How To Make A Bug Out Jacket

Michael Major
By Michael Major January 26, 2021 09:09

How To Make A Bug Out Jacket

The bug out bag is something that is ingrained into the fabric of the prepping community. Odds are good that most survivalists and preppers either have a bug out bag ready to go or are intimately aware of what one is and how to construct one.

While having the necessary survival gear in a bag is great, what happens when you end up in a situation that you have only the clothes on your back? What happens if you are forced to abandon your bug out bag?

This is where a bug out bag jacket comes into play.

Why Would You Need A Bug Out Bag Jacket?

If we sit down and think about it, any of us could imagine dozens of scenarios that would see us in emergency situations without our bug out bags close at hand.

While a bug out jacket can never replace a bug out bag it can supply survival gear in a piece of clothing that you would normally be wearing.

While it is not practical to have a jacket like this as an everyday carry item it is something that can be stored in a car trunk, in a drawer at the office, or used as a part of a ‘get home bag’.

Related: 37 Things You Forgot to Add to Your Bug Out Bag


Multiple considerations need to be taken before putting a bug out jacket together.

One of your primary considerations is where this jacket will be likely to see use. The base contents should remain the same but in an urban environment including a prepaid ‘burner’ cellphone, some cash, a multitool, lockpicking set, handcuff key, etc, would be beneficial whereas if you are going to be bugging out through the wilderness then maybe including a small fishing and trapping kit might be a good idea.

Next, think about the year-round climate in your area. This will determine what style of jacket you will be using for your bug out jacket.

There are several options available, you can get a jacket that is going to be comfortable in the summer months and supplement it with layers in winter months, there are also jackets available that have liners that zip out so you can increase and decrease the insulating properties based on the season.

The option that I chose is to use an old military combat coat that I can wear layers underneath and a poncho or waterproof jacket overtop.

Bug Out Jacket Pockets

The most important thing to take into consideration is the number of the pockets, because that is where all the survival gear is going to be stored.

How to Make a Bug Out Bag Jacket

Pockets should distribute the weight of the gear evenly across your torso and allow the gear to lay against the body as flat as possible.

How to Make a Bug Out Bag JacketThe jacket that I use has large exterior pockets that contain smaller pockets inside that have Velcro to secure them. I like to use these smaller pockets to store small items that can be hard to find within a larger pocket full of gear.

How to Make a Bug Out Bag Jacket

Another feature of the jacket I’m using is a Velcro inside pocket that is great for stowing a small fire kit.

When it comes to the jacket being waterproof and windproof, it might seem like a good idea to have a waterproof bug out jacket, however, in warmer months the lack of breathability will make it too uncomfortable to bug out in.

It has always been my opinion that using a light waterproof jacket or poncho over top of the bug out jacket is a far better option. You can often find ponchos and light rain jackets that will easily compress down to fit into a pocket.


The contents of your jacket need to be able to provide the necessities of survival until you can reach a bug out location, cache, or your bug out bag. With the equipment in your bug out jacket, you should be able to build a shelter, make a fire, get water, and assist in other survival tasks. It should be feasible to conduct the entire bug out with just the gear in your jacket.

I built a bug out jacket for this article from the jacket that I wear while hunting. The list of items below is in no way meant to be a gospel list of survival items for a bug out jacket but should serve as a starting point in building your jacket.

How to Make a Bug Out Bag Jacket

Recommended Bug Out Jacket Gear

  • Shelter kit with an extra survival blanket
  • Fire kit
  • Small first aid kit
  • Cordage
  • Gloves
  • Ham radio
  • Notepad and Pen
  • Saw
  • Knife
  • Life Straw
  • Compass
  • Headlamp
  • 55-gallon contractor garbage bag
  • Whistle
  • Camouflage face paint

Even with all this survival gear, the jacket is comfortable to wear.

The heaviest item with the most bulk is the first aid kit which I consider to be a critical addition during a bug out scenario because treatment of injuries should never be ignored.

How to Make a Bug Out Bag Jacket


As important as the gear in the jacket is how that gear is organized. Anything that you place in interior pockets should be gear that you would not need frequent access to. Items like a shelter kit, contractor bag, fire kits, and emergency blankets are not items that you would need immediate access to and if practical should be placed in interior pockets.

When positioning items in the outside pockets keep in mind where you would naturally reach for those items. The best way to do this is to put the jacket on while empty and place each item in their pocket, then simulate getting the items out to use them. You will find that certain items such as radios are going to be better accessed and used with a certain hand.

If you are bugging out with a firearm think about what you might want to have access to while holding the weapon in your dominant hand, then make sure that you can easily access those items with your non-dominate hand.

Related: The 5 Best Pocket Handguns For Self-Defence

Adding Pockets

You may want to add some pockets to your Bug Out Jacket which can be done easily enough with basic sewing skills. Before you get started there are a few things that you need to consider.

  • When making internal pockets position them in such a way that they will not add undue bulk to the pockets on the outside.
  • When it comes to pockets on the inside of a jacket, I like to purpose-build them to house specific items. For these images, I have pinned the pocket into place rather than sewing it.

How to Make a Bug Out Bag Jacket

  • To build a pocket I pin the fabric in place then test to make sure that the item fits nicely.

How to Make a Bug Out Bag Jacket

  • After confirming that the item will fit well in the pocket I sew it completely and add in some Velcro to keep it closed.

How to Make a Bug Out Bag Jacket

  • When adding a pocket to the outside of the jacket take your time with the stitching making the stitches as tight as possible and reinforce the starts and stops. Try to use the same material the jacket is made from or a material of similar quality. The pocket will need a flap to secure the contents with some kind of closure devices like a button, snaps, or velcro.

Concluding Thoughts

If you are going to build a bug out bag jacket you need to be sure that not only is it going to be comfortable in any season but that all the gear that you have inside is organized appropriately.

It is a good idea to do a couple of practice bug-outs with just the jacket so that you can fine-tune the gear that you decide to carry.

Remember that a bug out jacket is never going to replace a bug out bag or a get home bag and should be considered a supplement to them.

You may also like: 

house-bphHow to Make Firebricks (fire logs) and Wood Stove Logs for Free!

What Really Happens When You Bury A Shipping Container (Video)

12 Survival Items to Carry With You at All Times

What You Really Need in Your SHTF First Aid Kit

If You See These 6 Signs It’s Time to Bugout

Michael Major
By Michael Major January 26, 2021 09:09
Write a comment


  1. red ant January 26, 11:35

    Already made mine. Figured it would be a good idea to have BOJacket and BOPants and BOShoes and BOshirt. If you make a BOBag then why not have bug out clothes also.
    Yes, can’t hold as much, but enough to get by if you got in to trouble.

    One thing you will need in SHTF scenario , lip bulm, carmex. Lips are very important at that time. Keep it on me at all time just like the rest of the things I carry on me every day.

    Some one asked me, why do you carry so much stuff. My reply was in case I need it.
    I carry a lighter all so. I don’t even smoke. But carry it at (all times.) Got pulled over one time and the cop saw my light after I hade to empty my pockets , said why do you carry a lighter if you do not smoke. I said why don’t you carry one. He said never thought about it. I bet he has one on him right know.
    So see you can help others just by getting pulled over and no did not get a ticket or go to jail. But opened his eyes to prepping.

    But you can’t carry everything you want to prep, you will have to leave lots of stuff behind, if you have to bug out.
    If I have to bug out, who finds my stuff will hit the jack pot. Just way to much to hall out to some where else. So I have several places set up. But, good luck finding it. 😆

    Reply to this comment
    • paul gee January 26, 16:49

      Don’t give up already FIGHT

      Reply to this comment
      • SASER January 28, 00:50

        A good tip an old guy told me was to look poor and pathetic on the outside,,,Never flont your gear, it’s one thing to have, but others need it more than you

        Reply to this comment
        • red January 29, 11:03

          SASER: visits to NYC and to Mexico, I followed that advice and rarely had problems. I may have overdone it on one trip to NYC, tho. One time on the subway, a man bumming money offered me a few bucks 🙂 niio

          Reply to this comment
        • PlainJanePrepper February 2, 20:14

          Amen! The jacket, worn and ragged would be a better option than a back pack. Looks like you have nothing on you.

          Reply to this comment
    • red January 26, 22:37

      red ant: You can buy refillable mossy oak jet lighters with a good if small flashlight in them, cheap. Long after the lighter quits, the light will still work. And don’t forget the tack pants! 🙂 niio

      Reply to this comment
    • Oracle January 28, 18:40

      Red Ant, lip balm to survive post shtf? Seriously? I guess that would go well with the shampoo, conditioner, and mouthwash. Better throw in some hand moisturizer too.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck January 29, 04:19

        Oracle: Perhaps you are one of those lucky ones who have never spent a day in the desert in the sun. Lip balm with UV protection is a must. The plastic surgeon who did the cancer removal and surgical repair of my ear said the tops of the ears, the nose, the lower lip and the eye lids were the most frequent locales for skin cancer. He also said the descending order was the order of difficulty in repairing the organ. The ears are the easiest. The eye lids are the most difficult. You protect your ears by wearing a big brimmed hat that covers them. You protect your nose by putting lavish amounts of sun screen on it. You protect your lips by applying lip balm with built in UV protection. You protect your eye lids by wearing that big brimmed hat and sunglasses.

        IF you are in snow country with strong sunlight reflecting off the snow you need to be especially careful with your lips and eyelids.

        A landlord my daughter had at one time had cancer on his nose. The surgical result made me realize what the plastic surgeon had told me. The result of the surgery was really ugly. He wasn’t a Robert Redford look-alike to begin with, but yikes! It was really hard not to stare. I don’t know if the surgery was done later than it should have been or his surgeon was not that skilled in nose jobs but again yikes!

        Red Ant’s typing skills may not get him employment as a world processor impute specialist, but he does have some really valid information that he imparts in his posts.

        Of course his information doesn’t apply to everyone reading the list all the time. Nobody’s post does. But he is dead on with the lip balm. Be like Carl Maulden, don’t leave home without it. Plus it can also be used as a fire starter in a pinch and zipper lube and in a serious pinch, gun lube. I think I read somewhere 101 Uses For Lip Balm.

        Now I would certainly agree about conditioner and perhaps mouthwash. Shampoo and hand moisturizer, if I could carry the weight I would take. Sanitation is important. Rather than shampoo, I would just take extra body soap — soap cakes, not a bottle of liquid body wash. I would only throw away the hand moisturizer if my pack was just too heavy. If you are working with rope, weaving rushes to make baskets, doing wood working that requires bare hands to perform as opposed to being able to wear leather gloves and you want to save your nitrile gloves for medical purposes or handling possibly diseased animals/humans, hand conditioner at the end of a day of weaving rush baskets is going to be a welcome addition to your personal kit.

        Deodorant and shaving gear, perhaps not. Different people have different needs. If you are making a serious attempt at keeping clean, deodorant should not be necessary. Shaving might keep you from getting crabs in your beard. You do know that you can get crabs in your eye lashes and beard, don’t you? That’s what we called them in the USMC. They are also called pubic lice. You can also catch them from sleeping in a bed someone who caught them the regular way has slept in. Some people infested the racks for sleeping in the guard shack on Okinawa and there was quite an epidemic of crabs for a while. DDT powder finally subdued the epidemic. Crabs aren’t a significant health risk but they can create a rash and any wound in an ETOW scenario is fraught with the danger of infection.

        While shaving won’t eliminate them, it does help one be able to identify them and scrape them off the skin assuming one doesn’t have a stash of DDT powder in his bug-out bag.

        Reply to this comment
        • Oracle February 1, 18:50

          Well, dog gone it, Chuck, I wonder how our thousands of generations of ancestors survived without lip balm and sunscreen? I for one have never used lip balm and I have camped, hiked and ridden motorcycles across some serious deserts for days at a time. I wear hats, bandanas, and one of my shemaghs is a white traditional keffiyeh. The other two are camo and black. They offer a lot of protection and other resourceful uses for just a few ounces of materiel weight. I’ve been chuckled at when I pull out my 48″ “survival umbrella”, well, until it gets up around noon and the others are suffering from potential heat stroke. The umbrella is a military-green stadium umbrella I keep strapped to my larger backpacks in a camo slip bag. It’s an old hard to break habit from decades of backpacking. I cover up in the desert, no sandals… boots only, absolutely no shorts, and no exposed skin. Regardless of research showing that Bedouin black robes are no hotter than wearing a white robe, I still stick with white desert gear. I still have a tube of Bert’s Bees lip wax in my pack from many years ago. It has two different lip stick colors adhered to it from my loaning it to female traveling companions. I’ve never used it. On trips in snow I use Zionor ski goggles (which are great as motorcycle goggles too) to avoid snow blindness. I carry a tiny roll of duct tape in my packs with which I could reduce those down to just slits if needed. The key word here is preparedness. Oh, and as a side note, not licking ones lips works better than lip balm.

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck February 1, 22:05

            Oracle: Well, I agree those are certainly adequate substitutes for lip balm. That’s why the bedouins cover their faces (and when they are on a raid, they don’t want to be i.d.’d too) is to prevent sun burn on the lips. Until recently, in the U.S, going around with a mask on ran a high risk of being wrestled to the ground by law enforcement in some neighborhoods. Now it is easy, you don’t even have to put your mask on just before you enter the bank. You can wear it onto the property and give the cameras the middle finger.

            One name for umbrella is parasol. That is Latin for” for sun.” In many tropical countries it is not unusual to see both ladies and gentlemen carrying parasols on a hot sunny day. I guess the device that is used on a rainy day is an umbrella and the same device on a sunny day is a parasol.

            I went on line to see if there was a significant difference between umbrellas and parasols. In a word, no. The author of the only article I read didn’t really know what he was talking about. He went so far as to say the only countries where you see folks using parasols is Japan and Spain. I guess he hasn’t traveled the world much. Parasols are still used in almost every hot, sunny climate. Perhaps not everyone uses a parasol but they are quite common in every hot, sunny country I have ever visited or whose street scenes I have viewed.

            A large umbrella would make a useful item for a bug out bag if there were room and one had the physical capacity to carry the extra weight. Until I start pumping up more, I guess I will just stick a half dozen tubes of lip balm in my pocket or in the bottom of my bug out bag. Maybe a shemagh or two.

            Reply to this comment
          • Miss Kitty February 2, 01:33

            Actually, our ancestors made lip balm from a grease base such as tallow, mixed with melted bee’s wax. Sometimes herbs were added for medicinal value – rose petals, calendula petals and lavender among others. Various coloring agents (red ochre, juices from different roots and berries) were added as well for cosmetic purposes. Sometimes people just need a little extra help, and lip balm is small enough and cheap enough to easily buy a couple and shove them in a pocket. Very waxy balms can also be used to wax thread.

            Reply to this comment
        • Oracle February 1, 18:54

          Chuck, I’ve never had crabs in my beard or eyelashes. I’ve made a point of avoiding face-first contact with potential carriers. LOL

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck February 1, 22:13

            Oracle: My personal experience with crabs was from an infested guard shack and while I didn’t get them in my eyebrows and the Marine Corps didn’t allow beards at that particular time — it wasn’t that long ago — you can get them any place that you have clustered hair. More than a few of us had them from someone or someones who had picked them up from consorting with folks of less than fastidious personal hygiene. In the guard shack, everyone hot racks, so it is extremely easy for body lice to spread from infected bedding. Evidently they have returned to the U.S. to the dismay of innkeepers across the country and a very pricey suite is no guarantee you won’t take away a growing colony of livestock, both bedbugs and crabs.

            Oh, and our ancestors almost always traveled with a large assortment of insects. That’s one of the way plagues spread.

            Reply to this comment
      • red ant January 31, 13:00

        Say you can also use lip balm for when your butt cheeks have rubbed a raw spot on them. Lube it up with some carmex of Vaseline

        It will work. You will find out when you don’t get to have a bath for about a month. You will wish you had something to use.

        Reply to this comment
        • Oracle February 1, 19:22

          Red Ant, say what? How could you wear a raw spot on your lips with your own butt cheeks? You must be hinged differently.

          Reply to this comment
          • red ant February 7, 11:58

            Okay. I don’t no what to say any more about lip balm…
            You are the luckiest person to have traveled so much and never a problem. Not even dry lips. The poster child for hiking.

            It’s your ass that gets raw, not your lips.
            I would like to see you in a real senerio. Not just a day hike, but some real ass raw get down roughing it. While some one is tracking you down. No bath for a week or two. No fancy white rob or some garb that you wear and dam sure no undrella.
            When you live that way. Then ask me why I carry lip balm…

            No one is ready for what’s to come. Not even me

            Reply to this comment
      • PlainJanePrepper February 2, 20:19

        Lip balm has multiple uses. It burns well as kindling, will unstick a zipper, you can soften up hang nails, etc. Farmed is even medicated. Also, chapped lips are a very real problem in dry areas, and when you are dehydrated. Even men use it. Carry it, you will find a plethora of uses for it.

        Reply to this comment
    • red ant January 28, 20:09


      Yes, Very seriously. You can leave the rest behind. You won’t need them but some soap will be nice.
      When I was in Arizona back in 82. I was wondering around thumbing all over the states. I spent 14 day out in the desert and did not have near enough to get by. That was one of the most important thing that I felt that I needed.
      Understand when you are young you might not need that lip balm. But when you get older you will need something on your lips to help protect them. You kinda start to dry out.
      when your lips get cracks and very dry they start to bleed. You will think twice.
      I have over 40 tubes put up. Remember we are preppers. Better listen to what you are reading.
      If you need some when the SHTF hits. I will give you some for a months worth of labor. Money will not work them only, trading.

      Don’t think that the stuff we are saying is just some bull shit we thought up just so we can sound cool.
      its fact and real scenarios, that we are talking about. At least I am telling you the truth.

      Just look back at some of the comments that have been posted. I go back and reread them a lot…

      Thank you…

      Reply to this comment
      • clergylady January 31, 11:16

        Lip balm can keep dirt out of scratches or minor wounds. If it’s medicated in some way even better. in a real pinch it could help waterproof the seams of your shoes or boots. It can sooth an itchy spot or bug bite.

        Reply to this comment
      • clergylady January 31, 11:20

        Lip balm usually can burn if you happen to need candle. It has many uses.

        Reply to this comment
      • Oracle February 1, 19:40

        Red Ant, I’m a bee keeper. If I need bee’s wax for my lips (or my butt cheeks), I have at least forty pounds stored away. I know the truth when I see it and 99% of what is posted on here in these comments is truth. But truth for one person does not always apply to the personal needs of everyone else. I’m not denying what is said, nor should you deny me what I say as being truthfully applicable to my personal needs. I have never used lip balm, nor Carmex for body sores and ulcers I’ve never had. Perhaps my Chiricahua Apache ancestry has something to do with it. I don’t think that the stuff being said here is “just some bull shit”. I’ve been there and done that more than most on here. I’m 68 years old and left home alone and for good at age 14. Never looked back. I’ve only in the last 4 years slowed down on my wilderness adventure travels, and that being due to my moving onto my own share of the Missouri Ozark wilderness. Peace

        Reply to this comment
        • red ant February 7, 12:28

          Thats cool. But if we don’t say anything about what we know or have experienced in life. Then you would have never none about how lip balm has helped a lot of people and is still being used to day. If it works then use it, if it dose not then don’t. That simple.

          By the way I have never used lip balm or carmex for an ulcers. An ulcer is in the gut area and don’t think I could reach it with that.

          If your a bee keeper then you should know the benifites of bee wax and honey. Most lip balm is derived from the bees wax that you have stashed away. Honey is good for sores on the body, also…
          It’s a good thing for some but not all.
          I’ve never used an umbrella going hiking, but I won’t bust your balls about it.

          We’re not the same, just trying to do the same.

          Reply to this comment
  2. Illini Warrior January 26, 14:51

    not near enough emphasis on staying a “grey man” – sacrifice all the pockets and durability if that military look is going to draw attention …

    Reply to this comment
    • my2cents January 26, 16:36

      in my neck of the woods camo does not stick out, you can do something similar with a suit and tie. think outside the box and adjust to what fits your area. If your in a nudist colony, good luck with that. smiling.

      Reply to this comment
    • Jake D January 26, 17:41

      I find a fishing vest or a photographer vest work very well. They have all the pockets I need, can be worn in warmer weather and is light enough to be warn under a jacket or coat if necessary. Works really well.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck January 26, 20:01

        Good advice. You can cover the vest with a light jacket or heavy jacket, depending upon the weather. If you are carrying a long arm which is harder to conceal, Use an oversize lab coat or if you are in the bucks, one of those aussie drovers coats which are weather resistant and come down to your knees. Hand your rifle upside down with the muzzle to the ground to cover its silhouette.

        A hunters vest will do in an area where camo is de riguer such as where my2cents lives. There are some areas where camo is as common as a brooks brother blue shirt and tan dockers are in the district of corruption.

        The last time I was in the district of corruption there were so many men dressed in tan dockers, blue BB shirts, striped regimental ties and blue blazers I thought we had been invaded by a yuppie foreign army of unknown national origins. Camo would have definitely stood out in that milieu. If you add in a sling briefcase, you would be totally camouflaged — indeed the proverbial gray man.

        The hiking boots might be a giveaway though. You would have to practice hiking in loafers until you were out of DC.

        In my2cents’ neighborhood, hiking boots or high top work shoes would be gray man and penny loafers would stand out like a yellow traffic light.

        Reply to this comment
        • Miss Kitty January 28, 04:25

          I’ve seen hi-top joggers that come with a steel toe. This was a while back, but I think craftsman made them as a “dressier” work shoe. They came in black, gray, and camo. A pair of black shoes under pants is about as anonymous as you can get. If anyone is nosy enough to ask, tell them that your job requires black shoes and you have bad feet.

          Reply to this comment
          • red January 28, 12:51

            MizKitty: and don’t forget a little cough and sniffle will make people back off these days. niio

            Reply to this comment
            • Oracle January 28, 18:51

              Red, cough and sniffle, holding your forehead, moaning, looking up to Heaven while shouting, “Elizabeth, I’m coming to join you!”.

              Reply to this comment
              • red January 30, 02:50

                Oracle: that was “wheezy! I’m comin’ wheezy!”
                when he was in the Royal Family with Della Reese, he got schooled by the gentle, Godly fist of correction. She came to the set one morning and he was telling a dirty joke. A staunch Christian, Mz Reese was respectful as she took him aside and explained she was a believer and did not like that kind of talk around her. Foxx apologized and said it wouldn’t happen again. Next morning, Ms Reese comes in, he’s telling a really bad one, sees her and finishes it at the top of his lungs. She sighed and walked to him, asking why. “I don’t give a flying ‘f’ what some old woman thinks,” Foxx said. Next thing, he was a few yards away on the floor wondering where all the stars came from. Ms Reese leaned over foxx and asked if they needed to have another talk. He shook his head, had to have help getting to his room, and kept his jokes to himself, at least when that Godly fist of correction was around. niio

                Reply to this comment
                • Miss Kitty January 30, 02:59

                  No, it was definitely “Elizabeth… I’m coming to join you, honey… ” Usually followed with a punch line about the plot.
                  I can totally see Ms. Reese taking Redd to the woodshed…his standup routine was famously blue, and she didn’t have much patience with blasphemy, dirty talk, fools or being disrespected.
                  “Weezy” was the wife, Louise, on “The Jeffersons”.
                  I watched waaayyy too much TV as a kid in the 70’s.

                  Reply to this comment
                  • red January 30, 05:15

                    Oracle: Yeah, Elizabeth. I was never much for TV. too much to do, hiking, exploring, fishing, hunting swimming. We used to build ‘forts’ made of brush, sod, and logs, and have wars. 1st blood wins! It was that kind of area (rural slum, yo!). Dad taught me a lot, tho he was 40 years older. We never had a TV till I was already in grade school. some un is always trying to give me one. I say, why? I have a computer and a phone. And neither was vital to life. niio

                    Reply to this comment
            • Miss Kitty January 28, 20:26

              True enough… in an article from “End of the American Dream” it speaks of how the CDC is now recommending two, three, and more layers of masking. I can barely breathe through one, and they want to smother us with five masks all piled up.

              Reply to this comment
          • Oracle January 28, 18:54

            Black shoes are too close to being law enforcement shoes. Hiking or work boots are non threatening.

            Reply to this comment
          • Miss Kitty January 28, 20:45

            True, but also wait staff. Wear black pants, white shirt, (half apron and tomato stains optional) and you just look like you work a shift at Luigi O’Brien’s Irish-Italian pub. Utterly gray, in an urban area, plus no one is making much in tips so you’re not likely to get robbed.
            Take a walk through the area you’re likely to be passing through and discreetly look at the other people in the area. Lots of scrubs? You can pick up scrubs at most thrift stores for under $5 per piece. You can also usually buy old uniform shirts and hats for fast food restaurants… don’t know why they sell them, but they do. Make sure you wear the “right” pants.
            There are lots of other uniform shirts and pants available, too. Just pick an outfit that won’t make YOU stand out…if you are old and gray like I am, dressing as a college student with pink hair won’t work.

            Reply to this comment
            • Oracle February 1, 19:18

              Kitty Boo, If I were a thief, wait staff would be a good pickings for getting rolled for their tips and paycheck. Winos, bag ladies, and people having a conversation with their black trash bag, not so much. If you recall, the 3 “hobos” arrested behind the grassy knoll back in 1963 had typical hobo attire except for the manicured nails and black dress shoes… dead giveaway. Even though I was a mere child I’ve had an aversion to black dress shoes since then. When I wear them I don’t look down. Having several pair in the same closet, I ask others if the ones I put on match.

              Reply to this comment
      • Illini Warrior January 27, 13:03

        these days even the senior citizen men are carrying a shoulder bag of some sort around >> more than a few have a weapon in there …

        for some people the answer is the tried & true EDC modified for a GHB instead of this body carry version ….

        Reply to this comment
        • Dupin January 27, 15:32

          Shoulder bag or even a daypack or small backpack. I carried a smallish black backpack to work as my EDC. Laptop, tablet, tools, various stuff I’d need to get the thirty miles home if for some reason I couldn’t get back to my vehicle.

          Reply to this comment
        • Oracle January 28, 19:16

          IW, agreed, a GHB beats a jacket any day.

          Reply to this comment
      • PlainJanePrepper February 2, 20:29

        I agree! I have two photographers vests and they each have 19 good pockets.

        Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck January 26, 18:13

      That was my thought as I looked at the pictures. Perhaps in a small town in the Rocky Mountains someone walking down the street in a military camo pattern wouldn’t stand out. Walking down the street in coastal PDRK or especially in urban PDRK, dressed in military camo pattern will stand out, unless you have a skateboard under your arm.

      My preference would be to purchase a dark blue oversized jacket and have the pockets professionally sewed in. I know the limits of my sewing skills. My wife was the tailor in our family. Why not, she went to professional dressmakers school and was skilled enough to make her own patterns. When we were young and our kids were small she made most of their clothes from clothes that were worn in spots but still had lots of good cloth left in them, especially after she had turned the cuffs and neck of my shirts and they became worn again, there was a lot of good cloth still left for shirts for the boy and blouses for the girl.

      I recently inherited one of these currently fashionable look like military jackets but were designed by a designer who had no idea what all the pockets he or she was putting on the jacket were supposed to be for. All the pockets and I haven’t counted how many there are, but they are mostly all too small to hold anything useful except, perhaps your bong and a small stash of grass.

      There was a huge open space inside the jacket with no useful purpose. Alas, because of her advanced age, my wife no longer sews, so I took it to a professional seamstress whom I have been using since my wife gave up sewing and had her convert the two huge open spaces into four more useable pockets thus making the jacket at least semi-usable. I may dye it dark blue myself as it is olive green and is a tad too military looking for my gray man tastes.

      All, except the most rambo-esque writers recommend the gray man look for bugging out. What that means is that one tries to look like joe average trudging home. You try to avoid looking like Joe Prepper bugging out with everything including the kitchen sink.

      There are, of course, two schools of thought. One is that if one looks as if he were ready to single-handedly take on a squad of terrorists that look will make people avoid confrontations with you.

      That may be possible to pull off for most people you meet, but there are wolves out there that due to life experience are not deterred from exchanging gunfire with police officers. They will not be subdued into avoiding you by mere looks. If anything, it is my opinion that they will be challenged by your looks.

      The other school of thought is to look as much like a street person as possible. Keep your weapons at hand, but hidden from plain view. Avoid the military look. Avoid the Joe Prepper look. It is called the gray man look. Just Joe Average, nothing special, nothing to arouse interest in your. Once you have passed out of sight no one can accurately describe you other than male average weight, average height.

      The bug out coat might go a long way to helping that image, but the first thing I would do is dye that jacket a dark blue color.

      Why dark blue and not black? Well according to what I have read from folks who claim to know what they are talking about, dark blue is harder to see at night than midnight black. Seems counter productive but they state in nature, hardly anything is pitch black so that midnight black stands out as an especially dark patch whereas midnight blue tends more to blend in with a dark background than midnight black.

      I must state that I have not run any tests personally to verify that theory. I am just relating what I have read based on claims by folks that they have actually tested the theory. I have not read a peer-reviewed scientific report on such studies. All that said, there are shades of dark blue. I don’t have a PMS number for the blue they are considering but I would imagine that it would be a blue that at a distance could conceivably be thought to be black.

      For those who have not been in the printing business, a PMS color is a proprietary ink mixing system that printers all over the U.S. use when matching ink colors. Using the colors called out in Pantone Matching System one can very closely approximate almost any color some designer can scheme up. You can use it in communicating color to a distant printer. “I want it printed in PMS #1325.”

      Knowing that number, he can print the piece in the color that matches so closely, you would have to compare the two pieces under a 5,000K light to see a difference if, indeed, there is such.

      Reply to this comment
      • ST January 27, 01:01

        It is true. Even matte oranges and reds are harder to see in dim lighting than a black silhouette. As a kid, we spray-painted a pair of old white jeans and used orange as one of the colors. Even under streetlamps, it doesn’t look orange. If anything, it seems to be tan or brown. Black is for tuxedos and cocktail dresses, imho.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck January 27, 04:03

          ST: Well, for folks who are red/green color blind, the most common color blindness, red and orange portray themselves as black or dark grey. I can see why red and orange would show shades of tan in certain light.

          A revealing anecdote: A relative and I were hunting pheasant in the cotton fields of the San Joaquin Valley near Fresno. It was still early in the morning and ground mist hindered long range visibility somewhat. The fields are all laid out in large squares. I think they are half mile squares. A line of hunters in international orange hunting vests suddenly appeared at a distance where I couldn’t see any features of humans with the fog but I could see the orange blobs bobbing up and down as they crossed at right angles to our advance.

          I mentioned to my relative to keep an eye on the line of hunters directly in front of us if we flushed a pheasant. He replied, “What line of hunters?”

          I replied “That line right in front of us in the bright orange vests.”

          “I don’t see anything in front of us.”

          I held up some fingers and measured three fingers’ distance from a single cottonwood also directly in front of us and told him, “Three fingers to the right of the tree in front of us.”

          Then he could see something moving in the fog but couldn’t distinguish the orange vests.

          He is red/green color blind. He tells which light is lit by the glow from the light and knowing the positions, otherwise it is just three gray lights with one lit.

          Realizing that a significant portion of the male population in the U.S. is color blind — I have seen figures ranging from 17% to 23%, I wonder why we have rules dictating orange vests when to color blind hunters they appear as varying shades of gray — or sometimes don’t appear at all until the individual’s attention is directed directly to the site of the color such as in my relative’s case, still not seeing the color but able to see the bobbing up and down as they walked.

          In my printing company reception area I had a really beautifully printed poster of red cherries against a black background, It was very dramatic and a really excellent printing job—unfortunately not done by me, but I used it to illustrate certain printing principles to customers. I had pointed it out to a customer and he was bobbing his head all around looking at the poster. I again said, “It’s right up there” and pointed at it. He replied that it must be red on a black background. I told him it was and he replied that was why he couldn’t see it. He was red/green color blind and only saw a solid black poster on the wall which certainly didn’t illustrate the point I was trying to make.

          That’s why I give credence to the reports that dark blue is less visible in time of darkness than pure black.

          That’s why I always wondered why the Navy used blue and white camo uniforms for their sailors. Blue and white camo bobbing up and down in a rough sea is going to make the sailor almost totally invisible. Standing on a ship in blue and white camo isn’t going to hide the ship if it is visible to enemy radar.

          I know if I were a sailor bobbing up and down in the ocean hoping to be rescued I would want a brilliant yellow and fluorescent green pattern so that I would stand out in blue water or amidst foaming whitecaps.

          Reply to this comment
        • Oracle February 1, 19:07

          ST, black is not cool unless you are a licensed Ninja like me. But, keeping in mind that shadow areas are not black, the best color for night camo is charcoal grey. I had two old camo hunting outfits, dyed one set charcoal grey with Rit Dye and hung them both on the clothes line at night. Charcoal grey won by a landslide in concealment.

          Reply to this comment
      • mbl February 1, 05:50

        LCC, I’m thinking that if you have a dark blue coat and someone sees it at night and later tries to describe it, the best they can say is “dark.” So it could be blue or black, which would ostensibly widen the field.

        When i was in banking. one of the things we learned was that in order to identify people, really pay attention to what they are wearing and focus on those things that would be hard to change in a hurry or would be extremely hard to camouflage, e.g., multiple piercings, tattoos, and shoes. The guy training us said shoes were often a giveaway because the guy might shed a wig or dump a coat, but shoes are often too hard to change on the fly if it’s a rob and run sort of situation.

        Thankfully, i wasn’t party to any robberies, but we did have a check fraud person come through. She wasn’t a regular customer, and i needed to ask for ID. She was at the drive through, so the camera wasn’t super helpful, but i could give a really good description of her makeup, age spots on her hands, and her really bad dye job on her hair.

        They picked her up a few weeks later, and the security guy said some of the details i noticed helped them capture her easily.

        I agree knowing your surroundings helps so you can figure out how best to blend in. Practicing blending into the background helps, too.

        Reply to this comment
  3. City Chick January 26, 16:50

    A Mugger’s Delight!

    Reply to this comment
  4. SaviorSurfer January 26, 17:52

    Anyone have specific jacket recommendations they’ve found to work for this? Preferably grey man (I live in the city) but not necessarily. Something on Amazon for ease of acquiring?

    Reply to this comment
  5. barbuto January 26, 18:30

    carrying survival items in a vest/jacket is a good idea. The military has had survival vests since WW2. Pilots are limited in how they can carry gear. Since they are strapped into a seat, they can’t be carrying a back pack, and they can’t wear a full military style pistol belt with gun and accessories, so since ww2…they have had survival vests which they wear over their flight suits. Each pocket of the vest is designed to carry specific gear. I am not familiar with ww2 vests but I know they carried a knife/saw, a smaller pocket knife and a water bottle. VietNam era survival vests carried these items, a fixed blade knife,.. plus had a radio pocket, a pocket for a flare gun and flares, and they had a holster sewn on to the vest to carry their sidearm. The Army/Airforce had a vest and the Navy had their own. I think the id numbers were Sru-24/p air force and Svu-2/p…..I may be wrong about these numbers…But the concept is the same…decide on what gear u want to carry…pin a mock pocket to the vest to see how it lies and carries…then when all is good sew the pockets on to the vest…

    Reply to this comment
    • City Chick January 26, 22:14

      It is pretty easy to find decent multifunctional vests with lots of zipped pockets that are not as outright conspicuous as camo. They lend a much better look for town and country. Some of the items listed in this article are generally items that I take with me when I leave the house and I always leave the handbag at home. Basic black with lots of pockets works well under a coat for travel too.

      Reply to this comment
      • Oracle January 28, 20:19

        Yep, digital multi-scale military camo is not exactly inconspicuous. Add to that the multiple huge bulges showing under the jacket and you have the potential for a spreadeagled pat-down coming every time you pass a cop. Bags, packs, duffels, and cases work much better.. along with the trusty old black garbage bag to make it look unworthy of stealing.

        Reply to this comment
    • Omega 13 January 27, 16:31

      SV-2B is the callout.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Tug January 26, 18:32

    I wear one every day and underneath it I wear a light utility vest with even more pockets

    Reply to this comment
  7. JoEllen January 26, 19:32

    Is there a link to the jacket you used. Nice idea. It sort of builds on the concept used by, although those patterns are more style conscious. You have a nice idea!

    Reply to this comment
  8. James January 26, 20:09

    Are there any online retailers you would recommend for a military shirt or jacket?

    This jacket looks very much like an early 2010s Canadian Forces CADPAT shirt. Great shirt but hard to find up here.

    Reply to this comment
  9. ST January 26, 20:44

    Southern Snares & Supply makes a mini snare kit. I got one. I haven’t tried it out yet but the company came highly recommended.

    Reply to this comment
    • Oracle February 1, 18:59

      ST, before using it drop it in a pot of hot water with pine needles or other evergreen material in it to cover the man smell. Rub plant material on your hands before handling it to set it.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Dupin January 26, 21:33

    I go with the vest idea. I keep it handy…usually in the vehicle where I can pull it out for a hike…it has elastic side pockets that will hold the liter Nalgene bottles as well as a multitude of front pockets, two inner front pockets, and large exterior and interior pockets in the back…big enough to hold a poncho. It’s a light tan, not camo, so it doesn’t stand out nearly as badly, and I can wear it over or under a coat or jacket as desired. I live in suburbia, so while it might stand out a little, it wouldn’t all that much.

    I also have a mainly mesh vest for hot weather with a similar setup, except it doesn’t have the pockets for the water bottles, which I do miss, but have other options to carry the water then.

    I do also have a desert tan Molle vest with a bunch of strapped-on pouches and pockets. I hardly use it because it does look rather militaristic, and it’s heavier than the others empty, though the ability to set up the vest however you want is quite nice. Dependent upon the situation, it could be the one to wear, but that first one I mentioned is what’s ready and already in-vehicle.

    Reply to this comment
    • City Chick January 27, 17:09

      Dupin – Way to go! I always keep on hand and at the ready separate summer and winter insert packs for my business travel bag. Even though you dress everyday for the day and the weather, it pays to pack somethings in advance to help you handle the extremes. My two favorites are Safeseas and Yaktracks.

      Reply to this comment
  11. clergylady January 27, 02:02

    Winter here in Rural NM I wear a thick ankle length denim coat. Some good sized pockets and room inside for many more that wouldn’t be noticed. It would easily make a good blanket as well. I wear loose topped western work boots that if worn with boot legged jeans could easily have pockets made to wear in the boot tops.
    What I’ve considered is tight jeans with lots of pockets down the legs to wear under my full broomstick skirts if I happened to want to wear a skirt. Something long could easily be carried there.
    I have 2 shorter coats that could conceil a lot with some added inside pockets.
    I have lovely briefcases and a dressy black leather backpack and a single sided pack pack. Things left from full time pastoring and operating a school for 22 years. It would be easy to look business dressed but in flat shoes to head home in. My actual wallet is a card case. One of my brief cases has a net holder for a slender thermos or water bottle i could almost live out of that bag. A long knit top, leggings, and a belt and thin Hoodie and I could easily change my look or wear that as long underwear in cold weather. I used to always carry a change of clothing and flat shoes.
    I had a little zipper bag with a saw, small flashlight, an extra battery, fingernail clipper with a tiny file, chap stick, 5 bandaids, a pocket knife big enough to skin a small animal, 3 lighters, some folded money, glasses repair kit, a bandana, thin knit gloves, 2 survival blankets, 2 energy bars and a few pieces of hard candy, a small notebook and eversharp pencil, lipstick, blush, 5 cotton balls and more. Some things in snack size ziplock bags, all in that small zippered bag. Always carry safety pins and tiny travel sewing kit. A thin knit top, 2 pr leggings and a narrow belt rolled up fit in a sandwich bag.. a multi tool in side pocket. Lots of things carefully packed fit in a briefcase with a thin laptop, some file folders and usually a book or two. I used to have a folding travel cup also. Its amazing how much you can pack in small areas and pockets. Add or remove make up for a different look.
    I keep things in the vehicles. I bought survival blankets in a pack of 50 found cheap online. Many of the things I regularly carry were found online. My phone charger is soIar powered. My tiny headlight and small bright flashlight were $1 each at Walmart. There are better ones out there. In my car is a round oatmeal container that holds 2 rolls of TP. There are a few folded sheets in a snack ziplock bag in my briefcase.
    Having once spent 10 months with a pocket knife, 10 paper matches, a change of clothing and later I added a food can. I tend to want more close and available. In my car i keep a box. Some are all the time things and some weather specific. I keep 2 small mess kits, 3 enameled plates, 2 large enameled mugs and odds and end of metal flatware. Simple foods, and containers of water and water flavorings. Lots of things in that box. Things i couldn’t possibly carry in pockets. A multi sectioned shaker of salt and herbs. Things that would make bugging out safer or easier.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Dreaded January 27, 03:15

    You can grey man or go military camo. It in reality makes no difference. If it is a wolf he will pay no attention to your dress. If it is a mob it makes no difference. They want what you have. And if they see you they will take it.
    Your best choice and the least likely to get you killed is to know your area. Plan a route that takes you away from people. If the route you planned is compromised then take another. Have several planned routes.
    You don’t walk down a street as if going to the store in a shtf situation. You move slow and sure, move from cover to cover and you make your self aware of everything around you. Keep yourself invisible. If you move slowly and when others are not looking or only move when the street you have to cross or the block you have to go down is clear you have the best chance. Avoidance is the only option.
    Ask yourself this does it matter if it takes 1 hr or 2 days for you to get to your bug out place?
    Myself I would not be going to a bugout place until it was absolutely necessary. That is when you have no choice. Then and only then would I move and by that time you should have scouted and know what and where everything out there is and what is happening around you.
    If you can not protect your home the way it is then you need you do some real thinking. Because bugging out will be more dangerous then staying put in a shft situation.
    The problem is this the first day through the third day is when everyone realizes things have changed. The wolves will know and do not care. You leave to bug out and you are the one they are watching for because they know you will be carrying food, and survival gear.
    Anyone moving is their target. They will do one of two things. One they will kill you then and there or two they will follow you to your bug out place.
    Now lets say you stay put and invisible for two weeks at or near your home. Then you are running low on food or water because you live in a city. So you have to leave. Now you don’t just walk out in day light.
    You know or should by now know where to go and where not to go. You should know where the hardest areas are and how to avoid them and you should also know when the best time to get by the hardest areas are.. You should already have selected places to rest on the route you travel during the worst times of travel.
    So you leave at night and take your time and make it to your first selected place of rest (it does not matter if you make it early and have half the night left) and stay there all day. Then move to the next etc. Take your time. Time is your enemy as much as they are. You move to fast and you will be seen.
    So what does this comment tell you?
    It mainly tells you to THINK things through because in a shft there is no correct way. The correct way for one is not the correct way for another. The best way is to look, listen and then think before making any move.
    I am not saying the advice given is good or bad it just does not cover your situation with the way you live and think. Each person moves different, thinks different, is more or less accurate with fire arms and uses different amounts of water and food.
    Yes it is good to know how to prepare, store and cook food as these articles tell you and it is good to know about these bugout bags or clothes. But you also need to take into consideration things they don’t tell you. If you have all those things in a suit, the weight will slow your reactions and movements. In a bag you can get rid of it fast then return to get it.

    Reply to this comment
    • Illini Warrior January 27, 13:13

      a group to REALLY consider that you didn’t mention >>> LEOs and military – if they are looking for trouble and you’re the only one in the last 1,000 all decked out like a National Guard drill – you’re drawing totally un-necessary attention …..

      Reply to this comment
  13. anonymous January 27, 03:52

    Swiss M70 alpenflauge parka has the storage pockets in spades, but the camoflauge colors is very attention getting. This can be dyed for less color.

    I bought two of them, cutting the sleeves off one t make it a warm weather vest.

    Reply to this comment
  14. left coast chuck January 27, 23:58

    Fortuitously, yesterday a Sportsman’s Guide catalog arrived ( Item #1021-697340
    HQ Issue Concealment vest is $45 if you join their “club” for $9.99 for the first three months. Comes in three colors, tan, olive green and black. The copy in the on-line description says that it has 14 pockets.

    Four pages later is the Guide Gear Men’s 2-in-1 Field jacket with zip off sleeves that makes into a vest. The price is $81 with the club membership. The ad copy mentions that it has a hidden pen pocket in case you want to carry a device mightier than a sword discretely. ????
    It lists 13 pockets including the secret pen pocket. Alas, it apparently only comes in tan. It does have a roll and stow hood.

    The vest says that it has a concealed carry gun pocket. The jacket doesn’t mention one, but with 13 pockets, one must be suitable for concealed firearm carrying, although it might not fit your 7 1/2 inch Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casual or your S&W .500 S&W with its 6 1/2 inch barrel(or however long that barrel is)

    I am not affiliated with Sportsman’s Guide in any way, only as a somewhat satisfied customer. They have been hit and miss with me. I once ordered 1,000 rounds of what was advertised as PMC ammo at a very competitive price for PMC. What I got was Norinco ammo, hugely different. PMC is a Korean cartridge manufacturing company which I think may be affiliated with the Korean Army. They make ammunition to NATO specs.

    Norinco is definitely a Chinese Red Army company that makes ammo for the Chicoms. It is not made to NATO specs. It was an all right price for Norinco, but not the deal that it would have been for PMC. This was probably twenty years ago at the beginning of our relationship.

    They are very picky about whom they sell certain items too. I think they have a nitpicky lawyer running the sales department. In my experience some of their prices are very competitive and some of their prices are not so competitive. They do carry a lot of surplus from folks who have given up war for a brief period. Some Combloc countries from the 50s. Fair amount of East German stuff and stuff from the Bosnia area, all sides. (I originally typed both sides and then realized that as I recall, there were more than two sides. Was anyone ever able to determine just exactly who was shooting at whom?

    Reply to this comment
  15. Dupin January 28, 04:06

    I mentioned the concealment jacket in one of my comments, though after looking at it, this newer one has been redesigned and I don’t like it as much. Smaller zipper pockets on this, and zippers tend to break when you don’t want them to. No big flap pockets at the bottom with smaller pockets inside. No water bottle pockets on the side, and they say nothing of back pockets, which I keep a poncho in mine. There are more inside pockets with magazine holders. I really don’t like the sewn-on green subdued US flag on the khaki vest. It’s ugly, plus it makes you stand out at times when you wouldn’t want to. If I were to replace mine, I’d shop around rather than go with this new version. Definitely not as good for the price.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Miss Kitty January 28, 04:44

    Fishing vests might be an alternative for some people…lots of pockets and some are reasonably priced and can be found at several on line stores, catalogues, sporting goods suppliers… even Walmart and other box stores. They make dandy “gifts for Dad”, and if you should pick up some fishing line and hooks, camping gear and the like, people will just think you’re shopping for Father’s Day or a birthday.
    Be aware that “they” will be tracking ALL of your purchases soon, so check yard sales and small thrift stores for a discreet bargain.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Oracle January 28, 19:14

    Interesting, yet not practical. What are you supposed to do with all that gear when you are not just traveling with it? When you arrive do you take it off and hang it up someplace or just wear it 24/7? A jacket will hold just enough stuff to be too uncomfortably heavy and bulky to haul around while draped off your shoulders, but not offering enough space to be carrying truly useful and sufficient items. Use a get-home backpack style bag with a good shoulder straps and waistband system. Pack it with all you would need to get home on foot if need be. In an easily accessible pocket keep a raggedy but intact black garbage bag to put the pack in when around people. No one one will ask you what’s in the garbage bag when you go walking by dragging it along behind you with a piece of frayed jute cord. Try to look loco… talk to yourself… and respond. Talk to the garbage bag.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Oracle January 28, 19:22

    Too bad we can’t post images on here. I would like to see some of everyone’s gear. I’ve spent decades backpacking, hiking, and exploring, so I have a lot of survival gear. I keep three different bags packed all the time. When leaving, I grab the one best suited for the distance I’ll be traveling away from home. My EDC gear is always on my person, even while at home.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Bob February 11, 15:06

    I was contacted about the jacket I said I had found at a yard sale ( Brand new with tags $5.00) It is made by Port Authority, style is Corner Stone, style # 3763H….. The one I found is one of those thanks for working here jackets, YOU KNOW the ones that turn you into a walking advertisement for the Company. BUT being lucky on this pick, The logos 1 on chest and 1 on the left arm are easy covered with the needed extra pockets

    Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment