By Will Dabbs, MD
Here’s some basic bugout gear common to any survival loadout (above). You will need proper footwear, a
weapon, and a few incidentals no matter your circumstances. A pair of combat boots properly seasoned should
always look just a little bit tired. Regardless of the circumstances you and your family will need rugged
footwear. The Brazos concealed carry pack from Flying Circle Gear (below) is the best Will has yet encountered.
The magazine pouches on the outside can carry sunglasses, spare readers and other items similarly sized.
Go-to-War Gear—such catchy hypothetical stuff writes well, but it can turn real all too fast. I have acquaintances in Houston who had less than an hour to leave their homes before the floodwaters overtook them. They had just enough time to throw their important papers into the dishwasher (a handy dry spot for important stuff in a flood), grab their kids, and head for high ground. The recent California wildfires typically covered 100 meters in 3 seconds. Do you really have what you need to grab and go? Even in America, you can go from full stop to life-threatening crisis in moments.
A Proper Foundation: You can measure a man by his boots. I burned through several sets during my time in uniform. My favorite pair of combat boots is more comfortable than house slippers. Combat-proven features make them rugged. Speed laces keep them fast.
I wear boots every time I fly. The speed laces let me get into and out of them easily for the obligatory TSA assessment. Keeping the insoles maintained and the drainage vents clear ensure they’re comfortable.
Air travel is not as much fun as it was once, but an airplane cabin is comfortable enough. Now imagine that same space upside down, dark, and populated with jagged metal, screaming hysterical passengers, fire, and worse. Never remove your footwear in an airplane.
Whether the threat is a wildfire, hurricane, tornado, or civil unrest, you will always need proper footwear. Keep your favorite pair of broken-in boots right next to your bugout bag. Think it through and have something similar for each member of your family. Anything built on a faulty foundation can ultimately fail. If you have to move in a hurry that foundation is a good pair of boots.
A Proper Bag: A Bugout Bag is pretty stupid without a decent bag. I have a nice utility pack I picked up at our local Walmart for next to nothing. It is lightweight and serviceable enough. However, my go-to-war bag is a Brazos concealed carry pack from Flying Circle Gear. It’s the best I’ve ever seen.
For starters, everything about the Brazos bag is just a little bit heavier than everybody else’s. The stitching is more rugged, the material is more substantial, and the zippers are of the big beefy sort. Additionally, the bag is exceptionally well imagined.
There are two spacious center compartments large enough to manage a laptop. A small top pocket packs your wallet and incidentals and includes a hidden ID card holder. There is an integral hydration pouch along with four zippered pouches on the sides and a larger version on the front.
The outside of the bag is festooned with MOLLE webbing. Thread a pair of ammo pouches in place for your shades or spare reading glasses. They can even carry ammo in a pinch. I can and have lived out of mine for extended periods while travelling, camping, or hiking.
The handiest feature on my Brazos bag is the hidden “pass-through” pocket on the back. This discreet compartment is zipper-accessible from either side and is the perfect size to manage a decent gun. Open both sides and you can slide the pack over the handle of a rolling suitcase. Drop in a soft body armor panel and wear the pack backwards and you have an improvised tactical vest.