There are many names for that pack of just-in-case supplies—go-bag, bug-out bag, survival go-bag, grab bag, get-out-of-Dodge-gear. Whatever name your run-for-it bag wears, its contents are a vital part of surviving a super volcano, financial meltdown, hostile government takeover, zombie apocalypse or whatever brand of nightmare your anticipated disaster is.
Meant to get you through the first few days of chaos following a civilization-changing event, your go-bag should contain items that sustain the foundation of life, not luxury. Lightweight food, water, water purifiers, medication, documents, rudimentary shelter and sophisticated weaponry are just a few items to pack away. Other necessary preps include clothing, fire, communication and the most useful tool known to man: a blade.
Most folks choose their go-bag food carefully, and they purchase a quality water filter. Clothing is chosen for durability, warmth and often for an inconspicuous appearance. Then it all gets thrown into your teenager’s cast-off school pack, or a $13 Walmart special that will literally come apart at the seams during the first hard run for your life.
Some folks use a duffel or an airline-approved carry-on bag. Though fairly durable, such bags limit mobility. Personally, I want a bag that I can run with, ride a bike or motorcycle with, and even fight in if necessary. Those tasks limit one’s options to a backpack or sling pack of some sort.
In order to take lost-world abuse, provide easy accessibility and offer comfort during long hikes or bike rides, a pack has got to be quality. Zippers should be heavy, pockets generous, carry straps robust and stitching durable. Weight of a quality pack won’t be light, but will preferably be as light as possible without compromising durability. With all those heavy meatball MREs, a Bowie knife Crocodile Dundee would be proud of, and a box or two of ammo, you’ll be fully aware you’re lugging your life with you when you sling that puppy across your physique and head for the hills.
Excellent go-bag choices can be had from nearly every manufacturer of quality tactical, mountaineering or hunting packs. Dozens of models are available with about every option someone could want. So shut off Red Dawn, lay aside the tomahawk you’re sharpening, and peruse this list for a little inspiration. And afterward, if you know of a pack that deserves to be on the hot list, let us know. Here are 10 great survival go-bags that could save your life some day.
- A combination of get’er done durability and uber-light weight, the Ultra Light Phoenix Pack combines compression straps on each side with comfy, padded shoulder straps, and a removable chest strap with a large, easy-access main compartment. Refined features include full-coverage webbing and a map pocket, and the Phoenix is compatible with Blackhawk hydration systems. Interior capacity is 2,175 cubic inches.
Price: $190 to $246