Tactical Tailor

Forget the Bug Out Bag – Now They’re Talking INCH

INCH as in I’m Never Coming Home. So if a Bug Out Bag is meant for 72 hours on your own, what is the INCH bag intended for? What should be in it?

Somebody has already launched a website dedicated to the concept – inchbag.com. But, it’s typical Doomsday Prepper caliber with lots of surplus store stuff.

If you had to actually live out of a pack, what would you carry? I’d start it out with these 10 essentials.

1. Knife
2. Fire making materials
3. Water purification and bottle
4. Food / food acquisition (snares, firearm, etc)
5. Navigation (map/compass/GPS)
6. First Aid items
7. Shelter
8. Environmental protection (clothing, sunglasses, etc)
9. Cord
10. Signal Devices

and that 11th, a positive attitude.

But, what do you guys think?

19 Responses to “Forget the Bug Out Bag – Now They’re Talking INCH”

  1. John says:

    Don’t specops missions generally have their individualsshow up with 100lb rucks full of stuff for a short mission in an organized team environment with external support from higher elements?

    Yet, you want me to live the rest of my life, with no notice, out of a bag with ten items?

    Ok . . . .

    • SSD says:

      Granted, training is required…

      • Dave says:

        In response to ‘SPECOPS Missions” that “100LBs” covers a wide range of gear. Only a small portion of it is long term survival. The rest is heavy things like bullets, explosives, commo equipment, water etc. Those things weight a lot. Your survival gear should enable you to procure all the things needed for survival. If you packed the things you needed to survive i.e. food, water, shelter you would be heavily weighed down and run out in a short time.

    • mike says:

      Those guys show up with piles of gear, years of training, and a support team to go into a (generally) known threat that’s been planned for. The idea of an INCH bag is that you don’t have the warning, you don’t have access to the pile of things. Your INCH setup should be geared toward acquiring or making the things you need for longer-term if necessary.

  2. LL says:

    I got a Kifaru Express backpack with extra pouches.

    Filled for E&E with a small Mystey Ranch Hip Bag.

    What I really like is the video from Haley Strategic to this topic on his blog.

    It is packed so that the MR can be taken off and used as an extra essential bag, when I have to drop off the backpack.

    So I think what would be a good idea in such a bail out bag, which was listed on your website is to put into the bag a collapsable backpack like the ones from Maxpedition, because if you need to collect items during being in a extreme event out from home this is very useful. For shelter I would suggest to take a gore tex poncho.

    What is very important in my eyes, no extreme military style stuff, because during events like Katrina, MIL/LEO taking first a look at camo styled people. So keep civilian style if possible.

    You can where a knife/multitool and a flashlight evey day but in my opinion the most important thing are trained skills, to know what to do, to know where to get which items i need or how to build shelter, so training is useful and mindset.

    I used to say, a well trained operator can work with any gear because he knows how to use it. Not gear makes you go, skills and trained knowledge.

    • mike says:

      I always hear people say “try to look civilian!” or “oh that pack is no good because it’s cammo”. I hate to break it to you but if you look like you have supplies it doesn’t matter whether what pattern is on the bag. Bags of a certain size/shape/configuration just look military no matter what you do to them, and when it comes down to it anyone who is geared-up, even in bright colors, is going to look like someone that bad people want to loot, lost people want to tag along with, and law enforcement want to question.

  3. Agent Orange says:

    Seriously? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the amount of crap this site advocates carrying (10,000 rounds of .22 = 86 lbs! not to mention the weight of the rifle, the pistol, and the suggested 250 – 500 rounds of pistol ammo) is going to severely immobilize or get you killed in a real life-or-death survival situation.

    Lets get real here, folks. It would be nigh impossible to live out of a bag and sustain yourself “indefinitely” as this site proposes. The only guys who are going to be able to run off into the woods and survive are the hardcore primativist’s who know how to live off the land neanderthal style… and this only as long as the forests aren’t stripped clean from all the Bug-Out-Bubba’s out there shooting and killing every last thing in sight.

  4. 2-BPM says:

    Mountain men did it. Humans survived the ice age with flint spears. It’s only impossible to live out of bag if you have to google “how to build a fire” every time you go car camping. I’ll take my strider, fire starter, rifle and 200 rnds of ammo. Also a good axe. I’ll figure out how to tan hides and build a bow by the time I run out of ammo. This is the survival side. If people are actively hunting you, you are pretty much screwed. Gear doesn’t equate to survival, mindset and skills do.

  5. TMedina says:

    The INCH or “EOTWAIKI” bags (End of the World as I know it) bags are just another step in the chain.

    BOB – Bail/Bug Out Bags. Basic, minimalistic essentials.
    GO bags – the 72-hour bags. Sustainainable for a weekend, or a smelly week.
    INCH – extended operations without a home to return to. People leaving ahead of Katrina, for example. The tornadoes in the mid-West that razed towns to the ground.

    I don’t recommend taking any website as gospel, but it’s a lot like planning for the zombie invasion; both are potentially useful conceptual planning exercises.

  6. Yenner says:

    My INCH Bag:

    1 – Enough cash for a 1-way ticket to Paris
    2 – Passport and Travel documentation
    3 – Basic Phrase guide including “take me to the nearest French Foreign Legion Recruiting Center.”

    Job done.

  7. Jason says:


    Read this interesting article on Death Valley Mag. There really doesn’t seem to be a need to have a bug out bag….Yes, you should have supplies on hand to pack in your car or a large pack and the training to live in the outdoors but….

    I think it should be directed. If you’re getting out on foot, it’s cause your home is wrecked beyond use (like you can’t stay in it for some reason) and you can’t use your car.

    Your home should be your first choice for where to survive. If you can’t, shouldn’t your pack be oriented toward having enough supplies to get you to a specific point like an evacuation point or a safe high ground w/ relatives?

    I really can’t see myself living exclusively off the land. You can do it for a coupla weeks but people need medicine, food, potable water, energy. Batteries run out of juice. Water filters break down. Food/the means of getting it (like ammo) run out. You can only survive out there for so long.

  8. Terry says:

    I agree with previous comments about this minimalistic long-term survival concept having worked in the past for more primative men…to some extent. But remember, even for experienced “mountain men” the survival rate was pretty low. For cave men the life span under even the most optimum circumstances was extremely short. If these are the “role models” or examples you are trying to emulate at least be realistic.

    I did a quick scan of the INCH website and see a lot of challenges with the schetchy scenarios outlined there. I have quite a bit of survival equipment and extensive training including Army SERE but I’m not a 20 year old anymore and rucking with 100 plus pounds for any real distance is a hell of a lot more problematic than it used to be.

    Also, I’m not alone. I have my wife 5′ tall and 100 lbs and my 81 year old Mother. They aren’t going to pack any significant load or travel very far under any circumstances. And I’m certainly not going to abandon them and head for the hills. I suspect many people are not in a position to “lone wolf” their survival decisions.

    Now, if you can go it alone; are relatively young and healthy, and are willing to scavenge what you need from whatever is left – assuming there is enough remaining sources of food and water left to scrounge – it might work. In that case probably primative and “renewable” resources would work best, i.e. a bow and arrows for food provision instead of firearms. It would also be lighter than hundred of rounds of ammunition.

    I think it is probably worthwhile to think through the INCH option but I certainly wouldn’t make it the centerpiece or the first choice of my survival planning. In any case, you need to be committed to resource, train and rehearse your plan. Otherwise you “plan” is just a fantasy. Reality will not meet you half way.

  9. Nick says:

    I actually faced a no shit INCH situation a little over a year ago and was not prepared enough for it (Although in the end it ended up not culminating in leaving for me). I live in Japan and was here for the March 11th Earthquake. At the time I had a Delta bag for any extended periods for going to FPCON Delta and still maintained out of habit a bag for last minute trips to the field. But after the Fukashima reactors started to melt down and the information (not as accurate as first thought) began to trickle in it wwas decided that we were to leave the country. There was a 72 hour window and we were to be ass out and wheels up.

    I had to begin to pack for myself, wife, and two small children as if we were never coming home again. And most likely would not see our belongings again. But like I said there was A LOT of miss information even on the .mil side of the house. Being a first responder I was to leave last and well after my family. I can’t argue with the logic of having a bag packed with enough essentials to live for an undetermined time out of a pack (like going to Iraq and living out of our kit bags until we made it to out final FOB) I can’t comment on the guns and the like but a good bag with all the essential elements to start over is a good idea.

    I always felt like I was prepared on a lot of levels and that Earthquake, Tsunami, and subsequent radiation event really showed me the holes in my planning. I did evacuate my family for a brief period and ended up staying in Japan as the base never fully evacuated. Great topic and thanks for letting me ramble on and share.

  10. gusto says:

    Toilet paper and or baby wipes.

  11. Mikel says:

    It’s a good idea, but I call mine a Get Home Bag. It’s just part of a greater load out/prep system that runs in steps.
    Ie, I carry a small belt pouch with absolute minimal survival stuff; fire starter, string, razor sharp knife, Benedryl(shellfish alergy), IBrofin, etc, as well as business cards, cell phone, pen, small LED, multi-tool,etc. This goes with my CCW and a 4′ lock blade knife.

    That is to get me to my truck. My Get Home Bag is in the truck along with a cheap 12ga. food, water, lights,etc.

    That gets me home(or at least to a safe place). And then at home I have Bug In supplies and gear along with my BOB gear as well.

    Layers people, layers. And a little bit can go a long way if you get of your ass and learn how to use it.

  12. Phil says:

    The problem I see with all this bag is that sooner or later you are probably in dire straits due to minimal resources.
    With all the hoarding, etc. it would make sense to stock a fall back location, and then use your minimal gear to escape to that location. If you are planning on doing the character from Book of Eli, and being a nomad, then I guess you would have to be awesome at working all the gear on the list.
    Ultimately the Nevada wasteland is not going to be an ideal environment to survive in as it is Afghanistan in the US. The city of Las Vegas will resemble something out of Mad Max and Thunderdome.

  13. Luke says:

    while the practicality of the INCH bag could be debated indefinitely (my take is anything without wheels isn’t an INCH), what isn’t up for debate is how terrible that website is. If he’d stuck to surplus and stayed out of the airsoft section he might be ok, but it really looks like he went through Amazon.com and clicked the “customers also bought…” link on all his favorite airsoft guns.

  14. Daggertx says:

    “I’m never coming home” bag made me think it was for kids running away from home.

    One thing overlooked in long term survival is the value of community. In short, people you would trust with your life when resources are scarce.