Nobody has ever won a race by coming in last. In the bug–out bag game, however, working backwards can help ensure positive outcomes.
One way to do so is to add a caveat to the above preparation exercise. You will want to use at least three different time frames. For example, let us use 30, 15 and 5 minutes as our benchmarks. You will start–off with a 30–minute exercise. Perform it as it is outlined above. Work as hard and as fast as you can for the allotted time.
Do not worry so much about packing. It doesn’t have to fit perfectly inside of a neat little package. The important aspect is learning how to compile the items and differentiate between the ones you must have and the ones which you feel more comfortable with. Once that is done you can move on to the 15–minute bug–out bag. Do everything the same, except this time stop after 15 minutes. Continue the exercise with a 5 minute limit. You should take notes or record your various stockpiles. Shrinking the procedure down to fit smaller time frames should clearly illustrate to you which items you really need to have in your bug–out bag. The more limiting time constraints will help you with the “need vs. want” problem most novices run into. In a perfect world, you will want to get your housemates or family members involved in the preparation procedure. Working together will help you all organize individually and as a unit. This way there will be less room for conflict and confusion when the moment does come.