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Picture shows the back of a military surplus backpack with brown vinyl bottom in Polish puma camo.

Camping & Survival

The Budget Bug-Out Bag: 20 Cheap Essentials

Don’t let the price of prepping scare you off. If you are strapped for cash, you can build a budget bug-out bag perfect for your car, or for an unexpected disaster that will keep you dry, fed, warm, and hydrated for 24 hours. Here is a list of essential items, most of them well under $10.

This picture shows a black plastic burial case.

Camping & Survival

Ammo Can 72-Hour Bug Out Kit

Can you pack a 72-hour bug out survival kit in such a small area? You sure can. Working with a small space means you eliminate heavy and unnecessary items. When you gotta get outta Dodge quickly food, water and shelter are your main priorities. These three essentials, plus a few extras all fit in a .50 caliber ammo can. Why an ammo can? Ammo cans take up little space, can be stored virtually anywhere and are stackable. I have seen ammo cans used as center consoles in vehicles and as alternative to saddlebags on motorcycles. An ammo can, be it metal or plastic can withstand temperature extremes and have water-resistant O-ring and gasket seals. So storing them in basements, attics, crawl spaces, and even buried underground means the gear inside stays dry. Metal military surplus ammo cans are durable, while new plastic ammo cans are untraceable to metal detectors—in case you want to cache your gear.

The medical tactical trauma kit works well as is or as a stand-alone backpack.

Gear, Parts and Accessories

The Best Backpacks for Everyday Carry and Bugging Out

As someone who used to travel half way around the world twice a year, I know how onerous a task it can be picking a bag. The wrong size or shoddy construction can spell disaster with a capital D if your bag does not stand up to its intended purpose. Bags come in all different shapes and sizes; you have simple two pocket backpacks, large duffel bags, load-bearing tactical backpacks, and messenger-style shoulder bags. They aren’t created equal either. Your Jansport from high school won’t work for a hiking trip in the Rockies. Whether you are picking a bag for your bug-out gear, a weekend camping trip or for every day carry—you must consider size, shape and capacity. You’re bound to find one that fits your needs from everyday carry to a weekender from’s five top selling backpacks.

Blades and Knives

Top 10 Techniques & Tips (Nov 17, 2012)

The CTD staff has compiled dozens of how-to articles over the years, covering purchases, tactics, storage, and many other topics. But a handful of stories has piqued the community’s interest. Click below to check out our top-10 most-read technique items from the archives.

Bug-out bag and gear

Camping & Survival

Bug Out Bags and What to Put in Them

A bug-out bag doesn’t have to be the bag sitting around in your garage waiting for an emergency evacuation situation. It can also be your grab and go bag for all different types of situations like road trips and hunting, camping and hiking trips. It generally takes search and rescue 24 hours to respond to a distress signal. Here’s how to pack your bug-out bag to survive until help arrives.