Bug Out Clothing
Planning your bug out clothing and weather protection needs are quite obviously region specific. Southerners probably don't need full winter jackets in the summer, while those in the northern climes are probably good without watershoes or bathing suits during the winter months.
First-hand experience here is important. If you've never spent a full day in the rain trying to do something you have no idea how soaked you can get even with a good parka and boots.
Be prepared for each season you may encounter, and practice being outside in the extreme temperatures doing some of the survival tasks you may be one day called upon to use. Its quite an eye opener as to what you can and can't accomplish.
All the fashionistas are raving about the hot new quasi-tactical bush styles coming out of Utah this year. Prepper is in. Camo in Bloomingdales? Hmm...maybe next year.
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Having the right kind of socks is critically important. That's why they are at the top of this list. People tend to overlook them entirely.
The cheap cotton tube socks you got from the local store are garbage. Sorry to be harsh but it's true.
Proper care of your feet is an absolute must. It cannot be overstated. Those cheapo socks are going to get wet, create blisters, then it's game over. Read our guide on how to prevent and treat blisters.
There is only one company that we trust with our feet, and it is Darn Tough Vermont.
Darn Tough Socks
Price: $15 - 30
Buy Direct from Darn Tough | Buy on Amazon: MENS WOMENS
Don't skimp on socks. Good socks that will last you a lifetime can cost $15 - $20 a pair. That is pricey, yes, but that one pair of good socks can outlast 8 - 10 of the cheap ones.
Couple that with the fact that companies like Darn Tough offer a lifetime warranty for their products, and you end up saving money over the long term. Buy once, cry once as they say.
Nearly all of their socks use Merino wool, which is exceptionally comfortable and will keep you from getting blisters and foot irritation, even when wet. This is very important as blisters can turn into infections, and infections can lead to death.
Read our detailed article about Darn Tough, and why we love them so darned much!
Some of our favorites:
Darn Tough has a Tactical Series of socks. If you are just starting out, start here.
What we like about this line-up is that it keeps it simple. You have different sizes based on the boot/shoe you wear in both Men's and Women's and the materials stay more or less the same.
One other sock we really love, especially if you live in warm climates, want something to run in/work out it, or your feet tend to get hot with wool:
Coolmax Vertex No Show Tab Ultra-Light
Where we live it gets very hot. So we need lightweight socks that don't trap in heat. We've looked everywhere over the years to find something that works: cotton is too thick, nylon by itself falls apart.
Darn Tough cracked the code, and made a bombproof sock that breathes. Thank you Darn Tough. We now have 10 pairs in our family that are over 6 years old, and are worn nearly every day and are still, STILL, going strong as the day we got them.
Bug Out Survival Clothing Gear
The best types of shirts to get for an emergency kit or bug out bag would be anything that can dry quickly. Why?
Because when you are on the move from place to place, you might need to wash clothing items in a sink or stream. You will need those items to dry overnight so you can hit the road again the next morning if need be.
If you have every traveled around for more than a week at a time or done some backpacking trips you know what I'm talking about.
These shirts are great for both warm and cool environments. Vented and fast-drying moisture wicking with UV protection for those warmer days. Fits loose enough to add a base layer underneath.
For winter and colder climate suggestions, see our article about Preparing for Winter Storms.
5.11 Mens & Ladies Pants
Price: $30 - $70
Buy Direct from 5.11 | Buy on Amazon: MENS WOMENS
5.11 makes top-notch tactical gear used by professionals around the world. We particularly like their TacLite material. It's tough, stain resistant, and dry quickly. Great all-season use and comfortable enough to sleep in. You can wear these pants for days on end and not feel dirty or smelly.
We've had our foe years and they still look like new.
They make many different styles and types, so find the kind that works for you. Many of these pants have lots of useful pockets you wouldn't find elsewhere.
5.11 Mens & Ladies TacLite Shorts
Time to accessorize
Cotton Military Boonie Hat
Cheapy hat with neck strap. Very important to keep your sun exposure down and regulate body temperature in hot climates. You will want a warmer hat of course, for sub-freezing temperatures. Can be waterproofed. We prefer this over more expensive versions because it can be crushed and smashed into our backpacks.
Waterproof Ripstop Hooded Poncho
There are several things to consider when buying a poncho. Most of the ones you see are cheap and have zero-durability. A ripstop poncho can stand a few holes pokin' into it and won't fall apart on you after a few uses. You want grommets (aka eyelets) so you can attach cord or bungees to it and use your poncho as a shelter or tarp.
Shemagh Head Neck Scarf
Shemaghs are very useful with over 33 different ways to use one. Available from any army navy supply store or online. They make great head and neck coverings and have been used for many years around the world. Offers both thermal and dust protection. Really comfy and they make you look like one bad dude...well...maybe.
Sea to Summit Mosquito Head Net
Who like mosquitoes and flies? Keep those bloodsuckers and their noseeum pals off your noggin with a head net. You could go with a full body net as well if you really want, but this should probably keep most people set. If you live in a place where the bugs are that bad anyway, you probably already know by now what you are up against.
NEXT STEP: Water Treatment & Containment