Bug-Out Bags: A Good Idea
Though the idea of survival in the case of everything from a natural disaster to something as catastrophic as complete, worldwide economic collapse and civil disintegration has gathered speed among the American public recently. Witness the success of television shows like National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers.
While there is certainly a core group of people who are prepared to respond in a split second for whatever impending doom their imaginations can conjure, most of us are less vigilant. Still, I don’t know anyone who owns guns who also doesn’t at least think about “What if?” To that end, my editor’s pick this week is survival expert Creek Stewart’s Build the Perfect Bug-Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit.
I picked this book primarily because the season is getting to me. As I write this, Fargo, North Dakota, is having its first significant snow of the season. At the same time, Wisconsin is having its last glorious 70-degree day. A cold front is due in tonight that will drop us to a much chillier realm, and that means snow and ice are not far behind for us Cheeseheads, as well as a lot of the rest of the nation.
“So what?” you ask. Well, it doesn’t take much to slide off an icy road in your car and get stuck, and when you live rurally, that can be a problem. Too, heavy snow and ice certainly has been known to knock out power (and for those of us on wells, so, too, water). There’s always the chance of a forest fire here, as well as a litany of other natural disasters. Whatever fate awaits me on the back roads of rural Wisconsin or you wherever you live, keeping in your home and car a short-term bug-out bag of appropriate survival gear as Stewart proposes is a very smart thing to do.
All this business about natural disaster preparedness and emergency and doomsday prepping, however short- or long-term, is pretty serious business, but the other reason I picked this book is because it’s about gear. Just like I don’t know anyone who owns a firearm who doesn’t think about the possibility of bugging out, I also don’t know a gun owner who isn’t a complete gear nut. We gun and gear nuts are also like squirrels, buying cool gear and tools and then stashing them away, “just in case.”
So assembling a bug-out bag goes naturally with that mindset, and when you combine that kind of common sense with the stuff we love to buy, building a 72-hour survival kit or bug-out bag can be loads of fun—plus it gives us a real and very sound opportunity to have all those neato-keen items we’ve bought over the years put to intelligent use. Stewart is a pro at this kind of survival gear and tool organization, with specific recommendations and a survival kit checklist, ways to pack them to optimize space, and advice on multiple-use gear pieces that save you time, money, and weight.
Complete with a thorough resource list to help you locate the right kind of bug-out bag gear, Stewart hasn’t missed a beat with this book. A must-have for anyone who asks that “What if?” question.