We spend a lot of time recommending products for your apartment. Gear to keep you warm in winter, appliances to make cooking easier, and items to just make apartment living better. But what about when things go south and you need to get out of your apartment to be safe? Maybe your apartment experienced a fire, there's a toxic waste spill from a semi-truck nearby, or someone you love needs help and you need to hit the road? Well, it's smart to get a bug-out bag at the ready, and that means keeping most emergency items in a backpack or duffel bag that's ready to grab and go. Here are the best items to keep with you.
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Sure, you can use almost any backpack to toss gear into, but when it comes to emergencies you should get a bug-out bag that can handle the elements. That means getting one that's waterproof and roll-top. This 45L bag is made with 500D waterproof fabric and also keeps dust, dirt, and other such nasties away from your precious emergency supplies. It even has a protective cover, a detachable laptop sleeve, sponge-filled backpack straps, and external mesh pockets for quick-access items. Finally, it provides a detachable pouch for a water bottle or umbrella. Reflective strips also keep you visible at night. This is one pack that should be able to handle just about anything you can throw at it. It even floats! All this for just $66.
If you have to hit the road, don't assume you're always going to be able to find clean drinking water. In case of real emergencies when water purity is questionable, keep this 4-Stage Filtration water bottle at the ready. It uses composite filter technology that can reduce most waterborne contaminants. Inside the purification unit, there's a 0.01μm hollow fiber UF membrane, a sediment PP membrane, and an activated carbon fiber. The UF membrane is 0.01 microns that enable the purifier to remove 99.99% of harmful materials from the water. The purification unit can filter up to 396 gallons of drinking water or more than you'll consume in a year. For just $26, it replaces 3,000 single-use water bottles! The bottle even comes with a compass on top so you won't get really lost in the process of getting out of Dodge.
Your kids are gonna love this. Well, at least they'll appreciate that you have food on the run. These MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are the courtesy of the U.S. Military where they've been used for decades in survival situations. They have a remarkably long shelf life and can even taste pretty good. They're packed with calories (an average of 1,250 calories per meal!), and they don't require any special preparation. Meals will sometimes even include a water-activated flameless ration heater. They're multi-course meals with an entree, side dish, snacks, beverage powders, and accessory packs. Some of them even come with tiny hot sauce and ketchup bottles! Make sure your bug-out bag has a few of these, so you won't go hungry. They're only $19 each.
Mylar blankets are great for keeping you warm in emergencies, but they're hard to wear since you have to hold them. These waterproof ponchos are that much better because they're lined with mylar and can keep you protected even on the move. The emergency set comes with a pack of four of them, and they're hard-wearing and resilient. Each one has a hood and dedicated armholes for protection and freedom of movement. What's more, these are twice as thick as the average mylar blanket, and they provide 90% of body heat retention. They'll hardly take up any space in your bug-out bag, too. For $20 per 4-pack, you can make sure your whole family is protected.
Illumination is vital to survival, and you've got to keep a flashlight in your pack at all times. But if your flashlight's batteries are dead or you can't recharge it via an outlet, then you're kinda screwed and it's just dead weight. These solar flashlights are a brilliant alternative, and they'll never go dead as long as you have sunlight. They're also more than just single-beam flashlights. Each one (there's a pair in the set) has a main beam and sidelights. There are four modes including high, low, flashing, and strobe. Each one provides up to 1,000 lumens on high, and 8-15 hours of lighting depending on mode. It's also made with high-strength ABS plastic and aluminum alloy for toughness. What's more, it's waterproof. dust-proof, and impact-resistant. You can even charge them via USB if you have outlet access on the run. The pair for just $22 isn't much at all, either.
It's hard to survive without a phone these days. Getting communication out about your location, condition, etc. is vital, but you can't do anything without the ability to recharge. Don't rely on the power grid when things get back, but you can almost always rely on the sun for power. This charger has an expandable 4-panel power array that can charge up 6 to 8 times for smartphones and 2.5 times for a tablet. It's good for 6W in direct sunlight and can amp up an iPhone to 50 percent in a mere 30 minutes. It also has a USB C port and dual USB A ports that can charge three devices simultaneously. It also has a built-in flashlight. No more charging worries and no need for a wall outlet.
Everybody needs a good multi-tool in the field. You don't have to be a handyman to take advantage of it, either. Plus, you don't have the space to keep a bunch of tools in your bug-out bag. You also don't want to spend a ton of money on a famous brand name because this one will sit in storage until the need arises. This one from ROCKTOL has 22 functions and comes with needlenose pliers, a bottle opener, saw, straight edge blade, screwdriver, awl, scraper, scissors, a whistle, and even a ferrocerium rod to start fires. It also comes with swappable screwdriver heads and a carry pouch. It's one of the best multi-tools at this price point, and it will serve you well in many emergencies for just $37.