## Make sure you have the right weapons with you in an emergency

In an emergency situation, a weapon’s purpose is self-preservation. This includes self-defense, hunting, skinning, and butchering. Naturally, some weapons are more apt for one of the activities listed above than others, even though all of your weapons should always be versatile and wide-ranging. Whatever weapon you may end up choosing to pack in your bug out bag, you should be intimately familiar with it. Using your weapon in an emergency situation for the very first time can be more harmful than useful, so make sure to test, maintain, and learn about your weapon, and above all else, make sure to pick the right Survival Weapon.

When considering what you are going to pack, think about the reasons for the specific weapon in particular, and the other uses it may serve. Not all knives, and guns are created equal, and some will serve you better in an emergency situation than others. For instance, a higher caliber gun might give you an edge in securing large prey for your food source, but evacuating with a large rifle and 500 rounds of .223 ammo will take up much needed space and add a lot of weight to an already packed [% link text="bug out bag" slug="bug-out-bag" %]. Likewise, a serrated machete might be good for clearing debris and cutting down undergrowth, but would do nothing for you when it comes to skinning a dear. So think carefully before you settle on the weapons you want to pack.

That being said, most people often opt to include three types of weapons: a gun, a knife, and another type of self-defense weapon such as a pepper spray. It is important to recognize the limitations of each of these weapons, because in an emergency situation your life may depend on it. For instance, pepper sprays are good options to have in an environment where large game is abundant and likely to cross paths with you. It is often used to warn off bears in an attempt to resolve bear encounters in a peaceful manner. Another obvious use for pepper spray is to fend off a close quarters attack, but you need to know how to use the weapon. Of course, you know not to point the spray to yourself, but you also need to remember to take the [wind into account](http://www.ackermansecurity.com/resources/blog/the-beginners-guide-to-buying-pepper-spray), so that it does not end up blowing back on you.

### Pepper Spray

[% amz-image text="Udap Bear Spray" asin="B001QGYH7Y" image="udap-bear-spray.jpg" %]

If you opt to include a pepper spray in your bag, the [% amz-text asin="B001QGYH7Y" text="UDAP 12HP Bear Spray" %] is a superior choice. It is made in the USA by a grizzly bear attack survivor and it is higher in strength than most other sprays. With a range of 30 feet, it can stop an animal with the oil-based formula that instantly fills eyes, nose and lungs.

### Knives

[% amz-image text="SOG Seal Team Fixed Blade" asin="B001EICW7G" image="sog-seal-team-fixed-blade.jpg" %]

Knives are one of the most basic parts of your [% link text="survival gear" slug="survival-gear" %], and ranks high on the [% link text="essential bug out bag items" slug="essential-bug-out-bag-items" %]. Therefore if you chose to select only one, make sure it is a great multi-tasker. You can have your knife pull double-duty with your [% link text="Get Home Bag" slug="get-home-bag" %] provided that you are able to transfer it to the other pack when appropriate. It should have a superior quality blade, a sturdy grip, and non-corroding blade that stays sharp for a long time. You should always carry your knife in a sheath or opt for a model that folds back into its handle. Preferably, you will select a knife that is able to cut through small bones but also able to handle more delicate tasks such as skinning or precision cuts. As a good rule of thumb, always opt for sturdiness and quality over size and extras. Although knives are close-combat weapons, in an emergency situation you will use it more for basic survival. It will be your workhorse when it comes to cutting branches, building shelters, assembling hunting gear or tying up cargo. You will also rely on your knife for dressing and butchering games you catch, as well as cleaning and cutting fish. For these reasons, make sure you select the right knife for your own needs. The table above lists three examples for the different weapons that would make great additions to most bug out bags. If you don’t have a bag yet, make sure to check out this article on [% link text="SOC Bags" slug="soc-bags" %].

[% amz-image text="Gerber Silver Trident" asin="B0002ILNHY" image="gerber-silver-trident.jpg" %]

The [% amz-text text="Gerber Silver Trident" asin="B0002ILNHY" %] Sheath Knife with Double Serration Edge features a double-edged [154CM stainless steel blade](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/154CM) that will keep its edge for a long time. Additionally the 6.18 inches long heat-treated blade is flexible, non-reflective, has a serrated edge to help you cut through the toughest materials. You will find the handle both comfortable and durable. It is made of Hyrtel, which combines strength in the inner layer and softness in the outer. The textured grip helps with stability, and the heat and UV resistant features will give this knife a long life. With an overall weight of 17.4 ounces and a fully opened length of 11.22 inches this is a versatile knife that will serve you well in a variety of emergencies.

### Rifle

As with the pepper sprays, you also need to evaluate your guns carefully. Make sure the gun you select fits your bug out bag well as well as the environment you will use it in. For the most part, a .22 will be one of your best options. It can effectively kill small game and fowl, and if you are a particularly good shot, it can even handle some of the larger game. These types of firearms will also work well on boats and skiffs when hunting sea mammals or swimming prey. A 500 round of ammunitions is very light in packing weight and also very affordable, but you need to make sure you understand that these types of guns will do very little in hunting large game. Basically all small game and anything else you can walk up to fairly close will work, and it will also be a good choice for self-defense.

[% image-small filename="walther-mp5-semiautomatic-tactical-rimfire-rifle.png" %]

The Walther/H&K MP5 SD Semiautomatic Tactical Rimfire Rifle is a .22 LR tactical-gun with a magazine capacity of 25 and an overall weight of 5.9 pounds. The retractable stock accommodates in length from 26 and three quarter inches to 33 and three quarters. The navy pistol grip provides superb grasp and the sling attachment makes it easy to carry. The adjustable sight will help you in varying conditions and terrain, including wind and elevation. Your bug out bag rifle needs to be compact, commonly available, able to effectively handle small game, and relatively affordable, this gun is a good choice to meet all of these four basic criteria.

### Conclusion

Make sure you pick your **survival weapons** with care. Think carefully about each piece and how it fits into your survival bag and your survival strategy overall. Because of the limited space, try to find weapons that have multi-purposes. Finally, make sure you are comfortable using the weapon, you don’t want to fumble when it counts!