If you could take only 5 items with you in a bug out bag what would they be?

The top five were:

  • A quality knife. A good folding knife is better than no knife but most often fixed blade knifes or survival knifes such as this, this, this or this were mentioned.
  • A weapon. Those who mentioned guns preferred Glocks (17, 21 and 30 were mentioned) and different Ruger guns were also mentioned several times (besides all sorts of others like Colt, Keltec and so on but just Glocks and Rugers were mentioned repeatedly). People who would take a rifle most often would take a .22 LR rifle (such as this or of course the classic Marlin 60) while some also mentioned assault rifles as their weapons of choice (AK 47 and AR 15).
  • A water filter. This Katadyn Pocket has been THE portable water filter for some time now. So no surprise it was mentioned often. There is also a cheaper, less efficient and durable version.
  • A first aid kit. Who knows what kind of problems you run into while bugging out or hiding so no surprise, first aid kits were mentioned frequently. Of course you can make your own first aid kit or if you buy one throw some quick clot into the mix.
  • A fire starter. A quality fire starter and some tinder don’t cost a fortune.

How experienced are you in self defense / hand to hand combat?

How experienced are you in weapon handling (guns, rifles, knifes..)?

How experienced are you in homesteading / sustainable agriculture?

How experienced are you in medicine / first aid?

How experienced are you in trading / bartering?

How experienced are you in food preservation / water storage?

How experienced are you in wilderness survival / bushcraft?

How experienced are you in hunting and trapping?

How experienced are you in financial preparedness?

In what areas would you like to improve your skills?

About 138 people also added another kind of skill they would like to improve. Answers varied here A LOT. Physical fitness and mental preparedness was mentioned more often than other skills. Communication, networking with others and escape and evasion skills were also mentioned a few times.

One person also considers “belly dancing” a survival skill. How could we forget that? This skill will come in handy once you are taken prisoner by one of the local gangs… maybe.

What was the most helpful survival skill you have learned so far?

Food preservation and water storage was clearly the most helpful skill for most people.

Most helpful survival skill my wife and I have learned is probably canning. We now have both water bath and pressure canners, so we can do fruits, vegetables, meats, etc.

long term food storage, putting up staples in mylar bags, buckets, sanitizing water.

The old ways of canning and banking food like root crops.

Weapon handling and first aid came in as second.

Ive put myself through nursing school to learn skills which will help my family for their medical needs. This is also a skill when SHTF that I could use for trade.

Medical (I am a medic/RN). I can handle weapons of many kinds, reload ammo and am accurate with a handgun, rifle, shotgun. I could survive outside, build shelter, find food and water for a short duration.

Handling and shooting with all kind of weapons.

Firearm and knife skills. And being able to keep it together in tough situations.

Being aware of what’s going on and general situational awareness was considered as very helpful as well.

Research and reading, taking multiple opinions and making a reasonable decision

Critical thinking your situation and possible scenarios. Making a plan. Man’s best asset is being able to think and then act.

How to keep a level head and think through a situation no matter if it is shooting, driving, hunting or what ever. Being able to see the issues around you and not let them consume you but more so place them into perspective.

Starting a fire and general wilderness survival skills were valued highly as well (along with hunting).

Building a fire, building a shelter. Knowing the correct foot ware to have & correct way to stay warm out of doors including overnight.

Spending 15 years living in trucks and tipis in nature without electricity. As long as i have wood and water i know how to survive anywhere. No one can take away my knowlege of edibe mushrooms, plants and medicinal herbs.

Gardening and sustainable agriculture was mentioned a few times as well.

Gardening and foraging for food. You can hide from the bad guys but you can’t go long without food.

Agriculture. Lots of trial and error. Glad I’m learning now before I have to do it by necessity.

» Continue to Part 4 of the Survival Report