Your bug out bag is a key part of your survival strategy. If you find yourself forced to leave your primary stronghold and venture out into the great unknown, your bug out bag is the thing that will keep you safe and comfortable. But what should you actually be packing in your bug out bag?
On the one hand, it seems logical to cram as many different things in your bug out bag as possible. You never know what you’ll need in a bug out situation, so you might as well be as prepared as possible, right? Well, that seems like a good idea at first, but you’ll quickly realize that it leaves you with a hoss of a bag that’s terribly tiring to carry.
Jump to the other end of the spectrum where you’re trying to pack as little as possible to keep the bag light and easy to carry, and you’ll run into the problem of not having the tools and resources you need.
So what should you do to keep your bug out bag light without sacrificing crucial supplies? Here are a few tips to help.
1. Stuff any and every hollow item
When you look at the various items in your bug out bag, you’ll quickly start to realize that there’s a lot of wasted space on the inside of hollow items. Things like camping cookware, shoes, and unfilled drinking vessels are all huge space hogs, and they don’t utilize every inch of your bug out bag that they occupy… unless you stuff them, that is.
Use those hollow items as containers for other necessities you keep in your bug out bag. Small items like matches, sewing kit, knives, etc. are all great candidates for stuffing into hollow items.
2. Utilize vacuum sealing
Again, the empty space between your items is one of the biggest culprits of a bulky bug out bag. If you can get rid of that excess space, you’re golden.
Vacuum sealing is perfect for the job. You can use a standard vacuum sealer to eliminate wasted space in folded clothes, food items, and practically anything that doesn’t have a rigid structure or construction.
3. Empty containers into bags
Anything that’s being stored in a container inside your bug out bag is likely wasting space. Pill bottles, jars, cans, and things like that are especially bad. If the contents of a container are dry and can be stored using baggies instead of their original container, transfer to a Ziplock bag immediately. You’ll be amazed at how much free space you can get just from using this technique alone!
How do you optimize your bug out bag?
What other tricks do you know for optimizing space use and minimizing weight in your bug out bag? The bug out bag seems like a simple apparatus, but there’s a ton of complexity involved in packing one correctly. We’d love to hear your tips. Let us know in the comments.