What's In Your Back Pack?
When I read the title sentence I hear the voice of Samuel L. Jackson asking the question, "what is in your wallet?" Well, what is in our wallet is very important. But to me, equally important is what is in your backpack, End of Day Bag or Bug Out Bag? Yes, I agree, each serves a different purpose and what you pack in the bag is different based on the purpose it serves. What you decide to pack also impacts the total weight of the bag. In general, a bag, regardless of the mission, should not exceed 25 lbs. The weight factor could be adjusted for different reasons such as your health, body size, distance to be carried and your ability to be creative with the items contained in the bag. Remember "one is none and two is one?" It could become very important when utilizing the contents of your backpack. If you have put forth any effort at all to find checklist for determining what should go in your bug out bag, you probably filled your backpack full of checklists alone. Hopefully you determined to tailor the checklist recommendations and put other items you feel you may need, based on your location, terrain, skills you possess, distance to be traveled, season of the year... So you already know to have extra clothing, underclothing, and shoes/boots. The heaviest items to occupy your bag will probably be food and water. If you are traveling more than 72 hours you will definitely have to acquire water from sources along your path. You should consider having multiple sources to cleanse water. Water tablets and water filtration straws at a minimum. I know folks who choose to carry energy and protein bars which are light weight and takes minimal space in the bag vs carrying items to cook and eat with. This also lessens the weight and space in the bag. This is a personal choice. Again, if you will be walking over three days or more you may want to rethink the strategy of going straight energy/protein bars only. Food and water are vital to your survival. Why go single resource in this area? One is none and two is one. Keep that in mind. Your life may depend on the items you select and purchase. When possible, research the quality and reviews. Some other items I keep in my personal Bug out Bag (BOB) are based on my circumstances and distance to travel to reach my bug out location. These items excludes: choice of lethal/non-lethal defense items; night vision, communications and first aid kit, which are all a part of my gear and should be the individuals personal choice. Here are some additional items to consider: N-95 Disposable Dust Masks - These come in many types, sizes, prices and purposes. This is a minimum in the mask.
Moleskin - This is a great item to consider for your bag. You do not want to get a foot blister or hip blister from walking a long distance or a hip blister from your backpack. Moleskin is a great to have handy to help prevent or protect the blisters once they have formed.
Heavy duty leather gloves - Regardless of the season, a heavy duty set of leather gloves should be available to you in the event you are cutting through fencing, barbed wire, broken window glass, and other potential hazards. The last thing you want is to get an infection while in transit and the infection spread.
Bottles for oil and spices - The travel bottles are great. You can use them for multiple purposes. I use them for cooking essentials and hygiene items as well. If you are away from your primary essentials for several days, having cooking oil and spices will spice up your meal. You will also want to wash your hair to avoid hygiene issues. You can pick these up cheap at Wal Mart, a Dollar Store, Target or other chain stores. Normally they are located in the section for hygiene travel.
Crow bar - This tool is essential if you believe your journey will require travel cross country. It can be used for opening locks, gates, and doors. It can also be used as a weapon if required. I picked this item up at Lowes but can be found at Home Depot or other warehouse type stores. This item weighs about 3 lbs.
Bolt Cutter - Cutting locks and fences - This tool adds weight but is important when journeying off road and need access through fences, locked gates and doors. Can also be used as a weapon if needed. I purchased this item from Amazon but can also be found at Lowes, Home Depot, or other hardware stores. The item weighs about 3 lbs.
Fire starters - I keep a box of fire starter tabs, water proof fire starter tabs, empty tin can with cotton balls soaked in Vaseline and toilet paper tubes stuffed with dryer lent. This offers several options for starting fires at different levels and sizes.
Solar charger - The solar charger offers the ability to charge several devices I plan to use during my journey. Flashlights, mapping, and night vision can be charged via the solar panel. I have batteries for emergency supply if the solar panel fails or the sun is cloud covered.
Emergency Go Time Life Tent - This will keep you dry, warm and alive in extreme conditions. It is small, ultra-lightweight and takes minimal space. This is my backup to my primary SnugPak tent (listed below). You can find items in this category at Amazon, or Sports stores.
Arcturus All Weather Outdoor Survival Blanket. This product will reflect roughly 95% of your body heat. This product is lightweight and takes minimal space. You can find this item at Amazon or most Sports stores.
SnugPak Ionosphere 1-Person Camping Tent. Small and compact tent that is low profile and a great option for those looking for a 1 person tent to keep out of the elements. This product weighs about 3.5 lbs. I have a version of this product. You will have your best success at Amazon unless you live near a city with well stocked sports stores.