An INCH Bag – That Sounds Tiny . . . . What is an INCH Bag?
Most of us understand what a Bug Out Bag is unless we’ve been living in an isolated situation. Bug Out Bags come in all shapes and styles. Some of the commercial ones are heavy on food and water, with only a little bit of basic survival gear included. On the other end of the spectrum, we find Bug Out Bags that have every survival gadget and goodie you can imagine. This wide discrepancy raises a lot of questions in people’s minds, especially people who are new to prepping.
The thing is, different people have different ideas of prepping and different ideas of bugging out. The simpler bug out bags are based on FEMA’s recommended list, from their emergency preparedness website. But that list assumes that anyone bugging out is going to head for their nearest FEMA shelter to ride out the disaster. Well, I don’t know about you, but turning myself over to the government is not something that I’m willing to do.
That’s why my Bug Out Bag is really an INCH bag. That means “I’m Not Coming Home” bag. Does that mean that if I Bug Out, I’m never coming back? To be honest, I don’t know. But I pack that bag as if that’s the case, because there’s no way for me to know.
You’ve probably seen some of those movies about the End Times, where a small group of believers is hiding out from the government and society in general. Well, what would you need, if you were in that situation? A regular bug out bag wouldn’t be enough, because you would be leaving home, without the idea of ever coming back.
An INCH bag has to be heavy on survival gear, as it may very well contain all your worldly possessions, once you leave your home. If your home is destroyed and you are forced to abandon it, you could literally end up with that being everything you own. In that case, it needs to have everything you’ll need while on the move.
What does that mean? It means that your INCH bag will contain enough tools and equipment that you can build a long-term shelter, start innumerable fires and filter your own water, as well as hunt and scavenge for your own food. At the same time, you’re going to have to be your own doctor, provide yourself with clothing, make shoes and make anything else you’re going to need. That’s going to be one packed bag.
In reality, you can’t fit all that in one backpack; at least, not and still be able to carry it. What you really need is more than one bag. The first one is your bug out bag, and it contains all your survival equipment. The second (and possibly third) bags will contain:
- Extra clothing
- Sleeping bags (or quilts)
- Hunting bow (with arrows)
Those contents are going to have to be able to help you start your homestead off in the wild. Seeds and a hunting bow are very important parts of this list, as they will give you the ability to feed yourself, without attracting attention. While a nice hunting rifle is easier to hunt with, it’s also noisy. Bows may not have as long a range, but at least they’re quiet.
You can’t build a long-term shelter with the tools you can carry in a Bug Out Bag, even a well-stocked Bug Out Bag. That’s why I mention tools in the second bag. Those tools will be the tools you’ll use to build a shelter. At a minimum, you’ll need:
- Full-sized axe
- Bow saw or bucksaw
- Froe (for making shingles and splitting boards)
- Adze (for squaring tops and bottoms of logs for a cabin, as well as making furniture)
- Framing chisel (for morticing)
- Carpenter’s crosscut saw
- Pick (for breaking up ground)
- Brace & bits (for drilling holes)
I realize that sounds like a rather extensive tool list and it represents a lot of weight. But if you’re going to build a log cabin out in the woods somewhere, that’s the minimum you’re going to need. As it is, you’re going to do a lot of backbreaking work with those tools, in order to get your cabin built. If you leave anything out, you’re going to have a much harder time of it.
Of course, if you already have a cabin in the woods someplace, you won’t need all that. But then, if that was the case, we wouldn’t be talking about this.