Embarking on a self-reliant or prepper lifestyle does not require busting your budget. Prepping does not have to be expensive. Creating a well-equipped INCH (I’m not coming home) bag GHB bag (Get home bag) or bugout bag (BOB) can be accomplished with some research and bargain hunting. Fully-equipped BOB bags are readily available from a plethora or off the grid or preparedness businesses, but they often come with a significant price tag. Making your own GHB bag or adding items to an already stuffed bag purchased from a supplier, allows you to adapt the pack to meet the specific needs of your family.
Top 10 Bugout Bag Finds For Under $10
- Tea tree oil is a must for any first aid kit or bugout bag. The local big box store likely carries an adequate version of the natural antibiotic for around $5 to $7 dollars. Tea tree oil can be used to soother sore muscles, to clean wounds, applied in small amounts on lips to prevent and reduce blisters, and spread upon the skin to deter insects.
- Fire Starters can be made by wrapping dryer link inside wax paper. Twist the ends like the wrapper on a piece of candy and put them in the bag or kit until needed. They are lightweight and take up very little space. You can also purchase a package of Paraffin wax to make hard, solid firestarters which also take up little space. Fill the pockets of an empty egg carton with dryer lint, pour the melted wax over the carton pockets and place in the freezer. To prevent mess and loss of wax, do this in three stages, filling the carton a little higher with wax each time. Once the lint and wax are thoroughly frozen, remove from the freezer. Cut or tear the pockets apart and place the individual firestarters in the bugout bags.
- Small sewing kits in plastic cases are also available at discount or dollar stores. The kits can serve as both a first aid and long term preparedness item. In case of emergency, the kit could be used to stitch up a wound. Should the end of the world as we know it occur, shopping online or at the local mall will no longer be an option. We will be forced to make do with what clothing we have. The small sewing kits can be used to repair holes in socks, gloves, hats, and to turn a shirt into a makeshift baby gown.
- Guns must be cleaned regularly and properly in order for the firearm to remain in top working order. A portable kit could come in quite handy if you suddenly find yourself forced to walk the 60 mile commute home from work after the power grid goes down. A small bottle of gun cleaning solvent sells for about $3 to $5 dollars. Put the solvent and a pack of cotton patches ( about $3 for a big package) into a plastic bag and then inside your bugout bag. Although the portable gun cleaning kit will not have the tools necessary to fix a broken weapon, it will be sufficient to perform typical maintenance after firing your weapon.
- Hand warmers packets often sell for $1 each at a dollar store. These little packets will not only keep you warm during an emergency, they can also be held next to sore muscles or tired feet to soothe the area. In a pinch, wrapping several hand warmers around an MRE pouch should heat the meal enough for you to eat. If you are hungry and do not want to attract attention by building a fire, the hand warmers are at least worth a try.
- Sample packets or travel size containers of generic bandages, aspirin or Tylenol, and a roll of gauze can comprise a basic first aid kit. Add a tube of super glue from the dollar store to mix and simple first aid tasks can easily be accomplished. Super glue is great for stopping blood flow. One-time use ice packs are also often available at dollar stores. Putting $10 worth of first aid supplies from the discount retailers in a gallon zip-lock bag will not weigh much and can fit inside a purse or child’s backpack.
- Spray paint also has preparedness uses. We should not assume that when disaster strikes all of our loved ones, or even just our children, will be together in one place. A $1 can of spray paint from a discount store placed inside a bugout bag can be used to leave a note to other relatives – or just a warning to others. A wife could leave a message to her husband that she left the road she usually travels home and is hiking through the woods, a coding system should be worked out in advance and a copy of the words or symbols placed in the bugout bag as well.
- Flashlights, not singular. If you drop your flashlight into a pond or drop it on a rock, you will need backup. As we all well know, one is none and two is one. While quality flashlights with all sorts of fancy options can become a little pricey, the dollar store variety can serve as a viable substitute for a “get me home bag” and in children’s backpack. Two dollar store flashlights and extra batteries can be had for less than $10. Generic batteries might not last as long, so search for online for coupons and buy quality batteries when they go on sale.
- A signaling mirror is yet another cheap must for the bugout bag. Buy both a small and handle variety from a discount store. Wrapping the handle in duct tape will make the mirror handle and back more durable. Wrap the mirrors inside the emergency change of clothes in the bag to protect it from cracking.
- Pool floats can also serve a valuable purpose in an emergency scenario. If you opt to travel home or to a safe location by going through the woods to avoid roadways, water may become an issue. Blowing up a pool floating mat or inner-tube may allow you to take a shortcut and wade through water while keeping your bugout bag dry. If you are tired or injured, floating on the pool toy may also help you reach your destination easier.