There are so many items that seem practical to have in an evacuation bag – but have you thought about how heavy that is going to make the bag?
Have you thought about the potential consequences of trying to carry a bug out bag that is over weight in an emergency situation?
Below I share some tips on how to properly pack and figure out what a emergency evacuation bag should weigh.
There are also links to products I recommend from companies I have a referral relationship with. I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Potential Issues Of An Overweight Evacuation Bag
Understanding how much your bug out bag should weigh is critical.
While more is typically better – and you might think like this – the heavier the bag, the slower you are going to move when carrying it.
In an emergency situation the slower you move, the more potential danger you are in.
The heavier it is, the more strain it puts on your body and it will slow you down when you’re walking or running to safety.
Not only that, but if a bag is too heavy, it will act as a gravitational pull that could cause you to fall backward.
A bug out bag that is loaded to the hilt is sure to get you killed.
However if you are testing how good the straps, material or stitches are on a new backpack (as I am in the video above), go ahead and load it up, but be sure to remove those excess items at the end of the day when you are done testing the bag.
How Much Should A Bug Out Bag Weigh?
There are different mindsets when it comes to the right weight.
Some people say a ballpark estimate is less than 50 pounds – while others think a bug out bag should never weigh more than 15 pounds.
A good rule of thumb is to pack your bag with survival necessities.
The final weight of the bag should equal around ten percent of your body weight.
While that might seem like an impossible goal, you have to remember that a bug out bag isn’t meant to contain every thing you might need.
Pack Enough Supplies For 72 Hours
Its intended purpose is to help you survive for 72 hours – not weeks or months.
If you fill it up with supplies to last longer than 72 hours, you are going to end up with a bag that is too heavy for you to safely bug out with.
If your bag is too heavy, not only is it going to prevent you from bugging out with speed, but it can wear you out and even end up causing shoulder or bag strain, which could impact your safety in an ambush or animal attack.
Include 3 days worth of Meals Ready To Eat (MRE’s). Though it can be tempting to pack more, that would be a mistake and weigh your pack down.
You need to follow the same 3 day rule when it comes to clothing.
An alternative to putting knives, guns, some of your ammo and other small items such as waterproof matches in your bug out bag is to wear a tactical cross draw vest such as the one I am wearing above. I purchased it locally at the Trading Post, LLC for under $70.
The Best Way To Pack A Bug Out Bag
Some preppers think of packing a bug out bag the same way that they pack groceries.
They put whatever is bulkiest and heavier on the bottom of the bag then load the lighter stuff on top. This is backward for a bug out bag.
You want the bulk of the weight at your shoulders to avoid strain on your lower back.
You want any shelter items like a tent or a tarp on the bottom – because these items fill out the bottom of the bag and help support other items that you pack on top of them.
When packing a bag with outside pockets or Molle straps, make sure that you have items of equal or close weight on either side so that you don’t end up with an off balance weight.
Some bug out bags – such as the one I have – have small compartments that are removable so you can attach them to your belt to help distribute the weight. I highly recommend choosing one like this.
Keep in mind every member of your family including your dog should have their own evacuation bag filled with supplies they need – and this is especially important in the event that you become separated.
It is a good idea to wear the backpack filled with supplies as well as your tactical vest several times a month so you learn what it is like ahead of time.
It is always better to be prepared and know what to expect than to be caught off guard especially in a life or death situation.
I highly recommend the following articles:
- Essential Evacuation Bag Contents For Everyone
- What Goes Into Your Emergency Evacuation Bag?
- Uses For Paracord Bracelet
- Planning Your Family Survival Camp
- Survival Grocery List – First Month
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