The Modular Bug Out Bag Might be right for you.
One of the things preppers enjoy most is tweaking their bug out bags. As newbies, we often get the wrong gear, we put things that aren’t supposed to be there (I actually had a pair of pajamas in mine the beginning lol) and we’re always trying to get smaller versions of things.
And that makes a lot of sense. We need a survival bag that’s light, that’s has everything we need and, if possible, have many alternative uses… and it’s fun to move them around!
Today I want to introduce you to a concept that not many websites talk about: “modular bug out bags”, that is to say, grouping the items inside your bag in a meaningful way.
Most preppers already have modules inside the bags but I want to introduce you to a new type, one that, at least in my opinion, makes a little more sense.
There are two types of modules that make sense (maybe you can think of more?). The first type of modules are those that are based on function. You may already have one of them, such as a first aid kit or a fire starting kit.
In short, you get a container or a pouch and fill it with items that help you do a certain thing such as starting a fire or healing a wound: fishing kits, cooking kits, first aid kits, electronics kits etc.
However, there’s a problems. The first one is that you’re actually putting all your eggs in one basket. If something happens to your first aid kit, for example, if it gets stolen or if you leave it behind at your camp site, then you’re suddenly out of meds.
If water gets inside your electronics (maybe you didn’t lock it properly or the lock breaks?), then all your spare batteries are compromised…
What can we do in this situation? You can’t have two kits of everything because you’ll end up carrying a lot more weight, right?
The answer is to assemble these special modules that are complete survival kits. You can keep one or two (tops!) of these mini-survival kits inside your bug out bag. Each such module should have items that will help you survive for a little while even if you get separated from your bug out bag.
At minimum, these they should offer you:
- a way to start a fire
- a way to keep warm
- a few basic medical supplies
- a flashlight to light your way
- a way to purify water
- and, of course, protection
Some of the things you can include in such a kit include a survival lighter, a space blanket, a mini first aid kit, a flashlight, a few water purification tablets and a zipper bag (that has a million uses, maybe you can use it to store the water you need to drink) and a folding knife. These are just a starting point but this doesn’t mean you can put anything. I made a full list of items to include so you can start with that.
You can think of them as get home bags, if you want, in terms of contents, that is…
Some of the things that are way too heavy or bulky to add, include spare socks, canteen cups, fixed blade survival knives (you can add a folding knife if you want), tarps and so on. Those can just stay inside your main backpack either alone or in their respective specialized modules.
Another way of looking at this is that you take some of the items scattered across your backpack and group them all in one place. This way, if you’re bugging out on foot and the bag is just too heavy for you to carry, you can hide it somewhere, take the emergency pouch and keep going.
Now, you may be asking yourself:
What about the first type of modules? If I put everything into these mini survival kits, wouldn’t that mean I have to get rid of the modules I already have (my first aid kit, my fire starting kit etc.)?
Not necessarily. You only need one, maybe two such independent modules. The rest of your gear can be assembled into the kits you’re familiar with, the one thing I don’t want to see is a backpack with scattered items that are hard to find in an emergency…
Now, it may seem pointless to separate them like this and still keep them a few inches from each-other in the same bag, but please keep in mind the various worst-case scenarios that could happen.
You’re too used to seeing your bug out bag intact, sitting in a corner of the room or in your closet, but in a SHTF situation, that bag is going to be used and abused. Having a small bag or a pouch that you can take with you might literally mean the difference between life and death.
Speaking of pouches, there are plenty of pouches out there. The ones from Maxpedition are pretty good, they come in all shapes and sizes and you can find them on Amazon but the question you need to ask yourself is: how will I carry them?
MOLLE compatibility is one thing. You can attach them to someone else’s BOB or even to your own if you need to carry something else inside yours and don’t have enough space. The other thing is being able to attach them to your body. If you can get one that has a belt loop or a shoulder strap, that’d be great.
That’s it! There’s nothing complicated about these modules. In fact, they’re a great opportunity for you to take everything out of your bag and re-organize.
Note from editor:
I should do more guest post but in the past I have neglected to do so. Dan founder and chief editor of Survival Sullivan ask me if I would post his article so here it is. My prepper group and I have been going in this direction with our Bug Out Bags but I have neglected to write about the topic. Hope you enjoy the article.