There are several levels of bug out bags you should keep. A bug out bag, sometimes called a go-bag, is a pre-packed emergency bag for a quick exit. One bag per person in your family. Keep it fairly light. You may need to hike it for many miles per day. Every time you see things that should be in a bug out bag, always keep in mind that they are suggestions but it is up to you to decide what to put in and maintain the right weight and size. Other types of emergency supplies should be on your person (called every day carry gear), in your house (your stock), and in the trunk of your car.
Things to stock for surviving 30 days and beyond
How much water do you need to store? The average adult needs 4 litres per day, and a child needs 5.5 litres per day. So 1 adult would need 120 litres for a month, and 1 child would need 165 litres for a month.
The average water filter will handle 1,000 litres.
There are 2 kinds of contaminants in water you need to consider: dirt, and germs
Storage jugs of water can be stored indefinitely as long as they were never opened and you didn’t seal them yourself. A vacuum and sterility are required for this to work. If you store your own water in jugs yourself, you must sterilize the container, vacuum seal it, and protect it from heat and light, but it will eventually grow bacteria and be undrinkable. Remember, properly stored water never expires.
Remember that some water jugs are designed to biodegrade, so long term storage will leak out eventually. Also, regular plastic is made of fossil fuels so they can leak chemicals into your water. Also, do not store plastic jugs of water on cement. Plastic jugs will leach up chemicals that have been spilled on the cement in the past and put it in your water.
Those water bladders that you can buy to put in your tub for emergencies will do you no good after the fact. Once an emergency has been declared, you need to have water already. Besides, it will do you no good if the water that comes out of your faucet is brown. Stock up now.
Urban areas are more dangerous. If you plan to visit a nearby river or lake, remember that thousands of other people may have the same idea, and water will be more contaminated because of it and industries. Consider harvesting rainwater and digging your own well. But start stockpiling water.
Practice this exercise: You could also cut open a pop bottle with slats along the side, then bend the slats out, much like a fan, to gather rain water so it funnels into the bottle. You can use a lighter to warm the bends of the slats so they go where you want better.
Someone once asked me, how much food should I store? I answered, saying, “How long do you want to live?”
Freeze dried survival food will survive 25+ years. You can vacuum seal your own food, or use a food dehydrator, or a freeze dryer, or any combination and the food should last a good many years. Even regular canned food should last a very long time.
Also, never tell anyone that you store things like this, let alone where.
But eating this for 30 days straight may lead to boredom, so include some comfort food that will last, taste good, provide missing nutrients, and could be used for bartering. Try:
i. hard candy
ii. Tabasco sauce to make bland foods taste better.
iii. Instant coffee, for maintain routine like before a collapse, bartering, or for...coffee.
iv. Powdered hot chocolate, for heat, for endorphins.
v. Coconut oil, for healthy fats that run your brain for clarity, and it stores for 25 years or so as is.
If there is a problem last minute and you need more food, the best place to go is an ethnic food store. Know where these are in advance. Less people know or think about these.
Don’t tell people. Don’t tell your friends. Your friends will think you’re crazy now...until it happens and they need your help. They will come to you and it will be difficult to say no, then they will eat you away, starting with the tastiest stuff, not the shortest lasting stock. If you are in this dangerous possible situation, maybe you should think of having a decoy stash to give them, while keeping your best stuff for your own family.
If you find (or bring) canned food, but no can opener, there are several ways you can open it.
Practice this exercise: 1) Using the mouth of a spoon, you can puncture the edge of the lid and work it around until it is completely removed. It can be hard on your hands, but the right grip will solve that. This is the easiest method. 2) Find a flat rock or a brick and rub the flat part of the whole top of the can vigorously on the rock. It will wear the seam down and since cans are made with a rolled edge, it will eventually pop off. 3) Bend the can at the middle and work back and forth until metal fatigue causes the can to break apart into two complete halves. This is the hardest method.
Practice this exercise: But wait...you forgot a spoon to eat your food with. Not to worry. If you happen to have a pop/soda bottle handy and a knife, you can cut out a spoon using the bevel near the bottom as the mouth of the spoon. Use a lighter to quickly melt the edges so you don’t get sharp edges in your mouth.
Practice this exercise: Make a tripod to boil water over a campfire. You will need 3 sticks about 4 feel long, 1 stick 8 feet long, and 1 more stick about 3 feet long with a hook at the end, paracord, and a knife. Tie the three stick at 4 feet long together at one end and open like a tripod next to your fire. Carve the end of your 8 foot long stick to a flat tip and lay it on your tripod with one end on the ground and the flat tipped end directly over the fire. Carve the last stick with several notches to hang off the long stick for different heights and the hooked part at the bottom to put your kettle on to boil.
You should have firearms. A combination of handguns and something like an AR-15 is best. But you should also have a common ammo that could be used in more than a single gun. How much ammo? Lots of it.
You need our normal shinobi weapons too. Bladed weapons never run out of ammo.
4. A source of light.
It doesn’t have to be bright. In fact, sometimes less bright is better so it doesn’t draw attention. Red light is good for seeing maps without drawing attention. Stock up on batteries, or else have a wind up version.
5. A stove.
Something to cook your food on. It can be a propane stove, or it can be a fire pit outside.
6. A first aid kit. The doctor is not in. Include your medications (that you have been stockpiling, right?), glasses, contacts (this could be a problem), and anything else you need.
Remember this is just for 30 days. All twenty dollar bills because if you need to buy smaller items, you won’t be able to break a fifty. For over thirty days, start thinking about precious metals such as gold and silver. They can be broken off or melted easily. Gold and silver is real money that paper money only represents anyway. Don’t store money in the bedroom. That’s the first place criminals will look. Use a waterproof safe, or a hidden safe, inside a box in the attic, bolted to the floor.
Have a generator. Have a small external phone charger. This little one should always be with you when you leave the house. Prior catastrophes have shown stores with a generator charging people outrageous prices to charge their phones. When I was in the military in a disaster, I saw people hoarding and running their generators inside the house while they sat huddled in a corner with a shotgun. Generator thieves were everywhere. And did you know that in recent years, there have been 124% more power outages because of aging infrastructure?
Practice this exercise: In a pinch, you can charge your cell phone by attaching the base of your car charger to the positive terminal of a 9 volt battery (the smaller terminal, often marked on the side of the battery with a +), and use a metal object like a paperclip or a key to attach the other terminal to the side of the car charger and tape it all together.
You should consider using landscaping solar powered lights around your driveway and pathways. These will save you a lot of headache and can double as battery chargers too! Get a 1,000,000 candlepower handheld spotlight. It is so bright, it will definitely deter thieves since they cannot see to defend themselves. And consider solar lanterns to use in your house. They are bright enough to see and read with and move around your house. They are brighter than candles and much safer. But you don’t want to glow at night during an extended outage. Have thick black plastic sheeting on hand to cover your windows so your family can move around in peace and keep out the prying eyes of looters, “victims”, hungry people, and others.
9. Sleeping bag.
If you don’t need to leave the house, that’s one thing. But if you do, you need a sleeping bag. For every member of your family that’s coming with you. In a pinch, you can make your own bed out there, or you can get a Bivvy bag. They are like an emergency blanket, but modified, and rolls up to the size of a can of food. Good for cold weather too! (See our store for all these at divinewarriorninjutsu.com)
10. Fire starter
Practice this exercise: Can you start a fire with a sandwich bag? Yes! All you have to do is put water in it (or even urine) and twist it into a ball shape the size of a tennis ball and focus the sun’s rays through the makeshift magnifying glass onto your tinder.
Practice this exercise: Use a bow drill to make a fire. To make a bow drill, you will need to find a supple branch, a cord (you could make cord from scratch), a cap of wood, another dry branch for the spindle, and as bottom plate of wood. You will need to cut a notch with your knife along the edge of the wooden base plate, as cononical as possible with an even smaller outlet for embers to come out as you drill. The cone shape should allow the spindle to rest in it well. Put your tinder against the outlet on your baseplate. Notch the cap so it will hold the spindle. Attach the cordage to the supple branch tightly, then wrap the cordage around the spindle once (this will not be easy) near the center. Place the cap atop the spindle and begin moving the bow drill as quickly and smoothly as possible until it chares the wooded baseplate and passes an ember out through the opening into your tinder. It will smoke, but contrary to what you have seen on television, just spinning a branch on wood will not start fire directly. The above method will work, but is very difficult. You could have several people helping to switch off with, or even make a larger bow drill for 2 people (1 at either end) to sit down and pull back and forth. Once your ember is smoking inside your tinder, blow gently to get it to ignite. Obviously, be ready for your next step of lighting your “camp fire”.
But, what if you have no rope or string? Then you must make cordage from scratch. You want to select natural fibres that are both long and strong. Some good choices that come to mind are stinging nettle (which stops stinging if you submerge it in water), willow bark, spruce tree roots, cat tail, milk weed, or just about anything in your geographic area.
Practice this exercise: To make cordage, you need to know 2 things: How to twist it, and how to splice it. First, prepare the material by hitting the material with a rock against another rock to separate the fingers and make it stringy (expect in the case of material that is very flexible to begin with). To twist it, take a single piece of your material and fold it over so one end is not even with the other end, about half way is good. Starting at the folded end, secure it with your left thumb and forefinger. Begin to twist the top string with your right hand thumb and forefinger away from you, then grab the lower string with your forefinger and middle finger on your right hand. Twist both strands together by letting go with your left hand and rotating your right hand back toward you so the bottom strand is now on top. Re-secure with your left hand. Repeat.
When one strand has almost run out, you will need to splice a second string onto it. To do this, line up your new string with the short string so that it meets where your left hand is holding it and grab it with your left hand fingers as you have been doing. Continue to twist until it integrates with what you have been doing. When you get it as long as you want it, make a standard square knot and pass the end back down through before you tighten it so you end up with a loop like the other end. If you doubt it’s strength, you can always make another one the same length and then twist them both together the same way.
If you get tired part way through, simply bend both ends back toward the beginning and law it down. Each strand wants to twist against the other so it will stay together.
Practice these exercises: You can also start a fire with a 9v battery and steel wool by touching them together. You can use 4 or more 9v batteries attached in series and attached with wire to the lead on one wire and aluminum foil on the other wire, then touch the graphite lead to the aluminium to spark it with tissue paper there to catch the spark. You can do the same thing with a car battery and jumper cables (with or without aluminum foil).
Practice this exercise: Open the end of an incandescent lightbulb and use water inside and shake it to remove the white coating, then discard it. Fill it with water and cap the end (like with a balloon). Focus the sunlight through the bulb onto your paper. Black coloured tinder always absorbs sunlight the fastest so start there.
Practice this exercise: Place saran wrap into a bowl and fill it with water. Gather the corners of the saran wrap together and twist, forming a sphere filled with water. Use this to magnify the sun’s rays onto your dark tinder and start your fire.
Practice this exercise: Cover an old picture frame with a layer of saran wrap and rest it atop 2 cinder blocks. Poor hot water on it so the saran wrap sags in the middle, then you have a magnifying lens. Move your tinder into the focal point of the rays and wait.
Practice this exercise: Find a bulbous shaped bottle and fill it with water, then you can magnify the sun’s rays the same way.
Practice this exercise: Different ways to burn a fire: Upside down fire, Swedish torch, Swedish torch with a chainsaw, Swedish torch with smaller logs tied together, Swedish torch/rocket stove, all night fire/stove top (see video).
11. Keep an emergency radio in your bug out bag that will work after the power grid goes down. A solar or wind up is a great choice. This will keep you updated on emergency situations and the location of emergency shelters, food, and other provisions. Fibre optic systems work differently than wired systems so they will probably be the first to be back up again. Keep that in mind.
12. A whistle.
13. Clothing. Dry and warm. Rain gear. Winter gear.
14. Waterproof map of the local area, copies of IDs, passport, location of hospitals, police, emergency services (especially if you are traveling and not in your hometown).
15. Small tools, shovel, screwdriver set, saw, multi-tool, knife.
Practice this exercise: Didn’t pack a whistle? A plastic wrapper from a candy will work just as well. Hold one edge open tight and blow against the edge while holding it against your lip.
Making a shelter. Choose a spot out of the wind and with no rocks, or with the possibility of dead tree limbs or other items falling on it. Try to face the opening downwind and able to make a fire very close to your opening so it catches the heat. Choose a spot near drinking water, but not too close. A river could flood, but it will also cover the sounds of intruders. Also set up your shelter near possible food sources for fishing, and snaring game. Animals always use the same path everyday so you can spot their traveling routes. How you build a shelter will depend on your regional available material, but try to make it dry and warm and waterproof. Try to make a bed that is raised and does not sit directly on the ground. This will help keep you dry and safe from predators.
Have you thought about what would happen during an emp attack? What does emp mean? It stands for electromagnetic pulse. This can come is several forms, such as a tiny emp grenade, but the most feared one is when a nuclear device goes off. Generally, if a nuclear missile exploded in the atmosphere, it will simultaneously let off a pulse of energy that would first destroy all electronic devices because any possible nuclear blast or radiation fallout. It could reach up to two thousand kilometres or more, depending on the size of the yield. This means that the power grid would go offline and it could take a decade to restore it. All electronic devices would stop working. If a device is powered off and unplugged, there is a chance it would be okay, but without a power grid, it wouldn’t much matter unless you did the same with a generator. This means no computers or internet, no Wifi, no cell service or landline service, no banks, no grocery stores, no travel of any kind that relied on power, no gas pumps (though they can be manually pumped in an emergency), no fuel deliveries, no food deliveries, no anything related to electricity.
Are you ready? Money in the bank would be lost and worthless. The vaults won’t open so your safety deposit boxes are out too. Money as we know it is simply a promissory note that represents real money anyway. What is real money? It’s held by the government in a central vault in the form of precious metals like silver and gold. If you are handling your finances properly (you are, right?), you should be saving ten percent of your income right off the top before bills. 30% should go to a cash emergency fund of twenty dollar bills, and 70% split equally among mutual funds and precious metals. The precious metals, like gold, are soft metals so they can be broken off in bits or melted for easy exchange of goods and services in the event paper money is useless. Keep it all in a safe at home.
You will eventually need to hunt your own food. Hunting big game and small game are two different scenarios, with different approaches, and different levels of difficulty. You will be much better off going after small game, and don’t be afraid to broaden your horizons. Food is food. Rabbit, porcupine, fox, snake, turtle, squirrel, chipmunk, racoon... Some basic rules are, if you didn’t kill it, don’t eat it. You never know why an animal died if you happen across one. We are thinking diseases here. And if you did kill it, look for rabies. Using a rifle is the best way. Squirrels gather at the base of trees while rabbits prefer the open field. Small game is most active in the morning and early evening. Foliage is their natural cover. Hunting with a rifle is time consuming though. Trapping is much less time consuming. Set as many traps as possible and a small percentage will yield fruit (so to speak). Paths used by small game can be easily spotted so just set up along those. If you are near water, just about any fish you can catch will be perfectly nutritious. Focus on anything you get. Smaller fish are smaller, but they are more abundant. It’s easy to improvise fishing gear, but it doesn’t hurt to add small items like fishing rods, line, & hooks. Making a spear for fishing or hunting is very easy. Just remember to pack your knife. People can go a long time without food in survival and you will need less too. Remember the rule of 4s. 4 minutes without air, 4 days without water, and 40 days without food. Allocate your energy wisely. Sitting and fishing takes less energy than running after an animal.
Practice this exercise: You can make a lure for fishing by cutting one inches off your paracord, then pulling the inner strings one inch out of the end, then cut the back one inch of the outer sheath off. Bait your hook with it and melt the top end all together with a lighter. Now fray the bottom outer sheath and inner strings so it looks like a tail.
Survival myths: Sucking out snake venom from a bite will help or even stop the poison. False. This could get venom in your mouth or infect the bite wound. You should keep the bite lower than your heart to slow the progression of poison and seek medical aide as soon as possible.
If a bear approaches, play dead. True and false. This might work against a brown bear or a grizzly bear. Try walking away carefully and slowly and don’t fall down. If necessary, lay face down and cover the back of your neck. If a black bear approaches, run or fight. Pepper spray is a great option.
Food is the number one priority if you are lost in the wilderness. False. Food is third on the list of priorities since you can live 40 days without food. Water is first. Shelter is second.
Moss only grown on the north side of a tree. False. Moss favours moist and dark conditions. In the northern hemisphere, this is usually north, but in a forest, if a tree is shaded on another side by other trees, it can grow anywhere.
If a shark attacks, punch it in the nose. True and false. Punching underwater is very difficult, but a punch anywhere will deter a shark. Gouging at the eyes and gills may be a better solution.
Awareness: In a disaster, especially in a city, you will need heightened awareness to be ready for problems from other people. Always watch for people following you anywhere, especially back home. Watch for strange cars parked nearby, noises, smells, and new items near your home from human interaction. Have your escape route planned and ready. Have weapons stashed and on your person. Awareness, readiness, security, and planning all go hand in hand.
Self-defence. For some, this might sound like a no-brainer. But many people still put it off or rely on a firearm for defence. A firearm is fine, but they have many shortcomings. Take a self-defence course. Do your research on what to take. There are basically two types of martial arts: sports and reality. You will want a reality based combat system like Ninjutsu to survive both man and nature.
Know your weapons. If you insist on using a firearm, learn how to use it safely and accurately. Mistakes will be very costly and happen every day around the world. Martial arts weapons (like blades) also require safety and skill, but have advantages over firearms that you would likely learn about in a course.
Medical. Know basic first aid and have basic medical (or extensive) supplies on hand. If you are in a city, the hospitals will be overrun. You will be the doctor in many situations, you will find.
Do-it-yourself. In a survival or disaster situation, you won’t be able to call the utility company, or an electrician, or plumber, or carpenter, or mechanic... It’s easy to call them now, but consider learning the basics. You will need to do it yourself once the kaka hits the rotating blades. We tend to throw everything away these days and buy brand new stuff. Your first instinct should be to reduce, reuse, and recycle so try fixing it. Or watch someone do it. Or take an online course. They abound or try YouTube, though they are less organized and may be wrong.
Time. There are multiple ways to tell time in the wilderness. One way is to measure the distance between the horizon and the sun using your fingers stacked, using both hands, if necessary. Each finger width is about fifteen minutes. If there is a sun out today, practice this exercise.
Direction. How to make a compass. Using a small piece of metal, or a sewing needle, rub your knife on the needle in the same direction one hundred times. Now carefully place the needle onto a small container of water so the surface tension holds the needle on top of the water. You could also use a small round piece of paper or tissue to help keep it afloat. One end of the needle will point north while the other end will point south. Use contextual clues in your environment to determine which is which. Don’t get too close to the “compass” or near electronic devices or other metal objects as this will skew all compasses from magnetic north.
Latrine. Put your toilet paper inside of a coffee can. Cut out a slot for the paper to come through and put holes in the top and bottom of the can, then run rope through it so you can hang it near the latrine area. This will keep it dry and clean.
How to cut rope if you don’t have a knife. Practice this exercise. Tie two knots a few inches apart at the section of rope you want to cut, then step on each side of the knots and use another section of the rope to saw through the rope. The friction will burn through and the knots prevent fraying.
You can temporarily waterproof shoes & boots that are leaking by rubbing Chapstick on the seams, then using a lighter to melt it so the oils penetrate the seam. You can do the same thing with a leaky zipper on a jacket, but maybe don’t melt it that time. You can also use Chapstick as a candle by removing the lip balm from it’s container and placing it in a non-flammable container or aluminum foil, then laying in a cotton wick from a torn piece of cloth. This can be used for warmth, light, or to light another fire.
You can purify water directly in a cistern. Add 1 tablespoon of powdered alum for every sixteen to twenty gallons of water. Wait a few hours for it to do it’s work, then, voila! You have pure water.
If you suspect a gas leak, an easy way to confirm your suspicion is to apply a soapy solution to the area and see if it bubbles. If so, you can fix it right away and ease your mind.
You can make a quick measurement in the wilderness if you have coins in your pocket. A Canadian penny is 18.87mm, a nickel is 21.27mm, a dime is 17.77mm, a quarter is 23.91mm, a loonie is 26.55mm, and a twonie is 27.99mm.
You can see some of these on our YouTube channel HERE.
All our complete courses can be found HERE.