Buggin Out

Comes hand in hand with Preparedness


The Term ” Preparedness” is the state of being prepared for specific or unpredictable events or situations. Preparedness is an important quality in achieving goals and in avoiding and mitigating negative outcomes. It is a major phase of emergency management “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preparedness”  The term “Bugging Out” is British Army Slang and means to leave in haste sometimes under less than desirable or planed circumstances. There can be numerous reasons for this. House or forest fire were you only have time to grab one bag, Hurricane evacuation, chemical spill, volcano or earthquake are all valid reasons one would want to leave in a hurry.

When one needs to leave with haste, a readily accessible bag with everything you would need to travel safely and comfortably already packed can be a huge convenience. As an airline captain on reserve we would often be called in with one hour notice…needles to say a bag with clothes, tooth paste ect was always packed and ready to go. For the Bug Out Bag one would include the  items necessary to cover the five basic survival items:






Medical is the most immediate need item. In times of crisis, earthquake, tornados ect injuries are rather common. Some may be as simple as a lassaration others may be more severe like broken bones or severe trauma. Items one would want to keep in the medical part would include: clotting agent for severe trauma, compress and slings, space blanket, scissors, medical tape, super glue, antiseptic bandages, burn bandages, antiseptic cream,  aspirin and pain killers and for longer term broad spectrum antibiotics.

Shelter is the next item. Its been documented that after a crisis like a major earthquake, survivors  are often left to the elements. In colder climates hypothermia can set in a few hours or even minutes. Hypothermia has been documented to occur in temperatures as high as in the 40s. The first rule is to stay dry. A simple light weight space blanket will help along with reflecting the bodies heat will keep you somewhat warm. For longer term a sleeping bag and small tent help. Under the shelter category I would include items necessary to start a fire. Flint is one of the best items as it works when it’s wet. Other good items would be waterproof matches zippo lighter and a small accelerant like zippo fluid.

Water without a doubt is necessary and with the exception of the open ocean and harshest deserts is easy to find. However in times of flooding or a hurricane, clean uncontaminated water may be hard to find. Flood water is loaded with nasty bacteria, parasites and even petroleum products. A quality ceramic with carbon filter will remove the bacteria and parasites along with most of the bad taste. Boiling water and iodine tablets work quite well. A military canteen cup works great for boiling the water. Dehydration is extremely dangerous and can lead to heat stroke in warm climates. Once things stabilize water should be a priority.

Food is a luxury over a couple of days but a necessity over a couple of weeks. Without proper nourishment ones mind may begin to weaken. A couple of protein bars is always a good thing to pack. For longer term a small 22 is great for small game and light to pack. Snare wire is compact, light and very useful. Modern technology has given us a great long term food rations. Back in the day if one wanted to save food it was cut in thin strips and dried over a smokey fire to create Jerky. Or it was canned with lots of sugar to impede mold and rot. MREs are a great option but have a limited shelf life. During the first Gulf War our squadron consumed more than our fair share of expired ones. When one went bad trust me you know its bad. With a 6+ year shelf life they are great for camping and hunting and some taste much better than my ex wife’s cooking. For long term storage there are better options.  Flash freezing and then dehydrating food leads to over a 25 year shelf life while maintaining most of the nutritional component. Nitrogen sealed packaging ensures long term edibility as bacteria and mold do not fare well in a 100% nitrogen no water environment. Wise Foods is a leader in this process and I keep a couple of buckets handy just in case. For more Information Click Here Wise Company Foods

Security is the last and can be either the least or most important item. Having the above will do you no good if it is taken from you. Also in desperate times people or the mob may do ugly things. The LA riots are a classic example. Many businesses were destroyed. Those that survived often defended themselves with politically incorrect sporting rifles. After hurricane Catrina there was to a lesser extent this type of mayhem but in both cases the police were either unable or unwilling to respond.

The type of items you choose to pack depends on your environment, the expected duration of the event and personal preference on the level of preparedness you wish to achieve. There is a trade off between mobility and long term preparedness. My long term bag is my backpack I use for camping. My short term bag is more focused on medical and security.