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Daniel Dabbs



When it comes to a SHTF scenario, it’s not a one-size-fits-all game. Packing a bug out bag requires lots of research and reflection; what things do you know you’ll need to survive that others may not need? Take everything into consideration -- including allergies, location, family, and more.

With that being said, there are a few things that every bug out bag should include. Check them out and make sure you’re ready for anything:

1. Hydration. Hydration is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to bugging out. Staying hydrated can save your life. Generally one liter minimum, per day, per person is recommended. Check out some items from Mission 19 for water purification gear so you can stay hydrated at all times.

2. Food. Food is almost as important as water. Grab a variety of non-perishables. The rule of thumb here is to pack enough food for at least 3 full days. Multiply that by the number of people you’ll have with you, and that will give you a good starting amount of food. But remember -- it’s important to take inventory of your bug out food stash at least twice a year so you know none of it is expired.

3. Clothes. This is the most personalized of the list, as you should make sure you’re comfortable and taken care of. Some people get hot a lot faster than others, while other people are always cold. Make sure you have a few items to keep you dry, warm, cool, and ultimately comfortable in any situation. It doesn’t hurt to include a few articles of clothing that you love wearing so you’ll feel a little extra comfortable during uncertain times.

4. Shelter. You never know what type of shelter you’ll need in a SHTF scenario, so be sure to pack a few options. This includes a tent, a warm sleeping bag, a sleeping pad, and a warm blanket. If you’re stuck in an intense SHTF scenario, you’ll even want to brush up on your shelter building skills.

5. Fire. This one’s pretty big. You’ll want to make sure you can start a fire wherever you end up. Even if it’s too warm outside to need a heat source, you’ll still need a way to cook meals and boil water. That’s where fire starters come in.

6. First aid. This should go without saying. Pack anything and everything; you never know which emergency you’ll encounter.

7. Hygienic items. Think about it: you’re doing great, surviving in a SHTF scenario, and you can see a way out. But how would it feel if you got sick from a simple hygienic mistake? Not washing or taking care of your body is a quick and easy way to get infections. No one likes infections.

8. Knives. I mean, do you ever go anywhere without at least one knife? Make sure you have a backup knife in your bug out bag in case anything happens to your EDC stash.

Of course, you may have some extra training to do if your dog isn’t obedient or is overly protective, fearful, or excited. But investing the time and money now can help save your life later. Plus, having an obedient dog who can do tricks on command is pretty cool these days.

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