Your bug out bag isn’t complete until you have one of these weapons

Sunday, May 28, 2017 by

People new to prepping and those who have been involved in it for some time are always being subjected to suggestions about the composition of “bug out bags.” No bag is complete without this. If you don’t have that in your bag, you’re not going to make it.

And so on.

Look, everyone who has spent more than an hour as a serious prepper has an idea about what the perfect bug out bag should consist of. And we’ve all read those reports.

Frankly, some suggestions are very good and even to this day, I can say with honesty that once in a while I’ll read a new account of what the perfect bug out bug should have and I’ll get some good ideas — then act on them by including them in my own bag.

But many times I read articles by phony “experts” that irritate me, for they are clearly nothing more than uninformed clickbait. You’ve read them too, no doubt.

Having said all of that, yeah, this is another one of those “great bug out bag addition” articles, but to be truthful, this is something I had not personally thought of adding to my bag because I just didn’t think I needed to: A compact, lightweight firearm.

I know what you’re thinking, if you’re like me. “What’s the point? I am already carrying an assortment of weapons — a rifle, a handgun, a couple of knives. Why do I need to put another firearm in my bug out bag?”

Good question. Here’s the answer: Because it’s a weapons redundancy that you very well may need in a pinch.

Think of it this way: Why do some people have a hideaway gun stashed in an ankle holster? It’s a convenient back up in case they lose their primary weapons, either in an accident or because they’ve been taken away.

Hiding a compact weapon (and ammunition for said weapon) in your bug out bag serves as a great back up redundancy that you can rely on if you somehow lose the weapons you’re visibly carrying.

Okay, well, why not just carry a compact firearm in an ankle holster? You can, unless of course you’re bugging out in a set of combat or hiking boots that are ankle-high; an ankle holster would be uncomfortable for many, if not downright impossible.

Once you’ve decided to include a “hideaway” firearm in your bug out bag, the next thing you need to figure out is what you want to hide. There are a number of considerations:

Cost: You’ve already invested quite a bit of money in your entire bug out rig, so you’re probably not keen on adding several hundred dollars more in expenses. You can pick up a great backup handgun for very little money — perhaps as low as $300 dollars.

Space: If you’re like most preppers, your bug out rig is already filled to capacity, or at least near-capacity. So you may not have a lot of extra space to play with. But if you’re set on adding a compact weapon to your kit, you’ll be able to figure out how to downsize a bit so you’ll have room to include the gun.

Weight: Yes, even a few more pounds can make a difference in a bag that you’re going to have to be carrying distances, and likely in less than ideal terrain. So the smaller/more compact — for the money, for the firepower, for the space — the better.

Obviously the best choice of weapon for all three of these considerations is a handgun of some sort. But you also may be able to fit a collapsible shotgun or a pistol-sized semi-automatic carbine (like a Tec-9); that all depends on how much space you have available, how much money you want to spend for another weapon, what the weapon will be used for (just self defense, or maybe to hunt?), and so forth.

But honestly, if you’ve never considered putting a back-up weapon in your bug out kit, maybe you ought to give it some thought. Prepping is all about being prepared for as many scenarios as possible — right?

See more information like this at and

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

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