I came across this article some time back and kept a copy for future reference. I no longer recall where I got it from but I am more than willing to give credit where credit is due. I hope you find it as insightful as I did.

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15 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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I

cam
e

across this
article some time back and kept a copy for future reference. I no longer recall
where I got it from but
I
am more than willing to give credit where credit is due. I hope you find it as
insightful as I did.

The Will to Act: Your

Ultimate Bug
-
out Kit by R.B.

Section One

The Bug
-
Out Bag is an icon of the preparedness movement. The principle is well known and agreed
upon: we may indeed have to pack
-
up and take flight to a more orderly, less hostile environment,
intelligently. This w
ould be either in anticipation of a great upheaval of social order or in its aftermath.
How we will face the situation and deal with it is our part to play. Bug
-
out is an emergency measure,
supplying us with a three
-
day margin for action: decisive action,
evasive action, survivalist action or
other salutary maneuvering. You must make an informed plan for your exodus. Considering that this
would be enacted on foot, there will be an urgent need to map
-
out a route, determine an objective,
establish foreseeable

safe resting places along your intended escape
-
and
-
evasion route that include
points of re
-
supply or hidden caches. Make back up plans. Now, try out everything in a realistic
rehearsal, pack up your Bug
-
Out Bag and start using it. There is no better time
than now. If you plan on
using military gear, you might practice with more discreet colored civilian camping gear so as to avoid
curiosity. Try bugging
-
out in increments, start with good weather and light loads. Work towards
nighttime and inclement weather

scenarios. Add weight as your personal physical condition improves.
The goal is to gradually rule out most potential surprises and unknowns. Whether solo or with like
-
m
inded comrades, practice equals preparedness. If you are the leader of a family or grou
p, members of
your troop must train as abilities of age and state allow. It will be harder, and more practice will be
necessary.


This proverbial “Three day” limit is not realistic for most situations we are likely to face. “72 hours” is a
military standa
rd. Soldiers are re
-
supplied, but who will come and re
-
supply
you
after 72 hours? There is
an urgent need to rise above this imaginary status quo. Common sense tells us to select and pack items
that can be used not only for the hypothetical three
-
day scena
rio, but rather indefinitely. In light of this,
a solid and foolproof modus operandi must be established: the B.O.B. must serve our resolve to remain
pro
-
active and prevent us from falling victim to circumstances of the unexpected. It is a tall order.
Cont
ents lists, ideas and examples abound on the Web. Most of it is show
-
and
-
tell. Some of it is abstract
theorizing. Consult, sift through the media, but you will soon agree that people are not understanding
the seriousness of the situation. Either they under
estimate the critical nature of bug
-
out, likening it to a
picnic outing, or they get sidetracked in the materialism of gear gadgetry. The bug
-
out market has
caught the eye of commercial capitalists. Survival kits in sardine cans...? So beware. Shun the dis
posable,
wasteful, throw
-
away mentality. Cheaply made and cheaply purchased items are indeed disposable, not
like your hard
-
earned money you handed over in vain. When the worst is upon us, no one will be
replacing any so
-
called “unconditional lifetime guar
antee” items for you.

Beyond the tedium and disagreement caused by excessively detailed lists, here are fundamental,
building block elements that will form the backbone of your kit. Here is what works. Sorry if there are no
sparkling gadgets to make you th
ink bugging
-
out will be fun and games. If something happens that will
truly require a bug
-
out scenario, it will be catastrophic. People will face death. “Pray that your flight be
not in winter or on the Sabbath...” In real world bug
-
out, the first thing ne
cessary will be to remain
rational, and keep the Faith. Keep your bearings. Keep to the proven principles. Important choices have
been made here, and this principle of discernment is a key factor in assembling your personal kit. The
definitive checklist is

strictly your business. Your ultimate choice of gear should be the things that serve
your purpose to remain in control, and to rise above the situation at hand. Consider what is being put
forth, it is foundational and proven. Source references are for sug
gestion only.

The Bug
-
out Bag:

get a backpack

and get the best you can afford: it may very well be your lifesaver. But
it has to perform, full. It cannot fail in rigorous or sudden use: It should be able to withstand dropping,
dragging and hastened conceal
ment. It should also withstand whatever you might do: like falling,
crawling, swimming or accidental situations. Imagine being pursued, being a possible target, hunting,
defending a perimeter: you should be able to run, sit, duck, lie prone or take a momen
t of rest with your
pack on, in reasonable comfort.

Whether with or without a traditional frame, here is the definition of the ideal: A medium
-
size pack
2.500
-
3.500 cubic inches more or less, with a padded hip belt that puts the weight on your legs: the le
gs
having the most powerful muscles in the body, with shoulder straps being only for load control. This is
better and safer than slogging with an unpredictable, overloaded small pack that will cause suffering. An
overloaded large “moving
-
van” pack will be
even worse, maybe fatal. Medium
-
size is where the balance
of moderation is. It is a good spiritual and mental factor as well.

Your pack should be either camo to match your local woods or civilian colored for discretion.
Camouflage means to blend in with yo
ur immediate surroundings. Urban scenarios might fare better
with civilian gear. Not everyone will be able to have recourse to the back of beyond. Think about where
you will go, then blend in accordingly. Civilian gear does look a little less threatening.
Solid colors in
earth tones would be a good balance: Coyote tan and O.D. green are better than black. Nothing in
nature’s background is truly black, though your protection and concealment will be in darker shades of
most colors. Avoid loud colors. If you w
ant the visibility option, use a pack cover or a separate piece of
material in the color you want to be seen. Put it away and save it for when the time comes.

The pack should be top loading. Few or no zippers that will break or fail at the wrong time. If t
here must
be a zipper, make sure there are back
-
up straps and buckles to remove weight and stress from the
inherently weak zipper closure. No Velcro, which is noisy and prone to clogging and failure in inclement
conditions. In essence, a pack is just a ver
tical sack. Cutting openings and compartments will only reduce
the structural integrity. A strongly constructed single space bag is the original and still the best. Inside,
pack items in small dry bags by category. Mark them with permanent marking pens or
colors for rapid
recognition. You should never have to be digging around inside your pack for some loose item. There is a
forcible and rational order of things that go in and come out of a bug
-
out bag. Establish a priority of
items by use: primary use, sec
ondary use, etc, so that when arriving at your destination, especially if it is
a temporary bivouac, necessaries will come out of the pack quickly and efficiently according to purpose.
Articles abound on this subject, study, learn and practice how to
o

effi
ciently set
-
up and pack
-
up any
scenario that involves the use of your kit.

There is a need to approach your initial B.O.B. purchase with clarity.

Judge the ruggedness of your potential pack by putting weight in it and grabbing and pulling on all
straps. If

the seams start to give out, the sewing is probably low
-
quality throughout. Try it on with a
load. Politely and reasonably abuse it while still in the store. Features should be truly useful and not
frivolous. What looks good in the store might fail in the

field. Now make your judgment, take notes and
move on to another pack if you have your doubts. Remember, what is best for you, and you alone, is
what matters. It has to fit your size and your natural dimensions. That means it must not extend above
your he
ad or be wider than your shoulders, it should not hang much below your waist. It should fit your
torso perfectly. If you are presently fighting the battle of the bulge, then choose a waist belt that fits
both now and when you will be in better shape.

Milit
ary and non
-
military packs are legion. But no one makes a pack like Americans do. Watch out for
imports. The ones coming down the tracks, loaded in those ominous shipping containers, are getting
less and less cheap only because of corrupt marketing strateg
ies. Prices are being deviously re
-
calculated and raised because it is a known fact that cheap junk is cheap. If it costs more, it must be
better ... Beware of this and other big lies. European imports are inflated because of the manipulated
exchange rates
. There is indeed a price for buying local, but isn’t this part of the present battle?
Domestic shops are still in business, call them and communicate. Support them. Thank them for staying
home to make their products. There are small companies that make ca
mping and tactical gear, proving
that yankee ingenuity is still the best. You can also search for outdoor gear at www. Still made in the
U.S.A. com. You will find your kindred spirits there. You will also find items that should outlast the
coming ordeal, w
ithin the range of your budget. Avoid supply purchases at the mega
-
store globalist
marketeers who film you while you shop, beg you to spend less money by joining their club, and ask for
your phone number or zip code at checkout. It goes without saying how
you should handle this affront.
Common sense is in the balance. Most small hunting or military surplus shops are still ma
-
and
-
pa
operations. Support them first. Some e
-
Bay "stores" are actually gifted artisans trying to make a living
without being able to
afford a brick
-
and
-
mortar storefront. Look up the contact info and deal directly.
You will know right away if they are legitimate. These micro
-
industries are to be supported. Their
proprietors are often geniuses, and honest.

External frame packs: The ubiqu
itous ALICE pack is still in use today by respected military. The original
version is the medium
-
size. It is a marvel of simplicity and solid engineering, very easily obtained at a
reasonable price. You can get OD or camo versions. The frame is the Achille
s heel: drill out all rivets that
will likely fail. Replace them with fine thread 8/32 stainless steel bolts, with round heads that have an
Allen or Philips slotted head, depending upon what your multi
-
tool can do in the field. Use stainless steel
locknuts
. The medium ALICE can remain minimalist or it can be built up with add
-
on modular
components. It can be used without its frame if it fails. Upgrade the shoulder straps and waist belt if you
want more padding. The MOLLE II waist belt is an inexpensive and
effective upgrade. Replace the steel
buckles with quick
-
attach Fastex buckles if you want the added convenience. TacticalTailor.com,
HighSpeedGear.com, SpecOpsBrand.com are just a few of the military
-
class producers of improved
accessories. Backpacks that
resemble the medium ALICE are made by DownEastInc.com and others, with
a modern polymer frame and other upgrades. They keep strictly to the original principles of the ALICE
wherein the dimensions do not surpass the average natural dimensions of the wearer.

This is important
in bug
-
out when speed and maneuverability are expected. Most packs are intentionally not 100%
waterproof. If you have to move through water or soaking rain, you will quickly understand why. The
pack should be able to drain. With your BOB

contents packed in dry
-
bags, water is no longer a threat.
And if necessary, your pack will now float in extreme water
-
crossing scenarios. Practice before you take
the big plunge.

Internal frame packs: some frame designs are effective while others fail bef
ore their weight capacity is
reached. Some kind of frame is needed for average loads of 35 lbs. or greater. If the internal frame is too
minimalist, it will flex and compress, your spinal column will do the same. Wearing an internal frame
pack loosely will

reduce the critical nature of potential problems, but the problems are not completely
eliminated since internal frame or frameless packs are not designed to be worn too loosely. Beware of
overheating from direct contact with your back. Lungs and parts of
organs, muscles extend rearwards in
your torso, when they overheat, you, too, will overheat. Plan on your back being soaked from shoulders
to waist when wearing an internal frame pack. In winter this will increase the danger of chills. Variations
of the in
ternal frame theme are as numerous as brand names. Some are practical and minimalist while
others are cerebral and scientific. Top
-
of
-
the
-
food
-
chain medium
-
size internal frame packs are listed in
order of size: Eagle Becker Patrol, Kifaru Zulu, Mystery Ran
ch SATL. They have PALS webbing for add
-
ons. Even if they are above your means, they are the best example of what other comparable packs
should be. The military has tried many internal frame packs in the larger
-
size category, like the CFP
-
90,
the SPEAR, th
e ILBE but the external frame pack is the current choice. The USMC, having tried these
packs, is also going back to a contoured external frame.

There is also a possible third category of pack, a hybrid fusion design, where the best of both worlds has
been
attempted. High
-
end military level makers such as Kifaru and Mystery Ranch are among the
designers of this type of pack. It comes under the larger
-
size category. They have made a quasi
-
external
frame that functions with the close
-
hugging benefits of an int
ernal frame. The problems with internal
frame packs are thus resolved, except for the overheating part. Their efforts at inventing a cooling
system for the back are a failure. Only a true external frame will give the necessary air space to keep
cool and dr
y. They are also quite expensive and disproportionately heavy for the most part. They are
works of art but you must be truly committed to this design if you want one, after ruling out every other
possibility. They have elaborate web sites and customer foru
ms where feedback is published.

For backpacks in general, the military is a good rule of thumb since soldiers are load
-
carriers by
profession. The military also established the bug
-
out concept. You will not be disappointed with a
military level bug
-
out bag
. It is made to withstand the abuse you will need to personally undergo in
bugging
-
out. The newest versions of military packs are a far cry from the old instruments of torture used
in the John Wayne movies.

Repeat: what matters in choosing a pack is what i
s best for you only. Size and shape matter a lot when
moving quickly. You are the one doing the moving. The medium
-
size category is where we want to be in
the bug
-
out context. But if this range is truly insufficient for you, consider the newer military pac
ks from
Specialty Defense Systems that still use an external frame such as the MOLLE II Rifleman Pack, the main
ruck is 3,000 cu. in. The attached sleep system carrier is a failure, replace it with something else, or
rotate it downward so it does not proje
ct out from the frame like a tail. Military users of this system
have colorful words for this bobbing sleep system compartment... You will also need to upgrade to the
Down East 1603 Generation IV frame, which replaces the original 1602, quite breakable fra
me. This new
frame has fallen out of helicopters and hit the ground, nothing broke. If you envisage a "big
-
B" bug
-
out,
needing a house
-
on
-
your
-
back rucksack, the 10th Mountain Ruck is the current U.S. Army issue, 6000 cu.
in. MOLLE pack. It is basically th
e previous generation two
-
component Rifleman pack in a one
-
piece
configuration. This pack represents the current military philosophy in load bearing. You can find it in
woodland camo, coyote tan or multi
-
cam. The current, ineffective ACU camo will be phase
d out. The
large
-
size ALICE is currently getting more attention as well. Some speculate that bigger is better because
you will have extra load capacity. A completely full, large
-
size ALICE, as well its upgraded improved
versions, such as the BDS Mountain R
uck, the HighSpeedGear Trash Bag, or the Tactical Tailor Malice,
can be dangerously unwieldy when full. These formidable moving vans, when fully loaded, will severely
limit your speed and agility. Though this level of pack may have a place in the extreme b
ug
-
out scenario,
its wearer will be constrained to pack mule velocity. Even trained soldiers collapse beneath big rucks.
They complain when having to double
-
time with these prime movers. If you are bugging
-
out with bulky
but lightweight insulated cold weat
her gear, the larger size pack will not be unbearably heavy. Bug
-
out is
not the same across the board, in all climates or foreseeable conditions. It is time to experiment
according to your personal plan, which will be carried out in your bug
-
out theatre of

operations. It is
better to make a medium
-
size pack bigger with removable add
-
ons than to make a large pack smaller by
carrying it half empty, where the load will be off
-
balance. Civilian frame packs have extension bars
behind the head, such as the classi
c Kelty.
If you need to duck, the frame won't.

In contrast, most
military packs stop at shoulder height, allowing the user to move through low
-
clearance situations more
intuitively, the pack will move with you.

How much is to be spent on your BOB? Surplus
military gear is an excellent value for the budget. There
is a certain mystique about military gear, with which the common man has been made into a warrior…
Tactical suppliers who upgrade soldiers or outfit various law enforcement groups abound on the web.

But they need to hear you ask if it is made in the U.S.A. Excellent civilian gear is abundant as well. You
can also rent quality name brand equipment from a backpacking outfitter. Try both kinds of packs,
external or internal frame. Start deciding right n
ow what works best for you by manual and physical trial
and error. Tempus fugit.

Add
-
ons should include a
chest pack
, suspended from the backpack frame and not from shoulder straps
or sternum straps, so it can be flung rearward, up and over the head, if ne
cessary. Put quick
-
release
Fastex buckles so it can be adjusted and disconnected. Ingenious, multi
-
compartment organizers, also
known as E.D.C. essentials bag, medic’s bag, in every shape and configuration, are readily available from
tactical gear supplier
s. Kifaru, Maxpedition and others make these. They can be military or civilian in
appearance. The G.I. Field Training Pouch makes an effective chest pack. Just like the ideal bug
-
out pack,
it is top loading, single compartment, with a drawstring inner clos
ure. The chest pack principle is to keep
small, first
-
line usage items within immediate reach, accessing them without having to stop and remove
your main pack, wasting precious time and exposing yourself. The chest
-
pack keeps your overall load
better balan
ced, with the weight of your most essential gear forward. Keep an empty dry
-
bag packed
inside your chest pack so it can be quickly put to use in the event of a water crossing. Your chest pack is
the container of critical equipment. It must be kept dry. Bei
ng up front, it will always be under your
watchful and vigilant gaze.

Extra pockets, removable waist packs and a compartment for a sleeping bag or more gear can be
attached to the medium ALICE. If you need more food provisions, put them in drop
-
leg pouches

that
hang from your waist belt. Your leg muscles can handle the extra weight more easily than back muscles.
Make sure you can swing your arms without hitting these drop
-
leg additions. Some individuals like to
wear a MOLLE LBE vest rig beneath their backpa
ck. Just make sure you can crawl or lie prone with all
this gear on. What about trekking poles? Try them and decide if they are a help or a hindrance. In most
cases, four legs are better than two. Carrying a load downhill puts stress on the knee joints. Th
e poles
minimize this undesirable effect. Trekking poles can multi
-
task. They can be used to quietly ward off
pests instead of firing a shot, which will attract unnecessary attention. They can prop up your shelter;
they collapse for quick storage. If you a
re humping serious weight for yourself or for others, 25
-
30% of
your bodyweight, consider spandex compression knee braces. GI kneepads help as well.

The bug
-
out bag is meant to equip you, to support your will to act and to prevail, and to keep peace of
min
d.


Section Two

In the bug
-
out moment of truth, you will have to depend on certain basic things to help you survive.
They must not break or fail. They are tools, but remember, you are the one doing the surviving. Material
failure is one thing, but if you
are the one who fails, it will be tragic. So choose the tried and true: simple,
well
-
made designs, favoring heavy
-
duty and versatile things. Learn their manifold uses. Do not go out
testing your kit in a bug
-
out
-
ops scenario until you first learn the limit
s of your gear at home, in a
controlled environment.

Bug
-
out pack contents: the four classic elements of survival are what you are
goin
g to carry.

1


Shelter

2


Fire

3


Food

4


Water


Shelter
: definition: protection from the elements while moving or resting. Tents are out. This is not
recreation. This is survival, adding the word “reasonable.” Combine poncho and tarp, GI types will
usually mate, check the snap configuration. Two ponchos can ma
te as well. This will give you room to
expand your comfort zone or your safe zone, depending on circumstances. Prevent grommet failure by
attaching 1/8” shock cord loops to your tarp and pre
-
tie lengths of 550 paracord so you can set
-
up
faster. Your shelte
r is worth more than cheap plastic sheeting or woven plastic, both of which are highly
disposable. Get a well
-
made nylon tarp that will serve you for the duration. Above and beyond the GI
issue standard fare, are the
Wiggy's

Hootch, Jacks'R'Better hex tarp, and Equinox Egret among others .


Enduring the elements can be critical if you have not yet found a safe site for shelter. Foul weather gear
should be kept in the quick access parts of your pack, such as

inside the lid compartment or in an
outside pouch accessible by simply reaching and without having to remove the pack. Beyond the classic
poncho, if you are a consummate jacket wearer, Gore
-
Tex type rain gear, both tops and bottoms, are
easy to find. The
GI issue versions come in all shades of camo, they are still some of the best. Be they
military or civilian, Gore
-
Tex products are an investment. The poncho has its virtues and vices, but when
stealth shelter is needed fast, the rain jacket will not be eno
ugh. Shoot your poncho or other waterproof
gear (not the Gore
-
tex) with Camp Dry spray. Gaiters: keep a pair with your rain gear. Besides their
obvious use for snow and rain, try them once while hiking through wet brush or just wet grass. You will
be a bel
iever.


Tents: if insects or reptiles are really a problem in your area, or you get violent storms with high winds, a
lightweight tent can offer the desired sanity
-
factor protection.
Hilleberg.com
. Steph
enson Warmlite,
Biblertents.com and others make the ones that fit this category. Eureka!com sells their military tents to
the public; they are heavier than backpacking tents but also heavier duty. The price of tents at this
quality level, from any source,
will remind you that they are an investment. If you have a family or group
to house, separate into two’s or three’s so as to keep to the smaller, stealthy tents. Distribute tent parts
to keep loads lightweight. Always try out your shelter in the backyard b
efore you take it on bug
-
out ops.
Shelter is a priority concept, whatever configuration you choose, it should come out easily and quickly
from your pack upon establishing a safe and secure campsite.


Sleeping bag and bivouac bag
. The military modular sleep

system: a lightweight warm weather bag, a
medium cold weather bag plus a Gore
-
Tex bivy bag make the modular parts of the system. Combine all
three for extreme conditions. For the space
-
critical bug
-
out bag scenario they compress surprisingly
well. Wiggy’s
.com makes an improved but somewhat bulkier sleep system. Synthetic fill holds up to the
elements better than down. You can add some kind of sleeping pad as well. Self
-
inflators draw in
ambient air, scorching hot or ice cold are the risk. Beware of the ult
ra high
-
tech, which is prone to
failure. The standard GI foam pad or its civilian equivalent is plenty good. The basic sleeping pad can be
used for many things besides sleeping. Think sled. Think flotation. Kneel on it when working in camp. If
you want to
survive the long
-
term, a sleeping system will be necessary. The bottom line:
rest is
necessary for survival.


Hammocks are not for everyone. Try one and decide if you are pro or con.
Grandtrunkgoods.com

makes
one that compacts to a softball size and weighs

mere ounces. Jacks'R'Better.com makes the ingenious
lay
-
flat hammock as well as a camo tarp to cover everything. Clark makes the stealth, camo Jungle
Hammock. Brace yourself for sticker
-
shock.
Jungl
ehammock.com
.


Use a poncho liner or a wool blanket if the sleeping system is beyond your bug
-
out eventualities. Put on
loose
-
fitting clothing, covering all cold
-
sensitive points such as feet, ankles, neck, wrists, head, with
clean, dry and preferably wool

clothing. Then add the poncho if condensation will not be an issue. One
trick is to breath outside of the poncho so as to minimize condensation. But your body will naturally
release humidity. Wet weather and condensation are problematic when living inside

nylon. Ponchos,
bivy bags and tents need adequate ventilation: waterproof is a double
-
edged sword.

The uniform:

little or no synthetic clothing. If you are wearing a military uniform, consider the golf
-
suit:
mismatched camo. Your legs should match tree tr
unks or ground covering while your torso should
match branches and foliage. Older military clothing, which can still be found new or barely used, is made
better, and the fabric blends contain a higher percentage of natural fibers. By far, aside from the mi
litary
uniform, wool is still the best for every clothing item. Do not think of wool as exclusively winter clothing
or as something that keeps you warm even when soaking wet, as testified in the Filson catalogues. It is
indeed every bit of that. But wool i
s also for warm weather. Lightweight wool t
-
shirts are made by
Ibex.com

and
Icebreaker.com
. Fine wool is expensive, but you buy it "once"
--
to last. Other natural, God
-
made materials would be a second ch
oice. Linen, cotton, raw silk, canvas. Wool does cost more than
synthetic clothing, which really is just a plastic imitation of the natural fibers. We are no longer
accustomed to buying long
-
life clothing items, so take care of these as in all investments.

[
JWR Adds:

See the many warnings that have been posted to SurvivalBlog about cotton clothing. Search on the
phrase: "Cotton Kills".] Somewhat loose
-
fitting is best. Pack a small squeeze bottle of Woolite or one of
those all
-
purpose biodegradable detergent
s such as
Mrs. Meyer’s
. Natural fabrics wash and dry out
rapidly if there is sunlight, they can be dried near a fire without melting. “If your feet are cold, cover
your head:” Boonie hats that obscure the human form, wool watch caps and helmet liners will keep your
head warm in

three very different ways. Headgear should allow for the ears to be uncovered.
Unobstructed hearing is essential in bug
-
out survival.

Cover your ears only when you really need the
extra warmth. Keep a bandana around your neck; keep it wet in hot weather.
It will keep the spirits cool,
core temperature also. A wet bandanna is best for wiping salty sweat from the face before it burns your
eyes. The G.I. wool tube scarf is for cold winds and winter. Carry two and you have makeshift wool long
johns. Cut one in

half, wear it like pullover collar. No more flying in the breeze.


Boots: Forget style and fashion, or the latest glossy magazine fad. You are the Infantry; your feet are
your transportation. Treat them with care. Boots should give ankle support as well a
s total foot
protection. Include removable insoles that can be washed and disinfected. Judge sufficient support
requirements only when standing with a full load on your back. Shoemakers are beginning to
understand. Lightweight boots with a stiff ankle sect
ion are becoming available. High
-
tops do not always
mean better support. Avoid side zip. Put the boots on, put on a load, now stand on ramp: uphill then
downhill, your toes should never touch the front. Now stand sideways on the same ramp, try to roll your

ankle, simulating a sprain. It should be next to impossible with the right boots. The boots should also be
able to withstand total water immersion without dissolving. As they dry out, they should still fit. Use 550
paracord instead of shoelaces. This will

give you two spare lengths when needed. Three sets of thin and
thick socks are standard. Blister
-
provoking friction should dissipate between the layers. Wool is still the
best. Add silk liners for the ideal set.


Fire
: it warms both flesh and spirit. But
in the bug
-
out strategy, the romantic, dream
-
inducing campfire
will be rare. Have three ways to make the flame. Sparking steel, waterproof matches, refillable all
-
metal
lighters are three that tie for first place. Trick birthday candles ? Do not pre
-
make p
etroleum soaked
cotton balls. Keep cotton balls dry and sterile for more uses before you commit them to a last ditch fire
-
starting scenario. When inclement conditions call for a fire starter, far superior to Vaseline, and maybe
providing a moment of comic
relief, is a tube of Preparation H, containing petrolatum, beeswax and
paraffin... Cotton balls, gauze or tissue with this petroleum ointment added will burn with a steady
candle
-
like flame. Some facts about fire: where there is smoke there is fire, and wh
ere there is fire there
is smoke ... If you are evading, a smoky fire might as well be a flare signaling your position. Firewood
itself can also be an issue. When scavenging for campfire fuel, avoid deadwood from poisonous or
questionable bushes and trees
whose smoke can kill. Some wood is toxic. In 1809 Napoleon lost seven
soldiers not to the British army, but to meat rations cooked on Oleander spits. See Fine Woodworking
Magazine issue 114, “When Wood Fights Back.” See also “Toxic Wood” from the same.

In
bug
-
out, the
small fire, made only for cooking or boiling water, is what you want. A stove is better. Use a very basic
commercially produced or self
-
engineered wood
-
burning Ranger stove. “Ranger” usually denotes a
product of self
-
engineered genius. People
are now selling commercially made versions of these simple
stoves. Some, like
Littlbug.com
, are made of stainless steel as well. You have heard this “stainless steel”
nomenclature elsewhere. Aluminum is lighter. Does it really cause Alzheimer’s disease? Is

“cast”
aluminum safer than “spun” aluminum? Regardless of the answers, one fact still stands: Aluminum is an
unstable alloy. Steel is real. The weight vs. utility co
-
efficient should be the keep or reject rule for every
item in your kit. If bug
-
out is ind
eed evasion from the confusion of chaos, it is also a focus on surviving
the long
-
term. The extra ounces in steel products remind you that you have long
-
lasting, durable tools
for one thing:
to outlive the ordeal
.


Fuel canister
-
type stoves will eventually

run
-
out and become pitifully useless. You can carry a lot of fuel,
but the weight will be disproportionate to the convenience factor. Or you can bring a minimal amount of
fuel for the emergency. But bug
-
out is already an emergency. One which, in all proba
bility, will last
longer than we anticipated. Multi
-
fuel stoves are better. Circumstances may allow for siphoning of fuel
from abandoned vehicles, fuel can be cached along your evasion route, if you are able to follow it.
Alcohol is a proven system, so is
solid fuel, which is a lightweight and compact back
-
up strategy. Be
careful not to breathe the fumes. Surplus stores have a lot of solid fuel choices because the military
dropped many of them for safety reasons.


The Ranger stove is for the unknown and unf
oreseen duration. This wood
-
burning type stove can be as
simple as a section of snap
-
together stovepipe, ranging from 8 to 12 inches in length, 5 or 6 inches in
diameter. Commercial versions are variations on a steel tube that looks like a muzzle brake for

a
bazooka. Less is more with these stoves. The principle is to produce contained, intense and protected
fire. Use discarded paper products, dry grass, twigs, pinecones, anything that burns. Rows of holes at the
bottom and top of the tube allow for a full
airflow. The fire rests on an elevated perforated plate or a
piece of steel mesh, and roars in seconds. The tube utilizes the chimney effect, creating an upward draft.
With a little hand
-
pressure to reshape the top opening of the tube, you can make your G.
I. canteen fit
right into it. There is your one
-
quart teakettle. Transfer hot water into your canteen cup and continue
boiling more water. Cook your own recipe
-
concoction directly in your stainless steel canteen cup, or in
the components of the G.I. mess k
it, the only cooking set needed. Grab hot items with leather and
canvas work gloves. Winterize your leather gloves with G.I. wool liners. Synthetic hunting or shooter’s
gloves are a hazard around fires. They will melt with your hand inside and cause severe

burns. Neither
leather nor wool will ever be a problem. Your multi
-
tool works best for gripping hot steel. This bug
-
out
micro mess hall makes cooking pots and pans totally unnecessary. The mess kit can work like an oven.
Place coals on top and beneath for

a Dutch oven effect. Pour boiling water over grains, clamp the mess
kit airtight, and you will have steamed food. Who says survival means being constantly miserable? If you
are a staunch “cooking
-
pot” chef, having mouths to feed, take a look at the heavy
-
gauge stainless steel
vertical shaped pots from
Grandtrunk.com
. The vertical shape better utilizes the heat rising upwards. It
also fits into a pack more easily than a wide diameter pot. Avoid Teflon or coated cookware. The toxic
coating wears off and you
ingest it. Titanium is available, at a price.

See
CascadeDesigns.com

or
Titaniumgoat.com

also offering the Caldera wood
-
optional stove. Initiation in working with fire includes
a tube of Calendula bur
n ointment in your First Aid kit.


Enclose the G.I. stainless steel spoon & fork, squeeze
-
bottle of
MrsMeyers.com

natural detergent,
Scotch
-
Brite combo sponge or stainless steel scrubber and anything else you can fit inside your mess kit.
Tall squeeze bott
les will fit into the depressions of the mess kit lid. Put in a natural sponge as you close it
up. This will compress and keep the contents quiet and secure. The natural sponge is a thing of beauty
and holds many times its weight in water. For collecting w
ater from dripping cracks and small springs a
natural sponge is unbeatable. The sponge bath gives instant relief from the stress of survival and
restores you to an acceptable state of hygiene. A medium
-
size sponge will practically soak up a canteen
full of

water. It weighs virtually nothing.


So far the kit has been minimalist and broad spectrum in its philosophy. Those two terms really do go
together in bug
-
out.


Section Three

The bug
-
out bag should contain much more than carefully chosen gear. It should include strategy
dynamics, and other peace of mind intangibles. If we are sufficiently equipped for the duration, if our
modest bug
-
out kit of tools will aid us in prevailing, w
e will not be so desperate as to fall below our
human dignity. The next part deals with food and water. We are more spirit than flesh. Be willing to
share.


Food
:
Health is more than not being sick.

Remember that we are emulating trained combatants and
at
hletes when we are bugging out. The need to keep mind and body alert is critical. The effort to keep
energy at peak level is not optional. Pack
basic food elements

for situations where you might have more
time to prepare your meals, you will be thankful to

eat a traditional meal that not only looks and tastes
like a real food, but has the salutary effects of balanced nutrition. Avoid pre
-
packaged, ready to eat junk
foods that are full of preservatives and additives that cause health side effects. The appear
ance of
convenience is an illusion. Select and pack your food separately by food groups from bulk quantities.
Use various sized re
-
usable vitamin bottles, or other screw cap plastic bottles that have been pre
-
tested
for being leak
-
proof. Food storage shoul
d not allow light penetration. GNC makes colored bottles.
GearPods.com

canisters are modular. Take care of your food. Vacuum wrap or stretch wrap is less re
-
usable, but a moderate quantity of heavy
-
gauge foil is essential. Those fuel
-
stove foil shrouds are

very
versatile. Be sure to include a P
-
38 or bigger "P
-
51" G.I. can opener in your tool kit.

Phase
-
1 bug
-
out is
usually intense and evasive. Use your ration packaged athletic food and drink mixes for this initial phase
only. Phase
-
2 bug
-
out is when you h
ave achieved a reasonable measure of safety and security, even if it
is temporary. Build
-
up your health as conditions allow in these moments when a stove can be used.
Freeze
-
dried food or MREs are practical but better fare is not difficult to achieve. Phas
e
-
3 bug
-
out is
when you have attained your projected destination or objective. Food re
-
supply takes place then,
usually upon the arrival at a retreat or outpost. Nutritional overhaul takes place now. What you choose
to carry or store will be for maintainin
g the balance in your strength and performance. It is unacceptable
to think that taking toxic doses of vitamin B or other shock
-
energy drinks will be enough, you will be in
for a few surprises. You should be training in the present moment, and your strengt
h and endurance
levels should be on the rise. Solid nutrition, not chemicals or instant
-
ized pseudo
-
foods, will keep you
stable in this state.

On a 33
-
day 500
-
mile course, few of us came back the same. Many of us dropped dangerous amounts of
weight. The hi
gh
-
tech sports food had no more effect after the first week. It has its place, to be sure, and
its limits. It doesn’t rebuild or restore for the duration. Classic nutrition saved everyone. Learn now
which foods support you, discard what doesn’t without apo
logy, even if it fills full
-
page ads in the
magazines. You will not find bug
-
out nutrition outlined anywhere. Forget calorie
-
nutrition
-
exertion co
-
efficient tables. Bug
-
out is off the charts. It falls under the extreme exertion category because it is both
mental and physical, more akin to sustained warfare than survival. Bug
-
out is the will to overcome, to
remain in control because of the foresight of preparedness. Load your B.O.B. with the most
concentrated forms of only the best foods. The term “lightweig
ht food” is an oxymoron. Watch weight,
but better food means better performance, the scales tip in favor of nutritional value. There is no room
for convenience
-
packaged junk. Intelligent food rationale is an essential part of bug
-
out.

The principle in stre
ssful conditions such as the bug
-
out scenario: high fat content is necessary. Eating a
steady diet of wild game, such as venison, long after your freeze
-
dried backpack food and MREs have
run out, can cause sickness and even death, if that missing element:
fat, is not added to the extra lean
game meat. What is fat content? If your food has any flavor, it is probably the fat. The old
-
timers talk
about this important fact of living off the land. Refer to the classics in survival reading. “How to Stay
Alive in
the Woods” is just one of Bradford Angier’s many excellent readings, or grab the works of
Colonel Townsend Whelen. Their books are among the old hardbound classic treasures if you find them
used. These are luminaries among the real men.

For the extended bu
g
-
out context, pack highly concentrated foods, such as dried meats and fruits,
pemmican, food bars, dark chocolate, (Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt is 5 star) various dry grains and
legumes for boiling or for sprouting, raw cane sugar, sea salt, powder
ed milk, potato flakes, grain flour.
Most trail mix is anything but quick energy, the nuts are slow digesters. Seeds are more quickly
assimilated. Canned meats and fish, and various cheeses and butters are highest in total fat content.
Load nut butters, ho
ney or non
-
clogging fruit jams into refillable squeeze tubes. Soup based dishes re
-
hydrate us and make food easier to digest. Carry a small squeeze bottle of olive oil. It is both medicine
and condiment. Study, learn to recognize local wild edibles as well
. Get a published guidebook for your
region. Attend classes on plant recognition and use.

First Aid
: Band
-
Aids are the least important. Gauze, cloth medical tape and cotton balls can multi
-
task
outside the parameters of First
-
Aid. Hydrogen peroxide is stil
l the old favorite for cleaning wounds and
other uses, keep it in the brown bottle. Essential oils and herbal poultices are also traditional. Insect
bites and stings, poisonous plant irritation, intestinal imbalance, any health condition that worsens by
na
ture, needs immediate attention. Thermotabs prevent muscle cramps and dehydration without
provoking the dry
-
heaves, keep them in your chest
-
pack. Chafing is a problem in hot weather marches.
Foot powder should double
-
task for this. Tools: Foldable sewing s
cissors, tweezers and dental floss,
suture kit, needles and alcohol wipes for blisters, tongue depressors. Examine the military Blow
-
Out Kit
online, see if it pertains to your Bug
-
out curriculum. Avoid individually foil
-
wrapped travel
-
size
pharmaceuticals
that waste space and only placate most problems. First
-
Aid kit contents should focus
on basic, broad
-
spectrum elements of healing and immune system defense.

Keep an eye on problems and stop them in their beginning stages. Besides the need to patch up cuts
and
scrapes, which become more easily infected in the out
-
of
-
doors, your immune system may need some
first
-
aid as well. Include whole food multi
-
vitamins and compressed green super
-
food tablets. They are
not cheap, but they will keep up your health. Most a
irborne sickness begins in the mouth. Add three
drops of Super Strength Oregano Oil from North American Herb and Spice at
P
-
73.com

to your gargle
water to kill everything. This variety of oregano is actually akin to hyssop, the biblical bitter herb.
Timele
ss, natural remedies handed down from the ancients, as well as proven home remedies are the
subjects of other articles published on this blog. Learn to react at the first sign of declining health.

In the Bug
-
out context of events, there will have been a massive upheaval of social order, making our
departure the only rational solution. Catastrophic events, whether they be acts of God or engineered
through human malice, imply the potential outbreak of

disease. Your First
-
Aid kit should include de
-
contamination: radiation, toxic chemical or vapor leaks, bacteria, viruses, etc. The best remedy is usually
physical distance from the stricken area. You can walk 15
-
20 miles in a day. Running with a backpack,

maybe 5
-
10 miles more. Is this far enough away? There is a category of items, “better to have and not
need than to not have and need.” A gas mask that works, medicines and antidotes for pandemic viruses,
penicillin, surgical mask and gloves, anti
-
bacteria
l liquid soap. Keep an old
-
fashioned thermometer in
your kit. Learn to count your pulse rate with your watch, memorize the fever zones and danger zones.
There are also herbs and traditional remedies that help keep you calm and focused in the stress of bug
-
out. Remember the charming story of Thieves oil, fact or fiction, it represents the savoir
-
faire which is
the foundation of any First
-
Aid kit.

Water
: Learn how to find water. Look downward into gullies, look for green, only water can do that. If
there is a

choice, it should be flowing rather than still. If you find it before you need it, collect it anyway.
Anticipate the need for water
. Keep a collapsible canteen or bladder in your kit for this purpose.
Purification: boiling is still the easiest and most ec
onomical way to purify water. The old method for
purifying water consists of two steps: filtering the water through a cloth such as a dedicated clean
bandana, then putting it to boil 3
-
5 minutes, adding 1 minute per 1,000 feet in altitude. Water purifiers
are also available in countless shapes, sizes and prices. Some even work. Articles on this subject, field
-
testing reports abound on the subject of water purifiers. Most ceramic and synthetic filters are
imitations of two natural water purifiers: charcoal a
nd cinnamon, both are effective bactericides,
cinnamon being from biblical origins. Cinnamon in capsule form or drops, has proven more effective
than Imodium, it can be used daily as a condiment while in reality, it is being taken as a preventive
measure.
Being around water in the wild, cinnamon would be better in your stomach instead of stowed
away somewhere in your kit. Read and study this important question of water purification. Everyone
seems to have a preferred “best” method. Foil
-
wrapped or bottled t
ablets are also available, some are
better than others. Water filter pumps: the extra
-
rugged Katadyn Pocket Filter is the golden standard.
Its mere weight tells you it is all business. The MSR Mini
-
Works squeeze pump screws directly to a
standard bladder t
o eliminate contamination. Sterilize your water filtering gear and keep inlet and outlet
hoses apart to avoid cross
-
contamination. This seems extreme but deadly bacteria are microscopic.
Water is life. It can also be death. Treat water with respect, then d
o not forget: water is more important
than food. Thus the critical survival rule:
do not eat unless you can also drink.

Under duress, we need
more hydration than nourishment. Stress and anxiety are dehydrators. So are diuretic drinks such as
coffee, tea, a
lcoholic beverages, certain soft drinks and commercial fruit juices: these “refreshments”
cause fluid evacuation. Compliment them with twice the amount of water to curb dehydration. Never
wait until you are parched with thirst to begin drinking. One milita
ry unit urges pre
-
hydration: the day
that precedes operations is spent drinking larger than usual amounts of water, though without
exaggeration.


Your bug
-
out water container must be able to multi
-
task. The legendary kidney
-
shaped G.I. stainless
steel 1
-
q
uart canteen, or an unpainted stainless steel water bottle can be placed directly in a fire or a
stove for the absolute fastest boiling of water. Loosen or completely remove the cap. For purifying
water or cooking, time is always critical: 10 minutes to br
ing a quart of water to boil is too long. And you
might have to add the extra time for purifying. Survival is stressful enough; let alone fooling around with
fire and water boiling. Think of the teakettle. The top is domed. A cooking pot with a flimsy flat

lid is the
worst way to boil water. A steel canteen is always ready to serve the cause. Along with the G.I. canteen
is yet another marvel of engineering: the nesting steel canteen cup.
CanteenShop.com

has raised this
lowly military artifact to an
objet de

art
. It holds a generous 24 ounces. That equals more than enough
water or food for one person. Add the G.I. canvas canteen cover, which is felt
-
lined. Soak it in water to
keep canteen contents cool or leave it dry for insulation in cold weather. The 1
-
qua
rt nylon MOLLE
canteen covers are not insulated. The 2
-
quart covers are fake
-
fur lined. They also melt. But they are still
very good additions to your kit, just be aware of their quirks. Carry several quarts of water. Several
meaning many... as many as you

can. A gallon per day of drinking water, that means four quarts, is
considered the average personal intake for moderate exertion. One gallon is eight pounds. If you like to
drink on the move, use the hydration bladder, but get the kind that open all the w
ay at the top so you
can put your hand inside for cleaning.
Sourceoutdoor.com

makes them. Whatever vessel you choose to
carry your H2O, the puncture resistant, fire
-
compatible steel canteen should be the foundation of your
hydration system.

Miscellaneous:
As far as other practical gear, here are some personal notes.

No flashlights. Two
headlamps are better, one heavy
-
use and one spare. [
JWR Adds:

I concur with this wisdom. A headlamp
can also be used as a hand
-
held light, but not vice versa.] A single “whit
e
-
light” beam is better than the
blue light produced by inferior LEDs, which is not true light, and causes depth perception failure in rapid
evasion. Single
-
beam lights cost more but their purpose is to move you at night without incident. Petzl,
SureFire,
PrincetonTec and a few others make the single beam lights favored by military and night riding
mountain bikers. They are essential for night ops. For all other purposes, the inexpensive LED lights are
sufficient. Study the question of colored light, red, g
reen or blue, decide if this feature is an advantage
for your circumstances. Petzl Taktikka XP and PrincetonTec Eos Tactical are two that include colored
filters.


If you absolutely must have a handheld light,
SureFire.com

or
Goncz.net

make the real ones.

Knock
-
offs
have poor contacts and inferior materials. They will leave you in the dark. Hand crank dynamo lights:
squeeze
-
type military Daco
-
lites are now collector’s items. They are very noisy, and the dynamo must be
constantly going. Freeplay makes the w
ind
-
up Jonta, probably the only light of its kind that is not a toy,
it also tips the scales at 15 oz. but unfortunately “Made in China” Chemical light sticks have their place.
A thousand uses ? Maybe not. Military surplus stores sell the special holders t
hat control light output.
Medics use these.

Batteries: Standardize your battery type and size. Only one size for everything is the
ideal. Keep rechargeable batteries only if you have a solar
-
powered charger. Batteries are fuel. Carry a
sufficient supply of

battery sets: for example, if your headlamp uses three AAA batteries, your supply
should be in multiples of three. Some lights and electronics require specialized batteries, this means
keeping an appropriate inventory of spares. If you are not in evasion
mode, and not needing bright light,
a windproof candle lantern is better than wasting precious batteries for night lighting.

Battery problems: How long will your batteries last? Being parsimonious with battery power may be
counter
-
productive in bug
-
out. Ex
treme conditions imply extreme use. Batteries may wear out faster,
headlamps constantly used on full
-
brightness will quickly go dead. There will be no warning with 123a
Lithium batteries that go dead without going dim. Other battery issues: can you change
a watch battery
in the dark or in the midst of confusion, and be able to reset the correct time? Can you change the
battery of your rifle scope in the field while your target waits for you? Same for a rangefinder. The more
electronics used, the more types
of batteries will be needed. Electronics are also fragile. Ask yourself
that question of all questions in assembling the bug
-
out kit: “Can I do without?” Consider non
-
powered,
manual, mechanical equivalents for all but the most essential electronics.

Repai
r tape. Duct
-
tape: 100 m.p.h. tape doesn’t need to be 100 miles long. Compress a small roll flat. All
adhesive tape will eventually dry out and become ineffective. Protect your tape in a canister or in the
humble Zip
-
lock bag. Get some black or green zip
-
t
ies, long ones can be trimmed when the point of no
return has been decided. Can you repair or sharpen every item in your bug
-
out bag? There’s your repair
kit list, but keep it micro. Add a Rite
-
in
-
the Rain notebook and a pencil or a space
-
pen. Write and ke
ep
notes, record landmarks, physical and spiritual...

Hunting: Constant thinking ahead about food source possibilities should be a permanent state of mind in
bug
-
out.
Do not let opportunity pass by, it may never return.

Small game is quickly dealt with. It
s
finality: one meal or two. Big game will consume your time unless you have an established plan for
processing this quantity of meat.

Weaponry is highly subjective. Survival hunting: one rifle is all you can carry. One sidearm. What is the
effective range

of your firearm? Memorize windage and elevation compensation. For close range, use
the sidearm. For noise discipline, shoot an arrow. Try a slingshot. Trapping is silent, snare wire can multi
-
task as well. Binoculars or a simple monocular: hunting or not,

always glass before you go. Is fishing
possible where you are? Put together a minimalist kit, and be content with small catches. Collapsible
fishing rods collapse at the wrong time. Make a primitive pole or use a sectional knock down rod if you
are castin
g and spinning.

Knives: k.i.s.s.= keep it simple and sharp. Razor
-
sharp is normal. No combo
-
blades: where the sweet spot
once was there is now serration, an unwanted challenge to re
-
sharpen. Bug
-
out might include Search
and Rescue. Multi
-
tools have full
-
le
ngth serrated blades and specialty cutters. A razor
-
sharp plain edge
has been used until now for breakout scenarios. It still works. Knives: Rule #1: cannot have too many.
Rule #2: a dull knife is a dangerous knife. Get a stone set from Dan’s
whetstone.com
. His family still sells
the increasingly scarce natural Arkansas stones in miniature singles or combo’s, get a piece of the rock.
Keep your stones in hard cases or padded pouches to prevent accidental breakage. Double
-
task your
micro
-
bottle of Hoppe’s or
Rem
-
Oil for lubrication. Stones or diamonds, keep your sharpening system
simple. Do not bring what has not already been pre
-
tested. Keep your blades scary sharp. Pre
-
sharpen
every cutting tool you plan on using, each one should be the extension of your han
d. Your primary use
knife should be non
-
reflective. Set aside a dedicated stainless knife for skinning and food prep. Maintain
your edges frequently, even unused, they still degrade from humidity in the air.

Becker, KA
-
BAR, Benchmade, Ontario, are among th
e myriad makers of good knives. They are
exceptional American made medium
-
size knives for the mid
-
range budget. They still offer plain and
simple, well
-
made knives that get right to work. They all offer non
-
reflective blades. Buy the best you
can afford. S
ome brands offer a low
-
end import line of knives. Absolutely avoid these objects designed
-
in
-
America but made in... bleep. Boycott such products which offend our nation's deep sense of honor
until they are dead and gone.

Select a few knives, close your eye
s and handle them with various hand moves. Imagine both dry hands
and wet slippery hands. Buy the one that stays balanced and feels secure in the grip throughout all of
your hand movements. If the hand says its right, it is right. What is a good measure fo
r medium blade
length? Lay your hand on the blade, it should be as long as your hand is wide, or thereabouts. Make sure
one of your choices has a lanyard slot in the pommel. Attach this medium
-
size, primary use, “first line of
defense” fixed blade knife to

your B.O.B, inverted carry, to the shoulder strap opposite of the hand you
use. Put a lanyard on it. The best lanyard combines a short piece of 1/8” diameter shock cord added to
550 paracord. Attach the sheath to your shoulder strap with the similar shock

cord so it can give and
move when falling or crawling. Lanyards: Attach essential items in your chest and waist area with these
umbilical cords. Example: the ever
-
indispensable Cammenga lensatic military compass should be
attached so as not to lose it, ma
ke sure the lanyard is as long as your reach. Attach all primary
-
use items
the same way, make the lanyard as long as your reach will require. The items you grab for rapid use
need to be attached because things get dropped. We fumble under stress. Attach a
mini
-
biner for quick
release of your lanyard system. Sidearms should also have lanyards similar in theory to what
PistolLeash.com

offers, for obvious reasons. Don’t wait until you drop your pride
-
and
-
joy sidearm to see
the light.

Chopping tools like machet
es are lighter than axes. The military had a special short machete made by
Ontario Knife, the LC
-
12. They are still simple and good, you will use this size more often. Heavy
“survival knives” try to fill the gap in between a traditional combat knife and a
full
-
size machete. Is there
really a gap? The 12” machete is lighter than a survival knife and you will reach for it more often. It is not
a thing of beauty. It is strictly business. Its thinner, softer steel blade sharpens faster and when it gets
nicked,
it is more quickly restored. In bug
-
out you are not needing a large machete, which will leave
damaged vegetation in its wake, signs that say, “follow me.” The short machete is a shelter
-
building
tool. If you still insist on the merits of the big blade surv
ival knife, before you weigh
-
in your heavy
contender, the often imitated, best
-
of
-
both
-
worlds Becker Machax is soon to be made available again
through Ka
-
Bar. Knife patriarch Ethan Becker
at
BladeForum
s.com

sheds light on this and all things
edged.


Wrap “Ranger bands,” i.e. bicycle inner tube slices, around knife sheathes. These rubber “pockets” can
contain small items such as fishhooks, etc. Include both fish and game skinning tools in your collectio
n of
blades. Skeletal neck knives like the Becker Necker or Remora from Ka
-
Bar can be sterilized by dropping
in boiling water [suspended by their lanyards]. Keep a variety of knives in different places. A spare fixed
blade can go in the chest pack, folders

in your pocket. Always have a back
-
up knife and assign it a place
which will never change.

If you really need an E
-
tool for digging, you can sit on the folding ones like a milking stool. The surplus
wooden handle classics weigh about the same as the curre
nt G.I. issue tri
-
folder. The rivets on the
classics are three times bigger than the modern version. Both have a folding business end. If you need a
shovel for latrine duty only, a small, one
-
handed gardener is all you need.

Your watch: no quartz, battery
types. Manual wind or automatic, heavy
-
duty types are better for bug
-
out. Luminous hands. Features such as chronographs, stopwatches, alarms, can and will fail. Accurate
time is why you have a watch. Make sure it can get wet.

Your eyes: if you plan on flee
ing into the woods, which is the ideal, plan on getting slapped in the face by
branches. A poke in the eye might be next. Clear goggles will give you a measure of confidence needed
for night movement in dense vegetation. Shaded lenses can be swapped out qu
ickly for reduced eye
stress in bright daylight. G.I. goggles come with both lenses, they will protect the noblest of the five
senses.


If your B.O.B. is going to battle, if it is to include the transport of weapons and ammo in the face of
organized milit
ary
-
level aggression, you will need to bug out in stages. Your remote arsenal should be
pre
-
supplied and located in strategic position. Minuteman deployment represents the paradigm of bug
-
out. This level of the will to act is the most noble of all, but it
requires the most experience and training.
Bug
-
out gear will ideally be worn over an LBE vest carrying first line items. Multiple bug
-
out bags are to
be sized for rapid transfer, they must withstand being dropped, dragged and concealed. They must be
reason
ably lightweight so as not to stall the multiple repeats of re
-
positioning movement. Here is where
zippered daypacks get ripped open and precious contents get scattered. Remember, top
-
loading, no
zippers, no velcro …

A note on bug
-
out vs. bug
-
in: Defending

your castle while standing in your front doorway with your
shotgun in hand may remain an unfulfilled dream. The “knock at the door” will probably never come to
pass. So don’t wait for it. If you are a known “threat”
--

a member of an organized militia, a
patriot, a
gun collector, a political or religious conservative, then you are probably a target. It is better to establish
a communication network in your area, warn each other of the location of the enemy and act
accordingly, by anticipation, calculating
miles into hours so as to move your loved ones well out of
harm’s way in time. You and your property will be observed through the rangefinders of mortar teams
or tank crews. The exchange of small arms fire will probably never occur, unless you are the targ
et of a
sniper. Modern sniper range is more and more frequently around the one
-
mile mark. What was once
the achievement of the elite few is becoming the standard. Can you see one mile in every direction ? Are
you a sitting duck ? Hindsight is 20/20.
What h
as always been the unanimous regret in every case of
disaster or conflict, has been the misjudged or lost opportunity for movement
. Your B.O.B. is the ready
and willing servant of golden opportunity. It will move each family member to reasonable safety, it

will
carry supplies to an outpost, it will re
-
position you for recon, counter sniping or underground resistance
strategies. Bug
-
out is salutary movement.

Books and articles wherein theories of what could happen, what might happen, what was going to
happen
: ranging from the probable to the preposterous, these theories are developed ad nauseam.
There is tension in the air. We are all sniffing the wind. The philosophy of bug
-
out is simple. It is visceral.
It corresponds to the gut
-
level. Taking flight will le
ad you to more strategic positions of observation and
intelligence, where informed decisions can be made by the light of sound reason. Bugging
-
out is never
an act of cowardice.

Put on your B.O.B. and practice agility moves with a full load. Ascend and desc
end stairs. Jump off the
first step, then the second, then the third … Dive onto your bed. Go outside and navigate across a
stream, jump across a gully, rise up from a prone position, run bent
-
over, etc. Be careful with load
shifting. Pack heavy items low
and close to your center of gravity, which is your lower back: from the
base of your shoulder blades to your waist. Forget the way vacationing backpackers are told to load
their packs, with weight high and forward. This is bug
-
out. A complete pack with foo
d, water and gear
should be tried
-
out on a weekend, every item in your kit must face real use. Know what you have on
hand and start accumulating the inestimable knowledge of practical experience. Be ready for some
surprises. Time is of the essence and now
is the time to make harmless mistakes. Later, everything will
count. Amend and modify your kit as you train. However, keep in mind that a fully loaded pack used for
the first time is never perfectly comfortable. Give it a few tries before you decide to cha
nge packs.

Improve your health. 90% of military basic training is comprised of mind and body conditioning. In that
order. We fight and we survive first with the spirit. Weapons and equipment come later. Work towards
the established average height and weigh
t ratios. Consume low fat in training but consume high fat in
survival situations. The finest in bug
-
out gear will not help someone in poor physical condition. Keep
yourself looking respectable and trustworthy; learn to shave with a straight razor that can

be re
-
sharpened. God
-
fearing individuals should appear as such.

Your true base of operations is within. Improve your soul: learn prayer.

Ask any survivor of combat: God
helps him that asks.

There is only one Master of life and of death. Learn how to speak

to the Almighty.

A
pocket
-
size New Testament and Psalms weighs mere ounces. It may very well be the most valuable part
of your bug
-
out kit.

Learn to quote the Word of Life by heart, the words spoken by the Divine Master. Be a Good Samaritan
and give thes
e words of consolation to a victim of bug
-
out breakdown, and keep an extra supply of this
“oil and wine” in memory. We are our brother’s keeper.

Whatever is coming, whatever may happen, it
might be beyond bullets. So pray hard.