These days, more families have a bug out bag than ever before. A bug out bag is an easy-to-carry bag (often a backpack) that contains everything you need to survive for 72 hours. Once, these bags were rare and only the most die-hard survivors had them. Now, many families see it as a prudent and inexpensive safety measure that could pay off big one day.
But once you’ve assembled your bug out bag, does it have to just sit in the closet and wait for Doomsday? Not necessarily. In fact, if you leave it behind when your family goes on trips, there’s a very good chance you won’t have it when you end up needing it. That’s why we suggest making a bug out bag an essential part of every camping trip checklist.
Think about it. Camping is a lot of fun, but it’s also the perfect occasion for something to go wrong—just when you’re farther than ever from sources of help. If your car won’t start, if you get lost hiking, or if severe weather cuts you off from civilization, a bug out bag is the perfect survival tool to get you through those crucial days until you can reach safety. That’s exactly what it was intended to do.
Here are the basics of using a bug out bag effectively as a camping emergency tool:
- Make sure you have it – Put it on your camping trip packing list. Make sure everyone knows that you have it, what it looks like, and where it’s stowed. A bug out bag only does any good if everyone in the family knows how to get it in an emergency.
- Is it waterproof? – A bug out bag kept in a closet at home may be a simple school backpack. But if it’s going with you on multiple forays to the outdoors, it’s going to get wet eventually. Make sure your bag is reasonably waterproof and that any water-sensitive supplies inside are in their own baggies.
- Don’t pilfer – There’s probably a flashlight in your bug out bag, but it shouldn’t be the one you use around the campfire at night. In general, supplies in the bug out bag shouldn’t be used day-to-day. If you do have to use something, like a bandage from the first aid kit, make a note to replace it right after the trip.
Having a bug out bag along could be a lifesaver. Do you take your bug out bag camping?