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AMN Gear Review: DASH Survival bug-out bags

An example of a bug-out bag (DASH Survival)
July 27, 2018

“Better to have something you don’t need than to need something you don’t have.”

The words of my former squad leader still ring in my ears, especially when I realized I didn’t have a “bug-out bag.” This is a term for a “staged and ready” bag equipped with everything you need to survive for a short period of time in case of emergency or disaster. So I met with DASH Survival to learn more.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, but frustration is just as powerful a motivator. Retired Army Officer Kelly Crigger, a longtime survivalist, got frustrated with seeing the same old survival packs being sold commercially and decided he could do it better. Through his business, DASH Survival (Disaster Accident Survival and Havoc), he’s building survival kits and providing people with confidence and preparation in a way no one else is.

“The two big differences between my kits and everyone else’s are customization and low profile,” Crigger says. “Instead of being a standard bag of gear, food and goodies that were picked by “experts” to keep you alive for 72 hours, my kits are completely customized to the individual.”

Low profile bug-out bag (DASH)

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Most survival kits are one-size-fits-all and come with a standard packing list, which may or may not be right for your geography and situation. So DASH offers customized solutions. This can be for the individual or a group like a team or your family. Your wife or child might have different needs than you, so DASH offers that solution.

The DASH Survival website features several kits built specifically for certain scenarios, but those are just starting points.

Crigger looks at the major factors of everyone’s situation, such as who you are, where you’re going, what route you need to take, what’s waiting for you when you get there, dietary and medical restrictions, and so on, and builds you a custom kit. Just like snowflakes, no two kits are the same.

The other differentiator for DASH bags is that they come in low-profile options, like an Indiana Jones-looking satchel, an NFL cooler, or an Under Armour backpack, which I have to admit is very innovative and well thought out. Another option is if you really love the bag you have, DASH will fill it with what you need.

Carefully picked gear (DASH)

“Well, it’s simple really,” Crigger says. “If you live in a city and suddenly find yourself in a crowd trying to get away from a disaster or epidemic, the last thing you want is a big, camouflaged tactical looking bag on your back. That’s just going to invite people to follow you and take your stuff when you’re not looking. However, if you were carrying a regular-looking school backpack, thieves would walk right past it not realizing it was full of survival supplies and gear.”

Crigger also has another angle for his brand – being funny.

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His bug-out tip videos are educational and upbeat and always end with his tag line “Happy Apocalypse” for one simple reason -he believes you can’t scare people into buying your product.

Different bag options (DASH)

A graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger and SERE schools, Crigger is a bug-out fanatic who can build a kit to get anyone just about anywhere comfortably.

“A survival kit is a means to an end,” he says. “It’s not meant to keep you safe and happy forever. It’s there to get you from point A to point B without worrying about whether or not you’re going to die from starvation, dehydration or exposure along the way.”

He goes on to say: “With a little bit of thought and effort, we can make the trip to your alternative site a lot more comfortable.”

When you think about it, you can customize anything – your house, your car and even your body. So it makes sense to customize your bug-out bag. We all hope we never have to use it, but it’s nice to know when the zombie apocalypse happens, you’ve got a customized bag of goodies to keep you going.

All opinion articles are the opinion of the author and not necessarily of American Military News. If you are interested in submitting gear for review, please email [email protected]