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How to Prepare an Escape Backpack

Embrace the best hope, but prepare for the worst. - "The Shawshank Redemption"

Choosing a Backpack

When choosing an escape backpack, you need to consider both its capacity (able to hold enough essentials and tools) and the comfort of carrying it for a long time, while also avoiding being too conspicuous.

If we look at it from the perspective of buying a mountaineering backpack, frameless backpacks are not suitable for use as escape backpacks. On the one hand, they are small in size, and on the other hand, the weight is all on the shoulders, which is not suitable for long-term hiking. Although most external frame backpacks are suitable for long-term carrying, they are often targeted by robbers due to their exaggerated size and carrying system.

The most suitable choice for an escape backpack is an internal frame backpack with a capacity of about 40L and a simple carrying system. In addition, its tear resistance and waterproof performance should also be considered.

Water and Water Purification Methods

On the way to escape on foot, if the bottled water runs out, it is inevitable to obtain drinking water from nature.

The safest water purification method is to boil the water, which can kill bacteria and disinfect it 100%. However, it may not be possible to do so due to lack of fuel or long time consumption. If you choose the method of boiling water, it is recommended to equip a metal kettle that can be split into a water boiling base.

Physical water purification methods include various filters, such as manual pumps, straw filters, and integrated filtering water bottles, but they can only filter impurities and cannot completely kill viruses.

Chemical methods include chlorine dioxide water purification tablets, which are small in size and lightweight, but can only purify relatively clear water.


On the way to escape, food should be high in calories and easy to carry. The general choice is compressed dry food with beef jerky, plus multivitamin tablets.


When wearing clothing, try to avoid cotton fabrics as much as possible. Choose quick-drying, moisture-resistant, and warm fabrics, and choose dark colors for better concealment.

For underwear, choose lightweight, quick-drying fabrics. For the middle layer, choose fleece (lightweight, quick-drying, and warm) or down (good compressibility, small volume after folding) for insulation. Choose a windproof and waterproof jacket as the outer layer. Choose pants with good elasticity for the lower body. It is also recommended to prepare knee pads and a foldable hat as backups.

For shoe selection, you can refer to hiking and mountaineering shoes, focusing on comfort, lightweight, and waterproof performance. It is also necessary to break in the shoes before using them.

Shelter and Bedding

A small-sized tent can be chosen as a shelter, supplemented with a lightweight sleeping bag. If conditions permit, an inflatable moisture-proof pad can be added.

Fire Starting Tools

There are generally three types of fire starting tools: lighters, fire starters, and waterproof matches. It is recommended to prepare at least two types and seal them in waterproof packaging.

First Aid Kit

  • For cuts: disinfectant cotton balls/wet wipes, adhesive bandages, medical tape, gauze, iodine, cotton swabs, bandages, etc.
  • Internal medicine: ibuprofen/aspirin (for fever, headache, or inflammation relief), activated charcoal tablets, dimenhydrinate (for motion sickness), cold medicine.
  • Medical tools: rubber gloves, tweezers, insect repellent (DEET, can also assist in fire starting), N95 masks.

Electronic Devices

  • Mobile phone: Prepare an extra phone with a SIM card.
  • Power bank: Prepare at least two or more.
  • Charger: Choose a GaN multi-port charger.

Other Tools

  • Mirror: for self-care or sending distress signals.
  • Whistle: for sending distress signals.
  • Emergency blanket: for cold protection and warmth.
  • Toiletries: tissue paper, toothbrush, compressed facial cleansing towels, disposable underwear.
  • Folding shovel: one side with a blade, the other side with serrations, can be equipped with survival tools such as a small knife and compass.
  • Pliers: for cutting steel wire.
  • Headlamp: for nighttime illumination, focus on lightweight and long battery life.
  • Radio: to be added, choose a radio with a NOAA weather broadcast module.
  • Important documents: ID card, passport, a small amount of cash, allergy information, etc., need to be sealed in waterproof packaging.
  • Paper map: as a backup when GPS fails.
  • 550 paracord bracelet: for building shelters, fishing line, emergency climbing ropes, repairing equipment, etc.
  • Sewing kit: for sewing clothes.
  • Trekking poles: to distribute weight, choose lightweight and easy-to-store ones.
  • Rain gear: disposable raincoats/overshoes.

References and Acknowledgments

This post is translated using ChatGPT, please feedback if any omissions.