The latest batch of words to be officially considered part of the English language (at least as defined by Merriam-Webster) includes a longtime personal favorite: bug-out bag.
Not only does the newly official dictionary definition function as a basic reminder of what you should have in the such a bag, but the whole thing might as well be a PSA about the importance of being prepared:
bug-out bag: a bag packed with survival supplies (such as food, water, medication, and flashlights) and kept ready for use in case of an emergency that requires rapid evacuation.
Of course, such a definition also has a pretty scary implication. Just what sort of situations should we be preparing for where we might not have time to toss even a few things into a bag?
But instead of contemplating the “bug-out” part of the word and the potential for a range of disasters striking you or your family (whether it be flooding, an earthquake, or undead zombie attackers), it’s far better to focus on the bag.
And building the perfect bug-out bag should be fun: Make a list, read the guides online, and treat being prepared the same way you would anything else. It's an exercise in America’s favorite consumerist pastime.
Although you might have to temporarily trade artful photos of sun-kissed models for YouTube videos on shelter-building or using water filters, shopping for paracord, first aid supplies, and all the other gear you might want is just another version of the same online shopping rabbit hole.
Of course, the most important part of all might be the bag itself. There are lots of theories on what is best and plenty of expert opinions on how to pick the best one for you. Instead of posing in front of a mirror as you might with a new purse, remember the key test for your bug-out bag is that it can hold what you want and it’s comfortable — standards that might disrupt the increasingly bizarre and impractical handbag industry.
And the best part of this sort of standard-busting shopping? If you never use what you buy, then it's a good thing — certainly no reason for regret. In fact, the longer it sits in your closet unneeded, the better off you are.