When the shit hits the fan, you have to be ready to grab and go. There might not be time to pack up, snag a few last things, or do much else besides grab a bag and run. For that reason, many people have a "bugout bag" packed and ready. Finding the right one for you, and what you need to put in it, is something that everyone should give some thought to. After doing some research, I decided on the 3V Gear Paratus 3-Day Operator's Pack and my wife decided on the 3V Gear Velox II Tactical Assault Pack A bugout bag should be able to hold everything you’d need for up to 72 hours of survival. The Paratus and Velox II are large enough to fit everything we need and strong enough to hold up to anything we need to put them through. They're also good looking packs with great design and even better features.
You can find suggested packing lists online, but whatever else you plan on throwing in there, you know for certain that one thing you'll always need to have is clean, safe drinking water. Not a bad idea to have a couple water bottles ready to go for immediate use, but logistically it's hard to carry three days' worth of water on your back in addition to your other gear. Also, what if something happens to the water you are carrying? What if you lose your water bottles in the chaos of bugging out? What if they break open or spill? What if you have more people with you than expected and go through your supply faster? For these reasons, I would strongly recommend carrying some sort of water filter system. When picking my water filter system I did a fair amount of research into what kind of filter system would be best and what I need it to protect me from. While researching the Paratus on 3vgear.com I came across their HYDRATION SYSTEMS page and noticed that they offer a variety of water filters from HydroBlu. I'd never heard of HydroBlu, but I added them to my list of companies to research.
Eventually, after doing more research than I care to admit, I came to the conclusion that I needed a water filter that was compact, and would protect me from Bacteria, Cysts, and Chemicals in less-than-ideal water sources like a drainage ditch or, heaven forbid, toilet. I narrowed down my choices to the Lifestraw Go 2-Stage Water Filter Bottle, HydroBlu Clear Flow Water Filter Bottle, and HydroBlu Sidekick Straw Water Filter. All 3 of these options boasted offerings of 99.9999% protection against Bacteria, Cysts, Chemicals and Heavy Metals, and all were reasonably straight forward and seemed easy to use. After discussions with my wife, and the consideration that our bugout bags have to include 72 hours worth of stuff for not only ourselves, but for our two small children as well, I decided to go with the ultra-compact and lightweight HydroBlu Sidekick.
Which ever filtration system you go with, when it's your own safety or that of those you love, you have to go with things you trust. When I drink water from an unknown source I want to know that the water is as safe as it can be. I hope to never find myself in a situation where I "need" a bugout bag, but if I do, I'm glad I know I'm all set to go and it's nice to know I'll have clean water on the go no matter what the situation is or what comes up.
About the author: Josh Edwards is a medical professional and member of the US Army Reserves.