Is Your Bug Out Bag Too Heavy?

September 15, 2015 by | Be the first to comment »

Once you start adding items to your bug out bag, the next inevitable challenge is weight. Carrying anything over 20 pounds will be tough and, when that weight doubles, you can imagine how cumbersome that would be in a bug out situation.  A BOB that’s too heavy:

  • will get you tired in a prolonged bug out,
  • can cause you to twist an ankle,
  • can cause to back pains (if you have them now, being a few pounds overweight, imagine wearing 50 more)
  • …and even cause you to tumble down as you’re making your way to safety.

Most preppers aren’t fit enough to carry a heavy backpack for long distances and there’s two solutions to this:

  • they either need to get fit
  • and/or they make their bug out bags lighter.

In this article we’re going to focus on the second solution (though I recommend you apply both). I like keeping things simple so I’m just going to give you all the ways to shed pounds off your bug out bag.

#1. Get a monocular instead of binoculars

A monocular will work just fine, it’s cheaper and lighter so why not get that instead of binoculars? You could keep the binoculars at your bug out location or even sell them to get part of your money back.

#2. Get items that can do more than one thing

For example, you can find an AM/FM radio on Amazon that’s also hand crank, has a flashlight, a solar panel and even a phone charger! If you were to get all of these separately, they would surely weigh more.

#3. Get freeze-dried foods instead of canned

Canned food is heavy, not just because of the jar but also because of all the water in the food itself. Freeze-dried foods require boiling water to “cook” but they weigh A LOT less.

#4. Get smaller everything

A smaller canteen cup, a smaller toothbrush, a smaller AM/FM radio, AAA batteries instead of AA etc. Speaking of which, you could just get hand-crank versions of everything to ditch the batteries and maybe a solar charger for your phone.

#5. Remove non-essential items you don’t need

For example, if you have a copy of the SAS Survival Guide (like I do), you may want to keep it in your library… even if you have the pocket edition.

See, your bug out bag needs to be part of a bigger survival plan. The items you put inside should depend on whether or not you have a bug out location and a bug out vehicle. So…

  • if you have a BOL as well as a BOV, your bag needn’t be that big
  • and if you have neither a location, or a vehicle to bug out, you’ll probably gonna need an INCH (I’m Never Coming Home) bag.

Here’s what I suggest… Unpack your BOB. Take everything out, then put them back, one by one, and before you do that, ask yourself:

Do I really need this? Can I make it on the spot or maybe it’s non-essential and my wife has it in her bob?

#6. Get a pair of cargo pants

…which you can strap on to your bug out bag so you can quickly put them on when you’re ready to go. Why? Because the numerous pockets they have will allow you to take weight off your back and attach it to your feet. You’ll still have to carry the same amount only your spine. You may or may not have time to actually unload part of what’s in your backpack into your pants.

#7. Keep weight in mind before you buy anything

Researching before you buy survival items is mandatory but few consider the weight of the thing they’re buying. Amazon makes it relatively easy by showing shipping weight for each item (careful as some of these weights include the packaging.

Well, this is it. As you can see, there’s no magic pill to making your bug out bag lighter. You just have to cut corners where you can however, one thing you shouldn’t do is settle for survival items that are cheaper. You definitely don’t want to get something cheap fail you when you need it most. Sometimes, the more expensive survival items are also lighter because the manufacturers used lighter and higher quality materials in them.

Good luck!

Growing up in a small 2nd world country, Dan learned from a young age to love nature, animals and living with little or no money. He started writing about survival when he got tired by the lack of quality information and realized people just need the facts. Dan has declared war on fluff and is winning battle after battle with each article that he writes on

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