The list of items to pack in your bug out bag (BOB) can seem limitless. However, you cannot afford to pack all of them due to limited space available and the fact that you must keep the weight of the BOB down. This leaves you with very few options if you must carry all the essential items to help you with successful bugging out.
Put another way, you must come up with ingenious ways to ensure you pack the vital items. One of the best options is to pack multipurpose items. Wouldn’t it be great to pack a single item that can perform many tasks? This will eliminate the need to pack specialized items for each of these tasks. So, what are these multipurpose items for your BOB?
A multi-tool to handymen or repairmen is like what a stethoscope is to a doctor. Soon after a multi-tool was invented, preppers developed a special liking for it because of its versatility. Just as the name sounds, a multi-tool is a single unit that has most tools attached to it. Each of the components tools is designed to perform specific functions.
A good quality multi-tool is a great replacement for a knife, can opener and even a saw. Imagine using a single tool to cut wood, prepare a game for food, build shelter, harvest forage and cut ropes/cordage. You can even use it for defense. This is a just a fraction of what a multi-tool can do.
A Survival Knife
All preppers know the importance of a survival knife. Bugging out without a survival knife is an impossibility. It comes handy in almost all your survival needs. You’ll need a knife when preparing food, for First Aid in medical emergencies, for bush crafting, for preparing firewood and many more.
A survival knife is important if you need to start a fire but you have no matches or lighter. Simply use the knife with a Ferro rod to start a fire. It also offers a great way to secure you and your companions from potential attack in the wilderness. You need to choose the best knife that can handle multiple tasks.
You may not think of a duct tape as a multipurpose item for your bug out bag. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You can use a duct tape to fix literally anything. You can use it to repair ripped jeans and even cover open wounds. The material used to make a duct tape is highly flammable. It is very good tinder for starting a fire.
An entire roll of duct tape can be several meters long. It can also be bulky. Amazingly, you can increase its versatility by simply rolling a small portion onto another item such as a flashlight. Thus you’ll not need to pack tinder and a whole roll of a duct tape.
A dental floss, really? You could be wondering how a dental care item could serve as a multipurpose tool in a survival situation. The secret to its versatility is the material used in its construction. In most cases, the material used is nylon. Nylon is strong, lustrous, resilient, elastic and resistant to abrasion. Theseproperties make it ideal for many applications.
It can act as a dependable fishing line. You can use it as a cutting tool to cut soft material such as cheese blocks. It is also a good item for repairing torn clothes. Dental floss takes very little space. It is also extremely light. It is impossible to underestimate the versatility of a dental floss.
Pack good quality cordage such as 550 Paracord if you want to unlock the potential of the item as a multipurpose item for a BOB. The 550 Paracords are so called because they have a minimum of 550 pounds of tensile strength. With such strength, this particular cordage can handle some of the heaviest tasks you will have to accomplish in a survival situation.
It will act as a reliable replacement for heavy and bulky ropes as well as some First Aid items. You can use a paracord to set a trap for a game, build shelter, make a clothesline, climb up or down a steep slope and tie things together.
Garbage or Plastic Bags
Garbage or plastic bags are annoying clutter all over our kitchens. Instead of disposing of such bags, use them as multipurpose items for bugging out. How can a garbage bag be of help in a survival situation? Well, you can use them as leak-proof water containers or carrying containers. You can also use it as a poncho.
Wrap a plastic bag around your water-sensitive items such as tinder and firewood. This is because plastic provides excellent insulation to protect such items against water and dampness. Interestingly, you can stuff things such as plant leaves inside a garbage bag to serve as a makeshift pillow.
The obvious use of a hammock is for relaxation. However, it can become a great multipurpose item for bugging out. In a survival situation, you can use a hammock for sleeping. It will keep you off the ground and therefore protect you from elements such as wet, dusty or cold ground.
If you have a cloth type hammock, you can use it a carrying bag for extra items you collect on the way such as tinder or firewood. If you happen to find yourself close to a water body, a netting type hammock can serve as a reliable gill net for fishing.
A tarp is a lighter and more compact alternative to a tent. Unlike a tent, a tarp has many more applications. As a shelter, it will provide you with a dependable protection against the environmental elements. I would recommend you go for a brightly colored tarp. It will act as a good signaling device in the wilderness.
Most tarps are made of waterproof material. This means you can also use it to cover your sensitive items. Also, use a tarp as a makeshift hammock to keep you off the ground if the conditions on the ground are not favorable.
This list may not be exhaustive if we must list all the multipurpose items for BOB. However, at the bare minimum, you need to pack these eight items. This information is invaluable if you are serious at your prospects of becoming a successful prepper. Going by the tips, you can pack the maximum number of items for bugging out without having to carry a very heavy bag.