When you are assembling your Bug Out bag, most people begin with scouring the internet looking for ideas. If you are like me, this will invariably lead to a long list of supplies for your bug out bag that sound great, but weigh a ton and have very specific uses that you may not encounter. What I wanted to do was create a simple bug out bag checklist you can use to get a jump-start at building your own bug out bag that has taken into consideration a few of the lessons I already learned when I did this myself.
This bug out bag checklist is also available as a downloadable PDF so that you can print this out and keep it with you as you build your own bag. What is a Bug Out Bag? Let’s start out with the obvious and cover what a bug out bag is. Actually, it might be easier to say what a Bug Out Bag is not before we get too deep. A bug out bag is not an RV. This is not your luggage for a two-week vacation in Cancun.
Your bug out bag is not something to replace your tool shed and you will not be able to carry everything you want on your back. If you plan to walk to some remote retreat location with everything you need to live for two years on your bag, you are sadly mistaken. A bug out bag contains the essentials you need to live if you are forced to leave your location. This bag will have everything you need plus some additional supplies, but careful thought and consideration should be given to what you are putting in this bag.
Why? Because you will have to carry all of this stuff and the more you add, the heavier it gets. I wrote a post a while back about weight considerations called “Is Your Bug Out Bag Going to Get you Killed?” and if you need more convincing about weight, maybe you should read that article first. For the rest of you I will assume that you want to carefully consider the supplies you need in this situation.
For people like you I have created this simple list of Bug Out bag contents, a downloadable PDF and a little explanation for each. The properly loaded Bug Out Bag should give you everything you need to live for 3 days at a minimum so that is the framework of this list. I won’t be packing two weeks’ worth of food in here and most of this list might be considered the bare necessities by some. What do you need to know before you pack your bug out bag? First of all, I like to ask the question of why I am bugging out in the first place.
This helps me frame the purpose of use of my bug out bag a little, but not drastically. Like I said above, the Bug Out Bag or BOB is for saving your life. It will not and should not be thought of as the magic box with all you will ever need. The list of supplies we could put in here is enormous if you start from the perspective of thinking of everything you could possibly need in an SHTF scenario.
I believe that the items below should go in virtually every bug out bag that is assembled regardless of the reason you are Bugging Out in the first place. Will you pack different items if the economy has collapsed as opposed to a Hurricane? Probably, but the essential Bug out bag items will stay the same; you will just add to what we have contained here. What Items do you need to put in your bug out bag? Water Water is essential to anyone’s survival so you must have a plan for carrying it, obtaining fresh water along the way and treating is so that you can drink it without catching a disease that will knock you on your butt at the worst possible time.
If you don’t believe me, just think about the last time you were away from home and you got sick. Water Bottle – I like Nalgene bottles because they carry a lot, but are very lightweight when empty and the opening fits at least one of the water filters I recommend, the MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter. You can’t boil water in a Nalgene Bottle though so you need options for that which we discuss in the Tools section.
Water Filter – There are two that I like. The first is the MSR Miniworks Microfilter that I mentioned above. The second filter that is great for your bug out bag is the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System. Both will do an excellent job of converting water that you collect into drinkable water. What about UV pens or Water treatment tablets or chlorine? I don’t like the taste with treatment tablets or chlorine and I don’t want to depend on anything that needs batteries for my drinking water.
Do you run the same risks with mechanical systems? Sure, but I am betting the filters above will last me long enough to keep me alive for a few days. A good bug out bag will hold all of your gear and be tough enough to stand up to abuse. Comfort helps too… Extra Capacity – I like the regular Nalgene bottles, but to save trips to the creek, I also pack a backup water container in the Nalgene Wide Mouth Cantene (32-ounce).
This allows me to fill up two bottles and that normally lasts me all day unless I am in extreme heat environments. This Nalgene canteen collapses down to virtually nothing so space or weight when it is empty isn’t an issue. Food OK, water is covered for the most part, now we move to the next most important survival item and that is food. This topic is simple, but everyone has their own idea of what surviving is.
I have seem some people recommend cans of tuna, pop tarts and ramen noodles in your bug out bag. This will certainly work. You can also add dehydrated meals designed for camping too. I am focusing on two things when it comes to food in your bug out bag. The first is how long you can store it and the second is how simple is it to prepare/vs. nutritional value. Tuna fish and Pop Tarts are simple, and don’t require any heating so they are a plus, but I don’t want tuna in a hot car all summer.
I also don’t want to have to worry if they have gone bad but I think the biggest thing is that if you are running for your life with everything you need to survive strapped to your back you are going to need some serious calories. For my bug out bag I like two options depending on where I have my bag stored. For warmer conditions like in the trunk of my car, I like Mainstay Emergency Food Rations.
These really are emergency food bars and withstands Temperatures of -40° F to 300°F (-40°C to 149°C). It isn’t gourmet dining, but it will take the extremes of summer (unless you live on Mars) and give you a ton of calories. The second (and preferred) option if I have my choice would be Mountain House Freeze Dried meals designed for camping. I get the pouches that feed two just in case and grab the highest calorie packs you can get.
The Breakfast Skillet is excellent and at 680 calories will fill you up and give you much-needed energy for hiking with that pack. I think the Chilli Mac is even higher and also tastes great. You don’t need anything for these but a spoon and hot water. Just fill the bag up with the recommended amount, let it sit and dig in. You can pack 9 of these in your pack or 6 and those pop tarts. Clothing & Shelter Food and water, check.
OK the last leg of the survival pyramid is shelter and in this we will count clothing as well as something to keep the elements off you. Clothes – This is simple, or it should be. You want a good pair of long pants, long sleeve shirt, change of underwear and a spare pair of socks. What if it is hot? Shorts are nice, but not necessary because you are already living without the convenience of air conditioning most likely so you will already be sweating.
Why long pants? Because they will provide more protection for your legs. Same with the shirt and in the warm weather, you don’t need to get a sunburn. What if it is cold? You will be wearing warmer clothes anyway so this should already be on your person and not in a pack. Layers is the best way to go about clothing but remember, this is just to save your life. You don’t need to be pretty and you won’t die if you have to wear the same pants for two days in a row.
It’s the same with underwear. I would also add some rain protection in either a rain coat or poncho. I wouldn’t leave the house without sturdy shoes I can walk for a long time in and you should pack appropriate headgear for the season too. In the winter I like a beanie to keep my head warm, but again I will most likely be wearing this and won’t have it in the pack. Gloves are also a nice addition and I have something that will keep my hands warm in the winter, but something designed for work regardless.
A good pair of leather gloves should be added as well to protect your hands. Rain fly’s are lightweight options to a full size tent. Shelter – This is just to keep the elements off you and won’t replace a warm and toasty house. Shelter can go from the extremes of a tent to the simple tarp. Not that a tent is extreme, but tents add a good bit of weight, take time to set up and tear down and are really noticeable from a distance normally.
For camping I take a tent, but for Bugging out I would consider a tarp like the ENO Pro Fly Rain Tarp instead of a full tent. Tarps are much lighter and give you protection from the elements much like a tent. You won’t be able to keep out bugs though – again, this is about life saving, not the ultimate in comfort. Sleeping bags are another weight consideration that take up a good bit of space.
My tent and sleeping bag are easily the heaviest and largest items in my regular backpack for camping. You can buy very lightweight and compact sleeping bags, but expect to pay at least $400 to save the weight and room in your pack for all the other goodies you need. In the theme of survival again, I would recommend a Adventure Medical Kits SOL Emergency Bivvy instead of a sleeping bag. These are cheaper than a regular bag at around $15, fit in the palm of your hand and only weigh 4 ounces.
Fire & Light For fire you can get tricky or keep it safe. For me, I recommend several good Bic disposable lighters stored in a waterproof bag. Easy and virtually foolproof. Additionally, I carry a Swedish Firesteel as a back up. You can also pack all sorts of other implements but chances are that if you can’t start a fire with a lighter or a firesteel you won’t be able to start a fire anyway.
For lighting I recommend headlamps for everyone. This is a perfect hands free option to light your way that is great even for kids. I personally have Petzl E91 Tikkina 2 Headlamps for every member of my family. They are bright enough for any task, sit on your head and are adjustable. Plus, they take regular AAA batteries and not some weird off nomenclature or rechargeable batteries that some of the higher end headlamps do.
Rechargeable is a great idea as long as it is in a common size that has multiple uses. Self Defense Baofeng – Excellent starter Ham Radio for disaster communications. The items above should be able to keep you alive if you are out in the elements by yourself. If you are out in the elements with other people, you should consider something for self-defense. The choice of implements for protection vary by the situation you are in and what you could be faced with.
I have guns so that is my go-to option for self-defense. If the reason I was bugging out was total bedlam, anarchy I would take a rifle and a pistol. If this was a temporary bug out due to a weather event or something that I thought was temporary I might only take a concealed pistol. Regardless of what the situation is, you will need something for your self-defense. I’ll leave the choice up to you.
Communications The communications options are limited to the scenario you are in. If we have a minor event where you can reasonably expect life to return to normal sometime, a spare cell phone battery might be all you need or a way to charge the phone you have. If cell service is down your only real option would be walkie talkies which have a very limited range or HAM radios. I recommend carrying a hand-held HAM radio capable of broadcasting and receiving on UHF and VHF and a dual band antenna that can give you more range.
For the radio I recommend the Baofeng UV-5RA because they are solidly built, offer any feature you can reasonably need for grid down communications and only cost around $35. You just can’t beat that! Pair this radio up with a Slim Jim antenna and 50 feet of coax cable and lastly an adapter connector and you can easily talk or listen to anyone broadcasting 50 to 100 miles depending on where you are.
Just loop some paracord around the antenna, throw that up into a tree and you are all set. You have to learn how to use this equipment, but it is in my opinion the single best Bug Out Bag option for communicating if the grid goes down. Tools The tools I consider bringing taking into account weight is a multi-tool like a Leatherman, a good pocket knife like a Tenacious G10 from Spyderco and a larger multi purpose knife like a Gerber LMF II.
What about bolt cutters, pry bars and chain saws? I don’t think those are good for a bug out bag. Should you have them at home? Sure, but the chances you will need something like that are slim. What if the SHTF you ask and I have to break into a warehouse for shelter? I hear you, but I simply don’t think it is worth the weight. The Multi-tool will meet most of your needs for fine tools with pliers, small saw and a wrench.
If you plan on rebuilding an engine with it though… Other tools are something to cook/boil water with a good first aid kit and some paracord. For boiling water and cooking I recommend a JetBoil Flash. The whole kit and fuel fits nicely in one small, relatively lightweight container. With this you can boil water for your freeze-dried food or to disinfect it. It’s also really good for coffee too.
Adventure Medical Kits make a really decent ultralight first aid kit. This won’t allow you to perform surgery in the woods or remove a bullet but cover most of the bases. I would augment one of these per bag with a bag of Quick Clot and some larger pressure dressing bandages. Tampons and Maxi pads are also great blood stoppers… obviously. Hygiene I know some people throw the entire medicine cabinet in their bug out bags, but again I am only thinking about survival not going to the prom so the basics – bar of soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, chap-stick, floss, hand sanitizer.
What about women? I have added a couple of extra niceties to my wife’s BOB only because I know that will improve her outlook should we be forced to bug out. Your mileage may vary. Miscellaneous For miscellaneous I would add some duct tape which you can wrap around your water bottles, lighters or just about anything else, bandannas which have a thousand uses and spare batteries for any gear that requires them.
What about important documents? I am still on the fence about that but I plan on writing about that later. I just don’t see an Ellis Island type of situation happening where you need to show your birth certificate, but anything is possible. I can see having ID with your current address to prove where you live. I know some of you will ask, what about the bag? Great question, but the bag is going to depend on what you carry.
I would gather your bag’s contents first and then select the bag based upon what you plan on carrying. I hope this list gives you a lot to think about but more importantly a great start on building your very own bug out bag. If you see anything I forgot, please let me know in the comments below. The PDF of this list can be downloaded here or on our Resources page.See Also: Home Appliance Amp Chart
An appliance is one of the most significant investments you can at any time make. Appliances are always significant buys, and are 1 of your most vital portions of your property. You rely on appliances for anything from cooking to cleansing, and especially thinking about the level of cash you might be putting forth for it, it only makes sense that you would need to you should definitely make the most reasonable buy.
House appliances is actually a term that is utilized very commonly today but exactly what does it stand for? Property appliances stand for the mechanical and electrical goods which happen to be made use of at home to the operating of the typical house.
I know, I know….The last thing the World Wide Web needs is another Bug Out Bag List (well, that and pictures of adorable pets and babies), but…this is a site dedicated to bug out bags! And well, it just doesn’t seem complete without one. So we decided to post our list for the whole world to see…and ultimately scrutinize. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just browse the survival forums).
A Bug Out Bag List is Not One Size Fits All Quite simply, we at Bug Out Bag Academy believe an excellent bug out bag starts with a great bug out bag list. It doesn’t necessarily mean everything you put on the list will end up going into your bag, but at least you’ve got a pretty good idea of where to start. The last thing we want is for people like you to not start because you don’t now how.
We know. We’ve been there. Especially if you’re just starting out, there is a ton of information out there, isn’t there? Some of it’s really good. Some of it’s…how shall we say it…not so good. Building A Bug Out Bag Does Not Have to Be Hard As we’ve stated in previous posts, building your bug out bag doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, we believe it should be a fun and enjoyable experience.
After all, having a solid bug out plan, and knowing that you’re planning well in advance should help put your mind at ease about “SHTF” scenarios. So whether you’re new to the idea of bugging out, or you’ve been in our neck of the woods for a while now, there’s most likely something you can take away from the following. Choosing a Bug Out Bag The first item on your bug out bag list is the bag itself.
There are several schools of thought on this topic, of which the two main ones are: 1) You should choose the best bag for you 2) You should only choose the bag after you have the items We’ve written a post detailing our thoughts and what the best bug out bags are in our opinion – ones we’ve tried and tested and all that good stuff. We won’t go into that here, but if interested here it is: How to Choose the Best Bug Out Bag for You.
Just so you know, we’ll be doing in-depth reviews of all these items in the near-future, so be sure to subscribe if you want to know when we post new content. And as a “Thank You,” you’ll also receive the Free Bug Out Bag Checklist PDF we outline below to help you build your own bug out bag!As we’ve stated in previous posts, building your bug out bag doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, we believe it should be a fun and enjoyable experience.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s talk Bug Out Bag Essentials! Enjoying this post? Show some love by sharing it on Facebook! Bug Out Bag List Essentials Water and Hydration Arguably the most important bug out bag essentials are related to water and hydration. The human body can go without water for only 72 hours, whereas it can go without food for about 3 weeks. Water is an absolute must have in your bug out bag.
One liter minimum, per day, per person is highly recommended. Below, you can see the items we recommend… Of everything above, we highly recommend having at least one Lifestraw or two in your bug out bag for water filtration. These compact, lightweight lifesavers filter out 99.9% of bacteria and other harmful microbes from water that you could otherwise not drink without boiling or treating in some other fashion.
Another great aspect of this company is that with every purchase, they help provide clean water to impoverished countries through their suite of filtration products. Food and Food Preparation Next up are food stuffs. In the preparedness community we see a lot of people eager to recommend various products, mostly off-the-shelf, dehydrated, store-bought items. Personally, we recommend a variety of non-perishable food items, some that might require water and some that don’t.
In a real bug out situation, you don’t know how scarce your water source might be. To be safe, plan for more scarce than you think. Most of these items are self-explanatory, but we will definitely expand upon our reasoning for selecting these items in future posts. The important thing to know now is, you’ll want enough food to last three days at least. Another recommendation we see is, people using plastic cookware.
For heat-resistance and durability, we recommend metal cooking utensils and cookware. Clothing Choosing clothing for your bug out bag is a very personalized selection as we all have different body types, tolerances and levels of fitness. The items listed below are to be strategically layered to maintain a healthy body temperature at all times. Your clothes selection will obviously depend on your location, climate and the other factors listed above.
You should evaluate your bug out bag every six months. At these times you’ll want to have a seasonal selection of clothes that you can swap out when necessary. At least two changes of clothes ensure you can always have a dry set to wear. The last thing you want while bugging out, and in the elements, is wet clothes. Not only are they uncomfortable, but hypothermia is a real concern not to be taken lightly.
Shelter and Bedding At first glance, to the experienced survivalist, some of the items we’ve chosen for this category might seem excessive or even impractical. But if you check the individual products we recommend, you’ll see they’re all made compact and lightweight with the backpacker in mind. Yes, you can make a shelter out of a tarp or use a trash bag filled with leaves as a makeshift ground pad, but these are all items we think are a wise choice to include for numerous reasons.
Being well-rested, both mentally and physically, is extremely important when times are rough. Heat Source Having several means for starting a fire is also essential when bugging out. We recommend the following basics to be included in every bug out bag. The reason being, a survivalist and firearms expert friend of ours shared this piece of wisdom which has stuck with us ever since – “Where there are two, there’s one.
Where there’s one, there’s none.” Essentially that means, if you don’t have a back up, and your primary fails you…you’re toast. For that reason we recommend having at least 3 different means of starting a fire on your bug out bag list of items to pack. Ignition Source (Qty 3) Tinder (Qty 3) Waterproof Storage First Aid First aid is one of those areas where there are a lot of “done for you” type products out there that just aren’t well-suited for a survival kit such as a bug out bag.
The topic of First Aid could easily warrant several posts, but to keep it simple for now, we have one that we do highly recommend, but of course you can always build your own too. Hygiene We’ve found that various aspects of personal hygiene are often overlooked when compiling a bug out bag list of essentials. But the implications of forgoing any of these for an extended period of time might lead to bacterial infections and a rapid deterioration in health.
When bugging out, you need to be at the top of your game, so be sure to pack these items. Wet Napkins Hand Sanitizer All-Purpose Camp Soap Hygiene/Signal Mirror Small Pack Towel Travel Toilet Paper (Qty 2) Travel Size Toothbrush & Toothpaste Other Personal Hygiene Necessities Tools Next to weapons, this is the one category that everyone loves to go crazy over. And it’s easy to see why. Gadgets are cool, and some of these are especially sweet.
But as we’ve said before, “every ounce counts.” Determine the must-haves and forget the rest. Trying to practice what we preach, we recommend the following three tools for your bug out bag. Again, we’ll be sure to detail our reasoning later in another post, so stay tuned, but for now, these should fit the bill for most, if not all, bug out bags quite nicely. Lighting Illumination, like fire sources, is something we recommend having multiple instances of as well.
If one fails or you lose it somehow, you have another to take its place. Each item listed below has multiple uses, but they all serve the same purpose – helping you see what you’re doing or find where you’re going. Don’t forget the extra batteries! LED Headlamp Mini LED Keychain Light Glowstick Mini LED Light Candles Batteries Communications Communications is another highly contested category in the preparedness community.
We like to keep it simple though. If the bug out scenario allows for their use, you’ll be glad to have these items with you. Cell Phone Crank Power Charger Emergency Radio with Hand Crank Travel Aids Depending on the situation you find yourself in, these items might prove quite useful. Don’t leave home without carefully thinking these through first. $500 Minimum in Small Bills Quarters (Qty 8) Gold / Silver Bullion Coins Local Area Map Compass Small Note Pad / Pencil Emergency Whistle Self Defense Without a doubt, this is a controversial topic, and (WARNING: Blanket Statement Ahead!) it’s been our experience that the Americans among us tend to embrace this category the most.
And being from the US ourselves, we definitely see why. J Self defense is something we should all give serious consideration. Bugging out, in its severest of circumstances, is a survive or die proposition. Whether you choose a handgun, a rifle, both, or just a can of pepper spray, it’s completely up to you. But you can be sure in a bug out scenario, we’ll be well equipped to defend ourselves and hunt wild game if need be.
If you choose not to carry a weapon, or are not allowed to do so, then we highly recommend some degree of self defense training – especially If you have a family – as they’ll be depending on you for their safety. We’ll definitely be doing more posts on this topic as time goes on, so please let us know what you would like to read more about in the comments below. Pepper Spray Handgun Takedown rifle Ammunition (Qty 25 rnds minimum) Miscellaneous We’re almost done! These are items that didn’t necessarily fit into any of the other categories, but they’re just as important for inclusion in your bug out bag.
Chances are some of the items will have you scratching your head, but we assure you, you want these items in your bug out bag. 550 Parachute Cord (50′) Cotton Bandana Duct Tape (25’) 55 Gal. Contractor Garbage Bag (Qty 2) Resealable Bags (Qty 5, Various Sizes) Sunglasses N95 Face Mask Sewing Kit Latex Tubing (3’) Fishing Kit Condoms (Non-lubricated) Binoculars (Optional) Face Paint Military Surplus Survival / Snare Wire Oh, and before we forget… We make it a practice to state this disclaimer whenever we can to avoid any confusion.
We’re not certified experts, but we make it our aim to provide you with the best educational information possible in which we’ve consulted numerous experts. Even then, we don’t know everything, and we still make mistakes just like the next person. The bug out bag list above isn’t intended as Gospel truth. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to do your own due diligence and come to your own conclusions.
Your bug out bag will not automagically keep you alive. It is, however, intended to help you survive a bug out scenario. If you don’t learn how to use these items effectively and practice using them on a regular basis, all the bug out bags in the world probably won’t be able to help you. Emergency preparedness is not a fad, nor a hobby. It’s a way of life. If you believe that, you’ll be all that much better off as a result.
Well, there you have it! That, ladies and gentlemen, is our version of the Bug Out Bag List. What are your thoughts? Did we forget anything? What would you add to (or take away from) the list? Please let us know in the comments below. And if you liked the post, and would like your own printable Bug Out Bag List PDF, please be sure to subscribe for future updates. We love our subscribers and are sure to make them feel extra special.
And also, if you know of anyone who would like this post, please share it with your like-minded friends. It’s our mission to help people prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. Share this: Related Categorized in: Background, Bug Out Bag Essentials, Bug Out Bags, Emergency Preparedness