Survival Kit Bug Out Bag V3
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Table Of Contents
A Bug-Out “Reality Check” .................................................................................... 1
5 “No B.S.” Warning Signs Of An Impending Collapse ........................................ 4
Collapse Warning Sign #1: .................................................................................... 6
Collapse Warning Sign #2: .................................................................................... 8
Collapse Warning Sign #4: .................................................................................. 13
Collapse Warning Sign #5: .................................................................................. 15
A “No-BS” Look At What You Can Expect In A Collapse ................................... 17
Why The Government And Local Agencies CAN’T Help You! ........................... 20
The #1 Thing You Must Realize In A Collapse! ................................................... 22
Shhhhhhhhh! ....................................................................................................... 24
Preparing Your Home For Disaster ..................................................................... 26
When (And How) To Evacuate In A Collapse ..................................................... 28
Respect Your “Evac Triggers” ............................................................................. 29
Get AHEAD Of The Mob ..................................................................................... 30
Know Where You’re Going .................................................................................. 31
Be Prepared To Go On Foot ............................................................................... 32
The 7 Layers Of Survival Gear ............................................................................ 33
Layer 1: Everyday Carry (EDC) ........................................................................... 34
Layer 2: External Carry Bag ................................................................................ 36
Layer 3: Bug-Out Bag .......................................................................................... 39
Layer 4: Bug Out Vehicle .................................................................................... 42
Layer 5: Home Or Survival Retreat ..................................................................... 44
Layer 6: The Community ..................................................................................... 46
Layer 7: Personal Protection Gear ...................................................................... 48
The #1 Core “Pillar” In ANY Emergency Survival Plan… .................................... 50
Bug-Out Bag Features To Demand ..................................................................... 57
13 Pillars Of Your Bug-Out Gear Build-Out ......................................................... 66
Bug-Out Food ...................................................................................................... 68
Bug-Out Water..................................................................................................... 80
Bug-Out Protection Items .................................................................................... 85
Bug-Out Clothing ................................................................................................. 89
Bug-Out Lighting ................................................................................................. 99
Bug-Out Communication ................................................................................... 100
Bug-Out Fire ...................................................................................................... 103
Bug-Out Medical Supplies ................................................................................. 104
Bug-Out Utility Gear .......................................................................................... 111
Bug-Out Self-Protection .................................................................................... 124
Bug-Out Evasion Support .................................................................................. 132
Bug-Out Personal Items .................................................................................... 143
Budgeting For Bug-Out Gear ............................................................................ 147
Test Your Bug-Out Gear ................................................................................... 149
A Bug-Out “Reality Check”
As a survivalist, as a prepper, as a prepared citizen, your bottom line, the
foundation of everything you believe, is that bad things can happen.
That’s why we prepare, right?
Of course the best place to be in a disaster is usually in your home, where you
have the comfort of a roof over your head and the ability to stockpile supplies to
weather the danger.
However, there are times when other factors may force you and your family to
evacuate your home and travel to another location that’s safer.
This we call, “bugging out.”
For most of us, however, bugging out means things are going south really badly.
The situation where you are is getting worse and you need to think about going
somewhere else to escape civil disorder, a riot, some natural disaster, or
whatever else might be threatening you.
But let’s be realistic here…
Short of a meteor hitting the Earth or zombies eating your face off, most disasters
will last from roughly 3 days to maybe a week.
That means your bug-out bag must sustain you as you get from an emergency
area to a non-emergency area for that time period.
But the key to bugging out, and doing so successfully, is to have a pre-planned
bug out location in mind and a way to get there.
Preferably, you’ll be able to drive to your safe refuge.
But that may not always be possible… or even desirable.
• The roads could be blocked.
• You could run out of fuel.
• You could experience a breakdown.
• You might need to stay off the roads to avoid checkpoints and roadblocks.
Any number of problems can arise in a disaster and put you and your family out
on your own with nothing but the shoes on your feet… and your bug-out bag!
This book is all about bug-out bags.
It’s about what you need to carry in them.
It’s also about how you need to approach the process of building a bug-out bag.
This topic is important to me because I worry about my family.
I’ve seen first-hand when things get really, really bad, such as when historic,
record-breaking flooding destroyed houses and took lives in my small town in
When I first started getting into prepping and survival years ago, I didn’t have my
Now I do.
I felt so strongly about the topic of bugging out, in fact, that I designed my own
“extreme bug-out bag,” which I call my X-BOB, based on the guidelines that I’m
going to share with you in this book.
Have you ever stopped to consider the possibility that you might have to bug
If you did, would you have the supplies you need?
And if you had those supplies, would you have the means to carry them?
For too many people, the answer is, “no.”
That bothers me.
It bothers me a lot.
And that’s why I set out to explain what I see as important in a bug-out bag — not
just in terms of the bag, but also how you should approach the topic of bugging
The first thing you’ve got to know is WHEN to bug out.
And to do that, you’re going to have to start looking for serious signs of
5 “No B.S.” Warning Signs
Of An Impending Collapse
A disaster, a breakdown in civil order, a collapse of infrastructure, even a foreign
invasion, can take many forms.
It can come on suddenly, almost without warning.
It can also develop slowly over time.
More often that not, with the exception of some natural disasters, there are
developing signs of a problem for quite some time before an actual “collapse-like
If you are a prepared, aware citizen, if you do not live your life with your head in
the sand and your fingers in your ears, you can perceive the trouble coming.
In my time as a self-defense instructor, we’ve referred to something called the
This is the amount of time between when you realize somebody is attacking you
and when you manage to do something about it, like getting up your hands,
deploying a handgun, etc.
Well, just as in protecting yourself from an attacker in your home or on the street,
there’s a “reactionary gap” with many disasters, too.
For every catastrophic event that happens seemingly without warning, there are
plenty of other events that give you notice that they’re on their way.
If you learn to recognize the warning signs of these disasters or chaotic events,
you can better prepare to meet the challenges you are likely to face.
Just what do we mean by “better prepared?”
If you know what supplies you need to have on hand, both to cope with and to
survive during a major disaster, crisis, or attack, then the chances are much
better that you WILL endure and survive that occurrence.
That’s the name of the game when it comes to survival, after all: getting through
a time of danger, getting past an area of danger, and to somewhere (or some
time) that isn’t as dangerous to you and your loved ones who are counting on
you for their protection.
While you won’t always have early warning of a disaster (we still don’t really
know how to predict or warn against, for example, tornados beyond a relatively
short warning period), preparing for those disasters ahead of time means you’ll
have much better odds of coping with them once you’re aware that they’re
And those disasters or events that you CAN look out for ahead of time are things
you SHOULD be watching for.
That means learning to recognize the warning signs of the major disasters and
“collapse” events you COULD face – not in fantasy – but in REAL LIFE!
These five “warning signs” are...
1. Natural Disaster
2. Economic meltdown
3. Pandemic disease outbreak
4. Power grid failure
5. Nuclear Contamination
Let’s examine each one of these and give you a real world perspective on what
to watch for – and what to do about it…
Collapse Warning Sign #1:
This is the most obvious, so let’s get it out of the way first…
Natural disasters have the potential to be the threat least likely to give you
advanced warning as we’ve seen from such devastating events such as
tornados, earthquakes, and tsunamis.
This isn’t news to you if you live in a tornado-prone area as you know that we still
don’t really have the technology to give citizens more than the most basic of brief
warnings before a tornado strikes.
Now, normally you wouldn’t think of a natural disaster as a cause of any real
“collapse” that would affect any place outside of the affected area, right?
Well, that all depends on the area that’s affected.
For example, a fellow “prepper friend” of mine, Marjory Wildcraft, did her
research and discovered that 30% of all U.S. oil refining is done in a small area in
the Houston, TX area.
A Category 5 hurricane that hits this area could shut down fuel production and
destroy refinery support systems that service the entire country for a long, long
The result will be much higher fuel prices and an increase in cost of all goods
(more on this in the “economic meltdown” section)
This is just one example of how a natural disaster that hits critical infrastructure
points within the country could affect the rest of the nation in a very big –
potentially catastrophic – way.
What To Watch For…
Some natural disasters will give you a few days warning while others maybe no
warning at all.
But the key is to look BEYOND your own city limits and take notice of where
large-scale events take place that could affect you in the coming days and
If you live in Wisconsin and see the effects of a hurricane wiping out sections of
the Houston, TX area, your neighbors won’t think twice about it…
… but it should be YOUR warning sign that darker days may be ahead!
Collapse Warning Sign #2:
Economic Meltdown & Food Shortages
Economic collapse is an insidious problem to consider.
Almost overnight, the money you have saved, the money you earn, can
disappear or simply become increasingly worthless.
With the U.S. borrowing money to simply pay our bills, it’s evident that our entire
financial system is built upon a giant Ponzi scheme that is already showing signs
of coming collapse.
When that happens, most American families will be devastated as studies show
• 76% of all Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck and can’t withstand
another economic firestorm like the 2008 collapse.
• 27% of American families do not have a single penny of savings to
weather hard times.
• The average family’s debt-to-income ration is now 154% (it was only 58%
The bottom line is this…
When the economy plummets again, most Americans will be wiped out.
We’ve seen it happen in other countries and it’s a very real danger even here in
There are stories of countries where runaway inflation reduces citizens to taking
wheelbarrows full of cash to the grocery store just to buy a loaf of bread.
In Greece, even middle-class families were dumping their children off at
orphanages so they wouldn’t starve to death.
If prices for consumer goods rise sharply, your ability to buy everything from food
for your children to gas for your car (to get to work or anywhere else) can cause
a cascade effect, crippling the economy at every step along the chain.
When people can’t even go to work to earn wages that are no longer sufficient to
buy the bare essentials – like food.
Even today, 1 in 6 Americans are unable to adequately feed their family. What
will this number be like when food prices soar and government cheese runs out?
When food prices spike, people can’t afford to eat, and when people can’t eat,
they freak out and riot.
This is an entirely predictable pattern that has played out again and again in
Increased strain on food banks and food kitchens, record numbers of Americans
on food stamps, and increasing consumer prices for food all point to future civil
And what happens when those millions of people who get their groceries using
“food stamp” cards issued by the government go to swipe those cards... and the
system doesn’t work because the government is bankrupt or some other problem
has crippled the network?
When people are hungry and watching their families starve before them, the
conditions that are ripe for civil unrest and rioting.
What To Watch For…
You don’t have to be a Wall Street whiz to keep an eye out for failing economic
There are telltale signs that our economy is about to go bust… IF you know
where to look, such as places like…
Gas Prices. A sharp increase in gas prices, or a very precipitous drop in those
prices, could signal a coming collapse of our financial system.
In the first case, if gas prices rise sharply, they cause that downward spiral effect
in the economy, first slowing it down and then bringing it to a stop.
You must understand that if the price of oil goes up sharply, everything on the
planet costs more.
Every product you buy in a store was transported on a truck at some point, and
before it was on a truck, it was on a train and probably on a ship.
Higher fuel prices means higher prices for everything, everywhere, at every stop
along the transportation chain that gets goods and services from their source to
If gas prices drop a LOT very suddenly, while this may seem like a good thing at
first, what it means is that suddenly there is much less ability to pay what were
the current fuel prices. Falling gas prices also signifies a problem with the
U.S. Treasuries. If interest rates on US treasuries begin to skyrocket it’s a
surefire signal that our debt-soaked government is going to be unable to keep up
with the national debt.
In other words, US debt isn’t the commodity it once was and the government isn’t
able to borrow money like has been.
Ultimately that means it has to find that money somewhere else... in the form of
higher taxes, raiding social security funds, and even confiscating portions of
people’s savings accounts (yes, it can happen).
You can monitor treasure interest rates right from the treasury’s own website at
Collapse Warning Sign #3:
Pandemic Disease Outbreak
Remember the panic over the “bird flu”?
What about the “swine flu”?
These were pandemics felt largely OUTSIDE the United States.
There was a time though, that pandemics did occur on our soil, and when they
did, they shut down large portions of the United States and took a terrible toll in
In New York City in 1916, the paralytic disease polio killed 6,000 people.
Because the disease frequently affected children, it terrified parents across the
Public swimming pools were shut down…
… movie-goers were told not to sit too closely…
… and insurance companies sold “polio insurance” for babies.
Polio was largely brought under control through immunization, but the polio
outbreak pales in comparison to the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919.
Influenza came to the United States from Europe.
Five to ten percent of sufferers would develop pneumonia, and many of them
Across the world, influenza killed 20 million people.
At home, it took 675,000 from a population of 105 million in the United States.
There were quarantines. There were panics. People wore masks in public.
And it could happen again.
What To Watch For…
Keep your eyes on the news, especially in Southeast Asia.
All influenza viruses originate there and are spread by birds and animals like pigs
before they reach humans.
The typical global pattern is that it spreads from Asia to Europe and the U.S. so if
you see news reels of people in China and other Southeast Asian cultures
wearing facemasks to ward off an outbreak, don’t think this is isolated to a
foreign country – it’s actually headed your way.
The bigger the news story over there – the harder you can expect it to hit on your
home turf and potentially strain medical response beyond its seams.
Also, keep an eye out for reports of a “new” disease with an unknown cause.
Things like that sometimes become pandemics, especially if they spread rapidly
– before researchers can identify the origin and work up a vaccine or treatment.
Still other signs of a pandemic outbreak include government announcements of
controls or rationing on the sales of antibiotics.
Finally, read between the lines of government statements on the nature of the
If the government starts telling you to behave in a certain way to reduce your
risks, you know that those in charge take the threat of the illness seriously
enough to tell you to remain calm and try not to catch it.
It’s a sad, cynical statement about the world we live in, but the surest sign that a
pandemic is a potential danger to you is when your government tells you not to
worry about it.
That is because the government’s primary concern is maintaining order, not
keeping you, specifically, safe.
They would much rather you be calm and not cause a panic than raise the alarm. !
Collapse Warning Sign #4:
Power Grid Failure
In mid-August in 2003, the power went out across the Northeast United States
and parts of Canada.
Millions of people were affected, many of them in the dense urban areas of New
York City, Toronto, Newark, Detroit, Cleveland, and Ottawa.
It was only two years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the
first thing people did was try to make sure their loved ones were safe.
What they found out, when they all tried to use their wireless phones at once,
was that none of them worked.
Immediately, what seemed like a local blackout was quickly and terrifying a much
more extensive problem, and people wondered if terrorists were to blame.
The problem was first blamed on an infrastructure problem in Canada, until the
real culprit was discovered…
… a tree branch that fell on a power line in Ohio!
Yes, a tree branch was all it took for to topple a large section of the U.S. and
Canadian power supply and send 50 million people into the dark age.
A minor problem became a cascade failure in already antiquated, often feeble
Even our own government admits that our power grid is held together with
chewing gum and duct tape... but nobody is doing anything about it!
But don’t take my word for it.
Listen for yourself as former CIA Director, Jim Woolsey reveals what the “dark
secret” most citizens don’t know…
To make matters worse, power demands are rising, as our reliance on
smartphones, portable tablet computers, and other electrical gadgets is taxing
both our broadband wireless networks and the electrical grid needed to charge
What To Watch For...
Warning signs of a power grid failure include news reports about the fragility of
our grid and about nearby outages.
If something is so bad that people are reporting on it, you should listen.
The best warning sign of a power grid failure, however, is the phenomenon of the
If, especially during the summer months, your local government announces
rolling blackouts to deal with high power demand, it means your grid can’t take
the strain and there’s a good chance it could fail entirely.
Don’t forget the threat of EMP (electromagnetic pulse), either…
A warning of severe solar flare activity from the sun could trigger an
electromagnetic event, sending a power-surge to Earth – potentially knocking out
power on a wide-scale to an already stretched power grid.
Often, though, you won’t know about an EMP problem until it has already
happened and things stop working.
One way to verify this is to see if your wireless phone is suddenly dead.
Collapse Warning Sign #5:
If you ever question the potential fallout from an unexpected nuclear disaster,
you need look no further than the recent meltdown of the reactors at Fukushima
Japan as a nation state has now been destroyed.
The country and its water systems are contaminated and there are entire parts of
the country that are now completely uninhabitable… and spreading out!
In fact, high levels of radiation have been recorded in the metro Tokyo area, with
a population higher than the entire country of Canada.
There are indications that the entire food production chain in Japan is
contaminated, including the tea trade and fishing it depends on so heavily.
Japan’s industrial and manufacturing industry is in shambles and they are no
longer a leading industrial power, watching exports plummet as no one wants
And what caused this nuclear meltdown?
Ultimately it wasn’t the natural disaster that triggered the disaster – it was the
loss of electrical power, plain and simple.
When all electrical power was shut off (yes, due to the earthquake triggered
tsunami), the backup generators were destroyed and with no electricity at all, the
fuel rods had no means of remaining cool and they entered a meltdown scenario
that toppled an entire country overnight.
Think that couldn’t happen in the U.S. or any other country?
What To Watch For...
With a simple disruption in the electrical supply, any one of our nuclear reactors
could be forced into a Fukushima-like meltdown…or worse!
What could cause such a chain-reaction of catastrophic proportions?
Try these on for size…
As recent as 2011, the U.S. Government was making preparations for aiding 7
million Americans along the New Madrid fault line which is susceptible to an
earthquake the magnitude of a 9 on the Richter Scale.
This would affect nuclear plants in northern Arkansas, eastern Missouri, and
others in the area.
And of course there’s the famous San Andreas fault in California that every
seems to realize will someday split wide open… yet we have our fingers crossed
that reactors at Diablo Canyon and San Onofre will be able to handle the tear.
And what if there were a direct attack
“9-11 style” on a nuclear reactor?
Or someone is able to pull off the same hacking trick we nailed the Iranians with
by implanting a virus in their own nuclear development facility – only they’re able
to “tell” our cooling systems to take a vacation and let the reactors overheat and
wipe out our entire country.
While this may sound like the stuff of spy novels, it’s really not as difficult as you
Remember the Northeast Blackout of 2003?
That was from a tree branch!
See my point?
A “No-BS” Look At What You
Can Expect In A Collapse
Now I want you to really stop and think about each of the potential collapse
scenarios we’ve just described.
For each of them, ask yourself these questions:
1. What would the results of this disaster be? What would the effects look
2. What infrastructure on which I rely right now would be affected
negatively by this scenario?
3. What supplies would I need to have on hand to cope with the loss of
that infrastructure, and for how long could I reasonably survive on the
stores of those supplies I now have?
When the disaster occurs, you will very nearly be overwhelmed by the sudden
realization that something this bad is occurring.
Disbelief is a common reaction.
Your neighbors, those people who aren’t prepared at all, those people who have
not invested any thought in how they would cope with the loss of major
infrastructure, will be shocked and terrified.
They’ll make bad decisions.
They may even turn to violence.
There will be those who don’t do anything, those who are paralyzed with fear.
And there will be those who think, “Do something, ANYTHING,” no matter how ill-
thought out that plan may be.
When you first perceive that a disaster or collapse is occurring, it’s up to you take
a leadership role.
Keep your wits about you.
Perform a rational evaluation of the risks and dangers... and what you have to
work with in coping with the problem.
You need to adapt to the situation and overcome the adversity you face.
But there’s a hidden threat that’s difficult for most people to contemplate no
matter HOW prepared they are…
For your safety and the safety of those who look to you for protection, I’m afraid I
must bring it up.
You see, while we’d like to think that natural disasters and times of crisis bring
neighbors together and fill us all with a patriotic spirit, the fact is…
There are always wolves among the sheep!
We’ve seen it in every major crisis…
During the “impact” phase, when a disaster first becomes evident, it can
materialize as fist-fights at the grocery store, gas stations, and aid distribution
points as shelves are stripped bare and tempers flare at the prospect of not being
able to feed and protect loved ones…
In the “aftermath” phase, gangs and looters and have been known to go door to
door, breaking windows and taking whatever they can get their hands on.
What this means is that people you would normally consider just other victims of
a disaster, just fellow citizens trying to get by as you are trying to get by, may well
become potential hostiles.
You’ll need to avoid them and avoid getting robbed, beaten, or otherwise
victimized by them, as you try to deal with the disaster or collapse unfolding
You’ve got a major problem when it comes to doing that, though, and that is that
you’ve been conditioned to think that your government will help.
You think local law enforcement, the national guard, FEMA, and other
emergency services will step in and do something to bring order from the chaos...
Well just ask the people who listened to the government and went to the
Superdome after Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area and surrounding
portions of the United States.
By most accounts, the refugee area designated in the Superdome was a
Many of the government personnel who dropped food and water off at the
Superdome took a, “let’s feed the animals” approach to the people who
depended on them.
That’s not to say our emergency personnel didn’t do their jobs.
But their attitude was definitely not one of caring for the people in their charge as
There’s no way our government can do that.
They have to keep order and they have to see to the people as a general
category, as a population, as a whole.
This is the fundamental flaw in relying on the government and even your local
service agencies in times of crisis.
Do you think the National Guard will rescue you?
Do you think a FEMA shelter is where you want your family to ride out a disaster
or a riot?
Why The Government And
Local Agencies CAN’T Help You!
How would you feel about being responsible for everyone, everywhere?
Well, that’s what it’s like for local law enforcement and government personnel in
Imagine that everything is falling apart around you.
The “rule of law” is quickly collapsing.
Looting, violence, and fear of the social chaos event is running rampant among
Our law enforcement and emergency services personnel are frequently
understaffed and under-resourced on a GOOD day.
Now they’re trying to cope with a major disaster affecting everyone within their
Not just a few extra “nuisance calls” of hooligans throwing rocks at cars… I’m
talking about being forced to keep law and order over EVERYONE!
Think about the enormity of that for a moment.
There’s no way to prioritize your services, to assign your finite resources, if
absolutely everyone in the area is being affected by the same disaster.
Worse, there’s a very good chance that most of your local law enforcement and
first-response personnel have families of their own.
When the “balloon goes up,” as the saying goes, can we really expect these
personnel to abandon their own families in favor of trying, in vain, to protect
everyone else... even though it is physically impossible for them to do so?
Any human being would naturally try to protect his or her own loved ones in a
We have to expect that in a very dire emergency, our responders will be
absolutely overwhelmed and undermanned.
Refugee camps and other FEMA-type installations will, just like the Superdome,
quickly become the types of places you DON’T want your family.
Resources will be scarce…
...supervision and law enforcement will be few and far between…
...and food and water will more valuable than gold.
Chaos and predatory human behavior will reign... and government
bureaucracies, which are notoriously inefficient, will not be able to bring the
situation under control in anything resembling a short amount of time!
The #1 Thing You Must Realize In A Collapse!
In a natural disaster or other crisis, most people crumble to pieces.
They’re going to be in shock… afraid… desperate…and helpless.
The guidance they seek will come from their local authorities and from
government aid agencies like FEMA.
But remember, these agencies don’t have your individual survival or prosperity in
Their goal is to create order, to keep people under control, and reduce the chaos
of the event that has triggered the problems they now face.
If that means herding people into “protective” camps where they will live as
helpless victims, essentially prisoners of the disaster and their government, then
that is what they will do.
That’s not what YOU, a prepared citizen who values freedom and individual
liberty, wants for your family, right?
You refuse to live at the mercy of faceless bureaucrats who know you as a
You’d never subject your loved ones to a solution that’s worse than the problem,
That means that the #1 thing you must realize in a crisis is that...
...YOU are the only person you and your family can truly depend on!
Every other person you encounter can fail you, disappoint you, or even betray
That best friend you’ve had for years may decide the lives of his family trump the
lives of your family in a crisis.
Your government and Officer Friendly certainly can’t be counted on to put your
If you want to put your family and your loved ones’ welfare FIRST, then, you
have to understand that you can only count on YOU.
This builds the foundation and sets the tone for your journey toward self-reliance.
It puts you and your family on the path of being one of the small groups who will
endure no matter how long a disaster lasts, and no matter what toll a social
chaos event takes on our nation.
This is a harsh reality.
It isn’t a pleasant thing to contemplate.
But it’s the truth.
Can you keep a secret?
I hope so… because taking the steps we’re about to talk about WILL make you
prepared. But it will also make you a TARGET!
Now it’s not just the criminals and opportunistic looters you need to be concerned
Imagine a highway packed with stalled cars who have run out of gas and here
you come put-putting down the road with your vehicle and a full tank of gas.
The fathers and mothers who are looking at their own desperate plight to safety
will inherently look to ANYONE who can help them.
They’ll begin by “asking” for you to take them with you or leave them some
food… then they’ll beg… and if you don’t comply, they might then DEMAND!
This may start out with just one or two desperate people hounding you… but can
quickly grow into a mob who feel that it’s YOUR responsibility to share your stuff
and help them out.
Things can get ugly quick and you need to be prepared to deal with the violence
that may ensue.
Your best bet is to stay low – now and also during a crisis. There are ways to do
this that we talk about in our “Survival Kit Bug –Out” program.
Ways you can dress… ways you can store gear… ways you can become virtually
The main thing is to not brag about your level of preparedness.
It’s very natural to want to talk about what we do to prepare for crises.
Some of us genuinely want to help our fellow citizens.
We hope that by becoming “evangelists for survival,” we can encourage others to
prepare the way we do.
Unfortunately, by trying to bring others into the fold, we often make ourselves
vulnerable to those who, in a crisis, have not prepared ahead of time... but who
do remember that YOU have.
Never forget the danger this type of “loose lips” syndrome puts you in!
Don’t tell your neighbors or friends about your stockpiles.
I had a buddy who was caught in Hurricane Sandy that didn’t heed this
precaution and found his buddies all pulling up in his driveway with no fear at all
because they knew that HE had prepared and had extra food.
They chowed down to a big feast and in a short time, a large chunk of his food
supplies were wiped out – all because he couldn’t keep a secret.
Preparing Your Home For Disaster
Preparing your home for a disaster or social chaos event, especially if you have
been following the warning signs of the approaching event, isn’t that hard.
Identify the things you are likely to use, especially items that will be scarce or
impossible to get.
(Don’t worry; we’ll help you identify just these things a little later on in this report.
For now, though, focus on the concept and try to wrap your head around it.)
For example, let’s say you’ve been experiencing rolling blackouts.
You know a failure of your power grid could be coming.
You would stockpile extra batteries, fuel for your generator, and candles
accordingly, because these are the things that will be in high demand during a
One of the items that was almost impossible to find in stores during Hurricane
Sandy was D-sized and AA-sized batteries.
You would be wise to store these prior to a crisis.
There are other things you can stockpile and store, just generally, that will always
be in need during an emergency.
You’ll want to have long-term storage food on hand, for example.
A few cases of ramen noodles added to your weekly shopping will help you store
this kind of thing, long-term.
If you integrate into your survival preparations simply extra portions of the things
you already buy, from toilet paper to canned goods, you can use a rolling-
inventory strategy to use things less often than you replace them.
This means you can build up a stockpile of all the things you regularly use, and
when you can’t get to the store for a few days during an emergency, you will
have an ample supply of what you need.
It isn’t really hard.
It’s common sense.
But planning on doing this will help you sleep better at night RIGHT NOW, won’t
Well, why WOULDN’T you do that?
There’s something you haven’t considered, possibly, that you really do need to
You should be building a bug-out bag or “go-bag.”
This is because the bigger danger of a disaster, the worse alternative to having a
few days where you can’t get to the store (or there is nothing in the store to buy),
is the possibility that it isn’t safe where your home is.
What if you have to evacuate?
When (And How) To Evacuate In A Collapse
Look, evacuating during a disaster (or “bugging out” as we like to call it) isn’t
easy – especially if you’re not prepared with the right gear and exit strategy.
You can’t just throw a few items in a bug-out bag and expect that you’re all set to
flee your home.
You have to know just what to put in that bag and how to pack it.
We offer an entire bug-out bag program that can teach you how to build the best,
most useful bug-out bag imaginable...
...and a good part of this is knowing what NOT to carry.
Generally, though, understand that bugging out requires you not just to build that
go-bag right, but to follow good, well-thought-out survival guidelines for leaving a
place of danger to get to a place of greater safety.
You have to have a plan!
That plan starts with some really basic tenets of bugging out:
Respect Your “Evac Triggers”
Typically, our weather people tell you that a storm is coming.
Our government may even tell you that you should get out, and this evacuation
may be voluntary or it may be mandatory.
But over and over again, there are people who refuse to believe the warnings.
Sometimes this is because our meteorologists love to “cry wolf” and describe
every storm or snowfall as the disaster of the century.
But sometimes this is just simple human stubbornness.
People expect that they’ll be fine because they’ve always been fine… and it’s
people who think this way who end up on their rooftop hoping for rescue after a
flood, or who get trapped in their houses during a four-foot blizzard.
The best warning signs of a natural disaster are the predictions of our weather
What we need to do, when they forecast a disaster, is actually listen to them and
Acknowledge, then, that in most cases, you simply won’t know far ahead of a
natural disaster before it occurs.
Get AHEAD Of The Mob
To further add urgency to your decision about when to evacuate, you have to not
only look at your plight…
…but the actions of others who will be caught up in the same crisis you are.
Think about it this way…
If you've ever been in a traffic jam on your way to work — threatening you to be
late and face an angry boss — how much easier would it have been to get to
work if you left an EXTRA 20 MINUTES EARLIER?
Makes sense, right?
A critical factor is for you to NOT wait to the last minute to decide to evacuate.
Your primary evacuation goal is to GET AHEAD OF THE MOB!
Here’s how I look at it…
If you “wrongly” decide to leave but you get ahead of the desperate pack of
automobiles on the highway, what’s the worst that can happen?
Maybe you have an overnight stay at a hotel in a “safe zone” far away or you
have to put up with Great-Aunt Lizzie’s complaints about her gout.
But if you wait too long to make a decision and the right decision would have
been to leave, it’s too late!
The highways will be jammed with all the other procrastinators.
As gas stations run out of fuel, these same highways will be transformed into
giant parking lots of stalled vehicles and angry, fearful citizens with no way to
escape the danger headed their way.
When in doubt… evacuate – and take decisive action with the utmost speed and
Know Where You’re Going
You can’t just rush out of the house and head “out of town” like you’re going on
There are any number of choke points that can stop you in your tracks.
Plan now for WHERE you can go and have it pre-plotted on a map.
Do you have a good friend or relative in the next state who’s agreed to take you
in during an emergency?
Maybe it’s even just a remote campground that has facilities you can use (like
showers, drinkable water, and latrines)?
One caution for you though…
When determining your secondary safety retreat, you must take into account the
potential for limited resources to get you there.
For example, a wide-scale blackout could render gas stations useless.
For this reason, it’s best to plan your retreat for somewhere that’s about ½ a gas
tank away from your home.
For the average vehicle, that’s only about 200 miles radius on a good day.
Of course that also means you must get in the habit of never letting your gas tank
get below ½ tank in order to always be “prepared”, right? (wink – wink)
And you need to consider your options for even getting there…
Primary routes are likely to be jammed if you don’t make it out in time – or even if
you do, but wind up stuck three towns over with those who are just now getting
on the road in that area.
Don’t follow the herd.
Map out the “back roads” as an alternative route.
Be Prepared To Go On Foot
This is where a lot of people screw up…
They don’t take into account that their primary vehicle may in fact be of as much
use as a 2-ton paperweight in a disaster.
You can run out of gas…
…get caught in a traffic jam of fleeing citizens (even if you get out quickly,
you could still run through other towns that are in the midst of
…or your vehicle could simply break down on the way to safety.
Should that happen, you need to be prepared to leave your vehicle behind and
go the rest of the way, perhaps on foot.
This is why your regular travel luggage is NOT the best option for your survival
There are better options we discuss in our SKBOB program for the whole family.
But here’s the key factor you must understand now…
When a hurricane has you in its sights or a wildfire is raging your way, that’s NOT
the time to start packing your tighty-whities, food supplies, and your evacuation
Every second counts and the longer you wait to get started, the greater your
chances of being stuck on the highway.
That’s why it’s so critical for you to assemble your survival kit “bug-out bag” NOW
and have it ready so that when you make that fateful, life-saving decision to
leave, all you have to do is GRAB & GO!
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s now, as I promised you, get into the specific LAYERS of survival you need
to cover with your preparations.
The 7 Layers Of Survival Gear
Preppers and survivalists love to make lists of gear.
We love to pack bug-out bags for every emergency.
We love to have a lot of stuff on hand, period.
But does your gear follow any sort of plan?
Do you understand the 7 layers of survival gear preparation, and does your gear
coordinate to make you the best equipped survivor you can be?
This isn’t merely a theoretical question.
The threat of civil unrest, natural disaster, and lately, pending economic collapse,
has a lot of people worried.
They’re worried about what they’ll do if the services and infrastructure they take
for granted suddenly isn’t there.
All it takes is a few days with the lights off or with the grocery stores closed to
bring out the worst in your neighbors, and that’s when the layered approach
becomes extremely important.
The 7 layers include...
• Your everyday carry (EDC)
• Your SCRAM bag (a small emergency external bag for emergencies)
• Your bug-out bag (or BOB)
• Your bug out vehicle (BOV)
• Your home or survival retreat
• The larger survival community
• Your personal protection gear (which permeates all the 7 layers of
Layer 1: Everyday Carry (EDC)
The first of these, and the one that you will always have with you because it is on
your person, is your everyday carry gear.
Your EDC, which is the beginning of the 7 layers of survival, is incredibly
A lot of people don’t think about their EDC when gear.
They’re more involved with the stuff they keep at home in their bug-out bag.
But you can have all the MREs and ammo you want at your survival retreat and
never actually get to it.
You can have a bug out vehicle stuffed with gear and never reach it through the
crowd or the emergency at hand.
When considering the layered approach, and your everyday carry, don’t just
carry a lot of junk for the sake of carrying it.
Make sure the things you carry will actually be useful.
The first of these is a knife.
Knives have multiple uses, from utility to use as weapons.
A flashlight is another one; not only can you use it as a striking tool, but once you
have a utility light with you all the time you will wonder how you ever got by
The Key to EDC Utility
These are just examples.
Your everyday carry should include anything that is small enough to be carried
comfortably while being something you’re likely to need frequently.
When planning the layered approach, ask yourself what the smallest item that
will accomplish the task might be.
Make sure that gear is easy to hide, too, so that you don’t make yourself a target
because you are obviously equipped.
Your clothing must be chosen carefully in order to facilitate the best distribution of
the EDC layer, because the more pouches and pockets you’ve got, the better
able you are to hide and carry everything you have that is useful.
By following these simple guidelines and keeping in mind always how the 7
layers of survival gear are supposed to work together, you can be as equipped
as possible for any emergency you face.
Layer 2: External Carry Bag
In an emergency, the time to find the gear you will need, to assemble that gear,
and to make sure you have it with you is well before the emergency.
It doesn’t matter if the emergency is a natural disaster or an act of civil unrest.
You must plan ahead to make sure your survival gear coordinates to make you
the best prepared survivor and citizen you can be.
One of the most critical elements that few people consider as part of your
everyday carry (EDC) platform is what we call your SCRAM bag (in our world,
that stands for “Social Chaos Response And Mobility” bag…
The SCRAM Bag (“Murse”)
Your SCRAM bag (some refer to this as a guy’s “murse” or “man-purse”) is one
step up from the everyday carry things you keep on your person.
I felt so strongly about having one of these ready to go at all times that I built it
into my X-BOB program.
In other words, I made it a requirement that our X-BOB bug-out bag design
incorporate full integration of an external SCRAM bag for transitional mobility in a
A SCRAM bag is a social chaos bag, a small, external bag full of emergency
things that are intended to help you extract yourself from a situation of extreme
danger or uncertainty so you can proceed with your survival plans (such as
getting to your bug-out bag or vehicle).
In keeping with the layered approach as a priority plan, the external carry bag is
NOT a giant backpack, but rather, smaller than a bug-out bag but containing the
things you need for immediate emergencies beyond what you have on your
In other words, your SCRAM bag is designed to simply GET YOU to your next
level of survival gear – while escaping and evading whatever danger is in
between you and the rest of your gear (or your loved ones).
The Bag Itself
When planning your 7 layers of survival gear and your external carry bag,
consider the bag itself.
You need it to be nondescript so you don’t draw attention to yourself as a
Military style bags are ok as long as they’re not all cammo’d up and stand out.
If other people get that YOU get the 7 layers of survival gear, they’ll home in on
you as someone who has things they want to take.
Black or brown color bags won’t stand out as much as woodland, desert, or
Dark blue is best though, and I
had such a hard time finding
blue bug-out bags to buy that I
just started manufacturing
my own X-BOB packages in
Make sure, too, that your
external carry bag isn’t too
Especially if it’s just a single-
sling satchel, a heavy bag like
that will really start to weigh on
one shoulder and give you
Packing their carry bags too
heavily is a huge mistake that
many preppers make.
They want to have so much gear with them that they forget they’ve got to be able
to travel, move, and often, move quickly while carrying these things.
When planning your external carry bag, think one level up from everyday carry.
Think of the things that are too bulky to carry on your person, but which would be
nice to have. One good example would be swim goggles, which are great for
protecting your eyes from debris and noxious fumes (like tear gas).
Include other short-term survival gear too, like meal replacement bars and
trauma gear like QuickClot bandages.
The 7 layers of survival gear help to divide things up.
The layers help create divisions among your cached, stockpiled, and carried gear
so that there’s less chance you are lugging around more than you need to be for
specific situations, while assuring that you WILL have what you need when you
do need it.
Prepare accordingly while you have time.
We’re going to get into much, much more detail on bug-out bags later on, but
let’s finish going over the other layers of survival gear before we do that.
Layer 3: Bug-Out Bag
We’re going to talk a LOT more about bug-out bags (I want to talk about the
other layers of survival before we get into detail about bug-out bags), but there’s
two items I want to touch on right away.
I can tell you from experience (military… combat… real-world disasters…) that
there are two big problems most people totally ignore when evaluating their bug-
How Heavy Is It?
One my biggest pet peeves with all the “internet experts” who have never had to
actually USE their BOB in the real world is that they don’t consider the comfort of
their gear and its impact on their ability to get themselves and their family to
You’re going to be covering a lot of ground with this bag.
It isn’t enough to heft your bug-out bag once and think, “Nah, it’s not to heavy.”
The 7 layers of survival gear divide your external carry bag and your bug-out bag
for a reason.
The BOB is the thing you’ll be carrying while traveling from Point A to Point B,
where Point B is your place of greater safety.
You could be on foot with this bug-out bag for a LONG time.
If it’s too heavy, it’s going to slow you down, or you’ll have to ditch it altogether.
If your cheap waistband that felt fine in your living room starts to dig into your
hips after a mile on your back, then it’s best to find that out now.
If ANY element of your bag’s wearability is off, you’re going to be miserable and it
could threaten your ability to get to safety.
Have you ever truly “tested” the bag you’re using?
If not, start by wearing it around your home for just 5-10 minutes.
Then take your bug-out bag out and hike with it.
Take it for two to five miles, one day, and then for five to ten miles another.
Get an idea of just what it feels like to carry that bag over long distances.
You need to know that you can carry it for however long it takes to get you to
I go on hikes with the X-BOB product I designed all the time.
I need to know just how well it’s going to hold up over distances, and I need to
know how it’s going to affect my body to carry it.
I’m going to dig into this critical factor a LOT More going forward – because it’s
But here’s one more area that I see hardly anyone pay attention to and I can tell
you from experience that it’s a major factor when it comes to remaining “covert”
while bugging out…
Does your bug-out bag make a lot of noise?
What movements are you making that are generating noise as you walk?
You don’t want to attract more attention than necessary.
While you are hiking, focus on noise and see what you can do to reduce the
sound generated by your bug-out bag.
For example, my tried-and-true, trusty old Army rucksack I used to wear in the
military would always “squeak” every time I stepped with my left foot.
I tried and tried to figure out what was rubbing on the metal frame that was
making that noise, and never did find the damn cause.
I hear this a lot especially when I’m on scouting trips with my son or near others
who are camping…
Canteens that bang... strapped on gear that clangs… friction between a pack and
a hat… arms rubbing back and forth against a pack that is positioned
incorrectly… waist belt gear that jostles against a rifle… and metal utensils that
clash against one another inside of pack pockets.
While bugging out, you are not a super stealthy ninja.
But you do want to get where you are going without being noticed.
Any sort of noise you make may not even be noticed by you because you’re just
“used to it”.
But for others around you, it’s a small and subtle disruption of the “baseline” –
that neutral environment their brain is used to (the sights, sounds, and “feel” of
the area they’ve become accustomed to) – and that small disruption will attract
their attention without them even knowing it.
Their brain will look in that direction because we’re naturally inclined (for
instinctual “survival” purposes) to figure out what’s “different”.
So a “squeak” of your bug-out bag suddenly has heads involuntarily turning your
way for a closer inspection.
And a “closer inspection” is something you’re definitely trying to avoid.
Let’s move on…
Layer 4: Bug Out Vehicle
Your bug out vehicle is really just a large, mobile storage locker.
Some of that has to do with the vehicle, and some of that has to do with the
equipment you need for survival.
For example, you should keep your bug-out bag right in your car.
Keeping your bug-out bag in your response room or basement or in the garage,
ready to go, may not be terribly useful to you, because in a real emergency, you
may never actually GET home.
There could be some event or disaster where the equipment you have at home
isn’t an option for you.
By keeping your bug-out bag in your car, by dividing up your gear in the 7 layers
we’ve described and being mindful of where those layers are, even if you never
make it home, you will have that extra layer of survival gear (beyond your
everyday carry and an external emergency bag) that will help you get to a safe
Everyday Useful Items
Items in your car should facilitate the 7 layers of survival gear by being useful for
everyday tasks in general.
A good example is bungee cords.
These can be used for lashing down equipment for day to day use, but also for
setting up survival shelters and securing other gear.
A fire extinguisher is another good example.
During times of social chaos, when your 7 layers of survival gear become really
important, you could need a fire extinguisher to put out a sudden fire or deal with
You can also use it as a distracting tool when dealing with hostile people.
Still other good examples for bug out vehicles are a can of fix-a-flat for quick tire
repairs, and consumables like oil (so you don’t blow your engine on the run).
Other survival gear you should keep in your vehicle are long-term survival items,
in case you have to live out of your car for some time.
Other useful tools include a siphon (to help you get gas from other vehicles) and
just basic living supplies, like stores of food and pots of sterno.
The 7 layers of survival gear help you deal, conceptually, with the different facets
and ranges of survival.
The bug out vehicle is one of these 7 layers and must be considered in the
context of the others.
Treat your bug out vehicle like a rolling survival locker... and prepare while you
have the time to do so.
Layer 5: Home Or Survival Retreat
Lately, there has been a lot of momentum built up concerning the home or
survival retreat layer.
Average people are taking up preparing their home for a disaster, probably due
to the increase in natural disasters we’ve seen.
These bring with them loss of power, disruptions in food supply, disruptions in the
drinkable water supply, and other things society takes for granted.
Of the 7 layers of survival gear, the home or survival retreat is one of the critical
ones, because it is here you will survive for the long term.
The main thing to think about, where the 7 layers of survival gear and long-term
survival gear are concerned, you need to focus on essentials.
Food is one of these.
Even FEMA has started to realize the error of its ways and is now recommending
you stockpile based on two weeks of food and supplies, rather than just three
Water, Water, Water
Stock up on dry goods for longer term subsistence.
There is a lot of information on these out there.
But in addition to food, you need to stockpile water.
You need water to live.
Without water, the other 7 layers of survival gear are quickly going to seem
Besides a survival straw for short term needs, you want to be able to purify water
on a larger scale.
There are plenty of systems available for this.
Power and Light
Another thing to consider is power for your home.
You need to be able to light it so you can see.
People think if they have flashlights and candles, they are all set.
But what happens when the candles die and the batteries run out?
Consider stockpiling solar walkway LED lights.
These give off quite a bit of light at night and charge during the day from the light
of the sun.
Consider also having some dark tarps on hand.
You can get these from landscaping places.
They’re very handy for blocking out light so your house doesn’t stand out at night
as being prepared and equipped while the other houses in the neighborhood are
dark from a power outage.
Besides stockpiling food, water, a means to light your home or survival retreat,
and the other essentials of long-term life, consider the 7 layers of survival gear
and how to hide your preparedness from others.
You never want your home or retreat to stand out.
You don’t want to attract looters or others who want to raid your supply.
Part of understanding the 7 layers, and of being prepared in general, is not to let
people know you are... and never to lead them to your door, where all your gear
is cached in bulk.!
Layer 6: The Community
Many preppers don’t consider community even as they cover all the other layers.
The survival community, of the 7 layers of survival gear, is important because it
helps to have access to various skill sets from like-minded community members.
This helps the group as a whole.
When it comes to 7 layers of survival gear and how to conceptually divide up
those supplies and equipment, keeping the community in mind can be very
helpful for your overall plans.
The Survival Network
In a best case scenario, for example, your community will have a doctor.
But that may not be an option.
A lot of people don’t know doctors, and perhaps there isn’t a survival-minded
doctor in your area.
But someone in the community might have a friend or spouse who is a nurse.
That person will have access to certain specialty medical equipment.
In a survival emergency, consider the 7 layers of survival and look at the next
level up and down.
As a community, think in terms of community medical items, like an AED for
These are items you wouldn’t find in regular homes but that might be useful to
the community as a whole.
Consider also how your skills complement those of others in the community.
You may not have any carpentry skills, for example, but someone else in your
Your community can come together and use each other’s skills to produce the
most prepared and best defended group of survivors.
In this way, understanding the community element of the 7 layers of survival gear
helps you think not just of yourself and by yourself, but of your greater group of
neighbors who all want to help each other get by.
Other equipment you might consider as a community is supplies like plywood
and gear like a nail gun.
Every person in the community doesn’t need to have and store these things, if
one or two community members have them and can loan or distribute them to the
This can help you fortify your homes in case of a storm or to prevent looting.
Another great person to have access to at the community level of the 7 layers of
survival is a mechanic.
Mechanic skills are rare compared to the population overall.
Having someone who can repair vehicles is exceptionally helpful, and your
community mechanic can trade his skills for other help and supplies from the
survival community as a whole.
Plan your survival, not just as a single man or family, but as a community as a
The better integrated your plans are with those of your neighbors, the better able
you all are to use the 7 layers of survival.
No man is an island. A survival group has a better chance for the long term.
Layer 7: Personal Protection Gear
Your personal protection gear is the last item that is perhaps most important
because it affects all the other layers.
The best way to look at personal defense weapons is to think of the 7 layers of
survival gear themselves. How do personal defense weapons affect each layer
within the six other layers?
Start At The Center
Start at the center, which is your everyday carry.
You may have an AR-15 at home, but you may never make it home in a disaster.
What do you have on your person that you can use as a weapon?
A tiny pocket knife isn’t necessarily a great weapon.
So what you can you carry or improvise?
Look at the 7 layers and ask yourself, “How do I protect myself in order to reach
the NEXT layer?”
Let’s say a riot breaks out.
You might be able to fight your way to your car, your bug out vehicle.
In there you might have stored safely a legal rifle, or a larger-capacity handgun.
Once you are in your car you may be able to get home.
There you can have the weapons necessary to protect against a home invasion.
It might be a home defense shotgun, it might be that AR-15, or it might be
At the next of the 7 layers, you’re now dealing with your community.
What do you have that is longer range?
A shotgun doesn’t have the accuracy a rifle might have.
And you might need one of those “reach out and touch someone” weapons,
something that hits heavier than an AR-15 and has greater effective range, if you
are defending your community at large.
Something to consider at the community level is ammunition.
Does everyone in your community have different ammunition that can’t help the
other members feed their weapons?
Or have you been smart enough to standardize on only a few calibers, so that
neighbors can resupply each other without huge discrepancies in the ammo they
need and carry?
Standardizing on NATO weaponry and calibers is one way to make sure you can
possibly scrounge more supplies in the field, too, depending on the emergency.
Consider also keeping spare parts and repair resources and tools on hand.
A weapon that breaks can’t be sent back to the factory for repair.
Firearms contain several parts that will wear out with heavy use over the life of
You need to make sure you have these spares on hand so your weapons don’t
become useless when you most need them.
When stockpiling and choosing personal protection weapons, always consider
the 7 layers of survival.
Consider how the weapons you have and carry will help you get to the NEXT
level of survival.
Make sure your preparations work together to make you the most prepared
person you can be.
The #1 Core “Pillar” In ANY
Emergency Survival Plan…
As a survivalist, as a prepper, as a prepared citizen, your bottom line, the
foundation of everything you believe, is that bad things can happen.
That’s why we prepare, right?
Of course the best place to be in a disaster is usually in your home, where you
have the comfort of a roof over your head and the ability to stockpile supplies to
weather the danger.
However, there are times when other factors may force you and your family to
evacuate your home and travel to another location that’s safer.
This we call, “bugging out.”
For most of us, however, bugging out means things are going south really badly.
The situation where you are is getting worse and you need to think about going
somewhere else to escape civil disorder, a riot, some natural disaster, or
whatever else might be threatening you.
But let’s be realistic here…
Short of a meteor hitting the Earth or zombies eating your face off, most disasters
will last from roughly 3 days to maybe a week.
That means your bug out bag must sustain you as you get from an emergency
area to a non-emergency area for that time period.
But the key to bugging out, and doing so successfully, is to have a pre-planned
bug out location in mind and a way to get there.
Preferably, you’ll be able to drive to your safe refuge.
But that may not always be possible… or even desirable.
The roads could be blocked.
You could run out of fuel.
You could experience a breakdown.
You might need to stay off the roads to avoid checkpoints and roadblocks.
Any number of problems can arise in a disaster and put you and your family out
on your own with nothing but the shoes on your feet… and your bug-out bag!
What Most People Don’t “Get”
About Bug-Out Bags…
The bug-out bag is the heart of all preparedness systems.
It is the least you’ll have to cope with a problem.
It is the gear you’ve assembled ahead of time, the stuff you’ll have with you.
People love to talk about them.
Bug-out bags are sexy!
Us preppers LOOOOOOVE gizmos, gadgets, and cool military junk that makes
us feel like Rambo.
And it shows!
Just go and Google “bug-out bag contents” and sift through the bazillions of
“lists” scattering the interwebs of what to pack away for the zombie apocalypse.
Lists… and lists… and lists… and uuuughh!
I swear, the only thing I’ve not seen so far is a La-Z-Boy recliner on someone’s
bug-out bag list!
Unfortunately, 99.9997% of what I see out there is enough to really frustrate you
if you’re ever forced to evacuate your home due to an emergency or disaster.
Even worse, much of this advice and what you’re told to pack could get you killed
in a real crisis!
That may sound like an overstatement. It’s not.
You’ll find several reasons why as you make your way though this guide.
But here’s the main thing most people don’t “get” about bug-out bags…
Bugging out is meant to be a “trip”!
Your goal isn’t to wander the wastelands like you’re carrying the Book Of Eli.
Your goal is to get somewhere – somewhere safe – and get there as fast as
Most bug-out bag lists are so damn long that after one mile of burning shoulders
and aching back from actually lugging everything but the kitchen sink, you’ll find
yourself re-examining your contents on the side of the road, assessing (maybe
for the first time) just what is critical to your trip, and what’s just useless junk.
In the U.S. Army Light Infantry, we had a saying…
Travel Light…Freeze At Night
In my unit at the 10th Mountain Division, we knew that when we were out on a
mission, we weren’t going to be propped up in some heated tent at night,
reclining in our foldable camp chair roasting marshmallows over a fire.
Our goal was to travel a long distance by foot… evade the enemy… remain
undetected… and be fit enough to go into battle once we arrived at our target.
That’s your goal too.
Bugging out is a “military mission” – with many of the same goals as you would
find in a battlefield environment.
If you’re forced to evacuate your home - even during a short-term breakdown of
society caused by natural or man-made disaster - you’ll be faced with many
threats to your and your family.
The more exposed you are, the greater the danger of being targeted by
anarchists, looters, desperate beggars, and even military and law enforcement
who may hassle you (especially if they see a weapon).
So here we are…
Your bug-out bag, or BOB, by any other name, is simply a bag that will become
your home for a while.
• It will have your survival needs.
• It will carry your ammunition if you have a weapon with you.
• It will be a house that you carry on your back,… and that’s where
most go wrong because they try to bring their entire house.
To bug-out, to a go to a safer location, you need to have with you whatever is
necessary to sustain you and those with you.
I designed my Extreme Bug-Out Bag, or X-BOB, to handle all of the mission-
critical gear I need to get from Point A to Point B as fast as possible.
In this book, though, I’ve also outlined only the essentials so you don’t get too
You must travel “ultra-light” in order to get to your refuge as quickly as possible,
and to avoid straining your body or incurring fatigue that will make you useless
once you get where you’re going.
Now a word of warning here…
Much of what you discover may seem basic and common sense.
That’s natural – we gotta cover the “basics”, right?
But I promise that you’ll also discover some of the most unique survival secrets
you’ve most likely never heard of – gear you’ve never heard of and “tactics” you
haven’t considered – that will make you more prepared than ever.
And here’s what I want you to do…
Rather than just looking at our gear advice, pay close attention to what you
DON’T see on our list!
If you don’t see it… it’s most likely because you don’t NEED it!
Your first gut reaction may be to add an item to the list… and then another item…
and then another… and so on.
Pretty soon, you’re right where most “armchair preppers” are with their bug-out
bag – hauling around an instant permanent home on your back.
Resist the urge to add!
Sure, you’ll probably come across a few things that make sense. And when they
do, add them!
Just always ask yourself this one single question before packing it away…”Do I
really NEED this item to SURVIVE?”
In fact, right now I want you to pull out your bug-out bag (if you have one) and
empty every last item out onto the floor.
It’s best to start from scratch and look at your bug-out gear with a new set of
If you find yourself staring at that French coffee press in your hand trying to think
if you really need it or if you have room, you probably already know the answer.
When in doubt – leave it out.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Before we start talking about the really cool, really exotic gear items out there, we
need to start with what’s critically important, which is...
Bug-Out Bag Features To Demand
We mentioned bags already, but I want to cover them now in more detail.
There are any number of bags on the market, some of which have incredibly cool
features and details.
There are many on the market and some are better than others, from framed
backpacks to much more simple bags.
Now your first instinct is most likely to out and get a military-style backpack.
There are a few problems with this that I’ll share with you in just a bit.
First, let’s look at some of the features you DO want to keep an eye out for…
Bug-Out Bag Quality
I’m going to make this simple…
While I’m as cheap as they come with shopping around (for anything), when it
comes to your bug-out bag, do NOT buy a cheap one!
Cheap bags will wear out, rip, or otherwise fail too easily. Your life may depend
on carrying your gear in your bag.
Your life is worth the premium costs commanded by some of the better bag
The X-BOB that my company offers is not a cheap bag, but it’s not so expensive
that it will bankrupt you, and the quality it offers is ABSOLUTELY worth the price.
It’s the bag I carry myself, and the one I entrust my family’s well-being to.
Bug-Out Secret # 1
It always amazes me how guys (or gals) who follow the survival lifestyle and
have a reluctant spouse ONLY prepare their own bug-out bag because their wife
or husband isn’t interested.
I don’t care if he or she DOES think you’re crazy… when TSHTF, they’ll quickly
become a “born again prepper”.
That’s not the time to go shopping down at the local Walmart!
Secretly make a reluctant spouse their own bug-out bag and keep it hidden
or just tell them it’s your “back-up” (trust me, they’ll just roll their eyes and dismiss
it as another one of your hair-brained paranoid schemes.) ☺
Then when a crisis happens and they have a change of heart, you can whip it out
and show them (and your mother-in-law) how smart they were to marry you as
they’re now ready to “throw and go” when it’s time to evacuate!
Bug-Out Bag Frame
The frame on a backpack helps you carry more weight.
These can either be external (like on the old Army rucksacks) or internal (like the
new “assault packs” or expedition gear.
The choice comes down to comfort.
External frames provide some ventilation along your back to help keep you
cooler and are made of lightweight aluminum or carbon fiber to keep the weight
They also provide a lot of rigidity, which offers slightly more stability, but not
The more modern packs now have an internal frame system that’s made of a
strong synthetic material to provide pack stability.
From my experience though, each person’s body is shaped differently and ANY
frame has a tendency to cause fatigue because it doesn’t conform to your
personal body shape.
I prefer a frameless pack that specifically conforms to my back without fail.
Bug-Out Secret # 2
If you have children, there’s no need to put them through your own survival
bootcamp and expect them to be fit-to-fight for a “Red Dawn” moment.
But when a storm or other crisis jeopardizes your safety and you’re forced to
evacuate, you also don’t want them to become whiney baggage that slows you
down and become a burden as you escape the area, right?
Here’s how YOU can prep your kids for bugging out - without them knowing it…
First, for your children’s school commute, scrap those cheap bags you got down
at Walmart (they just rip and tear halfway through the school year anyway!)
Instead, buy your kids a good “bug-out bag” for school of the type you’ll find
described in this guide (only slightly smaller).
This will get them used to walking with some weight in their bag but using it the
right way (with the waist and sternum straps) so they’re not whining a half mile
down the road during a real bug-out.
Bigger isn’t always better (yes, I said it).
The bigger your bug-out bag, the more likely you are to fill it up with “stuff”
because you have the room.
On the flip side, you don’t want to be stuck trying to cram a bunch of crap into too
small of a bag that will wear away at the seams bulge into your back.
What I recommend is that you get a pack that has about 3,000 cubic inches (or
50L) of space available for you to pack gear in.
A smaller pack (about 2,000 cubic inches or 30L) is advisable for a woman and
especially for children, depending upon their size, but most military style “assault
packs” are scalable all the way down to day-pack size.
How your BOB is carried BY your body will greatly determine your speed,
distance, and level of fatigue as you and those who are with you make your way
to your bug-out destination.
You’re probably looking for giant padded shoulder straps to comfortably carry all
of your gear, right?
Actually, the straps have much less to do with bearing the weight of your survival
gear than you might think.
Your best ally when bugging out is really in your waist strap!
I’ve personally carried a 55lb rucksack for 100 miles straight and the only thing
that made this possible was a well-designed waist strap and buckle.
You see, your entire body is built around your hips and spine.
Your hips are what serve as the stable platform and main pivot point for your
When you carry weight using mainly your shoulders, you’ll quickly feel that
burning sensation as your smaller muscle groups of your neck and shoulders
struggle to bear the load.
But with a waist strap cinched up tight, it actually tightens your diaphragm,
providing a stable internal “base” for you remain more mobile and relaxed in your
Also, It directly shifts the load to rest on your hips, using your legs for primary
In fact, adjusted
right, you actually
will feel very little
weight at all on
and find that the
are really just
there for stability
to keep the pack
You’ll be more
stable as you walk
logs, rocky terrain,
streams etc.), less
(relieving strain to
neck, and back),
and more mobile
should you have
to run to safety.
Therefore, don’t even think about buying a bug-out bag that doesn’t have a waist
And not some rinky-dinky thin little strap like you find on some book bag.!
You need to find a “military style” waist strap that’s at least 1.75” (preferably
up to 2.25”) with a “military style” buckle for quick-release.
Add to that a 1” sternum strap to draw the front of your shoulder straps closer
together across your chest and you’ll have much more mobility of your arms for
grabbing, balancing, and even fighting if needed.
Bug-Out Secret # 3
Ok, so we told you to look for a “military” style bug-out bag that’s loaded with
This is why most people gravitate toward a military LOOK to their bag as well –
opting for olive drab, coyote brown, or a camouflage pattern.
This is the wrong approach!
In fact what if I told you that every single one of these colors is like a giant neon
sign that screams "ATTACK ME!" to everyone around you.
You see, 99% of the people you'll come into contact with while evacuating a
danger zone are going to be desperate.
They'll be hungry... thirsty... tired... panicked... and looking for anything they can
get their hands on to ease their suffering or take out their frustration and anger.
And then there's you - all decked out like a soldier with your camo backpack.
Your military-like stature shows
that you were smart and
prepared... and that you have
really cool "survival stuff" that
THEY would love to get their
The bottom line is, the more
"prepared" you look, the more
you’re likely to attract attention
from displaced opportunists who’ll
beg, borrow, or STEAL your stuff.
That’s why the #1 best color for
your bug-out bag is actually
somewhere between a “royal
blue and a "navy blue".
This color blue has been
scientifically shown to blend in with
darkness even better than black.
Pockets & Pouches
A lot of your survival gear is going to be small.
I mean, your whole goal is to “travel light”, right?
Well, you don’t want a pack that resembles your kitchen “junk drawer” with
everything in a tangled mess at the bottom of your pack.
That’s where packets and pouches come in!
The more internal and external pouches and compartments you have on your
bag, the better you’ll be able to organize your gear for easy access without
having to empty out your pack every time you need to get something.
This is why I construct my own “X-BOB” with the ability to expand my current
evacuation system with add-ons.
MOLLE Straps & Attachments
Most military style backpacks have MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying
Equipment system) straps around the outside to clip on additional gear.
This is an important feature because lots of gear comes MOLLE compatible
these days, including knife & machete scabbards, canteen holders, as well as
additional storage compartments.
The gear attached, however, is also right out there, in the open.
Be conscious about what you’re strapping on so you don’t draw unwanted
Bug-Out Secret # 4
Man’s best friend could be your best helping hand in a bug-out situation.
That’s because, among other things, your dog might just be able to serve you as
a pack animal.
There are available on the
market, at specialty shops
and even pet supply
stores, packs and
saddlebags that can turn
a medium-to-large sized
dog into a beast of burden.
This not to say you should
treat your dog cruelly.
Try getting your dog used
to the weight of the pack,
starting light and adding to
it, backing off if he seems
to be too much for him.
Take him for frequent
walks with the pack so that
he gets used to the idea
and considers it normal.
The items your dog carries should be “backup items”, things you could do without
if, heaven forbid, your dog were frightened and ran off or otherwise got lost.
You don’t want your most critical pieces of gear to go missing because you and
your pet were separated.
Also, make sure to get your dog checked out regularly. If he’s not healthy, he
can’t carry the load you need him to carry.
Dogs are faithful creatures who will enjoy being helpful and useful.
Involve them early on in your planning, but have a backup plan for carrying the
items in your dog’s pack, in case he’s not feeling cooperative or something else
Bug-Out Secret # 5
Bugging out on foot sucks.
Most of the time, if you have to leave, it will be by vehicle (at least to start) or
other means… which is why you want a good pair of bike bags on your ride.
A motorcycle is best, but even a mountain bike with carry bags will take you
farther and you can carry more than you can by foot.
Just like a pack on your dog, saddlebags on a bike help carry the load of extra
More importantly, you don’t want to try to ride a bike with a backpack on if you
can help it, as this will put you off balance.
Bike bags give you the best of both worlds by letting you carry your gear AND
carry it some-where other than on your body while you pedal.
An even better option is to stick with a “modular” MOLLE-based bugout bag that
can come apart and be attached to the same bicycle carry racks without having
to buy an entire separate system.
The image shown is an example of our “X-BOB” design separated and attached
to my bike for better weight distribution and transitional tactical use.
13 Pillars Of Your Bug-Out Gear Build-Out
Ok, now that you have your bag, let’s start filling this puppy up (but not too full,
Every bag and survival kit should cover the “13 Pillars Of Preparedness
This is nothing more or less than nine categories of survival that every bug out
bag and survival kit must address if that kit is to be complete.
These categories are...
3. Protection (including shelter)
8. Medical Supplies
9. Utility Tools
11. Evasion Support
12. Bartering Items
13. Personal Documents
The gear you include to address these categories may vary depending on your
needs and preferences, but the general categories don’t change.
Let’s take each one and go through a list of the bare essentials, the basics, to
pack into your bug-out bag.
Along the way, we’ll continue to share our special tips with you...
Hiking and decapitating zombies is tough work… makes a prepper reeeeeeaaaal
To keep your strength up, this is NOT the time to stick to your Adkins low-carb
You need two things: the proper nutrients and calories - LOTS of ‘em!
Proper nutrition includes the essential vitamins and minerals that act as the nuts
and bolts for all your biological processes you’ll be using while bugging out.
For this reason, you want to pack a bottle of a good multi-vitamin/mineral
complex for your entire family in your bag.
As for calories…there are really only a few ways you can get enough food in you
and still not have to cart around your Igloo tailgating cooler…
• Carry your food
• Hunt your food
• Gather your food
Since hunting and gathering take a little more time and preparation for the off-
chance you’ll have an opportunity to bag some game or gnaw on some delicious
tree bark, we’ll first focus on the food you can have readily at hand for “instant
energy” when you need it the most.
When choosing the food to include in your bug-out bag, follow these four
Food in your bag should be…
• Easy (and possible) to prepare while on the move.
With calorie density, your primary source of nutrients should come from a
combination of a majority of carbohydrates and fats, with a little bit of protein
thrown in for muscle recovery and maintenance.
Carbs are your most readily available source of ready-to-burn calories to give
you energy while fats pack over twice as many calories gram per gram than
either carbs or protein (9 cal/gm vs. 4 for carbs and protein).
For weight efficiency, you must understand that water is one of the heaviest
items you’ll have on you and this includes water that’s captured within the food
Pre-packaged foods (in a can our pouch) that already contain water are going to
weigh more ounce per ounce than other foods that don’t have water content.
Ease of preparation
lends to your primary
goal of getting to your
bug-out destination as
quickly as possible.
And finally, many
preppers worry that if
your “carry food” isn’t
compatible with your
current diet, it can
problems along the way.
I don’t necessarily agree
with this concern – the
human stomach is more
versatile than that – but
you do need to take into
account any dietary
needs that may cause a
health concern, such as
Ok, so let me now cut to the chase…
While I know a lot of preppers are stocked to the gills with military MRE’s (Meals
Ready-To-Eat) for their bug-out food, these are NOT your best pack-n-go food to
have when evacuating.
MRE’s are simply too heavy and bulky to carry with you for an extended trek.
They’re meant to allow a GI to light the cardboard on fire… unzip the heated
meal pouch… and chow down on some beans and weenies.
Since there’s usually a steady supply of MRE’s waiting in the field, it’s no big deal
for a soldier to only carry one or two in a rucksack and then grab a few from the
First Sergeant when it’s feeding time again.
But in a bug-out scenario, you’re not getting resupplied, so forget the MRE’s.
Instead, the best bug-out food is that which doesn’t contain any water – so you’re
not carrying so much extra weight – and can easily be reconstituted on the go by
simply adding a little bit of water.
Here are your best options that fit all of the requirements you need, short of any
specific dietary concerns you may have:
• Raman noodle packs (good slow-burning carbs for long-term energy and
lots of sodium in the flavor packet to replenish lost electrolytes from
• Nuts (primary healthy dietary fat source and can be eaten on the run)
• Energy bars (pack a few that are heavy on carbs rather than the ones
that are “protein bars” – you’re in need of energy, not trying to bulk up your
• Instant mashed potatoes
• Instant oatmeal packets (sweetened versions provide both quick energy
and slow-burning carbs for long hauls)
• Sports meal replacement powder (not just protein powder; should have
mix of high carbs and healthy fats; from nutrition or vitamin store)
• Any dehydrated “camp food” (this is like gourmet food on the trail)
Be sure to rotate your stock and keep an eye on expiration dates.
If you prepare a bag with food items in it, you must check these periodically, eat
the contents, and replace them with fresh contents.
Eating the contents of your bag’s food supply periodically is a good way to make
sure such fare won’t be a shock to your system, too.
Plan on a bare minimum of enough supplies for 3 days.
A good breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three days worth would be a good start.
With a little rationing on your part, you can extend that, too.
And obviously, if you carry food that requires water to make it edible, you’ll need
to have a supply of water or the means to make found water more safe.
Ok, the word “hunted” is pretty subjective in the wild.
Taking the time to bag an antelope, skin it, and cook it is not in the cards in a
Remember… you’re trying to get somewhere, not wander around for a day of
What you’re looking for is the small, meal of opportunity that comes up on your
way to your destination.
Grasshoppers (as gross as that sounds) are easy to catch, don’t taste bad at all
(just chew ‘em up whole), and are loaded with protein.
Fish make a great gourmet meal if you have the time to catch them and cook
Small game like squirrels, rabbits, and birds can be caught along the way and
eaten later at night right before it’s time to bed down for an end of the day meal.
In urban areas, don't forget that pigeons are plentiful and can certainly be used
as a food source.
Bug-Out Secret # 6
When I was in the 10th Mountain Division’s Long Range Recon Patrol missions,
we could be out on our own for days.
One day as I was digging into yet another cardboard-tasting pouch of camel snot
from my MRE, my nose caught a hint of “barbeque”… that turned out to be slow-
cooked squirrel over a low-burning fire.
I asked my fellow soldier how the hell he bagged a squirrel with nobody hearing
him when he pulled out his simple pump-action Crossman air pistol and grinned.
The fact is, an air gun is a handy addition to your bug-out bag, as it’s easily
concealed… virtually silent to avoid giving away your location… you can carry a
ton of ammo… and it packs a bunny-thumping punch on “targets of opportunity”.
Best at close range, you can extend your reach and power with a cut-down
version of a rifle like the Crossman Sheridan (up to about 760 fps) or preferably
go ultra-light and concealable with a pump pistol that can still get up to 600 fps.
Then put your air pistol on steroids by teaming it up with a special hunting
pellet like the Predator Polymag Pellets.
They’re specially designed for higher velocity and increased accuracy while their
innovative hollow head structure combines with a sharp polymer tip to penetrate
vital organs and shatter bone on contact.
Bug-Out Secret # 7
One of the biggest myths of survival literature is the snare.
There’s a television show I enjoy from time to time that features a pair of survival
experts in different wilderness environments.
They’re dropped into a location with a
few supplies to begin with.
Then they have to figure out how to
eat, sleep, and take shelter with what
they have available to them.
Often, these experts will set snares in
an effort to catch wild game for food.
They’ll check the snares again and
...only to come up empty.
That’s the dirty little secret of snares
to catch game.
They rely on luck, and in an emergency, luck is hard to come by.
Have you ever actually seen a rabbit just fall into a trip wire or get caught in a
There is an alternative.
Rat Traps can be set in seconds.
When an animal responds to the bait in the trap, the snap will spring shut and
catch the animal very effectively.
Small game will be killed, especially if the trap closes on the animal’s neck.
In a real survival situation, forget the snares.
Go with rat traps instead to catch rats, squirrels, and other small animals.
Bug-Out Secret # 8
Have you ever actually tried to catch fish while you were camping, using
something other than a fishing pole?
According to most survival manuals, all you need is a fish hook and some dental
floss and you’ll be hauling in Marlin for an evening feast.
This almost never happens.
In point of fact, it’s next to impossible to catch fish using a string and a hook.
There’s a reason fishing poles became the standard for trying to catch fish!
You’d be better off sharpening a long stick and spear-fishing, or using a net to
haul fish up out of the water (we’ll get to that) than you would be trying to fish
with a hook and string.
So forget those little fishing lines you find in survival kits.
You also don’t have to spend money on some gimmicky “pocket fisherman” type
gizmo that could break.
You can improvise your own handy “pocket fisherman” (let’s call it a
“Prepper Fisherman”) out of a simple spice bottle from your local grocery!
Follow along on the next page to see how…
Bug-Out Secret # 8 (Continued)
First, pick up one of those small “hourglass” shaped plastic spice bottles at your
local grocery and wrap the indented part with a good amount of 65lb test fishing
line held on with a rubber band to keep it from unwinding during transport.
Fill the interior of the bottle with some “serious” fishing gear, including:
• Fish hooks
• A few small lures
• Some fake worms
• A small bobber or two
• Some lead weights
• Chem-lite “tackle beacons
This will now become your self-enclosed tackle box and all-in-one “pole” ready
for easy packing in your bug-out bag.
With no practice at all and a simple flick of your wrist, you can cast your bait out a
good long ways.
To reel in the big one for dinner, all you do is rotate your wrist in a spiral motion
to rewind the line onto the spool.
Bug-Out Secret # 9
Have you ever tried sleeping in a bug-
Mosquito netting weighs almost nothing
and can be folded and compressed
around your other gear, conforming to
available space, so it doesn’t take up
much room at all in your bug-out bag.
But here’s a use for this handy item
you probably DON’T know…
Mosquito netting can also be used to
catch fish and game!
Fish that swim close to shore (like
minnows, sunfish, crappies, etc.) are
easier to net than to try to rig a hook and
fish one at a time.
Take your floss or line and rig it to the
corners of the netting.
Spread the netting on the floor of a body of water-bearing fish, and when fish
paddle over the net, just haul them up before they can get out.
You’ll be cooking fish sticks in no time!
The netting can also be set up as a spring-trap on the ground strung to a bent
tree for a better chance of grabbing small game than a noose-style snare.
Bug-Out Secret # 10
Anyone who’s ever fished knows the agony of defeat as you feel the fish nibbling
at your bait only to yank up quickly with an empty line and a trophy bass
swimming away, laughing with a worm in its belly.
Well that sucks even worse when you’re trying to fish for survival and your
stomach is grumbling.
Fortunately, an avid fisherman was forced to find a way to compensate for an
artificial shoulder that couldn’t jerk the pole fast enough to land a big one and
invented the “Speedhook”.
This little gizmo, when set, snaps the hook right into the fish’s mouth at just the
right time without you doing a single thing other than reeling in the fish and
cooking it up for a meal.
This thing works so well that it’s actually considered illegal for non-survival in
some states and countries!
And using our next “bug-out secret”, you can get even lazier because now you
don’t even have to be there to reel in the fish.
Just attach your Speedhook to this next survival contraption…
Bug-Out Secret # 11
Imagine having your own “robotic fisherman” that will stand their patiently waiting
to land you a nice fat fish for your meal while you head out to gather supplies,
build yourself a hooch, or grab some shut-eye.
Well let me introduce you to the
“yo-yo automatic fishing reel”…
This small, mechanical fishing reel has a
tempered spring that automatically sets
the hook when the trigger is released by
a fish taking the bait.
After catching the fish - it keeps it fresh
and alive in the shallows waiting for you
to retrieve it at your whim.
All you do is attach the reel to tree roots and branches, boat docks or anything
else where you can suspend the reel a couple of inches above the water.
Then just bait the hook and let it do all the work for you!
When a fish takes the bait, it trips the trigger, causing the spring to recoil quickly,
which sets the hook and keeps tension on the line.
As the fish tries to swim away the stainless-steel spring fights the fish pulling it
back toward the reel and it will eventually settle down and rest in the shallow
water, keeping it alive and fresh.
Another effective setup is to bait your hook with a live minnow and pull the cord
down just far enough to reach into the water an inch or two.
The live bait will swim and make ripples on the surface.
Predatory fish will attack the wounded looking minnow with a vengeance and the
yo-yo will keep your dinner waiting for you when you return!
If you can spot an edible red-pluted suckerwillow tuber-bulb (I made that up) in
the middle of a thicket of poison ivy and pull it out for a grand meal of delicious
roasted mush that tastes like dog vomit, well… you’re a better prepper than me!
(Oops… I think I just ruffled some prepper feathers out there.)
Not to say that there isn’t a ton of value in being able to identify wild, edible
plants. There is.
It’s just not my bag baby. ☺
The way I look at it is that I don’t plan on having to live in the wilderness for an
extended period of time as I’m trying to simply get to my destination as quick as
And since plants don’t pack a ton of calories in them, it almost seems like you’ll
expend more energy foraging around in the brush than the minimal amount of
food you’ll find from Mother Nature’s produce section.
But I’m more than happy to be put in my place by those of you out there who
have ideas for easy-to-find, wild, edible plants, please let us know your best
advice by going to www.MyBestSurvivalTip.com.
Water is your most precious survival need – more than food.
As you sweat, your body needs to rehydrate or you will become exhausted…
suffer heat stroke… even die.
Your survival depends on you drinking enough water to keep up your energy and
stamina while avoiding massive dehydration.
But there’s another problem you need to be concerned with…
… water is also heavy!
The amount of water you need to survive for any length of time, were you to carry
it all with you, would be so heavy it would be hard (if not impossible) for you to
While it makes sense to carry a small amount of water with you, such as in a
canteen, what you really need is a means to make found water safe to drink
A good rule of thumb for people stocking survival supplies is to plan on one
gallon of water per person per day, however during long road marches in the
military, soldiers are known to consume up to about 5 gallons a day.
Obviously there is no way you would want to carry this much water with you.
You must therefore take advantage of “found water” along the way.
Unfortunately – especially during a natural disaster – water can easily become
contaminated and unfit to drink, even from faucets.
You must therefore have a means to be able to make found water “potable” (ie.
Carrying a canteen or a water bottle so that you can carry a little water with you
is a good idea, even though you can’t possibly pack enough water to sustain you
while you travel.
Finding and consuming water while on the move has to become an ongoing task.
One way to hedge your bets is to carry water bags that can be collapsed and
carried in your bag or kit, then filled with found, treated water if you are going to
remain in one location for a time.
One easy to find and inexpensive option is a simple “Bota Bag”.
You can find these at most sporting goods stores or the camping section of a
good department store.
They’re lightweight, collapsible, and easy to stuff away or throw over your
Plus, they don’t have that “military look” like a military canteen does so it will
make you less noticeable as being “prepared”.
Your best option for carrying water however is to pick up water bladder
that can be integrated into your bug-out bag.
The best of these have a “water tube” with a bite valve at the end so you can
suck away on-the-go to stay hydrated without having to fumble around with
canteens and other gear.
Another benefit is that, since a water bladder is soft and pliable, it collapses as
you drink, reducing weight and space within your bag.
When I designed my X-BOB system, I made sure to include not just a water
bladder, but an in-line filter to make found water safe to drink!
Of course, having the ability to make found water safe doesn’t help you if you
don’t have water to filter in the first place.
This is why you must master the skill of where to find water along your route…
Where To Find Water While Bugging Out
Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to find bottled water along your bug-out
route… but not always.
Fortunately, even in urban settings, water can be found where most won’t expect
The commode of a toilet -- the tank part -- holds drinkable water, for example, as
does a hot water heater.
In some cases, that water may be standing water which is often contaminated
with sewage or bacteria (even if it looks clean).
Remember, even the water from pipes and taps may be contaminated, especially
if the disaster that has prompted your evacuation involves flooding.
To stay safe and healthy, while addressing your water consumption needs with
water sources you find as you bug-out, you must treat your un-bottled water.
There are three basic methods for treating water: heating it, treating it
chemically, and filtering it.
Boiling water kills bacteria and parasites in the water – but doesn’t remove
Make sure you boil water for at least a full
minute, if not more, to be safe and then allow it to
cool to room temperature before you consume it.
Don’t add collected ice or snow to it to cool it
down; you’ll have to retreat it because you’ve just
added possible contaminants to your boiled water.
If you can find an aluminum soda can or any metal
container that will hold water, you can boil water to
make it safe.
Especially if you don’t have the means to boil
water, you can still make that water safer by
treating it chemically with water purification
There are multiple brands of water purification tablets on the market. If you treat
water chemically, make sure you strain it through a bandanna or other cloth
before you treat it, to help remove some of the debris that may be in the water.
Be warned: chemical treatment may not kill some parasites present in found
water. You’ll have to weigh your need for water against the risks.
Finally, there are water bottles and
filter straws on the market that
incorporate filter technology to remove
contaminants and make found water
Some such filters will remove the
majority of parasites found in water, but
this depends on the filter.
Make sure to read the warnings and
indications included with the filter
equipment you buy.
Once you have clean, drinkable water, add some powdered electrolyte-
replacement powder to it.
When bugging out – especially in warmer climates – this flavored sports drink
powder will help you replace the salt and other electrolytes and minerals you
sweat out that are needed for proper muscular function, energy, and recovery.
Bug-Out Secret # 12
The truth is, you never know
where you’re water source is
going to come from so you
need to be prepared for all
options at a moment’s notice.
You may come upon a
disgusting, mucky pond or
green, algae-filled swimming
pool and think there’s no way to
make it drinkable - but recent
cutting edge water filter
technology has been used in
Africa to literally transform even
dung-infested cattle watering holes into crystal
clear, drinkable water.
The very best option I’ve seen on the market so
far that I’ve incorporated into my own bugout
bag is the …Miniwell In-line Water Filter!
It weighs only 3 oz, takes up hardly any space at
all, and can clean the nastiest water you find
through the in-line filter and integrated water
Even in a contaminated city (especially when
traveling overseas), you can walk up to any
garden or indoor faucet – connect your adaptor
– and be assured of clean, drinkable water.
Dunk your water bladder into the muckiest pond
you find and the in-line filter will have you
This technology is a prepper’s “secret weapon”
that will save your booty time after time as
you’re on the run while others will be begging for
water in the FEMA camps (or worse… forced to
quench their thirst from contaminated water that
will later make them sick – or even kill them!)
Bug-Out Protection Items
Protection comes in two forms.
Some protection is what you wear on your body.
This includes hats to keep sun and rain off you, sunglasses if bright sun is likely
to be a problem, and rain gear for inclement weather.
If you live somewhere that bad winter storms occur, cold weather gear would be
important to pack in your bag.
Such gear can be very bulky, however,
so you’ve got to balance the size and
weight versus the likely need and the
A military waterproof poncho is one
of the best, cheapest, most compact
survival insurance you can buy when it
comes to all around protection.
Special Note: Just as you don’t want
to have a camouflage bug-out bag that
will draw unwanted attention to you as
being “prepared” – neither do you want
to buy one of the common military
surplus camo ponchos. Instead,
choose a black poncho (they’re easy
to find) and will avoid highlighting
yourself as a target.
Not only is it used to keep the rain off of your noggin in a rainstorm, but it’s big
enough to extend over your pack while you’re wearing it as well.
Plus, it’s really the only “tent” we ever used when I was in the Army.
Just attach a bungee cord or 550 paracord to the middle grommet on both ends,
fixing them to opposite trees, and you have a waterproof shelter that takes up
less room and weighs far less than even the “mini-tents” or tarps other preppers
may tell you to pack.
Bug-Out Secret # 13
The bulkiest part of any bug-out bag is
typically your sleeping bag.
While there’s nothing like snuggling into a
nice comfy down-filled bag at the end of a
long day, you can’t afford the extra space
and weight that’s better suited for food and
Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice too
much with the latest advancements in
The SOL Bivvy Emergency Bag is a better
alternative to bedrolls and sleeping bags.
They’re much smaller and compact, have almost no weight, but will keep you
protected during “rest times.”
A 55-gallon garbage bag can stand in for a poncho in a pinch by cutting a hole
in the top of the bag and slip your head through – voila – instant rain jacket and
Such a bag can also be used for protection from the sun or, if filled with leaves,
as a pillow or mattress (or even as a seat that won’t get wet).
It also makes a perfect ground cover under your poncho hooch to keep a
weatherproof barrier between the ground and your body when sleeping
Garbage bags can also be used to obtain essential drinking water.
Just fill it with snow that is left to melt… scoop up standing water to bring to a
camp before filtering… or deposit it in a hole to catch rainwater.
Bug-Out Secret # 14
Both men and women need to pay attention to this “protection” item…
You see, every woman knows that at some point, your “little friend” is going to
come knocking at the worst time during your trek.
Of course you can carry a few days of tampons or pads with you, but if those run
out or your bug-out lasts longer, you’re probably not likely to shove a bunch of
leaves up inside of you to stop the bleeding, are you?
Instead, pack a “Diva Cup” in
your bug-out bag.
The DivaCup (www.DivaCup.com)
is a reusable, bell-shaped
menstrual cup that is worn
internally and sits low in the
vaginal canal, collecting, rather
than absorbing, menstrual flow.
Menstrual cups have existed
since the 1930s and are a safe,
natural alternative that’s terrifically
suited for bugging out.
They’re super compact so pack 2 or 3 to have as backups. BTW… they’re
amazingly effective bartering currency!
Bug-Out Secret # 15
Protection also includes breathing filters and masks as oftentimes during times of
civil unrest or martial law, law enforcement and/or military troops may use tear
gas for riot control.
When this happens, the burning watering eyes and labored breathing can throw
you into a panic.
This is extremely dangerous as you or those with you can more easily be
separated or even trampled in the stampede that can ensue as everyone tries to
run away from the gas.
While a full military gas mask would work best against such a threat, these are
quite heavy and bulky, especially for something that you shouldn’t have to use if
you’re smart enough to stay away from mobs of unruly people and stress-
overloaded FEMA and Red Cross camps.
A more practical option would be to use a standard medical facemask and carry
a small plastic bottle of lemon juice.
If you should be caught in a violent area where tear gas is being used, you
should quickly pour the lemon juice into the mask and put it over your face.
Each member of your party should have their own setup, but just as with the
airline’s rules for donning the oxygen mask in an emergency, first put yours on
and then assist your children, spouse, or other companion with theirs.
To protect your eyes, having a set of air-tight swimming goggles will help keep
the gas from making you tear up and blinding you – enough to at least clear out
of the area to get out of the gas cloud’s area of effectiveness.
Special Note: Putting on a medical facemask in combination with your white
camo paint under the eyes will add to your “diseased” disguise and make others
assume that you’re wearing it to avoid getting others sick with whatever you
When it comes to what you pack in your bug-out bag, it’s not just about
“weight”… size matters too.
When you’re forced to bend down under obstacles and squeeze through tight
spaces, the bulkier your bag, the trickier things get.
And the bulkiest items you’ll be carrying (now that we’ve solved that damn
sleeping bag problem) will be clothes.
That’s why – sticking with our “minimalist” strategy – I’m not a big fan of carrying
a lot of extra clothing.
But to be prepared for all the elements and rigors of bugging out, it’s going to
require you be very selective of what you plan on wearing and packing.
Here are some strategies that will help…
While most preppers are reaching for the military camo
BDU’s, you now know that this is the wrong strategy if
you want to lay low and avoid detection from thieves,
looters, and desperate beggars.
A better choice is a good pair of low-weight, durable
convertible hiking pants.
Since hikers have the same general clothing standards
as soldiers (breathability, fast-drying, durability, etc.),
you can get the same benefits of military BDU’s without
highlighting yourself as a target.
My favorite pair is from www.ScotteVest.com (shown)
because they have hidden pockets for secret storage
and easy access on the run.
Also, buying “convertible” pants allows you to unzip the
bottom portion of the pants to instantly transform them
into shorts so you now have a 2-in-1 piece of clothing.
Unzip Here For Shorts
For your upper body, think in 3 layers: undershirt (more on that in minute), outer
shirt, and cold-weather.
Regardless of which layer you’re wearing, remember this one principle…wool
Now wait a minute… wool has come a long way from that bumpy, itchy sweater
your grandma knit you for Christmas when you were a kid.
The “new” wool (like Merino or
New Zealand) aren’t scratchy at
all and naturally...
… wicks moisture away from
your skin to keep you dry (in
the heat and cold)
… won’t shrink to Barbie doll
size when washed
… doesn’t retain body odor
… is the only fabric that keeps
you warm - even when wet!
Get a long-sleeve Merino or New
Zealand outer shirt through an
outdoor store (SmartWool and
Icebreaker brands are great).
For colder weather, don’t lug along a large parka.
Dry = Warm; and by dressing in layers with moisture-wicking wool, your body will
need less bulky, heavy clothing to keep you warm even during very cold weather.
In addition to the undershirt and outer-shirt, add in a mid-weight form-fitting wool
jacket (often used by cold-weather runners and skiers).
Besides, you’ll be quite active as you bug-out and the exercise will keep you
warm as you move.
Bug-Out Secret # 16
It’s time to check the tags on all of your current bug-out clothing.
You see, one of the hidden advantages of wool over the common poly-
materials (like polyester, polypropylene, etc.) for preppers is that, unlike these
fabrics, wool doesn’t melt when exposed to extreme heat or flame.
In a bug-out scenario, fire can be an environmental concern you may have to
deal with – either from burning buildings from a disaster or even flash bombs
during periods of civil unrest.
You certainly don’t want to have a layer of poly-plastic melted to your skin
because you got too close to a flame – the pain is super intense.
(If you’ve ever melted the end of a piece of 550 para-cord and let the
bubbling goo touch your fingers, then you got a small glimpse of what it
And just ask any emergency room doctor or burn ward attendee how difficult it is
to perform triage on someone who was burned while wearing a synthetic fabric.
You can’t just pull off the melted plastic without taking the skin with it and this can
lead to excessive lost skin and a drastic increase in the risk of infection.
Natural fibers like wool resist heat and, when they burn, they just burn and don’t
melt to your skin.
Bugging out is not the best
conditions for showing off your
Homer Simpson boxers.
They don’t provide enough
“support” and trust me guys… you
do not want your apparatus
swinging back and forth as you walk
or you’ll end up with a blister on
your little Elvis that will make you
wince with every step you take.
Instead, get a better hammock for your “boys” by opting for boxer-briefs or even
your standard tighty-whiteys (I recommend brown, navy, grey, or black).
For the ladies… forget your leopard-skin thong– it’s made for the bedroom, not
the trail – so a pair of “boy shorts” or hip-huggers are best for prepper divas.
Bug-Out Secret # 17
Who would have thought that the type of clothes you use for bugging out could
be such a powerful hidden secret for survivalists, eh?
Another “secret tip” you need to know is what type
of undershirt, you should wear.
For bugging out, what you want to get is a
merino wool “compression shirt”.
These are skin-tight shirts that offer a lot of benefit
for the trekking prepper as they will help wick
away moisture from your skin to keep you dry and
warm in cooler weather and yet adapt to keep you
cooler in warmer weather.
The skin-tight compression against your skin will
not only help you avoid chaffing from your bug-out
bag and outer clothing, but it also reduces
muscle fatigue while helping your body recover
faster from exertion.
And don’t worry if you don’t have the fitness model look like the guy wearing one
to the right as compression shirts are very forgiving and by shrink-wrapping to
you skin, will even magically transform man-boobs into what better resemble
How Much To Pack
Everyone will tell you to pack a full extra set of clothes. Not me.
Since the clothes mentioned are designed to be multi-purpose, multi-weather,
resistant to the elements, and dry quickly, they should all pretty much last you
through any short-term bug-out like we’re advising you plan for.
So personally, I pack two extra complete sets of underwear (briefs,
compression shirts, and socks) as this plan takes up much less room and weight.
Bug-Out Secret # 18
Clothing needs to stay dry, but it also needs to stay out of the way of your sexier
prepper gear – which means you need to have it enclosed in a waterproof
container of some type and very compact so it doesn’t take up a lot of room.
So pick up a “roll-up vacuum-sealed plastic travel bag” to solve this problem.
These airtight and waterproof clear bags allow you to hand roll them to push all
the air out of the bag until your clothes are as flat as a pancake.
It keeps them dry and neatly organized to shove into an out of the way area.
Also, keep your extra set of clothes sealed in these bags at a bug-out retreat so
they’ll stay fresh and safe from nibbling critters while stored away.
Protecting Your Feet
Bugging out on foot should always be your last choice, but lots of things can go
wrong and leave you walking.
When you have no other choice but to hoof it to safety, one of the most important
lessons every infantryman learns is to protect his feet.
Blisters, moisture, cold, fungus, or “trench foot” can hobble - or even kill you - if
you’re not careful.
A good pair of hiking boots is
essential to protecting you from
falls, twisted ankles and the
You want something lightweight,
yet with a durable sole and
quick-drying shell that’s also
heavily stitched and/or heavily
sealed where the sole meets
Leather is more durable and
can provide ample protection –
military boots come to mind –
but don’t overdo it on looking like a soldier if you can help it.
Any good quality pair of ankle-high hiking boots will work
Now any hiker knows that wearing a new pair of boots on a hike will kill your feet.
So don’t buy a brand new pair of boots and have them on standby right out of the
Wear your boots for about a hundred miles of walking in order to break them
in first and make sure they’re the right size and fit for your foot.
Once they’re broken in, take them off and keep them in the same location as
your bug-out bag so no matter where you have to start from or what you’re
wearing at the time, a quick-change will have you walking comfortably.
Bug-Out Tip # 19
During WW1 and WW2, there were numerous battles where casualties from
Trench Foot exceeded those from combat because soldiers spent so much time
with wet feet.
Even with taking precautions of warming and drying their feet, many men ended
up with feet that went numb and turned blue (in the early stages) and even (in the
worst cases) developed foot rot which became gangrenous and required
When I was in the light-infantry, we would have to pack an extra set of boots in
our rucksack because we’d often have to cross streams or waddle through
swamps to reach our objective and we’d need a dry pair of boots to keep us from
developing foot problems that would take us off the battlefield.
Problem is… boots are pretty damn heavy and bulky – and carrying a second
pair in your bug-out bag isn’t something I suggest – so here’s a little trick…
Pack yourself a pair of cheap
These are the rubber-soled
flexible “slipper-like” shoes you
would wear on a beach or around
other bodies of water because
they’re comfortable and they dry
And for bugging out, they’re
Not only are they super lightweight, but they’re also extremely compact and can
slip into any tight area in your bag.
If your main boots are wet, you can slip into your water shoes while they dry or, if
you need to cross a body of water or if it’s raining, you can quickly switch over to
your water shoes as an alternative to keep your main bug-out boots nice and dry.
Plus, the rubberized sole is great for giving you traction while crossing rocky
streams where you could injure yourself if you slip and fall – perhaps
endangering your life if not at least twisting your ankle to the point of not being
able to travel on.
But let’s not stop with just your boots because what you wear INSIDE of
them is just as important…
You need to make sure you have adequate padding and keep your feet warm
Wool ski socks go a long way toward
accomplishing all of these goals.
You see, ski socks are specifically designed to
ride high on your leg and protect your shins
with extra padding.
This is especially helpful when scrambling
through brush, rocky areas and streams.
Wool is also the only fabric that keeps you
warm - even when wet - and resists odor.
The SmartWool brand offers a wide selection
of ski socks that fit the bill.
Bug-Out Secret # 20
No, this is not a joke…
They’re now making
pantyhose for men –
cleverly mojo’d up with
the masculine name
Now, I’m not one to judge
(often), but just adding
the word “man” on the
front of it and slapping
these on some skinny
male models with 6-pack
abs isn’t enough to make
me feel like my
testosterone tank is
topped off, ya know?
But then again, there was a time when panty hose came in handy…
You see, panty hose are an old military trick we used on many a long road
march, where it kept our feet blister-free.
Think about it:
Friction between your socks (and even your pants) and your skin is what causes
the most damage and painful blisters when you walk for long periods of time.
If, however, you wear thigh-high panty hose under your regular socks, you
cut this friction and prevent the chafing and blisters.
The result is a walk that is much less painful for you, allowing you to go farther
Trust me, all it will take will be one or two long hikes with all your bug out gear in
tow before you start thinking that “mantyhose” isn’t just for androgynous male
Bug-Out Tip # 21
Pick up a pair of Kevlar-infused work
gloves down at your local hardware store!
These tight-fitting, rubber-like gloves not
only provide protection from the sharp
glass and other elements you may find in
an urban environment, but their
rubberized palm and fingers give you a
“super grip” that’s only rivaled by
This comes in extremely handy –
especially in dirty, grimy, slick
environments – when you need to get a
grip and keep it.
For example, when using a weapon –
either a firearm or an edged weapon like a
knife or machete.
In combat, sweat, mud, and even blood can make you lose your grip on your
weapon and these gloves will give you grip traction to get out alive!
Remember, however, that kevlar gloves do NOT make your hands invulnerable.
Do not expect to start catching sword blades with your hands and pulling them
out of your enemies’ grasp.
Also, just because your hands are protected with these does not mean they are
The gloves only prevent cuts up to a certain degree of force.
It used to be that you needed to count on a good high-powered flashlight in your
pack – but bulbs burn out, lenses get broken, and batteries die down.
The more advanced prepper realized that batteries aren’t always to be found and
while a wind-up dynamo hand-crank flashlight can come to the rescue, it’s
generally a bit too heavy for a bug-out bag and not very reliable.
And of course, you could get all GI’d
up with an ample supply of glow
sticks – but I’m not a big fan of
carrying anything I can only use one
A better choice is a flashlight is
simply the new miniature LED
The benefits are numerous…
• They’re so small, you can store several in a pouch with negligible weight
• Their light is so bright that one single bulb is all you need to light up any
area you need to walk through or search for gear in.
• Some come with a clip so you can attach it to the bill of your bug-out
baseball cap (or get a head-lamp strap version) and have a mini-
headlight lighting your way as you walk.
• The LED bulbs never need changing.
• LED lights use so little power that you’ll likely never have to replace one of
these little boogers… like ever!
• They come in multiple bulb colors – choose a red one and a white one to
have on hand. Red doesn’t have a bright a signature at distances so you
won’t be as recognizable if you’re trying to lay low and undetected. White
is best when you need super bright light to find something or be found.
Communication could be “signaling,” meaning using an emergency whistle to
blow the S.O.S. distress call (three short, three long, three short again).
It could be using a signal mirror to flash the same signal or simply to get the
attention of a passing helicopter.
While signaling distress is important, especially in some forms of wilderness
survival, it is less so in your bug-out plan.
When bugging out, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, and the
assumption is that the people around you are more likely to hurt you than to help
Communication, then, will most often be the wireless phone most people carry.
Though you need yours with you, during a widespread disaster, wireless phones
frequently don’t work.
When everyone starts calling their friends, family, and coworkers during an
emergency, the load on the wireless network can cause calls to fail.
Power outages can prevent users from charging their mobile devices.
In certain kinds of terrorist emergencies, the government may even shut down
such networks in whole or in part.
You should have a communications plan, arranged with anyone you might want
to contact in an emergency, that is “failsafe.”
This means that certain assumptions will be made if you cannot contact each
For example, as most of us spend our days at work, you should form a plan with
your family that says, “In an emergency, assume I am coming to get you at home
so we may all leave together, so stay put until I get there or I contact you.”
With such a plan in place, the failure of the wireless network will not affect the
Short-range communication among members who are surviving a crisis as a
group can be accomplished using two-way radios or Citizens Band (CB)
Be warned: Anything you say on such a device can (and will) be overheard by
others, either listening to the same specific channel(s) or scanning multiple
The most important part of
communication in surviving during a
disaster however is one-way
You need to carry a radio, especially a
radio that can pick up AM-band radio talk
and news stations.
During emergencies and disaster
situations, such stations are a very good
source of information regarding what is
happening and why.
Staying informed can help you stay alive.
The best survival radios offer multiple functions and free you from dependence
on consumable batteries (a weak link in any long-term survival scenario; once
the batteries run out, or if they run out while your bag sits waiting to be needed,
you can’t use the items that run on those
Many quality radios on the market offer
hand-crank dynamos. Some, like this
model from Eton, have a solar panel, too.
Such radios often include small
flashlights, which run off the same battery
charged by the crank or the solar cell.
The ability to make fire is
one of the most
fundamental survival skills.
Fire can be used to boil
water to make it safer to
It can be used to craft
primitive tools and weapons
(such as fire-hardened,
It is used to cook food. It
can be used to sterilize a
needle. It is used to create light and lifesaving heat.
With so many available options for creating fire quickly and easily, you have
absolutely no excuse not to carry a primary and a backup means of creating fire
in your bag.
Personally, I like to have a “super lighter” handy that’s wind-proof and ready to
turn on when I need some flame fast (like “Molotov cocktail” fast).
But for starting fires for heat
and cooking (if you choose),
you need to have some fire-
making equipment such as the
military’s magnesium block.
Just shave some of the
magnesium off onto a tinder
source and strike your knife
against the attached flint rod to
spark up a fast flame.
Bug-Out Medical Supplies
You need a medical kit in your bag - but you don’t have to go complete “combat
medic” to prepare for your bug-out trek.
In fact, many commercial medical kits contain a lot of junk you don’t need (like
those ridiculous tiny spot bandages) when just a few simple items will do…
• Quick-Clot for fast reaction to
larger volume bleeding
• Antibiotic cream
• Tweezers (for splinters and
• Pain reliever pills
• Topical rash and burn cream
Bug-Out Secret # 22
While training Honduran troops in 1987, I got dysentery from the local water and,
unable to keep any food or liquids inside of me, I was laid out on a cot for 3 days,
dehydrated and malnourished until I began guzzling medicine to stop the
Bottom line… you can't bug-out if you're run down and dehydrated and even
worse… dehydration from diarrhea can kill you!
With water in short supply in a crisis, you
need to stop the diarrhea fast so you can
retain what you drink.
For this reason, always have a stash of
anti-diarrheal medicine in your pack!
No one ever thinks of this as a “must-
have” medical item but 2 million people
die each year from diarrhea (children are
especially vulnerable) and without medical
attention in a crisis, surviving isn’t likely.
Most water you find in a disaster is going
to put you at an increased risk of
contamination so this simple addition to
your medical supplies can save your life or
the life of a loved one!
Not much more is needed but here are a few more
little-known “medical” items that may be useful…
For example, open wounds are like an invitation
for life-threatening infection.
That’s why a travel sewing kit is not only great for
minor repairs to clothing, but one of the most
critical “combat medicine” items you can use to
stitch up a wound.
If you’ve ever mended a pair of pants before, you’ll
be amazed at how quickly you’ll figure out how to
stitch up a gash on your arm or leg with your
Bug-Out Secret # 23
An effective altnernative for closing up smaller, open wounds
is “super glue” (yes, the kind you get at the local hardware
store for working with wood, metal, ceramic, etc.).
There’s a reason why its warning label says “avoid contact
with skin” - it bonds skin just as well as it does wood!
In fact, super glue has even been used by surgeons to close
up cut organs that couldn’t be stitched (it doesn’t seem to be
toxic) and is a little-known secret of guitar players who need
to play with a cut finger.
With an open wound that’s not bleeding but needs closing,
first wash and dry the cut area.
Then, lay a thin line of super glue along the incision and
press the gash together until it bonds.
The glue will actually protect the wound from dirt and debris
while new skin forms underneath it.
In addition, although you may not consider it medical gear, items for personal
hygiene are a necessity.
Infection, inflamed gums, parasites, and intestinal problems can all make
bugging out uncomfortable, if not downright impossible.
It doesn’t take much in the short term to maintain good hygiene on the run as
long as you pay close attention to your hair, hands, feet, armpits, and crotch as
these are the main areas vulnerable to infection and infestation.
Small items you should carry in your bug-out bag (within a separate kit bag) are:
• Compact toothbrush & travel toothpaste
• Travel anti-bacterial hand gel
• Small travel pack baby wipes
Brush your teeth twice a day to avoid painful, inflamed and infected gums.
Once a day, either wash with soap and water or do a serious “wipe down” with
the baby wipes to your feet, pits, and crotch.
Germs on your hands can easily infect your food, water and open wounds so use
anti-bacterial gel after handling anything that may be germ-infested, after a visit
to your cat-hole (aka. latrine), working with a sick family member, and before
handling any food.
Your hair can become a vacation resort for fleas, lice, and other parasites so
keep it clean with soap and water at least every other day.
Bug-Out Secret # 24
It’s a fact of devastation… in a disaster you’re going to be treated to a host of
unpleasant smells such as sewage… garbage… chemicals… mold… and yes,
dead, decomposing bodies!
Here’s what coroners and morticians do to get past the smell… put on a surgical
mask and place a small dab of Vicks VapoRub under you nose. This will help
overpower the smell of corpses and other foul odors until you can egress from
the tainted area.
Side note – Vicks is also good for relieving headaches (put a dab on your
temples)… protecting small cuts from infections… and a good mosquito
Bug-Out Secret # 25
Pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to know about this…
Do you realize that fish antibiotics that you can
pick up right down at your local pet store is the
same exact antibiotics prescribed to you by a
doctor for bacterial infections?
This is huge!
In a survival scenario – especially one with
mass casualties and disease plagued and toxic
environments – the risk of infection skyrockets
and so does the chance of death.
This will undoubtedly put a strain in medical
supplies and even simple antibiotics will become
Already, we’ve seen antibiotics come up in short
supply during the Swine Flu/H1N1/Bird Flu
Do you want to be without meds when the time comes?
Fortunately, you can stock up now at your local pet store on “Fish Mox” and not
have to wait in line at a Red Cross or FEMA camp to get this highly sought-after
necessity for yourself or a severely sick family member.
The costs vary dramatically, but look for 250 mg. capsules for about $15 to $20
A dose of 250 mg. is typical for children, double that for adults.
A standard medically prescribed antibiotic is 14 capsules per illness, per person.
Shelf life, based on government studies, is 2-10 years.
Bonus – imagine the bartering value of antibiotics in a collapse!
You’ll be able to barter anything you want when someone’s health is on the line!
Bug-Out Secret # 26
The survivalist movement was, arguably, started by the threat of nuclear war.
Citizens started building bomb shelters and stocking them with food and supplies
because they were worried that the Soviet Union would bomb the United States.
These days, the threat of a rogue nation getting their hands on nuclear missile
capability is rearing its ugly head, but even more probably is a nuclear power
plant accident like the recent Japan tsunami disaster.
No doubt, in future years, we will see a second “tsunami” hit Japan in the form of
thyroid cancer outbreaks.
You see, nuclear radiation emitted from a power plant or nuclear bomb invisibly
attacks the thyroid gland with iodine, a known trigger leading to cancer.
Since it’s possible that you and
your family could be exposed to
nuclear radiation should we be
attacked with a nuclear bomb or
be devastated by a Fukushima
power plant meltdown, it makes
sense to plan now for protecting
yourself and those you love from
the radiation effects.
Your best protection is to have on
hand a stash of potassium iodide
tablets you can pick up online or
at any health store.
Potassium iodide prevents the
uptake of harmful radioactive
contaminants by the thyroid.
You and your family should take a
dose daily until the radioactive
exposure risk is no longer present.
In conjunction with having these tablets on hand, there's a device you can buy
called the Nuke Alert that’s a little keychain electronic device that makes a
chirping noise letting you know you’re being exposed to a radiation problem.
Over 12 years old
3 – 12 years old
1 – 36 months old
< 1 month old
Bug-Out Secret # 27
Strange as it may sound, simple Tea Tree Oil is the
“Swiss Army Knife” of the natural medicine world!
Tea Tree Oil has multiple applications and is an absolute
must for your bug-out bag.
Just as you carry a multi-tool because you don’t know
what utility problem you might face, you can carry THIS
“medical multi-tool” because it treats a variety of ailments.
When space is at a premium and weight is a factor, a
multi-use medical item like this one is really important.
Check out this list of uses from HealthMad.com – and all
from one single bottle!
• Cold sores – Apply pure oil directly to the sore as
many times as needed.
• Dental abscess/toothache – Drip a few drops directly into the cavity or drip
a couple drops on your finger and rub the tooth and surrounding gum. Be
careful not to swallow the oil. Ingesting a little bit of the oil won’t hurt you, but
always try to spit it out.
• Sore throat/throat infection – Gargle with 8-10 drops of tea tree oil diluted in
a cup of water. Repeat this two or three times within twenty minutes.
• Cuts/scrapes/scratches/abrasions – Rub a few drops of pure oil into the
cut. Do not use tea tree oil on deep cuts and wounds.
• Ear infection – Drip about three drops of tea tree oil into 1/4 cup of water, or
adjust the ratio until it’s comfortable for you. Fill a dropper with the solution
and gently fill the ear with it. Hold it in the ear for half a minute and drain.
Repeat several times a day or however often is necessary. Do not put pure
tea tree oil into the ear. Also, rub pure oil onto the outer surface of the ear.
• Ringworm – Apply pure oil daily for at least one month straight. Make sure to
do it everyday or the fungus can build up a resistance to the oil.
Bug-Out Secret # 27 (Continued)
• Insect bites – Apply one or two drops directly to the bite.
• Athlete’s foot – Apply pure oil directly to the feet, on a daily basis for at least
a month to make sure the fungus is destroyed. In addition, you can drip
several drops into a basin of water and soak the feet.
• Canker sores – Apply pure oil directly to the sore.
• Oral hygiene – Add one drop of oil to your toothbrush when brushing your
teeth, or put one drop into the crease of your finger, run dental floss through it
• Dandruff – Add a few drops to your shampoo.
• Ear mites – Make a mild solution of tea tree oil and water, perhaps five drops
of oil to 1 cup of water. Using a dropper, gently drip about ten drops into your
pet’s ear. Also, dip a cotton ball in the solution and clean the inside of the ear.
• Fleas and other insect infestations – Make a strong solution of tea tree oil
and water. Using a spray bottle, spray the liquid onto areas where insects lay
Bug-Out Utility Gear
There are an assortment of utility tools you’ll find useful when bugging out..
A multitool such as a Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife provides multiple
functions in a compact package.
You can’t anticipate every utility need, so such a tool helps you hedge your bets.
A good, strong tactical/survival knife is very useful in any situation.
A knife that incorporates some means of breaking glass (some knives are
equipped with “glass-breaker” tips like the Gerber LMF II pictured below) can be
very useful for bugging out to escape social chaos, as you may encounter
damaged or derelict vehicles that block your path.
Gaining access to such vehicles may require breaking windows… and if you are
yourself trapped in a car and need to break out a window, carrying such a knife
with you may help you escape.
Eyeglass Repair Kit – This is absolutely essential if you or any of the people in
your party wear glasses. The best kits have small replacement screws in them.
Duct Tape – Just 6’ or so, wrapped in a roll around a pencil for a quick poncho
tent repair or other quick-fix. But there’s actually something even stronger that
most preppers don’t even know about, waiting for you in Tip # 24…
Bug-Out Tip # 28
When things fall apart, one of the first things to go will be the simple
conveniences you take for granted… like the local auto repair shop.
If you’re bugging out by vehicle or able to hotwire a car along the way, you may
be faced with problems that could strand you along the road like a punctured
radiator hose… broken fan belt… busted up muffler (from driving over zombies?)
With no tow truck to call, you’re
going to want to pack a couple
rolls of Rescue Tape in your bag.
Rescue Tape is the ONLY silicone
tape used by the military and on
every US Army vehicle and tank
as part of the US Army's Battle
Damage Assessment and Repair
Kit (BDAR) so it has solid
It's a silicone tape that’s self-sealing (think electrical tape on steroids)… insulates
to 8,000 volts per layer… withstands up to 500 degrees (F) of heat,… and stays
flexible to negative 85 degrees F (negative 60 degrees C).
When applied, it creates a permanent, air-tight, and water-tight seal, so it can be
used for water-proofing and it resists oils, acids, solvents, and even road salt,
and never gets sticky like normal tape.
It’s so strong, it can even be used to create a MacGuyver-like fan belt!
But Rescue Tape isn’t just for vehicle repairs…
Because it seals water-tight it can be used as an emergency O-ring, gasket, to
wrap hydraulic fittings, and fix leaky pipes and hoses (above or below water!)
You can use it as an emergency tourniquet… wrap bleeding injuries… a
makeshift electrical insulator… create a non-slip grip on your rifle stock and
survival knife… and even wrap a survival bow handle to reduce vibration and
P38 can opener — used for opening cans, of course.
The P38 is one of the smallest yet most functional can
openers you will ever own.
It easily beats much larger, more complicated devices,
and blows the doors off the can opener that comes on a
It’s much quicker and more comfortable to use.
Bug-Out Tip # 29
In a devastated environment, you’re bound to come across quite a bit of metal –
some of it useful… some of it an obstacle.
It may be a padlock that’s the only thing between you and a storage locker full of
resupplies… it may be a set of chains around a gate in the way of your bug out
path… it could even be a heavy piece of concrete rebar stabilizer bar that will
suffice as an improvised weapon for self-protection.
In any case, getting past metal requires tools… and you don’t want to feel like the
school janitor as you’re carting your gear all over the urban wasteland, right?
Instead, pick up a small, mini-hacksaw at your local hardware store.
These handy tools can be used for sawing through anything metal that’s
thumbing its nose at you and it takes up practically no space in your bug out bag.
Compass – Forget the big bulky (and expensive) compasses on the market.
For nearly 10 years in the Army’s light infantry, the best compass I ever used
was a wrist compass like the Suunto M-9.
You can twist the bezel to
the desired heading and
just hold your wrist out in
front of you for a line-of-
sight trek straight to your
Keep in mind that very few
people really understand
HOW to use a compass
and a map in order to find
their way, so do your
homework and pick up a
book on how to do just that.
Of course, owning a book
is no good unless you read
it and apply it.
Take your book, and your compass, out into the field, and practice using that
compass to get you where you need to go.
Large scarves and bandannas are extremely versatile survival items because
they can be everything from blankets and hats to water filters, breathing masks,
carrying bags, tourniquets, and even weapons.
Sharpening rod — This is used to
maintain the blades on the knife and
the multitool in your kit.
What a lot of people don’t realize is
that found stones can also be used
to sharpen a knife.
To use a found stone, find one that
is relatively flat and just draw your
knife’s blade into the stone as if you
were trying to slice off sections of the stone at an angle.
Sharpening is as much art as science, for some, but fortunately there are a lot of
resources in books and online.
Just look for sites where knife owners and hobbyists congregate to discuss
blades - you’ll find plenty of sharpening tips there.
Military canteen cup and stove – In our “Water”
section, we recommended not going with a
military canteen in order to stay covert, but I’ve
found it hard to beat the military’s canteen cup
and companion stove for a field expedient kitchen.
Yes, you may need to boil water for purification
along the way… but there’s also something to be
said about a hot meal keeping your spirits high
when times are tough (as a soldier in the field,
sometimes it was that one hot meal that made all
the difference in maintaining morale in our unit so
don’t discount the powerful effect of this gear addition).
And since the stove wraps around the cup in storage and
you can stuff the cup with other items, it takes up hardly
any space in your bag.
Just throw a solid fuel tab under your stove, set your
canteen cup on top and cook you up some hot grub to
warm your prepper soul.
Bug-Out Tip # 30
A popular survival item was always the British Special Air Service (SAS) Survival
Kit, issued in a handy little tin.
These cost over $40 at survival stores, but you can make your own using a
simple Altoids mint tin that you can get at any grocery store and include...
• Razor blade
• Magnesium fire starter
• Tinder-Quik fire tabs
• Mini tea candle
• Micro LED light
• Rope saw
• Emergency whistle
• Water purification tablets
• Signal mirror
• Button compass
• Antibiotic ointment
• Butterfly bandages
• Sewing kit
• Folded aluminum foil
(signaling and/or cooking)
• Safety pins
• Duct tape
Use every spare millimeter of the space you have so be creative in what other
items you may be able to fit with the room you have left.
Your preparations for
shelter, must include
4 camo bungee
cords close by.
These thin “tactical”
versions of the
strap stretch to about
6’ long and offer the
quickest way to
poncho into a “hooch” … lash down noisy gear…
strap stuff down on top or in back of your vehicle…
…well, the uses are pretty much endless so keep
them handy in one of your bug-out bag’s outside
In addition, no soldier would be caught dead without a supply of 550 paracord, a
versatile relatively thin rope.
550 Cord is useful for everything from building shelters to tying together support
items, bracing poles, suspending tarps or other “roof” materials, binding one thing
to another, making handles and carrying straps handles, and a million other
It is so simple yet so basic. You absolutely CANNOT forget to pack an ample
supply in your kit.
We asked our Facebook followers for their most unique uses of 550 cord and
were amazed at the resourceful uses they came up with! Here are some of the
best ones to get your creative juices flowing of how it can help you get out of a
tight spot on your evacuation to safety…
Ian Barber I've used it when my accelerator linkage broke in my cj7.
Tied it to the accelerator arm on the carb, out under the hood, wrapped
around the mirror arm and presto, hand actuated throttle got me home
!!!!Rick Emery During OJE deployed to Bosnia we had rats really bad in
our barracks area (hut) you may call it. Had a box of canned goods and
other stuff and the rats would eat thru the wrappers. Took some 550
cord and hung my foot locker from the ceiling so they couldn’t get to it
!!!!Spy D. Mann Tied across windshield and through the window vents to
operate my wipers on my VeeWee Bug.
!!!!Nick Bible Run 550 cord between your legs and tie it off to belt loops...
Ensure to pull it tight (but not to tight) this will minimize chaffing
Jason Horton Making flies for fishing; I have used the inner core line
for sutures. IE for ascending rope or rescues. Used it for 2 part
tourniquet and binding splints also some great weapons
!!!!Mark A. Dixon A friend’s car broke down in the desert due to a torn
belt. They replaced the belt with a length of paracord to get home.
!!!!James Arwood Inner threads used as a snare for small game
(squirrels, rabbits etc)!
Jeremy Luckey Rifle sling
!!!!James Molloy I opened a bracelet I bought from a friend and used it to
tie up my exhaust for the 40 mile ride home after a large unsecured
board came off a truck, I had no choice but to hit it!
Modern Combat & Survival Tie 550 cord to your family in crowded
areas of unrest to avoid getting separated (can happen if crowds react
to tear gas or gunfire.
Click Here For More Of Our Facebook Tips
Now don’t worry about throwing in a giant roll of 550 cord in your bag because
we have a little secret to share with you...
Bug-Out Secret # 31
Could there possibly be a better survival “rope” than 550 cord?
Arguably there is…
The new lines of dental floss are now made
from a composite fiber known as “Dyneema” –
the strongest fiber on the planet.
It’s so light, yet so strong that it’s now being
used to create the new high-tech personal
battlefield armor for our combat soldiers.
For bugging out however, Dyneema dental
floss has a multitude of uses…
It’s basically good for everything line is good for, provided you use enough of it.
It can be used for lashing together branches for a shelter… as fishing line… even
for suturing an open wound with a needle.
You can even make a bowstring out of it for an improvised weapon!
Simply take 10-15 strands of dental floss the length of your bow (that will be
about 40-60 ft. of floss for a 4’ bow) and you can twist the strands together in the
same direction and tie a loop at each end to create your bowstring.
Fortunately floss is so compact that you can carry a great deal of it (up to a whole
100 yards in a tiny compact case!) with very little effort and while leaving a lot of
leftover room in your bug-out bag so you’ll be able to carry more than enough to
handle any survival scenario.
Another useful (though not
essential) item to consider is a
portable chair like “The Amazing
Pocket Chair” as seen on those
cheesy television informercials.
There’s just something to be said
about our need to sit on something
other than the ground, isn’t there?
I mean, around a campfire, don’t
you usually pull up your foldable
nylon camp chair or a log to sit on?
Instinctively, I think we know that
sitting off the ground is safer,
easier on our body, and also helps
to avoid heat loss that’s disipated
from our body through the ground,
especially when the ground is wet.
These little fold-out chairs are small enough to fit into your pocket but can hold up
to 250 lbs of prepper butt to give you a handly little seat as you chow down on
your Raman noodles.
You can pick one up at many of the drug stores or department stores these days
or just grab one online at www.AsSeenOnTV.com.
Bug-Out Secret # 32
We are a society that craves electricity… and takes it for granted.
You don’t know how much we’re dependent on it until it’s gone, such as in a
natural disaster that wipes out power.
Remember all the pictures from New York City and the Northeast after “Super
Storm Sandy” came through?
Photos circulated on the Web of all the desperate folks who were waiting in line
outside stores with power to actually rent electricity so they could charge up their
phones and tablet devices and stay in touch with their loved ones. (Stores were
even charging up to $20 for one single AA battery!)
In a bug out situation, you need power to run your 2-way radios… your cell
phone… GPS and other items you may have that require charging or batteries.
Yes, you could carry extra batteries... but you can
only carry so many before the weight becomes an
issue (and what do you do when you exhaust your
When bugging out by vehicle, a simple cigarette
lighter adaptor with a USB plug is super compact
and will be a handy backup since most phones and
GPS handhelds now use USB for charging.
Bug-Out Secret # 32 (Continued)
When bugging out on foot or stuck in an area with no power or running vehicles,
you don’t want to be stuck in line at the local 7-11 waiting your turn to charge up
your gear, right?
Well, one of my favorite new purchases is my Goal Zero portable solar pack.
These are a little bit more expensive in the lineup of bug-out investments, but I
can tell you that it’s one of the most powerful tools I use almost on a daily basis
as I power up rechargeable batteries and even my iPad and iPhone using the
sun while sipping coffee at my local coffee shop.
You can even hang it from the back of your bug-out bag while you walk, charging
up the battery pack, and then plug your devices into the pack at night for a full
Provided they are legal for you to own before the fact (and whether you can carry
them legally may change depending on the situation), you should pack weapons
in your bag to defend yourself and your family from those people who become
dangerous social predators during the breakout of social chaos.
These weapons may include guns, knives, and even more exotic weapons like
swords (more on that in a few seconds).
Selecting weapons for your bug out bag and for long-term survival is really a
book in itself, but consider the following…
The machete can serve you as both a bushcraft
tool and as a weapon.
Entire wars, or what are effectively wars, have
been waged in Africa using machetes.
The machete is really nothing so much as a small
It is so effective, in fact, that some cities have
already banned its sale because of its popularity
among Latino gangs.
Strapped to your bug-out bag (or hidden inside), a
machete can defend you as well as make it easier
to clear brush should you have to make a trail
through dense undergrowth in rural areas.
A machete with saw teeth on the spine can do
double duty as a saw, of course, but those teeth
are also useful for ripping through a target.
Knives and other blades are popular choices
among survivalists, particularly because in most
places, knives are still easily purchased and
subject to fewer restrictions than firearms.
A good, sturdy knife can be a very potent self-defense tool at close range, but do
you really think you’re going to have a “knife fight” with a mob, a police barricade,
or an armored riot vehicle?
Carry small blades like folding knives if you choose, but never forget that they are
for use against up to a few adversaries at very close range, not for large-scale
For that, you’ll need a more formidable weapon such as a machete, or one of
Bug-Out Secret # 33
One of the most common “enemies” you may
come across in a disaster-ravaged environment
are packs of wild dogs, abandoned by owners
who moved on to safety, leaving Fido to find his
Instincts will bring the dogs together to form
these packs and, just as with packs of wild,
starving wolves, what was once a puffy pet
pooch can quickly become a teeth-gnashing
terror who now sees you as kibble.
For “pack” enemies, distance is your friend (it’s
not a good idea to go into close-quarters
combat mode with a gang of pit bulls).
But a sharpened stick will only get you so far…
unless that stick has this pointy little surprise on the end…
There’s been a return in “survival spears”
and the Condor Pipe Knife Dagger is my
It’s modeled after the Borneo Headhunters’
Ceremonial Bone Dagger (because who
knows better how to quickly kill a beast or
man than an headhunter, right?)
Shaped like a hypodermic needle, this
hollow, sharpened, bayonet-like dagger can
be used in-hand, or - there are two screw
holes under the butt cap so you can attach
it to a spear shaft.
When used in hunting or holding off a pack of beasties, it easily pierces flesh with
a V-shaped would that doesn’t close as easily.
If you rotate the blade in the thrust, it will actually cut a hole double its width and
your adversary will bleed out even quicker.
Although this dagger is long, it’s not that wide so you can conceal it on your
person if you wanted.
Bug-Out Secret # 34
There are of course times during a disaster or crisis where you may wish to be
In these circumstances, having a flare gun is great for signaling rescue crews to
But flare guns can actually double as a “covert weapon” as well…
Firing a flare into a bad guy’s chest at close range may not be the same as using
a firearm, but a flaming fireball headed your way is not something most people
would want to experience.
Now, while you can pick up a flare
gun in almost any sporting goods
boating departments (or even
some chain stores like Wal-Mart),
I actually suggest you get
26.5mm flare gun like the
Russian or Czech model.
Because these versions have the
capability for you to add a special
insert that transforms your flare
gun into a REAL gun that allows
you to shoot either 22LR rounds,
.45 caliber, or 410 shot shells.
You can find these inserts at www.CheaperThanDirt.com or other retailers online.
Other weapons considerations include...
Handguns are lighter and more portable, but subject to more restrictions and not
as useful for hunting and self-defense at long-range.
Shotguns are widely available and useful for hunting game, but their range is
limited compared to rifles and they’re not nearly as accurate (beacuse they are
Bug-Out Secret # 35
If you’re carrying an entrenching tool in your bug-out bag, you’re on the right
An entrenching tool is incredibly useful.
It can be used to dig latrines, bury your garbage, dig out a vehicle that is stuck in
snow or mud, or even to chop wood in a pinch.
However, the standard military e-tool packs more weight than we like for bugging
Consider a Mini Entrenching Tool
instead - a modern version of the
e-tool with a collapsible handle.
It’s smaller than traditional military
tools and will be sufficient for a pretty
much any utility need you may have
for it on your trek to safety.
And it’s also a formidable weapon!
Think about it: Plant the thin edge of
a mini e-tool in someone’s skull and
you’ll split it wide open.
This new version even has a spike
(pick) on the back that basically
transforms it into a commando
Rifles are very useful for hunting and self-defense at long range, but they’re
bulky and harder to hide from observers as you travel.
That being said, there are more compact models on the market now like the U.S.
Survival AR-7, and even the Ruger 10-22 Long Rifle now has a “takedown”
version that allows you to store the rifle in two separate pieces and reassemble it
within a matter seconds.
Bug-Out Secret # 36
Having all the guns, ammunition, and magazines in the world won’t help you if a
critical spring or firing pin breaks.
This is especially feasible due to the environmental problems that often come
with disaster such as weather exposure, contaminants, etc.
Look up a firearms accessory provider who offers complete spare parts kits and
individual spare parts for your weapons.
Besides keeping a cleaning kit in your bug-out bag, make sure you have a few
spare gun parts on hand for your gun’s high-wear parts, especially things like
firing pins, extractors, and recoil springs.
A broken gun is a useless paperweight, and in times of crisis, you never know
when you’re going to need it to be functional.
Another option for keeping your survival rifle to a size that’s concealable is a
folding stock for rifles in states where they’re legal.
What you shouldn’t do is cut down a rifle that you intend to use as a large
“handgun,” retaining the longer barrel for greater range as this is a violation of
Your rifle must always meet minimum federal overall length standards.
However, concealability is also one of your considering factors when deciding on
a firearm for bugging out.
Those who spot you with a rifle or other firearm will either want to take it from you
for their own survival or as a precautionary order such as the collection of
firearms from citizens done by law enforcement and military during Hurricane
Keep your firepower compact and concealed as much as possible!
Bug-Out Secret # 37
You know those folding camp chairs that
collapse up nice and neat and get carted
around in their own little handy stuff bag?
Well no idiot would be carting one of
these around in a bug-out evacuation,
That’s EXACTLY what other people will
be thinking about YOU as they see you
walking with one of these folding
camping chair bags strapped to the
outside of your pack as you make your
way through populated areas.
What they don’t know (and you do!) is that that’s not a chair stuffed into the tote
bag… but rather your survival rifle!
This is a sneaky trick for hiding your weapon in plain sight that no one will
suspect – not even police and military!
Of course you’ll need to pack a rifle that will actually fit in the pack and the
aforementioned AR-7 and Ruger 10-22 takedown model that will fit perfectly.
Bug-Out Secret # 38
Since caveman days, a walking stick has served woods-walkers well… and its
reputation is well deserved even in modern times.
Let’s face it, you’re not bugging out anywhere with a sprained ankle so a walking
stick is extremely helpful for…
• Walking over rough or icy terrain
• Helping you keep your balance as a “third leg” when crossing rocky streams
and descending steep slopes
• Extending to children or other team members to help them ascend a difficult
• Walking longer, farther, and with less fatigue by using two poles as supports
as you walk (just think of them as cross country ski poles)
Especially helpful for preppers are
the new modern versions of the
telescoping walking pole you
should add to your bug-out gear.
Design-wise, they’re extremely
lightweight and super compact so
they can be easily collapsed for
storage and quickly extended for
But there’s also a combat role
for these tools as well…
In melee, a walking pole can be
an effective “face-stabber” to
defend yourself from a distance.
And military snipers know that
poles can serve as a stable
support for your survival rifle
while standing to aim steadier and
hit your target more reliably and
from a farther distance.
Bug-Out Evasion Support
As we’ve stated earlier, your goal in a bug-out scenario will likely be to become
as invisible as possible as you make your way to safety.
Evading looters, law enforcement, military, or just friendly neighbors looking to
sponge off of your good sense to prepare ahead of time is one of your primary
tasks to make it to your destination unscathed and ready for the next phase of
your survival plan.
But there may be times when you and/or your party may have to travel through
populated areas or come into contact with others, such as:
• To obtain supplies from government dispersion points
• Barter with local citizens for items you need.
• Military check points
• Or just to get through a populated area quickly.
The reality is, in most parts of the world where society lives, there’s going to be
other people somewhere in your area during a crisis and you need to manage
your visibility and avoid being seen as a “target” as much as possible.
But there’s no need to stick twigs and leaves in your hair and try to act like a
In fact, you want to blend in as much as possible, which is why we’ve advised
you not to wear camouflage clothing and look like a soldier.
However, when the threat of detection is higher or you’re in an area that’s more
heavily populated or you perceive it to be a bigger risk, it may require you to
become… shall we say, “sneakier”… and more creative with how you keep
people away from you.
Fortunately, all you may need is a just a couple of tricks in your bag that can
quickly get you through a rough area or out of a tough spot and none of them
take up much room in your bag.
Here are some of the best “evasion” secrets that may come in handy…
Bug-Out Secret # 39
Sure, having a bug out battle tank (ie. the family automobile) will get you to your
destination faster than being on foot… but if you’re the only vehicle puttering
around town or along the highway, scooting past a line of stalled vehicles with
empty gas tanks, then you could quickly become a target.
That’s why one of the best bug out vehicles you should think of is a bicycle.
Personally, if I find myself ever forced to bug out on foot with my pack, the first
thing I’m going to do is locate bikes for me and my family because they don’t
need gas… they don’t get gridlocked in traffic… and yet you can still travel about
75-100 miles per day with your bug out gear to your destination.
Plus, in a collapse, you may be able to find some… um… “spare” bikes in
abandoned garages or (and here’s a sneaky secret) rented storage units!
Just break the lock on a storage unit on your bug out
route and you’re likely to find a few family bikes stashed
But here’s where the secret I want to share…
The most common maintenance issue you’ll come
across are flat tires – either yours or on bikes stored
for a long time.
the same as the
car stuff) makes a
small 6 oz size
version for fast
temporary repair of
This is great for fast fixes when you’re in an
area you don’t want to be stuck in… but I
also suggest you carry an ultra-small mini
bike pump and a patch kit for longer term
Bug-Out Secret # 40
Think of this is the prepper’s disguise kit.
When bugging out, you don’t want to be hassled by beggars or looters who think
you look prepared.
Well, what’s the fastest way to look less than prepared?
It’s to look like Hell.
If you look like Death warmed
over, the last thing anyone is
going to think is that you’re well
off and well equipped.
Pick up a small 5-color camo face
paint case and make sure it has
white cammo paint in it.
Pasty white circles painted under
your eyes (emphasized by faking
a slow, hunched walk and
coughing) will make you look dirty
And looking diseased can be very
Especially in an emergency, with medical treatment hard to come by, people
avoid sickness like... well, like the plague.
They don’t want to have anything to do with people who might transmit
something to them.
Who would want to steal food from a sick person?
That food could be contaminated in any number of ways, right?
This is probably the sneakiest trick in the book to keep most predators far away
Bug-Out Secret # 41
If you’ve ever read a comic book, you’ve stumbled over one of the best kept
secrets of survival gear.
Mixed in amongst the x-ray spectacles
and joy buzzers is a little product that
has been available for a long time.
Stink Bombs are vials of smelly liquid
commonly used as pranks.
They release a horrifying smell for up to
The idea is to make your friends
uncomfortable by stinking up their home,
their locker, or their car.
But you can use stink bombs for
evading opportunists, beggars, and
even military and law enforcement.
Just lightly dab a handkerchief or cloth in
the liquid to produce a light touch of that
“stay away from me” odor that will cause
others to want to leave you alone.
You can always discard your smelly rag once you’re in the clear.
You might also be able to use these at the entrance of a building that you’re
hiding in so that passers-by will give the “contaminated” area a wide berth.
Of course, you’ll have to put up with the smell for as long as you use it...
Adding a surgical mask over your face (with a dab of tea tree oil so you don’t
have to smell your own stink) will make you look more diseased and unwell.
Sneaky, eh? ☺
Bug-Out Secret # 42
In a bug-out scenario, it’s possible that someone will try to stop you – like at a
checkpoint by authorities or even by looters or other predators – and looking for
things to take from you.
In these situations, the only
option you have for keeping
what’s valuable to you is hiding it.
We can take a page from home
defense for this purpose.
A secret storage book can be
purchased, or even made, to
keep your gear hidden away,
such as a small gun, cash, or
They look like any other book
because they start out as any
On a bookshelf, they’re
In your bug-out bag, they’re unlikely to arouse interest.
Creating your own hollow book (paperback or hardcover) is as simple as cutting
a square template from cardboard and then using a razor blade to cut several
pages at a time (hint – leave the first few pages uncut so it looks like a real book
upon opening the cover).
Once your “secret vault” is carved out, brush some glue along the inside of it to
stick the pages together
A little patience will produce a custom hiding place that conforms to whatever you
need to stash.
Keep a rubber band wrapped around it in your bag so it doesn’t open up inside or
when it’s tossed aside by someone rifling around inside to shake you down.
Bug-Out Secret # 43
When you stop to rest at night while bugging out, you need to maintain proper
security from hostile citizens, looters, and possibly authorities.
If you have enough members of your party, you can post a guard at night but let’s
face it… people miss things, and sometimes fall asleep when they shouldn’t.
Trying to stay awake and alert all the time isn’t possible and worse, it creates a
level of paranoia that will leave you exhausted.
You have to rest… recharge your body’s batteries… and yet still maintain
security to keep your party safe.
The best way to do this is with a
Perimeter Alarm and Tripwire.
While there are high-tech gadgets that will
sound a loud audible alarm, you may not
want your position to be given away so
pack two “Bear Bells” in your bug-out
bag as an alternative.
These large “jingle bells” were designed
for wearing as you walk through the woods
to scare off bears (or attach to a dog’s
collar to keep track of them in the bush),
but they can also alert you to someone in
your area of operation (AO) as well.
Simply line your AO with a line dental floss connected to the bells tied off inside
your hooch to wake you if tripped.
Note: I create a perimeter by running the line through eye-screws attached to
trees; using two lines attached to their own individual bell and tied off on
separate ends of my shelter lets me know what area of my perimeter has
Another option is to use your rat trap as the alarm as it’s less likely give away
your position and will just sound like a large, single twig snap in the dark.
Just avoid setting booby-traps that can hurt people –people you DON’T want to
see hurt – like a child getting up to pee on a tree, right?
Bug-Out Bartering Items
In a survival situation, money isn’t always your best “currency” for getting the
things you need for sustainable living.
In fact, riots, looting, and theft are rampant after disasters as desperate folks
realize that their money is of little use when you’re hungry and there’s no grocery
store to take their dough.
As money loses it’s luster over time, honest folks will look toward trading items
they own and services they offer in exchange for things they need.
That’s why mastering the little-know skills of “survival bartering” can mean the
difference between life and death in a crisis or life after a collapse.
Bug-Out Secret # 44
When my fellow soldiers and I were
road-marching in the military, there was
always one “food” we were never
without…Jolly Rancher candies!
I know… doesn’t sound like much of a
“secret”, right? Well consider this…
Jolly Ranchers (or other sweet hard
candy) will help stave off thirst (even in
dry climates)… keep your kids’ mouths
occupied so they don’t complain as much… and trigger your brain’s “pleasure
center” to help you and your family overcome the rigors of marching.
But here’s a real “Jedi Mind Trick” offered by this candy…
Jolly Ranchers are a sneaky way to “make friends” along the way as you start up
a conversation with locals you may want to barter with.
This “initial offering” of something pleasurable subconsciously gets your target
bartering companion mentally on your side and make them willingly fold when the
hard negotiation begins! Works like a charm!
Pack a small bag and consider them a “secret weapon” to be used sparingly.
Now don’t think that bartering is as easy as a friendly smile, a Jolly Rancher, a
trade of a pair of socks for a can of beans, and a good-bye handshake.
When people are desperate, scared, and hungry, they change… for the worse!
And besides, when you’re bugging out, it’s not like you can afford to carry a
bunch of extra items just for trading – you need them for your own survival, right?
However, there are some sneaky “extras” you can have packed away in your
bug-out bag that can be even more valuable than gold to the right person at the
right time… and land you some life-saving items along the way.
Bug-Out Secret # 45
In prison, inmates know that cigarettes are the most coveted form of “currency”
that makes things happen behind bars – and that’s a valuable lesson for the bug-
out prepper when domestic
supplies are cut off to society!
Whether you smoke or not is
irrelevant - take them out of
their packs and stack several
cigarettes in an Altoids tin,
which is almost exactly the
This may, in fact, be the
ultimate barter item, because
there’s no way there will be
enough smokes in a collapsed
supply system and in a
desperate need for nicotine, smokers will trade almost anything for a fix!
Bug-Out Secret # 46
Ok, I know I already said that money isn’t your only currency in a crisis, but cash
is still king in the short term.
Yet it always kills me when someone proudly shows me their bug-out bag and I
ask them to pull out the cash they have stored inside.
Most of them look at me speechless
and figure they’ll just hit the ATM on
their way out of the city.
A small fraction light up with a “gotcha”
grin and reach in to pull out their small
bag of gold and silver coins they’ll use
for money in the post-apocalyptic
wasteland where U.S. currency is no
Neither option works.
If you’re planning on hitting the ATM networks when the balloon goes up, realize
that if it’s not out of cash from the other people running to protect their funds in
an emergency... there likely won’t even be power to run the machine.
That’s why you need to have at least $100 in cash (preferably per person and in
small bills, NOT large denominations) pre-stashed inside a pocket of your bug-
Don’t worry about gold or silver for a three-day emergency kit.
The rest of society will still want US dollars, not whatever you’ve stored away for
the prepper apocalypse.
While the value of currency in some emergencies is debatable, it is absolutely a
fact that you should have some cash in your bug-out bag.
Remember that a situation that is tolerable when you have a hundred, or even
fifty or sixty dollars in your pocket, can be almost impossible if you have no
money at all.
Along those lines, carry a pre-paid phone card for use with pay phones, too,
because in many emergencies, there won't be power to recharge your cell phone
and the network on which that phone runs may fail.
Bug-Out Secret # 47
Most people think of alcohol as something for either binge drinking or as rubbing
alcohol, which can be used as a sterilizer.
Well, it’s both those things.
Alcohol of sufficient proof can be an emergency
In fact, it’s a staple of certain types of “battlefield”
medicine, in which you need to sterilize a wound or
medical tools or even if a victim simply needs it as a
“virtual anesthesia” to dull his senses with alcohol
and withstand the pain.
The best option here is to stock up on 3-6 “airline-
sized” mini bottles filled with Bacardi 151 or
They’re small, portable, self-contained, and the alcohol
within them is potent enough to use for sterilization –
plus they’re a great backup for another reason…
Perhaps the biggest use for
alcohol, however, is as a trade
or barter item.
In an emergency situation,
especially one of any duration,
people will want alcohol for the
comfort and escape it provides.
What you need, however, is
alcohol to carry that can be easily
traded in small units.
That’s what currency is, really: a means of exchanging small units of value to
accommodate different transactions.
As a trade item, I prefer a handful of “Pocket Shot” style mixed-packets which
are plastic packs of various popular liquors.
These travel best and take up very little room with very little weight.
Bug-Out Secret # 48
I don’t want to offend anyone. I really don’t.
Whether you choose to view hardcore porn or find
it disgusting, it’s a fact that a large segment of the
population does find it desirable.
What I mean is that pornography is a vice, like
alcohol… and that can make it an extremely
valuable trade item.
In a crisis, you have to look at people’s vices and
see what they’ll consider valuable.
Porn is one of those things.
It’s an escape, a creature comfort, and it’s one of the possible “currencies of
So how do you trade porn?
Obviously, you can’t carry around stacks of old magazines - but you can tear
pages of out of these and carry them in tradable packets.
While power may be in short supply during an emergency, there will be people
who have battery operated players.
This means that adult DVDs will also be of value if you can find the right person
to trade with.
Depending on how desperate you are, this just might secure you valuable food
Bug-Out Personal Items
The following tips are things that you may find to be “basic”, but frankly, so few
people ever consider to pack them, it makes them “secrets” in and of themselves.
Bug-Out Secret # 49
If you’re like me, you prep because you want to protect your family and loved
ones and keep them safe.
With the dynamics that are inherent in a crisis – natural or man-made – it’s quite
possible that you and those you protect can become separated.
You could lose track of them in the chaos of a riot… separated by authorities for
order, arrest or movement… or a child could simply wander off without notice.
It’s for this reason that you should
carry with you photos of your
children and spouse, as well as
anyone else in your party.
This allows you to identify your
family or party members to
authorities or to other civilians, so
you can try to find them and/or
Remember, having pictures on your cell phone or computer, like most of us do,
won’t help you in an emergency if they get broken or your power source fails.
You have to have real, hardcopy photos in color for better identification.
In addition, have digital copies of a few good headshot photos of each family
member on hand so that it can be given to authorities and shared digitally across
their network to increase your range and chances of locating a separated party
Speaking of which…
Bug-Out Secret # 50
Nearly every one of your unprepared neighbors will react to an evacuation the
exact same way - in a panicked mad scramble for a few cans of food… some
pillows… luggage with clothes… and finally, the family photo albums and videos.
In fact, packing these types of emotional items are always tops on the list
because let’s face it... if you were to lose your captured moments in a storm, fire,
or other disaster, they'd be gone FOREVER!
But not only do these boxes of memories take up valuable space that can be
used for important things like food and water – but the time wasted trying to
decide what’s important and what can be left behind to make room for the stack
of VHS tapes from your kids’ toddler years is time that could jam you right smack
dab into the middle of the gridlocked highway.
Time is of the essence when you decide
to get out of Dodge and every second
counts - but then you really don’t want to
abandon all those memories for the sake
of a few cans of baked beans, right?
The answer comes in embracing our
advancements in technology - buy
yourself a few high-capacity flash drive
USB memory sticks at your local
electronics store (or even the grocery
store these days).
These mini-storage cards are super tiny and hold a LOT of storage space on
them and once you have them, either scan your photos and convert your home
videos into MP4 video files and then copy those digital files over onto your
portable flash drives.
(If that sounds too techy for you, there are cheap services out there where all you
do is drop off your box-o-photos and videos and they'll do all the transfer for you!)
Keep these flash drives either in a safe container in your bug-out bag or in an
easy-to-snag location at home where you don't have to go looking for them.
Bug-Out Secret # 51
Often overlooked in emergency planning is what you’ll do when the emergency is
What good is bugging out when, once you get back, you have no proof that you
owned your home and property before it was severely damaged by a storm or a
What good is it to survive a disaster if you can’t then prove who you are and what
You should keep all your critical documents (preferably legally valid duplicates,
which can usually be obtained by paying a fee to the issuing clerk or authority)
with you when you bug-out.
Make photocopies of all IDs and credit cards, too, and keep these separate from
your wallet where the originals are located.
Store everything in Ziploc bags or, even better, purpose-made watertight
pouches that come with some of the tactical bags on the market.
In addition, keep digital versions of these documents on a USB drive (see Secret
# 50) for backup reference.
Your critical documents should include.
• Bank account numbers
• Credit card records
• Drivers license
• Birth certificates
• Property deeds & titles
• Registrations (Weapons, etc.)
• Social Security Cards
• Any other important paperwork
Bug-Out Secret # 52
In speaking with military SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape)
instructors, I’ve discovered that surviving during hard times like captivity is
critically dependent on your mental state.
Same holds true for surviving during a large scale disaster or even enemy attack.
One of the common methods used by prisoners of war (POW’s) to stay strong
and not give up was to create an American flag (out of anything they could find)
that they could secretly keep hidden and pull out when they needed a jolt of
patriotism to push on.
As a patriot and ex-soldier myself, I can identify with this practice and I decided
to pack my own version of my country’s flag…
What I did was take an 18”x12” cloth American flag and sewed onto the back an
18”x12” orange signal flag.
This easily rolls up and tucks away into my bug out bag and now offers me
US flag for…
• Patriotic inspiration to push on and SURVIVE!
• Signal to friendly troops as I approach checkpoint in “enemy” territory
Orange flag for…
• Waving when I need to get someone’s attention for rescue, rallying, etc.
• Use as marker for helicopter landing zone
• Put in tree top to signal random aircraft (if I need to be rescued)
Budgeting For Bug-Out Gear
A lot of people don't prepare for bugging out, or survival in general, because the
task just seems so daunting.
They worry that they don't have the money to spend on stockpiling all kinds of
They figure they have more immediate problems.
Hope, however, is a not a long-term survival solution... and you CAN afford to
prepare now, no matter what your budget.
You would be amazed, for example, just how much survival gear can be found in
You can take the first-aid kits you buy in dollar stores and add to them the
contents of a sewing kit, together with a butane lighter, some safety pins, a razor
blade, and either some superglue or another brand-name synthetic skin.
Do this, and you've got a great little bug-out bag medical kit.
For a few dollars, you can buy packages that contain multiple items (five butane
lighters to a package, for example) and make multiple kits whose price averages
out to just a few dollars each.
If you have kids, add some colorful character-bandages... and even if you don't,
an adult won't care and any kids you encounter along the way just might.
There are plenty of mail-order catalogs and websites that offer inexpensive
survival gear, too.
Another GREAT place to look is the camping section of Wal-Mart.
Every town, it seems, has a Wal-Mart, and you can get magnesium fire-starting
blocks and a variety of other survival gear for dirt-cheap prices at these stores.
But don’t get sucked into grabbing every cool tool you see on the shelves.
Sure it would be nice to roast marshmallows over that handy portable camp
stove… but it’s just not practical for bug-out purposes.
The important thing to do is to start with your most critical items first and build
In other words, if you had to bug-out TOMORROW, what would you need in
order to at least get started.
Looked at from this perspective, having a fancy, shmancy bug-out bag like the
one we recommend may not be in your budget… so an inexpensive camping
backpack can take its place until you can upgrade to your “dream bag”.
Also, while you may not have the perfect clothes for an extreme bug-out
scenario, you DO own clothes, right?
Pull out what you have that comes the closest to what we’ve described and start
with these in your bag first.
These are just a few examples of what you can improvise with in the short-term.
Start with what you have and slowly add things like food and water aids, etc.
Just make sure not to get lazy a few weeks in.
Take just a little big out of each paycheck with the goal of adding something new
from our list each payday until you have the ultimate “extreme bug-out bag”
ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Test Your Bug-Out Gear
Most of the time the gear that you rely on should look like hell.
This is because you should be using it, and practicing with it regularly.
Look at the gun in the waistband of someone who carries a gun day in and day
That person isn't carrying a "safe queen" if he uses that gun on a regular basis.
Never field gear you haven't tested, and if you buy something, try it out before
you pack it in your bag.
Buy two fire blocks, for example, instead of one, so that you can test one of
Cycle through your carry gear and make sure you use up any consumables,
replacing them with fresh items.
This way, you won't have expired
medication or other perishables in your
The same goes for batteries, which have
limited shelf lives.
Building a bug-out bag is absolutely
useless if you don’t test your gear and
know you can depend on it.
Use its contents. Practice. Get familiar
with what you carry.
Building a bag, and then learning how to
use what’s in it, could be all that saves
your life when an emergency happens.
If you like, you can check out my own
Extreme Bug-Out Bag (our “X-BOB”) at
Train hard. Stay safe. Prepare now.