There have probably been a million posts written about bug-out-bags and what should go into them. I’d like to take a slightly different perspective and in this article I’m not going to tell you what should go into one. Instead I’d like to talk about another important matter that surrounds it.
Let’s suppose TSHTF and you’ve got your family on the move. Everybody’s in the bug-out vehicle and something happens to it and now you have to get to your bug-out destination on foot. Ok, no big deal, you get everybody out and start walking and three miles into the woods you fall over a log and break your leg. You may have thought TSHTF before, but now the fecal matter has really hit the rotating wind device.
You’re laying on the trail trying to hold your leg together and the pain is nearly making you throw up. It feels like someone is sticking a white hot poker in you, but finally with the help of your wife and a piece of belt to clamp your teeth down on to keep from screaming, you finally get it splinted. You’re not going anywhere for awhile and that’s a fact. Your wife gives you some pain medication out of the BOB and you lay back gratefully and you hear your fourteen year old son say, “Mom. Do you know how to light the stove?”
You’re falling asleep from the medication and your wife says, “No. Ask your father,” and you think, “We’re screwed,” just before you pass out.
Make sure your family members know how to use the gear in the kit. Can your wife start your stove and get some water boiling to make soup? Can she take the knife, survival saw and the firesteel and get a fire going if you’re out of stove fuel? Can your family get the tent up, the sleeping bags out and get you into one because you’re in serious shock right now and you must be kept warm?
If your wife and family don’t believe in the whole “prepper movement” and is not interested in learning how to use the contents of the bag what can you do? Read this post by Ranger Man for more info and advice on what to do with a non-believer. One thing to remember is that you don’t have to present this as training for the end of the world, indeed, they should know now to use the items for the simple reason if the power goes out they may need to use the gear to cook a meal or stay warm and dry. If you family is into camping they may already know how to do so. If so you can breath a little easier. If not you may want to have a chat with them.
One last note. A bug out bag should be highly personalized – not a kit you buy from a store. Each piece of gear is something you should have tested, should test or be in the process of testing. For example, one of the things I’ve been testing recently is the small alcohol stove I posted about awhile back. I’ve used it about five or ten times now and I’m beginning to get a good idea of how it will behave in various conditions and temperatures. The stove works quite well and fits the criteria for gear that I use in that it’s lightweight, doesn’t take up a lot of space and works well. It doesn’t hurt that it only cost pennies to make either. The point here is that the gear in a bug-out bag is something you should pick out individually and test in the field and not something you buy in a kit hanging on a hook in Walmart.
I’m very fortunate that my wife is into camping and has no problem using the gear in the kit. She struggles with the compass, but I’m in the process of writing a post that I hope will assist her (and you) in using this critical piece of gear.
Does your significant other know how to use the gear in your BOB?