Bug Out Bag Clothes

Bug Out Bag Clothes

This category is often ignored because people think they can make do with what they are wearing, do not have any spares or are not sure what they should pack.  But to ensure survival in an emergency situation, you need the right kind of clothing to protect you from the elements. Extreme conditions like a hurricane, heavy snowfall and dropping temperatures can easily turn fatal if you are not prepared for them.

There are different principles that can be used as guidelines in deciding what clothes to pack. The Special Forces Survival Guide advocates the layer principle because it’s been proven effective in different climates. The basic premise is to wear several layers of clothing and as conditions changed to add or remove these layers.  As you travel try to avoid sweating by removing layer before you get too warm.  Perspiration is fine until you slow down or stop at which point the sweat will begin to cool you down and could cause a chill or hypothermia.

  • Consider your environment. If you live in an area with moderate climate, you can fore-go the thermals and just consider additional layers of clothing instead. This can be in the form of shirts and lightweight jackets which you can easily add on and take off. In an extremely cold region, thermal underwear are must-haves. A woolen shirt can be worn on top of this followed by a jacket or a sweater.

  • Invest in outdoor gear that is made of woven fibers because they give better insulation and are also weatherproof. Your topmost garment should also be made of waterproof and breathable fabric. Gore-Tex is a perfect example of this. It’s a patented material that keeps you protected from the elements and also allows the vapor from your sweat to evaporate through the jacket or pants.
  • Make sure that you include a cap or hat for your head that will act as insulation to keep you warm even in cold weather. Experts say that major heat loss happens when heat passes out through the head. An ideal cap or hat should be made of a soft shell that is covered by nylon. A brim will help keep the snow and wind out of your eyes and a pair of flaps will protect your ears and keep them warm.

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Other specifications include:

  • Undergarments: Pack extras. While you are not expected to change daily in an extreme situation, it is important to have a back up set ready in your BOB.
  • Main Garments: Make sure that you are prepared for the outdoors. Choose quick drying, lightweight, and weather proof pants and shirt. Buy pants that have multi-purpose pockets that can be zipped up because they can double as storage space for you. A convertible pair is also a good choice in the event that the weather gets warmer and you have to strip some of the clothes you have layered.
  • Avoid cotton for your BOB because this material tends to hold in water and dries slowly.
  • Wool or synthetics are good options because they are water-resistant, durable, and good insulators so it can help keep you warm in winter and comfortable in fair weather.
  • Choose neutral colors so you can easily blend in with your background.
  • Jackets: The best outerwear is usually made up of a combination of Gore-Tex which is a thin plastic laminated film used for lining coats and parkas. It is a breathable material that allows your sweat to evaporate and is quite durable. Polypropylene is another example.  It is not water-resistant nor is it as strong, but it effectively wicks sweat away from your skin. It is often used for athletic garments and would be a good clothing option.  Also consider merino wool, which is lightweight and softer and does not itch as much as regular wool.

  • Accessories:
    • Footwear: include an adequate pair of boots in your pack. Wearing them would be a better option so you won’t have to bear the extra weight. This should keep you feet protected from the elements. Choose a pair that comes with flexible soles because it can withstand a lot of walking. The jury’s still out on whether heavy but durable leather boots are better over lightweight ones so choose as you see fit. Keep the type of terrain in your area in mind when you purchase a pair. Along with this, pack several pairs of socks as back up. This will also help in keeping your feet warm and dry.

Gloves: Pack several pairs of mittens and gloves so that your hands are adequately covered. The extra pairs will be helpful in case the ones you’re wearing get torn up or damaged. Again, choose the waterproof kind if you can so you preserve your body heat. Leather gloves can be treated with paraffin or seal oil to protect the material, make it waterproof, and last longer.

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