If you’re a seasoned prepper, or someone who is in the process of upping your prepping game, then you’re likely to be familiar with the concept of bug-out survival training. For those not in the know, this type of training involves a trip, usually overnight, to somewhere off the beaten trail that the prepper has chosen to be their ‘bug-out’ location. For a prepper, this trip can serve as a ‘bugging out’ drill, allowing them to practice their protocol and techniques for evacuating to relative safety should disaster occur. It’s also a way of testing out the prepper’s proposed loadout of survival equipment, and a great way of familiarising themselves with their gear.
So when you get out there to do your bug-out training, you’ll be wanting to take with you only reliable, sensible and realistically useful kit, right? Taking with you luxuries or oversized, overweight items with little or no useful functions is likely to lead to overloading and decreased mobility. Not good if you’re wanting to bug out in a hurry. That said, whenever Polymath Products plans an overnighter at one of our bug-out locations, there are a few bits of luxury or otherwise superfluous kit that me and Sam like to take with us. These items are our ‘bug-out gear guilty pleasures’ and they’re described below:
Luke’s bug-out gear guilty pleasures
Coleman Big Basin Sleeping Bag
On bug-out training, one piece of kit I like to take with me is my Coleman Big Basin sleeping bag. This bag is of an unusually large size, being big enough to allow all 6’2” of me to stretch out fully, and still be completely swallowed within its cavernous depths. Good navigational skills are a must if you’re going to use this bag, as it’s so large that you could potentially get lost inside. This is great for me, as I like to be able to stretch out and roll around freely while I sleep. But it’s not great for an efficient bug-out, as this ridiculously oversized sleeping bag completely fills the main compartment of my 65 litre Eurohike Pathfinder rucksack, so must be carried separately.
My other guilty pleasure item on these trips is my tomahawk! Now while this axe is of a perfectly good size, shape and weight to be a useful working axe (albeit with a fair amount of sharpening), that’s not the reason I take it. Besides, all the necessary wood processing and other bug-out camp tasks are done with my Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe.
So why do I take this extra axe with me on bug outs? Because of the joy of axe throwing. Axe throwing doesn’t really have much use as a survival skill, but there’s nothing more satisfying than the ‘thunk’ sound of the axe head embedding itself in a standing dead tree that’s a good five to ten paces away. Why not have fun while bug-out training?!
Sam’s bug-out gear guilty pleasures
Carried with some strong Hot Lava Java ground coffee, of course… Sam really enjoys his morning coffee, ‘the stronger the better’ he says, with the end result sometimes resembling tar!
Coffee is the quick and easy way to perk yourself up, especially after a less than perfect night’s sleep.
For a compact and lightweight loadout you could of course pack some good quality instant coffee in a foil pouch, a ‘barista’ style has most of the richness of a real cup of coffee. But, when you have the time, as you may well do in the woodland away from the busy rush of daily life, it certainly is nice to have a ‘proper’ cup of coffee. Although designed for use on gas, these aluminium espresso pots can be heated over a variety of heat sources; embers from the fire or even hexamine. The water boils in the lower container and pushes its way through packed ground coffee into the top container, producing a potently strong coffee. Without which Sam ends up looking like an extra from a ‘zombie apocalypse’ film in the morning.
Hip Flask of Navy Rum
Another type of strong drink forming part of Sam’s unessential kit list here!
A particular favourite is Wood’s Old Navy Rum, which due to its strength of 57% even a small 200ml hip flask provides enough for everyone around the camp fire to have a good drink. Whilst a strong alcohol such as this could also have survival uses as a fuel or disinfectant, it is of course a pure luxury.
It should be noted that both of Sam’s choices are dehydrating, so only ever consumed if there is enough water to hand!
So those are our bug-out training guilty pleasures. What are yours? Please leave a comment below; we’d love to hear from you about those creature comforts you just can’t leave behind when practising for the apocalypse!