Being prepared for the unexpected emergency with a bug out bag can save you and your family’s lives. In case you need to leave your home in a hurry supplies should be ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Shelter needs to be the main thought when packing for an emergency. You do not want to pack a tent for the wilderness because it would be too heavy and bulky to carry any distance. A tarp or two would be easier to carry and can be arranged around a tree or in many different setting in order to set up a shelter. The tarps would keep the family dry and warmer in inclement weather. Some kind of strong cording like parachute cord, tent stakes, and a wire saw or wire type chainsaw would also need to be packed. These items would allow for a shelter to be built in a very short amount of time.
Location for a Bug Out Shelter
Finding the right location should include an area where there is plenty of large rocks if possible, thick foliage or even a deep dip in the earth. The location should provide protection from the rain and wind in all directions, and allow for your fire to be built by the front entrance of your shelter. The fire should also be sheltered by a large rock or log so the heat from the fire can warm up the shelter. A large rock would be a great reflector for the heat to come back into the shelter.
Building a Tarp Shelter
A tarp tent would be easiest done around a tree or by using a strong branch. By folding the tarp you can have the opening needed and the grommets will allow you to tie off the tent and secure the corners into the ground. The tarp can be secured using the tent stakes if they were packed. Make sure you place the tarp so the wind hits the side of the tarp and not the opening. For extra protection you can layer branches with on the tarp. Start from the bottom up where layering so the rain can run off downwards on the branches. The branches will give you good insulation and keep your tarp dry.
Building a Natural Shelter in the Woods
A debris shelter is harder to build and will take more time than a tarp shelter. The shapes will be almost the same but with the debris shelter branches and the forest floor will be your materials. The framework will be the hardest to construct. Starting with a ridge pole attach one end to a tree at least two feet up off the ground and the other end on the ground. Gather small branches and attach them to the full length of the pole until it forms an a-frame assembly. Place more branches with leaves over the first layer for protection. Gather leaves from the forest floor and place them between the layers of branches for more insulation. This hut is not big but the bigger it is the more air that will need to be heated for warmth. The walls and roof are close to the body trapping in the body heat for greater warmth.
Food and Other Supplies
Pack high protein bars, trail mix, peanut butter and foods that don’t need cooking. Zip lock bags are great for food storage items. Add in a couple of quarts of water, purification kit, fire starting supplies and a small pot. A good knife, flashlight and extra batteries, duct tape and some basic tools. Some cash should also be placed into every bug out bag.