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My husband has spent a great deal of time and effort assembling a critical piece of survival equipment: our Bug-Out Bags. (I've kept all photos at high resolution, so feel free to click and get a larger view.) _____________________________ Bug-Out Bag, GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) bag, 72 Hour Kit, Go Bag, Battle Box… A Bug-Out Bag is a densely-packed portable container purchased or created to provide individual mobile support in case of emergency. Since everything needs to be as light and compact as possible, consider what items can have multiple uses. And everyone has their own ideas on what is or isn't important.

In a SHTF event, a Bug-Out Bag might well be the difference between life and death. For example, many of our smaller items are inside Ziplock bags for added water-proofing. There are a lot of variations available for a Bug-Out Bag depending on your circumstances.

But there are couple of important things to remember concerning a Bug-Out Bag. This way you'll see what works and what doesn't while you have time to fix them.

First and foremost, it's only meant for three days. The ultimate purpose of a Bug-Out Bag is to keep you alive for 72 hours, and to give you those three days to reach safety or to have the time for someone to reach you. And remember: Like a thief in the night, a disaster can occur without warning.

I know this seems obvious, but it is the most important thing to remember when assembling your own Bug-Out Bag. Once you've got your bag or pack together, practice.

(I'll explain in a bit.) There are a lot of descriptions available on-line for Bug-Out Bag. But whether you decide to make one of your own, or decide to purchase a pre-made bag, you need to keep in mind it must be applicable to YOUR unique circumstances. Maybe you'll also be carrying a firearm or a larger medical bag.

Will you be staying put while using your Bug-Out Bag? Now walk about a football field length (100 yards) and back again. Naturally, having this weight on your back rather than in your hands will help a lot. But before you put it down on paper, always say to yourself: “Seventy-two hours.

If your home is on fire or you’ve experienced an earthquake, you’re not likely to be taking a fifty-mile hike to find help. The weight is distributed across your shoulders and back.

Alternately, are you escaping a home invasion or a fast-moving wildfire? This may not seem too heavy, but I assure you that if you are unaccustomed to carrying thirty extra pounds over any kind of distance, you’ll be in for a rude awaking. Take four empty gallon-sized milk jugs and fill them with water. Now imagine hauling that extra weight for miles and miles, possible over fallen trees, up and down slick and steep gullies or through deep snow or soft sand. If so, how far do you think you’ll need to travel in order to be safe? If you live in an arid climate, your bag will be quite different from someone living in the wet Pacific Northwest or the frigid Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I've gone a long way around to explain this simple sentence. As you put together your bags, feel free to mentally add anything you want to your kit. How fast can you get it all together and out your door? Here's what our Bug-Out Bags contain (click to enlarge photo): 1. Marginal for actually sleeping on, but hey, better than nothing.

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