In Building a Bug Out Bag Part I we discussed why building a Bug Out Bag is important and what type of bag to select. In Part II we discussed the Transportation Items to consider, in Part III it was Water preparedness, in Part IV it was Food preparedness, in Part V we tackled Shelter, Clothing and Protection from the elements, in Part VI we considered Communications options, in Part VII we discussed Security Preparedness and in Part VIII we explored Financial & Identity preparedness for your Bug Out Bag. Today we’ll discuss Personal Health, Fitness and Medical preparedness and Bug Out Bag elements to consider. Remember, this is your last ditch, carry on your back, walk away from trouble Bug Out Bag…not what you hope you can get to your bug out location if your car, SUV, or Ford Falcon Coupe/Interceptor makes it.
Personal Health, Fitness & Medical:
Fitness: The fitness aspect of Personal Health, Fitness & Medical isn’t something that you can pack in a bag and take with you. Fitness takes a lot more work than Building a Bug Out Bag…but don’t neglect it. A good way to establish and maintain fitness is to practice walking with your Bug Out Bag…it’s also a good test of how comfortable your bag is and how capable you are of humping it.
Health, Sanitation & Prevention
- Hand Sanitizer or Soap: Hand Sanitizer doesn’t last as long as soap but can be used without water and will help you start a fire (be very careful if you do this as it’s very flammable). If you go with soap, make sure it’s unscented so you don’t attract bugs. Your soap can be stored in a zip lock baggie.
- Insect Repellent: Bug repellent isn’t just a comfort item, it helps protects you from contracting insect borne diseases even if you don’t live near a Malarial swamp. Some of the nastiness that insect repellent can protect you from includes West Nile, Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, the Heartland Virus, and many more. When buying insect repellent remember that your can’t beat Deet! Choose highly concentrated repellent to reduce weight.
- Sunscreen: Because burns hurt and can even be life threatening.
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Feel civilized and stay civilized. Buy a travel toothbrush or cut off half the handle of a full sized toothbrush to cut weight and space.
- Tissues or Toilet Paper: Remember it’s no good if it gets wet…double bag it…love those zip lock baggies.
- ChapStick: For comfort and to avoid health complications from chapped, cracked lips.
- Nail Clippers: Because nothing gets infected faster than a hangnail and no other tool works nearly as well for this. This is one of those stupid little items that’s so important that I keep one as an every day carry (EDC) and another in my Bug Out Bag.
- Microfiber Towel: If you want to pack a towel… get a microfiber towel…it’s remarkably absorbent and dries out quickly when you tie or strap it to the outside of your pack…remember to use Earth toned colors in case you want to do this.
- Feminine Hygiene Items: Pack whatever you’re most comfortable walking with (as in wearing…assuming you’re a girl that is…you’d be silly to wear this if you were a guy!). Tampons in particular, and pads (less so) are also excellent wound packing materials.
- N-95 Mask: Long term health consequences can result from breathing in viruses, polluted dust, mold, or fallout particles. Pack several of these dust masks in zip lock bags. I like buying the type in the reusable plastic containers as they also keep the masks from being crushed.
Medicine & First Aid
- Extra eyeglasses or Medical Devices: If you need a medical item, pack a spare. Pack it in an indestructible boxes like a small Otterbox or similar case.
- Small First Aid Kit: It’s easy to get carried away with your first aid kit. Watch your kit’s weight but I want mine to have the following at a minimum:
- Moleskin: For treating hot spots or blisters
- Anti-Diarrheal Tablets: Diet changes and poor hygiene can lead to diarrhea and dehydration. Make sure you can treat it.
- Allergy Treatment: Diphenhydramine, the key ingredient in Benadryl and similar medications treats allergic reactions. This will make you drowsy though. Carry an EpiPen if you have a family member with severe allergies.
- Aspirin or Pain Reliever: Select your choice(s) with an eye to the benefits and drawbacks of each.
- Antibiotic Ointment: For treating minor scrapes and breaks in the skin so they don’t become serious infected.
- Tourniquet: Sometimes this is the only possible treatment to stop severe blood loss. However, you should seek training in the appropriate and proper use of the Tourniquet as you can do more harm than good if you apply a tourniquet when it’s not necessary.
- Hemostatic Agent: There are a number of these on the market now, but I was trained on QuikClot so that’s the one I’m comfortable with.
- Prescriptions: At least a two week supply of any required prescription drugs as well as laminated copies of all prescriptions to simplify refilling at your Bug Out Location
- Potassium Iodide or Potassium Iodate Pills: Potassium Iodate and Potassium Iodide block your thyroid glands from absorbing radiation in the event of a nuclear leak, fallout or dirty bomb situation. Follow all directions provided carefully and listen for official announcements to assess the relative dangers of taking or abstaining from this medicine.
- Medical History: If you have specific medical needs then wear your Medic Alert Jewelry and/or pack a waterproof copy of your medical history.
We’ll continue with Building a Bug Out Bag – Part X tomorrow when we’ll discuss Family and Community support concerns for your Bug Out Bag.