Building a Bug Out Bag – Part III, Water

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 for your Bug Out Bag.  Today we’ll discuss Water preparedness and Water items to consider including when building a Bug Out Bag.  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 semi-submersible speedboat makes it.


Building a Bug Out Bag – Part II Transportation

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.  Today we’ll discuss what Transportation items to include when Building a Bug Out Bag.  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 deuce and a half makes it.


Building a Bug Out Bag – Part I

Prepography reader MG asked for some help putting together an intro to prepping class for his church and one of the easiest places to start is with building a Bug Out Bag.

What is a Bug Out Bag?

Before we break into our discussion bag selection and the contents of your Bug Out Bag let’s define it:

A Bug Out Bag is a grab-and-go container that has everything you’ll need to survive for up to three days (72 hours) if you have to suddenly leave your home.  Bug Out Bags are also referred to as 72 Hour Bags, 72 Hour Kits, Go Bags, Emergency Bags or Emergency Kits.


Packing a Bug Out Bag, Get Home Bag or Rucksack

Andrew’s Note:  I recently took my Get Home Bag / Bug Out Bag for a ruck march and realized I’d forgotten a few basic keys on how to pack it…nothing catastrophic but it’s worth going back to basics periodically…and of course don’t forget to test drive your preps.  The following comes from an Army manual on cold weather operations but is also excellent advice for packing a Bug Out Bag.  I’ve also added some important considerations for selecting your Bug Out Bag or Get Home Bag at the conclusion of the article.


When you load your rucksack for skiing or climbing, pack heavy items at the bottom and next to the frame. This places the weight on your hips, which is necessary for good balance. Place hard or sharp objects inside the load where they will not rub on the bag and your back. When walking or snowshoeing, raise the center of gravity and take more of the load on your shoulders. Articles that are often needed are placed in the outside pockets for easy reach. Keep maps and other flat objects in the flap pocket. (more…)

Bug-Out-Bag Papers and Documents (Modern Survival Blog)

Lauren & Ken over at Modern Survival Blog (which I’ve followed for years) did a great piece on what documents to include in your bug out bag.  No one wants to be a refugee, but if it happens… having the right documents can make putting your life back together a little easier.  Click the link below and check it out.

A bug-out bag or kit should include more than just some food and supplies, it should also contain important papers and documents which would make your life easier should you need to refer to them later.

If your home has been wiped out by disaster or whatever circumstance… you could potentially lose whatever was in it, including important papers and documents that prove or verify personal information of your identity, credentials, holdings, and other critical or time-saving records.

via Bug-Out-Bag Papers and Documents (Modern Survival Blog).

Only thing I’d add is to use the magic of lamination where appropriate and include a copy of your DD214(s) if you are a military veteran.

Bug Out Skivvies

If you’d asked me when I started this website if I’d ever write about underwear I’d have given you an emphatic “NO!”  But the topic seems to come up from time to time and believe it or not it really is preparedness related.  In a previous post I described the Magic Fireproof Underwear that I wore in Iraq.  Here at Prepography we often borrow heavily from our military experiences to advise our preparedness activities but we aren’t wed to them when something else will work as well or provides a better value so today we’re talking about my new Bug Out Skivvies!

Once or twice a year I update my bug out bag which largely does double duty as my get home bag.  I strip it down, check expiration dates and function check all the contents before deciding what I want to update or change based on new skills, knowledge or tweaks in my preparedness philosophy.  One piece of knowledge that I’ve added since moving to The Hermitage, our homestead is that cotton underwear just doesn’t do it when they’re sure to get wet from sweat or rain and you’ll be spending large amounts of time trying to stay warm and/or avoid chaffing.  I did have previous experience with the XGO underwear (the magic fireproof underwear with moisture wicking properties) I wore overseas but frankly I’m a briefs wearer and boxer briefs (which is what XGO makes) are all well and good when the twigs & berries are in jeopardy from IED generated fire but definitely wouldn’t be my first choice in areas that are to date…virtually IED free.

I’ve been actively reading the past year or so about ultra lightweight travelling and ultra lightweight hiking tips, tricks, techniques and gear and have been incorporating some of what I’ve learned into my Bug out bag.  One of the pieces of ‘gear’ that virtually everyone in those communities recommends is ExOfficio brand underwear so I decided to give them a go.  I discovered that:

  1. ExOfficio brand products offer the same or better wicking protection than I received from my XGO underwear

    Magic Fireproof Underwear

    XGO Magic Fireproof Underwear

  2. ExOfficio brand underwear costs about 2/3rd’s the cost of the XGO underwear, just remember that XGO provides fire protection and ExOfficio synthetics would likely melt under high heat
  3. ExOfficio offers briefs and boxers as well as the boxer brief style that XGO offers (XGO does offer some balaclavas and long underwear options that have value as fire retardant layers though)
  4. ExOfficio is treated with an antimicrobial just like XGO.  While they describe their technology differently they both help eliminate odors and keep your privates healthy.
  5. ExOfficio offers outerwear layers made of the same moisture wicking material
  6. The ExOfficio briefs I ordered weigh significantly less than my XGO boxer briefs.
  7. ExOfficio brand underwear costs about 2/3rd’s the cost of the XGO underwear, just remember that XGO provides fire protection and ExOfficio synthetics would likely melt under high heat

I’ll spare you the details of the 2 day stress test I put my new Bug Out Skivvies through but suffice it to say that they came through as all the ultra lightweight testimonials described.

Bug Out Skivvies

ExOfficio Underwear

ExOfficio underwear is available for both men and women.  It is made of 94% nylon and 6% lycra which is light weight, wicks moisture effectively, provides great comfort and dries out quickly.  In fact after testing this underwear I’ve reduced the pairs of underwear in my but out bag to 2 pair of underwear…I’ll wear one and wash one…no need to wait for it to dry either…just roll them up in a dry towel after washing and they’re ready to wear…hang them off your pack or set them in the sun for a few minutes if you want them 100% dry.

While XGO products would be my go to choice in a war zone or for fire fighting operations, I’ve found ExOfficio brand underwear to be as comfortable to wear to the office as it is to sweat through all day on the homestead (no chaffing).  Additionally, while more expensive than cotton briefs they are cost effective as compared to other wicking garments like those made by XGO and are extremely light weight.  My new ExOfficio briefs have already replaced all the bug out skivvies in my bug out bag / get home bag, I’m going to buy enough pairs to use while traveling and will likely replace much of my daily wear unmentionables as I wear them out as well.  In fact they aren’t just good for bug out skivvies but good around the homestead or working outside as well.  If you try them out, let me know what you think.

ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Brief,Charcoal,Medium


DIY Bug Out Stove – Infographic

There are lots of great little stoves for backpacking or putting in your bug out bag but there aren’t many that will be less expensive than this DIY Bug Out Stove that you can learn how to make with this infographic.  The only potential drawback to these stoves after you add a pot holder (they used nails but I like using coat hanger wire) is the liquid fuel but this is still a great, almost free alternative to the Esbit Pocket Stove.

Bug Out Buggy

I’ve received several e-mails since I started Prepography from mature preppers and preppers with limited mobility asking about bug out options in the case of an Electromagnetic Pulse or Coronal Mass Ejection.  I’ve recommended several different solutions over the years to that offer the ability for even those with limited strength to carry a heavy load over miles of rough terrain but I think I’ve found a better solution…the Bug Out Buggy.

While originally designed for sportsmen and women to carry long guns and equipment to and from the field and called the Gun Buggy by its manufacturer…it would be easily adapted into your own personal 21st century pack mule if necessary to bug out or get home while on foot.

The original specs and product video describe the But Out Buggy as:

  • 2 Gun Capacity (rifle or shotgun)
  • 3 Big, all-terrain bike wheels for stability
  • Folds up for easy transport
  • Light Weight Aluminum Frame
  • Padded Handle
  • Foot break to stop rollaways while parked
  • Plenty of room with pockets and a water bottle holder
  • Set up it’s approximately 45 x 24 x 40 1/2
  • Folded up it’s approximately 38 1/2 x 24 x 23″
  • Weighs 21 lbs., 9 ozs
  • Subdued colors and non-reflective materials

If I was setting this baby up for bugging out or getting home in a situation with little or no rule of law I’d:

  • Gun SleeveAdd a couple of heavy duty weather resistant rifle or shotgun scabbards that would obscure the rifle’s silhouettes but let the weapons slide easily out into my hands.  Make sure to select sleeves that can easily be tied down at multiple locations like the molle versions I’ve linked to (get the olive drab because it’ll blend in better than the black shown in the main picture).
  • Add a grab and go backpack (because I’m still pretty strong and mobile) or a couple of heavy duty waterproof totes that fit nicely onto the buggy’s shelves if I couldn’t carry a backpack.  If I was traveling through bear country I’d make sure my food was in a bearproof container like a carefully cleaned ammo can or purpose built container.
  • Use several bungee cords to strap a waterproof tarp or extra ponch around all the gear to keep out the weather but make sure not to hamper your ability to pull your long guns (add pvc pipe inside the bottom of your long gun scabbards if you need to stiffen them…the barrels will slide right in and not bind on your bungie cords).  The tarp and bungie cords will double as your shelter as we described in Building a Poncho Hooch (skip down to ‘Andrew’s Poncho Hooch’ at the bottom).  Make sure to bungee, poncho and/or tarp colors that blend in with your surroundings.
  • For the remaining contents look back at our Building A Bug Out Bag series and be very selective to make sure that everything you pack is worth the weight.

Finally, give serious thought to what your weight carrying limitations are and carry what you can on your body in case you have to abandon your Bug Out Buggy.

Top 10 Preparedness Uses of Garbage Bags

Today Prepography is pleased to present garbage… garbage bags that is…as in the top 10 preparedness uses of garbage bags.  Garbage bags can be used by preppers for dozens of purposes besides rubbish disposal.  I like the heavy duty, Contractor Grade Garbage Bags because they’re larger and more durable than the typical kitchen variety.  In the Jackson household often buy our heavy duty garbage bags through school fundraisers but they’re also available from the big box and local hardware stores as well as online.

Top 10 Preparedness Uses of Trash Bags: (more…)

Train Derailment Forces Bug Out

Industrial accidents and transportation mishaps are just another reason to keep that bug out bag handy.  Check out this article whose headline could just as easily read Train Derailment Forces Bug Out.

More than 100 homes were evacuated after the 78-car Union Pacific locomotive came off the tracks about 3:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday near Lawtell, about 60 miles west of Baton Rouge.  Two of the 23 cars that derailed began leaking chemicals, including the substance sodium hydroxide, which can cause injuries if it touches the skin or even death if it is inhaled.

via Emergency declared with hundreds unable to return home after Louisiana freight train derailment – U.S. News

For more information on building the perfect bug out bag for your unique situation check out our series on the topic:


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