As the ground starts to thaw and the world starts to become green again, it is time to review your bugout bag. I suggest that you inventory the contents of your bag with each season, as different weather will require different contents. During your bugout bag spring-cleaning, your focus should be all about moisture.
Bugout Bag Spring Cleaning
In most parts of the world, spring means rain. This additional moisture along with warmer temperatures brings new challenges and opportunities. By dropping some of your cold weather gear and adding some additional items, you can be sure that you have the best possible chance for survival in a bugout situation.
In the springtime, moisture is your enemy. This means that you must have items in your bag to help combat that moisture. Having a compact poncho or rain suit is an absolute must. Remember that you can die from hypothermia in temperatures as high as 60F is your clothes are wet. Between the two, I prefer a rain suit over a poncho.
Pack as much wool as you can. Wool is one of the few fibers on earth that can keep you warm even when wet. This is a huge advantage in the spring. I always like to pack at least one extra pair of wool socks.
Any clothes you can pack that are water-resistant are a good idea. Pay special attention to footwear. Your boots must stay dry under any circumstances. A good springtime boot is able to walk through water at least six inches deep. This will allow you to cross any shallow creeks or overflows. In a recent long distance challenge, I was able to traverse 34 miles along a creek which had to be crossed several times, and I never got my feet wet.
When moisture is present, getting a fire starting or keeping it going can be much more difficult. This means you want to stock up on fire starters and fire assistance products. Bring Zippos, Bic lighters, waterproof matches, ferro rods, and fire lenses. Also bring char cloth, WetFire cubes, FireSticks, and cotton balls rubbed in petroleum jelly. If you have a pocket butane stove, it is a good idea to bring it with you. You might even want to pack dry firewood if you find some before the rains start.
As temperatures warm up, there are several food sources that become available. Things are tough during the winter, but animals start to move in the spring. Fish become more active, so bringing a fishing kit or a pocket fisherman is a good idea. Mammals also become more active in the springtime. This opens up opportunities for trapping and hunting. Cordage becomes vital, and bringing professional snares or copper wire can help greatly with trapping. You also might want to bring nuts, jerky, or dried fruit for baiting your traps.
One of the biggest challenges during spring showers is having a waterproof shelter. In my first survival challenge, I built a completely waterproof roof, but built it too high. The 30 mph winds blew the rain in on me and it soaked me to the bone. To ensure your shelter is waterproof, you really need an emergency blanket or a tarp. These additions will ensure that rain will not be the reason your clothes get wet.
To best prepare your bugout bag for spring, you should first think about any scenario in which you could get wet. If you make a few minor adjustments, you will be prepared for the worst Mother Nature has to offer. Be diligent in this area, and you will have the best opportunity for success.
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