Real Life Long Term BUGOUT SURVIVAL
What do you need for long term survival in a bugout scenario?
Bugout and long term survival are two very different things, and many people get this mixed up, thinking that a bugout can sustain them for ever.
A basic bugout generally means getting away from an immediate danger, putting some distance between you and the danger and hunkering down for a few days or weeks.
In doing so your plan should be to keep yourself safe, away from danger and operate below the radar of prying eyes.
It is defiantly not for months and months on end.
Long term bugout requires a completely different mindset, and quite a lot of changes to the equipment and gear you have with you.
Standard Bugout Is More Like Scruffy Camping!
When it comes to 'normal' bugout, most general camping equipment is fine, and will do the trick for a few weeks, enough for you to ride out the dangerous situation you left behind.
When it's safe you will be returning to you home and possible normality, but for those few weeks, your in a safe place away from danger and below the radar, simply 'roughing it' and making do with what little gear, food and water you have at hand.
Long Term Bugout Is A Completely Different Mindset
Breaking down a survival situation into levels of importance will mean prioritising on certain items you have with you.
BUT.... Firstly you will need to have a means of carrying your long term bugout / survival gear with you, and this is where your first long term bugout problems start....
What Type Of Bugout Bag Is Best?
Long term bugout is not some outdoor jolly hiking trip where all your concerned about is how much weight your carrying, and how trendy you look with your bright orange super lightweight hiking backpack.
Your concern is about longevity of your rucksack and the fact that you want it to last.
In other words it must be made of good strong. solid materials, and not some lightweight nylon, that's flimsy and liable to rip open the first time you brush against a bush or tree.
Lightweight hiking rucksacks are simply not made to withstand wear and tear, and the rough handling of a bugout situation, where you will be subjecting you bugout bag to far more use than a three day hiking out in the open.
So steer well clear of this type of rucksack for long term survival..
Choosing A Long Term Bugout Bag
It goes without saying that the equipment used by the military is going to be more robust, and handle wear and tear far better than a weekend hikers gear.
So looking at what they use is a very good starting point.
Military rucksacks are made to last, they are strong and offer a large storage capacity - exactly what we want in a long term bugout bag.
It therefore makes sense to look at similar rucksacks that offer the same qualities, and there are a few on the market worth mentioning here:
Below is one of the better quality rucksacks for hard wearing and storage capacity, the Karrimor SF Sabre 45 with the Twin Side Pockets which give this rucksack a capacity of 75 litres (4500 cubic inch)
It has the ability to attach equipment to the front and also the underside, adding more versatility.
This capacity of 75 ltrs (4500 cubic inch) is the minimum size for a long term bugout bag.
The 45 + 30 litre pack uses the 1000 Denier Nylon fabric coated with a Silicone/PU elastomer, which gives you improved tear strength and flex resistance.
Finished with a fluorocarbon durable water repellent (DWR) that improves the water resistance of the fabric.
There is quite a range of colours to choose from as well, but keep it as neutral as possible - nothing too bright, and resist camo if possible, that'll just mark you out as a target.
The Karrimor SF Ruck Sack Sabre 75 (shown above), is also a good choice, giving an extra 30 ltrs of storage room inside. Add a pair of side pockets and your looking at over 100ltr capacity...
You can certainly fit a lot of long term survival gear in there, but your ability to carry it may be a factor to bear in mind!
How much weight can you carry in your bug out bag?
How much weight is too much?
You can never have too much gear, but can you carry it? That's the big question.
If your young, fit and strong then hauling around a heavy, fully loaded pack should be within your capabilities if you train with it and with practice.
As an example, British infantry soldiers stationed in Afghanistan regularly conduct four-hour patrols whilst carrying an average of 50 kilograms, that's 110 lb, of equipment when their going into battle.
This is one of the reason why I recommend going out and training yourself with as much kit as posible.
Go out wild camping, pack as much as you can carry and do a weekend away.
I personally find that it's a struggle for me with a 25kg pack.!
But I'm slowly building on that and including more and essential gear each time.
But I know for a fact that I must practice to get better.
It's pointless thinking you can manage a real life bugout scenario and that you can carry all the kit needed if you dont try it out first.
Get the correct survival gear and slowly load up and work until you can manage walking miles.!
Choosing the right bugout bag is essential for long term bugout and survival, and is a fundamental starting point to ensure success.
By having a good quality, strong rucksack you will be able to ensure all your gear is packed away safely and securely, and will last a long time, especially in a longer term bugout situation.
In the next part of this series I concentrate on tools - more specifically, preliminary equipment on the outside of you bugout bag.
Steve Hart - UK Preppers Guide
Read more in this series here: