The concept of “bugging out” is not new, although there are some new twists. The premise is whatever situation we are in, we need to be somewhere else that is better. The reasons are many; natural disaster, disabled vehicle, terrorist attack, etc. One constant is having a small bag that will assist you in getting from point A to point B. The bag, sometimes called a “go bag” or “bugout bag”, should be easily accessed, easy to transport, and contain whatever items needed to augment your personal gear and be appropriate for whatever location you’re in.
A few things to consider when choosing a bag for this purpose are its overall size, how it’s going to be carried, and the general appearance of the bag. I’ll expand on each point. If a bag is too big it will inevitably get overloaded with things you probably want but don’t necessarily need. This becomes contrary to being easy to access and easy to transport. If it’s too small then obviously it might not be able to carry essential items. Backpacks make a perfectly good platform for a go bag but it becomes very difficult to access items in the bag quickly. A shoulder bag, fanny pack, or lumbar pack makes access much easier. The tradeoff is more weight can be carried easier in a backpack. The overall appearance of the bag should be complimentary to you as well as the environment you are in. A soldier working in Baghdad will probably need a bag that appears different than a bag for a soccer mom in St. Louis. The point is it might be best if the bag doesn’t draw undue attention while moving within your environment.
I’m not going to delve into the exact contents of the bag but where you are will generally determine what you need. If you are in the desert the procurement and carriage of water might be high on the list. If you find yourself in a non permissive environment maybe a few extra mags, night vision, and a satellite phone might be needed. I would concentrate on communications, signaling, self defense, and basic needs like staying warm and hydrated. Most importantly we are trying to get from point A to point B. I would suggest items that help accomplish that specific goal.