Your Bug-Out Bag
Your Bug-Out Bag
I’m not a fan of a "one size fits all" approach to supplements, because just like prescription medications, supplement recommendations need to be tailored to the individual’s genetic predisposition and micronutrient requirements. For example, take the vitamin B12: cyanocobalamin is the cheapest and is a very poor form to take. It should rarely be used. Some people need methyl B12, the activated form of B12, while for others (particular with not uncommon COMT gene mutations) this form can cause anxiety, ADD and/or insomnia. Those people often need hydroxy B12 and perhaps even adenysol B12.
With that caveat, here are a few supplements to consider for your bug out bag, taking into account your own needs and your doctor’s recommendations. While we are on the subject of supplements, be sure to have at least two week’s worth of any required prescription medications and supplements ready to go if you have to bug out.
Bolsters the immune system. Wise to avoid if you are sensitive to sulfur compounds.
Supports the adrenal glands, which give you energy during stress.
Anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea, ginger is also a blood thinner, so keep this in mind if you are on blood thinning medications.
Drink this at night. It is calming, will help relax the nervous system, and will help switch your body into healing mode while you sleep. This one is also a blood thinner.
Rose Hip Tea
Rose hips are particularly high in vitamin C, a difficult nutrient to obtain without access to fresh food. Vitamin C is necessary to prevent scurvy, a nutrient deficiency that causes lethargy, spongy gums, bleeding from the mucous membranes, teeth falling out, and eventually death from hemorrhaging. Not a pleasant thought! Scurvy sets in typically after 3 months of vitamin C deficiency, so if you are prepping for a 3-6 month time frame, make sure you keep a vitamin C source on hand, such as rose hip tea or just vitamin C supplements. Even for a shorter time frame, vitamin C is extremely important for healing wounds and maintaining bones.
Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to sunlight. Most people in the northern hemisphere don’t get enough sunlight to produce adequate levels of vitamin D, which is essential for energy levels and proper function of the immune system. If you are going to stock a D supplement, make sure you supplement with D3, not the cheaper and less bioavailable forms of D2.
If food is limited and you happen to have a good general multivitamin on hand, you may be able to keep your body in better condition than otherwise. Research brands and don’t skip – many cheaper vitamins like Centrum often aren’t even absorbed and are excreted whole, according to a friend who is a medical assistant. Whole foods vitamins are often a good bet.
If you are dependent on any prescription medications, you also want to make sure you have a supply in case pharmacies are closed and refills are unavailable. Talk to your doctor about having an emergency supply on hand.