When SHTF it’s typically at the worst possible time. Bad situations never seem to happen when everything is going great and you have everything prepared. So if SHTF to where you would have to bug out it would probably be in some challenging weather.
If we take a look at a lot of refugee crisis in the Middle East with hot climates we could learn a few things from them. When it is hot you typically see refugees packed light. On top of that there is isn’t much clothing. Even so they are still drenched in sweat among other things.
Facing an emergency in hot weather has many challenges associated it with it. The biggest challenge of course is dehydrating. Not only do you need fluids to keep you going but you also need to control your body temperature. You can’t push yourself as hard as you would like.
I try to do mock bug outs in different seasons to test how prepared I truly am. It doesn’t help that I live in Florida where it is already hot year around. We may get 2 or 3 weeks’ worth of actual cold weather in the winter.
The summers in Florida are sometimes unbearable. Just walking from my office to my car after work I feel like I am going to pass out. Imagining bugging out in that kind of weather is a nightmare. In the process of doing mock bug outs and practicing survival skills in the woods I’ve come up with a few suggestions of what would be helpful to have for hotter weather.
9 Helpful Items for Bugging Out in Hot Weather
- More water than you need
As a prepper you should know that you can only survive 3 days without water. Being low on water can affect your travel time. This is especially true when you are in hotter weather because you are losing more fluids as you sweat them out.
Every prepper also knows to have some sort of emergency water in their bug out bag. However, when you are in hotter weather than you would need more than when you were in cooler weather. If you are bugging out next to some sort of water source then that would be super helpful.
How much water to pack is going to be entirely dependent upon the person. Some people sweat more than others. Either way you need to pack more than you would normally need.
- Tarp for shade
Tarps can be used to build shelters for sleeping at night. They can also be used to keep you cool in hotter weather. If you already have a tent you could still place a tarp over it for adding protection from the sun. This is also good if there isn’t good natural shade around. You can just pitch the tarp to make your own shade. This will keep the sun from beaming directly on you.
This should go without saying. It is especially important to me as I am super white and burn easily. Yes, you can carry a bandana or Shemagh with you to block the sun rays but it’s not going to cover every part of your body. Sunscreen will definitely provide relief from the beaming sun and prevent burns or blisters.
- Insect Repellent
I’m not sure if mosquitoes are problem where you are from but it is horrific in Florida. They are even worse around bodies of water which are almost everywhere you turn down here. You don’t want to be constantly swatting at insects when you are bugging out. Most importantly you will want to get some peaceful rest. Insect repellent won’t keep them all away but it will definitely be useful.
Normally in the cooler weather you can build a fire to keep bugs especially mosquitoes away. If it is already blazing hot you don’t want to build a fire to add to the heat. So insect repellent would be a great option.
- Battery Powered Fan
Having a small battery powered fan isn’t an absolute necessity when bugging but would be an added bonus. It will keep you morale from crashing. It’s the smaller pieces of luxury that will keep us motivated in a highly stressful situation. Luckily there are few handheld fans that can be powered with batteries.
- Bandana or Shemagh
In a previous post I mentioned some of the great DIY survival uses of a Shemagh. One of those uses are to not only wrap it around your neck to block then sun, but you can dip it in water and throw it over your head. This will keep your body temperature down while bugging out.
- Instant Cold Packs
Now I haven’t tried this but a few camping friends told me that they work wonders in hot weather. Typically these instant cold packs are used for injuries. I plan to try this soon and update the post. If you have tried this then leave a comment below sharing your experience. Either way I think it is a great suggestion.
- Synthetic/Light Colored Clothing
Now I know how much preppers love to look tacti-“cool” with their camouflaged pants and shirts but I think it is more important to survive than to look the part. When the sun is beating on you the dark green and black colors are going to attract that light. You want to wear something that is going to reflect the heat. Furthermore, you want to wear synthetic, wicking clothing that will repel sweat.
When you are bugging out you don’t want to be constantly wiping sweat away or things slipping from your hands because sweat is dripping down. I’ve found that Under Armour and even 5.11 provide some great wicking clothing. 5.11 even has some tacti-“cool” colors so you can still dress the part. The one that I purchased through 5.11 is the Men’s Recon Short Sleeve Performance Top in fatigue color. It breathes easily and wicks away moisture quickly.
- A Hat
Having a nice goes along with the previous point about clothing. You should have a nice sports hat that is also moisture wicking. I bought a nice one from 5.11 that I absolutely love. It’s called the 5.11 Tactical Downrange Cap. It has kept the sweat from dripping down all over my face. That is saying a lot because I sweat like crazy.
So these are just 9 of my suggestions on items to have when bugging out in hot weather. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment below. Your feedback helps the prepper community prepare the smart way now so that we can thrive later.
Photography by Davis Doherty