Something that is occasionally overlooked when assembling bug out bags is the need for cash. Remember, it need not be a complete end of the world calamity for you to end up having to rely on your bug out bag for at least the short-term.
For anything up to a total collapse, cash is likely to still be king. If the power is out, many places won’t take credit/debit cards. If you’re a motel owner and you have two people in front of you, one with a Discover card and the other with $50 in cash, you’re going to go with the cash every time.
If the power is still running, a few singles and some quarters can get you some quick calories from a snack machine. Hell, you might even run across a true rarity — a working payphone.
How much cash should you have in your bug out bag? Well, in all seriousness, the more the better. Make sure you have a little bit of everything, from twenties down to quarters. I’d say twenties are probably the largest bill you want to carry as you don’t want to end up in a situation where all you have is a fifty and the other guy doesn’t have change.
Here’s my recommendation for cash in the bug out bag, if you can swing it.
$100.00 in twenties
$50.00 in tens
$30.00 in fives
$20.00 in singles
$10.00 in quarters
That gives you $210.00 total. Plenty of cash to get you a decent motel room for a night or two, plus perhaps a couple cheap meals or a ride out of town.
My suggestion is to include in your bug out bag a pouch, commonly called a neck safe. This is a small cloth bag you wear around your neck and under your shirt. Put most of your cash in there to keep it safe when you’re traveling. Keep a bit of cash in your pocket for easy access.
The roll of quarters serves two purposes. It can get you a bit of food and it can also be inside your fist, should you need a bit of…reinforcement.