I am so excited to share the first Mountain Monday with you! Now that spring is approaching people are getting back outdoors hiking, hunting, camping, and backpacking. Although it is spring time, there is still a chance of bad weather. Here in Montana we have snow today; coming off the heals of a 75 degree day! That’s why its extremely important to always have survival stuff handy. My bug out bag lives in my car. My car box has my snow chains, an extra winter jacket, gloves, a hat, water, a wool blanket, my down sleeping bag, and my bug out bag. It may sound extreme to people who don’t travel or live in the snow; however, these items are live saving whether you are in a wreck or just stopped on the highway for an indefinite amount of time.
I always carry my little backpack when we are camping or hiking. It still has room enough for snacks and water as well as anything else I may need along the trail.
Whether you are lost in the woods or trapped by a storm survival is the main goal. Here in the north the #1 thing you need is warmth. You can melt snow for water and eat those skittles that spilled in your purse but without heat you will not make it long. It is ill advised to run your car unnecessarily because the exhaust can back up into the car and you’ll die of that before the cold gets you. Also, you may not have a car near by if you are hiking or backpacking. You need survival tools.
What’s In My Bug Out Bag
The Bag & Outside
My husband and I have thousands of bags, duffels, and backpacks. This little Army one is the perfect size of me. (I have effectively commandeered it for life) It expands and has strong zippers and straps. It is important to pick a backpack that is comfortable and lightweight since you may be carrying it for a while. On the outside I have my hand sanitizer for easy access, making snack time that much faster! I also have a large carabeaner clipped to the outside because they are useful is so many situations.
Inside of the pack:
- First Aid Kit
- Mini Survival Kit
- Sterno Fuel
- Emergency Blanket
- Ice Packs
- Hand Warmers
- TP on the Go
- Bug Spray/Bug Bracelet
- Butane Lighter
- Pepper Spray
- Medications (Rx and OTC)
The First Aid Kit:
This is a small hard case first aid kit from our local outdoors store. It has gloves, bandaids, scissors, tweezers, gauze, insect bite relief, tape, antibacterial ointment etc. The case can be clipped to a backpack or placed inside to stay dry.
Forgive me for not unpacking this but I know I would not get everything back in. This kit was also purchased at our local store. Its made by SOL and has the basic emergency supplies. Rescue whistle, duct tape, wicks, signal mirror, fishing kit, second emergency blanket etc. This is their small version for those venturing only so far from home. If you’re doing the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail you will want a more substantial kit in your pack.
Most matches wont work if they are wet so I take extra care to pack those safely. I used an old pain reliever bottle and a Ziplock baggie. Double the protection and it helps them from getting broken. A tooth brush and my handy Dollar Store container that holds everything else. Extra band-aids, antibacterial ointment, anti itch cream, chap-stick, pain relievers, cough drops, Pepto, migraine pills and allergy pills.
This pack has lots of pockets in the middle compartment. Here I have slipped in the poncho, emergency blanket, ice packs, tissues, bug bracelet, and hand warmers. On the outside of this compartment is a small ~2×3 pocket that holds my immediate necessities. Pepper spray, anti itch cream, TP to go, and my Epi-Pen. I have severe allergies and this pen is the only thing that can save my life out in the woods. Always have you necessary RX medications with you in case you are delayed, stranded, or in a pickle on a regular hike.
This is the final compartment of the back pack and it holds the blanket, container of medical items, bug spray, matches, lighter and maps. This pocket is the most likely to stay dry if its raining or snowing so put essential dry items here; such as matches and maps. Once this is zipped up there is plenty of room for a large Nalgene water bottle, snacks, and a hat.
Other Items to Carry:
There are a few items that I carry regularly that are not included in this bag. I always carry a pocket knife, a hand gun (check where you are hiking as some places do not allow firearms), and bear spray when I am in the back country or hiking. Of course when I am hunting I have firearms too. Rattle snakes, bobcats, wolves, bears, and other predatory animals are just waiting for someone to mess up and give them an easy snack. Always be aware of postings and signs at trail heads that may alert you to recent animal activities and situations. Also to road condition signs so you do not end up stuck or trapped in a storm unprepared. I have lost people to this situation and it is avoidable if you are prepared.
Mini Bug Out Bag Click here for a printable version of the list to build your own bag!