Also called a GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) Bag or an Evac Bag, the Bug-Out Bag is a custom designed backpack full of stuff you'll need to survive for 72 hours in case of a disaster. These bags are not just for the Apocalypse anymore. Wherever you live, there are natural, political and social forces that can lead to your having to grab and go in a big hurry.
I used to live in Tornado Alley. I've lived where hurricanes periodically sweep through, where prairie or forest fires decimate millions of acres and floods inundate whole towns. Right now I'm living within 20 minutes of feeling the effects of an eruption of a volcano known as the most dangerous mountain in North America. You never know when you'll need to get out of town in a hurry.
Check out The Art of Manliness for a really good description of what to put in a bugout bag. It's one of the better pieces on the subject I've ever seen. Make a version of this bag for every member of your household to keep you all going for 72 hours in an emergency. It's also a good Pathfinder project.
If you're the kind of person who likes to to go camping on impulse, there's a second article on impulse weekend road trips and campouts that's pretty good. too. Check it out. My best friend Mark and I used to go camping with the following items.
Sleeping bag and plastic tarp or plastic sheet
Loaf of bread, pita bread or flour tortillas
Jar of peanut butter mixed with honey
Chocolate milk mix
Canteen with a cup
Beach ball deflated
Pillow case to put everything in
4 gallons of water
Guitar and/or banjo
We used to throw a sleeping bag out on a rock somewhere to sleep (we had much better bags back then). If you blow up the beach ball about a third of the way and stuff it in a pillowcase, it makes a good pillow for sleeping on a rock. Mark was tone deaf, so he really didn't see the importance of the banjo. The diet was satisfying if a little monotonous. For fun we'd throw in a can of Vege-links, some marshmallows, bananas or a bunch of granola bars.
Tomorrow, I'll show you how to use a nifty homemade cooking tool that every hobo should know about.