The two best things about Realistic Bug Out Bag by Max Cooper are:
- It is full of practical suggestions, recommendations and resources.
- It makes you think!
When the unthinkable happens and you must leave your home (bug out) for 72 hours, you'll want certain things with you. That is exactly what this book is about. It focuses on preparing a 72 hour (three day) kit to be prepared if you have to bug out for some reason. I really like the opening quote in the book, “There are no guarantees during a bug out event. Train hard; pack light; have a plan; be prepared.” Pretty good advice there, and the book has much more.
I like Cooper's insistence on you personalizing the bug out bag you will use. He then just provides suggestions and recommendations, and other considerations you may not have thought about. All of this is provided with the caveat, “Take what is useful to you and discard the rest.”
The book is divided into chapters on specific areas you will want to consider when preparing your kit. These include: Kit Methodology, Bug Out Bag Assessment, Fire, Water, Food, Shelter, Light, Communications, Clothing, Medical, Weapons, Pets, and Miscellaneous Items. The chapters are far from exhaustive. If you are looking for a check list of items to buy, you won't find it here. That's because of Cooper's guidelines on personalizing your kit. He can't tell you what weight you can carry, you need to discover that yourself. (He suggests taking your pack for hikes before you HAVE to.) Nor can he tell you what medicines to bring, or what will help your child through the event, or what concerns you will have with elderly people in your family. But he does bring all of these and a lot more up so you will consider them when making your own personal plan and kit.
Cooper believes in purchasing the best equipment, clothing, etc. that you can afford. Cheap stuff that doesn't work or breaks when you need it most can be costly, even deadly. With that, he provides various suggestions for equipment and resources at different costs to help fit your budget. But he suggests, and I agree, that saving up to purchase quality equipment is worth it. Especially when you NEED it. There were several recommendations in this book that I'm going to purchase in the very near future, and others I will look into. I also plan on checking out a number of the websites he provides in the back resource section of the book.
The book is a quick read that gets you thinking about what you will need in an emergency. That's the most important thing this book does and why I give it five stars and recommend it to anyone wanting to be better prepared with their own bug out bag.
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