Water. Your first priority in any emergency situation is to make sure you have enough water on hand for you and all of your family members. You should store at least one gallon of water per person per day in a cool dark place. In addition to whatever you have prepositioned in plastic containers it's adviseable to fill up your bathtub and sinks with water before the water system breaks or becomes contaminated.
Every survival kit and emergency preparedness plan should include emergency blankets and lights. Mylar blankets effectively reflect body heat, and can keep you warm throughout a cold night. Their extreme lightweight and compact size make them an ideal part of a survival kit. To ensure you have adequate light in the event of a power failure, chemical snap lights are a convenient solution that doesn’t rely on batteries. Many snap lights last for 12 hours or more, and have a five year shelf life, so you know they’ll be there for you when you need them.
A bit off topic here, but if you’re new to prepping, survival foods is only the first step to a thorough plan for surviving a catastrophic disaster, with the greatest risk being to those who live in or near major cities. If there is ever a disruption in the food supply, major cities will suffer the hardest and first due to the insanely high number of people who need food and water (into the millions in certain cities).
In my experience maglites, mini and otherwise, are pretty lousy for durability and power to weight. Even the LED conversions aren’t realistically useful. For us mortals who don’t need a 1500 lumen weapon light with IR strobe, Princeton Tec makes good waterproof lights that are rated for use in hazardous environments (firefighter spec basically). The “Attitude” is pretty cheap, small, rugged, common battery type, nice pocket clip, lanyard hole, clear body so you can visually inspect the batteries for leaks, and you don’t have to open it up to check if it’s AA or AAA. Plus it’s not an “indicator”. If after the SHTF you pull out a specialized weapon light with pic rail attachment and red filter in order to show the Nat’l Guardsman your documents they might take a much closer look at the rest of your gear.

Anything with both the words “multi” and “tool” in it is worth having a look at. There are a great many options for multitools – focus on weight and practicality when looking. Are you going to really NEED the one with the allen key and corkscrew? Stick to the basics of a straight blade, saw, and can opener (like this one here) and add what few other options you see fit. Some bonus items that are rarely thought about are a magnifying glass and USB stick. These come on some multitools and can be used to start fires and store important family records, respectively. If you want to learn more about choosing the right multitool for survival, you can check out our article here.
Just as you might imagine a company called “Ultimate Arms” would produce a bug out bag heavy on weaponry so to you’d be safe in assuming a company called “Food Insurance” would produce a bug out bag tripped out with food rations. This bug out bag eschews the notion that you’ll need to hack your way through starving, blood crazed, fellow survivors and instead assumes you’ll need to eat in order to keep your strength and spirits up should you be dislocated due to natural or man-made disaster. As such there’s ample food for a couple to keep themselves fed for a week or a single person for 2 weeks and still lots of room in the backpack for other things like Uzis, pepper spray and concussion grenades should you feel the need to bring them along.

People ask if I was in the military. Yeah, but it was 80 lbs and 40 years ago. Special Forces “A TEAM” medic in fact. But I forgot a lot of that. I carried 120 lb rut when we moved out, but about 40 lbs of ammo and grenades on patrol. I have 2 dozen ruts now, from patrol size to major moveout size. I put 80 lbs of cat litter (we have a cat rescue) to practice the other day … and I had a very hard time to get up with it. So I dropped that to 40 and hit the treadmill 3 miles and 3 mph. I will need to do that for awhile before increasing the weight. I’m 220 wanting 180 but at 66 yrs it’s becoming harder to do things. Hips, knees, shoulders, knuckles .. they are all stiff and ache. So I may have to cut back. But to tell someone just bring 12 rounds of ammo …… that’s crazy. Get an AR in 22 cal, the Ruger Takedown fits well in our ruts. 300 rnds of 22lr is light. I have a Glock M22 40 can with a 22 conversion that works great, same for 1911 45 / 22. In reality, it all comes down as to what the threat is perceived to be. CPAP: my new one is 10 oz, and 6 days of rechargeable batteries are 4 lbs. Solar panel or 110 to recharge the batteries. Forget the CPAP = loud snoring and dog tired wakeup.


In my experience maglites, mini and otherwise, are pretty lousy for durability and power to weight. Even the LED conversions aren’t realistically useful. For us mortals who don’t need a 1500 lumen weapon light with IR strobe, Princeton Tec makes good waterproof lights that are rated for use in hazardous environments (firefighter spec basically). The “Attitude” is pretty cheap, small, rugged, common battery type, nice pocket clip, lanyard hole, clear body so you can visually inspect the batteries for leaks, and you don’t have to open it up to check if it’s AA or AAA. Plus it’s not an “indicator”. If after the SHTF you pull out a specialized weapon light with pic rail attachment and red filter in order to show the Nat’l Guardsman your documents they might take a much closer look at the rest of your gear.
A bug out bag is critical but what do you put in it? When considering disaster preparedness, keep in mind that what survival gear and emergency supplies you add to your bug out bag and then pack for your survival kit can mean the difference between life and death, or at least affect your level of comfort if SHTF and you had to get outta dodge. Read this article to find out what you should consider putting in your bug out bag.
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