Katrina replays, earthquake flurries, political unrest, and oh yes, zombies. These are perilous times. No longer are you the nutcase (you clicked on this article, didn’t you?). You’re the norm, the prudent solid citizen preparing for the time when the evening jaunt to the corner grocer may be fraught with peril that has little to do with the indigestion left by those heavenly spicy mini-tacos.
Now, the happy-in-their-iPad-bubble unprepared are the nutcases. Disaster looms, and whether it’s via super volcano or a super virus, it pays to be prepared. The following will help you ensure that your bug-out-bag is not only properly equipped to feed and protect you and yours, but to maintain the tools that do so.
By now, we all have (or should have) our 72-hour kits packed and ready to go. Most of these kits include food and water, first aid, heat/light source and a change of clothing. In addition to these supplies, many people consider firearms to be an essential part of their kit; however, proper firearm supplies are often omitted from bug-out bag shakedown lists.
On the plus side, most shooters already know and own everything that they should include; for the most part, it’s the same stuff we keep in our range bags—minus the melted Snickers bar and used ear plugs. Just remember, all items should be able to serve multiple purposes to be as space/weight efficient as possible.
But you don’t have to fill your bag with bottles of powder solvent, copper remover and a one-piece cleaning rod. You can look through your gear and assemble a travel-size kit from what you have on hand, or you can consider one of the compact cleaning kits on the market today. Most include everything needed to keep your firearms working properly and come in a variety of sizes, applications, calibers and prices. I opted for Otis’s 3-Gun cleaning kit and Safariland’s Break Free CLP Precision Shooter dispenser.
The 3-gun kit includes all the necessities needed to maintain your .223/5.56mm, 9mm, .40, .45, and even a 12-gauge shotgun. Plus, Otis supplies our folks out on the front line—if it’s good enough for military pros, it is absolutely good enough for me.
Safariland’s Precision Shooter is easy on space and weight, and the pen dispenser provides pinpoint placement of CLP exactly where it’s needed. Plus, when it comes to lube, it’s hard to find a more tried and tested product than Break Free CLP. Price: Otis 3-Gun cleaning kit, $70; Safariland’s Break Free CLP Precision Shooter dispenser, $7
Surefire’s X400 WeaponLight is renowned for its ability to throw an exceptionally bright light, and for its laser that is bright enough to spot in daylight. Because the X400 is LED-based, there’s no need to include extra bulbs, and it will burn fewer batteries—this saves on space, weight and cost. It can be quickly moved from a handgun to a long gun—eliminating the need to purchase and carry a second weapon light.
Note: There are many components of your BoB where you may be tempted to look for discount (read inferior) products. Saving on electronics that you and your family may rely on for safety may not be the best choice
Another solid option that the author considered was Galco’s Double Time OWB/IWB holster kit. This newer, adaptable model is attractive because it includes the hardware needed to convert it from an OWB to an IWB, depending on your concealment requirements.
Fusion’s 62-grain, boat-tail round consistently shoots sub-moa, five-shot groups from my Rock River AR-15 with an 18-inch stainless, 1:8 twist barrel with a Wylde chamber.
The 62-grain Fusion round is also extremely versatile: Since the projectile was engineered for deer hunting, it serves well for both self-defense and putting food in your belly.
Price: $26 per box of 20 rounds
Price: $26 per box of 25 rounds
* I make it a point to clean and lube my Glock 19 about every 5,000 rounds, whether it needs it or not.
Price: Leatherman MUT Gun Tool, $150