Skills and Gear for Self Reliance and Homesteading

Book Review- Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag

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Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag- Your 72-hour Disaster Survival Kit

Author- Creek Stewart                               Betterway Home Books 2012                      208 pgs          Paperback and Kindle versions

It is interesting, given a topic such as this, which has so many opinions would be so close to my philosophy toward preparedness with minimal exceptions. The first thing I look for in a book on preparedness is how much of the information leads you to a specific point of view, a specific scenario. So are the authors views on events or a single event evident in the way in which they have you prep? They are in this book but the advice gives you plenty of adaptation to your views. So let me walk you through the chapters;

19 chapters in total with organizing checklists. Chapters include;

  • The Bag
  • Water, Hydration and Food
  • Clothing and Shelter
  • Fire
  • First Aid and Hygiene
  • Tools, lighting and communication
  • Protection
  • Pets and Plans

From selecting a bag which is more important than you think to stocking it, it’s all here and in a very informative format. You not only get the information but you get the why and why not for certain selections. So with the bag information, you could start your search to what will fit you. Fitting you is totally personal, the parts in are somewhat personal and this is clear in his information. I personally us two bags, a level 1 and a level 2 bag. Think of this as a trip to hawaii. You take bags of stuff to the island for 7 day stay. You would take a smaller bag of that for an overnight on the island. I have the level 1 with me always, generally in the car I am in. My main bag always stays in my vehicle, that’s my egress means. So remember to “think outside the bag” and make it yours.

Now we move into Water and Food which have a lot of good information to help your selection. I really like the options noted for food, I personally use several in my own bags, not just one type and he gives you reasons for all of them. Water handling is so important and he spends the time to walk you through it. Getting sick is uncomfortable at home, disaster in time of emergency. This is must to pay good attention to.

Stoves and cookware are covered well and helps you make good selections. Good information on clothing, and protecting yourself from the elements. In case you did not know how versatile a Shemag is, you will see how. I have grown to love them for lots of reasons, THEY WORK! Shelter and bedding is well covered, with a good deal of time spent on the Tarp option. One of the most versatile ways to create shelter and other uses.

Fire and First Aid is well done. Right with my thinking on fire especially with carrying 3 forms of fire making. Also he makes the great distinction between the flimsy space blanket (which is junk) and the emergency BLANKET. The blanket is a whole different animal, make sure you “choose wisely”.  On to Hygiene, one of the least followed protocols and one that can have a large impact on your total health.

Tools chapter is great! He does not waster any time on “Hollywood” knives and tools. A knife is a basic tool that can really save you when the chips are down. I personally use the Becker 2. The only thing I don’t like is the handle, it gets slippery when bloody like cutting up an elk. But its a good solid knife and he has three others that I also endorse. I would endorse one more TOOL, the Wyoming Saw. I will do a review on that tool soon.

Lighting and communications has great info. I liked everything I read. When we get to self defense, I do take exception to the “best” bug out bag self defense firearm. Now this topic will have as many opinions as you want. I do understand the concealability of a pistol, but the actual rate at which an attacker is put down with a pistol is low. About 85% of people shot with a handgun, survive and are able to continue a limited attack. I have always preferred the shotgun as the best all around defensive firearm. Just remember and try to plan that a handgun allows you to fight your way to a shotgun or carbine. Also, a lot of events will not warrant the “totally concealabilty” issue.

The book then finishes with Misc. items, main lists, exercises and general good information. Lot’s of good info and you can log onto betterway books and download his inventory sheet. I suggest using a list for everything in your preps. A list gets you organized and exposed your weaknesses. Remember the list is “His” and you need to take it and “Make It Yours”.

In close, this is a great book to use for building your bag/72 hour kit. Buy it in our Survival BookShelf or at your favorite bookstore!

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