The bug out bag is an interesting topic.

I carry a zeroed AR (locked, not loaded) in my trunk. I also have a basic vehicle repair necessities like a flat tire repair kit and jumper cables, as well as a traffic cone and a bright reflective vest with “Security” printed on it.

I’ve got also two bags. One I call my “I’m coming to get you” bag, and the other is my “I’m coming to gitchu!” bag. The first is a day-and-a-half bag that can help me assist another, like a kid or an old person with Alzheimer’s lost in the woods, or a hunter stranded with a broken leg. What would you put in this bag? Keep in mind that this is for a short duration, not days.

My list may vary from yours, which is fine, but I have put thought into it, and there are good reasons why I do not have certain items — one being hours not days, and the other being the size of the bag. I want to keep it small and compact and alleviate redundancy.

The “I’m Coming to Get You” Bug Out Bag

  1. A warm, dry top for myself or the person in need
  2. Water for them and water for me. I am not sharing my water.
  3. A rain jacket
  4. An emergency blanket
  5. Signaling devices like an air horn, flares, a mirror and bright orange materials
  6. A variety of first-aid materials like a tourniquet and steri-strips with super glue for closing gashes
  7. Paracord in a daisy chain so it doesn’t get all tangled up
  8. Reading glasses. I am useless up close without them.
  9. A fire-starter, fuse and lighter
  10. A flashlight with extra batteries
  11. Duct tape
  12. A compass
  13. A multi-tool
  14. A flask with vodka to help calm everyone down, establish rapport, clean wounds, start fires, relieve pain
  15. Bug spray
  16. An extra can of snuff

This bag will get you out of trouble and back to safety in the event you are lost somewhere without communications or a vehicle.

The “I’m Coming to Gitchu!” Bug Out Bag

However, in my “I’m coming to gitchu!” bag, I’ve got 10 loaded magazines, oil, water, eye protection, hearing protection, Sharpies, grease pencils and a multi-tool. This is for when things go south, like if you happen to be the first responder facing an active shooter.

The Sharpies and grease pencils are to write a note to police coming in behind you that you are inside. Write a short, clear and concise note where they can see it; something like “FRIENDLY INSIDE WITH ORANGE VEST” with an arrow pointing in your direction of movement. Then you should put on your bright orange safety vest with “Security” printed on it, which can give a moment of pause to the cop coming in behind you — long enough for you to toss your weapon, go flat on your face and identify yourself.

This article is from the July/August 2018 issue of Combat Handguns magazine. Grab your copy at

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