When you hear the term, “bug-out bag,” most people think of a whole laundry list of items that they believe must be in their bug-out bags. First aid kits, paracord, waterproof matches – all these are typically found in your everyday bug-out bags.
Here are the most common things people add to their bug-out bags:
- Weapons (guns, ammunition, knives, etc.)
- Ammunition (handgun ammunition, .22 caliber ammunition, whatever ammunition they need)
- Food (MREs, long term food storage bags, etc.)
- Water cleaning equipment (either water purification equipment or sanitization equipment)
- First aid solutions (field trauma kits are super important and could save your life!)
- Shelter equipment (tents, tarps, etc.)
- Fire starting equipment (waterproof matches, flint and steel, etc.)
These are all very necessary components when it comes to a bug out bag, but I think we’re missing a few key ingredients to a well mannered bug out bag. I believe that every bug-out bag needs to contain these three items in addition to the normal bug-out bag gear.
Forgotten Bug-Out Bag Necessity #1: A Meat Thermometer
I’m an avid hunter and constantly am using my meat thermometer for everything from squirrels to chickens or wild hog – I never would leave home without one. Getting a disease or food poisoning from uncooked foods is absolutely not ideal in a survival situation. It could mean certain disaster.
In a grid-down, survival situation, you’ll absolutely need to use a meat thermometer way more often than you would in the comfort of your own home. The foods will not be processed and will need to be prepared with the exact cook times. If you cook the food too long, you lose precious calories by burning the meat, and if you don’t cook the food enough, you could get sick, weak, or a long term food illness.
Remember: just about all meat can be eaten once it reaches about 165ºF, but here’s some more information on typical meat temperatures:
- Fish – 145ºF
- Poultry – 165ºF
- Ground meat – 165ºF
Forgotten Bug-Out Bag Necessity #2: Remington Oil
Remington Oil (also called Rem Oil) is a huge necessity in the field – and lots of it. Not only can you clean your firearms, but you can also maintain your other survival tools. Your survival equipment is going to be very hard to replace, so keeping them clean, well oiled, and in good shape is a top priority. How would you replace your survival knife if it became rusty and dull from constant use?
Rem Oil can protect guns, knives, forks, spoons – or any other metal device. Even your cast iron pots and pans can be oiled with Rem Oil.
- (Editor’s Note: Although the author says you can use Remington oil on eating utensils and pots and pans, it is recommended that you not use it unless you wash the items thoroughly before use. Remington oil contains petroleum distillates and mineral spirits. Consumption causes gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting and depression of the central nervous system.)
- (Reference: http://www.remington.com/~/media/Files/MSDS/MSDS-RemOil_Liquid.ashx — Clicking this link will download a PDF from the Remington company with specs on their oil.)
- (Thanks to Scott for the information!)
Don’t use the aerosol Remington Oil products – those are too large and waste a lot of oil by spraying it all around. Get a few of the smaller oil-only containers – and use sparingly.
Forgotten Bug Out Bag Necessity #3: Bring Your Papers
During a SHTF situation, you won’t know if there will still be records around.
You might need to prove you own your own property, are married, or anything else.
It’s important to have copies of birth certificates, wedding certificates, tax receipts, land deeds, insurance documents, and other papers during a survival situation. When law and order is re-established, you might need to prove your very existence.
What are some other bug-out bag items people forget?
Surely you have grabbed your bag and left for a trial run, only to find out you need something that isn’t in there. What would you add to this list?Image Credits: Flickr User Benjamin Thomas