I'm no Special Ops badass or survival expert. I graduated from the US Army Ranger School 25 years ago and survival school (SERE) a couple years after that. It was the best training of my life and I left there with a huge amount of confidence that if I was ever in a survival situation, I’d be fine. Still...I always kept a bug out bag by the door in case of...anything because a prepacked bag gives you a huge advantage over the rest of the world – time.
But I got tired of seeing the same old cheap survival bags that don’t take your geography, physical capabilities, dietary restrictions, or anything about you into account. And worse are those bags that promise 3 days of survival for one person. Who? And in what climate? And why are they all packed in camouflaged bags that attract attention? No thought is put into them. Everyone’s situation is different so your survival kit has to be tailored for each individual.
I live in Washington DC and my survival site is 75 miles away in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are plenty of fresh water sources, edible plants, and crops along the way, so food and water are not my biggest concerns. My biggest concern is people. If there was ever a comet, plague, or general scare in DC the roads would choke in an instant. If I'm not the first one on the road I'm gonna be caught in a shitstorm of panicked people so what I need is a low profile bag, plenty of alternate routes out of the city and weapons.
But when I packed my first bug out bag for this area (Northern Virginia), I made huge mistakes. I threw anything and everything into it thinking, “more is better.” Oh how wrong I was. Every bug out bag has to be tailored to the individual, their geography, capability, medical and dietary conditions, and especially...route. There are more variables than most people take into consideration.
Maybe you have diabetes. Maybe you're the "cranky when hungry" type who needs to carry more food or the "fuck sleeping on the ground" type. Maybe you have guns and need lots of ammo. Maybe you refuse to eat gluten. Maybe you sweat like crazy and need additional towels, t-shirts, and underwear. We'll talk about where you're going, who's going with you, what's available along the way, what you're capable of carrying, what the threats are, what your restrictions are, and anything else we can think of. We'll make a survival kit that’s right for you. And your family.
At DASH, we realize humans are humans. In a survival situation, people resort to their base instincts and steal. Especially when there's no law to stop them. So which is better...a gunfight to protect what you have or the bad guys not even giving you the time of day? A tactical, camouflaged, badass looking bag isn’t always a good thing.
A survival kit is a means to an end. It’s not meant to keep you safe and happy forever. It’s there to get you from point A to point B without worrying about whether or not you’re going to die from starvation, dehydration or exposure along the way. With a little bit of thought and effort, we can make the DASH to your alternative site a lot more comfortable.