We all have check lists for what our bug out bag needs to have in it: food, water, first aid, clothes, etc. Today I’ll like to talk a little bit about the clothes that each of us should have in our BOBs, because I have found that many preppers neglect this important step and end up packing the wrong stuff.

In the effort of making the BOB as lightweight as possible and save up room for food and water, most people pack clothes that don’t take up much space. It’s true that having plenty of food, and especially water, is crucial to survival, but they’re not going to matter much if you’re freezing to death on a cold winter night somewhere out in the woods.

The type of clothes that you pack will be primarily influenced by where you live. So if you’re up north were the weather changes in a blink of an eye, and temperatures drop to 10 F, you’ll probably pack clothes that will keep you warm. Those that live further south, will most likely pack lighter clothing.

Another thing to take into account when packing your apparel is where is your bug out location. Maybe the climate there is different from where you live, so you’ll need to pack accordingly. This is a point that most people overlook when stocking up their bug out location: clothes. Don’t make the same mistake!

But regardless of your local climate or your BOL’s climate, the clothes you pack should follow these 3 simple principles:

1. Protection


This implies protection against the elements and protection against other potential threats. Now I’m not suggestion you where Kevlar or a suit of armor, but your clothes should prevent you from getting scratched, bruised, cut, etc. So if you like wearing shirts, pick thicker ones, think lumberjack style. As a good rule of thumb you should always wear long sleeves and long pants.

Dry heat, wet rain, chilly nights, it doesn’t matter, your clothing should keep you from heat sickness, sun exposure, frostbite and hypothermia. Another thing to keep in mind is that the clothes you wear should not hinder your mobility or you efficiency with the weapons you carry.

2. Durability

ep_20.4The clothing you pack should have a high level of durability. In most disaster scenarios, the period of time in which you’ll be out there is unknown and once you’re in survival mode anything can happen, so you need to be able to rely on your apparel to take a beating and remain intact.



3. Camouflage

ep_20.5The clothing you wear should allow you to blend into the environment we’re you’re going to live. When we talk about camouflage, most of you will imagine a khaki military type camouflage gear. That’s ok if your BOL is somewhere in the woods. If you plan on bugging in and surviving within your immediate community, going around in camouflage gear may not be the best move. The idea here is to pick out clothes that don’t make you stand out and don’t draw unwanted attention on you.

Most of the time we buy clothes for aesthetics, but when you go out and you buy clothes that you’ll need for survival, throw aesthetics out the window and pick functional apparel. When a catastrophe hits, being well dressed doesn’t do you any good, if you’re wet, cold and dying.

What is your pick of survival clothing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  1. I find that a food saver vacuum sealer is very handy in not only minimizing the size of area the clothes take up but will also keep the clothes dry and the bags can be reused for a lot of different things if you make the package a good bit larger than the items you are storing.

  2. The phrase to remember is “Philmont rules apply.” Years ago, as an adult Scouting leader, I did an expedition at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. It rains every day there, usually 30-45 minutes every afternoon. So everything we took — clothing, flashlight, spare backpack parts, etc. — was packed in ZipLoc bags. To make life easier, I labeled each bag so I could tell what had been in it. And hopefully repack each bag as it had been used. Better to pack smaller bags, so a set of underwear could be in one bag. Here are a few other suggestions… don’t pack deodorants, shavers, or anything with fragrance. Keep your food items in separate ZipLocs to make it easier to isolate food from your BOB – bears, chipmunks, etc. LOVE to eat holes in BOBs looking for food – they follow their noses. And anything with fragrance (not found in nature) attracts animals. Hope these ideas help.

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