Prepper's Tarp
Articles for Preppers:
7 Lessons on survival water
10 habits of effective preppers
100 things preppers can do
25 survival uses of dental floss
32 uses for a bandanna
37 foods to hoard
37 non-food items to hoard
37 unusual items for preppers
Aluminum dangers
Augason Farms
Bakery items for preppers
Baking soda for preppers
Bees and beekeeping
Bleach 10 things to know
Board games
Borax (prepper uses)
Books for preppers
Buckets of emergency food
Bugout bikes
Bugout clothes
Breakfast food storage
Cast Iron Cook stoves
Canning and preserving
Canned foods
Canned meats
Car essentials
Chewing Gum for preppers
Coffee off grid
Cooking methods
Corn (avoiding GMO)
Dollar Stores (what to buy)
Duct tape
Epsom Salt
electromagnetic Pulse
Farming at home
Fluoride dangers
First aid supplies
Freeze dried foods
Freeze dried cans
Food foraging
Food in Preppers Pantry
Food insurance
Future Essentials
Gas masks
GoPicnic shelf stable foods
Great Depression
Grow potatoes!
Grow mushrooms!
Honeyville Farms
Home defense (prepper style)
Hydrogen Peroxide
Key ring survival tools
Kitchen tools
Kitchen ovens
Laundry off grid
Lodge cookware
Legacy Emergency Foods
Lemons for survival
Mexican food storage
Medicine Cabinet
Milk (powdered, freeze dried)
Mushrooms (grow your own)
Mountain House
Oats in your food storage
Off grid cooking methods
Prepper dictionary
Prepper novelties
Prepper TO DO list
Prepping for a puppy
Prepping on the cheap
Provident Pantry
Prepper's kitchen: tools
Prepper's kitchen: foods
Provident Pantry foods
Pool water storage
Potatoes (freeze dried)
Potatoes (grow your own)
Secret compartments
Self Defense for women
Shelf life of foods
Shelf stable gourmet foods
Shelter defense
Skills for preppers
Solar power
Spices in your food storage
Storing adequate salt
Stun guns
Survival desserts
Survival key chains
Survival seeds
Survival psychology
Ten #10 cans to own
Ten dollars (how to spend)
Ten habits of preppers
TO DO list for preppers
Toilet paper (history)
Weird survival tools
Weapons that are not weapons
Vinegar for survival
Yoders Meats
Bug Out Bags
Beyond the ordinary: build an extraordinary bug out bag

Think differently when it comes to your bugout bag, because your life depends on it!
Most of the commercial bugout bags on the market have items to get you through the
first 72-hours of a disaster. After that, they pretty much leave you stranded for the
long term. While those types of bugout bags certainly fill a niche for hurricanes,
earthquakes, and other natural disasters, where relief is in sight, preppers must think
beyond the ordinary to create a unique survival bag as if it's the last set of man-made
items they'll ever own.

Bugout bags for preppers go beyond the ordinary! Here's how to build a bag to ensure
your best chance for survival...

How to build an extraordinary bugout bag
There's so much to consider when crafting the ultimate bugout bag. Preppers should
have a strategic plan of minimal weight (about a third of your body weight) and
maximum survival possibilities. At minumum there are three things to include in your
bugout bag:
  1. a quality fixed blade knife (blackbird SK-5, Becker BK2, bothh pictured right)
  2. a metal water container (appropriate also for cooking/boiling water)
  3. and a fire starter.

These three items will do you well. Wondering what else to put in your bugout-bag?

  • Shelter (backpacking tent, military poncho, mylar blanket). A good knife can help
    you build shelter, but if you have included a small mylar blanket or military
    poncho in lieu of a bulky backpacking tent, you will have a head start for warmth
    and protection of the elements.

  • Food and water. While you should pack some food in your bug-out bag, such as
    freeze dried or dehydrated food and hard candy, it's more important to
    remember that your bug-out bag is your lifeline for your long-term survival and
    should include mostly the essential items to get you more food and water, as
    with a quality knife or fishing equipment and a water filtration system.  If you've
    got the bag filled only with MREs, and heavy water, then you're essentially
    wasting space for your long term survival, and you'll soon be dead from
    hydration and hunger!

  • ORAL IV: Preppers use ORAL IV as a hydration aid for physical exertion or
    dehydration. Maintains heightened alertness too!

Ten Criteria for the Ideal Bugout Bag
Pack wisely, because every item you pack should have several uses. Take heed,
because the perfect bugout bag fufills ten basic criteria. Here's how to build an
extraordinary bugout bag.

Criteria #1: Select a low-profile bug out bag (avoid camo). Go incognito, not
camouflage! Now this seems counter-intuitive, but if you've got a backpack that looks
too military, then it screams that you're the survivalist type or military professional and
that you've got something good to steal. In uncertain times, this will make you a
serious target for marauders in urban settings.

Think about it: if you were desperate, would you steal the Hello Kitty backpack or the
camouflage one? Color is an important factor in selecting a low-profile bugout bag. If
your bug out bag is a screaming shade of orange, then you will be too easy to spot
making you a potential target of marauders in the wilderness. Certainly an orange
backpack would be helpful if you want to be found, but in a bugout situation, your goal
is to blend in with your surroundings. Black is an acceptable solution for either setting
and will be a godsend at nightfall for preppers.

Criteria #2: Find a Small Bag (Day Pack) and Compress your Gear. For starters,
think small about the bag itself. Make sure your fully loaded bag is no heavier than a
third of your bodyweight, such as with a day pack. If your bugout bag is loaded like a
backpacker, you're looking for trouble. The bigger the bug-out bag the more attention
you will attract from hungry looters. Another benefit for packing light is that it will make
you more mobile.

  • Tip: Get compression sack. A compression sack is essential for your sleeping bag,
    but you may also consider one for your clothing. The PodSac, lower left hand
    page, can help you compress a multitude of items with minimal weight. As
    mentioned, the dry compression sack immediate right will offer the added
    protection of keeping your items dry and being see-through allows you to quickly
    identify the location of the contents.

Criteria #3: Make Sure to Waterproof your Bugout Bag! Your bugout bag will get
wet easily and the contents inside will get soaked or damp without adequate
protection. Most bags offer a level of protection, but for ultimate peace of mind, get dry
bags, pictured right, for your small articles and dry compression sacks for your gear.
(They're pictured directly below the dry bags.) Zip-locking freezer bags are the poor
man's dry bag.

Criteria #4: Get a bladder pack insert. Water is an essential component of your
bugout gear. Water bottles are often bulky and hard to unpack to drink. That's when
the hydro bladder pack attachment, top of the page, comes in handy. This is a feature
often overlooked by preppers. Camelbak, pictured left, offers hydration systems as
well; however, they may interfere with your bugout bag. If your kids are too young to
carry a bugout bag, consider having them at least carry water.

Water purification: Typical bug out bags may include a water bladder and water
purification tablets; however, thinking beyond the norm, thoughtful preppers pack a
water filtration system. One such viable option is LifeStraw. An ideal inclusion for a bug
out bag, this device, pictured immediate left, will help you source life sustaining water
beyond the 72-hour survival target. With LifeStraw you can drink directly from the
water source without waiting offering you a solution for quick hydration.

  • Have kids? Have them carry water in the Camelbak bug out water supply
    pack, pictured left, since you'll be carrying most of their supplies.

  • Shelter/Warmth
  • Tarp: Your tarp should be
  • Compact sleeping bag: Suisse Sport Adventurer Mummy Ultra-Compactable
    Sleeping Bag, at the bottom of the page, weighs just 1.5 Lbs., and includes a
    compression stuff sack that brings the size down to a jug of milk. It's highly
    rated by Amazon buyers and very well priced.
  • Mylar blankets: Mylar blankets retain and reflect 90% of body heat and is
    lightweight. You'll be able to use the material as lightweight tarp in addition to
    using it as a blanket.

  • Survival tools:

  • Hand care:
  • Heavy duty work gloves are essential to your survival as you'll be doing work
    from carrying fire wood and creating shelter.
  • Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting/Duty Gloves, pictured immediate left.
  • Handwarmers are another option to consider if climates in your area are severe.

  • Foot care: Good shoes should be on your feet, plus extra socks, shoe-laces and
    BlisterMedic and first aid for relief of blisters.
  • Consider protecting your feet with HydroSkin G3 Socks by NRS, pictured at
    the top of the page. You'll keep your feet warm without bulk. The 0.5-mm
    neoprene core insulates and protects. 4-way-stretch PowerSpan" outer
    layer gives you enhanced mobility and greater HydroSkin socks are the
    ultimate wetshoe liner, providing an extra layer of warmth while helping to
    protect your feet from blisters.

  • First aid kit: Essential to survival, the first aid kit should be lightweight. Right,
    the bright orange first aid kit will be easy to spot in your bugout bag to help you
    provide critical first aid. Chapstick is an essential addition to the first aid kit.
    Remember your toothbrush and unscented toothpaste.

  • Extras:
  • Headlamp will help light the way and keep your hands free.
  • Hard candies will provide a burst of energy and are lightweight.
  • A bandana has mutliple functions: first aid tourniquet or sling, slingshot
    head or neck covering, napkin or pot-holder.
  • Backpacking bucket, immediate left, will help you carry water or edibles.
  • Cable Ties/tie wraps
  • Chapstick for your lips, but also as a potential fuel source (because it's a
    petroleum product).

  • Bug out Bag Kitchen Tool Set: This handy cooking tool set, pictured immediate
    left. Sure, there's no kitchen sink, but it has just about every utensil you need to
    fix a meal outdoors: a stainless whisk and grater, a cutting board, telescoping
    spoon and spatula; 12-piece plastic silverware set, and a scrubby sponge and
    camp towel.

  • Titanium cooking kit: Unfortunately, cooking sets are bulky even when
    streamline. Titanium is the lightest possible cookset you can buy. Above, right, is
    the solo camper set that needs only utensils. Remember the soap to clean the

Here's a quick list of unusual things to include in your bug-out bag:
  • Proper bugout clothes. (Bug-out socks that prevent blisters and keep your feet
  • Heavy duty, all weather work gloves for shooting and other duties, also pictured
  • Travel duct tape because ordinary duct tape is way too heavy.
  • Lightweight trowel for digging cooking pits and for help extinguishing fires.
  • Survival pocket chain will help you gather firewood fast.
  • Fishing kit, and frabill net, will help you get past your freeze dried meals.

Other considerations:

Bug out bicycles:
Preppers often have elaborate schemes to bug out with vehicles
ranging from ATVs to school buses, but fail to prepare for an escape
from the Bug Out
Vehicle. In the event your won't start or in case
all cars won't work, as with an
electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event, ultimately, survival could depend on
bug out bikes.

Plan your bug out clothes: The contents of your bugout bag should include your gear
and only a little clothing. Like your bugout bag, you won't want to wear camouflage
clothing as you'll stick out or be mistaken for military. Black is an excellent choice. Mix
your tactical wardrobe with drab olive or grays. Your bugout clothes should be ready
for you to slip on before heading out. It's essential to plan correctly. In addition to
bugout socks and heavy duty work gloves, consider these essential items:

  • Tactical shirt: With Nyco rip-stop sleeves, the tactical shirt has an element
    of fire retardant -- the vest portion resists melting and dripping! Look for
    jackets and shirts with “pit zips”, these allow you to open or close to help
    you regulate whether you want to cool off or warm up.

  • Tactical pants. Sure they are fade, wrinkle, and shrink resistant, but the
    important features are that the tactical pants, pictured left, are crafted
    with a heavy duty double seat and double knee. Loaded with pockets
    they're made of DuPont Teflon treatment that resists liquids and stain.

Consider packing a bike bag for your bugout.

What's in your bug out bag? If you buy a pre-assembled bug out bag, be sure you know
how to use all the contents. Take out the contents and make sure everyone in your family
understands how to use the stuff inside. We're happy to hear your prepping ideas and link
to your site. Please drop us a note on Twitter or Facebook at HappyPreppers.

Remember, our family survival system is free! Learn how to store food, water, fuel sources,
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------------------------------------------------- Revised 3/18/14
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Lifestraw water filter
Bug out water supply pack
Securing potatble water
hydropack bladder is essential
Mylar blankets
Black bugout bag is ideal
Dry Gear bag
Travel Duct tape
Government issue magnesium fire starter
Titanium cookset
Camping knife
Solilder Fuel bars
Stay alert gum
prepare for it." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tiny backpacking stove
Bike bag
Adventure medical kits
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