I am not ashamed to say that I am 63 years old. I have been a prepping since I have been 17 years old. This is a long time before “Prepping” was fashionable. I was in the U.S. Military, Law Enforcement and worked for a number of years as an E.M.T.
Until two (2) years ago, my bug out bag was a large back pack loaded with everything I thought would be useful in case I needed to bug out in an emergency. My bug out back pack weighed a little more than 74 pounds. Then I had a series of medical emergencies that changed everything.
I had a heart attack and now have a heart condition called “A. Fib.” About six (6) months after that I fell and blew out my entire left shoulder. I now have more screws, pins and plates in my left shoulder than I have in my tool box. The strength and range of motion, in my left shoulder, is greatly reduced.
I tried to put on my bug out bag and learned quickly that it was NOT going to happen. Also I doubt that I could carry it very far.
I then tried a large black duffle bag. When I placed all of the gear that I had in my Bug Out back pack in the black duffel bag, I could not lift it and carry it for very long. I had to find another solution.
Inception of the Rolling”Bug Out Cart” Idea
One day, I went to pick up a friend of mine at the airport. While waiting for him to arrive I observed the solution to my dilemma, a large, wheeled, soft sided piece of luggage. I could put whatever I wanted in the piece of luggage, no matter what the weight. I could then wheel it to my truck and put it in the bed of my truck for transport. If I had to evacuate by foot, for whatever reason, or abandon my truck, I could pull it on its wheels wherever I needed to go.
I have purposely not hung anything on the outside of the roller bug out bag so it looks just like a piece of luggage and not a bug out bag. This is very important so you do not make yourself more of target than you have to. What is nice is that I have even placed my M-4 rifle, disassembled in two (2) pieces, upper and lower halves and the ammo and magazines for it, in this wheeled bag. I can walk down the street pulling it and I look like a tourist.
So now I have everything that I would normally have in a bug out backpack plus extra firepower.
Other Bug Out Bag Ideas
Upon seeing this idea, many of the commenters to the original article I wrote have given some great ideas on other options to utilize. Here are some of them:
- Deer Cart
- Use several smaller bags and pack them inside the larger roller luggage bag. This way if there was a problem with the larger roller luggage bag, you could take out the smaller bags and continue on.
- collapsible, folding, luggage hand truck
- golf bag cart
- yard cart
- Storm Case with wheels
- how about a rickshaw
My$30 Shopping Cart Turned Survival Cart
Here’s what I was thinking: One of the most important things that you should do during an actual Bug Out, should you be unfortunate to have to leave on foot for whatever reason, is NOT to stand out. You should blend in with the other people that are also leaving.
You should become one of the invisible people in our society.
If you plan on dressing in your BDUs and looking like G.I. Joe, pulling an expensive cart with a lot of items that other people need and/or want; you are making yourself a BIG target. You are going to stand out. You will even have the police stopping you and checking you out.
As far as what to wear if you have to Bug Out on foot. Just look around at the homeless people in your area. What do they wear? This is how you want to dress. You DO NOT want to stand out.
What type of reliable cart should you push/pull if you cannot get out in some type of vehicle? What type of cart do the homeless people use in your area?
Here in New Orleans, the only type of cart that I see the invisible, homeless, people use is the one that “Patriot One” suggests. The grocery cart!
The grocery cart is very durable. It can carry a lot of weight. You can tie and/or hang things from the sides of the grocery cart. You are pushing the grocery cart so your property is in front of you. If you pull some type of a cart, the items that you’re carrying in it are in back of you. That makes those items easier to steal without you noticing it. Also, if something falls out of the cart that you are pulling, you will probably not realize that it is missing for a while.
Another advantage that the grocery cart has is that you can put some of your weight on the handle to help steady yourself in case you have bad knees or if you need assistance in walking. Think of when you go to the grocery store!
When you think about packing whatever you decide to take with you, try dividing up your food, water, clothes, etc. into numerous bundles of equal size and then placing those bundles in plastic trash bags in the grocery cart. By doing so those small bundles become more manageable and pack easier.
In addition, by placing them in plastic trash bags your items will stay dryer if it should rain. The plastic bags also keep the dust in the air off of the items that you have packed. Also people watching you cannot tell what you are transporting. If someone should run up to your cart and grab one of your bags and run away, you have not lost everything. Another advantage to using the plastic garbage bags is that you can reuse those bags numerous other ways, if need be.
You can even secure a pistol holster into the child’s seat area of the grocery cart. Then place some lightweight object over the handgun to conceal it. Your handgun would be almost immediately accessible if you need it, and always in sight.
The one drawback of the grocery cart is the same one that the roller suitcase has. It is not built to go off of the street or sidewalk. However, how many of you senior citizens will be going deep into the woods? Or, would you just be trying to get out of whatever major city you are in, any way you can.
The larger pull carts, such as the deer cart or garden wagon, are great ideas and maybe the answer for you. But if you are a senior citizen, like me, with bad knees and a heart problem and decide you have to attempt to walk out of a TEOTWAWKI situation, a grocery cart seems more the ideal solution to my problem. How far will I get? I do not know but at least it gives me an option other than Bugging In!
I must admit that I do like the yard cart. If you have small children or grandchildren, the yard cart would be something to consider. You could place two small children and the items need to take care of them in the yard cart. This beats hand carrying them in your arms. In addition, I think the yard cart would be easier to go off road and possibly take into the woods. If you decide that the garden cart is right for you, be sure to take a can of “Fix A Flat” and a bicycle air pump. These carts have inflatable tires. Again, remember “Murphy’s Law”!
A question came up that you should not plan on leaving wherever you are on foot. My thinking on this is just another option. You should ALWAYS keep all of your options open. Besides, if you are planning on using a car, motorcycle, or ANY other type of gasoline or diesel motor vehicle in a major prolonged national disaster, you are going to have a problem. Gasoline and diesel fuel are a finite resource. In other words, sooner or later you are going to run out of whatever fuel that is required to run your motor vehicle. So, some type of wheeled cart should be a requirement in you Bug Out plans.
Contributed by: The Coach