Bug out bags are starting to get heavier, and heavier, and more expensive. Are all those things in your bug out bag really necessary?
Packing a bug out bag for some people is like packing for a trip, they tend to over do it. However you want to make sure you have all the things you need.
In this post we’ll take a look at 10 ways you can shed up to 10 pounds from your bug out bag and still have everything you need.
1 – How Much Water Do We Really Need to Carry
A liter of water is heavy…it weighs about 2.2 lbs., so 3 liters of water equals 6.6 lbs.
6 lbs. may not sound like much but when added to all your other gear, it’s a heavy problem.
You can carry very little H2O, if you know how to procure and purify it on the go. However, this is very dependent upon your specific bug out region.
I personally plan to only carry about 1 liter of water at any given time.
If like me, you plan to not carry 6 lbs. of water, you’ll need to prepare and plan. You can either cache water along your route or find water and treat it on the go.
If water is abundant, then learn how to purify it. If it is not, learn how to find it or cache it.
If you decide to cache water along your route, remember to mark your map where it you cached it. There’s not much worse than depending upon your cached water and not being able to find it.
If you decide to procure water from the wilderness, then make certain you have some known reliable sources to treat along the way.
There are several ways to purify water, so practice one or two ways to purify water until you can turn nasty, stagnant water into safe drinking water. This will allow you to leave most of the water stock out of your bag.
2 – But What Will We Eat?
Now it’s time review your food stock.
Recall, you can exist about three weeks without food. However, you are bugging out and need energy to stay healthy and mentally alert.
So how are you going to reduce your food supply?
This is where your survival skills will really come into play.
When you are packing your Bug Out Bag include one freeze dried meal for each family member, and a few high calorie energy bars.
This is one day worth of food.
This amount of food will allow you to survive your bug out.
No, it won’t keep the hunger away but it will provide enough energy to remain healthy and alert.
Now, the more skills you have, the more food you might acquire. I recommend you pack in your bags the minimum you need to survive. Now, with some additional skills you can find some BONUS foods along the way.
If you break camp near a lake or river you may be able to find fish to eat.
All you need is a bit of fishing line, a hook (both very light). You can find a stick near the stream to tie the line to. Cast it in the water and wait for dinner.
Place the fish next to the fire with the skin left on to cook the fish; this removes the need for a cook stove, fuel, and pots and pans.
Bonus food may also be found in the woods.
If you know how to identify plant edibles or know how to use snares or traps you might be able to find some more bonus food. The snare and traps might work overnight to get a squirrel or two.
Again, having these skills means carrying less heavy food stock. The more things you know how to do and make in the wild the better.
One more trick to help lighten the food load fast is to eat your heaviest foods first. –
Your legs are freshest on day one, but your pack is heaviest too. By eating the heavier rations first, you will reduce your pack weight quickest for days 2 and 3. This gives you the maximum caloric benefit and lessens the weight of your pack each day.
3 – Ditch The Tent For A Tarp
Brush up on your survival skills and ditch the tent.
A tent with all its polls and stakes can add several unnecessary pounds to your growing pack. So instead of carrying a tent, carry a tarp.
A light tarp will suffice to create a simple shelter from most elements; it can also be used as a blanket.
Build a shelter with what’s available.
Pine trees with low hanging branches are a relatively safe shelter from wind and rain. They also have a layer of needles under them, which can provide you with a soft pallet to lie on.
Underneath these trees, the ground is usually soft enough that you can dig up the earth with a stick. This allows you to make a shallow impression that you can line with the needles to afford you a little bit of comfort and extra warmth.
Rock overhangs or shallow caves have been used for thousands of years by humans to survive. Just make certain the area is empty of unwanted animal guests before committing to it for the night.
If these are not options for you, then you might be able to use some paracord and a tarp to create a simple lean to shelter.
All you really need for most nights, is protection from wind and rain.
Sure it can be a bit frightening sleeping outdoors (without a tent) for the first time, so I suggest you practice this in your own backyard, and then practice this along your bug out route as well.
You’ll soon get used to sleeping under the stars.
One downfall of building your own shelter is it takes time and burns precious calories.
So it’s smart to pay attention along your bug out route and locate some already built for you options. By scouting your route carefully you can mark on your map where you found food items, timber, water and everything you will need to help you survive.
With the advance knowledge, and practice, you should be able to craft a decent shelter to protect you and your family from most weather conditions.
I can hear some of you already….but what if there is a Lightning Storm? Tornado? Forest Fire? Blizzard?
Yes, my friends these are risks, but how are these risks lessened by sleeping in a heavy-to-carry tent? No, they are Not.
Those risks are an inherent part of wilderness survival. Actually, it’s much better to hunker down in a shallow cave or overhang if a tornado roars by, instead of a tent out in the open.
Now, if it’s winter when you are bugging out, the heavy snow around the base of a pine tree can form a sort of igloo to provide protection and warmth for your family.
4 – Sleeping Bags Are Overrated
Another place to shave weight is to ditch your sleeping bag.
If you’re bugging out and you’ve got summer temperatures, you are not going to need a sleeping bag.
You can use your tarp which weighs much less. If you’re worried about being warm enough, add a light liner and it will be just fine for the warmer temperatures.
If you are in mountainous terrain or frigid winter temperatures, you can also trim weight by choosing to use an Emergency Bag. It’s made from the same stuff as the Emergency Blanket that EMS attendants use for hypothermia victims.
An Emergency Bag has been made to cover the body fully, from head to toe. Additionally it helps trap your body heat. If you are concerned that it will not be warm enough, you can certainly wear all your clothes while inside with the emergency blanket as well.
Using both the Emergency Bag and the Blanket will still shave a few pounds off your Bug Out Bag. It also acts as a windbreak against cold, rain, snow, and wind.
Stretched out the bag is an estimated seven feet long. Once it’s folded up it shrinks down to a compact four inches and weighs only 3 ounces. It is a lot less bulky and lighter than carrying around a traditional sleeping bag.
5 – Are Your Extra Clothes Are Holding You Back?
Attack your clothes stock.
Your clothes selection will depend upon your location and climate. You should re-evaluate your Bug Out Bag clothes stock at least every six months (I do it at the beginning of each new season).
During these times you will want to make sure you have the right seasonal selection of clothes that you can swap out when you need to.
Another way to save some weight and space is to roll your change of clothes into a skivvy roll.
What is a skivvy roll and what goes in it?
A skivvy roll is a couple of basic spare clothes items that you roll into a small tight ball.
First, to save space and weight, the only pair of pants you need are the ones you wear.
After that you need a change of socks, underwear, and shirt. So that’s what you put in your skivvy roll.
Lay your t-shirt flat and place your underwear folded in half in the middle of the shirt, right below the neck line. This makes it easier to roll.
Fold the right side of your shirt to the middle, and then do the same with the left side. Take a pair of crew socks, anything larger or smaller will not work quite as well, cross them toe to heel over the sleeves of your folded shirt.
Once you have the socks in place, begin rolling from the collar down the shirt to the bottom. The tighter you roll, the less space you will take up.
When you are done rolling, you should have two ends of the socks sticking out on either side. Take one end and fold it over the roll. Then take the remaining sock end and fold it over.
This is your Skivvy roll. A family of four with clothes rolled in a skivvy roll will barely weight one pound.
Here’s a quick video by a fellow survivalist “The Sensible Prepper” making a skivvy roll.
To see the rest of the ways to shed pounds from your bug out bag and a lot more useful information go to the full article at: SkilledSurvival.com
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