It’s no surprise that many survivalists and preppers are gun enthusiasts. Whether or not someone in these groups is distrustful of the government (many of us are), the sheer practicality of having a firearm for self-defense and for hunting makes it a practical item to have around and to be comfortable with. But, even with obvious benefits to having a firearm with you in a disaster situation, you still would be prudent to have taken everything into consideration before packing a gun and ammo into your bug out bag.
One factor to consider is how much weight you can carry, especially if you have to carry it very long. Think about it for a moment: You may be able to (relatively) comfortably carry fifty pounds for a few minutes, but, if you have to hike to your bug out location, can you carry fifty pounds for a half-hour hike back through some woods? Or maybe up a mountain trail? You see, weight tends to “magnify” the longer that we carry something. So, you need to consider the extra weight of both your firearm and ammo that you will be carrying. It could make your bug out bag’s weight impractical for you. As John Boch puts it:
The biggest mistake people make in crafting their packs is over-estimating their load-carrying ability.
For most of us, our 18th birthday is nothing but a speck in the rear-view mirror. Our clothes have inexplicably shrunk in the laundry. We may have picked up ailments or disabilities along the way that we have to contend with. Carrying sixty or eighty pounds on a five mile hike over even ideal terrain just isn’t in the cards.
When in the field, remember that ounces feel like pounds, and pounds equal pain.
Carrying a gun and ammunition in a pack will quickly add a lot of pain to a hike, especially for those in poor physical shape. What’s more, the handgun you’ll want to have probably should be concealed about your person so it can be readily deployed if needed. Don’t bury your gat under your Goretex and other gear.
As for extra ammunition? Like food and water, ammo weights a lot. Unless you expect to have to fight your way through Little Mogadishu on your way home, a sidearm and a reload or two will probably suffice for 99.99% of likely contingencies.
Also, consider the kind of firearm that you will carry. If it’s a small weapon, you can put it in your bag or carry concealed. But, if you bug out with a rifle or shotgun, you may attract attention. And attention is not something that you want when you are trying to disappear.
So, with those considerations in mind, what weapon do you plan on having on hand with your bug out bag? Tell us below.