Bug Out Packs
What to Include in Bug Out Bags for Children and Seniors

Once you've got your own bags sorted, you need to start thinking about bug out packs for those people in your group who might not be able to pack their own gear. This primarily includes the very young and the very old, and proper preparations for these two groups is essential if you are to have any hope of moving safely from place to place with speed.

Packing for Children

Many survival debates have focused over whether to make children fully aware of why they need to have bug out packs ready to go at a moment's notice. On the one hand, many children like to know exactly what's going on, and it may be easier to motivate them to keep quiet and move quickly if they understand the seriousness of the situation. 

On the flip side, they will quickly lose their childhood innocence if they believe they could be under attack at any time which may cause them to flip out when the apocalypse comes. At the end of the day, it will depend on your kids.

In terms of bug out bags, you should sit with your child to pack away the following essentials:

  • Emergency whistle - in a stressful situation, you won't be able to rely on your child to make good choices and you may well get split up from them. Having an emergency whistle strapped to the outside of their pack will mean that they can contact you, whatever the situation. Make sure you give them an opportunity to practice making sounds with the whistle so they feel certain about how to use it.
  • Flashlight - not every child is afraid of the dark, but in a survival situation, they will be much more afraid of their surroundings. A flashlight will provide them with some comfort and add some security to your whole party which will make them feel important. Again, make sure that they know how to use it and that you take plenty of spare fully charged batteries.
  • Stuffed toy - this may not sound like an essential item, but your main goal when bugging out with kids is to keep them happy for as long as possible. Sit with your child as they pick one toy out who will travel with you to look after your child. This comfort will help them be more resilient which in turn will help you move quicker and set up camp faster.

Bug Out Packs for Seniors

You will also need to think about bug out packs for any elderly members of your survival party. The two key reminders here are warmth and mobility. Hypothermia will be a real risk to the elderly if all power is lost, so you need to pack plenty of thermal underwear and thick fleeces for them. Microfiber clothes will pack up pretty small and are reasonably lightweight too. 

In terms of mobility, make sure that any walking aids can be broken down quickly and easily to save space, and that if they require a walker with wheels that someone in your party has a puncture repair kit. 

In an ideal survival situation, everyone will be able to carry all of their own equipment. However, if you are travelling with children and/or the elderly, their bug out packs will need to be much smaller and lighter than everyone else's so that they can keep up with the pack. This will mean that the rest of their equipment and provisions will need to be carried in other people's packs. 

Make sure that you discuss this with the rest of the party before handing out the additional equipment and come to an agreement as to who will shoulder the extra weight.

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