Are You Missing These Often Overlooked Necessities in Your Bug-Out Bag?

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

Co-Author of SHTF Survival Bootcamp

Most of you are aware Selco and I run a wide range of physical courses and have done so for the last six years now. Ranging from our flagship course down in Croatia, using directly applied lessons from the conflict down there, as well as our Bug-Out Course and our ‘Off-Grid Medical’ Range of courses.

One consistent theme in our courses is encouraging students to bring the equipment they think they need. We don’t issue a kit list per se. We want to give our students the creative space to assess the situation and bring what they think is needed. If students need some guidance, they get that. Almost everyone includes these essential basics but there are other items that are often overlooked.

Each course we get a huge amount of variety in the equipment carried by our students. And, we begin the courses by having them lay all that equipment out and briefing us on what they bought and why. We will then assess the student’s equipment.

We put together the Often Overlooked series to help you evaluate the equipment in, or NOT in, your Bug-Out Bag.

Often Overlooked 1: Edged Tools

I would estimate a 98% failure rate with this particular item. As in 98% of people will make this mistake, omission or overlook. Edged tools are items such as knives, axes, machetes and other similar tools. These are not the items overlooked. What we have seen innumerable times is there will be no means to maintain the integrity of the tools.

People forget to bring the necessary apparatus to sharpen their edge tools. Only about 2 to 5% pack something to sharpen with. And, typically it’s not a great device, or they have no knowledge on how to actually use it.

I don’t want to add more weight than is necessary in my Bug-Out Bag. I want to keep everything light and lean. Selco and I only work with diamond dust sharpening tools: a diamond dust file and a diamond honing stone. The diamond file I carry comes in a set of 5, although I only choose to carry one.

The diamond honing stone in my bag is the tool I tend to use most often, because, my edge tools rarely get dull. If I do, for example, really wail my axe on something and take a big chunk out of it, then I will need the super heavy duty diamond file I carry in my car.

Don’t let diamond dust scare you. It’s not that expensive. Whatever you choose is up to you. Just make sure you have the means to maintain your essential equipment with you in the field.


Often Overlooked 2: Firearms

Many people want to, and do, carry firearms. But, what we often see is people carrying firearms with absolutely no means to clean or maintain them. And that is a big problem, especially in field conditions.

If your weapons are exposed to dust, dirt, mud, sand and precipitation the impact on those weapons is going to be quick and detrimental without timely cleaning with the proper tools.

The last thing anyone of us want is for this possibly life saving tool to be fouled and dirty to the point it no longer works at exactly the moment you need it to work! At the very least carry the minimum means to clean and maintain your firearms.

And, always the knowledge to be able to do so.

A large part of my military career was elite infantry. For me weapons maintenance is crucial. I carry a large kit with me in order to cover a range of firearms. For others, at the very least you should have a cleaning brush, a small container of oil, a bore snake and a few small rags or towels.

Some weapons require specific tools to open, operate or maintain. Make absolutely sure you have the tools needed for your specific weapons and the competence and understanding to use those tools.

Try to stay as streamlined as you can while still having the things you need. You want to always keep your firearms in top condition and have the resources and the abilities to maintain them as is necessary.

Often Overlooked 3: Protect and Enhance the Senses

Think: top to toe. Anything you can carry, that protects or enhances your senses is well worth carrying. What are you worried about? What Should you be worried about in the environment that you’re in that could potentially harm you? And what can you do to protect from that?

EYES: You have only got one set of eyes. Protection glasses or goggles are an excellent investment. If your eyes get injured it’s going to be debilitating and (significantly) limit your performance. And in a compromised situation there’s no guarantee you will get the quality of care you need to deal with that issue.

I’m a huge fan of carrying a small, high quality binoculars with me wherever I go. Anything that helps you seeing further will aid in keeping you safe.

Let’s say for example, you are in a field hunkered down, with a decent set of binoculars you will be able to get a good look at whatever the threat may be without having to get too close to it.

I prefer binoculars, but if you find those a bit big and bulky, consider getting a monocular. It’s better than nothing. I find it a little bit more awkward to use. I get a lot of eye fatigue just having one eye closed and one eye open. That’s why I like working with binoculars. Choose what is best for you. 

EAR DEFENDERS: The ear defenders I have protect my hearing and have a forward facing microphone that will pick up and amplify any sounds from the direction I’m facing. There’s a little bit of a cost to these, made by a company called Peltor. Well worth the investment. Something as simple as in ear foam earplugs are great for protecting against general noise. But, what I actually like to carry these for is sleep. Everyone should have a clear plan to manage adequate sleep.

The accepted rule of groups, is there is always going to be a snorer, and the snorer is always going to fall asleep first. Having some basic earplugs to mute out most, if not all of that sound enables you to get some better quality sleep.

HANDS: Your sense of touch and the need to use your hands is critical. If you are rummaging around in things and there are syringes or glass or anything that can cut you, correct gloves will protect you from any nasty cuts or wounds.

Thin gloves that allow you to have a great degree of tactile sensibility in your fingers are great to have, but you also need to have a heavier duty pair of gloves that are heat resistant with a higher degree of protection. Another thing to consider is having standard surgical gloves on hand to prevent cross contamination, blood borne pathogen exchange, etc.

FEET: l always wear construction boots that are steel shanked in the undersole and have steel toe caps. A kick with these boots is going to leave way more of a mark than if I was wearing a sneaker. And, it also means no matter what the environment I am in my feet are staying protected.

Often Overlooked 4 : Pocket Brain

Selco and I often see people coming to our courses neglecting to carry notepad and pen. Or they will have a regular paper version. The minute conditions get adverse that paper is going to become useless. Many times people will bring some of the items I mention below, but those items are all tossed about and not very easy to find.

My pocket brain is one of my most essential carry items. It always sits in my thigh pocket and this goes with me everywhere.

Essentially, my “Pocket Brain” is a notebook cover filled with items that I believe to be crucial to have. First and foremost is a notepad. I’m a huge fan of the the spiral bound “Rite in the Rain” products. They are fully weatherproof, and have great quality of paper, so they’re easy to write on.

Inside the notebook cover is a front flap and a few different pockets. I carry quite a few writing implements: dry wipe markers, regular mechanical pencils, pens, permanent markers and old-school regular pencils. Something to keep in mind, if you live in an extremely cold environment, like I do, regular pens can and will freeze. Dry wipe markers can be used quite effectively to write on various materials.

Also inside is a calibrated compass, with as many different scales on the base plates as can be found. So I can use this for measuring purposes for drawing purposes. And, you know, for mathematical purposes. In addition to those tools, I carry with me a small multi colored selection of chalk. Chalk is very effective for writing on asphalt, cement surfaces and internal and external walls.

The Pocket Brain is all about the ability to clearly communicate information needed to others as well as tracking things for yourself. You can notate your hydration levels, write down your passwords, or write out a sentry (Guard duty) list if needed.

In mine I also have some useful visual aids. I have one small toy car and 10 small numbered colored triangles. I use these when delivering orders to my group or briefing my family on immediate actions necessary in any situation. Each numbered triangle represents a certain individual. For example, number one is me, number 2 is my wife, number 3 is my baby. The toy car of course represents the vehicle being used.

I made these triangles myself just by cutting colored plastic and numbering them. Having visual aids can help a great deal with communication because often times verbal communication can get confusing or be misunderstood. Other things such as maps, reference cards or any type of documentation you feel will be needed can also be tucked away safely inside the notebook.

Often Overlooked 5: River Ready

People put a huge amount of thought into the equipment they are carrying, but not necessarily where and how they’re carrying it. We find that people tend to carry something like an bag open and things are just dumped in it. Finding items somewhere in that big mess is not something you want to have to do when the SHTF.

If you do compartmentalize, for example, you put your toiletries in a bag and your spare clothing in a different bag and then put those bags in the other bag, that’s great. However, the two elements that rare missing is weather proofing and the cross contamination element. Any bags you carry need to be able to withstand the environment you are in. That includes the bags inside the main bag. Waterproofing is of course essential.

Imagine you have your big warm jacket and you have put it in your bag and it gets damp. Now, the thermal gain and effect of that big warm jacket has been massively reduced. What I suggest is a dry bag that rolls back on itself after you have put items in there, with a really good weatherproof seal. But, you want it to be easy access, especially when it’s extremely cold.

Dry bags come in a huge variety of colors and sizes and can be used to separate spare clothes, socks, thermals and sleeping clothes. It’s easy to find your change of clothes if you know you have put them in the red dry bag versus the green dry bag which has your socks in it.

Standard Ziploc bags come in a huge variety of sizes. These are perfect for the cross contamination factor. Most likely you will have items in your bag that will open or leak. A good habit to get into is to put these items inside separate smaller Ziplocs and then put all those inside a larger Ziploc.

Your goal here is to have a very modular, clearly organized, well protected pack. By having everything packed in these airtight bags most of your equipment and other items should be what we call River Ready.

Guess how Selco and I test that on our courses?

Yes, literally your bag is going in the river and we will let it bob in there for a while. After dragging it out later, we check to see if your contents were compromised. You need to pack your bug-out bag with the thought in mind that anything could happen at any time. You might just have to rip it off and ditch it somewhere for a period of time. Your bag will then need to sort of look out for itself!

About Toby

Toby has an extensive background in the military, emergency services, risk management, and business continuity, combined with applied wilderness and urban survival skills. He discusses personal safety, security, and the crossover of military skills to the average civilian.

Picture of Toby Cowern

Toby Cowern

Toby Cowern has an extensive background in the military, emergency services, risk management, and business continuity, combined with applied wilderness and urban survival skills. He discusses personal safety, security, and the crossover of military skills to the average civilian.

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    • It’s gonna have to be a pen cause we know how y’all are with crayons LMAO

      As for me my minds as sharp as a politicians pill bottle so no need for th……… hashbrowns yeah I like hashbrowns what?

  • Hey Toby, I agree with everything you said. I myself bought a pistol and a rifle, and I dont have the slightest knowledge of taking them apart. I can firmly say, a waterproofing your items is the only way to go. I went canoeing one time and the canoe flipped over, everything got wet, including my camera. Medicine most definately has to be in a waterproof container.

  • Coins for vending machines when there’s still some civility and order, and electricty.
    Cigarettes and mini-bottles of liquor for barter.

  • Daisy or Toby,

    The SHTF Bootcamp, is it a physical book, an e-book, a physical course where you meet together, or a group that works through this together at the same time? That’s not made clear on the sales page.


  • I was reading this post & pulled out my write in rain notebook to write down some suggestions. Then I saw the notebook was on the list. Im archery elk hunting in Co. & carry a sidearm as well as bear spray. I did not pack any cleaning supplies for my glock 10mm. I like the ear defender idea, might give that a try. Thank you for your posts, I always try to read them.

    • First off I’m deeply jealous but am wishing you luck.
      You might not have a brush n stuff but you can use a shaft on the barrel and cut the cuff or sleeve off your shirt for field expedient if needed to clear a bore obstruction. Might not be ideal, to say the least, but that OC bear spray is oil based. Oil is oil when you ain’t got none. Hopefully you got rubber gloves.
      That cool crisp air, the sounds and smells ahhh man soak it all in for me as it’ll have to be vicariously.

      • Sorry, no cool crisp air right now in CO. It’s smoke, and a lot of it from fires in the western US, and in CO.

  • So, who are these wannabe prepper yuppies that “overlook” these items [1,2,4,&5]?

    Regarding items in #3 [“…Senses”], well, if yer down to packing that kind of stuff, then you have a bag that will require a gorilla to haul.

    I’ve been reading “expert” advice about survival preparations for nearly 20 years now and I’ve come to the conclusion in these last few or more years that if you’re longer term survival is riding on the contents of a BOB, then you might just as well fill it with opium and a nice antique opium pipe w/modest kit.

    “Go home.” [T.Ullman]

    • Toktomi –

      Why would you be so belittling toward those who are just getting started? Who really can use this information? I’m curious why you begrudge people who may have less experience the access to information without scorn.

      I find that generally those who are smug about their superior knowledge end up being the most surprised when bad things happen because they were so sure they knew precisely what to expect and exactly what they’d do. Then reality strikes and throws them for a massive loop. Hopefully, you won’t find yourself in that situation.

      Wishing you the very best.

    • @toktomi,
      As I mentioned in my previous post, with the exception of the pen and writing material, I have those items (maybe not a one for one, but close enough).
      My BOB weights about 25lbs give or take a few pounds depending on the time of the year, water.
      No gorilla needed here.
      All the gear I humped in the Marines, pretty sure weighed more.

      Good to know I am in good company (i.e. Toby, Matt in OK).

      • Ahh man this is just another one of them that don’t like to see others prepare. It makes them feel inferior. Come in and disrupt, talk smack, offer nothing then disappear. Ain’t been nowhere ain’t done nothing.
        Bout like jello. Wiggles a lot but ain’t got no substance.

  • Lots of good info here.
    The only one I had not considered, was including Chalk in my kit.
    Especially in urban areas for marking locations that have things or are dangerous. Things that you might want (or need) to retrieve later on, because you do not have the tools or equipment to transport it right now. Of course you should be using a special code, known only to you, to mark them.

    Visual aids can be great, but I don’t see the need to make and carry them.
    I think you can improvise just as well, with other items found in the field.
    Also, unless you include one or more ” house or building” visual aids, you can’t replicate most likely scavenging scenarios. Then you also need some premade “enemy, sniper or other personnel” markers included, to cover those things as well.
    I am sure there are other markers that could be added also, which would soon spiral this out of reason. It is an interesting idea though.

    Binocular’s are great, but my choice is a monocular. It takes up less room in a bag, but is easier to carry elsewhere in a pocket. It does not flop or bang around, like Bino’s on a neck strap. Yet it can still be quickly accessible. They also require less exposure from your cover or concealment to use one.

  • Spork.
    I have tried a number of different brands, but like the KA-BAR ones the best. Long enough to use with MREs, or when separated, the knife can actually cut cooked meat.

    Chop sticks work pretty good too.

    Fold-able or collapsible bowls (with the solid bottom to make a firm surface/plate) are good and light weight.

  • Good little jewels of information. Make sure you personalize it to your needs, add and takeway items as needed based on location and weather etc and get out and use it in the worst conditions but as safely as possible.

  • One issue implied here but not explicitly stated is that military planning and experience generally assumes that the GI (if s/he survives) will always have a home to come back to … with a support organization in place. The bugout bag items planning above seems consistent with that orientation for understandable reasons. Consider how the civilian “equivalent” may sometimes have a different set of circumstances to cope with.

    Consider the recent history of wildfires that not only wiped out individual homes but also the entire communities surrounding them. Consider the massive flooding stories of recent years where areas flooded where the local governments refused for decades to disclose that they retained the right to flood some areas in order to protect some dams from being destroyed — and in the process wiped out a lot of houses that had long been thought to need no flooding insurance (which would be hard to purchase for an event caused by dishonest governments). Consider the very recent rioting where home insurance policies might have a convenient exclusion for “civil unrest” — which could mean that a burned out house and all contents could be a total disaster for a family being forced to start all over from scratch on their own nickel. Etc, etc.

    Sometimes in a civilian evacuation it may be clear that it’s just a temporary thing and that after the calamity there will still be a home to return to. Sometimes it’s uncertain whether home will still be there. And finally, in the worst case, it may be certain that bugout bag planning needs to be thought through for I.N.C.H. circumstances — meaning “I’m Never Coming Home,” which the military bugout bag contents and planning is not intended or designed for. I would think that some of the most treacherous cases are when it’s unclear whether there will be a fully insured home to return to — in which case a fully equipped INCH set of contents may be the wisest kind of insurance.

    One of the most pitiful photos I saw recently was in a book about the Midwest dustbowl years of the 1930s where a family’s financial support and farming livelihood system in Oklahoma had been destroyed by the dust storms. They had packed everything they could into their early 1930s pickup plus a very small trailer and were headed west to California. They were laughed at by the media of that day as “tin can tourists.” They KNEW they were never coming home, even though the INCH label for such packing probably hadn’t been invented back then.

    So the central question for a companion article to this one might be about how to pack for either 1) an uncertain but possibly INCH-grade event where there might not be a home to return to, and 2) where there would be no doubt there would be no home to return to.


    • What is the difference?

      My BOB is designed under the assumption that my home is in imminent danger of being destroyed or over ran by MZBs.

  • Daisy,
    Thanks for this article.
    Gonna order your ‘Frugal Living’ book.
    I hope & pray that you & yours are well and safe.
    Take care.


  • Have any of you checked out “Townsends” on youtube. Great stuff. How they lived in the 1700-1800s.
    Its all doable. As far as bug out just pack like you did for the field for former service members. You’ll be carrying extra like food. Learn Pemmican, and Hardtack. The rest is simple. Know what you can and can’t eat from local flora. If they could make it in the 1700-1800s you can to; but, it requires work. Don’t think it’ll be a camping trip. Hey some of you dumb arses don’t be killing big game if a rabbit or squirrel will do. Don’t be wasteful. The media and nay sayers want you to believe it can’t be done. Don’t you believe a word their telling you. They did it back then and survived so can you!

  • Thanks Toby!! Great article with very useful information in it!! Will save this and refer to it until we get all the bases covered!!

  • Per: 1stMarineJarHead
    What is the difference?

    My BOB is designed under the assumption that my home is in imminent danger of being destroyed or over ran by MZBs.

    For the benefit of our readers who have no idea what an MZB is, the acronym finder I used returned 17 possibilities, the most likely being Mutant Zombie Bikers.

    Re: What is the difference? [between INCH bags and any other type?

    There are countless articles and how-to videos floating around on various types of emergency bags such as bug out bags (typically with 3 days of supplies), EDC bags, vehicle survival bags, get home bags, travel gear bags, and so on. There are countless opinions and semi-overlapping gear lists to sort through. The I.N.C.H. bag category is a bit different. It assumes that you aren’t coming home ever — for whatever reason, whether naturemade or manmade calamity or maybe a choice was made to move elsewhere in the country or in extreme cases to even move to a different country.

    So the contents would probably need to vary widely, depending on a person’s motivation, the distance and time such a trip might take, whatever family obligations a person might have, the various people’s age / health / skills etc, and whatever willingness the person (or group) has to part with whatever “stuff” they have no ability or permits or financials to bring along.

    Probably the easiest example to put together might be for a young healthy adult in his or her 20s or 30s with no dependents, who is accustomed to frequent moves and so has accumulated minimal “stuff” and is accustomed to living as a minimalist. In contrast, probably the toughest case might be a much older person or couple in marginal health, with multiple dependents (grandkids, for example) who might have both earned and inherited several generations of family artifacts as well as the usual extended family stuff.

    Now consider some of the most extreme cases of known INCH bug outs — like the refugees from Hitler’s Europe in the 1930s. Frequently they arrived in America with little more than a couple of suitcases of stuff. In other cases such as the escapes from Stalin’s forced starvation of millions in Ukraine (called the Holodomor) circa 1932-33, there are horror stories of the eldest family members remaining behind as cover for the younger generations to escape — even while those elders knew they would pay the ultimate penalty to make it possible for their younger generations to survive in a new country.

    I’ve not seen these issues discussed in any detail, but I haven’t done a survey of the literature. I’m guessing that some of Daisy’s community of experienced writers have a lot more acquaintance with the varieties of INCH packing and the practical and demographic challenges involved.


  • I put liquids in zip lock bags a few years ago when I put my BOB together. Recently I went back and unpacked everything and found some of the bottles had leaked and ruined everything in the zip lock bag. I am trying individual vacuum bags for liquids this time. I will use zip lock bags after they are open. I also put my hand soap in one also due to the smell.

  • When looking for pencil and paper go to the farm store they have something called a calving diary. It’s water proof and can write in rain and wet even blood.

    Gloves there are some really nice woven Kevlar gloves that are tactile. They have an armored version which protects knuckles and other joints.

    Also look for multi use size items. Tarp that can be a bivy, dental floss and stitches and twine.

  • Is there a maximum weight limit you would suggest, Toby? I’m a small, petite woman weighing 110 lbs. There is a good chance I will have to bug out, and I’m prepared go on foot if I have to. To get to my bug out location will take me 3 days if I have to hike it. I’m afraid my bag may be overloaded and the weight I’m carrying is not sustainable. Heading into the colder months requires a few extras in my bag, and that adds extra weight. What are the absolute necessity to pack in my bag?

    • @H. Corrine,
      I am in the Great White North (snow and rain). So I can relate to the needing to load out for cooler/cold weather.

      I layer with performance clothing the best I can. Performance/synthetic base layer (not cotton), wool socks, good pair of hiking boots. Midlayer is generally fleece, jeans or winter pants for those really cold days. Outter layer is a good gortex parka or a serious cold weather parka.

      For a shelter, to stay light many people use a tarp style shelter. I have seen a few use some kind of poncho. Others small bivvi tents.

      I know some would disagree and say build a fire, but if there is snow on the ground, or it has been raining for a week straight, building a fire may not be possible. I carry a small camp stove and white gas fuel.

      Water and water filtration. Used to consider Lifestraws or similar. Then we had a drought and all the water sources I would of been able to use, dried up. Now I carry one of those dirty to clean, bag/bladder style water filters. Then I have 3L of water on hand, 6L if I fill the dirty bag too and filter after the clean bag is empty.
      Note: Even in cooler/cold weather, when expending energy, like hiking with a pack, you can become a heat case. Water is just as important as it is during warmer months.

      Food. Consider calorie dense food, freeze dried foods (if you go with the stove route), or even MREs.

      First aid kit of course.

      Head lamp/flashlight.

      Good quality fixed blade knife and folder. Does not have to be the Rambozwannbe 2.0 USB/WiFi enabled knife. Just something that works, has a good/comfortable sheath. I like KA-BARs as the end cap can be used as a hammer if a rock is not handy.

      Hat of some kind. I use a wide brim military style one. Then wear a wool Balaclava to keep my head warm. Augment with a shemagh around my neck. But I have a wool hat too.


      Sleeping bag.

      Camp bowls, spork.

      All in all, my pack will weight about 25lbs give or take a few pounds.

      Try to get your pack as light as possible, but at the same time keeping you safe.

      Hope this helps.
      Note: I am probably forgetting something as I have not had my coffee yet.
      Oh! Instant coffee or tea bags. Good morning moral booster.

    • Hi Halle Corrine,

      1st Marine has got you started with some great considerations. I’ll be creating more articles in this ‘often overlooked’ series in the coming weeks with more tips on considerations, weight saving ideas and tips.

      As a general note, you should aspire to never carry more than 20% of your total bodyweight, so ideally you will be building a BOB that weighs 22.5lbs or less… Please could you expand on your definition of ‘colder months’? I live in the Arctic, so cold for me can hit -45c/f (Not including windchill)

      Best wishes,


  • Very good tips indeed. I’ve been helping new preppers around here to put together their BOBs too, as survivalism is a relatively new concept where I live.

    I’ve found most people starting tend to think bugging out in terms of “comfort” rather than “necessity”, ending up with too heavy bags that can’t be carried without seriously limiting or even hurting them. I try to break that notion but it’s something that has to be experienced rather than taught so I end up taking some of them to the field (the streets) and at times the wilderness.

    For many without direct contact with some hardship, escaping dodge equals “go camping”, but even then they’d have a hard time taking care of the basics for survival. After a few training days this changes quite a bit. It’s nice to witness that change. Some adapt faster than others, and some just can’t stand it.

    It took me years of testing and training in the streets and into the wilderness to reach a 25lbs. BOB (plus pistol, ammo and some water) that I can use for escaping, camping, or living in the streets like a homeless for weeks. It does have some conveniences I’ve found in practice to be useful for survival, but it doesn’t have much in the way of comfort.

    One trick that has worked for me is practicing dealing with gear inside my bag in the dark, or without looking. At first it would take a lot of time, now I’m much better and faster at finding, grabbing, packing stuff, etc.

    At times I turn off the power at home and spend a few days without light, heat and gas only using my BOB gear to do everything, sleeping on the floor and all that. It helps testing the gear, what works and what’s dead weight, it also gives a feel of things and sharpen my senses too. After a session like that my shower and bed feel like heaven LOL.

  • One idea is taking along a range-finder. The one I have measures out to about a thousand yards. Its viewfinder is a 4 power monocular which I have found does help. In this I have one thing that does two tasks.

    How many other things that we can think of that do two or more tasks with one tool?

  • Re: Halle Corrine and the weight challenge for smaller people

    There is an in-between weight carrying solution not yet addressed in this article. Of course you can transport more weight in a motorized vehicle than if you’re on foot and limited to whatever weight your physiology can handle. But I routinely walk a load of groceries home that’s much heavier than I have any business trying to backpack. I have a little folding 2-wheels (5″ diameter, 1″ wide) luggage cart that’s rated for up to 150 pound loads. It works for airline travel (even international) or short grocery trips. If I wanted to use it for much longer on-foot or bicycle cargo trailer applications, it’s easy to add a couple of hand grip or belt-attachment rails. It was a $22 purchase from Aldi. [PS: the el cheapo quality version at my local Walmart is only rated for up to 60 pounds.] There are multiple designs on Amazon and eBay.

    To get an idea of the wide variety of such gadgetry, run a search on for HIKING TRAILER. There are single wheel and double wheel designs, DIY and retail, inexpensive to pricey. Some have been used for thousands of hiking miles.

    If I was bugging out by vehicle I’d want a bicycle tied on so that if the vehicle had to be abandoned I could attach that folding cargo trailer to the bicycle and go … preserving my ability to transport “more stuff.” Or if the terrain became unsuitable for that bicycle … that cargo trailer becomes a hiking trailer without any need to abandon some portion of the load.

    So there are better solutions for smaller people, people with muscular limitations, or even average people.


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