My Christmas List For Carrying Guns, Bugging Out & Other Ideas

Loading up for back-country hiking with my boys

While it is nearly impossible to find a tool or load out that works best for all situations, I continually find myself creating lists of things I want and that go well together for different tasks. Mission dictates everything, and companies design dedicated gear to fit specific situations. For the purpose of this article, I will list some of the items I would love to have for a quick bugging-out scenario. This will be far from a comprehensive list, but rather some products I would find useful in this sort of situation. Currently, there are also some pretty good holiday sales going on for those looking to snag anything mentioned below! 

Now, what do I mean by bugging out? In this situation, I am going to mention the gear I would like to have for getting from point A to point B quickly. This isn’t a wishlist for complete wilderness survival, but rather enough to egress out to a better location to reassess current events. This list could be modified to fit your needs, but it’s a starter for me. 

Concealed Carry: 

As always, I think people should be concealed carrying, and especially so in a bug-out type scenario. I would recommend this to be your typical every-day-carry or EDC. It is always good to have extra ammo, so carrying your gun in a holster such as the Blackhawk Stache would be a good idea. I have been appendix carrying for years, and this option seems minimalist, flexible, and affordable. MSRP is $34 for the base model and $55 for the premium model which includes an extra mag carrier. These holsters are injection molded and boast the ability to have thicker sidewalls where needed to increase strength where traditional Kydex holsters may fail. 

  • Made in the USA
  • Ambidextrous, adaptable for right or left hand carry
  • Impact-reinforced, injection molded polymer design
  • Low profile shirt guard adds comfort without inhibiting draw stroke
  • Can easily be adapted into several modular configurations or carry positions
  • Compatible with handgun mounted RDS optics
  • Compatible with an assortment of Stache™ IWB carry accessories
  • Designed to accept popular Discreet Carry Concepts Gear Clips™ Mod-4
  • Friction adjustable passive retention
  • 1.5″ J-style belt clip adjustable for height & cant
The Premium Blackhawk Stache shown on their website

Bug-Out-Bag:

Anytime I travel I always bring my essentials in some sort of bag. The Badlands Sacrifice LS looks to be a great option and is worth a spot on my Christmas list due to its modularity and size. Coming in at 3,400 cubic inches, this pack can carry a good amount of gear without becoming cumbersome. It features a Hypervent Suspension system which pulls moisture from your back keeping it cooler for those quick egress situations. This pack also features a hip-belt pistol holster which is ideal since an inside waistband holster (IWB) wouldn’t be compatible due to the hip-belt system going over your waist and applying load into an IWB holster. I have tried it, and it was the worst. A hip-belt holster is quick to access and comfortable. I hiked a 70-mile loop with some serious elevation change and had absolutely no issues with a hip-belt holster last summer, and have done many miles since. The Sacrifice LS also features a detachable bow/rifle boot to sort of bridge the gap between a quick-go bag, and something to sustain longer periods off the grid. 

Specs:

  • Total Volume: 3,400 CI
  • Main Pocket Volume: 2,160 CI
  • Total Weight: 3 LB, 13 OZ
  • Dimensions: 28 IN x 15 IN x 11 IN
  • Pockets: Seven

Features:

  • Carries Rifle or Bow
  • Hip-Belt Pistol Holster
  • Easy-Access Hip-Belt Pouches
  • Hypervent™ Suspension
  • Reinforced Carrying Strap/Hanging Strap
  • Aramid Bartacking on Stress Points
  • Hydration Compatible (Up to 3L)
  • Wrapped Frame
  • Ultralight Ripstop Fabric
  • Load-Distributing Flex Rods
  • Multiple Lash Points
  • Top Loader Design
  • Floating Lid
  • Built-in Rifle or Bow Boot for Easy Carry
  • C6 DWR
The Badlands Sacrifice LS shown on their website

Food:

Food is essential. Whether you are bugging-out, or just reading this article on a typical day, having food on hand is essential. Don’t wait for a crisis to try and find food, get it while the gettin’ is good. Within the last year, we have witnessed the fragility of our supply chains due to COVID and food scares. Keeping your pantries stacked is a great and realistic option, and stocking them with food that has a long shelf life is even better. I have months worth of food with a 25-year shelf life from My Patriot Supply. I started by buying their 3-month Emergency-food-supply a while back due to having the most calories per dollar and have no regrets. While not ultralight for backpacking out, we need to face the reality that most people will be traveling to better locations with vehicles that could transport this food. The current sale price on a 3-month supply of food is posted at $647 when bought directly from My Patriot Supply. 

3-month Emergency-food-supply shown on My Patriot Supplies website

Transportation:

I feel like having extra fuel on hand is a very overlooked aspect of preparedness, and I have even had coworkers make fun of me for it. If you don’t currently have enough gas to get you to your bug-out location on hand, you are wrong. Go buy some 5-gallon gas cans for $20 from your local Walmart or Tractor Supply and fill them up. I have enough to get both my wife’s vehicle and my own out to where I want to go if things get crazy, and I rotate through the fuel every few months. Don’t be naive, gas shortages happen, and your ability to egress is totally up to you. 

A 5-gallon gas can shown on Tractor supplies website

Scouting: 

Since this is a Christmas list, and I am not ashamed to have expensive tastes, I will also list the Vortex Fury HD 5000 AB range finding binoculars. These seem to be everything I ever wanted in regards to a rangefinder and a binocular setup combining both into one sleek package. These can range reflective targets from 5-5000 yards, range trees from 5-2400 yards, and range deer from 5-1600 yards. The glass looks superb, and the unit looks to be built tough. It also features an Applied Ballistics system onboard allowing one to range a target and get the hold over for their uploaded ballistic profile in seconds. Even for those who are not shooting, having a rangefinder built into a pair of binoculars is nice to have for hiking and judging distances. The binoculars feature Vortex’s “HD Optical System Optimized with select glass elements to deliver exceptional resolution, cut chromatic aberration, and provide outstanding color fidelity, edge-to-edge sharpness, and light transmission.”

Specifications:

  • Magnification 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter 42 mm
  • Eye Relief 16 mm
  • Exit Pupil 4.2 mm
  • Linear Field of View 321ft/1000 yds
  • Angular Field of View 6.1 degrees
  • Close Focus 18.5 feet
  • Interpupillary Distance 58-72 mm
  • Height 5.8 inches
  • Width 5.0 inches
  • Weight 32.4 oz

 

The Vortex Fury HD 5000 AB range finding binoculars shown on their website

This is by far from a comprehensive list, but these items would put everyone who wields them in a much better position than those without. These are some of the things I prioritize, but altering this list to add/subtract/or substitute is valid as well. Find what works for you, but whatever you do, don’t wait until a disaster to try and find what you need. Be mindful, and think about what you can get right now to help you down the road. 

About the author: Mitchell Graf is passionate about hunting and competition shooting. During college he was the shooting instructor for Oklahoma State’s Practical Shooting Team, and these days he spends as much time as he can chasing after pigs and coyotes with night vision and thermals. You can follow Mitchell’s adventures over at his Instagram @That_Gun_Guy_

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  • Phil Dru December 10, 2022, 7:52 am

    Bug out? Where ya goin? COVID lockdowns gave a good indication of what will occur. Roving patrols with road closures, police blockades, and other lockdown methods. I believe people are delusional if they think travel will be easy. Best advice is to be where you want to be right now. And one had better have what they need now. The only ones that might have a chance for “bugging out” are ones living at the fringes of civilization.

  • bruce December 9, 2022, 1:10 pm

    I’ll say, calories! This list will ensure your paranoid survivalist grows a substantial gut waiting for armageddon.

  • Jay Smith December 9, 2022, 9:09 am

    Might also make sure to include a “no batteries” required optic. Either your scope , or even a range finder monocular type.

  • Mike in a Truck December 9, 2022, 8:56 am

    Yeah those Government bureaucrat ( who never did any work) approved nozzles are for 3 handed monkeys. At the beginning of every month I always buy a new gas can and fill it. I also fill the emplty ones. I use stabil in them and label the date filled and rotate them into use. I also do the same with diesel fuel. I wont say how many I got lined up out back but my generator chainsaws, and JD tractor are well fed. Oh- dont store them in your basement or attached garage!

  • Sigo November 28, 2022, 11:08 am

    You might want to change out those pesky nozzle on your new gas cans. It will save you allot of time when using them.

    • Mitchell Graf November 28, 2022, 7:31 pm

      You are not wrong, I’ve used the new standard nozzles and they are literally the worst.

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