What if your bug out bag is lost, confiscated, stolen, or you have to drop it? If you’ve taken a layered approach to your bug-out gear, all hope is not lost. This system, which I’ve outline below, should leave you with some gear at hand, no matter what happens.

The first line of gear when bugging out is your bug-out bag, or “BOB.” This should be set up with gear that will allow you to be self-sufficient with the minimum amount of work. Gather together the supplies you’d use for a backpacking trip, and you’re pretty much set. Add in some items for self-defense and communication, and you’re ready to roll. See our posts on bug out bags for more details.

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LINE 2: The Kit Bag
This second line of gear can be held in a variety of containers. From the non-threatening fanny pack, to military-style hip packs, leg pouches, and chest rigs, there are several choices in containment. I recommend using whatever you’re comfortable with, but be aware that tactical gear might call unwanted attention to you in a bug-out scenario. If functionality is your only concern, Hill People Gear’s kit bags are fine examples of chest rigs for this purpose.

So what goes inside a kit bag? This module is all about redundant, yet space-saving survival gear. Rather than the small sleeping bag of your BOB, you’ll have a space blanket. Rather than several water-filled canteens, you’ll have an empty hydration bladder and disinfection tablets. This kit should be rounded out with small items like lighters, compasses, folding knives, cordage, first aid equipment, and a small metal cup for boiling. A few high-calorie snack bars are perfect for the kit bag. This kit will be strapped to your body, independent of your bug out bag, in the event you have to abandon the BOB.

The third line of defense against Murphy’s Law, is your every-day-carry gear. This consists of a pocket knife, flashlight, multi-tool, lighter, and anything else you are comfortable carrying in your pockets. This last line of gear is the stuff that you still hope to have, should all of the other gear become lost to you.

How do you carry your bug-out gear? Let us know your strategy by leaving a comment.