This is an excerpt from my PDF ‘The Preparedness Encyclopedia (TPE)’.
Download the PDF Version Here
Backpacks are an essential resource in the prepping community, they are designed to carry your gear and take the weight of them off your back. There are multiple types of prepping backpacks each with a unique purpose, and even though you don’t need them all, they have their place in your life. Generally they are designed to hike out into the mountains with and be fairly lightweight however every person is different and so should their bag. Having a lightweight pack means you can travel further and faster allowing you to GOOD faster if SHTF.
For the recommended contents of this kits, see the GEAR section in TPE.
Pocket Survival Kit (PSK)
The Pocket Survival Kit is a small tin which can fit into any pocket with the basics for survival.
● Size: The pocket survival kit should be small enough to fit into a pocket. A recommended size would be the size of an ‘Altoids’ tin or approximately 2.36″ (6cm) x 3.75″(9.5cm) x 0.7″ (2cm) High.
● Weight: Your PSK kit should be extremely lightweight and inconspicuous, typically below 150 grams.
Every Day Carry (EDC)
Stands for Every Day Carry – The kit you take with you everywhere you go and generally stays on your body or sometimes in the car.
● Size: Your EDC kit should all fit inside a moderate sized organising cell approximately 12cm (4.7″) x 12cm (4.7″) x 4cm (1.5″). But keep in mind that not all of it will be stored in this case, but instead on your body.
● Weight: Your EDC kit should be very lightweight and inconspicuous, typically below 500 grams (1.1 lbs).
This pack isn’t limited to a bag but also includes clothes, wearables such as watches and a gun. The 5 C’s of survival which the EDC kit generally should cover is: Cutting, Cordage, Combustion, Cover and Container.
Get Home Bag (GHB)
The Get Home Bag is only used for returning home to your preps and bug-out bag in a disaster such as EMP and there’s no transport.
● Size: A GHB should be the size of a small backpack. This can be between a 10L and 20L backpack. (2.1 – 4.2 gal). Size and fit should be based off the person’s size.
● Weight: The GH bag should be a lightweight pack under 3kgs (6.6 lbs) which doesn’t draw attention to yourself.
The bag is designed to get you home within 24 hours and can only sustain you for this period – including overnight once. It is assumed that you won’t have access to any reasonable food or clean water along the way home thus bringing your own is essential.
Bug Out Bag (BOB)
Stands for Bug-Out-Bag – The bag you take when SHTF and it’s purpose is to only assist you to reach a BOL within 3 days.
● Size: Your Bug Out Bag’s size should be between 30L and 80L. (6.5 – 17.5 gal) Size and fit should be based off the person’s size.
● Weight: Your BOB should weigh at most 1/5th of your weight. For ultralight the weight should be below 5kgs (11 lbs) or 1/15th of your weight.
These bags are typically designed to be carried on foot however – hiking frames, bikes and cars are also useful ways to transport your gear.
I’m Never Coming Home Bag (INCH)
Stands for I’m Never Coming Home – The bag you take when you aren’t “ever” returning home. Of course one day you might return, but the point is that when you return you expect your house to be destroyed and the contents gone. Therefore it should also contain everything you don’t wish to lose.
● Size: Your INCH bag should be between 50L and 120L. (11 – 26.3 gal) Size and fit should be based off the person’s size.
● Weight: Your INCH bag should weigh at most 1/4th of your weight, assuming you’re carrying it yourself.
Typically INCH bags are accompanied with a transport mode such as a car or a bicycle as they can weigh up to 100kg’s. The bag includes more tools then all other bags which are single function to increase their longevity and efficiency. The bag only has 7 days worth of food and water for one person – therefore acquiring an income of food and water is vital early on.
Survival Comfort And Redundancies (SCAR)
The Survival Comfort And Redundancy (SCAR) bag is a term I coined in response to all the spare prepper gear I accumulated that wouldn’t make it into any of my other bags. Its primary purpose is to store your spare and redundant supplies to increase your comfort and give you more redundancies during bugging out. It should be grabbed in addition to your other bags if you have the space available in your car. However if it’s not required later on, or you can’t carry it any more you can safely ditch it knowing that you already have the basic gear in your BOB/INCH bags.
● Size: Your SCAR bag could be between 10L and 150L. (2.1 – 33 gal) Any bigger than 150L (33 gal) then this bag may be a struggle to carry depending on what’s inside. This bag doesn’t have to be a backpack, but could also be a duffel bag or other type of bag.
● Weight: Weight shouldn’t matter in a SCAR bag as it will only be used if you are using vehicle transport and have free space. However an average estimate would be 5-30kgs (11 – 66 lbs).
This bag could contain things like extra warm clothing and blankets, tool redundancies like hatchets, knives and shovels, extra camping gas, fishing snares and larger traps, long rolls of paracord or advanced medical equipment. Most preppers have spare items that didn’t make it into their BOB’s so why not have them in a bag themselves to grab if the need arises and you have the space available.