Use Your Gear - Don't just stuff it in your Bag!
Bug out bag, get home bag, no matter what you call it, I’m sure that you have put a lot of thought to the contents of the bag. How many days can I survive with the contents of the bag, How dry will I stay with the contents, etc. Everyone always does their homework when putting together a bag, put the best gear in it, that they can afford. But then what? Most, will just put the bag away, and wait until some event happens, that requires the use of their bag, and gear. Let me tell you, that is absolutely the worst thing that you can do. You don’t want some emergency situation to be a test bed for your gear. You need to get out, and test your gear. Take the family camping, that is the best way I have found to do gear tests. Trust me, you will find out a lot on a weekend camping trip about your gear. I have used certain products on campouts, just to come home and throw them in the trash! Don’t be afraid to take notes either, when out in the woods you may think of something different that you should have packed, because suddenly your lost, or your feet are cold, or just saw a rattlesnake, and realized that you don’t have a snake bite kit. Could be anything. Also go at different times of the year, so you can see what seasonal changes need to be made to your kit.