If you have spent countless hours shopping and researching every little piece of gear that has gone into your bug out bag, you are a real prepper. You are doing what you can to ensure you have everything you need to make the most out of a survival situation.
You are setting yourself up for success by ensuring you have gear that is durable and will serve you well when you are counting on it to keep you alive.
Perfection is a fluid word. Your bug out bag might be perfect as it is right now, but there are always little things you can do to improve upon the bag. Nothing major and it wouldn’t require you to get rid of the gear you worked so hard to find.
After you take your bug out bag for a little journey to get the feel of it, you’ll probably realize there are a few tweaks that can help to make the journey a little smoother.
These are some overlooked, but extremely helpful tips to making your bug out bag even better than what it is right now.
These aren’t only things you will pack in your bag, but things that will help you out in a true survival situation.
You have probably seen other people trekking along with tall, somewhat heavy sticks. Walking sticks are a common addition to the packing gear when people are going to be navigating steep terrain and rough trails. The stick provides a little support and can help take a bit of the load off your knees. When you are going uphill, it can make it much easier when you can lean on the stick a bit.
Yes, walking sticks are generally used by older folks, but that is because they realize the benefit of taking a load off. You can take some of the wear and tear off your own body by using a walking stick. This will make it possible for you to walk further in a single day. The sticks can also give you the support you need when you are crossing a log across a river or need to navigate a skinny trail
Your walking stick can be one that you buy that has a fold-up feature or a nice sturdy branch that has been sanded with a layer of shellac over it to make it smooth. The stick can double as a piece of gear. Use it to fend off an attacker, attach your knife to make it into a gig for hunting, use it as the center pole of your emergency shelter and so on.
There are plenty of reasons you would want to keep the area you are in neat and tidy. For one, knowing exactly where your gear is will make your life easier. You won’t spend time walking around in a circle wondering where you laid your knife.
If you have to leave in a hurry, you are likely going to leave gear behind if you don’t have time to run around collecting it all. There is also the matter of leaving behind evidence of your presence. You don’t want people tracking you.
It is a wise idea to police your trash and make sure any business you need to do is taken care of and buried appropriately. Don’t leave a mess for another traveler and don’t leave a huge beacon indicating you were there. Good trackers and hunters can tell a lot about a person by studying their trash and habits.
Keeping the Essentials Handy
When you packed your bug out bag, did you leave the stuff you would need quickly and frequently in an area that is easily accessed? Things like your filtering straw or purification tablets, flashlight, knife and fire starting gear should all be kept either at the top of your bag or in an outside pocket that is easily accessed.
You can even wear a belt bag that keeps this gear separate and accessible. You don’t want to risk losing the most important gear that will keep you alive. Keeping it on your person at all times is a wise move. If you put your pack down and go searching for food, water or fuel for a fire, there is a chance you could get lost or your camp is compromised. If you have to leave your bag behind, you need the basics with you.
Starting a fire is going to be necessary for survival if you need to purify water, stay warm or cook food. Unfortunately, starting a fire is truly sending up a smoke signal. It only takes a little smoke to alert people of your presence.
Consider packing along alcohol stoves that will purify your water and cook a meal without putting up smoke. These are not going to work for long-term survival, but if you are trying to evade being seen, these are perfect.
Any kind of physical activity is going to increase your body temperature. Steady physical activity, like walking, is going to keep your heart rate up and will likely result in you sweating. Sweating a little isn’t so bad, but when you are sweating for long periods of time, things start to get icky.
Your skin will chafe, you will be uncomfortable in general and you will need to replenish the fluids you are losing through your sweat. Ideally, you want to dress in layers so when you do start getting warm, you can lighten your clothing to allow your skin to breathe and reduce your body temperature a bit.
Just because it is 55 degrees out and you would normally wear a coat or heavy sweater, when you are on the move, you won’t need the extra layers. Be prepared to peel off layers as you go and the day warms up. This will help reduce the amount of sweat you have and make you a little more comfortable.