Review: How to pack your bugout bag like a boss

( If you’re getting ready to assemble your first bugout bag, and honestly, you should be, you are likely find yourself confused by the tons of sometimes conflicting (and often useless) information you’ll find online.

The first thing to keep in mind is that there is no one perfect bag that will meet the needs of everyone or every situation. There are as many different schools of thought and definitions as to what constitutes a “good” bugout bag as there are people who have made their own versions, so no one person (or website) can be considered the most authoritative source on the subject. You have to remember that even the most well-thought-out approach to creating a personal bag will always be a compromise between the how much you can actually carry, available bag space and what you deem necessary for your survival.

Now, a bugout bag should contain at least some of what most people would agree to be essentials (and I’m not speaking so much of water and food, which, of course, are the first considerations) — items such as knives, cooking stoves and utensils, medical supplies, etc., but no bugout bag that is portable enough to carry for any distance will contain everything that could be of use in a survival situation. Other considerations are where you live (geography), what the weather is like from season to season (hot/cold? Rain/snow in the winter? High heat in the summer?), population density (are you in a city or town or a rural area with few people?), do you have any chronic health problems that require medication and if so, what kind, and so on.

With these factors in mind you will find you’ll need to make more of an educated guess of what might be the most important items to have handy in a survival situation balanced against the limits of what can be realistically carried by a single person. But given these basics, you have a great place to start.

That being said, there are some very good resources to be found online, and we recommend comparing the information found on several sites before making any purchases towards assembling your own bugout bag — especially if it’s a completely new concept for you.

Plus there are some real experts who can provide you with solid advice based on years of research and survival experience.

One of the best sites I’ve run across is called, which was created by a “former Intelligence Officer and combat veteran” who “grew up in the woods and spent a lifetime in various environments from deserts to jungles to politically-sensitive urban environments.”

Of course, anyone can call themselves an expert and invent an impressive pedigree, but a casual glance at Graywolf’s site will probably convince you that this guy knows what he is talking about.

Three posts on his site are highly recommended for anyone serious about assembling a lightweight and extremely functional bug out bag. They are titled: “What you need in your bug out bag — a comprehensive look,” “How I built my ultimate 25 pound bugout bag” and “14 brilliant bug out bag packing tips.”

All three contain a treasure trove of valuable, practical information, including general tips and specific suggestions on what a well-equipped yet lightweight bugout bag should hold.

One thing that becomes obvious while reading these articles is that, even for an expert, assembling a bugout bag is a work-in-progress. There’s always room for refinement and improvement and you should always strive to look for, and make, them. Compare your bugout bag to others, either your friends who are also preppers or other designs you find on the Internet.

And that’s the reason why anyone should go ahead and get started. When you build your own bugout bag, you’ll begin to understand the principles more clearly as you go.

Here’s a critical tip: Do a dry run or three with your bugout bag, under controlled conditions. Take your bugout bag on a practice run to see how it feels to carry it for some distance and to find out what the essentials truly are. You’ll not only learn a lot by doing so; you’ll likely have a lot of fun in the process.

Plan to go on your own “survival adventure” instead of just watching those guys on the television? Be sure you don’t stray too far into the wilderness without some knowledge and experience, but you can easily do a controlled test of your bugout bag and survival abilities within a safe distance of your car or a campground.

Just make sure that you can easily return to civilization and safety if you begin to run out of essentials.

Reporting by Daniel Barker,

CE - Fear no Fukushima

Sources: is part of the USA Features Media network. Check out our daily headlines here.

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