Use eBay to Buy A Bug Out Bag
Arguably one of, if not the, most important part of a bug out bag or any emergency kit is the bag itself.
I say this with some trepidation because other than holding the stuff inside of it, the bag serves no other life-saving purpose: you cant eat it, you cant shelter in it, and it can't protect you from the elements (in any significant way, other than wearing it on your head I suppose.)
But that said, if the bag fails you when you need it to do its intended job, then all of those life-saving items could be lost or damaged. It is in this spirit that we say that a good, well-made and durable bag, backpack, or what have you is critically important for an emergency kit.
Unfortunately, if you are buying a high-end backpack then the bag itself can be the most expensive part of your kit!
It can set you back almost as much as the rest of the kit itself. That's not ideal. You don't want 50% of your budget going to your backpack if you can avoid it.
So what to do? How can you get a top-of-the line Maxpedition, Eberlestock, or 5.11 bag for the same price as a Jansport?
3 + 1 Ways to Buy Good Bags for Cheap
There are the old-school ways of nabbing yourself a great backpack for cheap: surplus store, garage sale, local thrift store. These all work, but you are at the mercy of the geographic area you live in.
In a big city you might get a lot of options, places to look, to find that gem of a deal. But for the rest of us we might have to spend months or years of constant searching to find the right pack.
Thankfully there is another option, a MUCH better option, and that is good old eBay.com.
Many of you already know how incredible eBay is. It's the worlds largest garage sale!
What you might not have thought of is using it to procure some of the more expensive items you'll need for your emergency survival kit.
But wait, you say, isn't most of the stuff on eBay used?
Yes, and that is the entire point!
When we are talking about high-end gear, we are typically talking about products that have been designed to last thousands of hours of abuse. So even if someone has used them a few dozen times or so, they still might have years (or decades) of life left in them.
But the best part is, since the product is "used" it will often be 50% to 60% below "new" cost.
We've bought several packs off of eBay, all of them a year or two old, all of them looked brand new, and we got all of them for half the price of a new one.
How to eBay like a Ninja
Let's use the 5.11 Rush 72 backpack as an example, since it is an awesome pack and used ones are typically available.
Keep in mind that the 5.11 Rush 72 typically retails for $169.99 new.
(By the way if you buy anything with the links we provide on this page we get a small percentage of the sale. For more info click here.)
Head over to eBay.com.
Type "5.11 Rush 72" into the search bar on top.
Along the left hand side menu, look for the Condition menu. Click on Used.
(If this menu doesn't appear, then that means there are no Used ones available. But that is OK, more on that later.)
Now you have narrowed down to just the used bags.
Take a look and see what is available.
So the top one looks like the best deal, but is this the best price you can get?
What we really need to know is how much a used 5.11 Rush 72 typically goes for.
With a little eBay Kung-Fu we can find out! How??? HOW!?!?!?
OK, OK...I'll tell you!
Next to the search box on the top is a easy-to miss Advanced button.
(This is like, the greatest hyperlink in all of tha intarwebz!)
Click on that and take a look at the options there.
There is a Sold Listings check box. Click it and hit Search.
Now we can see all of the recently sold used 5.11 Rush 72 bags.
So with this information now you can decide what a good deal is for the Rush 72. It looks like they average in the $60-70 range.
That's 60% ($100) less than the retail price!
Good stuff, right?
What if What I Want Isn't Available?
So let's say there is a particular bag you wanted to get used, but there isn't one on eBay at the time.
Or say there are some used ones, but the price is too high?
That's OK because you can setup an alert to tell you when new ones appear either over email of via the eBay app on your phone or tablet.
Just click the Save This Search button under the search bar and let eBay do the work for you.
Some Bags to Look for:
There are quite a few of our favorite packs, and some of the best out there for a 72-Hour Emergency Kit, that appear regularly on eBay.
Here are some you should look at:
Ironcloud: 48L Duffel / Backpack. Typical used price: ~$120. New: $237.99.
Falcon II: 23L Backpack. Typical used price: $50 to $90. New: $179.99.
5.11 Rush 24: 37L Backpack. Typical used price: $50 to $80. New: $129.99.
F4 Terminator: 67L Monster Pack: Typical used price: around $200. New: $429.99.
Saving money is a big deal! You don't want to skimp on quality when building an emergency survival bag for yourself or your family.
Get the high-end gear you need without paying high-end prices by buying used where you can.
An this doesn't just apply to bags, you can get knives, tools, axes, you name it!