Last Update on December 23, 2015 // Written by Hank
Image by SHELLBACKTACTICAL via Flickr
Travelling to far off places, off the grid, or in the third world often require a number of items that we take for granted in our day to day lives. And rarely do most people sit and reflect about what sort of things they would require in an emergency, should the power go out for more than a couple hours or worse.
In times of emergencies, adventure, or disaster it is imperative to have a bag kicking around with key supplies in case of such an event. In military and survival circles, this bag is called a “bug out bag”.
There are three general things to understand before you put yourself into any situation where you are away from civilisation; in any extreme situation, the human body cannot survive 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without proper cover or shelter, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. With this in mind, we can better prepare and organise our bug-out bag for extreme situations.
It is important to remember that every situation calls for different tactical gear, so we're going to look at hypothetical situations that seem very real and possible in our current time.
Books such as The Grand Chess Board and Strategic Relocation have long suggested that WW3 could likely be tipped off by manufactured unrest in Syria. And as with any war, air quality is a serious concern –not just from a pollution standpoint, but also in terms of poison gases and radiation.
Who is going to keep nuclear plants running during a crisis? How ruthless is your opponent in war? If these questions concern you, it might be prudent to start a mask collection. There are masks for every need, from poison gases to radionuclides, so a little research may be necessary.
Personally, I am a fan of packing very light, having only lived out of a carry-on for the last 3 years. When it comes to cover you're going to have to choose wisely based on your environment; From where I live, it's relatively warm all year around, so I don't need to pack for ice and cold weather.
With that said, a simple tarp can go a long way. I suggest carrying 3 in your bug-out bag: cover above, a tarp to keep dry while sleeping, and an extra one for emergencies.
In addition to this, covering your body directly is also an important consideration. Protecting extremities such as your hands and feet is of paramount importance. You never know when you'll need to get up and move quickly, tie a knot, or defend yourself and your extremities may be all you've got.
Unlike other survivalists, I don't suggest bogging your bug-out bag down with too many liquids –pack only enough water to get you through a day, maybe two. Instead, focus your energy on tools for rainwater catchment, filtration, storage, and/or distillation.
To purify water, you can use all sorts of solutions from UV light emitters which make it impossible for water-borne illnesses to spread, to tablets you can put in water to make it sanitary for human consumption.
Foods that enhance stamina and endurance are a must, but they've also got to have a long shelf life. Nuts, canned tuna, and just about anything that can be reconstituted is the way to go.
Beyond that, a little study of local vegetation and native animals might be a good idea.
This is only the beginning, there are a lot of survival tips out there. What's your favourite? Let us know in the comments!
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