Why A Bug-Out Bag?
These are crazy times we are living through. Whether facing pandemics, civil unrest, or whatever other surprises the future holds—it’s never a bad idea to be prepared. This can take on a lot of different meanings for different people. Maybe it’s owning a handgun and knowing how to use it. It could mean stockpiling basics like canned food, gasoline, and water.
Whatever being prepared looks like for you and your family, it often revolves around sheltering in place. But what if something happened and you had to leave quickly? On less than an hour’s notice, you had to get your family in a car and leave your home not knowing if or when you would ever return. Many people who lived through the recent wildfires out west faced this exact scenario. Some of them had a matter of minutes to leave, literally driving away as flames engulfed their property.
This is why the idea of a bug-out bag is so popular. It can mean different things for different people. It could be a bag filled with baby formula and prescription medicine. It could be a bag you have loaded up with hunting and camping supplies and ammunition. Your needs will vary based on you, your family, and the environment you may be bugging out to.
Let’s talk about the bag itself.
It’s easy to recommend a large backpacking pack that can haul a ton of stuff. However, there are a few reasons to not choose this type of bag. They are bulky. If you have to maneuver around people in an urban environment or quickly move through brush or dense trees they may not be the best option. Large backpacking packs will also encourage you to bring more than you need. You could easily pack 50 pounds or more in one of these packs. While you may feel comfortable carrying it at home, do you have any actual experience moving fast with 50 pounds on your back? It takes serious training and physical conditioning. It’s why people train for backpack hunts.
So I’m going to suggest a slightly smaller pack. Mystery Ranch has been making packs for a few decades now. They started out as Dana Designs and eventually changed their name and market. They build packs currently in use by the US military, firefighters, and serious Backcountry hunters. In other words, they are as good as it gets and bombproof. The Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Pack is a perfect size for a bug-out bag. It’s 2.7 liters and features enough storage for the essentials. Also, the smaller size and design won’t look out of place if you are in a city. Finally, it has structure, which means you will get less shoulder fatigue, and carrying the pack for long periods will be easier.
In part 2 of the series, we’ll discuss what items you need to have in your bug-out bag.