Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag by Creek Stewart is a book I really wanted to love. I’ve read some of Creek’s magazine articles and really liked them. I’m also a gear junkie, always looking for ideas (excuses) for things to add to my preps. I read through this a few times looking for a reason to recommend it. Trust me, I really tried. Mr. Stewart knows his stuff, and there is some good info in this book. In the end though, I can’t recommend this book. Instead of picking it apart, I’ll just talk a little about what I didn’t like about it. I also have a couple of suggestions for books that I think are better for those looking for info and ideas on building your perfect bug out bag.
Build the perfect Bug Out Bag
Like I said, I really wanted to like this book. The information seems solid. It’s mostly the presentation I didn’t like. It could be more concise. The first chapter (especially) reads like it was written for someone in middle school, if not younger. The book is sprinkled with phrases like “… is a subject heavily debated…,” “…there are countless other things…,” “…you are almost guaranteed…” and other generalities. While they’re true, if I’m shelling out my hard earned cash for a book, I expect solid, authoritative advice. Especially if I’m a beginner who wants to learn how to build the perfect bug out bag. Equipment lists and generalities don’t cut it. I can find those all over the internet – free.
For example, compare this book to Cody Lundin’s 98.6: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive. Cody’s book is written at an adult reading level. It’s concise, but still manages to be very entertaining. It’s precise and authoritative. He tells you what you need, what it does, why you need it, and how to use it. He doesn’t mind telling you exactly how things are, but he manages to say it without sounding bossy or condescending. He’s obviously confident in his knowledge and skill.
Creek Stewart is obviously knowledgeable and skilled. That’s what makes it so weird that he comes off as unsure of himself some times. Other times, he comes off as mildly condescending. I realize I probably just pissed off almost all of his fans and friends. That isn’t my intention. I don’t know Mr. Stewart but I am a fan too, and my reaction to this book surprised me. It is what it is though, and I can’t recommend this book. If you’re looking for a book on how to build the perfect bug out bag, there’s nothing here that you can’t get free on numerous YouTube channels or prepping and survival blogs.
If you want a book, I highly recommend Cody Lundin’s. It’s written in the context of a survival kit, but that survival kit could be fleshed out into a full bug out bag (a.k.a. 72 hour kit). Another book that looks like it might be interesting is Build the Perfect Survival Kit, 2nd Edition by John McCann. It covers different sized kits from a small get home bag through a full blown evacuation kit. I’ve been looking through a friend’s copy and I like what I see so far. Until next time…