I was recently going through my bug out bag and trying to find ways to streamline it while providing more functionality from what is in it. This has proven to be a challenge, believe me. In today’s post, we are going to look as a few of the ideas that I have come up with. Settle back and grab something wet to drink and let’s get started.
After looking over everything I had in my bag, I began to categorize them into different groups based on what then did. Then I started to look at which group consisted of the most weight, for the combined parts. Needlessly to say it was the water group that was at the top of my list for weight and the process of filtering drinking water while on the go was also time-consuming, if you stop to think about it. That is unless you want to lie on your belly and drink from a mud hole using a LifeStraw every time you get thirsty and just hope you can find one. I made a list of all of the items I had that were just for water purification and transportation. These consisted of a LifeStraw, a metal canteen with cover that is worn on my belt, several collapsible bottles and a camel pack in my bag itself. I also have a bottle of water purification tablets in one of the pouches on my bug out bag. With water being the most important survival item, it only makes sense to have a couple of ways to be sure you can reliably filter drinking water. So the question becomes how I can reduce the amount of items while still having what I need to reliably obtain and carry the water I need.
With this in mind, I set out to scour the internet and see what I could come up with and bingo I found something that would help a lot. It is called a Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System. It is a small water filter that can be placed in-line on the tube from your camel pack drinking tube. It filters down to .1 microns. The filter removes (99.99999%) of all bacteria (like salmonella) as well as other harmful bacteria which causes cholera and E. coli and (99.9999%) of all protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidium. These removal rates equal or exceed other filter options. EPA guidelines allow ten times more protozoa left in the water than Sawyer Point One filters allow. The Sawyer Mini Water Filter is backed by a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty. It can be cleaned by simply back flushing the filter with the supplied syringe and you can you can also get a special kit for attaching it to the camel pack hose. In addition to this, you can get a special bag to force water through it for filling water bottles to use for cooking or sharing with others like your pet. All you need to do is place a piece of cloth over the mouth of your camel pack mouth and fill it from any water source. It will be filtered as you drink it through the hose. This will save a lot of time because you do not have to filter it and then add it to your camel pack or canteen. The less you have to carry, the better off you will be. I just ordered two of them for my wife and my bug out bags. They are real not expensive at $41.40 for two complete sets. That is about $21 for each set. By doing this, I can cut out the big canteen that I was going to put on my belt, and I will only need one collapsible water bottle carrying water foe cooking or my dog. It may not seem like it but by not carrying around a canteen that weighs about 4 pounds when full and adding a filter that is right at less than a pound will make a big difference over a long distance and time and is well worth the investment to me. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.
The next area that I found that I really needed to look at was in food cooking hardware. I had an Alcohol stove and a bottle of alcohol which seemed like a good idea at the time, when I thought about it I realized that there were better options to be had. The alcohol stove and alcohol weighed around 3 pounds, so I swapped it out for a small solid fuel tablet stove that weighs a lot less including the fuel. At 6.3 oz. it just makes sense. It’s not like I am going to be cooking 5 course meals on it after all. The trade-off in weight allowed me to carry additional fuel tablets and still be way under the weight of the other stove. It just makes good sense to me. Then the other piece of the equation was the cooking ware. I have to admit that I struggled with this one a bit. I really like stainless steel for cooking outdoors, however, this for bugging out only and not for long-term survival. I decided it would make more sense to use aluminum cookware while on the trail. For this reason I decided to go with a set that only weighs 1.2 pounds and has a pot, a skillet, 3 bowls, a ladle and a spatula as well. It is a really nice and compact set so it will lighten my load and give me cookware with a nonstick surface in a smaller footprint than I had before. All in all, I think it was a smart trade.
Well that is it for today’s post and I hope I have you thinking more about just what you have in your bug out bag and how you can maybe find a few ways to cut back on the weight and size of what you currently have in it now. Look for things that can be done to provide more functionality while reducing the overall weight that you are carrying. Just remember that you are not looking for long-term when it comes to your bug out bag but rather a short period survival bag to help get you from point A to B. Just remember thought that prepping is a direction and not a destination, so keep on prepping!