.
Those sterile, safe environments where it’s not likely to experience mud, rain or blunt trauma. You don’t want to stuff every piece of gear you own, you want to pack light and take things that are most important. I continue to listen to the survival podcast and other shows and as such my education on topics such as bug out bags continues to expand. Just some canned fish, some other snack food, and a couple of 1 liter bottles of water and probably a flashlight and radio. It something that you must check on a quarterly or semiannually basis to make sure that the supplies enclosed make sense for general situation is which you may need to bug out. With tornados I don’t know if we’d risk leaving before we knew of one coming since such warnings are not usually provided in advance enough to escape a busy area. Quite a few people have return home packs in their autos since pretty much all over the place they are voyaging their auto is in that spot with them. I’m always learning new ways of evaluating situations and contingency plans and this also helps in my regular day to day life. Eventually we added diapers and baby wipes and spare baby clothes and a few old clothes for my wife and I.
First we’d bear out the storm in the home in a closet or the north east corner of the basement. I try to begin the focus on bugging out or bugging in based on localized events first, then regional and then national. Then if we had to leave we could or we might be stuck and have to bug in due to too much road debris. I recommend that line of thinking as you contemplate building or improving your bug out bags. Even after my daughter was born in 2003 we probably didn’t do anything to make the bag more efficient.
Listening and reading this other information will provide you with a well-rounded education on the subject of bug out bags and how to decide and implement something that’s just right for you. In conclusion I emphasize that hurricane Katrina should have been a wake up call for all Americans. We were pretty busy then with huge situations and the idea of the bug out bag took a back seat to trying to bug out of Japan. I emphasize that I am not an expert on this subject but I am someone who has taken the advice of the experts and put together what works best for my family and I.
Following our move to the USA in 2003 we still didn’t add much to the bug out bag and probably only rotated some of the food that was more than likely way beyond expiration.

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