Some preppers and survivalists might scoff at such an idea. After all, beyond the initial 72 or so hours of a bug out scenario, most would think you’d be surviving out of more permanent supply sources than another bag or storage box. Well, you might be, or in some cases, you might not be. SHTF happens. The idea of a secondary supply bag then may not seem like such a bad or far fetched idea.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog
Every bug out plan however perfectly executed may not pan out exactly as planned. You may have cached out a perfect bug out hiding location, a camping spot, another shelter at a long range destination or other hold over site until calm returns, or a new lifestyle starts. But what if you don’t make that back up site right away or at all?
What if there are delays or outright changes in the plan altogether? What will you do if roadblocks hinder your progress or throw you off on an entirely new route, one you have not practiced or are even familiar with. Suppose riots, armed threats or searches deter you? If any of that happens or more, you’ll need additional survival provisions to survive.
Defining Long Term
This is obviously the hard part. During any kind of a SHTF, time frames simply cannot be nailed down, or likely even predicted. Everything is in flux, and I mean everything. If you were even successful at getting away from your primary residence, or work with family in tow if that is part of the plan, then you will spend some time in travel. You may have calculated the Bug Out trip in advance knowing how many hours or days it will take to arrive at your back up location, SHTF housing or secure site. Assuming that all works out.
As a suggested back up plan then, or a sort of supplemental Plan B, one should also prepare for the potentiality of an extended short term situation turning into something more. But what? It seems reasonable all else being equal to have emergency provisions beyond the 72-hour scenario for a minimum of two weeks at least with the possibility of a month not being unrealistic.
Back Up Bag Scenario
Let’s be truthful here, too. In most real Bug Out situations, you do not want to have to plan to abandon your vehicle to hike on foot. It could happen, but it is not a best case scenario to strike out into the woods with a one bag source of supplies. Most of us are simply not equipped physically or emotionally to hike off into the sunset to try to “live off the land.” Perhaps the top tier of survivalists could, even for a while, but it is the toughest plan to achieve.
If it comes to it, should you become detoured, plan instead a hide in place by the vehicle on an abandoned road, under a bridge, or other place where your vehicle could be parked relatively safe, and out of sight. Then plan to camp there with your vehicle and supplies as long as you have to or indeed as long as you can. Doubtless this could be a highly “iffy” situation, but it could happen.
Also Read: Knee Deep in Bug Out Vehicles
The vehicle then becomes your fort, your storage container, tent, and thus offering some measure of security and comfort. But, you’ll need the extra extended supplies, goods, and gear to make this viable until you can move on or be forced to hunker down there.
Then later, if you do reach your intended secondary site, these back up provisions can be used there in addition to what you may have already cached in place or hidden along the way. To be honest, if Plan A never works out, and Plan B’s provisions are expended, then basically all bets are off.
You may have to then shelter in place, wherever or whatever that turns out to be. It is not without consideration to think about a scrounging plan as well, but hope it does not come to that. Always remember many others are out there vying for the same limited sources of supplies or even what you have already secured.
Secondary Bag Priorities
By bag, this could be a very large zippered duffle type bag with triple or more interior space than your initial 72-hour Bug Out type bag. Ideally, it would need sturdy grab handles on each end and perhaps the sides. Loaded such a bag will be heavy. Two people will likely be needed to load it in a vehicle. But, honestly, it does not have to be a bag at all. There are some very large, and of course heavy when loaded as well, storage boxes that can withstand a lot of abuse. These can be packed, locked, and stored in a ready grab spot as a throw in bag/box. This may not be an option for every prepper, but it is a backup worthy of consideration. Again, this bag or box should be provisioned with enough additional consumables and gear to manage the two weeks to a month or even longer term.
It would seem the highest priority should go to food, and water, or additional equipment to convert questionable water sources into acceptable water, as not enough could be transported via this plan. Food supplies, also need to be light, and offering long term viability. This means a large quantity of quality pre-packaged survival foods offering maximum variety and palatability. This implies commercial survival foods, dry packages, freeze-dried, and or MRE type meals. Frankly, you can forget carrying canned goods and such as the weight and volume would be too much to handle.
Though debatable as personal choices, a good cooking mess kit should be included as meal prep would be more than munching a protein bar at this point. Minimalist type gear is important, but necessary anyway.
Add to the long term bag more gear. An axe, more tarp covers, more medical supplies especially medications needed for specific disorders that require treatment. Rope, rough wood saws, a hammer, large nails/spikes, batteries, more matches and butane lighters, candles, more flashlights, zip bags, heavy duty trash bags, work gloves, a knife or two more. Water storage bags would be helpful. Include light fishing gear and/or nets. Add whatever else you can manage. Seasonal clothing as space permits or yet another soft bag?
Add more ammo, perhaps a thousand rounds each for a primary rifle and handgun with half that for a shotgun. Add one or two more weapons if convenient. Sounds extensive? Expensive? Perhaps. You have to make that judgement on what you can handle. These goods are carried by the vehicle and stored there during travel or roadside camping, perhaps for the endurance.
The long term survival bag (LTSB) then is provided to extend the usual 72-hour initial Bug Out period as or if needed. It certainly could come in handy and also in the end supplement what has already been stocked at some alternative sheltering site. It’s just an idea, but one acted upon soon and in hand rather than merely wished for later under more dire circumstances.