The above graph is adapted from Limits to Growth, Revisited. It is not a hard and fast prediction, but rather the product of a model with 40 years of high correspondence with developments. We are, at present, at the top of the growth curves, many of which have already begun to plateau. Slopes of decline do not factor in such worst-case scenarios as widespread urban- or domestic nuclear facilities collapse consequent to economic collapse.

I've added the shading and 'crossover' circle' (coincident with 'peak everything') to indicate my best guess as to the high probablility zone for global, economic collapse, triggering the onset of TEOTWAWKI.

I fear a hard landing... no 'reboot' or 'transition' to a lower functioning economy. I urge high priority preparation now.

I've got a short glossary of terms at the bottom of this page... if you come across an unfamiliar term, please scroll down and check it out.

Information I'm including or pointing to doesn't mean I necessarily agree with it. Rather, I've found it to be stimulating and worthy of consideration. I'm sure you'll exercise your own judgement... we're nothing if not independent! 8)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Let's Say We Have to Cut an Run: Prioritizing our Bug Out Bag

Peace Pilgrim Walking Lightly

You gotta know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run

From The Gambler by Kenny Rogers

Let's Say We Have to Cut and Run: Prioritizing our Bug Out Bag

Don't be a refugee; plan a retreat. 

Even mice know this! They don't like to leave their digs, but if they do, it's out the back door with no hesitation. And even the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley.

A Bug Out Bag (BOB) is a fine idea - one for each member of our tribe. 

My opinion is that as light a load as possible leaves us as fleet-of-foot as possible. Some of the checklists I see would have us staggering along. If we are fleeing predator(s), we'd be fat targets and slow. Without the predators, we'd still be slow and range-impaired.

So here' my lineup on priority considerations:
  1.  Attitude -- More important than anything. Be ready to adapt; move, forage, scavenge, defend, eat bugs. Whatever is necessary. And sooner rather than later... don't wait until you're weakened before broadening your mind.

  2. Knowledge -- Almost as valuable as attitude. Light, portable, don't have to grab it. It will do more to stack the odds in your favor than any accumulation of gear/outfit/weapons. Great trade item that makes you worth more alive than dead.

    Know your options and have exit strategies in mind. Know how to find nourishment and locate water in your area. Know how to improvise shelter. Know how to find your way from observations. Know how to handle medical emergencies. Know how to handle the tools in the rest of this list.

    Educate yourself. Start now.
  3.  A Good Knife -- The one-tool-that-fits-all. It's handy to have on your (paracord) belt (or in your pocket) every day of your life, so you won't have to grab it on the way out the door.
  4. Fire Starter -- Even if you've practiced firemaking from scratch, you'll likely be rusty. If you need a fire, pronto (to boil water, say), a quick light can save the day. So even if it's a Bic lighter, you're ahead of the game. Personally, I like a magnesium fire starter.
  5. Water Purifier -- Depending on your area, this may not be an issue, but GastroIntestinal (GI) disorders are big killers among transient populations. At the very least, the 'squirts' are going to hobble you. This will get you along until you can safely boil water.
That's it! All this fits easily in belt or pockets as you go about your daily routines. They can be with you in town, on the road, or anywhere else calamity might find you. 

We still keep small BOBs with some additional stuff, handy if there's time to grab it. All of it can be improvised, but these give a head-start.

  • SOL Thermal Bivvy or equivalent -- Like a tent / sleeping bag that fits in your hand.
  • Energy Bar(s) -- Don't get carried away. One or two bars, rationed for clear thinking in critical, early stages of your retreat. Hungry is stupid.
  • Wire Snares -- Snares hunt 24/7, covering several locations.
  • Fishing Line and Hooks -- Fish provide some of the best fat around, vital to survival.
  • Paracord -- A world without string is chaos. With a paracord belt, it can move up to the first list.
  • Compass -- A small, button-style will do (they also fit pockets... look for smooth cases).
  • Solar or Hand Chargable LED Light -- Forget backup batteries. Red option saves night vision.
  • A Multi-Tool -- Leatherman makes good ones.
  • Wound Kit -- A large syringe with a brush, ziploc(s) and provodone iodine stowed in the handle slots. Can add a sterile pad, and tarred friction tape if there's room in your BOB.

    Mix iodine with clean water in ziploc to resemble weak tea. Rinse (and brush) wound clean with clean water, final rinse and bandage with solution. The iodine can also purify water. Improvise everything else.

    Consider a refiller bottle of iodine, if there's room, but repackage... containers it comes in may degrade and leak.
  • Antibiotics(?) -- If you carry these, take full courses. If you string them out, they don't work.
Package these in a mess kit shell (or other container that can be used for cooking), put that in a small dry-bag (doubles as water bag) and done. A set per person for home, the car and maybe a few stashed in your vicinity comes out cheap insurance.

This doesn't mean that stuff won't accumulate once you've dug in elsewhere. All sorts of things can be scavenged, improvised and adapted. Chances are, unclaimed stuff is going to be in high supply. Clothing, especially.

But most  stuff won't do you any good until you've arrived. Take what you immediately need, but don't load yourself down.

Walk lightly, my friends, and arrive!


  1. Bug out boat? Capable of flying under the radar? As Tristan Jones opined:
    "When in danger, or in doubt, hoist the sails, and bugger off out". Good until the chinese navy rewrites the law of the sea and backs it up with drones. I'd add a small flask of white lightning as stress buster the first few days around the campfire (or, no campfire too).

    1. Hi Gomez,

      BOBoat is my choice! Still, like any other preparatory edifice, we can be separated from it. I believe that BOBags will always be an important aspect of the prepared life, pre- OR post TEOTWAWKI/SHTF.

      Navies? Can't say that any military worries me (other than their degrading nuclear 'assets').

      My estimation is that, in TEOTWAWKI, all militaries will quickly crumble into warlordlets. Locally a problem, but likely to target resource rich concentrations, rather than isolated fringe dwellers. Cost/benefit analysis and lack of fuel, I believe, will keep them off our back.

      As to the lightnin'? Make sure the coast is clear! 8)

      Dave Z


Hey Folks... I'm not in a position to moderate comments. If discussion remains respectful and on topic, I welcome comments (passion okay). If it spins out of control, I'll have disallow them... I thank you for your civility.

I've opened comments to all 'Registered Users' (whatever that means!) to help weed out pesky spam.

- Dave Z