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Dr. Loretta Standley is a retired Chiropractor, Acupuncturist and a current Yoga studio owner and teacher.  She is a Yoga Alliance Certified Education Provider through Yoga Alliance

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Survival, Prepping, Grid Down, bug-out-bag

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What to pack in your bug-out-bag in a bugging out situation on DrStandley.com

What each individual should pack in their bug-out-bag on DrStandley.com

Good grief! Who knows what the hell we will all be going through next month, much less next week or tomorrow. At this point, anything is possible and 'that' is what you need to ready yourself for and prepare to meet.

What is a bug-out-bag? A bug-out-bag is a pack, bag or kit that will assist in your ability to survive a super-scary situation where you are forced to leave your home or forced to walk yourself home. For this reason, your bug-out-bag needs to be with you at all times, which means it needs to be in the car when you are in the car, or at home when you are at home. Your bug-out-bag does you no Good if it is not with you.

And for God's sake, DO NOT let your gas tank get below 3/4 tank. Sound a bit too hyper-ready. In a bug-out situation, you will be glad you were prepared. Nothing is worse than sitting in traffic trying to get out of town on 1/4 tank of gas or less.

Your bug-out-bag needs to be packed and ready to roll at all times. No exceptions. You NEVER use or take anything out of your bug-out-bag when you are not in a bug-out situation. Pack it and be ready to go!

What children should pack in their bug-out-bag on DrStandley.com

What is the length of time that you should prepare your bug-out-bag for? Think of yourself as going camping or hiking, so at the very least pack for three (3) days to one (1) week.

In a catastrophe, natural disaster or other bug-out situation, while you may have food in the house to last 3 days, the grocery stores will run out of food in three (3) hours. Your bug-out-bag SHOULD HAVE food already packed in it for 'at the very least' three (3) days.

What do you need, not what do you want? What do you NEED? Pack that!

Each individual needs to be able to carry their bug-out-bag, so pack accordingly. Even a senior in a motorized chair, needs to be able to carry their own pack. A senior using a walker, needs to carry their own pack, but of course Light enough to be helpful. Children need to carry their own pack that is age appropriate. Also, pets (dogs) that are able to carry a pack will be helpful as well. Everyone needs to be able to pull or carry their own weight, so to speak. Meaning, do their part. Do something. Everyone can do something.

For animals, such as cats, they would be in carriers, and can be pushed in strollers or hauled in a wagon, cart, etc., with their little pack. Awe!

What seniors should pack in their bug-out-bag on DrStandley.com

Below is a list of things that you absolutely NEED in your own bug-out-bag. I DO NOT believe anyone should be sharing any 'thing' unless of course you are sharing with a child. Each adult needs to carry the 'adult things' such as a cooking stove/unit (Jet Boil, which weighs half a pound). But each person needs to carry their own water filtration or Life straw, etc.

God forbid an adult gets injured and a child needs to go it alone and search for help. Each person still needs their own survival gear, in order to survive while alone, either as the injured party or as the one searching for help.

I have done a lot of mountain backpacking and have seen some wild things where adults were sharing stoves, water filtrations and the like. That's insane! What happens if one gets injured and the other has to go for help. Who gets the stove and the water filtration?

These little alcohol burner stoves are only $12.99 on Amazon. They are small Lightweight and you can carry a bottle of isopropyl alcohol as your fuel. Don't forget your matches or Lighter. They are inexpensive enough that everyone should have one, including teenagers.

Folks, teach your kids to survive without you. You need to know that they have the tools and knowledge to go it alone if they had to. They need to know this. Teach them!

Alcohol burner stove


  • Jacket or coat depending on weather in your area
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Maybe, if you have enough room when you are finished packing, then pack an extra pair of pants and shirt
  • Enviromental and Weather Protection

  • Rain Poncho
  • Thick trash bag to cover your bug-out-bag
  • Lightweight Tarp or Rain Fly
  • Get it out of your head that you need clothes pins to hang your clothes to dry. Every ounce of weight adds up to another pound. Throw your clothes over a fence or on tree branches. Only pack what you NEED. Further, I'm one who thinks you don't need extra clothes, you need extra FOOD!

    First Aid

  • Get a pre-packed First Aid kit at the pharmacy or big box store
  • Tourniquet
  • Neosporin should be in your First Aid kit
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • What pets should have in their bug-out-bag on DrStandley.com

    Food Supply

  • 3 days of food - breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Snacks - jerky, nuts, chocolate bars, protein bars
  • Alcohol burner stove, Jet Boil or maybe a tuna can with isopropyl alcohol (see cooking options page)

    Canned food with a pop top can be eaten out of the can and heated on your little burner stove. If your canned food does not have a pop top, you will need a can opener. Foods like Beefaroni, Ravioli, Sardines have pop tops. Packages of tuna are Light-weight and protein-rich.

    *See other Survival Prep pages for food and cooking ideas.

    Health and Hygiene

  • Medication
  • Allergy pills (Benadryl)
  • Pain relief medication - Aleve, Iboprofen, Midol
  • Feminine products
  • Extra contact lens w/ saline solution
  • Toilet Paper in a ZipLoc bag. Each person needs their own
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Adult pads and Adult diapers

    Seriously, forget the shampoo, conditioner, curling iron and make-up. This is a 911 situation and you need room for food and water. You are trying to survive, you're not going on a date.

    Life Tent

    Sleeping Gear

  • Sleeping bag
  • Life Tent - 2 person emergency tent $19.99 on Amazon
  • Hammock w/ straps (instead of a tent)
  • Fly (tarp) to cover your hammock
  • You don't need a pillow, use your backpack (conserve space in your backpack)
  • In my backpack I have a sleeping bag that folds super-small and is Good in 20 degree weather, a hammock that folds into a tiny bag like the Life Tent, straps for my hammock to tie to two (2) trees and a fly (tarp). All four (4) of these together are smaller that a normal size sleeping bag or tent. Conserve your space.

    Survival Tools

  • Backpack with plenty of carabiner clips attached on outside of pack for emergency uses
  • Knife to hang on your belt
  • And yes, kids who are age appropriate need a knife too
  • Pepper spray
  • Whistle - have a secret whistle code with different meanings that the family knows
  • Flint, Lighter, Matches - all who are age approprite need these tools
  • Dryer Lent is the perfect fire starter and its Light-weight
  • Cotton balls smeared in Vasoline and in a tight container makes a great fire starter and its Light-weight
  • 50 feet of paracord (I carry 100 feet). Ya' never know when you will need a secure line or maybe you will need it for your tarp
  • Compass - because maybe the compass on phone isn't working if there is a grid down situation
  • Headlamp
  • Small flashlight - you cannot depend on your phone during a grid down situation
  • If you have anything battery powered, pack extra batteries
  • Multi-functional tool
  • Local area map - you cannot depend on your phone in a grid down situation
  • Water Bladder

    Water Purification (everyone should have their own)

  • Life Straw or similar
  • Portable Water Filtration (Sawyer) or similar
  • 1 or 2 Liter Water Bladder w/ drinkable hose
  • Water purification tablets if you don't have any of the above water filtration systems
  • As you can see above, there are many water purification options. Choose one and pack that. Do your research, choose, and by all means, take into the account the weight of the product. Every single ounce matters.

    And before you get the groovy notion of carrying 1 gallon of water, it's Good to know that 1 gallon of water will weighs 8.33 lbs.

    If you get a water bladder that is 2 liters (see pic), that's about 4 lbs. to carry plus you have a drinkable hose that leads to your bladder that is in your backpack. The hose will just drop right over your shoulder so you can take swig whenever you need it. 3.78 liters is equal to 1 gallon.

  • If you are able to take your car, DO NOT LOAD THE CAR DOWN. You may find yourself sleeping in the car. Load extra water and extra food but DO NOT cram-pack the car.

    What a group should pack to share in their bug-out-bag on DrStandley.com


  • Bury in the yard, in a glass jar, any important documents that you do not need to take with you in a bug-out situation

  • Bury in the yard, in a glass jar, any jewelry or valuables that you SHOULD NOT be taking with you in a grid-down situation

  • If you have any concerns about your valuables and have to leave the house due to unforeseen (maybe even foreseen) circumstances, bury the valuables in the yard and if you do not have a yard because you live in an apartment complex, walk into the woods or somewhere (anywhere) and bury your valuables. TELL NO ONE! Desperate people do desperate things.

  • DO NOT load yourself down with electronics. In a grid down situation they will do you no Good and they will be more of a pain in the ass than they will be useful.

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    **This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.

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