Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Three Bug-Out Bag Mistakes + Top 5 FAQ

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This Week: Things you never do with your bug-out bag… The Top 5 FAQ about the Ultimate Spy Week… Staying safe on a budget… Sharpening the NOC Knife… And, living in the UK.

I woke up this morning to several inches of snow, but when I went to bed last night, it was rather warm outside. And the past few days, I haven’t needed a jacket.

Bug-out bag

I live in the mountains in Utah, where the weather can be quite unpredictable. Heck, it can be 60 degrees in the morning, and the afternoon can turn into a blizzard.

This is one of the many reasons I carry a bug-out bag — or 72-hour kit — in the back of my car. Because you never know when you might get stranded in your vehicle.

Of course, I don’t just have a bug-out bag in my car. I also have them in my home — one for each member of my family — in case we ever need to evacuate.

Earlier this year, there was severe flooding in my area, but thankfully, it didn’t come near my house. However, you probably remember that there was also massive flooding in Louisiana earlier this year that displaced thousands of people, many of whom were completely unprepared.

Bug-out bag

One Louisiana family — who had assembled bug-out bags — reported they almost lost their gear during the flooding when water rushed into their home because their gear was downstairs. It was a close call.

The family traveled to a nearby school that had been set up as an emergency shelter. They estimated over 500 people were being housed in the school. Many of them had gone without food for over 48 hours, but this family had plenty of supplies in their bug-out bags.

For safety reasons, they ended up leaving the shelter and staying in their vehicle with all their provisions.

This family was prepared to go for days surviving on their own supplies, but they almost lost all of their gear when the floodwaters entered their home.

As you prepare your bug-out bag, evaluate every scenario in which you could lose your gear and make the appropriate adjustments to your escape plan. Then double-check everything — the last thing you want is to make a mistake that could cost you your life.

Undoubtedly, if you surveyed 20 people and asked them what they have in their bug-out bags, you’d get 20 different answers, even though there are certain basics everyone should have.

There are also several mistakes people make with their bags.

Bug-out Bag MISTAKE #1

One of the most common mistakes involves the bag itself. Never go cheap on your bug-out bag.

bug-out bag

You don’t necessarily have to spend $400 on a hiking backpack, but you should purchase a quality bag that can withstand the elements and won’t tear or fall apart when you need it most.

I suggest looking for bags made out of canvas. Why canvas? Because canvas is woven so tightly during manufacturing that it’s wind and water resistant.

In addition to being wind and water resistant, canvas is a sturdy fabric that doesn’t yield to frequent stress or tugs.

Once you’ve chosen a bag and filled it with your gear, test it. Go for a long walk with the bag on your back to ensure you can carry everything and the bag will sustain the weight.

I have a family member who bought a cheap backpack for $50 and loaded it with all his gear. He was slowly carrying it around his house when the zippers came apart and everything fell out.

This isn’t something you want to deal with during an emergency.

Also, if you have kids, make sure the bag you’re asking them to carry is light enough. Don’t ask an 8-year-old to put 40 pounds on their back.


Another misstep people make when it comes to filling their bug-out bags is they’ll often run out of water but still have plenty of food left.

The simple truth is we need water before we need food, so you should have plenty of water in your bag and less food. Our bodies are resilient and can go weeks without food.

Bug-out bag








During a bug-out situation, you will also be under a lot of stress and focused mostly on surviving. Most likely, you’ll have a decreased appetite and will not eat three meals a day — you may just need a few protein bars to sustain yourself.

In addition to carrying water, I also suggest carrying a hiking water filter so you can get safe drinking water from lakes and streams.


Finally, another mistake I often see is people using new or untested gear. Just like you tested the bag itself, you need to test each individual piece of gear.

In an emergency, you won’t have time to read instructions or Google how to use your new radio. You need to know the basics before a crisis arises so you can focus on survival.

A good way to test everything, for instance, is to take your bug-out bags on a weekend camping trip and use everything over the course of the trip. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with all of your gear so you’re ready to use it in an emergency. (You’ll also discover gear that’s a pain-in-the-butt and doesn’t work like you thought it would.)

Bug-out bag


The lesson here is, when you’re putting together your bug-out bag think about these common mistakes and evaluate any changes you need to make. Since you might have to depend on these items to save your life, you can’t afford any errors.

Top 5 FAQ About The Ultimate Spy Week

Question: How many days is the Ultimate Spy Week?

Answer: The Ultimate Spy Week is six days and runs from Monday-Saturday. Here’s a breakdown of what each day covers…

Day 1 – Escape & Evasion

Day 2 – Defensive Pistol

Day 3 – Defensive Riflecraft

Day 4 – Evasive Driving

Day 5 – Intelligence Operative

Day 6 – Hand to Hand Self-Defense and Knife Defense


Question: Where does the Ultimate Spy Week take place?

Answer: It takes place on our 320-acre property called Spy Ranch. Below is a picture of the 360-degree training range.


Spy Ranch











Question: Do I have to be in good shape to attend the Ultimate Spy Week?

Answer: I’ve had people from all walks of life attend this training from kids to folks in their 70s who were all different shapes and sizes. In other words, you don’t need to be in any special shape to attend the Ultimate Spy Week.

Question: What’s included in the welcome kit you’re going to mail people?

Answer: The welcome kit includes the Spy Escape & Evasion T-Shirt, Tactical Folding Knife, Credit Card Knife, Tactical Pen, Survival Keychain, Swedish Survival Knife, Micro Spy tool, 11-in-1 tool, and Spy Flashlight. The kit will be mailed to you as soon as you register for the Ultimate Spy Week.

Question: Is there a payment plan for the Ultimate Spy Week?

Answer: Yes. There are two options for paying. You can pay all at once or you can break it up into three separate payments.



From Herb S: Excellent message Jason. I’m with you 100%. Bless you and your family this Thanksgiving week. Thanks so much for what you do.

A: I appreciate your feedback and kind words and hope you and everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

From Dayne J: Can children attend the Ultimate Spy Week 2017?

A: Yes, children can attend as long as they’re accompanied by an adult. (If they’re under 16 they can’t drive during the evasive driving and will have to sit in the passenger seat.)

From Johnny R: My finances are tight but I would love to participate in your programs. I do view other sites but don’t find them as informative as you. Keep up the good work.

A: I try to provide as much information as possible and have lots of plans for new programs in 2017.

From Greg B: A question regarding the N.O.C. knife Maintenance. Where & by whom can the N.O.C. be properly sharpened, cleaned, & lubricated? It does not seem that an at home “stone” would be right!

A: Do an Internet search for local knife makers. They’re all over the U.S. and will be able to take care of the NOC Knife the way it should be treated. (Do not go to some large retail store to get this done.)

From Roger B: Thank you for your email. I’m very interested in your gift offers, but some of them I have to say no to because here in the UK we have laws about carrying knives and of course guns. But the escape and evasion, self-defense, and other stuff I find interesting.

A: Even if you are limited to what you can carry, I’m glad that you are learning as much information as possible to stay safe. I also hope you at least carry a tactical pen since you can’t have much else.

From John S: I would love to interview Jason for my blog, which has 35k followers, how would I go about setting this up?

A: Feel free to send an e-mail to and we can set something up.


Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

One Comment

  • I am a convicted white collar felon. I am confused about the exception that would affect me. I plead out toone count of money laundering and one count of marketing u.regestered securities, i have served my time in a camp and completed my probation three years ago. My main rub is.that i served 29 years in the Navy, retiring as a Master.Chief. Petty Officer then spent 10 years as.a Public Affairs Officer. My record is clean other.than the oe conviction. I am also a disabled vet. My question is, how do i find i can buy a gun. I am 73 and my wife is 69. We lie in El Paso. TX and the violence is.getting worse in Juarez spilling over into many El Paso.
    neighborhoods. Any help would be appreciated.

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