How to Balance Your Needs versus the Weight of a Bug Out Bag

How to Balance Your Needs versus the Weight of a Bug Out Bag

When I look at some people’s bug out bag lists, I have to wonder how they’re going to carry it all. It’s easy to go overboard on a bug out bag, especially when you consider that you don’t really know how long you’re going to be out in the wilderness. However, every ounce of extra weight you carry is going to eat into your body’s energy reserves and slow you down. If you’re not careful, that extra weight can hinder you, more than help you.

How to Balance Your Needs versus the Weight of a Bug Out Bag

Seasoned backpackers say, “The lighter the pack, the more enjoyable the journey.” However, they’re going out for a week or less at a time; with the expectation of going home at the end of their trip. So, the criteria that apply to them, really can’t apply in the same way to bugging out. Even so, it can work as a starting point.

Looking at several websites for backpackers, it seems that ideal weights for backpacks vary a bit from one person to the next. Obviously, the physical condition and stamina of the individual is a factor that needs to be considered. However, most of these backpacking experts seem to favor a backpack that’s 1/6 of the person’s body weight.

One-sixth of a 150 pound man is 25 pounds. But 1/6 of a 220 pound man is 36 2/3 pounds. The problem here is that the 220 pound man probably isn’t n as good a shape, physically speaking, as the 150 pound man. So, if we go just on body weight, we may be hurting ourselves more than we expect to.

There are a few who advocate 1/4 of the individual’s body weight as a maximum weight. That actually seems more realistic to me for a bug out bag. This isn’t a pleasure trip, but rather bugging out to survive. That’s going to dictate carrying some things that are going to make your weight go up.

It is said that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” I think that’s very applicable to the bug out bag. Pack a bag with 1/4 of your body weight and see how far you can walk with it. If you can’t walk several miles, without feeling that you’re going to die, then it’s too much; regardless of your body weight. Try the same thing with a bag packed to 1/6 of your body weight. Then, adjust the weight to find a point that works for you. Make that your target weight.

Okay, so how do you get your bag weight down to the point of your target weight? First of all, realize that some percentage of that weight is food. You’re going to eat about two pounds of food a day. So, if you’re just a couple of pounds over, I wouldn’t worry about it. You’re bag is going to be under your weight limit all too fast.

Look through your bag, asking yourself the question, “Do I really need this?” You’ll probably find some things you’re carrying because someone said you should or because you thought it was a neat gadget. If you don’t really need it, it’s time to get rid of it.

The next thing to do is to look for places where you can combine equipment to save weight. Simple things, like replacing a pair of pants and a pair of shorts with a pair of pants that have removable legs, will save you precious ounces. The best savings for things like this are your heavier items, like tools. A combination hatchet, hammer and crowbar is lighter than having a separate hatchet and hammer.

Finally, look for ways of replacing equipment with lighter weight alternatives. Good backpacking equipment is extremely light; that’s a lot of what you’re paying for. So, take everything out of your pack and weigh each piece individually, preferably on a postage scale. That will tell you your heaviest items. Then go looking for lighter weight items to replace those. You can always sell your old items to someone who isn’t as concerned about weight as you are.

Let’s keep the discussion going. Comment below with how much your bug out bag weighs.



HOW TO PREPARE FOR ECONOMIC COLLAPSEIt may seem odd to think about how to prepare for economic collapse and the possibility of a complete US or a global imminent economic collapse right now. After all, the stock market is up and unemployment is down- things have gotten markedly better than they have been in years. There are those that believe that we are in the exact same place we were in 2008, right before we slipped into one of the worst recessions in US history. With our stock market set up with artificially inflated numbers due to an overly aggressive bond-buying program, we may soon see the entire economic system collapse upon itself. The entire market is currently predicated on a system of borrowing and investing and financial engineering that can’t bear its own weight.

So that raises the question; how to prepare for economic collapse? We don’t mean the stock market dropping a little, or the price of gas going up a few dimes. We mean to say the complete collapse of the economic marketplace that would make your bank accounts void and the currency in your pocket to become worth only as much as the cost of the paper. What if you had a newborn or small child at home, you as the head of your household have an obligation to protect your family. You need to know what is going to help you and your loved ones survive an economic collapse.

3 Tips on How to Prepare for Economic Collapse!

  1. Bartering Will Be Huge

Bartering is our oldest system of currency; physical goods or services for physical good or services- square deals built on a handshake. When money becomes worthless, barter will once again become the currency of the common man. That means you need to have either goods to trade, or a trade to ply. A few good items that you can stock up on now that will have huge value include personal toiletries, salt, liquor, staple foods, and if you have the ability and room- livestock and small game. As for trades, make sure you have some skills that will be in demand. You may be a marketing director now, but there will be little need for those skills in a collapse. Find a skill that will have real value; whether it is gardening, blacksmithing, knife sharpening, vehicle and mechanical repair, carpentry- anything that can provide a real and practical value.

  1. Don’t Trust All Your Money to the Bank

If the grid went down tomorrow every dollar in your account would float away like so much data. Don’t leave your survival to chance. While paper money will eventually become worthless, in the beginning cash will be king. There will be those who believe the system will right itself and they will be rich with all the cash they make. Keeping this in mind, start stashing away a little bit of cash every time you can. $20 here and there, maybe $100 when you can- anything to start a safety net of cash.

Eventually once you have a pretty good stockpile, say $5000, you should start considering a real investment.

  1. Precious Metals Will Always Have Value

Even as our dollar lowers in value every day, precious metals like gold and silver are steadily climbing in value. In 2006 gold was priced out at $472 dollars an ounce. As of this writing, it has climbed to a staggering $1,132.85. It has nearly tripled in value over a 9 year period. You won’t find a stock market investment that will yield that kind of return. As the dollar deteriorates, it will be precious metals that our economy turns to.

When answering the question how to prepare for economic collapse you have to keep in mind that disasters don’t really care very much whether you believe in them or not. That’s part of their strength, they happen when we least expect it and often despite our best efforts and intentions. You owe it to yourself and your family to be prepared for the very real possibility of a coming economic collapse. Nothing we have talked about here can hurt, it is all solid and logical. The only thing you are doing is giving yourself the peace of mind that you can protect your family and continue to provide for them.

Let’s keep the discussion going.

Comment below with any suggestion on how to prepare for economic collapse.

How to Get Your Spouse On-Board with Prepping

How to Get Your Spouse On-Board with Prepping

How to Get Your Spouse On-Board with PreppingThere’s a very common problem that many people run into when they first become interested in prepping; that’s the problem of their spouse, or in the case of those who aren’t married, their “significant other” as the politically correct term has come to be known. It’s rare that a couple both develop an interest in prepping at the same time. Usually, one sees what’s happening in the world around them and decides they need to do something, while the other has their eyes closed to all that.

Even worse than having a spouse who’s eyes are closed to the problems we all face is having one that wants their eyes closed. Maybe they just don’t like to think about anything bad happening, but more likely they are counting on Big Brother government to take care of them. They haven’t realized that the government has a very poor track record of doing that.

Prepping without your spouse can be an especially challenging proposition. Not only does it help to work together on doing all that needs to be done, but there’s the problem of money. Spending money on stockpiling food and other supplies, when your spouse isn’t in agreement, can become a bone of contention in any marriage, especially when spending that money means that you might not be able to do something else that your spouse wants to do.

It’s clearly better to have both partners on-board with prepping. But how do you get that reluctant spouse going? What can you do, if they just don’t see things the way you do?

Be Realistic

First of all, be realistic. You’re not going to make any headway talking about the Yellowstone Supervolcano blowing up the country or the Earth’s axis shifting. Get them on board with seeing the risk of hurricanes or winter blizzards; any local weather problem which could leave you without power or the ability to go to the grocery store. Once they are on board with the little disasters, you can gradually work your way up to the bigger ones.

Take their Blinders Off

Part of the reason that your spouse may not see the need to be prepping is that they don’t see the world situation as you do. Maybe you watch the news and they don’t. If that’s the case, you are much more likely to see the risks that we face every day than they are. Educate them, so that they will know why there’s a good reason to be a prepper.

Be Reasonable

Don’t try to go off the deep end, selling your home and moving to a bunker, hidden in the middle of nowhere. Decide on doing preps that are in alignment with the risks you are talking about, not an end of the world scenario. As they come on board, you can gradually up the ante, looking at bigger risks and what you should do to be ready for them.

Be Patient

You’ve got to realize that it took time for you to get into the prepping mindset and it’s going to take time for them to do so as well. You can’t expect that the conclusion which you reached after months of thinking about prepping is going to hit them in one short conversation. You’ll probably need a number of conversations, each of which helps them come to understand the problems that you see.

Be Subtle

There are things you can do to start prepping, which don’t necessarily look like prepping, especially if you can attribute them to some other reason. Planting a vegetable garden can be because you don’t like the idea of GMOs, instead of for prepping. Then you can start canning, to preserve what you’ve grown. Put in a rainwater collection system, as a way of saving money on watering the garden and avoiding putting all that chlorine in the garden. Things like this make sense in a non-prepper world, but help you to be prepared as well.

You can also buy some survival equipment, without the need to make it look like prepping. It could be emergency equipment for the car or camping equipment, rather than bug out equipment. Buying a gun or a hunting knife makes sense for hunting or just shooting. You don’t need to shove it in their face that you are prepping, just work on it subtly.

Are you having trouble getting your spouse or significant other on-board with prepping? If so, share your situation and/or comments below.


Why prepare

Why prepare

Why? That’s an amazing question. Little children learn it well and use it to drive their parents bonkers. Answering the question doesn’t get you out of trouble either, as they respond with one more “Why?”

This has to be the most common question that non-preppers ask preppers too. “Why prepare?” Those who haven’t asked the question have probably thought it; they just haven’t found anyone to ask. Even if they did, they might not understand the answer they’d get.

There are laws which require that anyone who drives a car has car insurance. Why? Any financial advisor worth their salt will tell you to buy life insurance. Why? The fire department (as well as your homeowner’s insurance provider) will tell you to have a fire extinguisher in your home. Why? Even the government tells you to have at least three days worth of food in the house in case of emergencies. Why?

All these things have one common root; they are insurance. Does the person who buys life insurance of a fire extinguisher expect to need either of them in the next week? Probably not. What they are doing is recognizing the fact that life occasionally throws us a curve-ball. The idea behind having insurance is to be ready for that curve-ball.

Many will follow their question of why one should prepare with some sort of platitudes of how big brother government will take care of us all, should anything happen. We’ve all seen one president or another making announcements about authorizing X number of billions of dollars in “disaster relief” to help people out after a disaster. It’s one of the better sound bites for the politician in question, making them look good and increasing their chances of reelection.


WHY PREPARE – Don’t be another statistic.

However, the government’s track record on helping out in a time of trouble is dismal at best. When Hurricane Katrina hit, the government at all levels was so busy pointing fingers at one another, that very little actually got accomplished to help the people. Even with emergency crews working round the clock, it took over a month to restore electricity to everyone.

Hurricane Sandy wasn’t any better. After all the high-level investigations in the wake of Katrina and all the talk about revamping FEMA, they didn’t do a bit better seven years later, when New Jersey was plastered by Sandy. Oh, it looked better to the people, but that’s only because the news media refused to report on what was happening, whereas with Katrina, they hounded the story to death.

So, if you want to count on FEMA to rescue you, go right ahead. But I don’t see any reason to trust them. They don’t have a good track record and they don’t have your and my best interests in mind. Therefore, if I can’t trust Big Brother to take care of me, I’m stuck with having to take care of myself.

That’s what prepping is all about; taking care of me and my family. Where most of the population is still expecting Big Brother to take care of them, preppers have decided that they can’t count on it. Instead, they develop a plan for taking care of themselves and then take the necessary steps to make sure that they can do it. It’s just one more form of insurance; because none of us know what tomorrow may bring.

The federal government has completed a study which states that in the event of an EMP attack from our enemies, only ten percent of our population will survive. That breaks down to the three percent of our population who are preppers, probably another percent who are people living in remote areas and the other six percent will be federal government bureaucrats, who will take care of themselves, before even thinking about taking care of anyone else. So, where does that leave you? If you’re not preparing, you may just end up becoming a statistic.

What is a Bug Out Bag?

What is a Bug Out Bag?

The term “bug out bag” is gaining a lot of popularity these days, but there’s still a lot of confusion about what is a bug out bag. Perhaps that confusion comes from the fact that there are many different people, with many different ideas about what a bug out bag can do.

If you compare what the DHS says about a bug out bag on their website, to what you find on most prepping websites, you’ll find that the contents listed are extremely different. That’s because the DHS has a much different idea about bugging out than the average prepper does.

Any bug out bag is about surviving. The basic idea is to have a bag packed, which you can use to help you survive, if you are forced to abandon your home quickly. You might be forced to flee due to a pending natural disaster, a nuclear accident or a zombie invasion. So your bug out bag needs to be prepared in such a way that it can help you to survive any of these situations.

After asking what is a bug out bag there are two major factors in creating any bug out bag.

  1. The first is the survival skills that the user of that bag has. Packing a backpack full of top notch survival equipment isn’t going to help a city dweller who’s never been out in the woods at night. They won’t know what to do with all that expensive equipment, so it really won’t help them survive.
  2. The second is the bug out plan that the owner is planning on using.

The DHS idea of a bug out bag was obviously created for people who are going to leave their home and go to a temporary government shelter or a FEMA camp. If you tried to survive out in the wilderness with what they have listed in their kit, you’d last about as long as your food and water did; then you’d be out of luck.

Before starting to create a bug out bag, you need to develop your plan. There are a lot of questions to ask yourself before you’re even ready to start building your bug out bag.

  • What are you going to do if you are forced to leave your home?
  • Where are you going to go?
  • What type of living conditions will you have available to you when you get there?
  • Will the supplies you need be available at your bug out, or will you need to bring them with you?
  • Is your bug out location going to be to a city, a government shelter, a small town, a prepared bug out retreat or are you going to bug out to the wilderness?
  • How are you going to get there?
  • What will you do if you can’t use your primary means of transportation?

You’ll need to make sure you have the right equipment and supplies to support your bug out plans. Your answers to each of those questions will determine what goes into your bag.

Now that we have discussed what is a bug out bag you can move on to gathering the right equipment and supplies to support your bug out plans.

Please comment below if you have any questions about bug out bags.

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