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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Urban Survival Skills - Bug Out Bag Questions

We received a message on Face Book (see Urban Man on Face Book) from Paul, who is married and the father of two girls, 10 and 14 years old.

Paul have viewed the first four segments of After Armageddon and was introduced to the Survival Bug Out Bag concept that was commented on in After Armageddon Chapter 4. He lives in the city and is now starting to make plans in case of a collapse (economic or pandemic are his two main fears).

Paul also viewed the previous posts on relating to Survival Bug Out Bags and other posts on Survival Gear and Equipment. His primary questions were: 1 – should each person (including his girls) have separate items in their bag, in other words spreading out the items, such as one girl carrying water and fire starting items and the other girl carrying food and the first aid kit? What type of bags and the maximum weight would I suggest that the girls carry?

As far as splitting up Survival Gear and Equipment I think Paul needs to ensure each Survival Bug Out stands alone. Consider the people in your Survival Group being separated. Each Bug Out Bag needs to fully support each survivor. Food, water, Survival tools and clothing in each bag. Each person carrys their own important paper documentation and better yet multiple copies which can be crossed loaded.

As far as weight to be carried or limited to,......depending upon the type of bag they are using and the girls’ physical condition. I would think a very maximum of 40 lbs, maybe less for the younger girl. A lot of this will be water, which will be consumed and therefore lightening the load as you go. Same as food as it will also be consumed. Your foot movement will be slow, as it should be to ensure security. You would be taking multiple breaks or temporary halts during movement to rest, do navigation/map checks, adjust loads, looking and listening for others approaching and generally ensuring you are not being followed, especially by two legged predators.

Many great bags out there. is partial to bags made by CamelBak, Eagle and new bag we have been testing from Mystery Ranch. All good kit – sometimes it boils down to personal preference.

Paul mentioned he has an older Jeep Cherokee in good shape and he has two full up spare tires for it and two five gallon fuel cans that he would also take. That’s a good start. You would be leaving the urban area during a collapse, first in your vehicle, and possibly later on foot if and when that became necessary. The Survival Bug Out Bags need to be within arms reach and the contents never used while you still have a vehicle to transport you. Drink and eat out of stocks in the vehicle. The Bug Out Bags need to fully stocked if you have to immediately run from the vehicle and don’t have time to be screwing around cross loading other Survival Gear or Equipment.

I would consider a firearms for each girl based on their firearms training and capabilities. Worst case, .22LR rifles for each with a minimum of 100 rounds of spare ammunition.

Paul, the bottom line is that the Survival Bug Out Bag equipment list won’t change much per bag or per person carrying it. Consider everything in the Survival Bug Out Bag as individual kit. Thanks for your excellent question and hope this helps.


  1. I agree, every person should have the basic survival items. Beyond that extra tools and items can be divided between the adults. Another thing to remember is how difficult it is to travel with a heavy pack. 3 miles is a long hike with an 80+ pound bag. Some of these people that have a Bug Out Location 200 miles away are kidding themselves if they think their bug out bag is going to get them there in 3 days.

    For a basic list of survival items check out this post.

    1. Unique Outdoor Survival Skills

      Don't you find it ironic that even with all this scandalously expensive education, people today know so little?

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      Not to mention trapping, catching, skinning and cooking a rabbit...

      These may seem advanced outdoor survival skills now, but back in the days, they were merely called "Living".

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      Thanks again.


  2. This is an excellent CHIEF Ultimate Gear Bag.The case is very durable and will hold everything you need for a single pistol.