We often find ourselves captivated by tales of a lone survivor bugging out in the apocalypse, whether it’s a man and his trusty long-life friend or perhaps a canine companion by his side. He’s the quintessential American hero, always embroiled in dangerous situations and doing what he must to survive.
However, one thing that’s typically missing from these stories is children, particularly babies. Come to think of, I don’t know of any stories or movies about a lone survivor bugging out with a baby in the apocalypse.
It’s understandable since taking care of a baby while bugging out is no easy feat, and there’s not much room for diaper changes or lullabies when you’re fighting for your life. Plus, it’s nearly impossible to keep a baby safe in scenarios that add the “cool” vibe to the entire movie. .
Bugging out with a baby
As a prepper that plans on bugging out with a baby, I quickly learned that even a simple trip to the grocery store requires more time, thought, and consideration than ever before. With a little human who cannot survive on its own, I am now responsible for its well-being.
In a disaster scenario, the potential complications ramp up quickly, and the learning curve gets steeper. The innocent victims of any large-scale disaster or mass movement of people are infants, and they are entirely unprepared for any situation. As parents or caregivers of small children, we must be prepared to face challenges that we may have never encountered before. After all, sometimes it’s just a bad roll of the dice, but all too often, it’s due to a failure of preparation.
By learning from the failures of others, we can increase our chances of survival. Even if you’re not currently a parent or never intend to be one, you may find yourself among friends or family members with infants or small children when the worst happens. Therefore, it’s crucial to prepare ourselves and those around us for the challenges of bugging out with a baby or young child.
The Baby Bug-Out Bag
After stocking up on canned ravioli and subpar ramen noodles, the bug-out bag (BOB) becomes one of the first priorities for serious preppers. Fortunately, if you’re a parent, you already have a head start on creating a BOB for your little one – it’s called a diaper bag. With a few additional items (some of which you may already have) and weatherproofing, your diaper bag can become a complete baby BOB when combined with your own BOB.
Selecting the right bag can be tricky. While many dedicated baby bags are flimsy, a sturdy, modular bag that can be carried independently or attached to your own BOB is essential. The author opted for an assault pack from Tactical Tailor that can be worn on the back or attached to a plate carrier. The shoulder straps can even be stowed internally, and there are Fastex clips for attaching it to another pack.
Weatherproofing is crucial, and packing components together in Ziplocs or similar bags not only keeps water out but also aids in organization. It may even be necessary to have several bags of different sizes, such as a larger bag for a vehicle and an essentials bag for when you have to travel on foot.
Infants are delicate beings that require extra attention and care when it comes to their clothing needs. As they are more susceptible to environmental changes than adults, it is essential to choose clothing that is practical and functional. While cute clothes may be appealing, utilitarian clothing is a must-have for infants. Warm clothes for cold weather and light clothes for hot weather are critical considerations.
Children grow rapidly, and as a result, their clothing needs can quickly become complex. Unlike your personal BOB, where you may have a set of clothes for summer and winter, with a baby, you may have to swap clothes every couple of months. To keep costs down, thrift store clothing is a great option, and buying a size up is recommended to extend the lifespan of the clothes.
It’s no secret that babies can soil their clothes in the blink of an eye, so having extra changes of clothes on hand is a must. One way to conserve space and keep clothing fresh is to vacuum-seal them, making them even smaller and easier to pack in a BOB.
In addition to clothing, blankets and warming layers are essential for infants, even in hot weather. These items can provide physical warmth and double as sunshades to protect your little one from the sun’s harmful rays. If your baby is uncomfortable, you will know it, and so will others around you. Therefore, it’s crucial to pack appropriate clothing and gear in your baby BOB to ensure their comfort and safety.
Diapers and sanitation
As any parent will tell you, keeping your baby clean and comfortable can be a daunting task, especially in an emergency situation. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and have a well-stocked diaper bag or infant BOB.
One essential item for any diaper bag is, of course, diapers. But it’s important to remember that babies grow quickly, and their diaper size will change accordingly. Make sure you have a variety of sizes on hand, as well as some disposable options for when cloth diapers may not be practical.
Another important consideration is the length of time you’ll be away from home. If you’re planning for a longer-term scenario, you may want to think about how you’ll clean and sanitize your baby’s items. Biodegradable soap and powdered sanitizer can be useful in these situations.
Medical and grooming needs should also be taken into account. From fever reducers to teething medication to nail clippers, there are many items that can help keep your baby healthy and comfortable. And don’t forget about the dreaded nasal aspirator – while it may not be pleasant, it can be a lifesaver when your little one is congested.
Finally, blankets and warming layers are crucial for keeping your baby comfortable in any weather. They can also double as a sunshade if needed. And as your baby grows, you’ll need to swap out clothing regularly to ensure they’re always properly dressed for the weather
Food and water
Having access to clean and safe drinking water is crucial in any emergency situation, but it becomes even more critical if you are traveling with an infant. Babies are highly susceptible to dehydration caused by dysentery, and diarrhea is the leading cause of death for children in underdeveloped countries. While it may seem like there is an endless supply of liquids when changing a diaper, it only takes a small amount of water shortage to put a baby at risk.
Even if your infant is exclusively breastfed, you will still require a significant amount of water. If the mother becomes dehydrated, she may lose her breast milk, leaving both the baby and the mother at risk. This is not a situation that anyone would want to face, especially when they are already on the move due to a disaster.
In case my wife’s milk dries up, or if she is not present due to an injury or other reasons, I always keep a supply of premixed formula in my infant BOB. Alternatively, you may wish to consider single-serving powdered options as well.
Contrary to what commercials and baby magazine ads may suggest, babies do not need specially formulated colored goop that comes in a squeeze bag or glass bottle with rice cereal. For the most part, your baby can eat the same foods that you do, as long as they are mashed or chewed small enough. In dire circumstances, I am willing to chew a piece of meat or other food like a momma bird before feeding it to my baby.
Remember that it is not just enough to have water; it must also be potable. You can boil water to make it potable, but this is not always possible in an emergency. Therefore, it is advisable to keep water purification tablets or a filtration system in your infant BOB. This way, you can turn even the dirtiest of water into something that is safe to drink.
When it comes to traveling with a baby during a disaster, having a safe and effective method for carrying them is crucial. While a car may offer a convenient solution, things can get more complicated when you need to travel on foot. Carrying your baby in your arms may seem like the easiest option, but it can quickly become exhausting and limit your ability to navigate obstacles or handle other tasks.
While there are baby backpacks on the market designed for outdoor activities, they often have limited storage capacity and don’t allow you to wear an additional backpack or monitor your child easily. Plus, there’s always the risk of getting puked on! In my experience, using a front carrier or baby wrap is the best way to carry your infant while prepping.
This method offers plenty of benefits, such as keeping your hands free, allowing you to wear a backpack, and providing easy access to your weapons if necessary. Plus, you can keep a close eye on your child and ensure they stay warm and protected from the environment.
Personally, I prefer using a KinderPack for carrying my baby. This carrier offers a comfortable ride height, excellent visibility, and easy accessibility for taking my infant in and out. While it may seem simple to create your own baby carrier out of cloth, it’s important to remember that safety is key.
There is even a community of baby-wearing enthusiasts in the United States who are dedicated to ensuring safe and effective carrying methods for infants and toddlers. Don’t hesitate to seek out their resources and expertise to ensure your baby stays safe and secure while you’re on the move.
Staying under the radar
The reality of having an infant in a survival situation is that it can create a dangerous situation since babies aren’t known for being quiet. On one hand, you need to avoid attracting attention to yourself, and on the other hand, you have a ticking time bomb of noise in the form of your crying baby. As a parent, you understand that your baby’s cries are their only way of communicating with you, but there will inevitably be times when you need to keep things quiet.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to keep your baby calm and quiet in these situations. The first and most obvious solution is to keep your baby warm and well-fed. A content baby is a quiet baby, so make sure that you have plenty of formula, water, and warm clothing to keep them comfortable.
Pacifiers can also go a long way in soothing a fussy baby, but be sure to attach them to your rig with a dummy cord so you don’t lose them. You may also want to consider keeping a favorite toy in your BOB for comfort purposes. Your child’s favorite toy or stuffed animal can provide a sense of security and familiarity in an otherwise stressful situation.
If your baby is old enough, a nice thick lollipop can also work wonders in keeping them calm and quiet. Just make sure to choose a safe size and shape to avoid any choking hazards. For teething babies, a teething ring can also be a useful tool to keep on hand.
It’s important to remember that as a parent, you know your baby best. While these tips may be helpful, you likely have your own methods for soothing your child in a survival scenario. Just remember to stay calm and think creatively when it comes to keeping your little one calm and quiet in a stressful situation.
It takes a village
Having a reliable team can make all the difference in a survival situation. While it may be tempting to imagine a team of expert survivalists with diverse skills, the reality is that your most likely teammate will be someone close to you, such as a spouse or roommate. However, even having just one extra person on your team can exponentially increase your chances of survival, especially when caring for an infant.
When you have an infant in tow, the importance of having capable and supply-flushed team members becomes even more apparent. Taking turns caring for the baby while the other provides security is a force multiplier, allowing for more efficient use of time and resources.
While the idea of living off the land and sustaining yourself solely from your pack may seem romantic, the truth is that it’s a pure fantasy, especially when caring for an infant. The chain of logistical needs for a baby is long, and seeking civilization sooner rather than later is essential. While you may not need to last indefinitely, having enough supplies and support to get out of a dangerous area and reach a safer destination on your own terms is crucial.
You may also want to check this: