By Aden Tate
My backpack goes with me pretty much all the time. I consider it my modern-day briefcase. I carry files and folders from work in it, but that doesn’t mean work-related stuff makes up the only items I stuff in it every day. Why waste a good opportunity for improved resilience? This most certainly isn’t a complete bug out bag backpack (shoot, it’s not even a bug out bag), but this is a bag that can easily help improve your chances of survival in a disaster or dangerous situation. It can be seen as a mix between your EDC survival kit and a get home bag.
Here’s what I tuck in there
- This may not be a big surprise in the era of COVID, but I carried it pre-COVID as well. It kills germs and it’s flammable!
- This is one of those tools that can be used in a number of ways
- I just use those cheap Bic lighters. They’re roughly $8 for a pack of five of them, meaning I can throw them all over the place without having to worry about losing an expensive Zippo.
- This is 6+ feet of paracord with a flint and steel wound into the attaching clip.
- A close combat tool made by Cold Steel that can be used for strikes, pressure points, and joint locks.
Fixed blade knife
- I carry a Cold Steel with a 4” blade. It’s a model from 10+ years ago, so I’m pretty sure it’s been discontinued, but it still works and keeps an edge great.
- Those needle nose pliers. Man, they come in handy.
- I always keep a small one in my bag. We get a power outage probably at least once a year while I’m at work, and this thing has made a world of difference. You can unscrew the head, and use it as a base, forming an electric “candlestick” if you will, as well.
Prescription pill bottle filled with Vaseline cotton balls
- These are a superb fire starter. I use them for most of the campfires I make at home.
Prescription pill bottle filled with strike anywhere matches
- These are a backup to my Bic lighter.
- I do not enjoy eating these, but I also enjoy eating over being hungry, and so I always keep one of these indestructible bars in my bag.
- These can potentially have a number of uses as well.
- I absolutely love these things. I’ve used them a couple of times on backpacking trips that ended up colder than expected, and I’ve found them to work great.
Pack of travel tissues
- Another item that gets used on almost a daily basis. I also use them to apply pressure to cuts, clean messes, and for toilet paper when I’m hiking.
This may seem like a lot of stuff, but none of it takes up a lot of space nor does it weigh very much. You may even think it’s all unnecessary, but think about it. We spend how much time and money on bug out gear without giving the workplace much thought. If you assume the average worker works an 8 hour shift five days a week with two weeks vacation, that’s 2,000 hours a year spent at work! What are the odds tragedy could strike while we’re at work? High odds. Why not carry a few things in your suitcase or backpack to improve your odds of getting home, surviving, or just general daily use?
I should probably add that my backpack by no means looks like it belongs in the military. It’s an old, beat up school backpack that has stood the test of time. Though for a long trek it most certainly wouldn’t be the most comfortable way to carry a large number of items, I like to think that it makes up for that with its gray man quality. Nobody in a TEOTWAWKI situation would look at my backpack and assume that I have what they might need to survive. They would simply look at it and think, “Oh look, there’s some guy with an old bookbag.” That may not necessarily be the case for somebody with an assault pack strapped with MOLLE that they carry everywhere.
About the Author:
Aden Tate is the author of The Faithful Prepper.
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