The Ultimate Bug-Out-Bag: How to Make an INCH Kit
An INCH kit is the mother of all bug-out bags. It contains all the gear you’ll need when you have to leave home for good.
10—4×4 non-stick gauze pads
5—10-yard rolls of 1-inch tape (avoid paper tape)
5—pairs of nitrile gloves
2—Ace bandages, self-adherent, 3 in. x 5 yd.
1—EMT Shears, full-size
1—combat application tourniquet (CAT)
1—nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal airway, adult (bring a child-size airway if kids are expected to accompany)
10—each packets of burn cream, itch cream
1—tube of antibiotic ointment
Assorted band-aids and medicines, like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, Benadryl, laxative, anti-diarrheal, antibiotics, etc.
Drinking raw water is certainly a gamble. Even in pristine wilderness areas, the water can be contaminated with all kinds of bowel-churning pathogens. Unless you are lucky enough to find a spring issuing clean water out of the natural water table, drinking unprocessed water is a risk you can’t afford to take. Carry a trustworthy water filter and some disinfection tablets as a back-up. It’s also smart to have a hydration bladder in your INCH kit so you can drink while you walk, and a few spare bottles for water storage and transport. Start your trip off right by carrying a few factory-sealed water bottle, for safe water that’s ready to drink. For more on water purification, click here.
You’ll need ready-to-eat foods, ideally things you could eat while walking. During the initial trek to no man’s land, survival rations, meal bars, and other high-calorie, no-cook foods would be your best bet. MREs are great, but they take up too much room in your pack. A few of the vacuum-sealed, freeze-dried “pro-pack” meals would be nice for a morale boosting hot meal, but they do require you to stop and boil water to prepare it. Since you can’t carry a month’s worth of food, plus all the other gear we are listing here, the best course of action would be to cache food at your destination, and maybe even at points along the way, ahead of time. A few pounds of rice might make sense in your INCH kit, but buckets of food buried at your bug-out location makes more sense.
In a savage dystopian future, you probably won’t be able to go to a camping supply store for another canister of stove fuel. So be ready to cook over the open fire as your ancestors once did. To do this you’ll need abundant fire starting materials. Matches, lighters, and spark rods are all great choices. You’ll also need a high-quality gallon-size stainless steel pot to boil water and cook your rat-n-pigeon soup. You’ll also need a metal bowl and spoon for eating, one larger spoon for stirring and serving, some soap, and something to scrub the dishes. All items should nest inside the pot, along with some food. A metal drinking cup rounds out your Armageddon place setting.
There are many forms of communication that will be valuable in an INCH scenario, including a hand-cranked or solar-powered radio with NOAA weather bands. Walkie-talkies will be great if you are making your trek with others. Spare batteries for the units are a must. Select units that are rugged and waterproof. Analog comms like whistles and mirrors will be useful as well.
An assortment of hooks, line, lures, weights, and other fishing gear take up very little room and don’t weigh much. This gear assortment easily represents the biggest value for its size and weight of all the food procurement gear in your INCH kit.
What does one wear to the end of days? Don rugged and durable clothing for your exodus, with several additional garments in your kit. Wool and synthetic fibers are great choices, though cotton underwear and socks could be boiled periodically to reduce the chances of fungal and bacterial skin infections. Learning to knit or crochet before the SHTF would be useful for patching socks, but I don’t know anyone who knits underwear. So, presumably, when the underwear wears out, everyone goes commando.