Overlooked Bug Out Bag essentials happen. There are tons of great sites with tons of great lists covering the items you need in your bug out bag, or to have on-hand for bugging in. Now we’re putting out our list of some essential items that seem to get over looked. This is just part 1, we’re going to keep brainstorming and investigating this topic.
Overlooked Bug out Bag Essentials:
- Sewing Awl: You can use this to repair items made of tough materials, like leather and canvas. I’ve used this to repair my backpack straps, sew canvas, stitch a camp chair, to repair leather sheaths and holsters and even to make my own sheaths and holsters. If you can’t by new items and must repair, maintain and create your own, this Awl will be one of your most valuable possessions! The Awl that I linked to is Made in the USA! Don’t forget to order extra Thread for this (or use tough fishing line) and replacement needles.
- Sillcock key: Get to water that is locked up or secured! We did a very popular post on this: Secret Weapon to Access Restricted Water
- Figure 9 Carabiner: Fantastic and quick alternative to knots for tents, hammocks, clotheslines, etc. These tightens, tension, and secure ropes without knots, a hassle-free alternative to untying difficult knots and using ropes that quickly lose tension. They’ve made it even easier to use by adding a carabiner clip that attaches to any fixed anchor point
- Adjustable Wrenches: Everyone should ALWAYS have at least 1 adjustable wrench in their bug out bag, in their car and some at home. For Bug Out Bag, I’d probably go with a 12 inch and a 4 inch, both wrapped in a camp towel to keep them quiet.
- 10-in-1 screwdriver: That’s right 1 screwdriver that can handle almost anything you come across. This is the Klein brand. Lifetime warranty. Bits included: 5/16-Inch and 1/4-Inch nut drivers, 1 and 2 Phillips, 1/4-Inch and 3/16-Inch slotted, T10 and T15 TORX, and 1 and 2 square-recess.
- Long reach pliers: extend your reach into tight and narrow work areas. These always come in handy. When I don’t have them is when it seems like I need them the most!
- Lighters, tons of Lighters: I like the outdoors as much as anyone, but if I’m hungry or cold, I want my fire now. I will make fire with firesteel or flint, sure, as soon as I run out of lighters. I have 10 lighters in my bug out bag. I have 2 in my first aid kit, I have 5 in a ziplock bag in each of my cars. I know I can light a fire with cold fingers using a lighter. 50 lighters is not too many, 100 lighters is not to many. Get some and stash them in all your cars and kits.
- Fishing Gear: Everyone packs fishing tackle, but what about a tiny fishing pole? The Pocket Fisherman
- Maps: We’re always pushing maps. We have to because if the SHTF and it’s the type of situation where we need to lay low and avoid some form of military or government agencies (cough..FEMA…cough). Then you can bet we won’t have ANY electronic devices on us for them to track or triangulate us with. We’re talking old school, move at night stuff. Learn to navigate using maps and compass. We discuss using a map and compass in one of our posts.There are really good books to on navigation to help you:
- Map Reading and Land Navigation: FM 3-25.26. If you have internet skills you can find this in PDF format, but it won’t help you after the grid down, unless you’ve memorized it.
- The Essential Wilderness Navigator: How to Find Your Way in the Great Outdoors, Second Edition
- Binoculars: Observe and scout before you move into an area. This is essential. If you don’t do this, you will walk into ambushes or stumble into gangs of looters or worse! I found out the hard way that water-proof binoculars should be the standard for outdoorsy people and preppers. Trust me when I say you need waterproof binoculars! “Whoops”…..<SPLASH>
- Nail Clippers: That last thing I want to die from is an infection from a hangnail. You can buy nail clippers anyplace, pick up a couple sets for your fingernails and toenails!
- Automatic Watch: A watch that is EMP proof and doesn’t ever require batteries is essential.Knowing the date and time can help you plan your movements and help keep you sane. You can even use a watch to help you determine direction (see post: Determining Direction With Your Watch). I too have procrastinated on getting an Automatic Watch, but I have resolved that this will be my next purchase, because it’s not a bank breaker and it’s really important.
- Goggles: There is a reason that our military issues these to our troops. Keep crap out of your eyes while on the move. Dust, debris, and tree branches. Don’t be blinded by assailants wielding “Pocket Sand”.
- Insect repellant. Ticks, mosquito and biting insects can be fatal, but they are always irritating. You’ll have enough to worry about without bugs.
- Sunscreen: protect your head and face from sun. If you’re not wearing a Shemagh or hat make sure to have sunscreen. Also think about Lip Balm.
- P95 Respirator: Keep your airways safe, while you breathe. There may be dust and smoke in the air.
- Gas Mask: If I have to use a gas mask (and we might), I’m going to use one from Israel (they fight and survive). These also use the NATO filters (Type 80), which you can find.If you have children, get the Child-sized gas masks too!
- Dromedary Bag: While on the move, there may not be convenient water stops. Stock up on water whenever/wherever you can!
- Nitrile Gloves: You’re going to be touching some nasty stuff, even if you’d rather not. You may be moving bodies or performing first aid. Keep some in your bag, your car and at home!
- Hand Sanitizer: Clean your hands before eating, or touching your face. Every time. Take no chances, not just after TSHTF, but day to day too.
- Battery Converters or Adapters: Turn your AA batteries into C or D batteries. This would be very very handy!
- feminine hygiene: Besides the obvious uses, tampons can be used to filter water and maxi pads make great bandages. There are a million uses for both of these items.
- Waterproof Bible: We’ll all need some hope in a post Apocalyptic world. Hope may be all that keeps you going!
- Compact Gun Cleaning Kit – because crawling through mud makes guns dirty!
This list of Overlooked Bug Out Bag Essentials wasn’t designed to be published, it was designed for me any my family to determine what we’d need that isn’t normally included when thinking about post-TEOTWAWKI life. When I showed it to a friend, he was amazed and wanted a copy. He said he had the same experience when he showed it to other friends.
Please use this list of Overlooked Bug Out Bag Essentials as a starting point to help you prepare for the worst. We’re seeing it in Cyprus and how long do you think the USA can hold out when our own government is determined to see us fail?