You know the scene in so many post-apocalyptic movies in which the hero strides boldly through the desolation with a rucksack of badass gear on his shoulders? Well forget it. Plain and simple, scenes like those are nothing more than ridiculous fantasy. If you ever had to grab a bug-out bag and run for the hills, it would not be in slow motion, you would not look so noble, and there’d definitely be no theme music playing in the background.
If you’re using your BOB, you’re experiencing one of the worst days of your entire life, and that bag of gear has now become your lifeline. Above all, it needs to contain items for shelter, water disinfection, first aid, food, communication, and self-defense. And if there are a few spare cubic inches of space, you can add one or more of these crazy (but useful) bug-out bag items.
Candy: Candy is made of sugar, and sugar provides quick energy. Candy could be an important thing to snack on as you hike to your bug-out location. It’s also a great morale booster, especially for the kids. Choose candies that are easily divided for rationing and sharing, and that won’t melt in the event that the emergency happens in hot weather. Most candies will last well beyond their expiration date.
Beeswax: One of the best raw materials for candle making is beeswax. This natural beehive byproduct burns many times longer than any other waxy substance. You can make a great candle by cutting an aluminum can in half, filling the bottom half with wax chunks, melting them by a fire and inserting a plant fiber string as a wick. But candles aren’t the only thing this golden wax can accomplish. Heat any metal tool and smear it with beeswax for a remarkably protective layer against rust and corrosion.
Fingernail clippers: These might seem silly at first, as you wouldn’t have time for a manicure during an evacuation. But in the long run, they could be very valuable. Keeping your nails short actually keeps them cleaner. This prevents the spread of bacteria and helps to prevent gastrointestinal bugs from being passed around in close quarters. These clippers are also great for snipping fishing line and cordage.
Poison Ivy Remover: If you’ve ever had a bad case of poison ivy, then you know just how important this product can be. If poison ivy, oak, or sumac are indigenous to the site of your end-of-days retreat, add to your BOB a bottle of Tecnu or a similar product to remove poison ivy oils from skin, clothing, and gear. It doesn’t take much to do the trick, so a small bottle will go a long way.
3-in-1 Oil: They ought to call it 100-in-1 oil. This magic fluid can clean, lubricate, and protect a wide range of items. Use it on tools, weapons, motors, and machines. It’s even flammable. Squirt some on your tinder and light a wet-weather fire with no problem.
What unusual items do you have in your BOB? Please tell us what you’re packing by leaving a comment.