If you are serious about being prepared for an emergency, you probably already have a bug out bag ready and waiting in case you need to get out of town quickly. However, now that winter is right around the corner, it’s time to give your bag another look and make a few accommodations for the cold weather. When I was recently going through my bug out bag, I realized that it wasn’t equipped very well if we needed to bug out with snow on the ground. We would be in deep trouble without some additions to my current gear!
Even if you are able to bug out in your car, it will only go so far before you run out of gas. Then what? With no heater, you are still going to be freezing and if you have to go on foot, you need protection from the wind. As you think through the ways cold weather would effect your survival odds, here are some ideas I found to adjust your bug out bag for winter.
Layers, Layers, and More Layers
Because the temperature could vary drastically from day to night, you should have tons of layers available in your gear. Add wool socks, thermal underwear, and a jacket with a removable liner to your bag. Hats, gloves, and heavy sweaters are also vital additions.
The mylar blanket is almost magical in a cold weather environment. Despite its light weight, it can help you retain body heat and it is also pretty inexpensive. For my family, I’m including a mylar blanket in each of our bug out bags and adding a few to our car as well. Even if my car would break down on the side of the road in the dead of winter, that blanket could provide life saving warmth for my children while we wait for help.
Weather-Proof Tube Tents
If you would have to journey on foot, having a portable emergency tent is vital to protect you from the elements. Most tube tents will only accommodate two people, so you might need to get several of them to be sure your whole family can stay warm and dry. When you buy these, they come in a small package that is easy to slide into your bug out bag.
Buy some hand warmers that are friction-activated. They are great to put in your bug out bag, but you will probably just love them for winter in general. I keep them in my pockets to use when I’m taking the dog for a walk in the cold weather. Plus, you can put them in your socks to prevent your feet from getting too cold while you are looking for shelter in a survival scenario.
Polyethylene foam is usually used as packaging and it’s sold in big rolls. It’s very lightweight and it would be a great way to insulate your sleeping bag in a bug out situation. I am adding a piece for each of my family members in our bug out bags. Basically, just cut a long section about 5 or 6 feet long and roll it up, securing with rubber bands. You can wedge them in your bag and have an extra layer of warmth if you would ever need it.
Insulated Water Bottles
If you don’t want your water to freeze, you need to keep it in an insulated bottle. Plus, you can store warm water inside and sip it to stay warm while you are out in the cold weather! Insulated water bottles are not expensive, but they are a must have in your bug out bag for winter.
These are the items that I’ve added to my bug out bag for winter so far, but I’m sure there will be more to come in the next few weeks! What are you adding to your bug out bag to make sure you are adequately prepared for winter survival?