Keep at least one of these five weapons in your bug out bag to gather food or possibly even protect yourself if need be.
I am of the mind that if you need a defensive weapon, then you'll need it to be immediately accessible and handy. You don't want it stuffed into a bag somewhere where you'll have to retrieve it in order to bring it into play. I assume you'll be carrying a handgun on you, a tactical pen in your shirt pocket, and a knife in your other pants pocket.
However, some of these weapons can be used for both personal protection and as food acquisition tools. They can not only make life easier but, depending on your particular needs and skill set, might also serve to save your life if called upon to do so.
1. The Slingshot
The first weapon is a slingshot. A slingshot is small and compact, and can provide a lot of bang for the buck. I consider it to be the premier food gathering weapon in a bug out bag situation.
They are not too difficult to learn to aim effectively, and a handful of shot can last you a long time. Their real advantage is their compact size and the distance at which they can be used to bring down game. The slingshots made by Bill Hays of Pocket Predator are exceptional, and I would highly recommend them as an effective bug out bag alternative weapon.
Next we have a small axe or hatchet. A multi-purpose tool, a hatchet can not only split wood but can also be used as a self-defense weapon. Hatchets are used more regularly nowadays as survival tools than as first choice self-defense weapons, but any edged weapon has the potential to function in that capacity.
You could also cut down on the weight, by just carrying the head and fashioning a handle once you get to where you're going. But that would negate any self defense use of the tool. In any event, a hatchet is a useful item to have at hand.
A spear offers many advantages that other edged weapons do not. It can be used to acquire food such as fish and even bigger game. Hog hunting with spears has become popular and people like Tim Wells have popularized the spear as a way to take big game.
The head is detachable in many models, leaving the handle to be used as a walking stick until such time as the spear head can be attached. It's not a popular tool or weapon that one normally thinks of as a bug out bag component, but it is worth considering for survival situations.
The kukri is an excellent weapon of choice for a bug out bag. If you watched the History Channel's "Alone" last year, you saw that the winner of the contest, Alan Kay, carried a kukri. The heavy end can be used for chopping and the end nearer to the handle can be used for finer work.
The kukri is an ideal, multipurpose blade, that could take the place of a hatchet. It just depends on what you're comfortable with.
5. The Henry Arms U.S. Survival AR-7
This weapon is the cat's pajamas of bug out bag weaponry. At only 3.5 pounds and 16.5 inches long when broken down, it will easily fit into your duffel or backpack. Shooting .22 ammo - it comes with two 8-round magazines - you can add a box of shells to the kit for plenty of shooting opportunities without adding much weight. Taking any game that you can with a .22 is at your disposal with this weapon.
There you have five alternative weapons to consider for your bug out bag. Weapons that will help you put food on the table (even if you don't actually have a table), and possibly help save your life. Remember, the thing with a bug out bag is that it is supposed to help keep you alive and for an extended period of time. Part of doing that effectively is to provide you with the tools necessary to your survival for the environment you expect to find yourself in.
Each of these tools has the potential to be of good use in that endeavor.