How to Lighten a Bug Out Bag (BOB): Top 8 Tips from Survivalists

To be as ready as doable it’s straightforward to overload a bug-out bag and for it to grow to be too heavy. i’ve discovered {that a} good rule of thumb is to maintain a bug out bag between twenty-five and fifty kilos. 

In my opinion, I consider a BOB may be too gentle which begins to enter into the realm of ultralight packs. Packing an ultra-light bag has grow to be a little bit of a sport amongst sure people wishing to problem themselves or to push the bounds.

Now, this text will not be about that individual sport, if you’ll, however i’ve seen a few of this ultra-light mentality bleed over into preparedness matters, particularly bug out baggage.

Not Too Light, Not Too Heavy, But Just Right

I needed to briefly focus on the load vary of a bug out bag a bit extra. 

If an individual desires to create an ultra-light pack for races and journey functions, that’s advantageous and dandy. But I consider that mind-set shouldn’t be utilized to a bug out bag and listed below are my the reason why.

i’m going to go together with the belief that ultra-light packers are skilled in what they do and practice usually. This signifies that they need to be capable of get by with minimal provides higher than the common particular person. i’m not saying this can be a good thought, however they will do it. 

The common BOB sits in a car, storage area, or closet for lengthy durations with out actually getting used. I don’t consider the common particular person trains usually sufficient to retain skillsets within the open air to get by with minimal gear. 

Lastly, packing minimal gear to cope with unknown conditions is downright harmful. The thought of a BOB is to supply provides to an individual in order that they will get from level A to level B inside a set period of time.

Most folks agree that timeframe is round 72 hours. However, if doable, I prefer to advise folks on planning for an extended interval, let’s say every week.

This is as a result of plans by no means go off and not using a hitch and folks drastically underestimate how shortly they will journey when the SHTF, particularly when touring on foot.

Unknown eventualities and unknown timeframes imply we must always carry as much gear as we comfortably can to cope with no matter comes our approach. 

On the flip aspect, a heavy bug out bag has its own issues.  

The first is that the load of the bag may cause physical issues similar to within the again, shoulders, and knees. If an individual will not be bodily match and doesn’t practice usually with their bag, it’s unrealistic to consider that immediately, they will strap on a fifty pound plus bag and be good to go. It is simply not going to occur. 

The second drawback is {that a} heavy bag will trigger mobility points, slowing an individual down and making it tough to maneuver by way of sure terrain.

Even a person who’s bodily match will ultimately have problem maintaining a sure tempo when they’re carrying a heavy load. It is solely tiresome, regardless of who you might be.

Also, a big bag packed to the rim can be tough to maneuver by way of sure areas, similar to areas dense in vegetation and timber. 

I believe the load of a bug out bag ought to fall inside that zone of not too gentle, not too heavy, however excellent whereas on the similar time not sacrificing security because of an absence of drugs. 

Basic Bug Out Bag Setup

Before leaping into the methods to lighten a bug-out bag I believed it might be vital to go over among the fundamentals. The preliminary setup of a bug out bag ought to start by overlaying these fundamentals. After the fundamentals are lined you possibly can then determine what gadgets to incorporate or miss primarily based in your weight necessities. You can use the rule of 3 to assist get you began. 

Three Minutes Without Air 

This first rule is typically instantly dismissed with the notion of “there is air all around us.” But don’t forget first assist gadgets related to the respiration and that it might be tough to breathe in sure environments. Not to say sporting masks in contaminated areas. 

Three Hours Without Shelter

A shelter can definitely be vital, however that is talking extra to a few hours with out sustaining core physique temperature. That may be completed by sporting climate applicable clothes coupled with heating and cooling strategies. 

Three Days Without Water 

We all understand how vital water is to our survival. Every bag ought to have a method to gather, filter, purify, and transport water. 

Three Weeks Without Food 

Since a bug out bag is supposed to serve a brief interval, round three days, an argument could possibly be made that things to eat doesn’t have to be handled in a BOB. 

However, you will need to maintain our vitality ranges up and it’s definitely doable that you could have to depend on the provides in your bag for longer than three days. For these causes, a couple of things to eat gadgets needs to be packed in addition to a couple of instruments for getting things to eat, like a small fishing kit

First Aid and Navigation 

While first assist and navigation are usually not part of the Rule of three, they’re vital classes that fall into the fundamental loadout of a bug out bag. 

A primary aid kit with correct medical provides needs to be packed. The data of how you can cope with a wide range of medical points must also be recognized.  

A compass and a physical map of your whole area needs to be packed in addition to realizing some primary navigational expertise.  

A Word of Caution 

The following are recommendations and concepts for how you can lighten a BOB and never actions you should do. Please take note your state of affairs and the area through which you reside whereas studying.

For instance, I focus on the choice of swapping out a tent for a tarp. But relying in your area’s local weather or what time of the 12 months it’s, this will not be a superb possibility for you.  

Lightening A Bug Out Bag 

When the time comes to make use of a bug-out bag, you will need a bag that may be carried with the least variety of issues doable whereas offering you with the gear you want.

If you end up with a BOB that’s too heavy listed below are some methods to lighten the load whereas sustaining your stage of preparedness. 

The Bag 

The weight of a bag is one thing to contemplate. In the eyes of most, a bag’s weight might be negligible however when carrying gear in your again there’s an outdated saying, “ounces turn into pounds.” 

And we don’t want these kilos so as to add up from the bag we stuff all our gear into. A daily college backpack will not be going to weigh all that much whereas a military-style bag or correct out of doors pack with a body system goes to be noticeably heavier. 

Now, i’m not telling you to make use of a college backpack over the opposite choices just because it’s lighter. I’m merely mentioning that there is usually a noticeable weight distinction between completely different baggage and to do your analysis to discover a sturdy bag with out being too heavy. 

Research Bug Out Plans

Bug out plans is an space of individuals’s preps that i’ve discovered lacks follow-through within the particulars. When requested what your plans are for bugging out, the standard reply that I get from folks is, “I am going to grab my bag and go to my bug out location.”

Here are some questions that I then comply with up with.

  • Exactly how far is it to a bug out location from your property, work, or another locations that you simply usually journey to?
  • What are the choice routes to your bug out location and the way much distance do they add on to the excursion?
  • What are your selections for different modes of transportation? 
  • What is the climate like in your area?
  • How many individuals are in your group?
  • Do you or any of your group members have any well being issues that have to be addressed?

The motive that I carry these questions up is that the solutions will assist an individual to appropriately pack their bag relatively than simply filling it with as much stuff as doable.

For instance, an individual whose bug out location is 100 miles away in rugged terrain goes to have completely different provides than an individual whose bug out location is ten miles away in a extra city setting. 

Use Multipurpose Gear 

Having gadgets that may serve a number of functions is an effective way of packing fewer gadgets right into a bag and decreasing the general weight. 


One instance that I prefer to current to folks is using a quality multitool. Without entering into the ins and outs of its usability or whether or not you even like them, the very fact stays {that a} single multitool can change many bigger and heavier gadgets in a bag. 


When it involves cookware it’s a must to understand that bugging out will not be a tenting excursion and there are going to be a number of niceties you’ll need to do with out. 

This jogs my memory of one other dialog I as soon as had what place a person was describing the contents of their BOB that served them and one different particular person.

They began itemizing the cookware and I believe my jaw began to drop. They had pots, pans, skillets, lids for the pots and pans, plates, consuming utensils, cooking utensils, cups, a grill, and the record didn’t appear to finish. 

Outdoor cookware kits have grow to be very compact and i’d be mendacity if I stated I used to be not a fan of a few of them. But it’s nonetheless a number of gadgets that could possibly be lowered. 

For instance, i’d recommend trimming all that all the way down to a single small pot, an consuming utensil, and perhaps a cup. 

All the cooking may be carried out in a pot, and the things to eat may be eaten proper out of the pot which eliminates the necessity for plates. The pot may even be used as a cup which might remove the necessity for that merchandise. Do you see what place i’m going with this? Trim gear all the way down to the gadgets that may serve a number of functions. 


i’ve by no means been an enormous fan of tents though they do have their place. This is principally as a result of they will solely be used as a tent except after all, you might be inclined to cannibalize it and piece it out. 

Tarps alternatively I’m an enormous fan of, and listed below are among the the reason why:

  • They are extraordinarily inexpensive.
  • Can be arrange in several configurations.  
  • Easier to arrange and takedown.
  • Can be used for different issues apart from a shelter. 
  • And for the aim of this text, they don’t seem to be as heavy.

Choose Different Materials 

Another approach of decreasing weight is to contemplate what sort of thing a bit of drugs or instrument is constructed from. 

i’m going to make use of cookware as one other instance. Cookware may be created from stainless-steel, copper, forged iron, aluminum, or titanium. 

A pot created from titanium goes to be extraordinarily light-weight whereas a forged iron pot goes to be extraordinarily heavy.

It might take a bit extra time to analysis and examine gear primarily based on what it’s created from however selecting provides created from lighter weight thing will make a distinction.  

Limit Niceties

I usually recommend placing gadgets in survival kits and baggage that aren’t requirements however are extra of a consolation merchandise. This could possibly be a e-book, a deck of enjoying playing cards, chocolate, take your decide.

I consider this stuff can play a job in boosting morale and offering a bit consolation. But at one level I noticed the variety of consolation gadgets in my bag had became greater fairly a bit with out me totally realizing it. 

They had been unnecessarily taking over area and including weight, a number of kilos the truth is. After reorganizing the bag, I solely allowed myself one merchandise for this class. 

Wrap Up 

A bag that’s at both excessive finish of the load spectrum has its benefits and drawbacks. But so long as your primary necessities are lined a bug-out bag may be as heavy or as gentle as you want. 

I hope that this text was informative and helped in mentioning among the methods you possibly can cut back the pressure of a heavy BOB.

Thanks for studying and keep ready!

What are methods you’ve got lowered the load of your bug out bag? Sound off within the remark part beneath and tell us!

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