There are basic items that everyone includes in their bug out bag, such as food, water, extra clothing, a firestarter, light source, and first aid kit. However, if you’re bugging out, chances are there is a reason and who knows how long it will be for. These 5 items are frequently forgotten by preppers, but can come in very handy in the event of a bug out. Plus, you can pack all of these items in a small MOLLE pouch such as the Sidekick and only take them if you need them.
If you’re bugging out for an extended period of time it will be important to make sure you can keep your clothing and bag, in good condition. This can also come in handy if someone in your group ends up with a wound that needs to be closed and you don’t have a suture kit in your med pouch. Lastly, make sure you know use your sewing kit. Hand sewing may look easy, but making your repairs last takes some practice.
Personal Water Filter
Clean water is essential in any bug out situation. Sure, you probably have several bottles of water in your b.o.b., but what happens if you run out? Yeah, you could drink straight from a stream and take your chances that it doesn’t contain any Cryptosporidium, Giardia, or E. coli, but today’s personal water filters are so reliable, compact, and inexpensive that there is really no need to take the risk.
Shemagh or Scarf
Shemagh's have been used by militaries around the world for years because of their versatility. Uses include: head and neck shade, cooling rag, makeshift arm sling, rock sling (weapon), tourniquet (when paired with a stick), marker or flag, sieve (for washing food such as berries or roots), gag, hot pad, lashing, mask, and much, much more. A scarf can be used for many of the same things as a shemagh, but their elongated nature does make them slightly less versatile. Another option for a face mask or face shield would be the neck gaiter.
Moleskin and Foot Powder
You’re going to be on the move, it may only be a little, or it may be a lot. Your feet are an important tool in bugging out and taking care of them is a must. Sweaty or wet feet can get torn up by even the most comfortable shoes and foot powder can help keep them dry. In the event that you develop blisters, cuts, or friction spots, Moleskin can help protect these areas from further damage and make walking more comfortable.
Map and Compass
You may already have a GPS unit in your bag, however, these units rely on batteries or charging, can be damaged easily in falls or drops, and require a working satellite network to operate correctly. You should have a backup plan in case your GPS fails, so a map of your area and a compass are great alternatives. If you have trouble remembering how to use a map and compass from back in your Boy Scout days...consider enrolling your family in some Navigation / Orienteering Courses to help jog your memory.
What do you think? Are you going to add these items to your bug out bag? Are they already a part of your kit? What important items do you think most people forget? Tell us in the comments section below.