Being a prepper means being ready for anything. Some people might take this to mean stockpiling everything they can get their hands on on the off chance that it might come in handy later on. They might follow this same principle when it comes to their bug out bag. However, a bug out bag should not be a deadweight. It should also not turn you into a walking target. Here are a few common bug out bag mistakes you should avoid in case SHTF. (h/t to SurvivalSullivan.com.)
The deadweight BOB
A proper bug out bag should not weigh you down. You should be able to grab it at a moment’s notice and make a quick getaway, especially if there is an immediate threat in the vicinity. If you find yourself struggling to carry your BOB, it will likely get you killed in a survival situation. Either start a workout regimen that will allow you to carry heavier weights for long distances or ditch some of the nonessential items in your bug out bag. Weight is your enemy in a survival situation. It drags you down and tires you easily. It can also put unnecessary strain on your BOB and hasten the eventual wear-and-tear. If your BOB isn’t made of a durable material, it could give way at the worst possible moment. Everything that you put in your BOB should be able to justify its place there. Keep it light and stick to the essentials. (Related: Is your bug-out bag getting heavy? Reconsider these 9 items.)
The haystack BOB
Let’s say you do only pack the essentials in your bug out bag, but instead of packing them in an orderly manner, you hastily toss them into your BOB. There is no system. You don’t instinctively know where anything is, and now that you’re in an emergency situation, you will have a hard time finding that proverbial needle. You shouldn’t have to empty out your BOB just to find that one item you need. A little organizing can go a long way. Your most crucial items should be in the most accessible areas of your BOB. Familiarize yourself with all the different compartments of your BOB and where you place everything. It would also be useful to have an inventory to keep track of your supplies.
The walking target BOB
Standing out in a crowd can be one of the worst mistakes you can commit. Being too conspicuous with your bug out bag can draw unwanted attention. It can make you look like a potential threat or it can be a dead giveaway that you are more prepared than the people around you. Desperate people might try to take advantage of you for that. To prevent this from happening, you should try to make your bug out bag as inconspicuous as possible. Wearing a BOB with a camouflage pattern might keep you hidden in dense foliage but it might stick out in a crowded city. The idea is to have a bag that looks like what everyone else is carrying. Be just another face in the crowd, nondescript and generic. Since a camouflage pattern BOB may still be useful, you can simply slip on a rain cover over your pack to make it look less conspicuous.
The noisemaker BOB
This is the bag everyone can hear coming a mile away. There is an audible clink, squeak or rattle with every step you take. Not only will this constant noise alert everyone of your presence, it will also keep you from hearing other sounds that could signal danger. Muffle your BOB’s unwanted noises by insulating all your hard materials against soft ones. Keep your BOB packed tightly as possible to reduce any shifting of contents. Make stealth a great ally when SHTF.
If you want to learn more tips on preparing a bug out bag, you can read more articles at BugOut.news.