Wait for it Kimosabe! wait for it… ( some Tonto lingo there) Before you go bugging out in such a hurry, there is something important I want to pass to you. How Big Should a Bug Out Bag Be? I mean really…how big?
Lets think this out logically and I think that you’ll agree afterwards that maybe a big ol effin bag is not a good idea.
If your a new prepper I’m hoping to catch you before you purchase your fist bag. See there is a school of thought that sez (yes I said that) when it comes to supplies, then more is better. Defiantly means a bigger BOB, and more weight.
There is only two things a bigger, heavier bag is gonna do for you.
- 1.It will slow you way down to a crawl (especially if your way out of shape).
- 2.It will throw you off balance and could cause you to fall backward hurting yourself.
- 3.And quit possible even kill your ass…
How Much Should My Bug Out Bag Weigh
Here again we have a couple different schools of thought on the right weights. There are some that believe that the weight should be 50 pounds or a little less. The other side of the fence believes that a much lighter load of about 15 pounds is good.
Still some say 10% of your body weight which I think is light.
For me what seems to work best is to keep my bug out bag weight around 20% of my body weight. I’m 5’9” 180pound and not to far out of shape for being over 50. My backpack is right around 36 pounds give or take a pound. Works good for me.
Here’s the math to determine your bags weight. 180 lbs (body weight) minus 20% equals 36lbs. Which is more than enough for what I need to take.
The simple truth about your bag is it should be packed with survival necessities. Which in my case is the 20% of my body weight. Looking at the necessities you need to have, it will seem like an impossible goal.
Keep in mind your bug out bag is not a “catch all solution”.
What is a Bug Out Bag For
Simply put, to keep you alive and survive for 3days thats it. Its not intended to go for weeks or months on end. Whats surprising is I’ve seen people packing their go bags expecting it to last for months. That’s way to heavy for you to safely bug out with.
When your backpack is too heavy, you won’t be able to bug out quickly. Let alone safely. It will just wear your right down in a hurry right from the start. You’ll wear your shoulders out and strain the shit out of your back and neck.
If you get ambushed by thugs or attacked by animals it could impact your safety.
Bug Out Bag Size
Look these bug out bags come in many different sizes. And first let me say right here. The weight of the bag is critical to your survival in a life threatening scenario. I mean not all of us are military anymore. I remember those being some heavy ass bags.
Here, I’m just talking about us regular people not Army personnel. Those soldiers carry 60-70-100 pounds for at least 10 to 12 miles. But they have been conditioned and trained to accomplish that feat amen…
Bug out bags volume is measured by liters or cubic inches. For me it use to be 95 liters or 6000 cubic inches. These days I’m better carrying around 4000 cubic inches as it stills handles all I need to carry with me.
Never been big on all the sizes available (tell you why below). But I was reading the other day on this. If I could remember where I could send you there.
But as it is we’ll have to settle on my ability to retain what I’ve read.
Think what I read was:
- Expedition bags (over 7 days): 6000 cubic inches and up.
- Week bags (up to 7 days): 4000 to 6000 cubic inches.
- Weekend bags (3 days): 2500 to 4000 cubic inches
- Day bags (1 day): less than 2500 cubic inches
How I figured out what size bag I need was to take a walk with it. First was for a few hours. Then I did a hike for the day. Then for shits and giggles I hiked into the mountains about 6 miles and camped for 3 days, then walked out.
Thats the only sure fire way to know what size bug out bag to get. It also teaches you what items you really need in it or don’t need in it. Thats the best advice I can give you homie…
What Should I have in My Bug Out Bag
Remember we’re talking about 72 hours just 3 days. You should only load your bag with 3 liters of water. After that you’ll want a good Water Filter Straw for obtaining water somewhere when you need it. Let me spout off again…
Your gonna need 3 days food supply. Don’t pack anymore as that would be a big mistake and weigh you bug out bag way down. I now its very tempting but it won’t do you any good in the long run. Just 3 days worth.
I usually just carry one change of cloths. But if you follow the 3 day rule then it should work out for you. Below are some other items you need.
If your in the woods and don’t know how to build a lean-to (a shack or shed supported at one side by trees). Then you need to:
- Carry a means of shelter with you.
- Camping pot
- Eating utensils
- Fire Starter
- First Aide Kit
If you have a gun, I would keep it on you so you can quickly get it. You can also carry a knife on you. However if you got more than one knife, then put that in the bag. Now your going to need to pack your bag. And you can’t pack it like you do groceries.
How to Pack a Bug Out Bag
Now I’ve packed my bug out bag a number of different ways. And I’ve found that for me to avoid lower back strain is to put the bulk of the weight on the top of the bag.
This way the heaviest part is riding on my shoulders, making it easier to carry.
I’ve seen many put the heavy weight on the bottom of the bag. I think this is backwards.
To fill out the bottom of your bug out bag first, you’ll want to put any shelter items and/or a tarp there. Then just work up from there with the heavier items.
When your packing your backpack with outside pockets or Molle straps, make sure you have items of close weight. Make sure their on either side so you don’t end up being off balance.
How to Organize a Bug Out Bag
How big should a bug out bag be is easy to determine, but the packing and organizing is a task to be dreaded. After it’s packed and when you get where your going, what you need out is always hard to get. Often times you have to empty the bag just to get at the item, then repack again. This is always such a pain in the butt.
Below you’ll find some products that make it easy to organize your bug out bags.