Beyond the Four Basics and doing an Area Study, the next priority is having a Grab-N-Go bag. At least one. I have one in the house, one in the Jeep, one at my ERT, Emergency Rally Point, yada yada and with the bisque.
There’s nothing wrong with buying a pre-packaged kit if you don’t have the time to do an Area Study and then selectively pack one. I bought this for my son in San Diego since it included many of the essentials:
EVERLIT Earthquake Emergency Kits Survival Kit 72 Hrs 2 Person Bug Out Bag for Hurricanes, Floods, Tsunami, Other Disasters,Include Food Water, Gear, Hand-Crank Charger and More (a basic bag with supplies for 2 people for 72 hours)
Unfortunately, it’s currently unavailable on Amazon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t backorder it. Below is something that is available now and actually has more, although it doesn’t come in a backpack, but a bag you can carry by the handles or roll. Or put in a shopping cart and push down the road, aka The Road.
Complete Earthquake Bag – Emergency kit for Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Wildfires, Floods + other disasters (3 person, 3 days)
However, there is much more than just the kit. Clothes, perhaps a vest and more can make a big difference.
The list below is just a sample of what I discuss in the book, The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. I also link to the items on Amazon in the book.
You should adjust based on your environment and your Area Study. More importantly, how much will fit and you can carry on foot? Factor in what gear you can readily scavenge or make from field expediency.
The gear is broken down by areas. Feel free to personalize, upgrade, whatever. This is a guideline. The free slideshow linked has links directly to specific geat at Amazon.
The bag itself. This goes back to how much you can carry. Remember, the bigger the bag, the more obvious it is. And the more someone might want to steal it from you. If you have no experience with backpacks, go to your local sporting good store (REI always has knowledgeable personnel working) and ask. I just noticed REI is starting to open their stores, although most are going for curbside pickup.
Do you want just a regular backpack like kids take to school? An internal frame ruck? External frame? Built in hydrating system? The choices are limitless. What you should do is go down this list first, write out what you’d like in the bag, get the stuff, then find a bag that fits the stuff. You might find you’re trying to carry too much. That’s when you take out the items depending on importance. Also, consider the color of the bag. I’d go with, if not camouflage, something that is dark in color, or that matches your surrounding terrain.
WATER: 6 full 500ml water bottles or 24 125ml pack of emergency water. This is your immediate emergency supply if you have no time to fill up your . . .
Water Containers. Either a built in water supply such as a Camelbak or pockets/clips for water carriers. Most packs have external loops on which you can secure canteens and water carriers. Remember, though, that water sloshing about and things on the outside of your bag banging about, violates noise discipline. Your first priority is to fill up this container with potable water or fill from your household water stash if bugging out. The water bottles are to sustain you to get to that point. They also then become extra water containers.
Water Purification. Lifestraw equivalent and two bottles purification tablets. Water Filter; Waterproof Sacks, inner bags, Ziploc bags. Everything inside your backpack that can get wet needs to be inside a waterproof sack/inner bag. Have a supply of assorted size Ziploc bags for smaller gear. Empty compressible water containers: For after establishing base camp
FIRE: Windproof lighters. 3 each; Windproof matches with striker; Magnesium fire starter. Make sure you practice with it before trying it for the first time in the midst of a downpour and hurricane force winds; Portable stove and fuel supply. You need a small stove with a fuel supply for at least a week. Go with the stove for cooking initially instead of a fire because of smoke and light discipline.
FOOD: Minimum 6 days supply. Add in power bars, etc. Survival meals; Pot to cook in, utensils, pot holder.
FIRST AID: Emergency first aid kit; Medical mask; Quikclot sponge. 2 each; Universal Splint, rolled. 1 each; Extra medication (minimum one week’s worth); Extra glasses
SHELTER: Emergency, light weight sleeping bag. These are also called bivy sacks. They are a step up from the emergency blankets you see advertised and more effective.
Small tent or poncho. This depends on multiple factors: how many people, portability, weather, etc. As you’ll see later, my recommendation for the hide site is to make it in a remote location. If you’re hard-core, you eschew the tent in favor of a field expedient shelter that can be put up and taken down quickly, using a poncho and paracord. This also depends on the weather/Area Study.
Sleeping pad. Either a fixed pad or Thermarest self-inflating. Not just for comfort, but in cold environments, staying off the ground, saves you heat. In a hot, jungle environment, this can be swapped out for a hammock.
Sleeping bag*. Your decision on a sleeping bag depends on your Area Study. Plus 20? Minus 20? A bivy sack is useful for both shelter and sleeping. You need something waterproof to insert the sleeping bag into.
TOOLS: Leatherman, Mutli-Tool (in addition, consider adding Leatherman, Crunch Multi-Tool)
Portable, hand crank, emergency radio, rechargeable flashlight.
Battery powered headlamp. Often, in the dark, doing survival activities, you’ll need both hands, so this helps. Also, consider having a red lens cover or red option for the light so you can use it at night and not emit a large signature.
Fixed blade survival knife. We used to argue about knives all the time in our team room. Which type was best, where to carry it, etc. etc. I like a six to eight inch blade. With sharpening stone.
Folding saw. These are very useful in cutting firewood, clearing paths and construction.
Paracord/550 cord. 100 feet at least. Parachute cord or 550 cord as we called it in the army. This is very strong, very light and narrow cord that again, will have more uses than you can imagine.
Signal mirror; Signal panel, such as a VS-17. This is why everything else is muted or camouflaged. You keep this packed away until you actually want to signal someone.
Fishing Line, hooks, sinkers and some lures. These come in handy kits.
Snare wire. Indispensable. You’ll be amazed how many different uses you’ll find for this beyond setting snares. Traps are a much more efficient way to catch game over hunting. Hunting with a gun also leaves a noise signature that might attract unwanted guests.
Electrical tape. 1 roll; Duct tape. 1 roll.
Candles. Primarily in a winter environment for light, warmth, fire, glazing snow cave, etc.
Survival axe; Machete. If applicable to your environment and zombie threat level; Snow shovel. If applicable to your environment; Pocket chainsaw. Light weight, small, but can be very useful in a variety of situations. Such as amputating your own arm if its pinned to a canyon wall by a boulder. Joking. Not.
MISC: Compass. Zip ties. An assortment. Very useful. Map of the area. A physical, geographic map. 1:24,000 scale at least. Waterproof Map case. Make sure there is a way to tie this off to you. Pen, pencil and paper. Identification. Driver’s license, passport.
Cash. ATMs won’t work if the power is out. Cash will be an initial barter material until it gets real bad when food, first aid, expertise (especially medical) and weapons/ammunition will take priority.
PERSONAL ITEMS: Toilet paper. Baby wipes are preferable. Toothbrush with paste. Razor and blades. Camping soap. Camping towel (small, dries fast). Feminine hygiene products as needed.
CLOTHING: Pair of workout shoes or broken in boots, in case you have to bug out and don’t have time to put on your proper bug out clothing. Extra socks. At least three pair. Boot bands. Seems trivial, until things start crawling up your legs. Wool watch cap. Most heat escapes through the head and/or: Boonie hat. Protection from the sun, absorbs sweat. Gloves. For weather as appropriate but also for working. Something that gives you a good grip while also protecting your skin. When I was in the field, I wore thin gloves pretty much all the time. They allowed me to handle my weapon but also protected my hands.
All these checklists and links are HERE.
The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.
The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)