How to Build a Bug Out Pack

What should you take with you if you have to leave in a hurry? Where should you keep it?
WH Gilmore
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:45 pm

How to Build a Bug Out Pack

Post by WH Gilmore »

Not everyone can carry the same amount of weight comfortably, so not everyone will need the same pack. If you are a smaller person, you will need to make some harder choices in what not to pack, so that you can stay mobile. If your pack is so heavy that it is a burden to carry, it will harm your chances of survival. Zombies are slow, so you can walk away from most of them, but in large groups you may need to move at a brisk pace for a short while to put enough distance between yourself and the horde to allow for short breaks.

With that in mind, a good pack should not exceed 20% of your body weight. If you're a burly 300 pound man, you can carry a 60 pound pack. If you're a lees burly 90 pound woman, a better weight for your pack is 18 pounds. A 60 pound child will need to carry no more than a 12 pound pack. Weigh your pack, and make your own decision if you need to reduce its weight, or if you feel that you can afford to add a little. Keep in mind that you will need to carry it several hours each day, and as the day wears on, the pack will feel heavier. The zombie horde will not always show up when you are rested, so you may need to flee when you are not at your peak and rested.

Follow the steps outlined below to build your pack to your needs.
  • Determine the weight of your pack.
    (your_weight x .2 = pack_weight)
    300 x .2 = 60
    250 x .2 = 50
    200 x .2 = 40
    150 x .2 = 30
    100 x .2 = 20
    90 x .2 = 18
    60 x .2 = 12

  • Choose the right backpack
    Backpacks come in a wide range of sizes. Choose one that will hold what you need to carry withing you weight limit. Below are some examples. Your mileage may vary.

    Buy earth tone or mute colored packs. Don't buy something that is flashy, brightly colored, or stands out. You do not want to draw attention to yourself, either the zombies or other survivors. Nothing says rob me like a big and flashy bug out bag.

    Extra Large Pack
    Tesinll Tactical Backpack ~ 45L Army Backpack
    This bruiser has a whopping 45 liters of space, and the molle system to attach everything plus the kitchen sink to the outside. This bad boy is great for when you need to leave without plans to return. It is versatile, and comes at a great price.

    Large Pack
    24BattlePack Tactical Backpack ~ 40L Bug Out Bag
    This is a good size for a large bug out bag, and comes with some features that will help with the tactical considerations of a zombie emergency. It is conceal carry ready, laptop safe, and hydration pack compatible.

    Medium Pack
    K-mover ~ 28L Military Tactical Backpack
    This 28 liter pack still packs some great features into a medium sized slot. It's a great choice for the middle of the weight range, or for anyone that wants to pack lighter to stay agile in the post apocalyptic world.

    Small Pack
    SZYT Military Tactical Backpack ~ Daypack Bag for Hiking Camping Outdoor Sport
    Every person in your party should carry their own pack. This includes the kids, and this pack is great for the 9 to 12 year olds in your party. It is small enough that the child can handle it easily, yet large enough to carry everything each person should have on their own, should they become separated.

    Child's Pack
    ESO Sling Backpack ~ Multi Function Compact Chest Daypack
    Even children 8 and younger need to carry something. This little sling pack is just big enough for a bottle of water, a stuffed animal, and a few activity games to occupy the little survivor's mind during down time. Do not underestimate the need of a young child to feel useful and independent. This pack will help them feel that they contribute to the group.

  • Find a good medical kit
    Every person in your party should carry some basic first aid items and any critical medications they need to live. Pack your blood pressure medicine, insulin, or whatever else you need to live. Kids need some first aid supplies as well. Even if little 4 year old Ethan's pack only has a few bandages and a tube of Neosporin. If they get separated from the group, they at least have something for a minor injury.

    Depending on the size of your group, designating one person to carry the medical supplies allows you to bring a much larger supply, like this EMT Medical Backpack.
    Lightning X Stocked EMS/EMT Medical Kit ~ First Aid Responder Backpack + Kit

    For a single traveler, or a couple, this kit makes a great choice to attach to a backpack.
    Renegade Survival First Aid Kit ~ A Complete Kit for the Prepper Who Wants the Best Tactical Gear

    Every adult and older child should carry something more than what I suggested for Ethan. This small pouch adds very little weight, and insures that if you lose someone, everyone still has first aid supplies.
    ArcEnCiel Tactical First Aid Kit ~ MOLLE Medical Utility Pouch

  • Add the right tools
    Pocket Chainsaw with Paracord Handle
  • Add change of clothing
    This is a subjective category. Add what you need within your weight limits. A bare minimum should include a couple pair of socks, two changes of undergarments, an extra pair of pants and an extra shirt.

    Keep a pair of boots with little wear on them with your pack. Don't put a new pair of boots that you have never worn. Wear them for a couple of weeks to break them in, and then store them for when they're needed. This will help reduce the blisters or soreness you might experience in the first days of an emergency scenario.
  • Select your weapons
    My philosophy for weapons in a zombie apocalypse is simple. I prefer a 3 weapon load out. A zombie pandemic is a medical emergency, fueled by a virus. Considering that, and now knowing how an actual zombie virus will spread, it is advisable to keep as much distance between yourself and the zombies as possible. So, my three weapons are, by design, in order of greatest to least range effectiveness.

    Your primary weapon will be a rifle that you are comfortable with and can use effectively. Practice, and make sure you know all of it's features and limitations. Be proficient at the use of this weapon as it is your life. Choose a caliber that can reach out there, keeping the zombies you're dealing with as far from you as you can. But also choose a caliber that provides for a reasonably sized cartridge, as weight is an important consideration, and finding replacement ammo in the field is critical. Choose something that you will find ammo for everywhere.

    Your secondary weapon is a handgun. This is a backup to your rifle. You do not want to use it, as that means the zombies have closed the distance to a few dozen feet or less. Choose a handgun that is appropriate to your shooting skill and body size. The same applies here. Practice to be proficient. If your primary weapon fails, or runs our of ammunition, this is your fallback.

    Your tertiary weapon is an edged weapon, like a machete or a sword. This is a last resort, the brown stuff hit the rotisserie, your rifle and handgun have both failed or run dry of bullets, and this is your Custer's Last Stand. Choose a weapon that is appropriately sized for your body. An English Long Sword is pretty cool, but it's pretty heavy and takes a lot of physical strength and dexterity to wield effectively. And don't forget, this is your backup weapon to your backup weapon. You want something light that you pray you never have to use. I chose a Wakizashi for a number of reasons. It's small, light, easy to wield, and easy to maintain. It can remove zombie limbs and heads if used correctly, and only adds a couple of pounds to my pack.

    Cheaper alternatives are also available. There are a variety of alternatives on Amazon that are pretty badass looking, and will in all likelihood, get the job done.
    Z Hunter ZB-020
    Armory Replicas Zombie Slayer
    Wartech H-804 Biohazard\
    and many more.

  • Provide for clean drinking water
    There are several options for providing your party with potable water. The options I recommend are either iodine tablets or a portable filter system. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses. Iodine tablets have a limited shelf life, so you need to keep track and replace them to keep your pack up to date. They also do not remove dirt or other particulates from the water. They simply kill the bacteria so it's not harmful biologically. The portable filter systems can be heavy and or expensive. They do filter out the particulate matter along with most bacteria. A good strategy is to employ both together, to provide better quality water. So, you have to weight the options and choose the right solution for yourself and group.

    Iodine Tablets: 7 year shelf life
    Potable Aqua Germicidal Water Purification Tablets
    Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets With PA Plus

    Portable Filter Systems:
    I know there are cheaper options than the Lifestraw brand. But I like the charity activities that the brand supports every time their products get purchased. To my mind, that is worth the extra expense, so my personal pack contains the Lifestraw products.
    LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag
    Lifestraw Go Water Filter Bottle
    Universal Water Bottle Adapter

  • Consider optional add-ons

See the Disclaimer about my Amazon Affiliate status.