Our Favorite Backpack for Survival — Guide For Prepping And Outdoors
A hike in the wilderness cannot match any other experience. It tests your limits, sharpens your senses, and gives you a new perspective on human relationships. My out-of-the-city escapes wouldn’t have been so memorable if I hadn’t had proper survival backpacks.
All experienced mountaineers agree it is a demanding task to find the ideal equipment. The offer is overwhelming and you must do your homework well before the grand purchase.
To spare you the torture caused by an inadequate product, we came up with a buying guide and reviews on the highest-rated outdoor bags. We included two pre-made BOBs for those who are not professional preppers yet.
Best Emergency Backpacks Comparison
The below links will bring you to Amazon:
- 5.11 Tactical RUSH72
- Condor 3 Day Assault Pack
- Sandpiper of California BOB
- CVLIFE Outdoor Rucksack for Hiking and Trekking
- Explorer Tactical Gun Concealment Backpack
- Osprey Men’s Atmos Backpack
- Teton Sports Scout with Internal Frame
- Mountaintop Hiking Rucksack
- Emergency Zone 840 BOB
- The Earthquake Bag for 2 People
Survival Backpacks Reviews
The market is loaded with many, versatile devices which are great allies while trekking, mountain biking, canoeing or mountaineering. At the same time, they were created to get you out of edgy circumstances.
There are also plenty of options for those who wish to stay far from the madding crowd weeks or months in a row.
1. 5.11 Tactical RUSH72
[amazon fields=”B00YX7R0M2″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_link=”http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YX7R0M2?tag=lolw-general-20″ image_class=”ais350″]
Our top pick
With over 900 positive customer reviews on Amazon, this professional BOB combines a solid structure with a smart space division. Adaptable and versatile, it is a solid companion during backcountry hikes and catastrophes of any kind.
What fascinated us the most?
- the yoke-style harnesses and the waist belt are padded, making it comfortable to wear for prolonged stretches of time
- it is as durable as a tank since it was created to endure hostile environments
- compact but spacious, it grants you to move without effort
- its functionality; even the smallest pouch has a pre-determined purpose
Who is this Top Tactical Pick for?
- individuals who hate traveling with suitcases
- preppers who want a sturdy container
The Tactical Rush72 tactical backpack is often overlooked because it seems small. Its capacity is of 37 liters, but its look is that of a one day bag.
Super tactical specs:
- quick access from the top
- inside water-repellant coating
- wide web platform to fix a shovel or a torch
- dimensions: 3.9 x 15.8 x 22.8 inches
- four exterior pockets plus a hydration one for a 2-liter bladder2 compression straps to hold everything together
- strong, almost-impossible-to-tear handle
Any weak spots?
- the ergonomics legs behind
- the chest harness is rather frail
This is a product manufactured to last a lifetime. The objects inside remain clean and dry despite the brutal treatments administered to the 5.11 Tactical RUSH72.
2. Condor 3 Day Assault Pack
[amazon fields=”B004VRKWR4″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_link=”http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004VRKWR4?tag=lolw-general-20″ image_class=”ais350″]
A fine and affordable device, which won’t disappoint and twist your adventures into a nasty experience. Preppers appreciate its robustness and the seven interior compartments. Due to them, you know where each thing is.
What makes this Top Heavy Duty Durable / Indestructible / item so special?
- the air flow technology which comprises foam-padded back panels
- the roomy main area secured with belts to restrict objects from moving around
- its solid material made of 1000 D nylon
- easy to transport because of its large padded shoulder straps and a removable hip belt
Who is this for?
- hunters who want to blend in the landscape around
- individuals who like to be prepared in case their car breaks down a deserted region
This tactical backpack is suitable to use as a container for your survival device. You prepare everything in advance and when the disaster occurs; you grab the handle and leave the building.
Some useful specs:
- dimensions: 11 x 17 x 22 inches
- capacity: 50 liters or 3038 cubic inches
- available in black, multicam, tan and olive drab
- a separate area just for the hydration system
- grommets for rapid drainage
Are there any cons?
- zippers should be treated with a bit more care
3. Sandpiper of California BOB
[amazon fields=”B002FIM260″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_link=”http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002FIM260?tag=lolw-general-20″ image_class=”ais350″]
This is a BOB created with the active individuals in mind. It is suitable for almost any type of outdoors activities. If you have to get out of town quickly, throw some clothes and hygiene products inside and head to the airport. Producers guarantee it is airline friendly.
Why is it our Top Backcountry Pick?
- it has an anti-abrasive exterior; extreme temperatures hardly affect it
- both interior and exterior are rigorously partitioned into compartments and sub-compartments
- it is tightly zipped so you won’t leave a trail of hike tools behind you
Who is it for?
- rangers, hunters, fishermen
- outdoor campers
- mountain-bikers, extreme sports fans
If fixed in a correct manner, the Sandpiper gives a floating impression and you won’t be exhausted after just a couple of hours.
Other specs to ease your purchasing decision:
- dimensions: 3 x 22 x 15.5 inches
- capacity: 3300 cubic inches
- water resistant fabric made of 600 Denier Polymers
- it is available in grey, black, and foliage green so it doesn’t scream “BOB” from the distance
- back aluminum coating to boost durability
- pretty stylish look to please fashion concerned individuals
- special section for water bladders and tech devices
Any uncomplimentary remarks?
- some consider the MOLLE system an ineffective accessory
In case you are a “prepper”, this is another alternative worth considering. The most amazing kit doesn’t save lives unless stored in an “iron” container.
4. CVLIFE Outdoor Rucksack for Hiking and Trekking
[amazon fields=”B0107XO2LC” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_link=”http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0107XO2LC?tag=lolw-general-20″ image_class=”ais350″]
Tough and resistant, it is modeled after the BOBs used by the military. It is a top quality product, large enough for 72 hours stocks. It has cinch strips to reduce its bulky aspect. Hence, you won’t cause accidents while traveling by bus or train.
Why is it our Top Waterproof Pick?
- it has in its construction 600D waterproof nylon
- the durable zippers and the stitching don’t let drops of rain to enter through the pockets
What else is particular about it?
- the interior structure; the main one is suitable to tuck in clothes and blankets while the second one is for other preppers’ tools
- the MOLLE system is perfect to hang torches or attach an extra pouch
- the padded shoulder straps are wide so they don’t cause cuts or blisters
Who is it for?
- fishermen, kayakers, and campers
Despite its heavy-duty construction, it doesn’t require super-human efforts to wear it. The back padding impedes obnoxious friction between your body and the pack. The chest and waist belts balance the cargo.
- capacity: 30 L
- 3 models: black, ACU, and CP
Don’t submerge the pack. Waterproof means able to face a downpour, not a bath in a river.
What about the cons?
- no interior or exterior frame
When people have few moments to evict a building or a city, they grab children and pets (if they have), valuable or sentimental possession, and clothes. Most of them forget about water and food. Therefore, you need a survival kit for moments like these.
5. Explorer Tactical Gun Concealment Backpack
[amazon fields=”B00KHRXDHI” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_link=”http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KHRXDHI?tag=lolw-general-20″ image_class=”ais350″]
Not all packs are designed equal. Although some aspects are common to all, each survival backpack has its own individual characteristics. This one is tiptop for 72 hours incursions in dangerous regions or for a Z-Day scenario.
What caught our attention?
- a large number of pockets including one for your laptop and another for smaller gadgets
- 2 special compartments to hide your guns; hunters can conceal a small riffle in the pack
- the MOLLE system which enlarges the storing spaces
- the designated place for the bladder; the latter is not included in the equipment
Who is it for?
- passionate hunters and fishermen
- outdoor compares
- cautious individuals who don’t want to be taken aback by a flood, hurricane or a riot
You can kick, throw or drag this survival backpack through mud and it will still be the backpack you purchased, although dirtier. The things inside will remain more or less intact according to their quality.
Some specs you should know:
- dimensions: 20 x 11.5 x 11 inches
- capacity: 56 liters
- material: 600D x 600D polyester, which explains its solid structure
- it is water resistant. In case of abundant precipitation, you must cover it with a waterproof poncho
What other striking features does this Top Pick for Gun Holder have?
- interior PVC coating
- it comes with a lifetime guarantee
- hook and loop fastener for the upper pocket
- no internal or external frame which impacts in a negative way its structure
You can squeeze inside the food, water, and medication necessary to survive for more than 72 hours. The black model is more discreet and more appropriate for city crises.
6. Osprey Men’s Atmos Backpack
[amazon fields=”B00U3O8GRW” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_link=”http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U3O8GRW?tag=lolw-general-20″ image_class=”ais350″]
There is something odd with this hiking backpack, but in a good way. You pile up your hike tools and in spite of them, it remains light. You lift and carry it effortlessly. Plus, if you hate items that are taller than you, just remove the top lid.
What makes it our Top Hiking Pick?
- top-notch ventilation and suspension system which consists of a back-panel covered with a mesh stretching from the top to the padded hip-belt
- double compression straps at the top to prevent load destabilization
- all gear is close-at-hand because you have access to it through the top of the front panel
- you can fix the harnesses according to your torso size
- Want to learn more about hiking packs? Check out this article.
Who is it for?
- hard-core, restless climbers
- globetrotters who are on the road for months or years
The Osprey Men’s Atmos Pack has earned its reputation due to its high-quality material which defies violent gusts of wind, burning sun rays, and excessive moisture.
What other helpful specs does this Top Hiking Pick possess?
- dimensions: 10 x 16 x 23 inches
- capacity: 50, 65 L
- fabric: 100D x 630 D nylon
- various colors to choose from: absinthe green, cinnabar red, graphite gray or Rigby red
- mesh bottle holders and a sleeve for the reservoir; you interrupt your journey for a sip only if you want to rest or admire the landscape
- attaching loops for poles
- 8 exterior pockets – even disorganized individuals spot their items fast
Little can be said about its negative aspects. If you are really picky, you may complain about the strange belt noise. Otherwise, this might be the best survival backpack for you.
7. Teton Sports Scout with Internal Frame
[amazon fields=”B00AE31RJQ” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_link=”http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AE31RJQ?tag=lolw-general-20″ image_class=”ais350″]
Veteran hikers going up and down steep and narrow trails consider this “guy” a very good investment. In spite of its budget price, this hiking backpack is comfortable and carefully built. The interior is spacious and divided into sections for your blankets, food, and other trekking tools.
Why do we like it so much?
- the internal frame, the padded straps, and the hip belt distribute the load evenly and you can walk for hours without burning all your energy
- the ventilation system which allows the airflow to circulate smoothly between your back and the panel
- suitable for men, women, and children
Who is it for?
- mountaineers who want to get away for a couple of days
- scouting enthusiasts
- preppers who desire more than a get-home gear
It is narrower than other products on the market. Moreover, you can hang on the outside the tools which don’t fit inside.
Some more specs of this Best for the money / cheapest rucksack:
- capacity: 55 liters or 3400 cubic inches
- dimensions: 29.9 x 16.9 x 3.9 inches
- fabricated from 600D nylon
Other killer features:
- loops to hang an ax, a spade or your ski poles
- the torso length is adjustable and varies between 15” and 20”
- it is waterproof, but, if you want, you can also purchase a rain cover
What about the cons?
- the external pockets are not removable
- some consider it too small, others too heavy
You cannot ask for a more advantageous deal. This sack is durable, secure and its quality exceeds the price.
8. Mountaintop Hiking Rucksack
[amazon fields=”B07DFD2X4Y” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_link=”http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DFD2X4Y?tag=lolw-general-20″ image_class=”ais350″]
A “big guy” to accompany you over mountain ridges, glaciers or through natural or human-caused disasters. Its dimensions don’t recommend it for city tours or overloaded trains. Although it belongs to a new brand, it already has its fan base. This is the result of its versatility and functional accessories.
Why is it our Top Pick for Large / Big?
- its enormous storage space to hide in a shopaholic’s wardrobe
- the compression straps with elastic bands – there are 6, so the chances to lose your toothbrush are minimal
- the expandable collar which brings an additional storage space of 5L
- its 9 stage height adjuster to feel it snug on your back
Who is it for?
- explorers and long-distance excursionists
Mountaintop is the evidence that high quality at a decent price is not a myth. A heavy load won’t tear it apart and won’t break your back either.
Other interesting specs:
- capacity: 70L-75L
- dimensions: 12.2 x 9.8 x 29.9 inches
- built-in cover to dodge the gear from massive precipitations
- attachment points for your tent or poles
- access to the 3L hydration system from one side
- latching loops for your favorite light jacket or hoodie
- the waist strap doesn’t fit all sizes
With Mountaintop around, your peace of mind and sound sleep is assured. Whatever calamity it may come, you are fully covered.
9. Emergency Zone 840 Bug Out Bag
When disaster strikes, people panic, and their reactions are uncontrollable. It is wise to get ready in advance. With Zone 840 Urban, your nutrition needs are catered for about 72 hours. Hence, you will be able to focus on finding a secure refuge.
What do we love about this Top Backpack Kit (for Preppers)
- the edible products inside are valid for 5 years
- the water pouches and purification powder
- easy to hide in the car, at home or at the office
- the stay-alive equipment includes 1 tent, 2 ponchos, and many other pieces of equipment
Who is it for?
- individuals living in areas threatened by natural disasters
- small families; the 4 person model was designed for them
Available in black or charcoal, and without any labels, it allows you to “disappear” into the crowd. The manual comprises precious information on how to remain cool in the chaos around.
Some useful specs:
- lightweight (around 15 pounds)
- dimensions: 16 x 12 x 8 inches
- certified frustration-free
- water resistant – use a rain cover or a waterproof poncho to keep everything dry
- 5 to 7 compartments which are accessible from the outside
- all goodies inside are in re-sealable containers
Does it have any weak points?
- difficult to spot in a pile of luggage
The common design and the absence of any logo allow you to mix among individuals who try to escape from an under attack city.
10. The Earthquake Bag for 2 People
[amazon fields=”B0756MV23H” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_link=”http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0756MV23H?tag=lolw-general-20″ image_class=”ais350″]
Unlike other natural phenomena, earthquakes are the most difficult to foresee natural disasters. Sometimes, the shock wave affects places located miles away from the epicenter. Hence, the purchase of an earthquake kit seems logical.
What makes it so special?
- nutrition covered by the 3600 calories bars, water pouches, hydration recipients and 20 purification tablets
- the updated first aid and hygiene products, trauma pad included
- the Tube Tent, the Mylar Sleeping Bag, and the body warmer offer solid protection
- the items are smartly wrapped and organized
Who is it for?
- people living or traveling to areas prone to wildfires and quakes
- individuals who enjoy outdoor activities in secluded places
In crisis situations, most services are down or impaired. Until all comes to a decent level of normality, you will depend on the content of this heavy-duty survival tool.
Other Super Specs of this Top Pick for Earthquakes:
- add extra supplies and you can wait 7 days for the rescuers to come
- food and water are valid for 5 years
- dimensions: 12 x 9 x 20 inches
- weight: 15 pounds
- 2 empty pockets at the front
- hand crack phone charger for various phone types
Why is it so popular?
It is a fantastic emergency mini-prep which gives people the feeling of security. Plus, with every purchased product, $5 are donated to organizations set up to support disaster victims. This might be the best survival backpack for situations where physical threat abounds.
Key Features Adventurers and Preppers Want and Search For:
People who spent days depending only on their pack, always look for an ultra-durable, functional, and waterproof object. They appreciate storage compartments which allow them to distribute the weight evenly.
Comfort is very important while traveling on foot. So, a sturdy frame, padded harnesses, and adjustable chest and hip belts are an absolute must.
When you are separated from the civilized world, hot showers are a sweet memory. Hence, you need to choose a device with high-end ventilation technology.
A survival tool has received this name for a reason: it was designed to incorporate a 3 days emergency kit with the survival gear that you need to get through the toughest conditions. Unless it takes you through calamities of any kind, then it is just another traveling bag.
What Makes a Great Survivalist Backpack?
The value of this equipment is unquestionable because it holds all your other things together. It is worth spending a few extra dollars on a qualitative rucksack.
You must find one that won’t let you down in your darkest hours. Moreover, it has to fit your body and power to carry objects. Before committing to anything, check out:
You buy jeans after you have tried them on. So, do the same with your survival backpack. In this case, the length of your torso is the one that counts. Put your hands on your hips. The store assistant will measure the distance between them and your seventh cervical vertebra.
Thus, you will know what to pick. For instance, if your upper back body is 18 to 19 inches long then the size M is perfect for you.
The size of the hips is not that crucial, but you ought to consider it. Put a tape measure around them from the belly button to the side bones. This is not a purposeless action which gives you a meaningless number. This will come in handy when you want to adjust the belt. It should be one inch below and one inch above your hip line.
Certain clues are obvious indicators of a wrong selected item:
- your arms touch the sides whenever you move
- it covers your buttocks and this produces an uncomfortable empty area in your lower dorsal region
- the top and your head collide all the time
It points out how much you can stuff in the whole equipment, pockets included. It is rendered in liters or cubic inches. The capacity of the external, attachable units is printed separately on the tag. Don’t fail to check this!
If you pile up your things the smart way, an emergency sack of 20 to 50 liters will serve you well. The ones up to 80 liters are suggested for a week-long adventure. The 95 liters models are for major expeditions.
You might be tempted to take home such a massive “guy” to prepare for a huge evacuation. Otherwise, it is too ponderous for city breaks or one weekend excursions.
Lots of first-time buyers purchase equipment that is too big for them. Don’t make the same mistake. Keep in mind that you will have to run, climb or jump over hurdles. The best survival backpack is the one that is easy to get on and off your back.
You will find more tips to get the perfect size in this great piece.
You should not choose the lightest item either. Most of them don’t have an internal frame. This aspect is essential because it removes the burden from the shoulders to the hips. For proper balance, the hips must prop up to 80% of your equipment weight.
Take your pack on a test camping trip to determine how much you can carry. Put inside more than just the essentials. Add T-shirts, socks, spare boots, and survival gear until you feel you have reached your maximum. Wheezing and slow steps are signs you must leave out a few objects.
An individual of about 200 lbs. should carry 45 to 50 lbs. Everything above this value increases the fatigue level.
Airflow is another name used for this characteristic. Nylon, which most rucksacks are made of, has multiples qualities. However, it has a significant flaw: it causes abundant perspiration. Meshes on the rear panel prevent excessive sweating. Hence, the problem of sticky and smelly T-shirts plastered to your skin is eliminated.
Other materials commonly used in backpacks offer different pros and cons:
- Leather: It is stylish and durable, but also heavy and more expensive in general. Plus, you simply can’t throw it in the washer after your trip: leather needs special care in order to last a lifetime. A lot of executive backpacks and messenger bags are made of leather, most of them in natural colors like brown and black, and they sure look good.
- Canvas: usually cotton but sometimes a polyester blend, this material dries quickly, and can have a protective water repellent layer, but is not completely waterproof. Depending on the type of canvas, you can find it available in natural tones like beiges or more vibrant hues and prints. A cheap and resistant alternative, if you don’t mind carrying a rain cover and risking a little water. Many hiking and school backpacks are made of canvas.
- Cutproof fabrics: usually found in anti theft backpacks, these fabrics come with a wire mesh that makes them extremely resistant to things like knives, scissors, or even tree branches or similar risks in the wilderness. Backpacks in these fabrics tend to be smaller for everyday use, and there is a huge array available. Plus, these usually come with other safety features. Not necessarily ideal for survival, but worth checking out.
Internal Frame Structure
It is not difficult to perceive a survival backpack with an interior aluminum or composite frame. It stands rigid, and it is narrower. Although it brings extra lbs., this accessory eases the tension on your neck and shoulder muscles.
In addition, the frame grants body equilibrium and stability. You won’t resemble a fishing boat on a rough sea.
Stores sell gear with external frames. These are produced from aluminum tubes weld together, which makes them sturdy but inflexible. In the past, they used to weigh a lot but now, they are lighter due to modern fabrication processes.
Avoid the frameless ones as they don’t provide support, but make sure that the frame on your survival backpack is still light and comfortable.
Here is another great article about internal frame packs
Compression and Padded Straps
It is safer for straps to be part of the sack rather than sewn to it. Thus, they have fewer chances to tear up.
Good straps will relieve the uneasiness you will experience during fast-paced marches with 20 or more lbs. pressing on your spine and dorsal muscles. The harnesses must be flexible and wide. If not, they will harm your shoulders up to the bleeding point.
The sternum string brings supplementary comfort. The long ones are the correct choice. You will be able to fix them despite 3 layers of clothes.
The compression straps reduce the volume and size of your pile with 20 to 30%. Squeezing through narrow rocky walls will no longer be a problem.
The Hip Belt
For inexplicable reasons, lots of people neglect this accessory, but its absence sores and burns parts of your lower back. A padded strap reduces the friction between your body and the gear. Some of them have hidden side pockets to hide valuable, small objects.
Accessible Storage Pockets
The number of utility compartments should match your needs. An afternoon bike ride, where you won’t carry much more than a water bottle, requires fewer pouches than a weekend camp out in the open. Hunters may want more.
Besides these, a qualitative survival backpack has various clips and side pockets to store a compass, a foldable shovel or a knife.
An emergency kit is not complete without a sleeve in which to insert a hydration reservoir. This is effective while you are in a haste and you don’t want to stop for a water sip. You drink through a tube without zipping and unzipping pockets.
The acronym comes from the expression Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment. At first, MOLLE packs were constructed for military personnel.
Later, civilians used them during open-air activities or as a storage places for their emergency kits. This tactical backpack has rows sewn into the vest. They are convenient to clip pouches or water bottles.
Whether in a harsh environment or just around the fire camp, you ought to know where your things are. Turning the sack upside down to discover your fire starter or the all-purpose knife is irritating and hilarious unless you are in a life-threatening condition.
The effective division of the tactical backpack allows you to store your survival gear in separate places. Thus, smelly socks won’t end up with clean T-shirts.
This is a significant aspect due to practical reasons. Choosing the right color has nothing to do with fashion trends. Most travelers prefer something that matches the surrounding landscape. Others prefer intense colors to be spotted by rescuers. Let’s not forget that there are lots of alternative tools invented to signal one’s presence.
How to find the toughest?
Deep in the jungle, at the bottom of a dune, or just on a secluded rural lane, you deserve the company of the sturdiest survival backpack.
The endurance of a hiking equipment depends on the quality of its material.
Real emergency gear is made from resistant nylon, such as Pack Cloth, Cordura, Ripstop or Oxford. Study the label with utmost care to determine the compounds of the fabric. After all, you invest in your safety. A high quality survival backpack can make all the difference in an emergency.
Plus, you don’t want a sack that crumbles after three or four trips. Straps which yield due to the excessive load or broken zippers may spoil all the fun.
Such a characteristic is determined by the fabric density, which is measured in deniers. State-of-the-art pieces have around 1000d.
This means they are tougher but stronger. Less expensive products have under 600d. As a result, their life is shorter. Moreover, they are unlikely to face adverse conditions successfully.
Believe it or not, the weaving style plays a significant part. Skilled manufacturers consider that the diagonal weave prevents easy tearing.
Most survival backpacks are water resistant and some are waterproof. This is a paramount feature when there is no close human dwelling. Drenched clothes and moldy food jeopardize your health and derail your plans, and waterproof materials provide a means of protection to your equipment when you need it most.
Water repellent materials safeguard against light pours. If you plunge into a stream or run into a storm, the objects inside will become wet. Therefore, you ought to buy a rain cover.
Certain models come with a chicken wire seamed in the bottom part. Hence, pointy branches or thieves in the crowd cannot slash it up. Interior stainless steel meshes have the same purpose.
Nobody cares about zippers until they cease functioning. As a rule of the thumb, they fail when you are in a dreadful rush. Pay them a close look while you scan your soon-to-be survival backpack.
Most heavy duty packs have plastic molded zippers. These are fabricated from polyethylene and polyacetal resins. Consequently, they resist violent pulls and are easy to wash. However, if one tooth breaks, the whole system becomes useless.
The metal ones are rougher and corrode in time. The coil or nylon zippers are waterproof and flexible. They rarely catch the fabric. Examine the stitching too. You‘d hate it to waste precious minutes displaying your sewing skills.
Hook and Loop Fasteners
Hook and loop fasteners are better than button snaps because they provided an enhanced closure. Chances to lose small objects, such as house keys, are reduced.
How to Make a Survival Backpack on Budget
A high percentage of people like being prepared for the worst-case scenario, which implies a serious investment. As a result, a lot of them build up their outliving gear over several months. In case you struggle hard to make ends meet, an effective DIY device will keep you alive.
What to Use Instead of a Professional Tactical Sack?
A robust school bag may pull you out of trouble, but don’t hope to cross the country with it. They are neither spacious nor comfortable. Some of them have two or three pockets, special places for pens and an interior pouch. Very different from a tactical backpack designed to keep all of your gear safe and within reach, or even a hiking backpack made to transport your load efficiently.
To prevent fraying and tearing, enhance the seams. Check every zipper and fastener and make sure there are no previous tears inside the pockets.
Each member of the family must have his/her own luggage, and it should be the right fit for each person. Remember the sizing guide above.
The advantage is that your load is on your back. Crossing a brook with plastic carriers in your hands is out of the question.
Duffel bags are an option only if you plan to drive to a mountain cabin, leave your luggage there, and then go on brief trips around. In case of evacuation, they are convenient only if you take your car. Duffel bags are not designed to provide an even weight distribution for long periods of time. Thus, think twice before relying on them.
What to Include in Your Stay-alive Kit?
This depends a lot on your purpose. For a day out in the woods, you don’t need your tent. While for a fortnight in the Appalachians, a lightweight stove is indispensable.
If you have to flee the town because of a natural disaster, then your luggage will be slightly different. No matter the situation, remember to take the essentials. The best survival backpack will help you stay safe. Too much weight is a threat to your life.
Let’s focus on what to put inside. You need shelter, water, food, fire, and medication. Ponchos and large garbage bags are light, don’t occupy space and are excellent for improvising a tent.
Water purification tablets are a must since most sources are contaminated with bacteria. Another technique is to boil water and wait for it to cool. This takes longer but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Special bottles are vital for carrying the liquid. An economical alternative is a metal or a stainless steel canteen.
Fire strikers are essential for lighting up a pile of sticks and branches. Fire can come in handy to protect yourself from wild animals, or have raw food, need heat, or you need to send signals to potential rescue teams or anyone around. You should also learn the basic smoke signals in case you ever need them.
If you’re going into the wild with your survival backpack, another useful tool is a flare gun. This device is meant to be a tool to send a distress signal and communicate your location through light. It can also be used to illuminate a path or area. Flare guns take little space in your bag, but can help you be found in a mountain or desert more easily by rescuers.
Dried food and protein energy bars will supply your body with the calories to go on. Always go for non perishable foods so that your kit will be in good condition when you need it most. And regularly check to make sure nothing has passed its date. Don’t consume these unless there is an emergency; you don’t want to find yourself in the woods with an empty protein bar wrapper.
Even if you are the pacifist type, you have to admit that a professional knife is useful. You can use a knife for building a shelter, cutting through obstacles like thick branches, or even cutting clothes in case of an injury. Plus, you might need it for food or protection as well.
You may add a headlamp and a small flashlight to your kit. Try to go for pieces that are good quality, water resistant, and compact; and try to assemble your kit using the same kind of batteries throughout all of your equipment, so you know that, if you need the headlight over the flashlight, you will have extra batteries for either of them. As before, make it a habit to regularly check that everything is in good shape before heading out.
As far as weapons go, you might want to include a slingshot in your toolkit, and learn how to properly use it before your life depends on it. You can even get a military grade slingshot these days, but you can also learn how to make one with a strong enough branch and some elastic cord, which you should carry in your kit anyway.
Don’t ram useless clothes. Go for the ones made of synthetic materials because they dry faster. Abandon your leather jacket in the wardrobe and fetch a waterproof one. Emergency blankets are valuable too.
As for medication, your survival backpack should include plasters, bandages, digital thermometer, antihistamines, antibiotic cream, gastrointestinal pills, disinfectant solutions, aspirin, and whatever medication you need periodically. Regularly check the expiration date in all of these and the integrity of their packaging.
Survival backpacks are not only for outdoor thrill seekers or for dedicated prepperes. This item should be in all households.
You may be asked to take a last minute plane to a meeting in the opposite part of the country. It is more convenient to stuff your clothes in a BOB.
Maybe your friends ask you to accompany them on a camping trip. It would be hilarious to appear with a wheeled luggage. It is a pity to miss outdoor adventures just because you are not the owner of an adequate gear.
Moreover, you must think clear when nature unleashes its forces. But, it is impossible to do that if you are cold, hungry and soaked-to-the-bone. It is wise to be prepared.
Don’t hesitate to contact us or leave a replay in the comments sections for more information and additional suggestions. Also, have a look at our FAQ below.
Frequently Asked Questions and Helpful Answers
1. Is there any difference between a tactical and a hiking pack?
Yes, there is. It is important to understand to buy the product you actually want so that you know that you have the best survival backpack for your needs. Both the tactical backpack and the hiking backpack are extremely useful to carry the equipment you need to survive in rough conditions. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The hiking backpack was designed to carry things over long distances, and this is one point for it. It is made to be large and comfortable.
Since they come in colors like sapphire blue, maroon or black, you won’t stand out as a professional survivalist amidst of a hungry and desperate mass of people.
Unfortunately, they don’t have the accessories and the rough material of tactical gear. The latter are referred to as Bug out Bags. The best tactical backpack is like a piece of concrete. The material is durable, but teenagers and women are strong enough to wear them.
The most recognizable characteristic in a tactical backpack is the adaptable MOLLE system, used to attach extra punches or other tools.
If you want to be part of the landscape, avoid purchasing an item with a camo pattern.
2. Who needs a BOB?
There is the common misconception that only individual living in areas threatened by earthquakes, destructive floods or tornadoes should have such a gear around. This is not true. Everybody must be prepared with a survival backpack because wars or civilian confrontations happen everywhere.
3. Where can I keep my emergency gear?
You don’t have to hide it in your basement. Just find a secluded space at home or at work. You may keep in the trunk, but if you live in an area with extreme summer temperature this is not the best option. The interior of the car gets boiling hot and may exceed the maximum temperature your sack can handle.
4.What should I include in my survival bag?
You should try to include high quality items that will truly be helpful in an emergency, whether it is a natural disaster or other situation like your car breaking down in the desert. Of course, your needs will vary depending on your lifestyle: the city dweller who eventually goes on road trips with his 2 kids will not be needing the same as the survivalist who lives in the wilderness in Alaska. However, a good rule of thumb would be enough food to last a few days and a hydration kit to purify water; a great knife for cutting down elements for a shelter or any other use you can think of, even self defense if there are wild animals near you; a basic emergency kit with at least a cleaning agent for wounds, the most commonly needed medicines, and some bandages; raincoat or even a tarp to use as a shelter and keep you dry; a variety of cords that can be helpful for a shelter or even to transport something or someone; a flashlight with batteries; a compass, even if your tactical watch has one, and a map.
5. What shouldn’t I put in my survival bag?
In an extreme situation, agility and liberty of motion are vital. Plus, you can live without your favorite cereals, morning croissant or branded leather jacket.
So leave outside: canned food (it is heavy!) camping tripods and lanterns, gallons of bottled water, flare guns, books, make-up, wire cutters, saws, extra plates, bowls, and trays. We can’t stress this enough: the best survival backpack is the one that allows you freedom to move in different conditions, so the extra weight is only bringing you down.
6. Are the Emergency Kits only for catastrophic occurrences?
We recommend you to use them for the purpose they were created. Most items are sealed and have a precise place.
If you tear apart your kit, there is high chance to misplace essential parts. In case of a serious accident with no first aid around, using the Emergency Kit is the sound thing to do. If you are craving for the energy bars, you’d better go to the stores and buy some.
7. How can I clean my survival backpack?
This depends on the level of dirty. If this is light, the maintenance is not bothersome. You empty the pockets, turn it upside down to get rid of all the debris, and use a damp sponge to clean the inside. For the exterior, use soap or detergent to eliminate stubborn stains.
If the layer of dirt is too think, consider hand or machine-washing. Once again, you take everything out and remove the metal frame and the harnesses if they are detachable.
Use a small amount of detergent and warm water to rub grime away. Tougher stains should be treated with elbow grease.
Read the manufacturer’s instructions. Not all packs can be washed automatically.
8. What is an inch bag?
The acronym INCH is not related to the dimensions of the container. It comes from I’m Never Coming Home. It is filled only with the essential items to stay alive in the wilderness. Its content should last for months, even years.
9. Do water purification tablets work in cloudy or dirty water?
They kill bacteria and pathogens and make water safe for humans to drink. They have in their composition chlorine, chlorine dioxide or iodine. These substances destroy viruses responsible for deadly diseases.
They don’t remove sediments or chemical compounds. Thus, the common practice is to remove sediments through filters and to purify afterward.
10. Which is the most common misconception about bug out bags?
Lots of people consider that a 72-hour kit is more than enough. Crisis occurrences have a highly unpredictable character, so you might be stuck in a shelter for weeks. Lots of people are physically unprepared to tug provisions for 3 days. As a result, they may have to discard some of their items. The best survival backpack is one you can carry and will keep you safe for a reasonable amount of time, not one that will slow you down if it is full of useless stuff.
11. Are Military Backpacks good for school?
As long as you choose one that allows you to move without a problem. They are heavier than the normal ones. Thus, opt for the smaller versions. Frail children and teenagers might develop different back conditions due to a heavy backpack, so a tactical backpack might not be the best for everyday use.