Bug Out Bags for the novice...


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Small pack

Decent knife
Head lamp
Instruction “flash cards”
Burner phone (#s programmed)
Cell phone charge cord
Space blanket
IFAIK/ Boo boo kit
Bic lighters
Energy / food bars
Insect repellent
TP/ baby wipes
Glow sticks
Whistle, mirror, flare

Strictly novice. Bare bones. Small so it doesn’t get moved out of the car because.
“Well it took up to much space, and I’ll just call AAA.”


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IMO any lighting and emergency radios should use common (AA preferred here) AND the same type battery. Lithium is the correct answer here. Again, grandma knows what a AA looks like and where to find it. Tell a 60yo you need 123 batteries....
...and you'll wind up with five of them 25 round AA boxes, and her with a big grin. "Here, I got you a couple extra...." And she'll look so puzzled while you're growling and tearing your hair out....


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Here's a very simple yet amazing skill that's good to know: how to open a can without an opener or any tools at all. You could even use a rock.

Good video. I would tend to believe that everyone here knows how to use a P38 or P51. I have only 1 P38 in my Altoids tin. I like the can openers built into my multitools much better.


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I say start out slow. Depending on their willingness and skill level.

Water, and some granola or energy bars. Is a great start. TP in my house is like rolled gold. So yes that goes in.

A poncho is cool. Para cord. A role of Jute twine. Candles Teal light candles are cheap. And lit under some tinder they will get it going. Not bad to place on your dashboard to weather a dark night.

I have my bride's gear/food divided up into three basic Compartments. Her office, her vehicle, her pack. Each one has some sepcifics and also some overlap.

Extra food,
Like canned soups, tea, oatmeal, saltines, peanut butter, and the like. She has enough there to weather a three to five day storm/event. Wool blanket.

Should it get more serious. In the vehicle are 3 cans of fix-a-flat. Enough Slime to fix 2 more tires and a cigarette outlet powered air compressor. Tow chain, jumper cables, small tool set. Several rolls of papertowels, a bottle of rubbing alcohol, some coleman candle tins with long burning candles, 3 gallons of water. Bigger flashlight and three sets of spare batteries. Another wool blanket. Para/ Bankline/twine.

Ways to heat water. Cooking/Boiling Pot, spoon. Hot chocolate, tea, oatmeal, granola bars, nuts, An Emberlit stove, alcohol stove, tea light candles. 5 light sticks. Fenix flashlight .with 3 sets of extra batteries. Long johns, extra wool socks, mid layers, wool beanie, mid weight sleeping bag. 10x10 silnylon tarp (Cook Custom Sewing)

Ways to make fire, waterproof matches, strike anywhere matches, ferro rod. Along with wet fire thpe tinder. Jute twine. I can't sing the parises of jute twine enough. Same goes for tarred bankline. 100' of Para.

Hand sanitizer/cotton balls. Good for first aid great fire starter. Next to pack in vehicle Danner Acadia ladies boots. Good footwear is essential. Extra pair of wool socks tucked in them.
Multitool, ESEE 3Mil with glass breaker pommel. Fallkniven S1, silky pocket boy saw. Fiskars hatchet.

There is much more. But her bag and vehicle are seasonally adjusted. She is getting better all the time. She can walk up our driveway and have a fire going with just what she picks up along the way.
I work very hard at getting and keeping her ready.

There is also a copy of Buck Tilton's Wilderness Medicine and Airforce Survival manual in the center console of the vehicle.

We work hard on the stop and think before you act process. Up here most of the year the weather is your biggest enemy. If the office remains safe. She still has all the stuff in the vehicle and pack to use.

If the office is under siege from flooding, fire or worse, the stuff from the office can be loaded into the vehicle. Or she can just bolt depending on the scenario.

The pack no matter what you call it is the last ditch solution to an ever worsening problem. I make sure she knows how to use everything in it. At least reasonably well. She works roughly an hour and fifteen minutes from home. Roughly 60 miles. So she ain't walking home in one day.
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If you are talking about this bag for a lady, girl, wife, daughter. Stop thinking like you think, and start thinking like they think. Build it for them, not you.

Almost every woman carries and uses hand sanitizer. Start there. If they wear make-up they have and use cotton balls. Add them. Hand sanitizer squeezed onto a cotton ball is a simple and effective fire starter. One strike with a ferro and it's up and running. Everyone loves bic lighters. Stash one or three. Personally, I hate the things. But I still carry one.

Paper Q-tips dipped in sanitizer are like small candles. They will light well prepped fires. Bundle three or four together with twine and a clove hitch and they will get a fire going. Or at least light the candle that will.

What woman doesn't like candles? Pack em. Tea lights, votives, maybe even sneak in one of those three wick survival jobbies when they aren't watching. Anybody with a pulse can light a candle. A candle on the dash if you're stuck in the snow somewhere adds heat, comfort, and wont kill the battery. Chem lights are fool proof. "How do I use this??" Bend it and you will have light for 8 hours. No fire risk, no small, no CO risk. And the wind won't blow them out. When they're done, jettison and move on no extra weight.

Scraping or shaving some of the wax from the bottom or side of the candle is a great additive to a rain soaked bundle of tinder.

If she/they aren't knife people yet. Add a quality pait of scissors. Para don't know what's cutting it.
I'm sure there is a signal mirror in their makeup case. Maybe even a magnifying glass.

Get them interested, before you heap on a ton of survival crap. Or they will lose interest and not use it anyway. Or worse forget they have it with them .

A freaking Unbrella. Most ladies have an umbrella or three. Great thing to have if your walking in the rain. Not bad if your sitting in the rain either. A rugged one isn't the worst weapon out there either.

Plus you can pull them apart and you all that cool wire and nylon for other things.

Start slow, get them involved. Build it with them, for them. Use the cotton ball/alcohol to light the charcoal grill show them how easy it really is.

Maybe early on screw the pack.
Go out together and research and buy a really cool, tough, large purse. I guarantee you a cool purse with generate much more interest than a Multicam Mystery Ranch 3DAP will. If it's not convenient, uncool, or too heavy it won't get used.

Build from there.
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One other thing I have in the vehicle is a box with B&E tools. Prybar, hacksaw, and the like. I preach don't let a gate stop you from getting home.

All of this is so simple and yet so complicated at the same time.
Plus it varies from location to location. Up here in the frozen north we have diferent needs than Florida, or Arizona.


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Why I like candles over LEDs.

Yes, part of it is because I'm a caveman. I admit it.

But there's more to it. Candles are a known. The really don't corode. They may in New Mexico, I don't know.

They don't go dead from sitting around. The don't explode. They will work after a solar flare, EMP, or Nuke event.

Most modern flashlights, LED Lamps and other lighting devices all have chips in them. The current thinking is they will make great paperweights after a Flare or EMP Burst.

LEDs are certainly cool, and there is a place for them. But they really are cool. No heat. Sitting in a freezing car or tent they offer up zero heat.

I haven't yet tried setting one under a tinder bundle to see if it will light it. But my money is on no.
Even a simple teal light candle will. And you can reuse it once the fire catches, just blow it out and move it away.

You can also look at a candle and know roughly how much time you have left. It's really hard to do that with batteries.

I can wax twine off the bottom of a candle. Waxed twine rocks in fire world. You can also wax an inner strand of Para and use it for thread. Things will need to be sewn after the world ends, I guarantee it.

Scraping wax like you were scraping fat wood yields the same result. Some heat to dry things out and get a fire going.

Loose a filling? Have a cavity?
You could try stuffing an LED or battery in there. But my money is on wax.

Need to drive screws or nails for your makeshift shelter. Wax makes it easier

Thassri al knife on your belt has been in the rain with you for 3 days and is showing signs of rust. The wood looks rough too. Wax to the rescue!

That's just the tip of the iceberg.
But by now you're either a believer or not.