Water For A Bug Out Bag
Stocking water for a bug out bag really needs to be a three-pronged approach to ensure redundancy. This type of approach helps ensure the needed longevity of supply for any emergency. As with all things that are considered to be placed in a bug out bag, the over-riding considerations are quantity, weight and duration. Since water is arguably the single most important item to bug out with…the need to ensure availability is paramount. Let’s discuss how to approach stocking water for a bug out bag.
The three-pronged approach for preparing a water supply for your bug out bag are as follows;
- Immediate Supply
- Tomorrow’s Supply
- Random Re-Supply
What is meant by this is that you need to prepare your water supply as if you will not be receiving any water for weeks on end…because without water….you and your loved ones are dead. It is very prudent to keep a supply of water on hand, with the ability to resupply from virtually any source that becomes available during your travels.
Immediate Water Supply
Your immediate water supply of water for your bug out bag is technically not part of your bug out bag, as it is part of the concept of bugging out. What I mean by this is that you will need to distribute the load of your bugging out, while also minimizing the amount of times you need to access your bug out bag. So, instead of having to stop and open up your bug out bag, it is strongly advised that you have a source that is carried on your waist, or hips. It is strongly suggested that you simply get a canteen that can be worn around your waist so it can be accessed while on the move. Equally important should be that accessing it does not expose the contents of your bug out bag to the wandering eyes of any strangers that may be on the road with you. Depending upon your preference you may want to consider a CamelBak, in lieu of a canteen, or even both if you can bear the load. In times of crisis the contents of your bug out bag will be worth more than money, so the less strangers that see of the contents…the safer you will be. A canteen worn on the hips is highly advised for your immediate water supply, for your bug out bag. Also, a canteen worn on the hips facilitates a quick refill if you randomly find potable water, which will conserve tomorrow’s water supply.
Tomorrow’s Water Supply
If water re-supply does not come quickly, you will need to have a secondary supply of water, in addition to your immediate supply. It is strongly suggested you place some emergency water rations inside your bug out bag, which are relatively lightweight and store-able. By accessing your second level of water supply a mental alarm will be triggered that warns you that the situation is dire. When “tomorrow’s” water rations are accessed you need to be looking for a new source of water because when this supply of emergency water rations runs out….there is no more water. Realizing that you will always be on the prowl for water resupply, the emergency packets in your bug out bag are there to be used when there is no resupply. This supply should be large enough to last for at least 72 hours, without exception, with the understanding that you are ALWAYS looking for another, or new source of water. In fact, you would (obviously) break into your random re-supply method, if possible, before opening up the emergency packets stored in your bug out bag.
When planning for “tomorrow’s water supply” it is essential to understand that opening up this supply is the last resort, when all other supply has run out, or is not available. It needs to be understood that when planning the water needs for your bug out bag you realize that random resupply should be done repeatedly, as often as possible, before this supply is considered to be used.
What is meant by a random resupply of water is simply have the means available to drink whatever water you encounter, as it is encountered. The problem with these chance encounters is that much of the water that will be found is not safe to drink because of pollution and all of the other things that can be found. The problem may not be so much finding water as it will be knowing whether it is safe to drink. That is why the random resupply of bug out water is not so much packing water around as it is packing around the ability to filter the water. That is why this entire section is all about how to best “clean” the water supply you find, to ensure the water you are drinking….does not kill you, or make you violently ill. Below are a list of choices of what is available to allow a person to resupply, wherever they may be, or whatever may be going on. The technology of re-supply is pretty cool today, and seems to be improving rapidly.
CamelBak All Clear Purifier
CamelBak is a leader in the industry and offers reliable purification whatever the destination. CamelBak All Clear utilizes proven UV technology to effectively neutralize microbiological contaminants to EPA standards. With a built-in LCD to
confirm your results, purification has never been easier. CamelBak All Clear turns nearly any tap or clear natural water source into potable drinking water in just 60 seconds, letting you hydrate on the spot. And, since CamelBak All Clear is a water bottle as well as a purification system, you can enjoy your water right after treatment or carry it with you. It is very simple and only requires batteries. It is not readily available in stores, as the business model of CamelBak is to sell online, or so it appears.
The CamelBak water purification system may seem somewhat pricey to a person that is a newcomer, but to the seasoned veteran that realizes just how valuable it is to have a renewable source of fresh, safe drinking water realizes that this product would be worth more than gold in a time of crisis. For a person looking to complement their immediate water supply with a renewable source…the benefits are exponential. The unit itself can treat 80 cycles, or 16 gallons on a single charge and only weighs 17 ounces. The container holds 25 ounces / .75 liter. The UV bulb lasts for 10,000 cycles, which is the equivalent of 3 bottles a day everyday for 9 years.
The one thing a person needs to be VERY aware of, when using the CamelBak ALL Clear, as a bug out bag reusable water supply is that when it is being refilled to not allow drops to gain access to the water supply by getting drops on the threads for the lid. Simply being aware of this, combined with simple precautions makes the CamelBak ALL Clear personal water supply our #1 top choice to carry as a redundant, reusable supply of water to be combined with your bug out bag.
In addition to having a redundant immediate water supply it is essential that a person plan for their bug out bag a longer term solution for water resupply. I know it sounds cliché, but without water a person will not last very long. With the advent of individual, lightweight portable technology there is little reason to not carry a Katadyn Hiker Water Filter, or some other filtration system that will allow not only the individual, but a small group of people the opportunity to have a safe resupply of water for many months.
To round off your water plans it is highly suggested you invest a rather minor sum in a Katydyn water filtration system. Using a system like Katydyn, combined with CamelBak ,a person is assured they will not run out of drinking water if they are required to bug out on a moments notice. When a person compliments their water filtration system with a personal straw filtration point of use system, the worry of running out of water will vanish and you will be able to focus on other issues.
The cost to prepare for stocking your bug out bag with a plan to NOT run out of water is essential to the overall plan of even having a bug out bag in the first place. It really is common sense that when preparing to stock your bug out bag with water it is really more of a plan and not so much considered a supply. By simply stocking your bug out bag with the technology to obtain water from random re-supply opportunities, you will prepared much more than others fleeing for safety in response to an emergency. By simply obtaining the technology, and stowing it away in your bug out back, you will be able to leave on a moment’s notice and be ready to face whatever is just around the next corner.
More importantly…if you have a family, or a group of loved ones, it is essential that you take the lead and gather the needed water related items ASAP because if you do not, and they are thirsty…they will look to you for what to do. If you are to survive any situation that will cause you to bug out water is an essential that cannot be skipped. You may have the biggest and baddest bug out bag…but without water it will all be left on the side of the road and taken by someone who did plan and had water because you will have passed out (or worse) from not having enough water to even resist.