Tradecraft: Prepacked Bug Out bags

(TFC) – A recent trend in emergency preparedness has led to dozens of companies offering prepacked bug out bags. It’s so prevalent, in fact, The Fifth Column has been asked why we don’t have our own line.

They’re easy enough to produce. There are even companies that allow other companies to purchase their bags and rebrand them as their own.The reason we don’t have our own line is simple: retail bug out bags are a farce. You have to build your pack to match your needs and skill set. There’s a slight exception to this rule. There is a company that sells a variety of starter packs. They don’t market them as bug out bags, they don’t tell you it’s everything you need to survive the end of the world, they aren’t even an equipment company. They’re a food company.

We’re going to review and link some of their kits below. This article may seem like a paid advertisement for the company, and in a way, it is. If you purchase any of the products linked below, TFC will get a few pennies. So how can you trust they are good products? We’ve silently endorsed their foods for years. Almost two years ago, I wrote an article detailing how to build bug out bags for yourself and your family. It’s been syndicated and republished all over the web. If you look at the photos of the contents of my family’s bags, the food supplies are almost exclusively manufactured by Wise. My wife’s bag was built using their 5-day pack as a base and then adding the necessary extras.

The packs below cover the basics you need: food, water, fire, shelter, and medicine. Without adding additional supplies, they aren’t bug out bags. They’re more of “shelter-in-place bags”, “throw-in-your-car-in-case-you-breakdown-in-a-snow-storm bags”, or “here-comes-a-hurricane bags”. They are the bare minimum basics you need to have available for any form of emergency preparedness bag. They lack the ability to provide true long-term survivability because once the food supplies are exhausted, they lack the items necessary to gather more food. When you’re done reviewing the packs, read this how-to to get the information necessary to expand it to meet your needs. These packs are a starting point, not a one stop shop.

Image Source: Justin King

Image Source: Justin King

Click title to view contents of pack.

Bug Out Bag base kits:

Two-Week Essential: This pack provides enough food for one person to last two weeks. It also contains waterpoof matches, basic first aid kit, water filtration, stove, basic recreation, and a few other goodies.

Five-Day Emergency Survival Kit: This pack provides the basics for one person. This is the newer version of the pack we used to build my wife’s. It has a nice little supply of food and some necessary basics.

Two-Week Deluxe: This is the bag you want to start with if you plan on really building a true long-term bug out bag and want a base bag ready as you piece together the additional items. It’s more expensive, but it has a lot more of the extras.

Additional products worth noting:

Emergency car kit: Sometimes it’s hard to get family members to take emergency preparedness seriously. Everybody is ok with jumper cables in their car, though. For the reluctant family member, this may be the gateway to get them to think about more advanced preparations.

Just the food: Already have a bug out bag and want to add some lightweight food supplies? Just want some emergency food in your car, cache, house, or hunting cabin? There are 3-day7-day, and 30-day supplies available. They even have much larger supplies that will last entire families years.

Deluxe Survival Kit (Camo Bag)

Seeds: Wise also offers heirloom seeds. I didn’t know they offered these until I started surfing their website this morning. I ordered a set, and I’ll let you know how they work in few months.

Before I even started writing this article, I received a question I’m sure a lot of people are wondering: “How does this food compare to MREs?”

It’s cheaper, lighter, better tasting, and packs a comparable nutritional value when compared by pre-cooked weight (that’s the weight that matters when you’re hauling it on your back). It has a shelf life of 25 years. Certainly, somebody out there is saying “better tasting than an MRE? That’s not saying much.” True. It’s survival food. It’s not like mom used to make and it isn’t delicious when compared to what you probably eat daily right now, but compared to any survival food out there, it’s the best tasting.

Some of these packs are less than $60. There is no reason to be unprepared.