Bug Out Bag Fails

While many an article is devoted to the notion of having a bug-out-bag, not all bug-out-bags are created equal. In fact, a great deal of bug-out-bags would likely fail, as a result of miscalculations and misinformation.

It’s said that the key to learning is being able to fail forward, meaning to learn from one’s mishaps and mistakes. So we decided to take a look at the most common bug-out-bag failures around. Here’s a solid crash course in bag failure that you can learn from, and avoid.

Too Much Weight

This is perhaps the most common bug-out-bag fail out there. While it is tempting to think about taking as many innovative tools or as much ammunition as you can carry, often times this ends in a serious weight disportion that can mean the end of you. If you haven’t seriously taken the time to weigh out all the items in your bag and legitimately assess how capable you are of carrying it for long distances, you are preparing to fail.

Not Enough Waist Support

If you have to bug out, you’re going to be traversing unfamiliar and perhaps unforgiving terrain, quickly. Backpacks inherently weigh down on the shoulders and upper body, and this can be remedied by ensuring that you have waist support on your pack. This permits the pack to be strapped to your core, allowing for more fluid range of motion and less stress on the shoulders.

Failure to Update

The notion of having a bag ready to go at any moment is pretty great until you realize that you haven’t looked at any of the things in that bag for a while. Items that are essential to your health in life-threatening scenarios, such as medicine, anticoagulants or perishable food should be updated. Failure to do so could lead to drastic circumstances in dire times.

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  • Small yet profound list. Being a retired hunter/trapper contracting for wildlife services in a couple states, I have found myself in situations where necessity called for me packing for very extended stays in wilderness areas and covering many miles of some very inhospitable and even dangerous terrain, sometimes moving along every couple days and sometimes daily for weeks on end. My biggest problems in packing my pack was the fact that I don’t like very much in the way of dehydrated “bug out” survival foods, and that I had need of cold weather gear and the need for sleeping up off the cold ground as the years go went by and my body got older and suffered the historical effects of getting beat up by packs packed too heavy, not balanced properly, and not having proper waist support.
    I think your list is wonderful! But, if I had one thing to add that I feel very important, it would be an additional tag on to the “Failure to Update” section. That would be, that the bug out might be a much longer ordeal than one might expect. Therefore, while updating is unbelievably important, I believe it is just as, if not even more important to learn how to survive in whatever landscape you may have to bug out into! Whether that landscape is a wilderness area (my preference) or even a suburban or urban landscape, you must know how and where to obtain the things you may find imperative to your continued survival in that landscape without “packing yourself to death”. And especially if one is responsible for the continued survival of others who are with you!
    I personally highly recommend that people take full advantage of any credible resource available. Take, retake every couple years to “update” your learning as well as your supplies and equipment. Then again, look for teaching from people who have actually had to live or “survive” in the situation (s) you might find yourself dealing with. Many tools as well as foodstuffs are available in much lighter and longer lasting forms, and yes, even tasting better than ones I had to utilize I my younger years. But, you know, there’s nothing like fresh meat, fresh veggies, and even fruit and nuts. If a person knows (“right down to your toes”, as my Father always said) how to go anywhere and make that your living room, kitchen, or bedroom, then you won’t be just surviving, you’ll be living! I find that preferable any day!
    My Dad believed in teaching my brother and me how to go into the wilderness anywhere Stark naked, and coming out days, weeks, or months later, well fed, clothed, and healthy.
    Almost anywhere a person finds themselves, they can make shelter or warmth (#1 importance), find water or make clean water (#2 importance), find ways to clothe themselves (#3 importance), and find and prepare food (#4 since we can live the longest without this). A person just needs to learn the how, where, why, and how again of obtaining needs and finding comfort! A big part of the “surviving” is dispelling the fear that goes along with feeling helpless because you truly do not know what to do! If a person can kick back in their little survival camp as you might kick back in your living room, or get something to eat nearly as comfortable as you would in your own kitchen, then you’re never lost or surviving! You’re living!

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