Getting out of Dodge

Camping spot the First by Martin Lopatka
Camping spot the First, a photo by Martin Lopatka on Flickr.

When you’re prepping for disaster and emergency situations, you should have appropriate gear on hand in case you need to abandon your home. A zombie attack might not be a good time to leave but something like a hurricane or economic collapse can result in a situation when it’s better to get out of “civilized” areas. A GOOD pack of camping gear as well as your bug-out bag is what you need in case of a situation when you need to leave.

Abandoning your home with all your preps is difficult, especially when you’ve got three years worth of food and water stocked up. The last thing you want to worry about is not having the right gear for going out to the backwoods, away from other people. Take some time to prep some appropriate camping gear to GOOD and you’ll be set to take off at a moment’s notice.


The first thing to buy is an appropriate shelter. Think about the year-round conditions you might bug-out in and where you’re planning on going if you need to leave. You’ll also want to think of what supplies you’ll be bringing with you because a shelter can be a tent or just a tarp and groundcover—it all depends on your experience and how much room you have. If you’re well versed in primitive camping, contemplate saving room with minimal shelter supplies. But if you’re not accustomed to camping, a tent is the way to go because it’ll give you some psychological reassurance.

Sleeping Bag

You might not need a sleeping bag, depending on where you’re bugging-out. But planning for your situation and the conditions is of the utmost importance for your bedding. You’ll want to pack as light as possible but also be prepared for weather conditions for your area. Consider lightweight synthetics as they stand up to getting wet better than down if you are in an area that experiences a lot of rain or snow. If you’re in a warm clime, you can consider something more lightweight than a sleeping bag, as long as you’re comfortable.

Cooking Gear

For the bare minimum, you want to bring cook gear that does double duty both on gas and over a fire. While you might be confident in your fire-making skills, wet wood is very hard to start and can mean going hungry if you’re unable to start a fire. Instead, pack a company gas stove that you can use when you can’t make a fire. You’ll also want to think about options like the Biolite, which turns wood fires into a cellphone charge.


Finding the perfect pack can be a challenge but make sure that it fits you well and all your gear. You’ll want a pack that keeps your center of gravity as low as possible so you have the ability to maneuver around obstacles quickly without falling. Huge, top heavy packs might be able to store all your gear but can leave you vulnerable. The best way to find the right pack is by trying them out. If you think the pack is too small for all your gear, make sure everything you’re packing in is absolutely necessary. After all, bugging-out supplies aren’t a free-for-all, they’re about survival.

Kim Herrington is a freelance writer based in Arkansas.

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