What is a bug out bag?
With a bug out bag, the focus is more on evacuation rather than outright survival. If disaster strikes and you have absolutely no time to lose, you just pick up your ALREADY PACKED bug out bag and make it to safety as fast as possible.
A bug out bag can be overwhelming. With the number of items you are supposed to include in one bag, it just becomes too much. At least that’s what I thought when I first started thinking about my own bug out bag list.
In order to simplify things and not overwhelm yourself with crucial survival supplies, think about this: When do you need your bug out bag? You may only need a few supplies for other contingencies like natural disasters (if you live in an area where earthquakes are common) or a power outage that lasts a day or two. However, if SHTF, then obviously there is no limit as to how long your bug out bag should last. If you are prepared for anything from 72 hours up to 6 months, then you have nothing to worry about.
Once you’ve decided exactly how long your bag should last, the next thing to do is assess what type of situation or disasters are most likely to happen in your area. In order to really prepare for any potential disaster that may come, you need to know what disasters could happen and where they might occur. If SHTF, obviously anything can happen anywhere and it doesn’t help if you are prepared for earthquakes but live in a place where tornadoes are more common. The most important part of this stage however is not only knowing the different types of disasters that can happen and where they will probably be more prevalent, but also preparing an emergency kit for each one so all your bases are covered no matter what.
For example, if earthquakes are common in your area then make sure you include an earthquake kit in your bug out bag list! Here’s a quick guide for each type of disaster:
Earthquakes – make sure to have items that can help you deal with the aftermath. For example, don’t just include bandages and ointments but also stuff that would help you safely remove debris from buildings and homes. Books about first aid and basic medicine won’t hurt either so add them to your list.
Tornadoes – think about things like tents or even a portable shelter . One last thing is to always stay updated on weather forecasts in order to be able to anticipate when conditions might get bad. During disasters these weather updates might be limited so it’s always a good idea to have an emergency radio with you.
Hurricanes, floods, landslides – this is probably obvious but make sure everything that can help prevent or limit the amount of water damage in your house is included in your bug out bag list. For example, use sandbags as barriers or invest on industrial pumps .
Winter storms – if winters are harsh where you live then obviously add things like warm blankets , extra clothes and sleeping bags . Even something like a wood burning stove could be helpful during power outages when it’s freezing. Make sure to include candles too since they provide heat and light even when there isn’t any electricity! Other important items here would be a portable generator , snow shovels (to prevent accidents), road salt , and tire chains .
Earthquakes, snowstorms or floods – these are the natural disasters that happen in my area so for me these were the first items on my own bug out bag list. I’m lucky to live close to the beach and so we don’t get hurricanes but make sure you always keep updated on weather forecasts. If you go camping a lot then it’s always a good idea to pack as if SHTF is going down since you might need your supplies of food, health and shelter when stranded.
Fire / forest fires – depending on where you live this may not be needed but it’s still best to be prepared. Things like fire extinguishers should be included in your bug out bag list since they could prove to be helpful during house fires or wildfires. Also, think about including a tent and sleeping bag for the same reasons as mentioned above (you might need them camping or while stranded).
You get it right? If you don’t include an emergency kit for each type of disaster that might happen where you live then your bug out bag list is incomplete! Now let’s move on to preparing a proper bug out bag list.
There are so many things you could add to your bug-out-bag checklist that I wouldn’t know where to start! You might want to include more first aid stuff, more batteries and flashlights , more guns , food rations , water bottles , additional clothing items. Basically anything that can help you survive for a few days or weeks in the outdoors.
When it comes to your bug out bag list, make sure every item that’s included on it is something you can use even if SHTF now! For example, don’t pack food rations but instead include stuff like tin cans , salt packets and desiccant packs . Where possible also add multi-purpose items like folding shovels or cooking pots which are useful during all types of disasters (even when SHTF).
Again remember that knowing the type of disaster that will hit where you live is crucial when preparing a bug out bag list! Let me give you an example: let’s say earthquakes are common in your area so include lots of first aid items as well as equipment to deal with broken bones . In my case, it’s good to have lots of food and water available but even more important is knowing where all the closest emergency shelters are located.
When it comes to packing your bug out bag , keep in mind that you must be able to carry it around for extended periods of time so don’t overload yourself! Also, think about including a lighter or waterproof matches because every disaster situation could lead to fire outbreaks. Things like anti-bacterial soap or insect repellent are essential if you’re planning on keeping clean while camping during winter.
One last thing I wanted to add before finishing this article is that having a surplus of extra clothing items isn’t such a bad idea after all. For example, try going camping during winter and see how good you feel when you’re wearing a huge down jacket. Well, I’m not saying that your bug out bag list needs to include clothing items like these but you get my point right? By the way, if you want to know what other items belong on this type of list then make sure to read our article on winter camping .
Please remember that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to packing a bug out bag so don’t just take all of my advice as gospel. Do things according to your personal situation, location and the disasters common in your area. Even more important is knowing yourself – working long hours or with little sleep won’t help since outdoor survival
Keep in mind that A bug out bag (BOB) is NOT a full-fledged survival kit. To Clarify WHAT is is, I’ve decided to put together this Bug Out Bag List and show you the top 15+ THINGS you should be including in YOUR Bug out Bag.
|What’s Covered In This Article?||15+ Items to Create The Ultimate Bug Out Bag|
|What Will It Cost You?||A Good Bug Out Bag can be put together for under $100 in many cases|
|Where Can I Buy This Stuff?||Easy! You can get it online on Amazon.com, or even your local sporting goods or surplus store!|
A bug out bag should be light and must contain supplies that will enable you to get through 96 hours (4 days).
Why just 96 hours? – Because this bug out bag contains only the bare essentials that are needed for evacuation.
If your house catches fire or if there is an earthquake (or worse) – you won’t have time to think and pack; you have to respond immediately – within seconds.
Many people become confused when faced with the prospect of preparing a Bug Out Bag – your home contains hundreds of items that you use on a daily basis.
Of course, it’s difficult to pick a handful and leave back the rest! However, in times of survival and when the SHTF – you have to make many difficult choices and sacrifices!
Important: A Bug Out Bag NEEDS to be made according to climate and region. If you’re in a northern or snowy climate, it’s best to take that into consideration as well.
My list below is what I use – living in a warmer region down South. I’ll probably make a “Winter Bug Out Bag” list one of these days – if you’d like to see that PLEASE like this post, and leave a comment down below letting me know!
Table of Contents
- 1 Check out this Ultimate 15 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist
- 1.1 Some sort of identification:
- 1.2 Money:
- 1.3 Means to purify water:
- 1.4 Means to generate fire:
- 1.5 Mirror:
- 1.6 Signalling equipment:
- 1.7 Food:
- 1.8 First Aid Kit:
- 1.9 Sanitation supplies:
- 1.10 Clothes:
- 1.11 A good, lightweight backpack.
- 1.12 A container to boil water or to cook stuff in:
- 1.13 Swiss army knife, Paracord, and a big ass knife!:
- 1.14 Phone:
- 1.15 A GPS device or a map and compass:
- 2 12 Bug Out Bag items you need in your car:
Check out this Ultimate 15 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist
Some sort of identification:
Surprised? Well, during evacuation, the government authorities need to keep records of the people that have been moved or rescued.
In essence, your ID could be the only link between you and the life you lived before.
ID is also essential for accessing bank accounts and for claiming other assets that you hold. Also, ID helps to track down friends and families. Make sure you have copies in your Bug Out Bag, or in your wallet, purse or EDC that you carry at all times
OK, you have money in your bank account but still, you have to take into consideration that banks will be closed in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
Also, you may not be able to withdraw or transfer money electronically because it is highly likely that there will be no electricity.
You will need money for food, transportation, fuel, and other supplies. So it is a good idea to keep at least a few hundred dollars in cash in your Bug Out Bag. Don’t carry just plain 100 dollar bills.
Keep some coins and smaller notes too. Place all the money and your ID in a water-proof pouch or some sort of compact, air tight box.
Means to purify water:
The American government has officially prescribed that in times of an emergency, a person requires at least 1 gallon of water per day for drinking and sanitation purposes.
You should have a full water bottle in your bug out bag. However, this water will last for half a day or one day at most.
After that, you need to find ways of purifying water – pack some water purification tablets and a compact purification tube. Such tubes are capable of filtering up to 1000 litres of water and they remove 99.9999% of bacteria.
Editors Recommendation: I HIGHLY recommend the Life Straw – one of my TOP 3 Survival tools hands down. You can pick one up on Amazon.com for a few bucks. The Life Straw Go Water Bottle is ANOTHER invaluable tool – also on on Amazon.
They are a life-saver in a SHTF scenario and will not weigh you down as they are very light (less than a pound depending on the type you choose).
Means to generate fire:
Fire provides warmth and comfort. It also helps in signalling for rescue. Plus, you will need fire for boiling water and cooking. If you live in a cold region, fire will be your only saviour against freezing temperatures.
Fire provides a means of lighting up an area in the event of power failure. Sure, there are gas powered generators – but chances are that you won’t be able to fit a generator in your backpack.
Always keep a lighter, weather-proof matches and a flint and stone in your Bug Out Bag.
Bonus: Get your FREE Waterproof Firestarter here! (just pay $4.95 for Shipping) – then add it to your bug out bag!
This too helps in signalling for help. Even a small mirror does the job pretty well. Mirrors work best during daytime – when the sky is clear and there is bright sunshine.
Nevertheless, mirrors can be used to reflect moonlight, flash lights and headlights too!
Ok, mirrors and fire are fine but it is always better to carry proper equipment in your Bug Out Bag that is specifically designed for the purpose of signalling for rescue.
Even a rescue whistle can help you to get your message across vast distances. And yes, pack a flare – It is hard to miss a flare! Add these to your bug out bag!
You need food supplies that will last for 4-5 days. To keep weight low, pack high calorie foods like chocolates and dried foods.
Ready to eat meals and a few cans of meat or fish are highly recommended to store in your Bug Out Bag as these do not need to be cooked. It’s also not a bad idea to have a few small packets of instant coffee in your Bug Out Bag.
You might have to stay awake for longer and the caffeine will definitely help in keeping you alert.
Remember that you’ll be working extra hard during an evacuation – you might have to walk for several miles and tackle various obstacles while carrying your Bug Out Bag and helping others do the same.
As a result of this, you’ll need to consume a lot of calories to stay nourished (At least 2000 calories per day. More if temperatures are low).
First Aid Kit:
Having a first-aid-kit in your Bug Out Bag is a no-brainer. A basic first aid kit includes pain killers (pills and sprays), bandages, gauze, tape, surgical spirit, hydrogen peroxide, a pair of scissor and also any medications that you need to take regularly.
(Read our article: 21 MUST Have Items for ANY First Aid Kit)
Hygiene is very important during a crisis. If you fail to maintain it, you become prone to infections and contamination.
Hence, your bug out bag should definitely include a toilet paper roll, hand sanitizer, soap and mouthwash. Women should pack tampons and/or sanitary napkins too.
Don’t pack too much clothes as the priority is to keep the weight down. Still, you will need change of underwear and at least a lightweight jacket to keep you warm.
It’s also a good idea to bring a plastic raincoat in your Bug Out Bag as well, to keep you dry should the need arise.
A good, lightweight backpack.
This is the bag in your bug out bag. It needs to be strong and its color should be highly visible like orange or yellow.
This makes it easier to locate you. Feel free to cover the back-pack in mud if you’re trying not to be found for some reason.
A container to boil water or to cook stuff in:
Even a small container that can hold a liter of water will do.
If it has a handle, it will be easier to carry and work with. Boiling water will be impossible without something to hold it in– so even though this one may seem insignificant, it is really not.
Some silverware also helps – a spoon and fork should do the trick. You’ll need silverware to deal with hot food and to eat out of cans.
Swiss army knife, Paracord, and a big ass knife!:
Has innumerable uses.
Pack some paracord too and make sure to your free paracord bracelet here.
You can also add a big ass knife as well – great for self defense as well as other things!
Don’t have the time to gather all these things yourself?
It’s got a FEW more items than the 15 I recommend above, BUT it’s a solid kit none-the-less and great for those who would rather have the work done for them & just toss it in their car trunk.
Bug Out Bag Bonus tip: Keep some sort of licensed firearm on you. It is useful for hunting, signaling and self-defense.
By the way – if you’re still sitting here scratching you head wondering what the next step is, check out The Lost Ways – it’s a survival guide written by an amazingly talented Prepper that will help teach you EVERYTHING you need to know when the Shit TRULY does hit the fan.
12 Bug Out Bag items you need in your car:
In this PORTION of the article, I’m going to share with you 12 “MUST HAVE” Items for your Vehicle or Car Bug out Bag.
As a prepper, you very well know (or at least you should) that disaster can strike anytime. In the middle of the desert or woods, if your car gets stuck, or God forbid you get injured and are too far out to safely hike back, you’ll need to survive until help arrives, or until you can get yourself or your vehicle to a safer location.
A well-organized car bug out bag will play a great role in ensuring your survival. When it comes to your car bug out bag, there are two sets of things involved:
- Vehicular Tools – if your car gets stuck, you need some tools in place that can help get your car moving top a safer location where you can get assistance.
- Survival Tools – Worst Case Scenario, you’ll need survival items if you truly get stuck and can’t move your car for the night.
Just like any other machine, your car engine can fail. It is critical for you to have the necessary items that can help you repair the car. Naturally, as a prepper you should already have things such as a spare tire and extra fuel and oil, but it’s good to bring along more, just in case…
1. First Aid Kit
There are several first aid kits out there. It is necessary for you to have one, equipped with everything you need in case of an emergency. Who knows, you may be involved in an accident where you need items you can use to stop bleeding so that you can get to the nearest hospital.
Now obviously a good first aid kit comes with items you need to carry out first aid, but you should take first aid lessons so you to know how to tackle different challenges which can come up while on the road.
2. Car Jack
A flat tire can develop anytime when on the road. If you’re going to drive on a rough road, then it’s possible you may get a flat. If this situation arises, a car jack’s going to be quite important for you to be able to change the tire & get back on the road. Car jacks usually come with your car, but check just to make sure if you’re not certain.
If you need to buy a new one, make sure it’s going to be able to safely support the weight of your vehicle.
3. Jumper Cables
This one’s obvious but often overlooked. If your Battery dies, and you’re not able to pushstart (automatic only) down a hill, jumper cables might come in handy in the event you come across another working vehicle.
4. Ice Scraper
Another often overlooked one, but if you’re driving to a place where a lot of snow is common, then you need an ice scraper. You may park your car, come back and be surprised to find the entire windshield covered in ice. The scraper will help you remove the snow from your vehicle so that you can drive it to safe places.
You need gloves for you to repair the car, build a shelter if the vehicle cannot provide a place for you to protect or even prevent your fingers from harsh weather. The gloves will protect your hands from injuries when working on different hard surfaces. Choose the gloves well because there are others which cannot offer the necessary protection you deserve when in a survival situation.
6. Small tool kit
For you to work on your car and have repairs done for it to keep moving, you need a small tool kit. The toolkit should have items such as vice grips, screwdrivers, pliers, tire pressure gauge, adjustable wrench among other items required for you to carry out a quick fix on your car so that you can reach your destination.
7. Fire Sticks and a fire starter
You need fire to keep warm if your car heating system fails completely. There are even situations where the car is destroyed leaving you alone. There are some fire sticks which can even light after being exposed to water or even snow. They are the best option for you to keep warm and avoid the adverse effects of extreme cold.
Instead of switching on the vehicle heater, which can lead to wasting more fuel, you need a jacket in your car bug out bag so that you can keep warm.
If you’re traveling in a group, then you should ensure there is a coat or a warm jacket for each one of you. It is a simple addition to your bag out bug but it plays a great role in making you survive.
9. Emergency Food Bars
If you’re going to stay in a car survival situation for long, then you’re going to need food. Emergency food bars – especially those rich in proteins – are a good choice as they’re somewhat filling, and often contain healthy vitamins/minderals etc. Try to get some bars that are high in protein. Many people don’t know this, but proteins take more time to get digested, which would help you stay full longer and last longer in your survival situation.
10. Mini Rescue Mirror
Another Self explanitory one, if you’re stuck and need to signal for help, a small mirror can (literally) be a life saver! It probably doesn’t hurt to learn the basics of morse code either. Some Paracord Survival Watches have a mirrored back, which works great in this scenario!
11. Water and purification system
You can’t survive for long without water. For you to increase your chances of making out alive from your car survival situation, it is necessary for you to have a source of clean water. You can carry some water, but for prolonged survival situations, you need a means for you to purify any water available.
There are several compact purification systems you can buy or even water purification tablets.
12. Fire extinguisher
You need a small fire extinguisher in your car. It is a simple item you may ignore, but sparks can start any time in your vehicle and you will need a means of putting out fire. Always have a fire extinguisher in a place where you can easily reach.
And Remember -if you don’t have the time to gather all these things yourself…