The 7 Biggest Bug Out Bag Mistakes People Make

A Bug Out Bag is a survival kit that allows you to evacuate quickly and safely in the event of a disaster. It should be packed with everything you need to survive for at least 72 hours, including food, water, shelter, and first-aid supplies.

The 7 Biggest Bug Out Bag Mistakes People Make

Unfortunately, many people make critical errors when packing their Bug Out Bags, which can jeopardize their safety in a real emergency. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the 7 biggest bug out bag mistakes people make—and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not Packing the Essentials

The first mistake people make when packing their Bug Out Bag is failing to include the essentials. Your Bug Out Bag should have enough food and water to last you for at least 72 hours, as well as a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and a phone charger. Other essential items include extra clothes, a blanket, and a map of the area.

Water is essential for survival, yet many people underestimate how much they need to pack. A good rule of thumb is to pack one gallon of water per person, per day. This will ensure that you have enough to drink, cook with, and clean in an emergency situation.

If you’re worried about lugging all that water around, consider packing a water filter so you can purify water from natural sources like lakes and streams.

Like water, food is essential for survival. When packing food for your bug out bag, choose items that are high in calories and easy to eat on the go. Pack enough food for each person in your group for three days—and then some.

And don’t forget about snacks! Energy bars, trail mix, and dried fruit are all great options for satisfying hunger pangs while on the move.

No matter how carefully you plan or how prepared you are, accidents can happen. That’s why it’s important to pack a first aid kit in your bug out bag so you’re ready for anything. Be sure to include items like bandages, gauze pads, tape, scissors, pain relievers, antiseptic wipes, and a first aid manual so you can properly treat any injuries sustained during your evacuation.

woman in blue sleeveless dress sitting on bed

Mistake #2: Overpacking

The second mistake people make is packing too much stuff. Remember, you’ll have to carry your Bug Out Bag on your back, so you don’t want it to be too heavy. Stick to the essentials and pack only what you need.

It’s important to pack only the essentials in your bug out bag. This includes items like food, water, shelter, clothing, and first aid supplies. Anything else is just extra weight that you’ll have to carry around with you. Be sure to carefully consider each item you pack and ask yourself if it’s truly necessary for your survival.

Mistake #3: Underpacking

On the other hand, some people make the mistake of underpacking their Bug Out Bags. They think they can get by with less food and water than they really need, or they forget to pack essential items like a flashlight or a first-aid kit.

Don’t let this happen to you—make sure your Bug Out Bag is fully stocked with everything you need before you head out.

expired food

Mistake #4: Not Checking the Expiration Dates on Food and Water Supplies

The fourth mistake people make is not checking the expiration dates on their food and water supplies. Make sure all of your food and water are fresh before you pack them in your Bug Out Bag—you don’t want your survival kit to be full of expired products.

Granted most shelf-stable freeze-dried food has a 25-year shelf life, but it is the smaller things like medication, granola bars, etc that really suck if they are expired. Who wants to bite into a rancid granola bar?

Mistake #5: Forgetting To Pack Clothing for all Climates

In an emergency situation, you may have to walk long distances or spend a lot of time outdoors. That’s why it’s important to pack clothes that will keep you warm, dry, and visible.

Avoid packing cotton items like jeans or sweatpants, as they will absorb moisture and take forever to dry. Instead, opt for synthetic materials like nylon or polyester that will wick away moisture and help you regulate your body temperature.

too many clothes

And don’t forget to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes!

A huge mistake people make is forgetting to pack clothing for all climates. If you’re bugging out in the middle of winter, for example, you’ll need to pack extra clothes and blankets to keep yourself warm.

Conversely, if you’re bugging out in the summer heat, you’ll need light clothing that won’t weigh you down. regardless of the season, make sure your Bug Out Bag has appropriate clothing for the weather conditions you might encounter.

Some people choose fashion over function when packing their Bug Out Bags. they pack impractical items like high heels or jewelry that won’t do them any good in a survival situation. stick to functional items that will actually help you survive

Mistake #6: Forgetting to Pack Entertainment

People often forget to pack entertainment. When bugging out, you may find yourself with some downtime, so it’s important to have something to keep your mind occupied. Pack books, a deck of cards, or anything else that will help pass the time and is lightweight.

a card game

Mistake #7: Not Having a Plan.

Last but not least, one of the worst things you can do is bug out without having a plan. Where are you going? What’s your route? Who are you going with?

Answering these questions ahead of time will help ensure that your bug out goes smoothly and that you don’t run into any unforeseen problems along the way.

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Final Thoughts on Bug Out Bag Mistakes

These are just seven of the most common mistakes people make when packing their Bug Out Bags. By avoiding these mistakes, you can be sure that your Bug Out Bag is properly packed and will meet your needs in an emergency situation.

Kids Bug Out Bag: What You Need to Know

As an adult, it’s fairly easy to make your own bug out bag.  After all, you know what you’ll need to survive for a few days.  Your kids will also need their own bug out bags, and they have slightly different needs. 

Kids Bug Out Bag : What You Need to Know

It’s important to pack not only the essentials but also some fun items to help them feel safe and to prevent boredom.

Why Kids Need Their Own Bug Out Bag

Kids need their own bug out bags with their own items in case of an emergency.  While you’ll be focusing on survival items, you’ll also want to include some times for comfort.  If there’s a situation in which your child will need to use their bug out bag, your child can become scared and confused.  It will help them to have familiar items packed in their bags.

Letting your child have his or her own bug out bag will also help your child feel important and like they have a sense of power during a stressful and confusing time.  It will give your child a sense of comfort to have their own items.

Why Kids Need Their Own Bug Out Bag

One thing to remember when creating a bug out bag for children is that the essential survival items will be in the adults’ bags.  Therefore, there isn’t as much emphasis on safety as there is comfort.  While an adult will want a utilitarian black or dark-colored flashlight, for example, a child may prefer a fun flashlight with a design or bright color.

Kids Bug Out Bag Designs

For your kids’ bug out bags, you can choose from a few different designs.  Depending on the age of your child, you might try a backpack, a bag with a handle, or a bag with wheels.

Kids Bug Out Bag Backpacks

While you’re looking for utilitarian bags for adults, children don’t need an expensive military-style bag with a lot of pockets.  Depending on the age of your child, you may want to consider using a backpack with their favorite character.

This backpack is lightweight and has plenty of pockets and compartments for stashing items.

Kids Bug Out Bag Backpacks

Kids Bug Out Bag Backpack With Handles

If your child is little, then you may want to use a bag with a handle.  This can make it easier for you to grab your child and the handle of the backpack or your child can grab the handle and carry the bag.

This basic backpack is available in several fun color combinations that children will like.  It’s inexpensive, and it has a handle for easy carry.

Kids Bug Out Bag Backpack With Wheels

If your child’s bug out bag is heavy or your child is young, then you may want a bug out bag with wheels.  This rolling backpack has several compartments.  The handle is just over three feet long, so it’s comfortable for older kids to wheel around.

Kids Bug Out Bag Checklist

You’ll be packing the essential oils for survival in your own bag, so you want to focus on your child’s needs and add a few items for comfort to their bags. 

You’ll want to pack at least one change of clothes in the bag.  This should be a pair of long pants, shorts, a shirt, and a sweatshirt.  Also, pack a few pairs of underwear and socks in case they get wet.  You’ll also want to pack a hat, jacket, and vest for children.

Kids Bug Out Bag Backpack With Wheels

Depending on the age of your child, if you have girls you will want to pack feminine hygiene items.  If your daughter is over the age of 10, it’s a good idea to pack these even if she doesn’t need them right now.  It’s something that’s easy to overlook, and you don’t want to forget it in an emergency.

You’ll likely have a large first aid kit in your own bug out bag, but you can add a small one in each child’s bag.  This first aid kit is small, and it has the basics that your child might need.  Hopefully, you won’t get separated, but if you do, your child will have access to basic first aid supplies.

You’ll also want to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, and other hygiene items.  Your child will want soap, shampoo, and deodorant, depending on their age.

It would be a good idea to pack a fishing kit in a tin.  These are small and don’t take up a lot of room, but they will allow each person to have their own fishing kit to catch food.

You’ll likely have a big tent for the family, but you can pack small tents in your child’s backpack.  Depending on their age, they may want some privacy and time to themselves at night.

Finally, pack some comfort items in your child’s bug out bag.  You can pack a deck of cards or other small games that don’t need batteries or electricity.  Older kids may like a puzzle book or a copy of their favorite book to pass the time.  You can also pack some of their favorite snacks, but remember to rotate these every few months so they don’t expire.

Practice Using a Bug Out Bag

Practice Using a Bug Out Bag

Hopefully, your child will never need t

o use a kids bug out bag.  However, it’s important that your child learns where their bag is and how to use it.  Store the bag where they will see it and not tucked away in a closet.  Let them take the bag camping or even to grandma’s house so they are familiar with using the bag.

You may want to get out the bag and go over the contents with your child every few months.  This helps your child remember what’s in the bag and how to use the items in the bag.  Then help your child pack the bag and put it away so it’s always ready for when they need it.

Don’t forget to take inventory for your child’s bag a few times a year.  Their needs change, and you may need to pack bigger clothes or different snacks as they grow and their likes change.

Other articles for kids you may find helpful:

Bugging Out Practice and Relocation Tips – with printables

Bugging Out Practice? Having a bug out plan is one thing but having to put it into action is another. Everything looks different when emotions are heightened and the possibility that your life could be at stake enters the picture. It can be stressful and when you add in the fear that young children experience during the chaos, your bug out plan could end up in disaster.

Bugging Out Practice and Relocation Tips - with printables article cover image with emergency sign background

That’s why you need to practice various bug out scenarios so that your escape plan runs smoothly. You want everyone to know what to do, when to do it and how to react. You want everyone to know ahead of time that everything is going to be okay.

By having clear cut instructions that your family knows like the back of their hand, what can happen during chaos is that repetition can take over the fear. Everyone can act on autopilot because they’ve had what to do drilled into them.

Practice Your Bug Out Scenarios for a Seamless Escape

It’s not enough to have everyone act out the escape plan a couple of times. You need to hold ongoing Bugging Out Practice drills and various scenarios that impact that escape every single month. This way, your younger children won’t be afraid when something happens. They’ll know that everything is going to be okay.

You need to have a meeting point in place and each family member should know where it is and the route to take to get there. But everyone needs to also know a plan B in case the road leading to the meeting point is blocked or has been compromised.

This was a Group Bug Out Exercise where they had 45 minutes to prep for a 72 hour event.

You’ll want to practice getting to this meeting point when you’re at home as well as when the family is separated. Obviously, you’ll keep younger kids with you but older teenagers need to know how they’re going to get to the meeting point.

You need to know ahead of time what to do if everyone is at their job. This includes knowing who gets which family member if necessary. You want to know how to act when it’s needed. Trying to decide how to react in the heat of the moment always compounds the problem.

You need to practice for the different scenarios. This includes ones like natural disasters. Prepare flood evacuation, fire evacuation and if you live in a tornado-prone area, plan how you’re going to escape the area. You need to have an escape plan in place in the event of an EMT, an enemy airstrike, or biological warfare.

Go over your Bugging Out Practice plan during the morning hours, in the afternoon, and in the evening because things look different at night. Practice as if you didn’t have any power at all. Practice escaping both on foot and in a vehicle.

Make sure that every member of the family has an alternative way to communicate if cell phones go down. Have a spot chosen ahead of time where you can leave communication such as notes if you have to.

Bringing Everyone Along On Personal WILDERNESS SURVIVAL TRAINING! Practicing Real Life Techniques Of Security, Shelter, Fire, Cooking, Water Disenfection And More!

Run through your complete drill from beginning to end. It might be an inconvenience now, but in the long run, it could save your life and those you care most about.

Understanding the Terms Bug Out Bag, Inch Bag, and Go Bag

During a bug out situation, you might need to use different bags. The reason for this is because a situation could be different. Some are temporary and some are long term. Some are so awful and chaotic, you’ll never be able to come back to your house.

Bug Out Bag

That’s why you should have Bugging Out Practice that involves the need to have different bags prepared for different events. A bug out bag is also commonly referred to by its initials of BOB. This is a bag that can safely sustain your survival for at least 72 hours.

It’s not really intended for more than that. This is the bag that you grab when you’re exiting to get out of the chaos to somewhere safe. It contains the basic essentials. In this bag, you’ll have water, food, clothes for three days, shelter or a way to make it in nature, a way to start a fire, a flashlight, tools, a way to communicate, personal hygiene items, and whatever else you’ll need to make it for three days.

Bugging Out Practice and Relocation Tips - with printables scene of the wilderness

Inch Bag

A bug out bag’s purpose is to get you out of where you are to safety. The INCH bag stands for I’m Never Coming Home and it’s intended to help you survive a SHTF event for a longer amount of time than a bug out bag is.

Where a bug out bag should last 3 days, an INCH bag can last as long as a week or more – until you find more supplies. It’s intended to carry the essentials you need as well as other important items you must have when coming back to your house just isn’t going to happen.

Your INCH bag should be packed with food, water, a way to purify water, clothes, a fire starter method, cash, guns, and ammo. It should also have a radio and a first aid kit. You’ll need to have a compass in this bag as well as fishing items, a wilderness or survival knife, a good flashlight, and an ax.

I like these kits from MedTAC and there is free shipping right now on $50+ orders!

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Paracord goes into this bag along with a multitool, a solar charger for recharging things like the radio, and rechargeable batteries. You’ll need seeds, hygiene items, medications, gloves, rain items, and maps.

Go Bag

You’ll also want your important documents with you like your ID, passports, and anything that pertains to reestablishing your life. Pack a folding shovel, duct tape, and a machete. A go bag is also known as an evacuation kit.

Bugging Out Practice and Relocation Tips - with printables document copies checklist
Page one of my bug out checklist forms – you can download the FREE Printable 3-page set below

This is a bag that has some of the items that you will have packed in your bug out bag. This is a bag that you would use if you had to leave your home quickly in the event of an emergency.

Bugging Out Practice and Relocation Tips - with printables Insurance information template
Page two of my bug out checklist forms – you can download the FREE Printable 3-page set below

This bag is not meant to be long term or indefinite like an INCH bag. In a go bag, you would pack all of your important information like your health information, and your financial documents.

Page three of my bug out checklist forms – you can download the FREE Printable 3-page set below

You would have some hygiene items, clothes, and any prescription meds. The idea behind this bag is that you can get to another location and be okay for a few days until you can come home. It’s not suitable for a SHTF situation because it doesn’t contain the necessary survival items.

Get the printable version of my 3 checklists here:

When Bugging Out, Awareness Is Key

The day or night that you’ve planned for has finally happened. Now the time has come for you to bug out. You’ve bought all your gear and the supplies you’ll need to exist wherever you’re headed.

What’s left now is something that you can’t buy. It’s awareness. You have to stay aware when you’re bugging out. It’s the key to your survival. You can’t afford to let your guard down – not even for a second – because if you do, you could end up getting hurt or even losing your life.

One of the threats that you’ll have to face when you’re bugging out is the potential danger from predators. This can be challenging when Bugging Out Practice is going on, but you can get a handle on what you might need BY practicing it. You could run into animals that would love to make a meal out of you.


Animals like bears, coyotes, and bobcats have been known to attack people in opportunistic moments as well as for no reason at all. Some people believe that animals only attack when they’re hungry or to protect their young, but that’s not true.

Animals of all sizes will attack if they’re startled or scared. They’ll attack if they’ve been hurt or they’re ill. They’ll also attack because animals are territorial. You have to be on the lookout for them as well as the two-legged kind of predators – humans.

Human threats

In a world that’s governed by law and consequences, people still hurt others. They steal, they attack, they kill. Now imagine what those kinds of people will do when society has collapsed.

They’re only going to get worse. That’s why awareness is the key to you making it out alive against both kinds of predators. You need to make sure that not only do you have a secure area once you arrive at your bug out destination, but that you’re secure as you’re traveling.

You do that by scouting the area. Do perimeter checks of your arrival location and do perimeter checks as you’re traveling. Make sure no one is following you on foot or in a vehicle. Bugging Out Practice should include finding a defensible location.

Pay attention to people who are acting weird or those who are acting secretive. Be aware of what’s going on with the weather. By knowing whether or not bad weather is coming, you’ll be able to get to shelter before you get caught in it and have to deal with things like hypothermia.

Weather threats

You also want to be aware of the weather so that if you’re traveling near a creek or river, you don’t get caught up in any floodwaters. Be aware of what’s going on with your supplies, too.

Pay attention to the amount of water you have or the purification means that you have on hand. Keep alert with your food supply. If you’re traveling with friends or family, stay alert to their physical and emotional well-being.

Someone who’s ill or is suffering from shock can give your position away or draw attention to you and make you a target. Some preppers like to have 5-hour energy on hand in their bug out bags so that if they happen to be in a moment where being alert is extremely important, they won’t be prone to drowsiness.

Bugging Out Practice: Don’t Draw Attention to Yourself and Your Supplies

When you’re bugging out, you’re not going to be by yourself or your family. There are going to be scores of people out and about as you’re trying to make it to your bug out location.

As time passes, though, these masses start to thin out and your path won’t be as jam-packed as it was before. However, there will still be people around. This is when you want to make yourself as invisible as possible. Bugging Out Practice should include how to make this a reality for you.

It’s not the time to show off what you can do or what you have. When you stick out in a crowd of people who are shocked, worried, and growing increasingly panicked, it will only put a target on you.

By fitting into the crowd or by being invisible if you’re not in a crowd, you’re less likely to be singled out as a target. People are going to be looking for someone who has what they need.

Sometimes in a SHTF situation where you have to bug out, people are going to be looking for stuff they can steal to use or to barter with so they can get whatever they need for themselves.

If others know you have survival gear, you could be a target for anyone who wants what you have so that they can sell it to get their needs met. In a bug out situation, harmful people always grow bolder. It is a sad fact of reality. We saw how people fought over chicken and ground beef during the COVID-19 food shortages. Meat. They fought over meat. And toilet paper…

You can hide in plain sight by not looking like you’re prepared. Don’t dress in a way that makes you stand out. This means that you don’t want to be walking down the street with your weapons strapped to your hip.

Keep your knives and guns out of view. Wear clothes that blend in and that makes it difficult for you to be picked out of the crowd. Nothing colorful and nothing expensive should be on your body in full view of others. Bugging Out Practice can include how to layer your clothes to hide what you have.

Be casual about the way you move through crowds or around people. Cover up any distinctive feature that you have. “Guy with the mohawk and the dangling feather earring in his ear” is a lot easier to remember and locate than “guy in jeans and a dark shirt.” One stands out, the other fits in.

The same kind of discretion is key to protecting your supplies, too. The have nots will take from the haves, but it’s far less tempting if they don’t know you have it. Don’t carry a bug out bag that’s brightly colored or has any kind of memorable logo splashed across the back of it.

Bugging Out Practice Golden Rule: Don’t talk about your supplies for any reason – because people will remember that later when they want something, or they’ll be tempted to just go ahead and take it. You don’t want to open up your gear in front of anyone.

He discusses why he is changing over to a more grayman approach with his apparel and various pieces of kit.

Only do that when you’re alone. You have to remember that none of society’s laws will be heeded by anyone who’s desperate enough. They’ll take what’s yours -even if they have to use force to do it.

Bugging Out Practice: Be a “Gray Man”

You might have heard the advice that you should make a good first impression. That’s great advice – except when it comes to a bug out event. During the time when you’re bugging out, making an impression could cost you your life.

If you look at a crowd of people, you’ll notice that some of them stand out from others. It could be because of their actions or how they’re dressed, their facial features, body marks or jewelry, what their voice sounds like, the color of their hair or their mannerisms.

They stand out because they’re noticeably different from the others around them. It’s not a good idea to be noticed during a SHTF event. You want to be a gray man. That means you don’t stand out in the mind of anyone else.

Don’t stand out

You aren’t enough to make an impression. You can still move through a crowd and even speak to others, but no one will recall you once you’re gone. It’s as if you disappear from the thoughts of others.

To be a gray man, you don’t dress in a way that attracts any attention. The clothes that a gray man wears are bland without a color that even registers with someone else. The clothes a gray man wears don’t carry the scent of any laundry detergent – no soap smells or clothes softener scents.

A gray man has nothing about his clothing or his looks that can be recalled to mind. His hair doesn’t carry a shampoo scent. His clothes fade into the crowd. He’s not noticeable for his actions, either.

Be subtle

You won’t see him obviously checking the people around him or the area. A gray man isn’t recognized because nothing he wears, does or says is worth noticing. That’s how other people miss observing a gray man. 

 A gray man doesn’t wear cologne. He doesn’t have jewelry. He doesn’t wear any logos, or designs. Nothing can identify him. Nothing is memorable. A gray man keeps his expression bland.

He doesn’t look like he’s focusing on any one person, thing or place. None of his actions will be anything that anyone will pay attention to. It doesn’t mean that you’re not on alert. You just don’t stick out. Bugging Out Practice should include this… what “Gray man” outfit can you put with your gear?

Stay focussed

To be a gray man, you have to pay attention, stay calm and journey slowly toward your end goal. You don’t push other people out of your way. You move at a regular pace – not hurried – like you have nowhere to go and nothing to do.

A gray man makes sure that his face doesn’t stand out. If there’s something definable about his hair, he wears a plain ball cap. If he has arresting eyes, he wears sunglasses.

He makes sure that any distinguishing marks like scars or tattoos are hidden from view. He keeps his voice calm. His mannerisms are bland. He doesn’t interject emotion into his words when he speaks.

The person who is a gray man is one people don’t notice because to them, he’s not doing anything and he doesn’t look like anything worth noticing. He triggers no reaction within them, which, is what allows him to be safe during a bug out event.

Study Human Psychology to Help You Navigate Treacherous Situations

All bets are off when you’re in a bug out situation. You have to be street smart about people – especially if you’ve always been the type of person who easily trusts others. When the world has turned chaotic, you can forget trust.

No one is going to be on their best behavior – especially unsavory individuals. In fact, these people are going to be the first to loot, the first to steal from others, and the first to make a bad situation worse.

It’s in your best interest to know human psychology so that you’ll be able to deal with these kinds of people. You need to know body language. The type of body language a person is using can tell you upfront who you’re dealing with.

You might want to watch a few Youtube videos or get a psych book from the library to brush up on your Bugging Out Practice on this topic.

Watch body language

People who are out to steal from you or hurt you always have a way of projecting that intent. Look at how they’re dressed. Believe it or not, what someone is wearing can give you a clue into their nature and intents.

Look for Desperate people

Someone who isn’t dressed for survival can be a desperate person. If you come across someone who’s wearing clothes that aren’t warm enough for the situation or they’re wearing clothes that stand out, that means they didn’t prepare ahead of time.

If they didn’t prepare their clothes, they probably didn’t prepare their supplies, either. Pay attention to their posture. People whose body is tensed or aggressive can be a clue that they have adrenaline running on high.

They could be about to make a move. See if those whose mannerisms are jittery. That could be a sign of nervousness – but it could also be a sign of some type of addiction – and people who are addicted to substances can be unpredictable.

Pay attention to the way people pose their arms. Arm position can signal that someone is belligerent or angry. Look out for people who approach who keep their hands hidden. They could be holding a weapon.

You’ll also want to take the expression on someone’s face into consideration. An expression can give you a lot of insight into human psychology. There can be a noticeable expression like anger or there can be absolutely no emotion.

Both can be equally dangerous. One could present as someone who flies off the handle and the other as someone who may have sociopathic tendencies. Trust your gut instinct when it comes to treacherous situations.

Trust your gut

Your intuition can usually read a person quickly. If your gut tells you that you’re in danger, then you probably are – and you should be prepared to defend yourself.

Studying human psychology can help you understand what others are prepared to do in desperate situations – and how you can negotiate with them if and when the time comes. This is one thing you can NOT really handle with Bugging Out Practice without doing homework first.

Don’t Multi-Task When You’re Bugging Out

The SHTF and it’s time for you to get out and get to safety. In a bug out situation, most preppers concentrate on just getting out and away from anything dangerous. Survival is foremost on their mind.

They’re alert to everything that’s going on around them and are paying attention and avoiding people who look like they could be a problem. It’s good to have that awareness as you’re bugging out.

Stay Vigilant

But what some people do is when they reach a spot to rest or their bug out location, they have a tendency to lower their guard. It’s understandable. Being in a high-stress situation where chaos is everywhere, you just feel like you’re tired, hungry and you want to get set up for the night.

Bugging Out Practice and Relocation Tips - with printables identity tracker

Given a few days, what happens is their awareness dulls. The fight or flight adrenaline starts draining and they start to overlook something important – that the situation is precarious.

Safety can be a big illusion during a dangerous situation. The biggest mistake that you can make is getting too comfortable and starting to multi-task. It really is a natural reaction.

Stay focused

People tend to want to get comfortable when they’re on the go. They also drop right back into all their habits like doing more than one thing at once. It’s human nature to try to take care of things all at the same time.

But that multi-tasking mindset can spell trouble for you quickly. When you’re bugging out, you need to have a sharp focus. Keep your mind on what you’re doing and don’t make it easy to get caught unprepared.

One thing at a time

You might have to take off again in a split second. You can’t do that if you’ve got your supplies scattered all around your resting spot or your bug out destination.

When you’re bugging out, do one thing at a time – one chore or one thing that you have to do that aids your survival.

Be Ready to Go

Don’t attempt to cook food at the same time that you’re trying to wash your dishes or your clothes or yourself. Keep your sole focus on what you’re doing and only take the supplies out of your bag that you need for that single task.

Keep your supplies stashed in your bug out bag, because if you do end up having to grab it and flee, you can pick up a pot and leave quickly with that easier than you can try to pick up clothes, food, or dishes all at once. NEVER completely unpack.

If you end up having to run and you’ve unpacked a lot of your supplies, you could end up being forced to leave necessary supplies behind just to run from a dangerous situation. That mistake could end up costing you more than you realize.

Bugging Out Practice: The Importance of Speed

When you have a SHTF situation on your hands and you have to bug out, time isn’t on your side. Some people think they’ll have either days or hours to bug out – when the truth can be closer to five minutes or less.

Survival Bugout, starring Jonathan Hollerman with Grid Down Consulting… an EMP scenario

In the chaos, you’re going to have hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people from your area trying to escape quickly just like you. Sometimes an unpredictable weather event causes abrupt and unexpected bug out situations.

Natural disasters

In the event of a fire or a flood, you have to be able to go right then. There’s no time for decision making. If there’s a local or federal collapse of authority, there’s no time for you to waste. You have to get going. THAT is why Bugging Out Practice is important.


Whenever there’s a SHTF situation, everything gets worse from the moment it begins. The first step in the process is that humanity undergoes a change. People who feel like their way of life is going to be disrupted can panic and they’ll take it out on those who are prepared.


Stealing, assaults, and violent crimes like murder are commonplace when society begins to fall apart severely. You can’t wait around for that step to develop. When there’s a bug out situation starting, some people debate whether or not they’re staying or leaving.

Then within 24 hours, these people who stayed behind realize they’ve made a mistake. They start to feel desperate once they realize the seriousness of the situation and the anger and the complete breakdown of normal society picks up speed.

After a bug out situation is upon you, if it’s 24 hours later and you’re still not ready to go, then you’re right there stuck in the thick of things that are only going to keep on spiraling downward.

If you are in a situation where you CAN NOT leave, be prepared to “bug in”

You might think the nice guy from down the street wouldn’t turn on you – but if he’s in a panic or he’s desperate to take care of the needs of his family, you can bet that he’s not going to be that nice guy anymore.

You can also bet that disaster breeds disaster. As they compound, everything unravels – your safety on the roadways, your ability to use communication devices, and your ability to find fuel for your vehicles will all become increasingly hard.

You can’t afford for this to be going on while you’re trying to pack enough survival gear to make it out. If you’re not prepared, you could find yourself giving in to the panic and making rash decisions. You could end up forgetting something important like medication or enough water. USE OUR CHECKLISTS!

Bugging Out Practice – Plan ahead and have all the bug out bags that you need to take care of your family ready to go so that when it’s time to leave, all you have to concentrate on is grabbing the bag and heading out the door.

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How to Build a Bug Out Bag

Building your bug out bag, or 72 hour bag can seem really overwhelming if you’re new to preparing for an emergency. Don’t get caught up in the thought that you need to have some tricked out, blingy bag. In reality, all you really need is a sturdy bag and a few supplies.

How to Build a Bug out Bag

To start, you obviously need a bag. Choose a canvas bag over a plastic or vinyl one so that it will last longer. For size, go with a bag that you can comfortably carry on your back when it’s full. For kids, a regular backpack in a character that they like is best. In an emergency, kids need normalcy and a character they like is normal for them.

Build a Bug Out Bag

To start building your bug out bag, you’ll need to gather your supplies. Be sure that you have:

  • 3 days clothing including socks
  • Water bottles for 3 days
  • Food for 3 days
  • Cash
  • Copies of your identification (both parents should also carry kids identification too)
  • Spare keys to your home and car
  • Medications if you take them
  • Lighter and stormproof matches
  • Sunblock and a hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Pocket knife
  • Prepaid Cell phone
  • Solar Phone Charger
  • Chapstick
  • Any other items you might need on a daily basis

Once you’ve got your items gathered, pack your bag. Try to keep the clothing that you include rolled up since it takes up less space in your bag that way. Pack everything so that it is secure and not going to roll around in your bag if you have to grab it quickly to get out of dodge.

Kid’s Bug Out Bags

For your kids, you’ll want to create a scaled-down version of your own bag. A child’s bag doesn’t need to be fully packed as yours does. Instead, you’ll want to give them only the basics they will need such as:

  • 3 days clothing including socks
  • Snacks
  • Water (or juice – make sure if you do juice to include water as well and only pack 100% juice for less sugar content)
  • Sunscreen and Hat
  • Chapstick
  • Boredom Busters (crayons & coloring books, books to read, etc)
  • Copies of their birth certificate and social security card
  • Copies of important phone numbers

If you have an infant or toddler, be sure to add things like diapers, wipes, and creams to the bags you pack for them. Keep it light though since with a child that small, you would likely be grabbing it as well.

Building your bag out bags should only take you a few minutes. As you start to pack it, you’ll think of any other items that you might have missed that are not on this list.

Be sure to rotate the food and any medications that are in the bag so that they don’t get expired. This all might seem a bit much for some, but during a fire, flood, or other situation where you have to run, it could save your life.

What Is A Bug Out Location?

Have you ever heard of a bug-out location? If not, you might be surprised that people actually plan stuff like this. A bug-out location is a location, a house, a business, or a piece of property that your family can go to in case you can no longer stay at your home.

What Is A Bug Out Location

Your bug-out location should be someplace that you and your family feel safe. Whether you choose a friend’s house, a family member’s house, a 2nd home that you own, or even just an empty piece of property that you may own, you need to do two things.

What is a Bug out Location and Why Do You Need One?

First, get permission. Obviously, if you own your location, you can skip this step. If it’s someone else’s home or property, be sure to ask so there aren’t any issues. Next, you’ll need to make absolutely certain that your family knows where you’re going. If you and your teenage kids are separated, they won’t know where to head if they don’t.

So by now, I’m sure you’re asking why you need to have a bug-out location. The answer is easy.

Why set a bug-out location?

Without a second location for your family to go to, any emergency could separate you. If you have a fire and the family scatters, you have no way of making sure that everyone gets out.

If you have a flash flood and don’t meet up, you haven’t got a way to check. The same goes for winter weather. What if your husband is trapped in the ice and snow, but you’re at home?

With a bug-out location, you know exactly where he will head to; either home or your bug-out location, whichever he is closest to. Either way, you’ll know where to look for your family if they get separated.

Your bug-out location doesn’t need to be some out-of-the-way cabin in the woods (although it certainly can be if you want). The best location for you and your family is a place that everyone is comfortable with and knows how to get to.

Place Extra Supplies Along Your Bug Out Routes and Secondary Paths

A bug-out situation is an event that you hope never happens, but you do want to be prepared for. That means that you should plan for every contingency. That includes making sure that you have extra supplies hidden along with your bug-out route as well as along secondary paths.

The benefits of a cache

Having a cache means hiding supplies or anything else that you think you might need in case something happens to the supplies you already have. In the blink of an eye, you can lose important supplies or even everything if you’re ambushed or you have to flee from an animal attack.

Without supplies, your odds of surviving diminish. Most preppers understand that a cache is a plan B in case plan A gets derailed. It’s also something handy to have in case you run into a situation where you use up your supplies faster than you estimated that you would.

Hide your cache well

You need to make sure that your cache is well hidden and protected by the elements. That means you have to use the right container to keep your cache safe. You can use plastic piping for this purpose.

You use wide plastic piping, fill it with some extra supplies, then cap it off. You can also use any storage box that’s waterproof and rust-proof. Put whatever you think might come in handy in the container, then seal it up.

Be thrifty with your cache

To save on costs, some preppers will take those large water containers and load those with items like extra first aid materials or survival supplies like water sanitation methods and extra ammo.

You can also use small or large storage bins, but you need to make sure that you find a hiding place above ground since storage bins can break down when stored underground.

Protect your supplies

Whatever material you choose to use for your cache, you want to make sure that it offers as much protection for your supplies as you can get. You want whatever you choose to be able to withstand temperature changes as well as rain.

What to store

Some preppers store basic things in a cache like extra clothes, shoes, weapons, tools, a way to create a shelter, and other items needed to survive for a few days. Others hide canned food and water alone – or these items in addition to extra supplies like maps, knives, or paracord.

Map it out

You’ll want to keep in mind when hiding a cache that the area where you place the storage container can change over time. What looks one way will look different three months down the road.

That’s why you need to create a document where you list where you’ve hidden your cache or caches. By hiding a cache or two, you’re taking extra steps to make sure you’re protected.

These tips should help you not only figure out a bug-out location for your family, but stock things up along your route to make the emergency situation a little smoother.

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Get Our Checklist for Bug Out Bag Making

A Checklist for Bug Out Bag Making? I am a firm believer that, if you are ready, you never need it! So, we are talking about getting ready! Bug Out Bags and How to Make Them is a simple thing you can engage the kids into so they have the illusion of control for any possible situation. It is good to get the entire family on board with this concept!

Bug Out Bags and How to Make Them

First, we talked about a basic water supply, just in case you all of a sudden can’t use your faucets. (think tornadoes, etc).

Today, we talk about Bug Out Bags (BOBs).

If you watched that 10 Minute Notice video I just shared, you might have to leave your home FAST.

This is where a Bug Out Bag comes in handy


Bug Out Definition

Think of the national emergencies that took them a LOOOOOONG time to respond to Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast Oil Spill, etc. Having enough basic supplies to help your family get from place A to place B safely and comfortably is the goal.

This makes it fast and easy for you to “bug out” if you have a very short time to leave your home.

When you hear the term “bugging out,” most people immediately picture getting out of the area in their vehicle so that they can get to their prearranged meet-up site.

But bugging out isn’t something that can encapsulate every single situation in a crisis moment. If a SHTF moment happens, you might have no choice but to get out – but you’ll have to do it on foot.

These are times that can occur that might allow you to stay local and you’ll be able to get back home once the crisis is over. Bugging out doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to have to spend months out in the woods in a survival situation.

There can be disasters when it’s a short-term time frame. But the key to success for short-term survival that’s temporary and local in the outdoors is to plan ahead. Since you won’t know the difference until it actually happens, you plan for the worst so that you’re prepared in the short term.

You’ll have the gear and supplies that you need to survive temporarily in any location because you will have already planned for a long-term stay. A temporary bug out could mean something like you have to go for a few days and stay in a tent at a location you’ve already scouted ahead of time.

In this plan, you need to plan to have enough supplies for at least 72 hours for everyone in your group. When it’s going to be a temporary situation, then you can travel lighter, but only do that if you know for sure that you’ll be able to come back home soon.

To survive in a short-term situation, a temporary bug out means you have to be prepared by having your bag, good hiking boots, knowledge of the way out, and the ability to get yourself to an area out of the chaos so that you can survive.

A long-term plan can easily be adapted into a short-term one. You’ll still need the same stuff to start with – and you’ll still follow the same protocol – but just or a bit longer.

By being prepared, you’re in control rather than conceding control to whoever is in charge of the situation – if there is anyone to take charge at all. If a truly awful SHTF situation has happened and you have to bug out and you know it’s going to be long-term, you follow your plan.

Get your bag and get out of there. Take your vehicle if possible – but if that’s not an option, then rely on your immediate bug out plan and your maps to get you to the location that you’ve scouted in advance and head out on foot.

In a long-term SHTF situation, you know that you may not be able to ever come back. So you head to the location that you’ve prepared for homesteading. For some people, this is a site to camp in.

For others, it’s a bug out cabin or other structure such as a container home that’s well hidden and able to protect you during the event. Wherever it is, this is the place where you begin to set up your life again.

A Survival Backpack for Every Member of Your Family

You need to have your gear already contained and ready to go for two main reasons. First, in the event of an emergency, everyone already knows where to go to get their hands on several days’ worth of necessary supplies.

Secondly, in the event of an emergency, if your home becomes unfit for habitation and you need to leave in a hurry, all you have to do is grab your backpack and go. You want a good quality bag with double stitching that has plenty of compartments to keep everything organized.

Bug Out Bags

Every member of the family should have a backpack of their own with his or her name clearly labeled on the outside because you can’t carry enough for every member of the family in one or two bug out bags.

You should even have bug out bags for babies and toddlers in the family. While they can’t carry the bag themselves, it’s wise to have all their stuff together so you can get to their needs quickly.

Children and teenagers, however, can carry their own backpacks and it will make them feel safer knowing that they have their own provisions. The sizes and weights of these backpacks vary.

Bug Out Bag Options

They can be purchased so that they’re the right fit for children up to adults. You want to look for backpacks that say they’re height-adjustable since obviously, all children aren’t the same height. Check the back-to-school sales in the fall, garage sales over the summer, or even thrift stores.

Also for children, you’re going to want sturdy, yet lightweight material. You’ll want backpacks that are waterproof for them. For teenagers, you can get the backpacks with the frames but you might not want to do this for younger children because of the added weight of the frame. These backpacks can have internal or external frames.

The children’s survival backpacks are a smaller version of the adult-sized ones and some of these have pockets that you can access without having to stop and take the bag off. Many people find this added convenience helpful.

These backpacks also have padded straps for the shoulders and are made of water-resistant nylon. These also come with multiple pockets and hooks for storing gear.  Most of them come with expandable straps and some come with a hydration pocket. Look for ones that are hydration compatible if you want that feature.

You can get some backpacks that are made of wicking fabric. This is a fabric that will help keep the contents dry and they’re usually thickly padded backpacks, too so they’re comfortable to carry if you have to travel any distance. You want to look for backpacks that are expandable so that they’ll hold everything you need them to hold.

Checklist for Bug Out Bag Essentials

If you’re new to survivalist training, you might not know what bug out bags are. This is just gear that you can grab and go on your way in the event of a disaster. You can put your gear into a backpack or other sturdy nylon bag.

Bug Out Bag Food

You’ll need food that’s lightweight. Something like freeze-dried foods or MREs. Make sure you pack enough that can last everyone with you for at least three days.

Water is a must-have. Power/granola bars, peanut butter, salt-free crackers, nuts, canned beans/veggies, just-add-water noodle dinners, fruit snacks, beef sticks, juice boxes/bags.

We aren’t talking gourmet meals here, we are talking things that could sit in your bag for 1-2 years, be light to carry, and fill your family’s belly until you either have help arrive or get to a safe location. Try to avoid things that will make you thirsty.

You’ll also need three days’ worth of water for everyone. But you’ll want to take along something to collect water in for the days ahead. Pack water purifying tablets. Bleach can do in a pinch but is harder to pack.

Bug Out Bag Gear

Aside from food and water, you need a way to cook the food and boil the water. To cook the food, you’ll need a basic cooking set, which would be lightweight pots that can be used over campfires or on a portable camp stove.

You’ll want to pack clothes for two days. We will talk more about that in a minute… but rain gear like a poncho can be used as shelter in a pinch. Bring a hat along to keep the rain and the sun off your head. Take sunglasses to protect your eyes in case you’re out in the sun for long periods. A bandana should be packed because it can have a multitude of uses.

Shelter materials should also go in your backpack. Take a tent or a tarp along with cording in the event you need to tie something to trees. Carry a sleeping back or a sleeping pad along to protect you from having to sleep directly on the ground. Make sure there are enough emergency blankets for everyone.

Personal hygiene materials need to go in your bug out bags and don’t forget your first aid kit. Firestarters are necessary as are waterproof matches. Take a flashlight that uses solar power rather than batteries.

You’ll also want fishing gear, a knife, and a multi-tool. An emergency radio and a way to charge your cell phone using solar power should be included in your bug out bag. Have sturdy gloves and a small ax that can be used to make a clearing or to get debris out of your way.

You’ll want to have a folding shovel and duct tape along, too. Bring your important papers and pack entertainment. Finally, make sure that you bring a weapon such as a gun in order to protect yourself and your family.

Each of the bug out bags should have a change of clothes, few pairs of undies (face it – we can wear an outfit more than one day if we have to but would love clean undies with it!), toothbrushes, personalized necessary medicine (insulin, asthma, allergy, etc).

Now – for other things to add!

For the kids – you need things to entertain them – small, that travel easy. Think card games, small puzzles, coloring books, and crayons. Also some snacks. They can carry the lighter things like fruit snacks, granola bars, etc. Don’t forget diapers or infant formula if you need them!

Don’t forget your pets!
Pet food and extra water for your pet are important too.

What Kind of Survival Clothing Should You Pack?

You already know that you should have basic items like food, water, and first aid. When it comes to clothing, it can be a little confusing knowing exactly what or how much to pack.

A good rule of thumb to follow would be to pack as if you’re going to be gone for three days. You’ll also want to consider exactly where you’re going when choosing what clothing to pack because the area you’re going to may have different weather than where you’re currently living.

If you’re heading to a rainier area, then you’d want to make sure you had rain gear – and if you’re going to an area where the weather is colder, you’ll want warmer clothing. Since room can be limited in a backpack, you want every piece of clothing to serve a purpose.

Pack two pairs of pants to wear. Since you’ll be wearing a pair, that counts as your third-day pair. You’ll want to take long pants rather than shorts since you might be hiking through rough terrain. Plus, having long pants can help protect your legs against insect bites.

Take two shirts along for the journey. You’ll need one that’s fit for warmer weather – such as a short sleeve t-shirt. But you’ll also want a long sleeve shirt for cooler temperatures. Remember that temperatures always drop in the evening hours. By having both a short sleeve and a long sleeve shirt, you can double these up for warmth if needed.

For undergarments, you’ll need to take two pairs of socks and two pairs of underwear – but you’ll also want to pack a pair of thermal underwear. You can wear these under your clothing in the event of cold weather.

You’ll want to take along a hat to protect your head from the sun’s rays as well as to keep your head warm if it’s cold. A hat can also be useful to keep the rain out of your eyes.

A jacket is a must-have clothing item, but you want one that can serve two purposes. You want one that helps you keep you warm but can also protect you from inclement weather like rain.

Many jackets have a waterproof shell and are lined with warm material on the inside. You can find some that are lightweight so that fitting them in your backpack won’t be an issue.

Don’t forget to pack footwear. When you first start out, it’s best to wear your waterproof boots and pack a pair of athletic shoes. Break them in ahead of time to prevent blisters if you have to hike around a lot.

You could add sleeping bags and a tent to this collection of bags, or plan to sleep in your car until you get where ever you are going. I have our Bug Out Bags on a shelf above our tents/bags so they are all together.

This is SIMPLE stuff to do that even FEMA suggests.

How Heavy Should Your Bug Out Bags Be, Realistically?

One important thing to know before you bug out is how much your bug out bags should weigh. Most people lean toward the “more is better” type of thinking when it comes to supplies, but in this case, it could mean you get slowed down and put in danger.

Bug out bags that are loaded to the hilt with everything but the kitchen sink will get you killed. The heavier it is, the more strain it puts on your body and it will slow you down as you’re walking or running to safety.

Not only that but if a bag is too heavy, it will act as a gravitational pull that could cause you to fall backward. There are different mindsets when it comes to the right weight. Some people say a ballpark estimate is less than 50 pounds – while others think along a much lighter amount of about 15.

The truth is that your bug out bags should be packed with survival necessities and should weigh around ten percent of your body weight. While that might seem like an impossible goal, you have to remember that bug out bags aren’t a catch-all solution.

Its intended purpose is to help you survive for 72 hours – not weeks or months – but some people pack it intending it to last for weeks or months. If you fill it up like that, you’re going to end up with a bag that’s too heavy for you to safely bug out with.

If your bag is too heavy, not only is it going to prevent you from bugging out with speed, but it can wear you out and even end up causing shoulder or bag strain, which could impact your safety in an ambush or animal attack.

Your bag should only be loaded with 3 liters of water and purification methods for obtaining water after that if needed. You’ll need 3 days’ worth of food. Though it can be tempting to pack more, that would be a mistake and weigh your pack down.

You need to follow the same 3-day rule when it comes to clothing. Carry a means of shelter with you if you don’t have the survival skills to build something in the woods. Take a first aid kit, flashlights, fire starter method, and a camping pot.

Carry any knives you brought along in the bug out bags, but keep your gun on you so that you can get to it quicker. Some preppers think of packing a bug out bag the same way that they pack groceries.

They put whatever is bulkiest and heavier on the bottom of the bag then load the lighter stuff on top. This is backward for a bug out bag. You want the bulk of the weight at your shoulders to avoid strain on your lower back.

You’ll want any shelter items like a tent or a tarp on the bottom – because these items fill out the bottom of the bag and help support other items that you pack on top of them. When packing a bag with outside pockets or Molle straps, make sure that you have items of equal or close weight on either side so that you don’t end up with an off-balance weight.

See Which Items You Can Combine to Save Space

The supplies in your bug out bag are what you’ll need to stay alive in a situation where you have to get out of dodge. But most people make the mistake of packing two or more items when one of them can serve multiple purposes.

If you cut down on all the items you pack, you save weight in your bag and you save your strength because you’ll be carrying a lighter bag when you go. Instead of packing a heavy tent for a shelter, pack a tarp.

Not only can it be used in place of a tent, but it can also be used as a hammock, a windbreaker, and a water collector. Instead of packing eating utensils, pack sporks. You can use them as both a spoon and a fork.

Tools are usually where a lot of preppers waste valuable space in their bug out bag. People will pack dozens of different items like screwdrivers, saws, or pliers when you can find a multi-tool that can do the job of several different items.

You can get a multi-tool that can be used as a screwdriver, as a wood saw, like a knife, a wrench, pliers, hard-wire cutters, a crimper, and even as a hammer. Gadgets are another way that people fill up their bug out bag.

I really like this toolset. This is professional emergency survival equipment, equipped with a large-capacity waterproof box, used to store 22 pieces of emergency survival equipment and emergency supplies, designed for camping, hiking, hunting, and mountain biking adventure trips, to meet any medical or emergency needs.

The lightweight waterproof case holds: Tactical flashlight, tactical pen, bracelet, compass, tactical knife, fishing equipment set, etc., are made of high-quality material, providing excellent safety and durability, meeting emergency and medical needs, making your camping, wilderness survival, or hiking trips easier and more convenient, without worrying about getting lost.

Most of these gadgets really are necessary – such as a radio, a communication device, flashlights, and more. But instead of packing items that serve only one purpose, make as many items as you can do two jobs at least.

Instead of carrying a separate flashlight and radio in your bug out bag, get one instead that’s both a flashlight as well as a radio and charging device for your smartphone. One item that can do the job of several other things is dental floss.

This can be used to secure shelter to a tree instead of a rope. It can be used to fix tears in clothing or to create a warning system against possible intruders. Floss can be used to sew up wounds or as a fishing line.

In a pinch, it can be used as a tinder or to slice through something if you don’t have a knife. You might think of salt as a flavoring for food and nothing more – but this can be used as an antibacterial treatment and it can be used to disinfect items.

You can pack small salt packets in your bag instead of bulky containers of antibacterial treatment that only serve one purpose. Bodywash can take the place of soap as well as shampoo and can even be used to wash clothing.

Vaseline can be used as an antibiotic treatment and as a fire starter. Trash bags can be used as rain gear, waterproofing, or as a water reservoir. Look through your bug out bag and see what items can be combined to save space and allow you to pack something you may have had to leave behind instead.

Knowing When It’s Time to Bug Out

Those who are prepared for survival situations know that a bug out may come. A bug out is exactly how it sounds. It means it’s time to get out of dodge. Bugging out may mean you’ll have to get where you’re going by walking.

If this is the case, then you need to make sure that you have sturdy shoes or boots – and the means to have food and shelter if it’s going to be a long trek. Being prepared for this scenario means having a bug out bag where you can get to it when the time comes for you to go.

Bug Out Car

Bugging out by vehicle means that you’re leaving in a vehicle that’s already prepared ahead of time for a bug out. Your vehicle is gassed up and ready to go within seconds.

It’s time to bug out when the place you’re at is no longer safe – or could be compromised – and survival may become an issue. This means you need to be prepared to bug out in the event of a weather emergency, a terrorist attack, a flash mob, or a riot.

Bug Out Situations

You also need to leave fast if there’s a contaminate set loose in your area – such as a train derailment and the train was carrying some nasty hazardous materials that escaped into the air. City-wide blackouts are a criminal’s favorite time to come out and wreak havoc. Your possessions aren’t worth losing your life over – so leave.

If there’s been a city-wide breakdown of communication resources like if the 911 system crashes, get out. These systems are all computer run – and when the computer crashes, you’re on your own. When a city goes down, law and order go out the window and chaos ensues.

If some nasty weather is headed in your direction and it’s not looking good, get out before the government officials tell you to get out. Why? Because there will always be thousands who wait until the last possible minute to leave – and you may end up trapped in your vehicle sitting still on an interstate while a harrowing storm bears down on you.

Bug Out Plan

Plan ahead of time to take an alternate evacuation route, since the main roads will be overrun by people trying to leave. Print out your escape routes and have them where you can get to them easily.

Know where you’re going. Don’t just hop into your vehicle and take off. Plan ahead for every possible emergency. Have your kit or bag ready to take with you when you go. Inside the bag, you should have water, food, first aid, a way to take care of shelter – like a sleeping bag or poncho, flashlights, and personal safety tools like Mace or weapons.

Make sure you pack a battery-operated or hand-crank radio so that you can listen for emergency broadcasts. Have a way to start a fire and make sure you have a change of clothes.

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Checklist for Bug Out Bag