Bought A Pre-Made Emergency Bug-Out Bag

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(As I publish this post, I see that California and Hawaii are on a tsunami watch after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan. Goodness.)

Earlier this week, my brother-in-law sent me a link to a post on the Art of Manliness blog on How to Make a Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Emergency Evacuation Survival Kit by a wilderness survival instructor. He knows that I have a fascination with survival gadgets in case of disaster or “revolution”.

From what I’ve read about governmental emergency response, in a real mass disaster, average citizens should not expect assistance for at least 72 hours if not a week. Chances are that it will be chaos and only the seriously ill will be attended to. You’ll be on your own for a while, so you should be prepared.

Ever since reading the book Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life, I have been collecting bits and pieces of emergency gear. I went on a flashlight binge, buying a solar-powered flashlight, LED headlamps, big D-cell maglites, tons of cheap LED flashlights, and stocking up on batteries. I bought a couple big pump-style water filters, and small hiker-style water filters. I have other basics like a first-aid kit, and the standard case of water bottles on rotation.

But as a highly analytical person, I think I really just like spending hours and hours reading reviews and weighing the pros and cons of different brands of devices. As a result, I don’t actually have a fully equipped “bug-out bag“, and all my stuff is definitely not in a backpack ready to grab-and-go. Since the pursuit of perfection is often the enemy of good-enough, yesterday I went out and spent $100 on this pre-packaged Emergency Kit.

Yes, I already have a lot of the stuff inside already and yes, I probably could have made something better myself for cheaper, but I feel better already. (After I get the bag, I’ll see if I really can make something better for cheaper.)

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  1. hawks5999 says

    If you are analytical about survival then you will love AnalyticalSurvival’s YouTube channel and his Core Survival Series playlist. It doesn’t get more analytical than this guy:

  2. My husband is really into this, the bug out bag. He is always prepared when we have a blackout. I don’t think you can be prepared enough. After reading your post, I feel like we need more canned food.

    Those earthquakes in Japan are scary… I live in Northern CA so we are always waiting for the next big one.

  3. Nice! I kind of have the same problem as you. I have a closet filled with random preparedness items. I need to get it a little more manageable. We recently had a tornado warning and the wife and I went to our “inside location”. I realized I didn’t have a flashlight or radio in there so I had to run back through the house to get them from the closet.

    Thanks for the post!

  4. I keep putting this off but I have to make a bag like this. This bag looks decent, but you could probably add some things to it to make it better and with your area in mind. I read the few negative reviews on this bag and they actually gave some nice ideas that you could add-on to this bag. A good idea was to put a local map, which I’ll probably put several different maps. I’m making a list of things I would definitely want in case of an emergency, keeping in mind the most likely emergencies I could face in my area: tornado, hurricane, extended power outage, lack of water or water contamination.

  5. I’ve never really thought about this, but it’s not a bad idea. Call me paranoid, but I’d probably keep our passports in there… You know, so that if Sarah Palin were elected President or something, you could grab your bag and get the hell out of the states! Haha in all seriousness, though, I don’t think it’s outrageous to imagine a situation could arise in which you might need to flee the country…

  6. @GregK
    Another reason to have maps in case flying was out of the picture. I don’t even keep maps anymore because of the internet. It’s scary to think of life without internet. Many of us would be helpless.

  7. I also just ran across a related site:

    I think making a visit to AAA if you’re a member already and stocking up on local maps is also a great idea. More practically, I just need to find my existing maps in this age of Google Maps and GPS.

    @hawks5999 – Definitely looks thorough! I want my garage to look kind of like one of those videos.

  8. I brought my 20lb BOB to work today. I work at waterfront in SF, so it was a big deal to me. Luckily it turned out okay here.

  9. I created an emergency kit for my car a little over 2 years ago with items that I acquired over time– first aid kit, flash light, radio, swiss army knife, waterproof matches, duct tape, water purfication tablets, dust masks, light stick, gloves, whistle, spare batteries, and a tool to break the glass in a car. At one time I had food and water, but I’ve since removed those items due to age. Those need to be replaced.

    I also keep an inventory of bottled water in the house along with flashlights, and spare batteries for emergencies. The flashlights are checked annually

    To date I’ve never really had to use any of these items, but it’s nice knowing you have them available just in case.

  10. This post has made me look into buying a survival kit too. The pack you linked seems good, but 24 of the water pouches only ends up being 3 liters. The How-To article you linked recommended at least 1 liter per day per person. That means a pack of 2 should have twice as much water as included in this pack. Am I right?

  11. EarthShakes has a variety of disaster kits (they are in California so they are an earthquake disaster kit company), but the interesting thing is they also sell a smaller “resupply kit” that just replaces items that expire after 5 and 10 years. I think this is a great idea. They also give tips on how to use up the expired items other than throwing them out, and/or how to dispose of them responsibly.

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