Emergency Car Preparedness
Bug Out Bag List Essentials

75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials

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


Emergency Car Preparedness


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!


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.



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.




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.


  • Tarp
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Ground Pad
  • Wool Blanket


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.


  • First Aid Kit
  • Insect Repellant
  • Mylar Survival Blanket – Amazon Link



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



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.

  • Survival Knife
  • Multi-Tool
  • Machete



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 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)



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.


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  • huntad says:

    A bug out bag is different things to different people.

    I’m my mind the most likely scenario is having to abandon home for a few days, maybe even months due to an event. (Not a bug in scenario, whole different game all together).
    I would suggest planning like it’s an extended stay somewhere unfamiliar to you and nothing is there prepared for your arrival. No sleeping gear, no cooking facilities or food. No shops open and no gas or electricity. Think 4 concrete walls and a roof.

    In Scotland we have the best water around and there is no shortage anywhere period. No real way for it all to be contaminated at one time either but to be smart purification is a good idea. Got a lot of woodland around too but don’t expect to go rambo though trapping, fishing and hunting are possible. I would suggest in our world that a car or building to live in is very likely even if they are ruins. We live in a relatively quiet village of about 5,000 and it’s a very close knit community that tends to band together. Though we do have a more rural fall back if required less than 50 miles away.

    Here in the UK they are really funny about guns and knives. If you have them they better be hidden or inconspicuous. If it’s an aid centre or something then might refuse to allow those with weapons in, though a high quality kitchen knife set might get through. In a complete breakdown scenario military might be ordered to shoot anyone with visible weapons on sight. Their guns and toys will be better than yours, go forth with this in mind. Pride comes before a fall. Just something to think about.

    Think your list is very comprehensive. Depends on what you want to be covered for. You can’t carry everything essential to your survival as it will weigh too much. Be ready to improvise and make educated guesses at what you will really need. It’s easy to get suckered into buying gadgets. £250 for a knife or £250 a full range of kit that could have saved you.

    Anyway, just my 2p 🙂

    • Team BOBA says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Huntad. All great points and definitely a fresh perspective for those of us on the other side of the pond…

      It can’t be stressed enough (we try to highlight this point several times across the site) that the list is meant to be only serve as a comprehensive GUIDE and that it will take some effort to determine what all is absolutely necessary for the particular scenarios you are preparing for ahead of time.

  • gilles says:

    Hi everyone!

    A list of survival items will always be more or less the same than the one listed above…It does make sense…However, it has to be set up according to the type of environment you are planning to bug out…Nevada? Alaska? New York? Louisiana?…What is the level of criminality in your area? Are natural water supplies abundant? Many snakes, Bears, nearby zoo?…Many military camps around?…Are you leaving next to a nuclear plant?…Are you going to bug out on foot?…
    Above all the possible survival items in the world (in my opinion) is great stamina & Fitness…Fasting capabilities over several days is a must! I do intermittent fasting every single day between 15 to 18 hours & i’m raw vegan which helps a lot furthermore i practice between 1 to 3 hours sports everyday such as supersets in the gym, legs & abs with body weight, Stretching a lot! swimming, running…I practice a serie of enemas once a week to keep my body & mind as clean as possible…Are you feeling confident to drink your own urine if you’re stranded without food or water for many days? It is often reffered as free flowing medicine, would you use it? I would…Carrying a bag requires in any case stamina, if you are not healthy go for a light one and learn/practice survival technics with experts, otherwise???…

    • Team BOBA says:

      Hey, Gilles. Thanks for taking the time to comment. All great points! We touch on similar topics in other articles on our site. Physical fitness and endurance/stamina are extremely important. Sounds like you’ll be well prepared if and when the time comes. And as for the urine…hopefully we’ll all have a Lifestraw handy so we won’t have to resort to that! 😉

  • Tim Baka says:

    God, please let’s get past the nuclear fallout! A N95 mask will – help you breath in a dust storm. Help to moderate the temperature of your air when breathing in very cold conditions. Keep bugs out of your airway when you are sleeping (a moth in the mouth sucks). Oh, and they are WAY more comfortable than a gas mask.

  • Nina says:

    Being new to this all, I would say the one thing that would make this list better is if there were links to the items, maybe items/brands that are your favorites.

  • lessiemama says:

    **For parents of young children** We recently put together our bag. Our kids are 5, 3 and 8 months. I wanted to add a list of things we considered as parents of young children in case anybody else is in the same situation and may be wondering:
    — a few cloth diapers and some wash cloths (to use as wipes)
    — A wet bag, these are small fabric bags lined with rubber so you can put dirty diapers in them until you are able to wash them. They sell them at any store where you can buy cloth diapers. in a pinch you can use grocery bags but they won’t keep the smell in as well.
    — An infant/child carrier (We use the Ergobaby Brand because its a carrier that works for our small baby but we could even use it to carry our 5 year old on our back if he gets tired. We own two and keep one in our bug out bag. In an emergency if we are leaving on foot, we can alternate who gets to be carried as kids get tired of walking. If we are able to grab the second one as we leave, we will)
    — Manual breast pump. In an emergency situation, or if your baby develops issues and is unable or unwilling to breast feed, it will help relieve pressure for the mother. Be sure to pack a plastic bottle.
    — Powdered Infant formula if your baby is on infant formula. You can buy single serve packets or a big container and its lightest weight. Babies 6 months and up can also be fed freeze dried food if you are packing freeze dried food.

    Hope this helps.

  • Mike says:

    The blue shop towels work excellent for TP, scrubbing things and should work excellent for wound dressing. You can get them at any auto parts store for under $3/ roll, added benefit is they will still work when wet.

  • Barney says:

    There are victims and there are survivors. You must think out of the box, and have multiple uses for everything in your bag. To borrow a motto: The more you know, the less you need. Don’t just pile a bunch of survival crap in a bag. Lay it out and as you put it in your bag, THINK about each piece and how you might use it when needed. This will embed in your mind what you have and what you are prepared for. At least once a year, go somewhere for a weekend with ONLY your bag, live off of it and see what works and what doesn’t work, and what you need to replace.

  • randy says:

    a crossbow is is good idea for hunting. as is a 22cal pistol with good optics and ammo weight is not bad. also a tac vest is a good idea. as for guns and ammo pick ones that are most used and easy to find like 223, 308, 9mm, just to list 3 of the most popular with nato and the law.

  • Dave. Ga says:

    I love all the POSITIVE help and ideas for my BOB. Please keep in mind folks that the basics like water, protein, instant shelter , first aid and protection will always be needed if we are forced to abandon our homes. A survivalist will find a way to make it possible to have, carry, find those items even if we use a device thats used diferently in our lives today. Eventually all the things we put in our BOBs will run out and have to be replaced so keep in mind that our setup on these bags is to keep us alive long enough for us to learn to live off the land, so to speak. What events would cause us to become instant survivalists? Solar flare knocking out all power? contagious virus (Zombies!) Military martial law? AI gone rogue. Keep to the basics. I’m a single dad of 3 boys, ages 13,14,17. My plan is for us to bug out together and stay together which means we will be carrying different things to keep each bag weight down for long distance travel. Don’t travel alone.

  • Crazy says:

    Ka-bar has a spork out with a knife in the handle. Tough and great. We ran them over in gravel, on black top and concrete with the knife in and out with no issues. They also kept solid form with sitting in boiling water. Other test are being done but those should cover everything you might do to them

  • T.Outlaw says:

    I have a zip lock with cotton balls and tongue depresorrs, great for fires and medical needs, also small bag of salt and pepper mix, and one with instant coffee. Also a couple of rolls of summer sausage. Oh don’t forget your knife sharpener. And get yourself some Life Saver candies. They do wonders for your bad moods. A roll of aluminum foil has a thousand uses.

  • Glenn Smith says:

    Rocco—Pocket Fishermen spin casting outfit…amazon $20.00—Used this for years around ponds and has never let me down…short compact and much more useful than a limb and some line. Check it out and please give some feedback…would also like other suggestions on catching fish in smaller bodies of water.

    Thanks again

    • huntad says:

      Try a hobo fishing kit. Got a great one for less than a meal out and it is excellent. Depends on your environment but can be adapted to any type of fishing with the right attitude and tackle. I also recommend a good set of fishing gloves.

  • Jennifer says:

    What about spare contact lenses and/or prescription glasses? I can barely see without corrective lenses so I keep spares in my B.O.B., my home, and my car.

  • DocBar says:

    Sorry guys gotta trim a lot of items/weight off this list or you won’t make it a mile into your bug out before you pass out from exhaustion or start throwing items out from excessive weight. You can’t hump this this much crap unless your SF in elite condition and they don’t because of that. You gotta be able to run with it a bit too, if you can run at all and that subject (fitness) needs to be addressed as well. It’s about combining usage, no redundancies, knowledge over too much crap. Primary concerns of water-food-protection and shelter with all others coming after. Weight priorities on your situation, as everyone’s is different. Hump that ruck for 3 miles (if you can) then look to adjust it for weight accordingly. Good posting folks.

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks, DocBar. We stress at the beginning of the article that “not 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.” (After reading other comments, maybe we should bold this disclaimer as well?) 🙂

      It’s crucial to know your strengths, weaknesses and overall abilities when planning out a BOB. Something is certainly better than nothing, but a well thought out bag of reasonable weight is the way to go…unless you have a bug out pack mule!

    • Parsons says:

      This is the best comment on here

  • Kathryn says:

    Spare eyeglasses (for obvious reasons) and a good pencil sharpener – to make tinder from sticks or sharpen sticks for whatever purpose.

  • Heidi says:

    A lot of really helpful info on here. My Dad was 22 years military retired. Taught us this info. Finding it very useful. Anyone have any info about traveling with pets dogs cats ? And small children 5 and under. May have to carry them along with bob

    • Joe schmo says:

      For my little ones I actually have a small bug lotion. Last thing you need is for them to not get good sleep due to bites little ones will get sick with limited rest. And for pets maybe like flee stuff. Idk never thought about the pet part I don’t have a dog. They are a lot of work… oh and don’t forget stomach related medicine children and you may have digestive issues after drastic changes in diet. Maybe take a course or train yourself on making a make shift shelter to lower weight. Oh don’t forget duct tape.

    • huntad says:

      Small children, bring reusable nappies if they aren’t potty trained. Bring portable games, cards etc to keep them entertained. Great trial is to take them on a 4+ hour flight. If you can control them for that length of time and don’t run out of anything your doing fine. Maybe also bring kid meds just incase. With kids the only other thing is to keep moral up, make it a game for them.

  • Stephen Gookin says:

    What is, and what would you use it for “Latex Tubing”. I have a backpacking background, and it appears to me, that a lot of the bug out bags, are variations of backpacking list, to some degree

  • Finnish Survivalist says:

    I have a small spray paint can in my bug out bag if I ever have to mark a trail when exploring the areas near by. Might be useful in a new environment, unless you’re planning on getting lost.

  • Kerry Bay says:

    How about the Ranger’s Handbook and possibly a foreign language translation dictionary (pocket, of course) if you might be crossing borders?

  • Thomas K says:

    I read this a few times, and maybe I missed it but i would also recommend at least 3 changes of socks and t shirts(and sports bra’s for women). Going to sleep in wet clothing can cause serious complications.

  • Nikki says:

    Condoms are good for storing water. There small light weight and can hold a good amount of water before breaking . Not for sex for survival. Superglue is also good for cuts that might need stitches first aid kit should have it.

  • Brian says:

    I’m going down the list. As i select items for my BOB I am adding up weight. I’m choosing somewhat high quality stuff as to not have stuff break within the first year of use also if I can, getting Military Surplus gear. Anyways, this is getting heavy…with of course food, water, clothing, and shelter being the bulk of the weight. I mean I’m not even half way down the list and I m already packing more gear than the Marines carry.

    • Brian says:

      Oh, I’m over exaggeratin on the last part. Just sayin things are gonna get heavy

      • Brent says:

        I agree, but think about multi use items and remember that water and food are consumables that will gradually reduce your weight over the course of a day or three. I also have my trustee camelback that will remove water from the pack and distribute it elsewhere. Just some thoughts. Good luck

    • Finnish Survivalist says:

      Well many of the items on the list can be classified as “essentials” such as the
      Mini LED Keychain and a tent. They’re useful, but you can build a shelter out of logs/thick and long sticks and some leafs or your tarp, instead of carrying a big tent. And what I found out when I had a similar problem was that getting a lighter machete or canteen helped a lot to make my BOB not as heavy.

      • Arjuna Archer says:

        as far as tent: RayWay makes DIY tart kits that are the absolute bomb. I hiked the Appalachian Trail for 40+ days in this tarp. It weighs 1/4 the weight of even an extreme backpacking tent, sleeps 2, and I stayed dry while my comrades in big tents and shelters all soaked. Have used it sucessfully both in the desert 105 degrees and in a hailstorm 20 degrees. Paired with a groundcloth and a 4-season down sleeping bag, its unbeatable. Plus, its DIY. pride in self-manufacture.

  • LBridgy7 says:

    So many comments… some helpful, some opinionated. Either way, this feed is supposed to share what can HELP anyone during a crisis. WE can not control what the government will do, Hillary, Obama…..voting is part of the process, but we need the majority to make the difference. We all know they’re corrupt. We need to be prepared. Share positive, helpful ideas to give others a chance at survival. Ultimately, each individual situation will be different – where you are – what surrounds you – Will martial law be in effect or not ? Bug out Bag is very important – Thanks to all for sharing ideas on how to make it useful in any situation.

    • still doinit says:

      In my opinion, there is nothing “positive” about politicizing Bug Out. Everyone needs to be prepared, and it has not one thing to do with political parties, biases, and smearing.

      Let’s keep this thread objective and helpful, and not hate-filled. It is about personal responsibility for self and loved-ones – PERIOD!

  • Richard Mooney says:

    I keep seeing posts on possible radiation events, sorry but unless you have some sort of detection device (film clip, radiact meter, pocket dosimeter, ect.) You won’t know how many rads you’ve picked up nor how many you’ve accumulated over a given time and unless you start showing symptoms you won’t know you’ve been irradiated at all unless it’s a high enough dosage that you feel it right then and in that case your fried. And nuke plants will automatically shut down in the event of power grid repercussions by dumping their control rods straight into the core. And chernobl was a carbon pile nuke with water coolant which is a very unstable type to begin with. One more thing I would add to the list is bullion cubes, beef chicken or both to flavor boiled water AND some added protein to the water. The greatest survival tool in the world is the easiest to loose Your Mind. Stay calm think and live. 37 years US Army

  • Richard Mooney says:

    A roll of visqueen plastic sheeting, it’s lighter than a tarp and also larger than most personal tents stretch 550 cord between 2 trees and you can make a tent as long as the sheeting is and as tall as the width allows ( if it’s 10 ft wide then you can go 4 ft high and have 6 inches to bury to keep wind and critters out) a couple of tea candles inside to warm up (most of them will burn for about 4 hours) the inside of the structure and you can get a 50 pack at Walmart for about $2.00. MRE heaters can be used for numerous things too besides heating food, emergency body heaters, or lighting place a little of the carbide powder in an altoids tin add a teaspoon of water poke a pin size hole in the top and light the emitted gas (which is hydrogen) and you have a make shift carbide lamp.

  • Doug says:

    don’t forget any presciption medications you might need

  • James says:

    I would personally add femine pads to your list they are great for stopping a larger bleed until you can handle it. A few pair of medical clamps, pair of emt scissors, and couple ace bandages great for sprains and for helping splint a break.

  • Quinn says:

    Jamie K is right. Rad pills are pretty important. There are nuclear power plants all over now, and a week without power turns their reactors and nuclear waste storage into Chernobyl 2.0.

    • k says:

      Rad pills are mostly iodine so I’m thinking that off the shelf iodine might work as well?

      • still doinit says:

        Be aware of the concentration of iodine. Iodine is highly toxic in concentrated form. In fact, based on the size/age/etc. of the person taking it, one drop of pure iodine can result in serious signs and symptoms.


      • Maxx Franks says:

        just keep a bottle of high potency iodine in your pack and any time you feel in danger of radiation put some on your wrist.

  • I included fishing line and tackle

  • Dr. Carolyn Taylor says:

    I belong to a senior citizen town council concerned about how to protect seniors during or prepare for emergencies. What are you willing to do to help us? Meeting is next Wed. Please reply soon, if you can be helpful. Thanks, Dr. Taylor

  • Gabrielle says:

    I can see the uses for everything except for the “unlubricated condoms”. Unless it’s just for the obvious reason, I don’t get what else they’d be for?

    • Harrie says:

      Collecting water or making something waterproof etc

    • Jarvis says:

      Holding water 🙂

    • Rhea says:

      They can be used for lots of things. They are water proof when tied shut so you can put pretty much anything that will fit inside and tie it shut, like a cell phone, a small handgun, matches, medications, etc. Can make a slingshot too.
      Here is a short list of things you can use them for :
      Plus depending on the situation you might not have access to other forms of birth control and you might not want to get preggers in certain situations lol.

      Another thing people should think about adding is unscented tampons and maxi pads. They are great for first aid and I am sure that there are other uses like fire starting or stopping leaks.

      • Matthew E says:

        I wouldn’t recommend a tampon for hemorrhage control. It sucks up blood from the wound where as combat gauze with a hemostatic agent would greatly increase clotting. That’s what they taught in medic school.

        • Michael Keba says:

          Depending on the circumstances, he tampons are good for non-major the through and through to stop bleeding in a combat scenario. Condoms have been used by JSOC for detonators for years in underwater ops, and panty hose is a great insulating, non-absorbant under armor that also keeps small wounds contained. If you end up in serious brush and evading others then any facial makeup that reduces shine would also be helpful. Watch out for iodine. Possible thyroid killer… blow gun to take out small portions in the trees

    • Raines says:

      Emergency water container

    • Quinn says:

      Non lubricated condoms can be used for water storage, and when there not full of water they take up very little space and are practically weightless. That’s the only reason I can think of for including them.

    • Joe Black says:

      Many many uses for them. Some include keeping small items dry, carying water, burn dressing and my personal favorite taking a piss at 2am when it is -40C outside (don’t have to get out of your shelter).

    • Aaron says:

      Water carriage

    • bourgz says:

      I think it’s to store water in 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Come on, you can carry fluids in it, use as a tie off to seal things, bungee chord type stretch rope cut in strips for ties, use as a cut protector, like cut on arm and stretch it over cut, tie it off for taking bath in lake. Prevent infection. Sky’s the limit my friend.
      Remember: Hillary is trying to take our 2nd amend. From us. EVERYBODY BETTER BAND TOGETHER AND STOP HER & Obama, he is going to pull a trick out of his butt, and pronounce Martial Law last Quarter this year, take my words seriously, people.

      • Hobster Chinder says:

        Why? You don’t know the future.

        • Leslie says:

          I agree that O’bummer will declare martial law if it appears that Killary Rotten Cling-on is going to lose. That was why he met with BLM behind closed doors, to set up the actions for this. Immediately following this meeting the tragedy in Dallas occurred. An event like this could give him the reason to invoke martial law.

      • still doinit says:

        As I’ve already posted, let’s PLEASE keep hate-filled political messages off this thread. It has NO place on a thread focused on self-sustainment in a bug-out scenario. This is especially true of bare-faced lies and speculation!

        It is very sad, indeed, how haters need to contaminate the most helpful, sincere threads – intended to sustain and protect life.

        Please engage brain and focus before posting on this thread! Thank you!

        • CountryGuy says:

          I agree not place for political speech. But I have to question your statement of “hate-filled political messages”. I see you used that same talking point above. You want to use it then justify it. What in his statement do you see as being of a hate filled nature? Some people need to quit being ass hurt about every thing. Now off to your safe space so you can respond to this telling me how I’m a big meanie…

    • Heather says:

      You can also start a fire with an unlubricated condom. Fill it with water and then use it like a magnifying glass 🙂

    • Kirk says:

      An average condom can carry five gallons of water without breaking. Non lubricated so they don’t slip out of your hands while carrying the water.

  • Michael Y. says:

    I find it funny how everyone is downing the *non-lubricated* condoms, as if they can only be used for having sex. Jesus, I see natural selection will still be around when the shit hits the fan.

  • Michael says:

    Condoms? Are you for real? How old are you 14? Anyone thinking about sex in a bug out disaster should be shot.

    • Michael says:

      You are not very smart are you? They are used for an emergency water storage.

    • brendan Eckstrom says:

      Covers your barrel of gun. also a quick bag.

    • _ says:

      you think people should be shot for disagreeing with you…

      also, you’re wrong

    • Brian says:

      You poor feable minded person. I mean yeah sure at first I was like wtf but as someone who reads books on survival I quickly realized their intended use in a BOB and that is keeping shit dry like tinder for starting fires.

    • Matt says:

      wow , just wow

    • Matt says:

      Add small booklets about what plants are edible and ones to avoid. Also other types of booklets. Use BUDK.com very good prices.

    • Sean Altman says:

      Condoms can be used for water, Waterproof storage for a cellphone, AND they can be used to start fires. I have personally done this 6 times to get my point across. The only one with a tiny brain is you if you think they are just for sex.

    • Leslie says:

      your the idiot Michael. You can use a condom for many, many, Many things other that protected sex (BTW only effective in 95 % of time) as has been pointed out throught this comment section

  • Craig Kerns says:

    Don’t forget to add cortisone and lidocaine creams. Also read up on snake bite, don’t go slashing away. If a Family, learn together. Lights at night attract the bad guys.

  • Jamie k says:

    Also another thing I would add to the pack which I have in mine is potassium iodide pills for possible radiation events.

  • Jamie k says:

    Condoms have many uses besides the obvious..they can protect the barrels of your guns..you can use them with water and the sun as a fire starter and you can carry water in them..with prepping you have to think outside the box. You also have to be smart with packing all these items can be fit in a decent sized pack without struggle.

  • Mike says:

    I appreciate the list categories. One missing that you might want to add is Medications. If someone is needs to be or prescription RX then it would be good to add that.

  • Jim says:

    Don’t forget guillie suit….

  • PJ says:

    P38 is a very small military can opener. Spork is a spoon/fork combo. Not sure on the quarters, probably for a phone booth, but there are not many of them around. Shemagh is kind of neck covering, lightweight. Used to keep the sun from beating on the neck/head.

    • Gabrielle Savino says:

      There’s tons of quarter operated showers about.

    • Dan Weymouth says:

      A few rolls of quarters have a lot of uses. Improvised weapon, I.E. 4-5 rolls of quarters in a sock. Help counter weight traps for small animals. With a little inventiveness, they can be used for a lot besides the obvious.

  • Kyle Hobson says:

    Loving how condoms were included

  • Don Oberloh says:

    CQ fighting will not suffice if its just one person trying to protect a family, especially against multiple attackers. The family needs to learn groups tactics and how to get the heck out of there.

  • Survival Hax says:

    Hey Aurora,

    1. Yes, quarters are used for payphones.
    2. Shemagh is a piece of cloth that can wrap around your face and head.
    3. Spork is a spoon and fork combination. It’s great camping cookware.
    4. The P38 can opener is a very small can opener.

    Good luck on your bug out bag. Hope that helps!

    • Ken Thompson says:

      Pay phones? I haven’t really seen one of those in working condition in years. Snack machines are filled with high calorie, low weight, carbohydrate rich, non-perishable food, but, if I were surviving, I would probably just break the glass. So, I guess I’m not sure why the quarters are worth the weight?

  • Harold says:

    #1 include necessary medications , #2 a good light axe for firewood and trail blazing , #3 have someone informed of your whereabouts for your safety and if you need to be contacted for emergency reasons

    • Leslie says:

      I personally would opt for a machete over a axe. lighter and more useful if needed for defense, with a little practice can use almost as effectively as a knife in many situations. I don’t think in a BugOut situation you will have time or means to inform someone of your whereabouts and you are already in an emergency situation.

  • Harold says:

    Do not forget to include #1 medications (high blood pressure , etc )
    #2 depending on where going to , a good camping axe for firewood and trail blazing . #3 let someone know where you’re heading to for your safety and if you need to be contacted for emergency reasons .

  • Rad says:

    I have the majority of these things already, however the idea of fitting all of this into one bag makes me feel very foolish. Is there a magic trick to fitting all of these items into a backpack? I’m imagining an enormous hiking backpack weighing at least 100 pounds… Any advice here on “honey I shrunk my bug out bag” and how to re enlarge it once my destination has been reached?

    Thanks for any reply…

    • Dan Weymouth says:

      I feel you on this one. My pack is gaining weight daily it seems I got one with outside pockets as well as the pack itself. I also use a Glasses carrier for part of it. Big hard plastic case for military protective lenses. Fits nicely on the outside of the pack. Got it at the military surplus shop. use it for all kinds of stuff. tent spikes, medicine packs and so forth. I also have the belt/shoulder rig for 2 canteens, sidearm, and a third cloth canteen carrier in the back for quick reach items. Big bandages for rapid first aid. Along with a couple packs of jerky.

      • Jason says:

        I would agree, this bag is heavy. I have most of this, and more of other things however it is not all in one bag. I’ve always thought of a BOB as a light weight bag with just the essentials…more of a get home bag. Knowing that carrying all of this is a huge tradeoff in speed and maneuverability you have to ask yourself what your bag is intended for. Most of the heavier bulky items are stored in my vehicle, therefor in a long-term bug out i just have to toss in my smaller bag and im set. If i have to abandon the vehicle then it comes down to a version of triage. What is essential for my mission and what isn’t then repack accordingly. On a lighter note, after spending 20 years in the USMC the one comfort item i wont leave without is my TP : )

    • Andrew says:

      Hey, Rad. Thanks for commenting and for the nostalgic HISTK reference, haha.

      As I’ve stated in the comments a couple times, we stress at the beginning of the article that “not 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.”

      Deciding what actually goes into your bag is based off of your own strengths, weaknesses, knowledge and abilities.

      Check out our recent post on How to Organize a Bug out Bag. Maybe this will help!

  • Jimbo says:

    1. Pak-Lite nine volt flash light is tiny and last a very long time. It attaches to the top of a 9 volt battery. It supply plenty of light for close to you work. It is simply the coolest little flash light you can buy. 2. When it comes to weapons I have this thought. Do you want your weapon to be obvious or hidden. I think hidden is always better. Yet, as much fire power as you can get. 3. Staying dry, warm and hydrated will get you though 5-7 days. Then carry survival foods to live longer. 4. The bug out bag can only do so much. You need to be traveling to a supply stash that you have previously positioned. In my case, berried 5 gallon buckets of stuff. 5. Joining up with some people you can trust and hang with also needs to be previously planned out.

  • Angelica says:

    LED lantern… forget the extra batteries, buy a solar one.

    And condoms really?! How about feminine products. That’s more realistic. Bleeding for a week straight tends to be a higher priority than getting your dick wet.

    • Micah says:

      The condoms are not meant for Sexual purposes. Lots of people use them to carry large amounts of water and they have other uses. That’s why the post said non lubricated.

  • Thank you. Very useful. Just starting on this project.,

  • Kiana says:

    I would add any medications that you need for survival to your list. Some medications are more important than others, and only you know which medications you need to survive. That can probably be packed with your first aid kit, but you will have to supply the prescriptions yourself.

  • Prep daddy says:

    Spork is a spoon fork combo used for eating soup and green beans

  • Carl Oquin says:

    Something to sharpen the knife or machete would be a great addition but otherwise a thorough list, thank you.

  • Joe Keck says:

    Great article and very capably written. I enjoyed it very much.

    One thing- I like to carry ranger bands (bike, motor cycle, and truck tire inner tubes cut into rings of various widths). They have numerous uses, such as cuffing pant legs to boots if critters are a problem, binding together sticks or branches for a tripod or fish trap, and many others.

    They’re light-weight, durable, and very compact-friendly.

    Keep up the good work, guys.

  • Dave lee says:

    I’ve got just about everything on this list in my bag. Good luck trying to fit all this in a backpack. I use a duffle bag and barely got I all in.

    • still doinit says:

      There are 2 of us. Each has a backpack. A small one for food/water/miscellany, and a larger pack for clothing, tools, et al.

      We have most of the list already gathered, and still have a couple of exterior pockets empty. Remember to think small whenever feasible – regardless of cost.

      It’s about sustaining life, not saving a few cents on a purchase.

  • Tanner says:

    Found this site very useful thanks

  • Truthdragon says:

    I would swop the machete for a hatchet, it’s a more versatile tool it can be used like a bushcraft knife if correctly sharpened and can be also used for hammering, they throw better than a machete as well.

  • Aurora, not many people here in the US know what Paracord, p38, or a shemagh is, however I have a bit of military friends and I read a ton of survival forums, so don’t feel left out if you don’t understand certain terminologies, because it’s not just you, but about 90% of the people I talk to.

    Also for my BoB I have 2 solar USB chargers paired with power banks because there is an endless stream of USB lighting and fans and phone chargers, to me, that’s what I call a portable generator so long as it plugs via USB, which is universal in any area of the world

  • Shawn says:

    I like the mention of about “hunting wild game” but that would be a more extended disaster and 25round of ammo I feel is short unless your talking self defense only. But more ammo you carry the heavier your pack becomes. Now I’m not suggesting to abandon your fire power at all. You should definitely have something to eliminate a threat. However Maybe suggesting an old school bow and arrow be a better idea for food. For a couple of reasons. They are easy to acquire(I don’t know any states that have restrictions or laws on archery equipment), if you can find your arrow (and its not broken) you can use it again, you can take down larger animals(dogs deer elk ect..) that a handgun would be useless against. Also shooting a squirrel or rabbit with a .45 or 9mm makes a mess with little meat leftover to survive on.

  • r.j. wingo says:

    THANK YOU, for the list. just getting started putting my items together. BUT not sure what needs to be packed fires, and what goes on top of the bug out bag. and what items need to be packed on the sides of the bag. thanks. R.J.

  • FOR THE RECORD. N95 FaceMasks will prevent the user’s germs from infecting someone else, not the other way around. To prevent personal contamination, you will want an air-tight mask, colloquially referred to as a gas mask with bio-hazard rated canisters. Be sure that your canisters are cycled regularly, because an expired can won’t do anyone any good. Unfortunately, there’s no viable alternative to this precaution.

  • Peter David says:

    This is a ridiculous list of items to expect to lug around on SHTF scenario. But good luck with that.

  • Matt says:

    I am not sure why you chose to specify an N95 mask. An N100 would provide the user with a significantly greater amount of protection against radioactive pariculates, biologicals, and other threats like CS\CN for the same size\cost\weight.

    Just curious if ther was a reason behind it,

    • still doinit says:

      Regarding respiratory protection: NIOSH-certified respirators are classified alpha and numeric.

      N = not oil mist resistant; R = resistant to oil mist; P = oil mist proof

      95 = effectively filters up to 95% of airborne particulates down to 0.3 microns
      99 = 99% effective to same size airborne particulates
      100 = 99.97% effective to same size airborne particulates

      Unless one has the means to monitor radiation levels, consideration of respiratory protection for radiation is – at best – a SWAG (scientific, wild-ass guess). Best to focus on more predictable exposures (soot, dust, et al).

      Also keep in mind negative pressure respirators (falling into the categories above) are not for everyone. Anyone with cardiac or pulmonary ailments, claustrophobia, hypertension, etc. are poor candidates for negative respirators – and need physician approval. Likewise, facial hair that can interfere with a facial seal are poor candidates for negative pressure respirators.


  • Paul says:

    Why do you have a metal canteen listed? Would a plastic one not be good enough, especially since that is what the military uses these days?

    • Kathryn says:

      A metal canteen can be used to boil your water if you’ve had to source it naturally (or just need hot water). It’s also much less likely to burst & leave you without…

  • Avery Plank says:

    There is no perfect bug out bag, however I have one essential item that is crucial, you list short term food, MREs ext., however you didn’t list long term food, seeds. If your bugging out, chances are that you don’t plan on coming back, you plan on leaving for a long time or forever. Your going to want seeds, I have lettuce, tomato, pumpkin, carrots, green beans, peas, corn, oregano, peppers, and cannabis (for both the marijuana and the hemp). Think long term my friends.

  • Frosty the fu@#$ng snowman says:

    There is this little thing called the Internet. Type in “spork” and you’ll find out what a “spork” is.
    Don’t be a lazy Bruce ( or Shelia)! or do I have to define what a Bruce or Shelia is to you!
    Sucks to be you! You let your “government” take way your right to own any firearm back in 1996. (Think of the Australian gun confiscation act of 1996)
    If you don’t have multiple #’s of multiple types of guns with several thousand rounds of ammo for each gun,…..
    you are just a sheep walking to slaughter.
    Just listen to the first 45 seconds of The Clash’s Guns of Brixton.

    “When they kick at your front door,
    how are you going to come,
    with your hands on your head,
    or on the trigger of your gun!

    In Australia, you will have your hands on your head! Because YOU DON’T HAVE A GUN!

    Sucks to be you!

    • JILLIAN says:

      You don’t have to be Nasty !!!!! That’s what’s soooo wrong in the World. People are on this site to get information ,Idea’s Just plain help. So I learned ,that if your Bugging out , you go at night , you don’t want to make a fire really in the day or night ,your might just be letting others know were you are. When the Grid goes down,sooner than Y”all think .The sh@# hits the fan .I Hope and Pray All People’s will try and come together and help one another .But I will protect my Family first !!!! You will never ever be really ready for the unknown !!!! GO BLESS US ALL , AMEN

  • Robert Bowers says:

    Quarter=$.25. For use anywhere one needs change.
    Shemagh=shammy=chamois= skin of animal used for drying things.
    Spork= Single tool, spoon+fork
    P38, foldable manual can opener, smaller than one’s pinky

  • Andrew says:

    What about a good bow/ cross bow cause sometimes you can’t go guns a blazing and you need to be more quiet

  • Richard says:

    I’m kinda needing alot of survival wire, better known as trip wire. Traps for game are not the only use, perimeter security and, I don’t endorse this in peace time, but in a survival situation all bets are off, defense. With that in mind a large quantity of good quality wire is needed. Help here is appreciated

  • Brooklyn says:

    You should have a minimum of 500 rounds per weapon you have in your bug out bag. Example if you have a glock 19 which takes 9mm and an AR which takes 223 you should have 500 round for each of your weapons. A minimum of 6 magazines I would recommend as well. A good hatch and blunt force weapon such as a police baton or a baseball bat I would also include . It’s the end of the world be realistic .

    • John says:

      You may want to look up the weights of ammo. 500 rounds of 9mm and 500 rounds of 223/556 would weigh 26.6lbs (~12kg). Good luck carrying that much weight as well as food, water, and all the other essential gear you’d need.

  • brad brody says:

    I have been a survivalist and a preper for the last 12 years and everything I have is on this list. Great list. I have 4 bug out bags ready to go at a moments notice, throw them right into. My truck and I’m off.

    • Jonathan says:

      One problem with that…..if they block the roads for security checkpoints ect you’ll be walking and carrying everything. Never carry more ammo than your magazines can hold whether its 5,10, 15 magazines or whatever. Even 10 30 round mags is 300 rounds. I personally keep 7 AR mags on my rig, 7 in my BOB and my pisols i have 4 for my glock and 3 for my 1911 thats 675 total all distrubuted between my BOB and my person. You can temporarily drop you BOB if neccessarry and sometimes its better to avoid a fight if possible hence why its best to move at night and bunker down somewhere with concealment during the day

  • Bonita says:

    I think this is the best list I’ve come across so far in my research. This is also one of the least confusing sites as well on the subject. You get right to the point and give clear concise instructions and reasons for why.

    I have a question about bugging out as a couple (man/woman). Is this list something that EACH person carries? For instance, we only need one stove, but could each person carry extra fuel? Extra tarp? etc?

  • rocky says:

    If you are in the LA area a good source for these items is VOO DOO Tactical-Major Surplus in Gardena. You may also get some good advice from Survivor’s Edge Magazine.
    A good little saying to keep in mind is the one that CamelBak goes by, “HYDRATE or DIE”. Especially at high altitudes.

  • Aurora says:

    Hi Guys,

    I’m an Aussie so some of the terms don’t translate. I take it that the “Quarters (Qty 8)” are for use in public telephones? Maybe rephrasing that would be useful.

    Also, definitions of, or links to, terms like “shemagh”. “‘spork”, “P38 can opener”, etc. would reduce the duplicated research of users.

    Thanks for the help.

    Southern Aurora

    • Chad says:

      I NOT sure what a shemagh is either, but as I recall a p38 can opener is just a simple one piece can opener, less moving parts, less chance to break. And as a person that grew up in the American south east I know the spork all too well, as they are a common item in fast foo chicken places! It is a combination spoon and fork. You can find them made of titanium making it an excellent tool for more than just eating!

    • richard says:

      Shemahg is a large head wrap used in middle east alot, very usefull and easy to learn how to wrap. Spork is a spoon and fork in the same utinsle, p-38 is a small military issue type can opener you can get very cheap, fits on a key chain. Need anything else email me at creeper0629atgmail and note I spelled the ‘at’ symbol so it’s not kicked as spam or whatever. I’ll be happy to help. Maybe you can help to. Australia is known for its hunting and I am researching tools I can use that won’t be depending on society, and I can make on my own. Cheers

    • Rick says:

      “Sport” spoon, fork combined – p-38 is a military can opener that is small and can for on a keychain.

    • Team BOBA says:

      Aurora, we’ll definitely keep that in mind for future articles. Thanks for taking the time to comment and for visiting our site!

    • Gary Yost III says:

      A p-38 is a hand can opener (named so because it takes 38 cranks to open the can)
      A spork is a combo of a spoon and a fork, traditionally able to scoop liquids like a spoon and spear other objects like a fork
      A shemagh is a head covering that is traditionally worn in Arab states that covers most of the head and shoulders excluding the eyes.

    • Scott Buzard says:

      Google search FTW.

    • Seacht says:

      The “Quarters” is quarter dollars. Could be used for pay phone or vending machines that only take coins.

      A shemagh is used to keep sand, bugs and sunlight out of your face.

      A spork is a spoon/fork. Hard plastic preferred.

      As far as can openers go there are many that will work.

      For the tools you’ll be using make sure you take the time to be acquainted with using them, you’d be amazed at how many people injury themselves using a multitool without experience.

    • Drake Stone says:

      Quarters are 25 cent pieces. They can be used in vending machines and public phones. A shemagh is like a bandana but bigger. A spork is a spoon, but the end is a fork for a couple centimeters. (See: http://occ144datkn3vrjlq7r63p19.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/vargo-ultra-spork__59873_zoom.jpg for an example) and a P38 can opener is used in the military is more durable. I hope this helped you some. 😀

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