Bug-out Bags

Re-assembling our packs last fall

Are you prepared to leave home at a moment’s notice?  No place in the world is completely immune to natural disasters, and with the current unstable situation, we are also not immune to man-made disasters, including terrorism, civil war, and enemy attack by nuclear or chemical weapons.

There is no use shuddering in fear at the possibilities; neither is it prudent to ignore them.  A prepared person is a confident person (Proverbs 31:21 & 25).

The first step in preparing is maintaining a solid relationship with Jesus Christ and with the people in our lives, and keeping a clear conscience.  Physically, we should have a bag packed for each person in the family with basic supplies to sustain them for at least three days if there is a need to evacuate or “bug out.”  Be prepared for the worst so you won’t be caught by surprise.

We started out with backpacks purchased at thrift stores, and we are gradually replacing them with serious military or hiking packs when we see bargains.  It takes more time doing it this way, so the risks must be weighed.

Here is a list of basic supplies we have made for our three-day packs.  The “littles” obviously cannot carry all their items themselves, so their “big buddies” carry some for them, and some items with an asterisk are found in only one or two of the adult packs.

  • Water bottles with filters such as  Berkey Sport Bottles (alternative:  regular water bottles and purification tablets when clean water is not available)
  • Chlorine or iodine water purification tablets (to purify water for drinking or washing)
  • Energy bars (high calorie)
  • Dried foods
  • MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat): purchased, or homemade
  • Multitool (the Leatherman Wave Multitool is used by survival experts, and is what we use)
  • Rain poncho (avoiding hypothermia is critical)
  • Emergency blanket (extremely light-weight, aluminized, polyester blanket which reflects body heat back to body)
  • *First aid kit (more details another post)
  • *Hand crank radio
  • Heavy duty trash bag (can be used to make a one-man shelter, and other uses)
  • Paracord
  • Mess kit (spoon, fork, plate, cup)
  • Cloth napkin
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Kleenex, toilet paper
  • Wet wipes
  • Personal hygiene (comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary supplies)
  • Soap & washcloth
  • Sunscreen, lip balm
  • *Tarp
  • Emergency candles (Dollar Tree has the best price)
  • Whistle
  • Glo sticks (for children in the dark – also cheapest at Dollar Tree)
  • Small Bible or NT
  • Small paper pad & pen, pencil
  • Leather gloves
  • Coffee can with lid (to collect & boil water in)
  • Hard candy or gum
  • Vitamins (& medications, if any)
  • Change of clothes
  • Wool socks (for cold weather)
  • Cash, silver, or other currency
  • *Survival knife (I LOVE my 11″ Full Tang Hunting Knife W/flint! It is one piece stainless steel knife & handle wrapped in paracord for a better grip.)
  • *Folding shovel (entrenching tool)
  • *Sterno Folding Stove & fuel (wonderful for boiling water or heating/cooking food when no fire is possible)
  • Swiss army sleeping bags (very small, compact, and warm)
  • Small toys or activities for the “littles

 Our list continues to be revised, and of course each family will be unique.  This is not intended to be comprehensive, but a guide.

Survival Practice, Day One

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Getting Started

When was the first time I thought about being prepared for something that I wasn’t sure was going to happen?  When we first got married 18 years ago I wasn’t even sure I knew how to prepare for things I knew would happen.  I am naturally good at procrastinating, preferring rather to remain engrossed in the more interesting activity of the moment.

 I have learned a lot of hard lessons over the years about the foolishness of not thinking and planning ahead.  Studying the Virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 gives us a picture of the productivity that is possible when we learn to stop what we’re doing and put plans in motion that will allow us to be prepared for whatever may happen.

Eleven years ago we were facing the possibility of our world falling apart, depending on who we listened to.  We prayed about what we should do, if anything, to prepare for Y2K.  We eventually felt we should invest in stores of food and supplies that we would use whether or not there was a crisis.  We learned how to store grains and beans and other non-perishables in Florida’s warm, humid climate.

Getting organized for such a project was a great learning experience all its own.  We purchased our first small generator and accumulated inexpensive items that would make life more bearable in case of a power outage.  Little did we know how these preparations would greatly benefit us, even though Y2K never materialized.  More tomorrow…