Thoughts on Bug Out Bags 2022

Thoughts on Bug Out Bags 2022

March 10, 2022

The interwebs certainly has cycles. I remember when I started my youtube channel a decade ago, everybody was eating up Bugout Bags as a topic. I’m not going to lie, the topic of Bugging Out helped my channel a lot in its infancy. I have seen recently a slew of videos and social media posts from some well-known guys in the training industry calling you a retard if you have a Bugout Bag. (I’m paraphrasing, calm down). All of the sudden, it became quite fashionable for the masses of followers to dump out their bags and profess they are on the cutting edge of training.

And then I see those same dudes teaching classes across the country, nowhere near the home that they professed that they would never leave even if the flooding was into their second floor. Now I’m confused, are they never leaving their house like it's the year of lockdowns again, or is whatever hotel they are staying at with its copious supply of travel soaps their new “bug-in” hideaway? They really need to make up their mind (or stop being clickbait bullshit, like they are a teenage influencer).

At any time, if you hear me, or any of the newer instructor types here at Tremis Dynamics talk about bugging out, we’re talking about the action. The ending location, while important to the person bugging out, is not relevant at all to the act itself. It’s a major part of the plan and will dictate most of the choices made, but it could be your home or not, don't care. Not germane to the discussion. Wherever you end up will be your “Bug In” location. And I still don't care where that is. If your internet guru du jour says “ well a get-home bag is different than a bug-out bag” the only thing to focus on is that they are a toolbag. Now that I have got that off my chest….

The largest consideration is the bugout plan, not the dumb bag. Is it to move the entire crew 50 miles away to grandmas house or just to get home from work. Those opposite ends of the spectrum will have a huge effect on what needs to be in the bag, which has all the effect on which bag is needed.

For instance, I have a small sling bag that rides shotgun with me all the time. It is essentially enough for me to walk home in my normal commuting along with some party favors in case the world is violent when that happens. It won't provide me with much for an overnight stay, but if I want to be dry and be able to reload a few extra times, maybe light some people on fire, it’s perfect. It’s small and light and being a slingbag, is quick to don. But slingbags carry like shit and don't hold much.

One of our bugout plans from home is a 21-25 mile trip, depending on the route. This means if we are not vehicle mobile I’m looking at 1 night in the woods at max. Depending on depart time there might not even be that. So my primary bag has to hold enough stuff for a single overnight, maybe pressed into 2 overnights based on circumstances. So the way to plan for it is to figure out what gear is needed for that trip in January. Shelter, food, heat, water etc. Get all that stuff and put it in a pile. Buy a bag that will hold just a bit more than that. People's biggest issue is that they buy the biggest bag they can find, and then fill it with way more shit than they need. Oh did I mention that my hometown has a long history of flooding? When your IG influencer who says they would never leave home as “that’s stupid”, is flagging the National Guard helicopter to hover over their rooftop, we’ll get to call them stupid right back.

Twice a year, I inventory the bag and swap out sleeping gear from really cold, to chilly. One could just leave it packed for the dead of winter, but swapping it out bi-annually also offers the chance to go through it and check the status of any consumables and gear. We do a spring and fall Bugout study group and class where we go use our bags. That happens to coincide with the bi-annual swap and inventory. We get some practice and a good reminder to go through the bag.

When plotting the plan, the rule of thumb is 72 hours/3days because eventually carrying more stuff to last a longer duration will also slow you down to the point that you won't get any more mileage than you would have with a lighter bag over a shorter time. When you plan your bugout, assume the worst, that you will have to walk the entire way. When you put shit in your car, bugout bags go in last on top of everything else. If plans change midway and you go on foot, the bags are right there to grab and go. Packing the BOB is like filling the spare tire.

For me, this is the basis that all the gear is selected. It saves a lot of time and money to work the problem in this direction than buying stuff first.

Hey, remember those bugout videos I mentioned…If you go look at them, ignore the first one. It’s out of date and was only relevant to my needs at that point in time. The second one is a real gem though.

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