The Bare Essentials are a new series of articles that are intended as a guide to what should be the corner stone to your kits. They are not, intended as a full description of what you should have. Since ZAC’s member base is so widely dispersed all of you will need to take in your own unique situations and areas and pack accordingly.
Firstly, a mobile Bug Out Bag, or Kit, is not a full survival kit. Nor is this a kit that is to be designed for extended, more than three to five days, trips. The mobile bug out bag is intended to be near at hand when you are work, either in you work area, or in the American way, in your car. It is you safety blanket, if things go to hell while you are away from you home and you are unable to use your vehicle to get out of Dodge then you mobile bug out bag is what you will need to rely on to survive and hopefully to get back home to your full kit and the entire stockpile of your equipment.
- The Bag: While it seems a given this may be one of the most important aspects of the kit. While a military surplus bag may be the most obvious choice you may want to look at civilian models. For one reason they may meet your needs better and secondly they don’t look like military equipment. Put bluntly, if you look like you are over prepared there may be those who will want your stuff and hen your away from all your gear you may not want to engage in unnecessary fights.
- Clothes: Since this bag is to be with or near you at all times a change or two of clothes is essential. You may be at a wedding, or church, places where it is unlikely that combat fatigues or outdoor wear is welcome.
- A shelter: A one man shelter is also advisable since, unless you work very close to home, it may take you multiple days to get there. Here is where military surplus is likely your best bet. Plus, most mil-surp one man shelters are quite lightweight, invaluable when you are counting ounces and things weigh pounds.
- Water: In, or on your kit should be a container for water, possibly already filled, along with water purification tabs or if nothing else iodine.
- A Weapon: While it may not be your primary arm a small compact weapon that you can carry on you or that will easily fit in your bag, even if it is only a large blade or a pistol is better than nothing at all. Along with your weapon also add additional ammo or cleaning supplies, a full battle kit isn’t what you should be looking for, unless where you work is just that bad. Though a small compact rifle would be the best choice this is not always an option. Take what you can get. Along with you weapon should also be at least one good working knife for mundane tasks, but that is also capable of combat tasking.
- A fire starter: some simple device that you can use to easily start a fire should be in your kit. As for choice, whatever work, whatever works.
- First Aid: While this is a subject in and of itself a first aid kit of some sort should be worked into the kit so that you can get to it easily and in a hurry if need be, but also secured somewhere that it is not in the way.
- Food: A minimum of a three day supply of food, or more if the trek to your house or outpost is longer, be it MREs, power bars, or even cans if that is all you can get.
Again, these are only basic suggestions, designed to get the mind of the reader revolving around what they would need to survive a trek from your work or another place to your home or safe haven.