You hear much brouhaha about 72 hour Bug Out Bag vs Tactical Bag. Most people think that 72 hour bag and tactical bag are the same but there is some important difference that makes them dissimilar. We will try to explain those differences, and show you what kind of situations each of these bags is best for. You will see why both serve a similarly crucial but distinct purpose.
72 Hour Bug Out Bag Basics
72 hour bug out bag does what its name says. It is a bug out bag that should contain enough equipment to make you survive for three straight days.
It is meant to be used during the disaster emergency, or when you are stranded in your home and you need to evacuate.
Its basis is usually a backpack, a large backpack to be specific, that has enough room for supplies so you can survive for at least 72 hours.
Although it is meant to be kept at home with the bulk of the gear and supplies to last you for at least three or more days, it should not be confused with a Get Home Bag. One could put together a get home bag which will have supplies you would need to get you home or other predetermined destination from work, school or when you are away from your house.
This Get Home Bag is usually stored in an office cabinet, locker, car or carried daily with you. It provides you with enough emergency supplies, usually a day or two, just enough to get you together with your family and or friends safely.
There is question whether it is better to put together one’s own 72 hour Bug Out Bag from scratch or to have a ready made BOB completely assembled. I have presented the argument on both types of bags. The following links on DIY vs fully equipped BOB will help you make an educational decision.
Either way, it is my suggestion that you have one regardless. Also having one for all members of your family even your toddler and pet, should be considered as essential.
If you are expected to evacuate, where would you go? Will you go to the government designated emergency site or do you have another place to go? For many, having a predetermined Bug Out Location where you and your family or friends would gather in case the situation arises is the best alternative.
It does not have to be a property you own but family or friends in another city, location or state who would provide you with shelter for you and family members just in case. How to select such a location is further presented below
Tactical Bag Basics
Tactical bags are meant to be used in military, on marches or patrols, police forces are also using them and they can be handy if you work in Search and Rescue. In a civil disturbance, it would be used for defensive measures.
Importantly, the main difference from the 72 hour bag is that tactical bag isn’t designed to provide you with 72 hours’ worth of equipment.
Its main advantage is the mobility and relatively high storage space. This is accomplished by using the MOLLE system that is great when you want to pack lots of equipment but at the same time your backpack shouldn’t be too bulky and large.
Almost all of the tactical bags support water bladder in order to make you more mobile and to have the option of drinking water without the need to open the bag every time.
Tactical bags should contain your weapons (guns, knives, etc…), magazines, ammunition, repair equipment, first aid kit, first aid manuals, compact energy food/bars and water. Depending on the legality of gun laws in your state, you would most likely carry your tactical bag on you in your vehicle or kept at home stored safely.
Again there are those who prefer to create a do it yourself Tactical Bag rather than a pre-assembled version. Before you decide you might want to review the following to get a better idea on the best kind of gear to get or have in your bag as suggested by authoritative sources.
Situations Best Fitted for 72 Hour Bug Out Bag
72 hour bag is best for use during the disaster emergencies, evacuations or possible local civil unrest.
They must have enough supplies for at least 72 hours making them perfect for relatively long trips to arrive at your local government relief center or pre-planned bug out location.
But the best situation perfect for 72 hour bag is disaster emergency. In this scenario it is crucial to have lots of different equipment because you don’t know how long it will pass before help comes, and in 72 hour bag you can put all kinds of equipment that can be helpful in lots of different situations.
My comprehensive list will give you all the survival supplies as suggest by top survival and emergency preparedness experts in the field.
Situations Best Fitted for Tactical Bag
A tactical bag is usually used in military operations, or during the long patrols or marches.
Armed forces all around the worlds use tactical bags; they are great because they have lots of side pockets and straps for holding weapons and other military equipment.
The high mobility makes them great for persons who work at Search and Rescue and for emergency medical teams. But, under certain conditions, a tactical bag would come in handy in case an organized band of thugs (both governmental or civilian) were to invade your community or neighborhood.
But when it comes to civilian use they aren’t so popular. The tactical backpack can be used as a foundation for get home kit, but they are not made to have enough equipment for 72 or more hours, and there are many ready-made bags that can be used instead. Maybe the best use of tactical bags is during the hunting trips.
When you are out there hunting, usually there is a full truck of equipment so you don’t need a huge 72 hour bag. You have your main camp and a tactical bag is great when you decide to go out there to search for preys.
Straps can hold your weapon and other hunting equipment (knife, binoculars) you’ll have enough equipment to last you a day, you will be able to even spend one night in the wild. You’ll be extremely mobile, and with the water bladder you’ll be able to drink at ease as you are in the field.
Overall List of Differences Between the 72 hour Bug Out Bag vs Tactical Bag
Mobility – 72 hour bags are made to be spacious and to contain a huge amount of equipment and that makes you less mobile. On the other hand tactical bags are highly mobile and made for situations where a pause just to take something from the bag can be fatal.
Storage space – 72 hour bags can hold more storage than tactical bags, so tactical backpacks are not meant to be used as a basis for 72 hour survival kit.
Material quality – Tactical bags are made from the military grade materials and can endure a lot of beating without falling apart, 72 hour bags are not meant to be frequently used and to last you for years and years of frequent usage.
Though both emergency bags have some major differences to their function and supplies, having both would be valuable to have especially when the need arises. The need to know if supplies need to be replaced is extremely important. Rotating expired or outdated equipment is important because you need to have all of your supplies in top shape and in the best condition. The last thing you want is a weapon misfiring or malfunctioning survival gear during a crucial moment.