I recently upgraded by Bug Out Bag to an ILBE military surplus bag. The good news is that it holds everything I need. The bad new is I now need to have a system to keep it neat and ready. It’s very important to Keep your Bug Out Bag Organized!
Keep your Bug Out Bag Organized
A large backpack, like the ILBE rucksack, can give you thousands of cubic inches of carry space, but if you don’t organize and pack it well, you’ll may have to empty the entire bag just to find the one item you need.
Here is a combination of methods that will help keep your gear organized.
Group Items into “kits”
Separate your backpack contents into logical groups and keep each group in a dry sack, inside the of the backpack.
This will keep your items dry and keep them organized. You’ll be able to identify the contents of each dry sack by color, or if they are all the same color. You can label them with some type of permanent maker (or other method).
Now your gear is in 5-7 smaller kits. Each kit is in a separate dry bag, protected from water.
Backpack Load Out
Load out your backpack (bug out bag) from top to bottom:
- Sleeping bag goes in the very bottom of the bag. The Military 4 piece sleep system can provide you with the flexibility to sleep in any temperature, down to -30°F. The bivy sack covering is waterproof and can be used instead of a tent for shelter. Make sure to get the genuine military surplus!
- Tent goes next, on top of the sleeping bag. If you don’t carry a full tent or if you use a military poncho, for shelter and/or rain gear, you can skip the tent. Your military poncho shouldn’t go in this position as it will always rain when you bug out (really, why wouldn’t it), so you’ll want it towards the top.
- Food and Cooking gear is the next item that goes in the bag (on top of tent or sleeping bag, if you are tent-less). Keep your food in a separate dry sack, apart from your cooking gear (and fire starting).
- Clothing (wool socks, non-cotton shirts and pants, wicking undershirt and under garments)
- Cordage, tent stakes, maps, compass, headlamps, flashlights, additional fire making tools in another dry sack.
- First Aid Kit, right on top, in it’s own dry sack (usually a Red one).
- Military rain poncho on top (because it’s going to rain, trust me). The poncho is water proof, so there is no need to put the it in a dry sack.
Tent poles and really big maps can be inserted down the side of the gear inside the pack. Foam sleeping pad can be secured outside the pack, since they are typically water proof material.
It essential to Keep your Bug Out Bag Organized! If you keep items sorted into quickly identifiable kits and sorted into dry sacks, you can quickly find the items you need, when you need them, keep items dry and will allow you to load and unload your gear fast.