(BPT) - If you're the type of person who loves the outdoors, then this is probably your favorite time of year. The weather is beautiful, the daylight hours are long and everything is green. Whether you call it a hike, a climb or even a safari, this is the perfect time of year to get back to nature and your adventure-seeking roots.

It's fun and exciting, but if you're not prepared it could be dangerous. That's why you need a bugout bag - a survival pack carrying everything you would need to last up to 72 hours in the wilderness. Some of it you may use, some of it you'll hopefully never have to, but it's important your bag is ready to go. To help you pack the perfect bugout bag, follow these four tips.

1. The power's in the pack

The right pack makes all the difference when preparing your bugout bag. Look for a durable, dependable pack that features customizable storage capacity, has adjustable shoulder straps/compression straps and a water-resistant construction. 5.11's RUSH 24 Backpack features three interior mesh organizer pockets to keep your accessories organized and an integrated draw cord for expandable storage when you need it. Compression straps and a wrap-around web platform provide you the enhanced storage and customizable functionality perfect for any environment. Start with a pack that gives you options and you'll appreciate them no matter what conditions may arise.

2. Don't forget the essentials

It goes without saying that your bugout bag is not complete without a few essentials. Be sure your bag includes water, a fixed blade knife, a first aid kit, rain gear and matches to help start a campfire. You should also have a dependable flashlight such as the 5.11 S+R A2 Flashlight. Specifically designed for search-and-rescue professionals, the S+R A2 generates 237 lumens of light on just two AA batteries and incorporates a thermoplastic rubber overmold and heavy-duty sleeve bezel at the handle to provide enhanced impact resistance and a secure grip in all temperatures and climates. It's the perfect tool when you need dependable light fast.

3. Visualize, then pack

Before packing it's a good idea to lay everything out ahead of time so you can see exactly how much gear you need to fit into your pack. It is also important to start off the packing process with the essentials and finish with the least important items so they're expendable just in case. This will also give you a better idea of where everything is in your pack in case you need to find something quickly.

4. Disperse and minimize weight

When you are prepping your bugout bag, try and disperse the weight as best you can, utilizing all the pockets to make sure you're as mobile as possible. You don't want your pack to be too bottom heavy, causing undue strain. Try to minimize excessive weight as much as possible by doing simple things like cutting your toothbrush in half, packing items with multiple uses and carrying manageable amounts of water. Foods such as raisins and peanuts provide great calorie counts for their weight, and you should always pack a tarp instead of a tent. Both provide shelter, but one does it at a fraction of the weight.