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
Yes, I have done something similar. I have divided my stuff into two. Clothes and personal stuff goes into a pull along bag and the tinned food is in a small cardboard box which slots into a a second pull along trolley bag. If need be the clothes bag can be put on top of the cardboard box and trolley and both pulled together.
For similar reasons, I’m depending on my 4-wheeled utility cart. I’d love to see more articles like this. The majority of us DON’T have military or mountain-climbing experience, so carrying a large backpack will be out of the question — particularly those of us with health problems or even just small children. I’d be interested in hearing about others’ hauling choices as related to their health or for transporting those who can’t walk on their own.
I agree; having this subject brought up is GOOD! The WE2’s both have what we call our “drag alone bags” which are the same solution to our desire to not have to carry anything so heavy that we “spring a leak” long before we’d get to the place we need to get to! In addition to our drag alongs, we both have tubular-shaped duffles that ride right on top of the suitcase part, and is strapped down with zip ties. In that duffle we’re able to carry water & high protein snacks etc. We carry no “precious metal” but…what a thought! :-) Small sized “precious metals” would fit right in! Our lab-brat also has a backpack that she carries. If she eats & drinks, she can carry it just like we do! LOL
The only comment I can add to this, is to PRACTICE with the wheeled bags! I went back to school this past year, and have a very nice backpack that can also be wheeled. It was comedic, watching me try to wheel it across campus and across the street! I got stuck in the middle of crossing the street, as it flipped over to the nonwheeled side midway through crossing! Crossing curbs was another challenge! Perhaps the wheeled luggage might be more stable than what I have, but just sharing my experience!
With the upcoming storm, just want to wish all well, be safe and stay warm!
I recently purchased a large wheeled collapsible market cart to enable me to unload the weekly grocery purchases including six gallon jugs of spring water to allow me to make the one trip I am able presently in my handicapped condition from the car to the house. It has been absolutely wonderful and as my condition and age has caused me to shift from a bugging out mode to a bugging in mode, I have used this cart to retrieve a couple of caches. I have found that changing to larger wider wheels from a scrapped out high wheel mower considerably eased the process in terms of physical exertion and only increased the folded dimensions by a couple of inches in height an width. My concern now is durability and I am presently in discussion with the vendor who welded 7p a titanium tubed cage for a home built helicopter I was building some uears back to duplicate this steel portion in titanium for just in case. He informed me that the titanium welded mesh was already available on the marked only leaving the wheel mounts to be welded to the tubing since all else was attached with drilled holes. He made the suggestion that I just use aviation type tube mounting clamps to alleviate the weakening of the small diameter tubing by drilling holes in it. He suggested just to buy the tubing and plate stock along with the clamps and copy the cart in that manner. He does not stock the mesh material since he only deals in surplus cut offs from the aviation industry and does not personally know anyone who would retail such a small quantity of the mesh material but I will do a search to see if I can obtain some reasonably to fabricate a durable folding cart since I can not perform any thing more physical demanding and even though the carts are available commercially the cost of replacing that is not totally satisfactory is more prohibitive than fabricating something that is purposely built for this rough service. I had even tried the golf bag cart but it too was not an adequate solution. You may well want to look into something like this for your situation. While I was still physical able to walk, I still consolidated everything into multiple twenty five pound plastic totes I had modified with lid sealing gaskets and latches that I used four of each along with a milk crate that held four gallon jugs of the spring water so I could readily load the truck easily. Four tubs and the water crate constituted a generous four day supply for two people for shelter, cooking, hygiene and meals and could be easily handled by ourselves at the time. The extra five gallon jug of tap water for hygienic purposes still had to be handled on a small size collapsible dolly that I had installed over sized wheels on that I moved the supplies on in three trips in the rough areas we had to traverse from the camouflaged truck parking site to our secluded camping sit which was about another half mile through the woods. I constantly strive to ease the strain and pain to the point of installing a wheeled access ramp alongside the porch even,though we are both still mobile enough to ascend the two short flight of steps from the vehicle parking to the porch floor to ease the usage of the shopping cart. I have several wheeled dollies of various types in various locations that I have accumulated and modified over the years so if I have to transport anything heavy or awkward I can always use the dollies since I have more time than physicl abilities anymore and they have indeed been a godsend.
Congrats! You’ve found a nitch. There’s a bunch of us old codgers out here with age, and health issues.
I was in Staples late last summer, and noted that they offered a pull along bag, but that also had shoulder straps to carry as a backpack. I didn’t buy one, as it was over $40.00. I guess that it was intended for students who have very heavy books to hall around.
I have reduced the weight of my BOB by employing some of the basic principles embraced by the Ultra Light Backpacking movement. Reducing redundancy as much as practical, Removing as much sub-kit packaging as possible from what I carry, and where necessary, replacing it with kitchen zip lock bags, and by looking for lighter versions of essential gear.
Bugging out always comes down to one of two things, either refugeeing from a place of perceived danger to a place of perceived safety, usually a one way trip, or escaping and evading, which can only last for a limited about of time, due to supply, health, and safety issues. For refugeeing, your wheeled set up, has promise. For escaping and evading, not so much. Then there’s the issue of someone grabbing it away from you.
This buggy is not intended to bugg out in but to reclaim previously cached supplies since the focus is now on remaining in place due to physical abilities caused by advancing age 0f 74 and the need to reclaim costly needed supplies.
I’m still considering/researching 2 wheel “deer-hauling carts” like the one on Sportsman’s Guide. Handles 250 lb, according to specs. That one has an available ATV trailer-hitch, so I suspect I could find a way to (illegally) haul it behind my “backup vehicle” – a motorscooter, if roads were really bad.