Choosing a Bug Out Backpack should not be very difficult…any backpack will do in a pinch. Heck, your bug out bag can even be a duffel bag, a messenger bag, or even a fanny pack if you don’t want to carry it on your back. If however, you want to get serious about choosing a bug out backpack, here are some tips:
1. I’m not saying messenger bags and fanny packs are bad choices…they can be great choices! If you aren’t very mobile and you want the bag to be as small as possible, then fanny packs, lumbar packs, messenger bags, and waist packs are all good choices. These bags can easily blend in with an urban setting and don’t scream “I’m prepared!” to your neighbors. That becomes increasingly important as people start to “freak out” about the crisis. You don’t want to be an easy target! Even something as small as a fanny pack will fit many of the most critical survival gear items, some food bars , and a water bottle into it.
2. If you live in an area that gets hot, then a Hydration Pack will be a good choice.. These make a great bug out backpack because they have a collapsible water bottle inside them and a tube with a bite valve that allows for easy access to the water. This design also makes it easy to carry a fairly large amount of water while retaining the backpack look, feel, and convenience. The compartments of hydration packs vary in size from only small mesh pockets to those that are large enough to carry all of the gear you need for several days. CamelBak Products, LLC makes a good variety of these hydration packs. One of the best is their M.U.L.E. 100 oz .
3. If you don’t need the hydration pack, but are able to carry more items than the small bags allow, then a standard two-strap Daypack will work well. These versatile packs come in a good variety of colors, sizes, and patterns. They also blend well into an urban environment because they don’t look like a tactical or a survival backpack…they look more like a pack carried by a schoolkid. Many come with padded compartments to accommodate a laptop and have zippered compartments to quickly stow and access your gear.
4.Some people just can’t live without there electronic gadgets and should consider purchasing a Solar Backpack. These backpacks have solar panels on the back that allow you to charge your cellphone, GPS Unit, and other small devices. Some also come with a USB battery so that you can charge your devices when the sun goes down.
5. For the serious bug out backpack, a backpack with an internal frame is a great choice. These larger backpacks often come with wide padded straps,back pads, and harnesses to help alleviate the pressure of carrying heavy, bulky loads. This style also makes it easier to strap down larger items such as tents and pads.
Use common sense. If you live in an area that experiences floods or you might bug out by boat, then get a Waterproof Backpack. These are water tight and can float. Also, don’t make your bug out bag bigger than you can comfortably carry. You want it to be as light as possible without skimping on important bug out gear. After all, the best bug out backpack is the one that you can comfortably carry.
Featured Image courtesy of: Phil Campbell