Most people fall in love with the concept of bugging out. They glorify it. They picture themselves as the lone survivor of their favorite movie and when they build their bug out bags it shows. It only takes a quick YouTube search to find some ridiculous bags. Today, I am going to cover the top mistakes people make when they pack their bug out bags or get home bags.
1. Too Militaristic and Too Much Military Gear. Most people go straight for military surplus gear when packing their bug out bags. They have a military backpack, military clothes, military tools. These same people usually have machetes strapped to their bags plus an AR-15 slung across their shoulders and a Colt 45 strapped to their thigh. In a true disaster scenario like Katrina, these people are going to stand out like a sore thumb. These people are not blending in with their environment. Everyone else is going to have what few items they could grab at the last second. As a rule of thumb, if you stand out, you are going to make yourself a target. The people who are not prepared are going to target you because you “look” prepared. I recommend when you pack your bug out bag you use civilian survival gear as much as possible and when you bug out try to blend in with everyone else.
2. Not Having A Bug Out Plan. Most people’s bug out plan is simply to wander into the woods, forage and hunt for food. Unfortunately, that is what everyone else who is bugging out will be doing as well. You need to have a specific bug out plan, a bug out vehicle designated and know exactly where you are going to be going. You then want to have a back up bug out plan and even a tertiary bug out plan. You do not want to be trying to figure out where you can bug out to while the shit is hitting the fan.
3. First Aid Kit Not Good Enough. Your diet will be changing drastically during a bug out situation. You are going to be eating prepackaged food, wild edibles, scavenged food and probably drinking water you should not be. All of this plus the stress of the situation is going to wreak havoc on your digestive track causing severe nausea and possible diarrhea. Nothing will dehydrate you faster than diarrhea. Ensure you add digestive tract medicine such as tums and anti-diarrhea medicine to your bug out bag checklist.
4. Packing Too Much Gear. Many survivalists go a little overboard with their survival gear. Some people pack 4 or 5 knives, enough food to last a week and every survival gadget they can afford. The truth is most of this gear is just adding weight to your bag and you don’t need it. Once these people are forced to walk long distances with their bags, they will soon realize that they don’t need half the gear they are carrying and that the weight of their bug out bag is almost as important as what is inside of it.
5. Not Testing Your Bug Out Bag. The final mistake people make with their bug out bags is not testing out their bags. This includes going on long strenuous hikes with it. This ties into number 4, once someone hikes 10 miles with their 65lb bug out bag, I can guarantee they will be looking for items they can do without. You don’t want to just hike with it though, you want to simulate a real bug out. Maybe start at your home and try hiking to your bug out location. Once there, use and test out all of the bug out equipment you packed. Make sure you have all your essentials covered and everything works as planned. I know personally, my bug out bag has gone through several revisions and this is due to me camping out with it and figuring out what gear works and what does not.