Everybody hates to work out, right? That’s normal because It’s hard and it takes a lot of time and effort to start seeing any results. However, as I started down the “prepping” road I soon came to realize that being physically prepared is equally important as having all these go bags, supplies and whatever else. I mean, let’s break this matter down a little bit and think about it for a second.
You are preparing for situations where there won’t be much time and you’ll have to act fast. Fast being the key word here. Let’s say there is an event that requires you to grab your rather heavy go bag and run out the house or building and you can’t use your car for whatever reason (the tree fell on it, it is under water, it is on fire or debris are all around so it is impossible to drive through). So, you are on foot, with heavy bag on your back and you are heading to safety. What do you think just how long will you be able to carry your bag without previous preparation? I say a couple of miles, tops. And we could all agree that safety is rarely that close, especially if you live in a big city. And let’s speculate some more and presume that you’ll be required to go over some obstacles ahead. What do you think how much energy moving over debris and obstacles does it require? The adrenalin does half of the job for you, but you still have the other half of doing it without hurting yourself in the process. I mean, you can’t expect clear roads and blue skies ahead. We are talking emergency situation here, right?
Now, I have been preparing for mostly urban survival myself, since I live in the city, in a highly populated area with lots of buildings and potential obstacles all around. So, carrying an extra load unprepared is a really bad idea, especially now that we know that an average bug out bag should way no more than 15-20% of your body weight. And that is, if you really think about it – a lot.
There is a scale that many survival experts can agree on when it comes to the weight of your backpack. I am no expert myself but these numbers make a lot of sense.
- If you are completely unprepared you should carry no more than 10% of your bodyweight, which leaves you with very little packing space but requires no preparation whatsoever.
- If you are in average shape, meaning you already do something like light training, you can bring around 15% of your bodyweight with you.
- However, if you put some effort in it and raise your fitness level to great, you can carry those 20% of your bodyweight with ease and can pack much more of those lifesaving necessities.
Note: These numbers are of course just the starting point for everyone. You should carry the weight you are comfortable with. It is a game of trial and error until you find your best fit. I started small and then trained and upgraded my stamina to 20% which are no problem for me today. My wife is currently carrying 15% of her bodyweight but we are both working on further lifting that limit.
The only way for you to prepare for those unfortunate events is to practice. Take your time to at least once a week (preferably more) load that bag onto your back and take a casual walk around your neighborhood, or nearby park or wherever you feel comfortable. Personally, I go for different kinds of walks myself. Sometimes I simply walk around my neighborhood, other times I drive to the nearby national park and spend the day outside hiking and having fun outside. Whatever suits you is the best answer, but the bare necessity of even this simple exercise is undeniable. You simply have to do it.
Me, I started by doing that very thing and then I moved onto some other stuff like running and going to the gym. But I cannot stress enough that the ability to carry your own supplies is the least you have to be able to do in a crisis situation.
So, to conclude this subject I would recommend starting light. Take a family member or a friend and take a long walk just for the walk’s sake. No backpack no anything on your back. Enjoy it, and see where you are at shape wise, and then slowly build on it. It is all up to you how far you want to go with this fitness thing, but I truly believe the better shape you’re in, the better chances you have in surviving whatever happens.