Bug out survival planning: Prepping a bug-out bag in less than an hour
03/25/2021 // Zoey Sky // Views

Before SHTF, a prepper should already have a plan A, plan B and plan C. But even the most experienced prepper can encounter various obstacles when disaster strikes.

So what do you do if you're in a foreign location and you lose your gear but you need to escape pursuers who wish to do you harm?

First, remain calm. Second, pack a bug-out bag immediately and buy supplies from stores nearby. (h/t to TheOrganicPrepper.com)

Prepping a bug-out bag while on the go

This scenario may seem far-fetched, but preppers know how just how quickly things can go bad. When prepping your bug-out bag, remember the pillars of survival.

  1. Navigation
  2. Food and water
  3. Firestarting
  4. Self-defense
  5. First aid
  6. Sanitation
  7. Shelter

As a prepper, you already have what you need to prepare a bug-out bag even if you're on a strict deadline: survival skills, prepper knowledge and creativity.

Find a sturdy bag or backpack

If you lose your luggage or bug-out bag, buy a sturdy backpack for your gear. You can easily find a store that sells bags and backpacks if you're in a tourist spot.

Buy a plain-looking bag in a discreet color like black, dark gray or navy. If you're traveling at night, a dark-colored bag will be harder to spot.

Buying survival gear

Most of the items below are staples in a prepper's bug-out bag, but this guide will assume that you have lost all of your gear and you need to prepare a bag within one hour before you can head to safety.

You can get most of these items at a convenience store, a pharmacy, a flea market or a tourist area.


Find a detailed map, especially if you're traveling somewhere unfamiliar. If you can't find a map, ask around. Don't rely on your phone for navigation because cell signals might be blocked during riots.

Next, get some food and water. You can't afford to be picky about your food supply, so look for something filling and easy to eat while on the move, like an apple, nuts, protein bar, or dried fruit snacks like banana chips. Water bottles are heavy, but you'll need to stay hydrated.

Look for other supplies like:

  • A lighter for firestarting.
  • Toilet paper for when you need to do your business somewhere without a bathroom.
  • Hand sanitizer for proper hygiene.
  • Vodka for first-aid. You can use vodka to cleanse a broken blister. Vodka can also be used to sterilize your equipment or prepare an injection site.

Find a weapon

It can be difficult to get a hold of a weapon, especially a gun or a knife, if you're in a tourist spot or a foreign country. Avoid trouble at all costs and if you get your hands on a weapon, use it as a last resort.

If you really think you need a weapon, choose something that you can explain if you get searched by the police. For example, if you have a pocket knife, you can tell the police that it's a souvenir for a family member or a friend. Knives can also be used for other tasks aside from self-defense. (Related: Always bring a bug-out bag, but learn how to survive without one when SHTF.)

Withdraw as much cash as you can

If you have your debit cards with you, withdraw money at different ATMs and keep the cash in different places like various pockets, inside various compartments in your backpack and in your shoe.

Never store all your money in one place. Having cash means you can buy supplies and pay for safe passage.

Stay hidden and change your appearance

If SHTF you may need to change your appearance depending on the reason why you need a DIY bug-out bag. If you're in a foreign country, you don't want to stand out in a crowd full of locals.

Alternatively, you may need to hide from pursuers who know what you look like or what you're wearing. Buy these three multi-purpose items to blend in wherever you go.

  1. A baseball cap – Use a baseball cap to hide your hair color. The bill of the cap will also help keep the rain off your face.
  2. A hooded sweatshirt – Your hoodie should be plain and simple like your backpack. A large hoodie can hide your shape or make you look bigger and more threatening. If the weather is warm, get an oversized shirt instead.
  3. Sunglasses – Sunglasses will help change your appearance and protect your eyes.

Find protective clothing

After you've changed your appearance, buy protective clothing.

  • A large scarf – A large scarf can be used as a makeshift bandage or tourniquet if you get hurt. It can also be used to cover your nose and mouth if you're exposed to smoke or tear gas.
  • Rain poncho – Look for a heavy, high-quality rain poncho. Get a cheap, plastic poncho if you can't find a thick one since it will still help you stay warm and dry if you need to hide outdoors.

Time yourself as you look for supplies while doing this exercise. If you have less than one hour when SHTF, focus on getting a map of the area and whatever you can buy in one location.

While traveling outside the U.S., make sure you have your passport because you will need it if you have to go to the U.S. Embassy for help.

Your fast bug-out bag isn't meant to sustain you for more than a couple of days. If you ever find yourself in trouble, prep a kit that will help you get somewhere safe within 24 hours.

Go to Bugout.news for more tips on how to prep a bug-out bag before disaster strikes.

Sources include:



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