7 Mistakes People Make as They Build a Bug Out Bag
1. You Buy the Generic Bug Out Bag
So you and your friends are talking one night. I don’t know, maybe you watched The Walking Dead again and decided that this time, you really need a bug out bag. I mean all of those zombies that are sure to be hitting the streets any day now are going to be serious business. You want a BOB. However, you don’t have the time or want to build a bug out bag yourself. So you just decide to order one online. It’ll do. Heck, it’s already put together. It comes with food, first aid and lots of other cool stuff. I’ll give it to ya, having a pre-made bug out bag is better than having no bag at all.—But, your bag should be built for your needs. A BOB is not a one-size-fits-all item.
2. You Build a Bug Out Bag for 72 Days Instead of 72 Hours
This is a very common mistake. Heck, I made it myself when I was going to build a bug out bag for the first time.
Sometimes you forget that you are only preparing a bag for 72 hours, and not any longer.—And I get it, building a BOB can be a little fun and exciting, admit it. Heck, you are getting ready to survive zombies… well, maybe just a hurricane or power outage. This excitement can make you go overboard a little bit though (or a lotta’ bit) and want to add every item you can think of… more food and more batteries and more clothes. Which doesn’t just mean too much stuff, but to too much weight. So, remember to pack only what you need for 3 days.
3. You Get Way too ‘Tacticool’
This kind of ties into mistake number two. You get excited about building a bug out bag. You see all of the cool stuff on the market. You get confused about survival and literally focus on fighting zombies and trying to become a Navy SEAL. You think by purchasing the right gear and watching enough YouTube videos you actually can become a Navy SEAL. Look, no offense, but you will probably never become a Navy SEAL. Especially with just YouTube and REI. So in short, buy survival gear that you can actually use… err, know how to use. Leave the tactical helmets and body armor for the guys that can actually use that stuff and need to use that stuff. Plus, in a SHTF situation, if you are the tacticool dude on the street, you are going to stand out like a fat kid at Crossfit.
4. You Buy Your Bug Out Bag FIRST!
Oops! If you buy your bug out bag first, you can just put it aside to use as your new gym bag later. Because most likely it’s not going to work for your BOB. Always wait until after you have the contents of your bag together before you buy the bag you are going to use for your actual BOB. Yeah, I made this mistake myself when building my first bag. So hold off on the bag shopping until last.
5. You Build Your Bug Out Bag without ANY Direction at All!
This one is simple. Don’t wing it. Follow some sort of plan, from some sort of person who knows what the hell they are doing. Here is a good list of everything you will probably need when you build a bug out bag minus the things you need to customize your bag. That would be things like prescription medications, etc. I highly recommend reading this book right here by Creek Stewart before/as you build your bug out bag. You literally can’t find a better book!
6. You Don’t Determine a Bug Out Location
This one believe it or not is a common mistake. Remember, if you are going to “bug out,” you must know where you are going to “bug out” too. Make sure you can get there and know of back up routes to access your BOL. Very important! And always consider the fact that sometimes you might just hunker down and bug in’.
7. You Don’t Learn About Your Bug Out Bag
Just because you have your bag together does not mean you are ready. You need to review your bag every few months and tweak it out. You may realize that there are more items you need to add or that there are some items you can remove. Maybe you need to replace old meds with new meds. You also need to practice. This doesn’t mean you have to go out in the field for a week. Just cook one of your meals one night at home in your backyard with your cooking kit, practice building a fire, practice building tarp shelters, mentally review what you would do in specific bug out situations.