This will be the last part of this series on building an emergency bag/bug out bag. At a later time I will review my emergency bag and give you a look inside to see what all I carry and why. I just want to touch on some other things that you might want to add to your emergency bag depending on your situation and needs.
Some simple things that you could add to your bag or each bag if you have a family (each person should have their own emergency bag). Hard candy, like Jolly Ranchers, or even gum are a great addition to any emergency bag. They help both you and your children mentally. You won’t be as apt to think about aches and pains or even complain as much. You can also use these candies to barter for other things you may need.
At some point your food will run out and you may need to forage or hunt, so it is a good idea to have some way of catching game. There are many options for this. You can carry some simple snares in your bag to be able to catch small game. A pump action BB handgun is also great for small game because it is quiet and can be pumped to high pressures. Another option for many is carrying a takedown survival riffle that can fit nicely in the bag or a larger rifle or shotgun. These serve a dual purpose; they can be used for hunting or for personal protection (should only be as a last resort). By using a gun you are going to giveaway your location and attract attention so I highly recommend finding quiet ways to catch game and avoid conflict with others as much as possible. Give whomever you may be having trouble with a piece of your candy and try to walk away. Most people will accept the kind jester and walk away. A really simple easy way to catch small game is by carrying a simple rat trap. They are easier to set than snares and work great for a lot of small game. Tape a peanut butter packet to the trap so that you will already have some bait. Some people carry sling shots as well as cut down arrows to use with the sling shot. It is totally up to you if you would like to add any of these things to your emergency bag. These are just some of the things some people choose to add to their bag.
Here is a list of some other things you may want to add to your bag:
100’ of 550 Para Cord (must have) Duct Tape (must have)
Poncho Lightweight Sleeping Bag or Emergency Bivy
Dust mask Eye Protection
Work Gloves (protect your hands) Weather Radio
Extra Pair of Socks Zippo Lighter
Mosquito Netting Cash (small denominations)
Walking Stick Extra Tarp
Machete Hatchet or Axe
Toilet Bag (small hand shovel and toilet paper stored inside a diddy bag)
Everclear or moonshine (good antiseptic and great for bartering)
Copy of all Important Documents in a Ziploc Bag
Cigarettes or anything else that is good for bartering
I want to stress that these are all just some ideas of things you may or may not want to carry. It is totally up to you what goes into your emergency bag. Your emergency bag can be as heavy or as light as you want it to be. I want to restate that I highly recommend learning different survival/bushcraft skills and relying on them instead of gear that may fail, get lost or stolen. Learn to adapt and problem solve. Learn to think “outside of the box”. Your goal is to survive an emergency situation or natural disaster and avoid conflict. Learn to walk away or avoid conflict. Nothing, not even your pride, is worth putting your life or the life of your family in danger.
Once you have an emergency bag put together I recommend that you field test it. Go into the wilderness for a weekend or longer and test all of your gear and see what holds up and is useful and what isn’t. Make sure you are able to walk long distances with your bag on your back. If you can’t, you’re going to have to lighten the load. The last thing you want is a back injury or to be slowed way down because of a heavy bag. I would recommend trying to keep your bag weight at 35 lbs or less. Most People can carry this much weight unless they have back problems. Children will also need a bag that weighs much less. I hope these last few posts were helpful and inspired you the put together an emergency bag. With all the natural disasters we have had lately, it is a good idea for everyone to have some sort of emergency bag. You never know when you might have to leave your home at a moment’s notice and it will be much easier if you are able to just grab a prepared bag and walk out the door than to try to survive with just the clothes on your back. What extra things do you carry in your bag? Do you know what your bag weighs?