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The Ultimate INCH Bag Guide 2022 | What Is an Inch Bag?

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Featured | Male backpacker hiking/tracking through mountain forest | Preparing Your INCH Bag

Find out all about the INCH bag, how to prepare one, and what you need to put in it before an actual need arises!

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What Is an Inch Bag? (And Why You Need One)

Bug Out Bag vs. INCH Bag

A Bug Out Bag provides supplies to ditch a current location where you may find yourself for a limited time.

But, an INCH bag provides supplies, tools, and gear for three to seven days. An INCH bag is the last resort bag before packed with the understanding returning home may not be an option.

When preparing your INCH bag, search for a sturdy, well-put-together INCH bag backpack.

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Military-grade is an excellent option as they are from 500 to 1000 linear Cordura. They were also designed with waterproofing material to prevent moisture inside the bag.

MOLLE webbing on the bag’s exterior allows more space for supplies. And customize essential tools and gear wherever you may need them.

Ensure that the INCH bag’s webbing is in line with MOLLE/PALS style gear and the bag meets Mil/SPEC requirements.

What is MOLLE?

MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It is a system of webbing – where several rows of heavy-duty nylon are on the vest – for reinforcement and allowance for more pouches and compartments.

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INCH Bag Setup

The first items you pack into an INCH bag are the essential items you need to survive and endure. For example, hot and cold weather clothing is crucial to anticipate any terrain’s elements and gloves, headgear, and even rain gear. In addition, include undergarments for additional warmth in the winter months and headgear capable of covering the ears.

Another essential item to pack is a fire-starting kit. It includes matches or lighters, but the preferred tool would be a striking kit as they are weatherproof.

Pack lighting items such as glow sticks, flares, and a flashlight, so navigating at night is possible. Regardless of where you reside, bring a map of a region you’re in and a compass to help locate your destination.


Shelter-Building Kit

Shelter of branches in the forest | Preparing Your INCH Bag
If you’re out in nature for more than a day, you will need shelter before it gets dark. If you have a tarp on your INCH bag, it’ll be a huge help.

Include cutting tools such as knives, hatchets, or an ax in your I.N.C.H. bag. These tools will go a long way for chopping wood, providing shelter, and even hunting and preparing meals.

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Protection and Defense

Tomahawk axe made of bone | Preparing Your INCH Bag
Protection and defense aren’t just about protecting yourself against potential attackers in a scenario where the rule of law is no more. You can also use these tools to ward off larger predators deep in the woods and hunt for food.

Protection and defense are not only limited to rifles and handguns. Yet, the ultimate I.N.C.H. bag is the one that lets you have a variety of weapons to carry.

Knives, swords, battle axes or tomahawks, pepper spray, and barbed wire will aid your defense. You can even set up traps if necessary.

Pepper spray or mace also makes a great scent deterrent if you need to hide your tracks. Be sure whichever tool you choose for protection and defense, you have plenty of ammunition.

At the very least, you should know how to produce your ammunition and prepare weaponry. But, of course, the same rule applies to knives, swords, and axes.

You should know how to mend and repair these weapons properly. Keep in mind weapons do not necessarily have to be lethal.

I keep a pair of barred stainless steel handcuffs in my I.N.C.H. bag if I have to place a citizen’s arrest or keep a suspicious person alive for whatever reason.

Another excellent protection and defense tool is camouflage face paint. There is no better weapon than blending into your surroundings.

Face paint takes up little to no room in an I.N.C.H. bag.

Securing Food

When packing food in an I.N.C.H. bag, keeping the food stored a minimum of three days’ worth is essential. But, it should not necessarily exceed seven days, either.

Packing more than seven days’ worth of food limits the number of other supplies you can fill. When packing food, keep it as lightweight as possible.

Also, be sure to pack food with high carbohydrates and protein. Then, if forced to go a few days without eating, the body will store sustenance.

A great example of this is the military and civilian version of M.R.E.’s (Meals Ready to Eat.) In addition, you can pack canned tuna, beans, bread, and various dried meats.

Instead of packing bottled water, fill a filtration device. You can collect safe drinking water from other sources and extra weight in an I.N.C.H. bag.

If water sources are scarce, pack hydration bladders you can attach to the bag’s exterior via MOLLE webbing.

If you anticipate needing to survive more than seven days in an “I’m Not Coming Home” scenario, you will need to know how to forage from the land. Or, at least be sure to pack a book on identifying plants to feed.

Additional Tools and Equipment

Equipment and tools | Preparing Your INCH Bag
Add sewing, weapon cleaning, and repair kits to your I.N.C.H. bag. In addition, include small unique tool kits if room allows it (such as screwdrivers, pocket knives, and utility tools).

Add clips, buckles, and straps to repair your I.N.C.H. bag in case of rips, tears, or damage while trying to relocate to a safe shelter.

I carry an I.F.A.K. (Individual First Aid Kit), a weapon cleaning kit for every caliber weapon I have (which happens to be a single kit covering 7.62×39, 5.56, .45, and 9mm). Add a H.A.M. radio with spare batteries and a solar-powered crank radio that doubles as a flashlight and emergency weather receiver.

Personal Need Items

We include a few personal items in our I.N.C.H. bags, and these vary as our needs differ. For example, women’s bags need feminine hygiene products, and the elderly need to include prescription medication if there are any.

I go the extra mile and include an eyeglass case in my I.N.C.H. bag as I wear contacts and eyeglasses. However, ensure your eyeglass case is heavy-duty and won’t be crushed easily from the weight of outside forces on the bag.

I also keep a second pair of eyeglasses if I rely on become broken or damaged. I also include heavy-duty wire cutters if you need to pass through a barrier like a fence or barbed wire.

Some of the essential items frequently forgotten are pictures of the family, including children, significant others, extended family, and the social security numbers of my children and other close family members.

Other Extra Items

Some other extra items to consider keeping in your I.N.C.H. bag include A.A. and A.A.A. batteries and disposable earplugs. Some O.T.C. drugs like aspirin should also go in with your medical kit on your I.N.C.H. bag.

If it can fit in, toilet paper, body soap, and face soap are great extras. Finally, socks!

Socks are vital not only to your feet but to your health. For example, as your feet become cold and wet, it may affect your immune system.

Uncomfortable socks mean uncomfortable feet so that you won’t travel as far on foot. So pack two or even three pairs of comfortable socks.

Packing an emergency bag or a go-bag is confusing with emergency bags. An I.N.C.H. bag is but an upgrade of your bug-out bag.

Remember, there might be no going back with an I.N.C.H. bag, so pack what you need and some extras to get through to a new destination, survived–if not unscathed.

What else do you include in your B.O.B. or I.N.C.H. bags? Let us know in the comments section below!

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