Been asked about bug out bags, go bags and just plain survival orientated backpacks and what I would put in them.

Fist off, let’s get all these names out-of-the-way. For the purposes of these posts I will call them just pack’s. My own experience with preparing and living out of the contents of a backpack spans over a decade. Before my time in government work I was a bit of a traveler and trouble maker as well. To be clear most of what I will share comes from personal experience mostly. I have had training specific to survival, escape and evasion in urban and rural areas, but most of the information and concepts I got exposed to had to be modified for my personal needs and realities.

Keep in mind that my experiences where in the third world, in a country that is in some places lawless and authority figures such as police and some other government officials are individuals to be avoided and don’t have your best interests in mind, not to mention the whole of Mexico’s criminal culture and Cartel groups. Some of the things I carried or did don’t apply to anyone but my self back then in the area I was in. This is an important thing to realize.

The contents of your pack are specific to you and the area you are going to move in. You must fist build what I call an Endemics Notebook. Basically, a study of the area you will be traveling in, from the criminal culture present in the area to clothing and how the weather dictates what people wear and carry.

Having to ditch and run out of a hotel in Mexico city to the nearest embassy or airport is different that escaping a hurricane Katrina in the US. Different context. Keep this square in the back of your mind.

I will walk you trough the process I take in building a personal pack for moving in an environment that I might have to use to extricate my self from for any number of reasons. For ease of explanation, I’m going to use a real place and base my reasoning on this environment and what I would pick to carry with me. Point A will be Ensenada in Baja California Mexico. Point B will be the San Isidro border crossing.


Author – Ed is a security specialist and combatives instructor with over 10 years experience in public safety along the northern border area of Mexico. He runs seminars and private training specific to anti-abduction, escapology, free hand and unconventional edged weapons work. He is also director of Libre Fighting Systems in Mexico.

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