A bug-out kit is an essential part of emergency preparedness, and it can be heartbreaking to know it is not functional when you are already bugging out. Therefore, you should learn how to test your bug-out kit before heading out for your travels.
You might not immediately master how to use the bug-out bag in an emergency, but you can handle it effectively with practice. Here is how and why you should test your kit ahead of time. Also, you will love to follow our blog Ready & Armed if you are interested in firearms and survival tips.
How to Test Your Bug-out Kit
You can never be sure the bug-out kit will work properly during an emergency, but you must be prepared for an emergency that may never happen. So, how should you test your kit?
First, you could sleep outside in your backyard. Although you might not have an emergency in your backyard, testing your kit in this manner will make it easier to use in the event of an emergency. You should test all the elements in the kit to know which tasks are easy to accomplish with your equipment and which are more difficult.
Sleeping out in your yard might be difficult, but it allows you to understand how it would feel to sleep out during a bug-out event. You would know how to use the resources which you are accustomed to already.
If you have never gone camping before, you can try car-camping in a state park near your home, as they have shower facilities and electric hookups. Camping will help you figure out the amount of food and water you would need and just how long it would last in an emergency.
You will notice the bug-out items you need most and how to utilize them in case of an emergency situation. You might not master how to use these kits right away, but you should remember that practice makes perfect.
You should read the instructions on using the different equipment and ask for support from the manufacturer when you don’t know how to use something correctly. You could also ask for advice from online emergency preparedness bloggers.
Why You Should Test Your Bug-out Kit
When you test your kit, you would know if you have too much, too little, or just the right amount of stuff in it. It is easy to over-pack the bag with unnecessary items which are not helpful during an emergency. This will help you adjust your pack to contain fewer items that might not be practical during an emergency as they might not do the work you intend to do.
If you practice an emergency scenario in a state park near you, you would know if you can get by with what you have, what you need to add to the emergency pack, and what you should remove from the bag. Additionally, you would know how everything works before the emergency when you test the kit in a pretend emergency.
Moreover, you can find an expert in emergency management who can guide you on using every item in the bag. Firefighters are the best in this situation, and you can also find freelance trainers who can teach you on using each item.
Not all items in the emergency bag would work well in an emergency, and you are likely to find some which can break under pressure. When you test these kits, you know items that can disappoint during an emergency and replace them with sturdier items that can withstand the pressure.
You don’t need to have things that fail during an emergency, as they can put your life at risk. Even if some items do not break, they might fail to work correctly, and you can sort out the things which do not work correctly from your kit. Additionally, you find out what works well during an emergency and have them in the emergency kit.
It would be best not to change the wrong things when tweaking your equipment, as it can lead to a disaster. If you replace the items that work well with faulty ones, you might predispose yourself to a disaster. Once you sort the things that work well and those which are faulty, you can customize items to work for your specific needs.
You can learn valuable lessons such as packing food; ready-to-eat food is a survivor in an emergency. For example, you can preheat the instant coffee and cocoa and place them in a sealed vacuum flask ahead of time to reduce the food that needs heating during your trip.
Additionally, you could use a rock as a hammer, therefore, saving you some space in your bug-out bag. However, you should use a smooth stone that does not harm the aluminum tent pegs suitable for desert soils.
When in remote locations, your phone might be a poor clock as it runs out of battery quickly; testing the emergency bug-out bag would be a reminder to bring a wristwatch. The watch does not drain the battery quickly, it would be effective in a remote location, and you could use it to know the time every day. Moreover, a compass might be necessary as it points the direction when you are in remote locations.
You are least likely to get lost when you have both a watch and a compass. Some watch companies make watches with a built-in digital compass, and you should go for these watches.
If it is your first time erecting a camp tent, you will realize it takes some time. When testing the bug-out bag, you should set aside time to learn how to set up a tent effectively. You should add an hour to pitch the tent, and you should ensure you put your tent on an elevated flat surface that is not prone to flash floods. Tent-pitching skills need practice, and you might not master them with the first attempt.
If you have never gone camping by yourself, you might be a little worried about using the bug-out kit. If you don’t know how to use the equipment, you should learn how to test each item by yourself.
For example, you can go car-camping in the state park near you and imagine an emergency scenario where you have to use the kit. Practicing with the emergency kit makes it easy to identify faulty items from those that work well and customize the equipment to meet your needs in a real emergency.