Bugout News

Keeping it on the DL: Avoid attention when you bug out with these discreet survival packs

Tuesday, August 06, 2019 by

The items in your bug-out bag (BOB) will help you survive for at least 72 hours after a survival scenario. But have you ever considered that the backpack itself needs to be carefully chosen so you can keep a low profile when SHTF? (h/t to OffGridSurvival.com)

The main benefit of using a discreet BOB is that it allows you to travel in public without calling attention to the gear and supplies in your possession. When disaster strikes, the last thing you need is a tactical backpack that screams “I’m a prepper” while you’re in the presence of desperate people.

Things to consider when choosing a BOB

This doesn’t mean that tactical bags aren’t useful. If you’re heading to the gun range for a bit of practice, tactical bags are the way to go.

But when SHTF, it’s better to use a simple-looking backpack so you don’t stick out in a crowd. Here are some things to consider when buying a survival backpack:

  1. MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) or tactical attachments aren’t that important in a bag. However, if you feel like you need them, you can buy a simple bag then add internal cases and attachments. Use these accessories to customize the inside of your bag so you don’t attract unwanted attention when SHTF. (Related: Prepper hacks: How to make modular bug-out bags.)
  2. You might want to get a water-resistant bag when choosing a BOB.
  3. Get a backpack that won’t look out of place in the areas that you may need to pass through. If you’re headed towards a business area in your city, get a professional bag that will help you blend in.
  4. Don’t settle for a cheap backpack that will fall apart when you need it the most. Your bag should be able to handle heavy gear without ripping.
  5. Check reviews to see what people say about a certain bag’s zippers. A well-made bag has high-quality zippers that are properly stitched on.
  6. Buy a bag that you can carry comfortably even if you need to walk for several hours. Consider a backpack with back padding ensures and padded shoulder straps for maximum comfort.

Here are four discreet BOBs that are worth considering if you need a survival backpack.

JanSport Cool Student Backpack

Most students often use JanSport bags, and carrying one for your BOB ensures that you won’t stand out in most settings. JanSport makes sturdy bags that are designed for carrying heavy textbooks and laptops. You don’t have to worry about this bag falling apart after you pack your survival gear and supplies.

The bag is available in different colors and patterns. To blend in, choose a bag with dull, solid colors.

Swissdigital Business Travel Backpack

The Swissdigital backpack is another good option because it is spacious, with many storage compartments inside.

The bag has RFID pocket protection that prevents RFID scanners from reading and stealing your personal information. Additionally, the bag unfolds from 90 to 180 degrees so you can immediately find your gear.

Rothco Every Day Carry (EDC) Transport Pack

The Rothco backpack is a discreet bag that doesn’t scream “tactical” because most of the features of a tactical-style bag are found inside this backpack. This bag won’t look out of place in business environments because it also looks similar to a regular laptop bag.

The Rothco EDC Transport Pack has MOLLE inside the bag. The laser-cut, 15? X 5? MOLLE panel can be used to strap knife sheaths and other MOLLE pouches or attachments. You can fully unzip and lay the panel down flat to easily access all your gear.

UTG Alpha Battle Carrier Sling

If you want to discreetly carry a firearm, buy the UTG Alpha Battle Carrier Sling. This affordable rifle bag is plain-looking and well-made.

The case is comfortable to wear and it can carry two long guns and at a handgun. The UTG bag is roomy enough for extra ammo and magazines.

The bag has four quick-pull handles for rapid weapon access. You can fit most AR15-style rifles in the UTG carrier sling. Finally, the bag is designed for ambidextrous use.

Modifying a regular bag into a tactical backpack

Use these products to customize your bag for survival situations.

5.11 Tactical COVRT Insert

Use a 5.11 insert to turn a regular backpack into a BOB that can store your MOLLE-style gear and attachments. Alternatively, you can put the insert inside a laptop bag.

The insert is fully compatible with MOLLE, with both horizontal and vertical web loops.


These MOLLE backpack pouches are affordable and you can use them to discreetly organize your gear. The FUNANASUN pouches are also larger than most pouches so you can carry more items in your BOB.

When preparing your BOB, choose a simple, sturdy backpack that you can customize using MOLLE inserts and pouches.

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