Bug Out Bag Essentials Checklist

75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials [2024 Update]

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 know 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.

Below you’ll find a helpful Table of Contents outlining the rest of the article. Feel free to read it straight through or skip ahead to the area that interests you most or that which you need the most help with.

This is a lengthy article with tons of helpful information, so I encourage you to set aside some time to dive in, bookmark it for future reference, and also be sure to pick up your own free PDF copy of these Bug Out Bag Essentials List here.

Let’s get started…

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 two schools of thought on this:

1)    Choose the best bag for you first

2)    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” for being awesome, you’ll also receive the Free Bug Out Bag Checklist PDF we outline below to help you build your own bug out bag…

free bug out bag list

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, now that we have that important aspect covered, 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 approximately 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 Sawyer 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.

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 it being 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 for a minimum of three days. 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 season. 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 for morale 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.

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.


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.


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.


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!

Communications (P.A.C.E.)

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.

A good way to recall the following is “P.A.C.E.” — Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency. They are as follows:

  • Primary – Cell Phone
  • Alternate – Wifi/Tablet
  • Contingency – Ham Radio w/ License
  • Emergency – Crank Power Charger with Signal Lights

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. Some question the effective use of quarters and precious metals in a modern bug out scenario. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether it is worth the few extra ounces to carry just in case.

Here is a solid Pre-Built Signalling and Navigation Kit that I carry in my bug out bag.

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 100 rnds min. for each firearm)


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′)
  • Duct Tape (25’)
  • 55 Gal. Clear Contractor Trash Bag (Qty 2)
  • Resealable Bags (Qty 5, Various Sizes)
  • Sunglasses
  • N95 Face Mask
  • Sewing Kit
  • Latex Tubing (3’)
  • Survival Axe
  • 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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  • Halekat says:

    Ziploc bags, zip ties, floral wire, blow up pool float (for light weight camping mattress), wash cloth and small towel, bar of soap ( hygiene is important to keep sickness at a minimum), baggie with Vaseline coated cotton balls (fire starter), hand chainsaw, silcock key if you are in the city (water key), mess kit (for cooking and eating), salt and seasonings ( can be stored in tic tac containers, vodka or any 90+ proof alcohol (bartering and disinfectant), cigarettes for bartering ( just a couple packs), pruning shears ( believe it or not, they will be important) toilet paper ( flatten and remove cardboard insert, store in ziploc bag. You will thank me later) mild laxatives and gas x (eating foods you are not used to can cause constipation and that could make for a bad time). Hope this helps. It all depends on the area you live in as to what goes in your BOB. Good luck and God bless you all. Hope we never have to use these things. Remember, what you cook and how loud you are will attract attention to you. I also have instant coffee so I can enjoy my coffee without everyone being able to smell it brewing and come running. Learn what plants are growing wild around you that you can eat and help medicinally.

  • Mathieu says:

    Problem is : you advise bug out bags around 20-30 l. There is no way a third of all the items you list can fit inside !!!
    As a mountain and a 35 years outdoor activities guy, I would remove two third of the listed items. Your bug out bag list would weight more than 100 pounds ! Good luck if you plan to walk with this monster bag !

  • robert smith says:

    I didn’t see zip ties, plastic bag, collapsible bucket great list shared a lot.

  • Andy Field says:

    Originally you had a pocket bible on your list of stuff to put in the BOB, but on your printable PDF you removed it. Why?

  • robert smith says:

    Looks like a great kit, makes mine look weak

  • Jon says:

    Add emergency flares

  • m says:

    v good & thanks. I had a lot of tabs open, & this one I’m still thinking about. One thing missing from ALL the sites I’ve looked at, including this one, is advice to have a nice long Think about what is most valuable to you. Some piece of jewelry, for example. Also, crosswords, sudoku. Might be a lot of time to kill. Thanks again.

  • James Roberts says:

    You would need a semi with trailer to haul all of that crap around. keep it simple.

  • Vrb says:

    Props to y’all for a very comprehensive, no-nonsense list. I have several firearms, for hunting and protection in my kit, ( a .22 rifle, an AR, and a 9mm carry pistol) and I feel it’s worth the small amount of extra weight and space to also carry some gun oil/cleaner, non aerosol. The responsible use of a firearm in a bug out situation can feed your family and protect them, but the harsh elements often associated with these situations can render weapons useless without basic maintenance.

  • Vrb says:

    Props to y’all for a very comprehensive, no-nonsense list. I have several firearms, for hunting and protection in my kit, ( a .22 rifle, an AR, and a 9mm carry pistol) and I feel it’s worth the small amount of extra weight and space to also carry some gun oil/cleaner, non aerosol. The responsible use of a firearm in a bug out situation can feed your family and protect them, but the harsh elements often associated with these situations can render weapons useless without basic maintenance.

  • Maybin de john says:

    Are you sum artist 1 paid £29.95 f0r tower fan were is it I will go to the police if I don’t get my fan

  • Deborah Wilson says:

    I still do not understand what this is somebody please help me understand

    • Gabriel says:

      If SHTF in your city, state, country, you need a bag with essential supplies to help you survive. They are giving you ideas of items you can pick to add to your bag.

  • Deborah Wilson says:

    I still don’t understand what this is. Somebody please help me

  • Allen Brady says:

    What’s up with the disclaimer? Are y’all a bunch of NYC attorneys looking for feedback?

  • Don Turner says:

    Thanks for the info!!!

  • Anna says:

    Thank You.
    This list is the best.

  • Jalan says:

    Thanks for the great list. I had not thought of a collapsible water bottle, and will add one. Question, where is the best place to store the BOB? Car is not an option. Thank you.

  • Anne says:

    as Samwise Gimji said in Lord of the Rings, you never know when you will need a bit of rope.

  • Anne says:

    You have great insight. I want to suggest a condensed version on planting seeds, recognizing edible plants, a small hand shovel and troll, booklet on setting traps and tracking animal pawprints. Mosquito netting. This stuff may be beyond the scope of your endeavor but please consider them. If you give a man a fish he will have dinner, if you teach a man to fish, he gets to have dinner every night. (Not my idea, I just paraphrased)

  • Andrea Ashby says:

    Wonderful list. The best I’ve seen!

  • Kim says:

    What a great help !

  • Skip Castle says:

    Gr8 list…Cooking items are listed…if you want to go lighter, a med/lge size metal camping coffee cup, you know the one with the two handles on the side, and Military Heat Tabs…prob 5 boxes of 3…build a tiny stone stove pit to hold the tab and to sit the coffee cup…Btw, take instant coffee, or just boil some coffee grounds…they settle to the bottom…My Grandfather was a Cowboy on the Ford Ranch around the turn of the century (1900s) and he talked about having to ride a full day on horse back to a outpost with NO electricity, and he said one of the most enjoyable treats was a cup ofHot boiled coffee…and dont forget to determine how to make your BOB last and HOW to replenish it if the dung does hit the fan… Good Hunting Guys…I am a retired soldier (Airborne Ranger), and lets keep this country FREE…Give ’em HE…Heck…

  • Larry says:

    I review my list of items every year…this is a great list also…!
    I review my “go bag” every 6 months…trust but verify what’s in the bag!
    I update the bag as required…!
    I keep the bag in my Jeep…!!! (except firearms)…Be Prepared…!

  • Tom says:

    Great List! It’s very useful to have a list focusing on the non-weapon aspect of a bug-out-bag. Not that the weapons arent important (and half the fun), but having a more comprehensive list has been very useful!

  • Diane Schuch says:

    Nice list. It gave me ideas I didn’t have like the water bottle, socks, and a few other things. Problem I’m having is when you add a little bit of everything, it’s a big pack. So call it a few bug out bags family will be carrying.

  • Randy lay says:

    A silver survival blanket is a must, waterstraw for purified water, smaller knife for

  • Jerremy says:

    Andrew, for not being a certified expert, your list is comprehensive! Thank you for this.

    • Geoffrey says:

      Having taken multiple survival courses from “certified experts” I still don’t really know what qualifies someone for that title? If you’re civilian hired by the military to train special forces in survival, evade and escape tactics they still don’t give you a title, but that proves that the teacher is more of an expert than they are. Andrew’s list is pretty good but it all depends on your climate and situation. I’m not sure if he’s an expert or not but that list, while informative, is fairly generic. Either way it’s good info.

  • Michael Faussett says:

    Sadly I haven’t started doing anything yet just don’t know where to begin should I get a bug out bag first are started with a truck are get somewhere away from big city see I am a eagle scout. Please help with some suggestions thanks.

    • Jerremy says:

      Michael, start small and build from there. Every success begins with a step. My advice would be to get a large-ish backpack, medium size at least. Make sure it is good quality. Go for a medium price range. And then begin filling it with your “camping” or “hiking” gear. Those are my words, to avoid the stigma of “prepper” I simply plan to camp out for as long as is necessary. But a key to this prep is to use it, to practice it, to get out in the “wild” and get used to being out there.

  • Cathy Ojena says:

    Fantastic list!!!

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks Cathy! What is it that stands out to you the most? I’d love to know!

  • Tori bridgeford says:

    Love it thank you

    • Andrew says:

      Thank you, Tori! Glad you liked it.

  • Manuel Sanchez says:

    Sad that this info is becoming more relevant each day. Thanks for your efforts in putting this together. I would add one thing for comfort when things look the worst, The Bible…

    • Andrew says:

      Manuel, a pocket bible is a great idea. Verses committed to memory can also be very powerful during stressful times. The right ones will come to you when you need it most!

  • Mike H says:

    This a great list with sound ideas, ideal for getting all the right items for a Bug out Bag, now for the fun part getting it all together, hopefully never having to use it in an emergency situation

    • Jerremy says:

      Mike, but do use it in peacetime, to practice for the bad times.

  • Mike says:

    Several links above appear to be broken. Any chance you could update them? Thanks.

  • Peggy Stanford says:

    I have heard some people use a sleeping bag and roll their items up in it, have you heard of that idea? Also, not all of us fight cold weather, but heat and bugs.

  • Rodney Riley says:

    I liked this but I also would rate high if preparedness was a percentage

  • Cindy says:

    Why would I need condoms in my kit?

    • Survival girl11 says:

      they are very flexible they can blow up like balloons and act as a boey or they can hold water.

      • Gail says:

        Also excellent for covering wounds which need to be kept dry ditto any electronics in a pinch. And then of course there is the intended use….

  • Mike Weir, Nova Scotia says:

    Let’s not forget about vices here in Canada we smoke a lot of pot , in my bag I keep 15 grams of hash and a month supply of Nicolette . I’m not saying you need these things but they could help keep the head clear

  • Charles D Kiser says:

    What do you do when your perscriptions run out? Break into a drug store? Won’t there be a thousand people planning to do the same thing? Also most drug stores have a very low supply of refills, they resupply a couple of times a week, are we all just screwed?

    • Becky Sue Anderson says:

      I hate to say it, but I have a feeling that pharmacies drug stores will be completely empty of ANY Medications (prescription and otc), medical supplies, alcohol (drinking kind) and tobacco products on day one. They’ll be hit first along with sporting goods stores (guns, ammo, other weapons)
      And don’t forget about the toilet paper ‘shortage’ of 2020 and how crazy some people got. That’s nothing compared to what will happen.

    • Conan says:

      Get off of prescription drugs. Not easy I know but it will extend your life, survival situation or not.

      • bob says:

        Easy to say, but my meds are for my thyroid. Not something i can “get off”. If I dont take them I die.

    • Sarah says:

      Charles, I have a family member who uses anti-seizure meds, they are absolutely life saving and critical. So I have at least 6 weeks of surplus. Thankfully I was able to simply order extra from the pharmacy. I just let them know, given risk of extreme weather, extended power loss etc., we want to have back up stock and they fulfilled my order.

  • A-A-Ron says:

    Great List–Every BOB list is a little different–as long as you have at least the “5 Cs + W” covered–cut, carry, cover, combust, cordage plus water, in some way–that’s a good start. The most likely scenario is bugging out in my truck, therefore I have a large Bug Out Box (roller Pelican Case) with all my survival “stuff” and empty BOB. The idea being that a vehicle is a pretty good thing to survive in or at least near. If I have to walk, I can pare my contents down, pack up and walk. I am surrounded by LARGE areas of federal land–I.E. lost of space and lots of places to isolate. I have tailored my survival gear to the most likely scenario for my situation–which is NOT an urban setting. A few practical additions to the this list, (these are a little out of the box, so keep an open mind)

    1-If the SHTF, for real–paper money will be worthless or greatly devalued. Weed and alcohol will be very highly valued-good trading items–think about it! Weed is legal in a third of states and if it goes down, that won’t matter. Go buy a few ounces, vacuum seal it up and put it in your BOB, right next to a bottle of moonshine.

    2-If you are going to have weapons, have good ones and carry as much as ammo as possible. Stick with the same caliber for all weapons. I perfer .22LR and have both pistols and rifle in that caliber. 9mm works well also as there some great survival guns in that caliber also. I can carry 3X as much .22 as 9mm for the same space and kill anything I need to with either. What ever you choose, PRACTICE!!!!

    3- Be a Gray Person– I have NOTHING that looks even remotely military–the Gray Man Concept. Once again if it all goes down, the military will most likely either the “bad guys” or folks will be clinging to anyone with military training. Don’t be a target! Blend in and disappear! Get rid of all your Tacticool stuff, learn to run and hide to stay alive.

    4-Learn to prepare and eat little things–every hunter I know says that they can “live off the land”. How fast is every elk, deer, cow, horse, dogs, etc… gonna be gone if SHTF? Learn to eat bugs, rodents, fish, snakes, plants, seaweed, etc….there is a lot more of that kind of stuff and it is a lot easier to prepare.

    5-Prepare for he most likely scenario for you! Be realistic about the REAL scenario you will be facing–none of us can fully prepare for everything. If you live in a city–learn to pick locks–there will be more doors to open. If you live in the sticks–learn land navigations–there will be further to go for resources.

    6-Use your Gear–take a weekend and live out of your BOB. Do it in the summer, do it in the winter, do it in a rain storm, do it in the desert–what ever. Know what your gear can do for you and how to operate everything you have. The last thing you need is a game time failure.

    • Charles D Kiser says:

      I’m going with .22 as well, I can take game with my .22 pistol ( 10 inch barrel) and keep myself fed and carry a small automatic for defense.

  • jeb says:

    instead of a axe use a machete it has more versatility

  • K says:

    Did you all mention sunscreen and I just missed it?

  • Larry Martin says:

    Thanks for the great info. _ I would add fishing gear, more ammo, and a book about living off nature.

  • Richard says:

    Good stuff there…


    prescription meds

    • Samantha Wells says:

      YES!!! especially antibiotics. the formula does break down after awhile but they still work, just not as well/ quickly. my best friend has spare glasses and contacts in her bag so we’re not scrambling if she breaks her glasses. And i rotate out my epilepsy medication every 2 months because it can be rationed in an emergency

  • Eric says:

    Great read!

  • Harry Berning says:

    I have a potable USB port charger with solar panel attached, very helpful

  • Scott says:

    Didn’t see sunscreen on the list

  • Barb says:

    Probably on the list, but I didn’t see: Ziploc with copy of ID’s and med insurance. Extra hefty bags (= raincoat ++ more). A list on top for last minute things (because stressed out) to include Meds, cell phone, chargers, water & food. Consider 1-2 entertainment or inspirational things (tiny Bible, a deck of cards). Large ziplocs for clothes separated by season; grab the one for ‘this’ season. The Dollar stores have many useful items. I LOVE my rolling backpack for this… if wheels break, I can still carry it. PETS need a collapsible bowl, water, food & a LEASH. Think SMALL & LIGHTWEIGHT. A fun project to start and fine-tune over time! Thank you!!!

  • Huston Gauden says:

    Definitely like the post it’s always best to have a lot of input from different angles

  • A wish for Trish says:

    If allergic to Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac, pack Tecnu.

  • blahblahblacksheep says:

    A BOB is only useful if you can carry it. Many folks debate on what to put in their BOB, but the most important thing is that you can feasibly carry it for miles on end. So, the limiting factor is really who’s going to carry it. Many folks prep a BOB, then just go about their lives w/o thinking about it. But, to truly make the BOB useful, it’s important to get a similar bag as your BOB, load it down with similar weight as your BOB (eg: fill gallon jugs with dirt or water, or chuck some rocks in it), and go out hiking on a regular basis with that weight pack on your back to get conditioned. A person may find out they can’t carry as much weight as they thought they could, so they’ll start making wiser choices for their BOB (EG: if a person finds out they can’t lug a 50lb pack for 5 miles, then they’re going to have to make serious decisions on what to down-size, cut and save weight on). Another person may find out they do pretty good as a packmule, and can up what they take. If you have multiple people in a family unit, it’s good to know who can carry what weight, so you don’t overload the kids or wife with 50lb bags and then yell at them for not keeping up. People worry about someone physically threatening them in a BOB as the major issue, but the bigger issue is unit morale. You don’t want tempers to flare or frustrations to mount. You need to know what each person is capable of, keep them conditioned to do it, and make sure you’re not asking more then they can do and setting the bar too high for them. Realism is a big wake up call. So, my biggest suggestion is to load up a bag with some weight and start a hiking regimen. Doesn’t have to be fancy. Just walk around the block with a backpack on. Add more weight as time goes by. Do it 2-3x / wk to get and stay conditioned. While out walking, do normal things like bending over to tie your shoe or crouch down.. these are things you might have to do in a survival situation. (A threat in the distance isn’t going to wait for you to take your pack off so you can crouch behind a bush. If your old and your knees are shot, maybe don’t have a 50lb BOB on your back during an emergency.) So, keep it real. Folks thinking they’re going to pack around a shotgun, rifle, pistol, enough food for 3 weeks, water for 1 week, clothes and everything else… Go look at backpacking / hiking forums. Those folks know how to cut weight real fast, b/c they will tell you every ounce feels like a pound after you’ve been hiking for miles. Get conditioned. Figure out your limits, then work within your limits to make your BOB. Don’t put the cart (BOB) before the horse (you). YOU are the most important factor.

    • Peggy Stanford says:

      In some cases, like me for instance, I’ll soon be 80. I have to face it, I probably wouldn’t get far and then I wouldn’t even be in my home. I would have to try because I’m not far from a nuclear power plant and I’m on a barrier island so no place to run to. The Lord will help me.
      I do have a gun and pepper spray.

      • Lee Picton says:

        I will soon be 80 also, and live in the suburbs. I got a lightweight shopping cart with large wheels, put in a liner and stiffened it with cardboard. I have made that a BOB that will serve me if I have to go to an evacuation center for a few days. As an old widow lady, I would never survive wilderness conditions. So, no tent, no guns, no ammo, no machete, no elaborate food supplies. But most of the other minimal stuff for safety and comfort. I could never even manage a 30 lb. pack, but my cart is easy to manage.

  • There is at least one item you left out which is crucial.Pack a beanie or skull cap.You would be surprised how much heat escapes from the head.Less cumbersome than a blanket and just about as effective.Just thought I’d add my two cents.Cheap but valuable advice.

  • Jason says:

    Great List, IMO under Protection section I would add perimeter security alarms. Company’s like Trigger Cannons’s mini trip perimeter alarm or Fifth Ops’s Primer Trip Alarm are great they use 12 gauge 209 primers as the noise signal.

  • Cheryl Riener says:

    Important documents

  • Cash says:

    Thanks for the information, I found much of it to be highly informative, however, if I may say. God forbid, but in the event we might actually need our bags, paper money will likely become worthless. Without a government and gold reserves to back it, it would best used as kindling. As well as coins, at least any made after 1962 I think it is. The only coins that would remain any value are those with actual precious metals in them. At least here in the US…

  • M says:


  • Another good add for heat source is the Ready-Heat Disposable Heated Blanket, those are so easy to carry and deploy.

  • Jesse Rene says:

    Can not wait for more insight. Thanks everyone!

  • Herb says:

    I am 94% ready! I just need a new duffle bag for more storage! Thanks folks

  • Tracy Williams says:

    Very helpful

  • Marlene Neal says:

    What is an N95 face mask and how do I get one?

    • Tahnee says:

      respiration mask – prevention from airborne particles.

    • Barb says:

      Home Depot – 2 different aisles – used by painters to save their lungs, so in the paint aisle and also around aisle “L19.” Brands: Milwaukee Tools and 3M.

  • Scottland says:

    Just a suggestion tampons make great wound packs I keep a couple in my first aid kit and they are light weight

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’ve read multiple differing opinions on this, and while I don’t have personal experience with treating a wound in this manner, I will defer to the field experts who say tampons are not a viable means of suppressing a bleeding wound. That said, it’s always best to have the right medical supplies on your person should this be a real concern.

      • Steam says:

        tampons and pads do have a viable use especially in a trauma situation( puncture, impaled, nose blead, serious cut, gun shot, cover and pressure.

        • Jimmy says:

          Also a great fire starter

  • hamish says:

    You should add a protective suit chemical/nuclear particles a company called tector do a really good one just look up hazmat suit on amazon it should be the first result also put a full face gas/nuclear/chemical mask to use with the suit it may look silly but it will save your life

  • William says:

    Interested in preparation

  • Martin says:

    Great list for perfecting your bug out bag! I will have to do some adjustments to my own BOB.

  • Sean Hoffer says:

    A magnifying glass to make fires, slingshot for hunting, iodine water purification tablets to make a antiseptic rinse for wound care, sutures and super glue for wound care, a book of locally growing wild edibles, a good hatchet and knife.a military poncho for a makeshift tent or shade shelter and water collection.

    • Andrew says:

      All VERY good additions!

  • […] BugOut Bag Academy – Another detailed how-to […]

  • […] Cross – First Aid Kit Guidelines and Medical Training Ham Radio Community and Beginner’s Guide In-depth List of Bug-out Bag Contents EDC Community Urban Foraging Guide Basic Self Defense […]

  • Ugo Matone says:

    I do not recommend drinking water, but liquids such as gatorade, which give more energy especially if it is very hot, energy needed to survive a catastrophe. Moreover, water pushes you to urinate a lot, which is not good when you have to escape.

    • Bill says:

      Take water and take gatorade powder. The best of both worlds.

  • Ugo Matone says:

    I highly recommend a GPS, many events can completely change the area, and if you have to escape to a faraway place how will you orient yourself?

    • Austin says:

      a compass if you know how to use one, is just as good, if not better, seeing that they are more accurate, given they react on the earth magnetic fields

  • Miss Moni says:

    Good 411 and not full of fluff! The comments offer some cool ideas, too. My general rule of thumb is ‘Half as much stuff and twice as much money. Trading is a valuable method of currency, too. What do you have that you could trade when you stumble upon another Bugger?

    A couple of mine- as a girl who travels solo- a great handy effective weapon are darts! (threatened to dip them in poison, if need be.) They have never confiscated mine!

    I am a chef so my Bug Out Bag could last a month or more and has Himalayan Salt, Costa Rican black pepper corns, New Mexican chili, Javanese coffee with ginger, baking soda (has many purposes), cinnamon, garlic/onion/chipotle bouillon cubes, gourmet coffee and tea, honey and sugar and a variety of beans. Why beans? Because you can sprout them and make 25 times the amount of food by sprouting, so bring a small sprouting kit (lentils, chia, garbanzo, sunflower seeds, etc.).

    I put EVERYTHING in Ziploc bags; stays organized, easy going through border checkpoints and you will always need a Ziploc for something later- think temp food storage or wet clothes. Used bags can be used as shoe laces, belts and clothesline! Without holes, you can heat water quickly in the sun!

    Also, I make ‘individual use’ toilet paper wraps. I stretch out two arms’ length of TP and accordion fold it into a neat stack for easy use. Then I make 2″ x 8″ strips of cut paper bags to wrap around it and use a little tape to hold it. This paper strip is great for tinder later. I also use one of these rolls as bug repellant! Twist half the length of TP tightly and light one end, putting it out right away to let it smolder. It keeps the mosquitos away for a couple hours and you can stick the paper to a tree or wall to slowly burn up. An egg carton does the same…

    I also like to bring an elastic cord to ‘pinch hang’ my laundry. When you twist two pieces of cord tightly, you can hang your clothing to dry easily! HINT: White Rain Shampoo is a great multitasker as shampoo and clothes washing! JUST SAYIN’!

    I travel to other countries most of my life so I tend to carry things that might be considered unusual. One of bthose items is a small level. I find that every town I come to has a Coca Cola refrigerator that is not functioning properly and all it needs is to be leveled. This may sound non-sequitur, however, being of service to others, rather than responding with a ‘suspicious-at-best’ mentality, is actually a reflection of the statement made regarding ‘When you have two, you have one. When you have one, you have none.’ Team up and create support.

    One last thing- I bring a flask of vodka. If I sustain an injury, vodka can act as an antiseptic and pain killer. I like Sudoku and a book of that with a pencil with eraser (not a pen) is a good source of entertainment and short-term commitment centering. When I bug out, it is not for a few days, but a lifestyle.

    I think one of the best things one can bring is the right mindset. If you are stressing and constantly on alert, I think you can be prone to poor decision making. Imagine, instead, that you are on a camping trip with friends for a couple weeks and everything that happens is just part of the plan. Sh*t happens, folks. ‘Tis life!

    Talk to the bears in the forest, don’t kill them and eat them; that’s what you are afraid THEY are thinking! Follow them to see where the berries are! Find the water source by following them. Learn to read scat. Breath fresh air and live life as it was originally intended; the birds don’t worry about where they will sleep tonight or where to find food today; they live in the joy of the moment of seeking and finding the bounty already present; they know it is wherever they find it.

    Bugging Out doesn’t have to have a desperation mechanism or forecast. It can represent a returning to one’s natural state and the place that represents the escape can be the best place to leave sometimes…

    I propose a new moniker for the Bug Out state of mind. I elect that it morphs into it’s more true and authentic nature and is now referred to as ‘GetBack’! GetBack to what you are missing, what you are getting away from, what you need. Smell the fresh musty air, know who you are, trust that you are qualified to make just and diplomatic decisions for the better good of the whole. Stand UP, don’t bug out. Reclaim your sense of freedom through respect, dignity and pride of ownership. Don’t BUGOUT! GetBack! 🙂

    Miss Monica Moran
    National Geographic YourShot Photographer
    monicamoranart on Instagram
    ALIVE and KICKING A**; 2019

    • Shawn says:

      Fantastic information

    • KathyAnna says:

      Moni, that was awesome. You should take us like minded people with you. I may be to old…I just don’t like to think so. For once in my life, I would like to throw caution to the wind, be as prepared as possible and go on a real adventure, even a small one.

  • […] seen website after website that says you need to include a lightweight durable tent in your Bug-Out-Bag.  […]

  • […] seen website after website that says you need to include a lightweight durable tent in your Bug-Out-Bag.  […]

  • Ron says:

    Living in California (earthquake country) and what just happened in Ridgecrest, I am preparing supplies and bug out bag, found this information helpful!

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks Ron, glad you found it helpful. Be safe out there!

  • Tami Rebekah says:

    condoms!! I knew I was forgetting something. Sexy time.

    • Winstron Greenwell says:

      Good for putting over the barrel of your rifle or pistol. Also weather proofing cash, coins (for hiding) and prescrip drug containers.

  • Xxxxxx says:

    And for the people with uteruses: buy a diva cup for the bug out bag! Sucker lasts for years and easy to use

  • […] Of course, you should also have a tent, sleeping bag, blanket, change of clothes, extra socks, gloves, jacket, rain gear, and poncho, among other things. For a more comprehensive list of grab bag items, check out this post from Bug Out Bag Academy. […]

  • […] Bug out bags are designed so that you can just grab them and go during an emergency which is especially important when it comes to terrorist attacks. Your bag should be tailored to your own personal needs but contain the essential items that you would need to survive at least 72 hours. You should keep one of these bags in places where you spend most of your time. This could be one at home and one at work, or one at home, one at work, and one in the car. A great resource for learning what to put in your BOB can be found at Bug Out Bag Academy. […]

  • Gus says:

    why would you need a condom?

    • Ricardo says:

      Maybe to colect water, make fire, protect your socks on wet conditions, protect some equipment that cannot get wet… It is not just for sex, you know.

  • Cindy says:

    I think that medicines need to be added to your list.

    • Ricardo says:

      Medicines are very personal. If you need some painkiller, something to make the fever cool down, it’s ok. But if you have specific needs (like a diabetic person, or someone with blood pressure issues), you should addapt this list to your own needs.

  • […] storage areas (caches) here and there, high and low, inside and outside, wherever you live. Keep a bug out bag in your car and keep a rotating stock of food and water at your bug out […]

  • Emily says:

    Thanks! This site has been super helpful for preparing our bug out bags and emergency roadside kit. One thing I would add (that may not be for everyone) is preparing bug out supplies for your pet as well. We simply added a spare leash+harness, collapsible water bowl, small bag of dehydrated dog food (long shelf life and lighter than cans), extra space blanket, extra water, and booties for paw protection in case of a walking evacuation. If you know you could never leave a pet behind, definitely make sure you prepare supplies for them as well. We also have food/water supplies for our pet in our month long home emergency kit.

    • Andrew says:

      Great addition, Emily! Thanks for taking the time to share your recommendation with us.

    • Ricardo says:

      Excellent !

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials [2018 Update] […]

  • […] Bug out bags are designed so that you can just grab them and go during an emergency which is especially important when it comes to terrorist attacks. Your bag should be tailored to your own personal needs but contain the essential items that you would need to survive at least 72 hours. You should keep one of these bags in places where you spend most of your time. This could be one at home and one at work, or one at home, one at work, and one in the car. A great resource for learning what to put in your BOB can be found at Bug Out Bag Academy. […]

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials [2018 Update] […]

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials [2018 Update] […]

  • […] despite the office being out of use. Disaster preparation isn’t just for people who believe in a bug-out bag being located everywhere that you go. It’s for everyone who believes that they could be at risk […]

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials [2018 Update] […]

  • […] each comes with a different set of features, so if you’re serious about including one in your BOB or camping backpack, it’s imperative to know which is best. However, the plethora of products can […]

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials […]

  • […] Put together a basic bug out bag. Even if you don’t think you’re ever going to need it. Even if you think it’s silly. If everyone decided that they had an inclination to create a three-day emergency kit, the world would be a better place. There is no downside to being prepared to function and survive for 72 hours out of a backpack. Cost is minimal, and you can learn some things about necessities while you’re putting it together. […]

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials […]

  • Charles Brodeur II says:

    I for one wanted the lightest weight gear possible in the day of ultralight gear. My main concerns in order are comfort, weight and durability. I chose to go with a new ILBE for my INCH bag; the heaviest (8 lb.+) pack out there, because it will stand up to any abuse I could dish out and will thereby protect my costly gear inside. With a full loadout for indefinite period of time it weighs 45+/-; which I feel is as much as I can do. Certainly, it’s not an ultralight set up, but I’ve parred it down from the 55-60 lb load that I find grueling right from the start. FYI, there are thru-hikers getting their total possibles from 10-23 lbs; which could be done with a BOB, as there are 40 liter bags at just over 1 lb., but they’re no where near as rugged as the ILBE. From numerous reviews I’ve read of high end packs in the 3.5-6 lb. range, the main factor is less durability, though many are even more comfortable than the ILBE. Just my take on the bag I put it all in.
    The following is a list of my possibles that I depend on:
    Sierra Designs Nitro 800 / 20 degree down sleeping bag
    24″ X 72″ X 1/2″ closed cell foam sleeping pad
    Mountain Hardwear Drifter 2 person tent
    MSR Dragonfly (all fuel) stove and MSR Alpine 1.6L SS Stowaway Pot it fits in plus two 750ml fuel cells with kerosene
    MSR MiniWorks EX water filter plus 3L hydration bag & hose
    Mountain Hardwear hooded StretchDown coat
    MH Exposure rain parka and packable rain pants, poncho, three Mylar emergency blankets with one taped side for a bag sleeve
    Morakniv, Leatherman, OKC RTAK-II machete, pepper spray
    1st aid, sewing kit, fishing kit, Gorilla tape, 550 paracord, and personals and spare prescription glasses
    Clothing: Two pr. thick merino wool socks, Chaco Z2 sandals, mid-weight poly base layer top and bottom, briefs and swim trunks, light-weight quick dry nylon pants, hooded polyester base top, nylon fishing hat, and merino wool sweater.
    Add my food and I can be out indefinitely at will. Your mileage may vary.
    P.S. If we meet in a worst case scenario your cash won’t buy any of my possibles, so I suggest spending that $500 now on gear for go or you may find it’s gone and you can eat your money. LOL!!!

  • […] So, think about what you would need to do that. Here’s an excellent list for ideas. […]

  • Kaylee says:

    scissors and ziplock baggies (or some other kind of sealed containers)

  • […] solar chargers are usually about the size of a book. So they’ll easily fit a bug out bag. They only weigh a few pounds, and they’re waterproof. They have USB charging cables, and the […]

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials […]

  • Vickey says:

    I believe that a satellite cellphone should be in a bugout bag. Living the experience in Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, everyone didn’t have a way of communicating with their loved ones and that created the panic in our people. Also I believe a tea kettle has many purposes, and cooking camping gear only weighs 1.2 pound. To finalize we need a medical kit but the one that also bring the sewing needles and scalpel and tourniquet. If is not for you you can save a person life. Remember one thing we need to save our lives but also help others, you have more chances to survive in a group than alone, some people will not agree but that was why god created Eve so Adam didn’t feel all alone. Humans needs to be with other humans. Two heads think better than one. God bless you

  • Rich says:

    Don’t forget a watch or small clock. Spring-powered rather than battery if possible. If there was an EMP, electronic things may not work. I haven’t worn a watch in years preferring my cell phone instead, but if that becomes disabled…

    You might want 2 watches in case you want to synchronize with somebody. They’re small and light weight.

    • Andrew says:

      Good call, Rich! I actually keep a spare Timex velcro’d to the top handle of my bag for easy access.

  • A magnesium bar would be good as one of the ignition sources .

    • John says:

      Weed and booze either to trade or to use for you because of stress

      • Duane says:

        Actually, owning yeast and sugar and a fermenting bottle or two to make your own hooch by. Near endless supply to trade by. If you learn the art, then you have an invaluable skill to trade by.

  • Victoria says:

    Would like a free list please

  • Hm says:

    I like to be prepared. When the time comes.

  • Luke LoChiano says:

    PDF please

    • Andrew says:

      Hey, Luke. Let me know if you got the private message. Thanks!

  • Erik says:

    This list is pretty cool. never knew you need that much stuff. But what if there is a toxic gas? Don’t you need a gas mask?

  • someone says:

    a condom?why?

    • anonymous preper says:

      Because you can use them to carry water if your canteen, collapsible water bottle, and hard water bottle are broken full or lost.

      • Paranoid says:

        You can also put Cheyenne pepper and gunpowder in one. Light, throw, and watch. Who or whatever you threw it at will have all senses destroyed. Which will allow you time to run.

    • Lemming says:

      Strangely they have many uses. They can carry several litres of water, floats for fishing, rudimentary slingshot/catapult elastic, plus loads of others. If you make sure they are anti spermicidal then they have anti-bacterial properties for helping with water purification and even for packing wounds to prevent infection!!

  • Yeet says:

    Yeah boiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  • Ryan Williams says:

    I would like to subscribe to the site and get the pdf

  • sp says:

    cool. pdf please.

  • Peter says:

    Interesting list, pretty helpful.

  • Brian McCarthy says:

    Enjoyed articles. PDF list p[lease

  • Megan says:

    I’d love the pdf please

    • Andrew says:

      Hi Megan. If you subscribed to our email newsletter, you should have received a link in your email as well as on the download page. Please let me know if that is not the case. Thanks!

  • Warren says:

    Awesome list, looking forward to adding items to my BOB

    • Andrew says:

      Glad you like it, Warren! Let us know how it goes.

  • Chris says:

    Nice list. I’d like to se the pdf please

    • Andrew says:

      Hey Chris, were you able to subscribe to our newsletter? We offer the download link as a ‘thank you.’

  • Ben says:

    Great info and this is the first site I’ve come across that give just good, plain information and ideas. Thanks! Looking forward to seeing updates along the way.

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Ben! Be sure to subscribe if you haven’t done so. Talk soon.

    • river obrien says:

      loving the content !! <3

      • Andrew says:

        Thank you, River! Appreciate the kind words.

    • tim says:


  • Joseph Fitzgerald says:

    Thanks folks for all the detailed information, it’s a great beginning for me to build from. Please keep up the good work. Best regards, Joseph F.

    • Andrew says:

      Great to hear, Joseph. Glad we could help you out.

  • Wes says:


    • Andrew says:

      You’re welcome, Wes!

  • M says:

    Laminate your maps and i recommend a laminate foraging guide for your area. Stick to the safe foods (no mushrooms) that don’t have poisonous lookalikes. I started this hobby recently and cannot believe the amount of food out there. Granted I’m in CA and it’s everywhere all times of the year.

  • […] 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 […]

  • Bigfoot says:

    I don’t know if it was said so far, but if you use Lifestraws to filter water, and you bug-out to a cold climate like the one I live in, make sure you keep the Lifestraw somewhere warm like in your clothing next to your body at all times. It will freeze and crack and be useless. I found this out the hard way. Don’t be me!!!!!!

    • Joe Mama says:

      Use a sawyer water filter. It works way better and filters thousands and thousands more gallons of water.

    • Susan says:

      Thank you for this info! I had no idea!

  • […] 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, […]

  • Rebekah M Altig says:

    One thing I don’t see here that I think should be is a thumb drive with photocopies of all your insurance info ei licences, and other paperwork necessities.

  • Coleman says:

    How about a solar string if lights to light up your campsite or a compact shovel for when you have to go or for other reasons like digging a foxhole shelter so you stay at the perfect tempature

  • Anthony says:

    Just a question. How can I get (or get my doctor) to get an ample supply of extra medicines (say 90 day supply). Son has asthma so I have battery nebulizer but need extra packages. I have diabetes so would need my meds as well. Any option to have enough to get thru would be appreciated.

    • Bigfoot says:

      get them from out of the country. They’re cheaper too!!!!

    • Jack says:

      Ask you doctor and explain why you want them.

  • Madison says:

    An excellent resource regarding bug out bags is a new book by Max Cooper called, “Realistic Bug Out Bag, 2nd Edition: Prepared to Survive.” This is a monster book at over 600+ pages. It has scenarios, drills, and is full of useful and insightful information. I like that the author stresses planning and has a section devoted to bug out plans and how to practice & train your plan. He is also a huge advocate of designing a BOB that fits your needs based on factors that pertain to your situation. I highly recommend this book: http://amzn.to/2AAwau5

  • […] we may have to evacuate in little time. To alleviate this worry we made ourselves what some call “bug out” bags which are backpacks of some sort that can hold a variety of essentials that will last you for a […]

  • Steve says:

    Getting out to or towards your destination will possibly the toughest part of your entire post apocalyptic experience.

    People will stop in the roads and trails where others are stopped. There will be many people who will have equipment, food, or health issues, others will stop to lend aid if possible and soon it will be difficult or even impossible in certain terrains to get past these groups and that will leave you all exposed to attack or at least the theft of your possessions. There will always be weak and naïve people, and there will always be strong and treacherous people that will prey upon them.
    Strongly consider traveling at night and staying away from the main trails. Avoid people, especially in large groups and keep a frosty eye open for traps and ambushes. Look for places people can hide, remember to look up (humans seldom do) and if the number in your party can support having a scout or at least someone on point… all the better, THERE WILL BE MANY WHO DESIRE WHAT YOU HAVE. There are going to be a lot of unprepared folks who want to keep themselves and there families alive, food and survival gear will not be available anymore, so they will have to take someone else’s.

    • Jon D. ArmyVet says:

      Speaking of naive, somebody’s been playing too much Fallout. Especially since this “advice” isn’t based on real-world experience or education.
      Making a blanket statement like “avoid people and roads” fails to consider that you leave yourself open to even more dangerous possibilities such as hungry, ravenous wildlife that also cannot find food, irradiated or chemically hazardous zones (which would be quite free of people and difficult to recognize at night) and other hazards.
      The best thing to do, is to use wisdom and judgment and trust your instincts when it comes to people. Just like we all do now – that’s real world.

      • Andrew says:

        Point well taken, Jon. I prefer to spend time in the real world, too! Thanks for commenting and for your service.

  • Tc says:

    Being prepared, you could write all day about what to have and pack. Knowledge and the means to apply it are the most important thing you need. My military career took me all the way to the SF. Deployed in combat. We didn’t go with tons of gear, we learned to live with what we could find. Learned real quick too much weight was a killer. Like the man talking about ammo, when the SHTF there will be ammo on the ground, along with weapons. So pack your bags, prepare, but learn to survive without all these items that will run out if extended time in the bush is required. Again KNOWLEDGE. But I agree basic survival items are good to have packed.

    • John doe says:

      lol guns and ammo laying all over.you say like the man talking about ammo,well if guns and ammo are all over the place what kind of world would we all be living in.you are telling people not to carry arms and or ammo because of weight ( KILLS ) well so do hungry scared people. i am sorry to inform you but people like you would get a lot of folks killed.and as far as going into combat you are issued the gear for the mission in hand.i do not understand what you said about learning to live with what you could find??? since when has the military not supplied troops, to were they had to live off of what ever they could find???

      • Matt says:

        Agreed. If you’re out where there are guns and ammunition on the ground for the taking, you’re in the middle of a highly exposed and dangerous situation. As someone who was also in the military for many years, I can say there “are” a handful of personnel who “might” go somewhere somewhat unequipped, but that is beyond rare and definitely not the standard. And last but not least, a bugout bag is not for long-term, build-a-new-society planning, it’s for hitting the road as quickly as possible and getting you to survive the crisis until you can slow down long enough to consider longer-term decisions.

  • […] got all the major food groups: sugar, protein, fat, and nougat, and belongs in every glove box and bug out bag. But the Snickers is so practical, so filling, so savory that it barely even counts as candy at […]

  • […] exactly what to put in a go bag is one of the most frequently debated topics in the prepper world, so hopefully this guide helped […]

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials […]

  • […] that said, those are our picks for the best items for a bug out bag. There are a few other things we didn’t have time to mention today, but the four items we did […]

  • Julio Maysonet says:

    Just what I have been looking for. I’m putting together my very first bug out bag and this list will help me out alot.

    Thank You!


  • Blue says:

    I know that wool is the best for socks but I am allergic to wool , so what would you suggest ? Cotton ?

    • Andrew says:

      Do you have the same reaction with Merino Wool? I’m not saying this is your case, but in my experience some people think they’re allergic to wool because it is itchy. Merino wool is still moisture wicking, but is soft in comparison. Wool helps regulate body temperature, whereas cotton is not moisture wicking so that’s why we don’t recommend it because it can lead to hyopthermia, etc. Hope this helps!

    • Chris says:

      Thorlo socks are all synthetic, so they don’t soak up water like cotton, are quick-drying, wicking and warm. All the advantages of wool, but without the itch or allergic reaction. They come in different weights, too.


    • Pondhunter says:

      Look for socks and products made with alpaca wool. A little more expensive, but it is typically non-allergenic if you are allergic to wool.

  • Chris K says:

    Buy some cheap zip lock snack bags and pack them tight with dryer lint for an excellent fire tinder. You can make them even more compact if you place several of the bags in vacuum sealer bags and suck the air out of them (also keeps them from soaking up moisture and becoming mildewed in your pack). I try to vacuum seal as many items in my pack as possible for long-term storage (like ammo,matches, cotton balls, etc.

  • Chris says:

    This is the first time I am thinking to bug out :). This is the list I was looking for. I am sure I will not miss anything if i follow this.

  • Stefan says:

    people say you need a pistol or rifle for hunting and protection but a nice recurve bow or cross bow will do better because it’s quite and will keep it that way

    • Paul says:

      Nibba did you really just suggest bringing a bow to a Gunfight?

      • M says:

        Daryl does it all the time. And wins.

    • Matt says:

      Just keep in mind that many compound and some crossbows these days pack tension in excess of the pressure limit for some wood shafts. Like you said, a nice recurve bow could be very useful, but it also has the added difficulty of taking up more space than a scout rifle.

  • Allissa says:

    If anyone hasn’t said this yet, I recommend having multiple containers of rice for a bug out bag. (Smaller container ot two would be good for trading in an apocalypse/bad situation)

    • Kfilly says:

      I bought a cheap Gen 1 Yukon hands free night vision monocular. I plan on moving at night. My night vision is not military grade, and it is not great for combat. However, I have used it to walk around the woods at night. It is certainly better than using a flashlight when you are trying to remain hidden.

  • […] out bag to have in your car when you’re at work. A pretty decent list can be found on this website. You will also need to make sure you have the essentials at home, accessible to your family. Keep […]

  • Rob says:

    Id also recommend a portable ham radio i just got the BoaFeng BF-F8HP for communication with family as well as weather alerts and if you know what your doing,so much more

  • Brian Symons says:

    Mosquito Click, Mossie Zap

    I’ve mentined elesewhere but a worthwhile small inexpensive addition to your bag & first aid kit is the small Mosquito Click or Mossie Zap devices.

    Available under various similar names for just a few dollars on eBay from China with free shipping, these devices give a small electric zap when you puch the button using a similar system to the piezo gas ignitors.

    We have found the cheaper ones seem to work as well as expensive ones so you may as well save your money & just buy a few extra in case of a failure.

    You just click on & around any bite from mosquitos, midges (sand flies), leaches etc or even rashes from disease etc, & it reduces the inflamation (stops the histamine reaction) & stops the itching.

    My wife can literally tear her skin with itching from bites but she doesn’t have a major problem since we found these several years ago.

    We have them in her bag, the car glove box, car first aid kit, all our travel bags … They are so small & cheap there is no reason to just have one.


  • Johnny says:

    Here’s some of my knowledge. I’m an eagle scout and love camping. I spend a lot of time in sporting goods stores just looking. Leave no trace is a big part of scouts, so visit the local Boy Scout store.
    •Cot at your bug out places It’s easy to move around
    •Mess Kit can fit all of your dish essentials in a compact space usually the largest pot and lid they lock together. They also now make silicone collapsible cups/bowls
    •9v battery and steel wool to start a fire You can also use a magnifying glass to start a fire
    •a COMFORTABLE pair of shoes/boots depending on your terrain Preferably something waterproof
    •You can use an old prescription pill bottle for a waterproof match holder I took some small sticks and superglued them to the back of a strike pad.
    •The box I used for my first aid kit is water proof and clear on top I got it in the boating section at Academy sports
    •You can also use a hunter’s GPS for shorter bug out situations in the country side
    •In a bug out situation you can use a machete as a weapon and to chop up various things also quite a few of them come double sided one smooth blade for chopping the other serrated for sawing.
    •I’d prefer a bow or crossbow over a gun It’s quiet and you can learn to make arrows to fire from it. I use to be able to.
    • I keep a pair of bluetooth head phones for hands free calls. They also double as ear plugs. My brand is Jaybird X3 8 hr battery life. Having your hands free is crucial
    • A small compact lantern led technology has come a long way there are also solar powered rechargeable floating lanterns that go flat like a pancake for transportation.
    • Cycling sunglasses have interchangeable lenses you can get an affordable pair from Amazon I use the clear lenses as safety glasses when I’m doing projects.
    • Dawn soap if you are in a woodland area it can wash off the oils from poisonous plants before you start itching and various car fluids as well.
    • Dish washing gloves are a cheap way to water proof any pair of gloves you own just put them over your other gloves

  • arkansascajun says:

    i am old and have a large bag. i strap a lightweight plastic golf bag caddy to it.

  • Mary Martin says:

    Condoms? Are you humping your way through the apocalypse?

    Put tampons and maxi pads on there. Great for bandages and ear protection when firing heavy weapons. Just take the strings out to keep your manhood intact.

    • Andrew says:

      Hahaha. There are a number of practical uses for condomms that don’t include “humping one’s way through the apocalypse”… Creek Stewart has some of the better uses ‘covered’ in this article. Hope this helps clear things up for you! 🙂

      • Jack says:

        The army field reg on survival suggests you carry non-lubricated condoms to hold water.

    • Wyle says:

      Tampons make good temporarily bullet hole plugs – they’re sometimes used in the Middle East by evac medics. And maxi pads are OK pressure pads for wounds. Not to mention your lady friends will appreciate having these at hand 😉

    • Stefanie says:

      OMG Mary, I was thinking the same thing!!! LOL

      • Jen says:

        Or a menstrual cup. They have a 10 year life-span, reusable, easily cleaned, and are incredibly durable.

  • Jim in SC says:

    Less expensive options:
    “SOL Escape Bivy” sleeping bag, under $50 on Amazon, REI, others. I got mine at Academy Sports.
    Bass Pro Shops has nice 4 season tents, 2 man $99, or 3 season under $70. Quality is very good. I’ve used mine in the Adirondack Mountains packing in to hunt in November.

  • ryan mott says:

    Has anyone suggested superglue?
    Good for sealing up cuts and lightweight

    • Reg says:

      I just got home and got super glue. 🙂 if you use super glue then add baking powder it hardens like cement in seconds. Only add the baking powder after your done with the glue. Works on metal, plastic etc.

  • Semi lunar says:

    Solar powered charger

  • Trent Nowlan says:

    I like your list and every thing you have put on it but i just wanted to tell I’ve started my own bug out bag and I’ve nearly got every thing on your list.

    • Andrew says:

      That’s awesome, Trent! You’re miles ahead of a LOT of people when it comes to being prepared for an emergency. Nice work.

      • Wyle says:

        I live in the Pacific Northwest (Canada) where we have earthquake kits. Your list is the best I have come across, far superior to the local government ones. I will definitely share it with my neighbours and add a few items thanks to you!

        • Andrew says:

          Thanks, Wyle. That means a lot! Glad to help 🙂

  • Crusoe says:

    Some things learned while hiking the Appalachian trail, *viva paper towels are soft enough to be a substitute for toilet paper and strong enough for many other uses.
    * water is heavy, carry a good filter
    * instant coffee is a comfort takes up little space in a glassine bag of single servings- instant mashed potatoes with a beef stick and oatmeal are good stomach fillers this makes for good mental state. *Jet Boil stove is worth the weight, you are eating while others are still screwing around with their homemade alcohol stoves.
    Hammock systems are great sleeping, especially for 3 seasons (4 seasons can be done but you have to carry extra weight in under quilts)
    A collapsible pair of walking sticks are a must, bugging out and walking thru the woods presents so many dangers of twisting an ankle or tripping falling.
    *A few hot hands packs are also good in the mts. @ night.
    * bug net for your head weighs nothing takes no space.
    While I do not claim to be “the expert” I spent months in the woods and feel confident I could take my family into the forest and make ourselves invisible if the need arises.

  • […] should store at least three days of non-perishable food, including canned and dehydrated food. A mix of both is best: canned food is heavier but dehydrated food needs water to be eaten, and if you’re rationing […]

  • […] to retailer at least three days of non-perishable food, together with canned and dehydrated food. A mix of both is best: canned food is heavier however dehydrated food wants water to be eaten, and if you’re rationing […]

  • […] should store at least three days of non-perishable food, including canned and dehydrated food. A mix of both is best: canned food is heavier but dehydrated food needs water to be eaten, and if you’re rationing […]

  • […] should store at least three days of non-perishable food, including canned and dehydrated food. A mix of both is best: canned food is heavier but dehydrated food needs water to be eaten, and if you’re rationing […]

  • […] should store at least three days of non-perishable food, including canned and dehydrated food. A mix of both is best: canned food is heavier but dehydrated food needs water to be eaten, and if you’re rationing […]

  • […] should store at least three days of non-perishable food, including canned and dehydrated food. A mix of both is best: canned food is heavier but dehydrated food needs water to be eaten, and if you’re rationing […]

  • […] should store at least three days of non-perishable food, including canned and dehydrated food. A mix of both is best: canned food is heavier but dehydrated food needs water to be eaten, and if you’re rationing […]

  • […] should store at least three days of non-perishable food, including canned and dehydrated food. A mix of both is best: canned food is heavier but dehydrated food needs water to be eaten, and if you’re rationing […]

  • reg says:

    A folding trench shovel with sharpened edges will replace a machete, ax, and hatchet as well as making a stealthy self defense weapon. Don’t leave home without it

  • Jezabelle says:

    I didn’t see a comment for it, but…in terms of personal hygiene for women: diva cup. They’re lightweight, easy to clean, easy to keep clean, and they’re reusable (good for 10 years if you’re rough on them, probably longer if you take care of them). Plus you can leave them in for up to 24 hours, depending on flow.

    • Megan Lewis says:

      Diva cup is a good suggestion. However, make sure you use it for a while. I cannot wear them. That would be horrible to find out in a survival situation.

    • Heather says:

      This is a fantastic comment- very helpful- thank you!

    • forgetmenot says:

      A ladies urination device (you can pee standing up).

  • John Smith says:

    bandana, vapor rub, iso alchohol, led flashlight, tea lights, bottled water, baby wipes, bungee chords, duct tape, all on this list at a 99c store. can rig a sleeping bag to be filled with your BOB items into a backpack with bungee chords.

    • Crusoe says:

      I’ve hiked the Appalachian trail, bottled water isn’t something you want to carry, (maybe 1) water weighs 2.2 lbs per liter. A large gravity fed Water filter is good for a base camp or family. Sawyer squeeze filters and life straws work for one person. Also osprey water bladders for your pack allow you to sip on the go.

  • Chris says:

    I have spent a lot of time in the woods. Top 2 things I miss when I return home are a hot shower and toilet paper. The hot shower is difficult to carry in a bug out bag but toilet paper in a ziplock bag is too easy. It has several uses other than clean up…

    • Solar-Heated Camp Shower holds 5 gal of water. Just hang from tree and sun heats up. Wash up as needed.

      • Axle says:

        Up north that solar shower is still cold as fck, even in the summer. I’ve used one for a couple weeks, and you might as well just take a dip in the river.

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials […]

  • […] Bug-Out Bag Every adult should know about bug out bags. It doesn’t mean a need to buy one. It doesn’t mean you have to keep on with you at all […]

  • […] Bug-Out Bag Every adult should know about bug out bags. It doesn’t mean a need to buy one. It doesn’t mean you have to keep on with you at all […]

  • Gear Mike says:

    Thanks for the incredibly detailed guide.

  • Joe says:

    Activated charcoal capsules for stomach issues.

    Large animal antibiotics – can get at Tractor Supply.

    4-way silcock water key

    • Matt says:

      Would not have thought about the water key. Interesting, and potentially very useful addition to the toolkit,

  • Nigel says:

    “Where there are two, there’s one. Where there’s one, there’s none”

    That’s a stupid twisting of language. Zero is zero, one is one. Just carry a backup instead of stupidly twisting language.

    • Aussie Bloke says:

      Dick much?

      The quote was in case of failure eg.

      If you have two you have one back up. If you only have one you have no back up! Pretty simple really not twisting at all!

      • Axle says:

        Words must be hard for him…

    • John Destry Parr says:

      No your stupid and undatabley an ASSHOLE if you don’t like what they have written don’t read the post and don’t be a prick these people worked hard show respect asshole or give your address punk

      • Diana Park says:

        Thank you this is a good page I’m copying saving a lot of stuff

  • Anne G. says:

    Any suggestions on what to use instead of the wool and latex items? I’m highly allergic to both. Thanks.

    • Tommy says:

      Nitrile is a good if slightly more expensive alternative

    • Megan Lewis says:

      Instead of sheeps wool, try alpaca. It’s less allergenic, and just as warm, if not more so.

    • Sandoval Lebaron says:

      You can use cotton instead of wool, and for the latex allergy at every drug store they have a non latex option for you.

      • Johnny says:

        Cotten loses most of it’s institution if it gets wet where other materials won’t.

        • BRANDON T SANDERS says:

          Cotton when wet is worthless. Wool is a much better choice in my opinion. Lasts longer and cam be used for alternative purposes if needed.

          • A-A-Ron says:

            I agree with cotton being worthless for insulation when wet, however it is a fantastic evaporative cooling fabric. If you are in the desert there is nothing better than a wet cotton t-shirt on your head to remove body heat. Tailor your BOB to your most likely situation–I live in the desert and know the value of cotton.

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials […]

  • Aaron says:

    Very nice list and lots of helpful comments. Thank you! But I’d like to add, if in an urban survival situation, i think a nice lil lock pick set and know how, would be helpful.

    • Alexandre says:

      I mean, its a great list but i think its too much. Where i live its woods but i live close enough to 2 cities like a days walk. I would recommend, learn to reproduce animals, for self substaning , learn how to treat them, have a good guard dog, not big and mean to protect you, its not an atack dog its a guard one. Not big because you have to feed him. He barks for your awareness and can help you hunting. You need to have a small hoe without a handle you can make one in the woods jf thats the llace youre going, have an axe, knife, tarp for cover, first aid kit, paracord a few feet, a rope, some carabeners, seeds, water containers, whool blanket, and if possible a toy for your dog, you can make one out of rope, keep him happy and he will help you allways.

      I mean, the rest its just knowlege, learn some knots, some hunting fishing tecniques, some farming tecniques, learn your surrondings, where to go, out to go, when to go, lookout points, advantage oounts, where the animals are, where can you move next, i mean its much more the know how and not the i have everething and cannot use it. I hope i helped as you have helped me.

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials […]

  • scott says:

    To those such as myself as i wear glasses, an extra pair of glasses will be a blessing in any bug out situation. any extra meds that you use on a regular basis is also needed.

    • Andrew says:

      Great tip! I don’t have glasses so I overlooked that one, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks for reading/commenting Scott!

    • Mike says:

      Corn starch, clots bloody wounds, needle and thread, ace bandage w/Velcro fasteners

    • Charles says:

      To add, it may be good to have a “safety” or “Sports” pair made, as they are made tougher and less likely to break.

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials […]

  • AM says:

    A few days of instant coffee (Via) will you get you past caffeine withdrawals. The last thing you need is a raging headache. And I never head to the woods without an edible plant/mushroom book for the area (plus a good amount of edible, medicinal plant education).

    • Baylorbear says:

      Excellent recommendation about caffeine withdrawals. Could be very debilitating the first several days.

    • Rosanna McGuire says:

      Guarana capsules or caffeine pills would also solve this.

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials […]

  • Nick says:

    isopropyl alcohol
    Steel Wool
    Magnifying glass

  • […] Cross – First Aid Kit Guidelines and Medical Training Ham Radio Community and Beginner’s Guide In-depth List of Bug-out Bag Contents EDC Community Urban Foraging Guide Basic Self Defense […]

  • […] Cross – First Aid Kit Guidelines and Medical Training Ham Radio Community and Beginner’s Guide In-depth List of Bug-out Bag Contents EDC Community Urban Foraging Guide Basic Self Defense […]

  • Lot’s of water and a broad brimmed hat. Good Article

  • Aaron Aka Captain Awesome says:

    I would suggest some Petroleum jelly or chapstick as well. It can be used for chapped lips, open cuts or scrapes, and can even be used in lieu of Fire cubes, just mix cotton balls or some wood shavings or tinder and it will burn long enough to get a fire going. A healthy length of electrical tape can be pretty useful and I’m a pinch it works as a temporary waterproof seal. I also wanted to note that the latex tubing idea has a lot of uses, fishing weights, tourniquet (as mentioned already) sling shot, glasses strap, can even be used as a straw…knowledge is power.

    Try not to be so hard on people for misunderstanding the uses of a condom in a survival situation. Don’t be the person that everyone wants to see fail…

    Also, has anyone ever tried using a water purification pump to filter and drink urine? I’m curious but not brave enough…

    • The Saga of Cory the Evil says:

      as far as the urine thing IM not brave enough either, HOWEVER, I do know that your urine is already sanitized upon leaving the body, your body is a filtration device, you can drink your urine at least twice before it starts becoming toxic or maybe not toxic but bad for you; I dont know if a water purification pump extends that duration, I would assume it would but it would not get rid of the taste

      • hope for the best prepare for the worst says:

        in a survival situation you should never ever drink your urine. It contains very high levels of salt and other impurities that need to be removed from your body. The drinking your urine twice thing is an old wives tale so to speak. In reality the more dire the situation the worse of an idea it is to drink your own urine. As far as filtering it, im also unsure if it would work, but it makes sense that if you had a filter designed to remove microscopic solids/bacteria ect it should be ok as the filter would remove these things. Again im not sure so dont take that as gospel or anything but it only makes sense.

        • A-A-Ron says:

          totally agree–only dumba**es and movie actors drink urine. you really can’t filter out all the salts in urine with most water filters, so don’t bother. the best thing you can do with urine is “mark your territory” and pee on jelly fish stings (I know that works!)

  • […] Check out a full, in depth list of bug out bag essentials at bugoutbagacademy.com […]

  • Danny says:

    So much advice. Mine? A) You will never be fully prepared B) Do it! Drive into the woods, park your car, get out and walk for one day and THEN take out your map and compass. ALSO, for those of us who live in cities; learn to read crowds and to navigate different cultures. I live in Oakland and any time we have civil unrest, i document it. Ive done this for two decades and can tell you when a crowd is going to rush, the cops are going to fire gas as opposed to lead beanbags, or when its time for my skinny white ass to get outa dodge quick. I can tell a genuine plea or offer for help from a trap in an instant. KNOW PEOPLE. That means BE AROUND people. They are your biggest threat and greatest assets.
    Im a preschool teacher to affluent kids and regularly bring them on public transportation through the worse parts of East Oakland. I expose thec4yo choldren of wealthy doctors, lawyers and tech millionaires to Islamic culture, gang-heavy neighborhoods, and feed the destitute homeless. And id trust these kids to barter the last of my water to find an escape route out of the city.
    PEOPLE are your greatest asset.
    And biggest threat.

    • Russell says:

      I agree…

      I try to have my while family picked at times for week of backpacking.
      That’s nature also need to survive mans instability during crisis!!

  • alice h says:

    I walk with 2 canes and can’t carry much but I’m outfitting a bugout rollator, mainly for if I have to abandon home after an earthquake. It will quickly break down into absolute essentials so if I need to abandon it I’ll still have the basics. It’s very difficult for me to get up and down so sleeping on the ground is problematic. I’m rigging a canopy for the rollator so I’ll have a dry place to sit and can catch a nap if needed. I made a backstrap with quick release attachments to hitch myself to a rollator that makes it much easier to maintain support while going downhill instead of relying on the hand brakes.

    • Stan says:

      My wife and I both use canes. We find beach carts to be invaluable you can carry more besides a bug out bag. We use them when we go to the mall etc.

  • That call out on the pencil sharpener is brilliant, I never would have thought of that.

    Admittedly my BOB is more of a BOT(trunk), and is currently geared towards a sudden camping trip rather than an emergency bail. However it’s a good basis and practice for any unexpected situation (I’m thinking natural disasters).

    That being said, I’ve included flares and reflective gear in mine – because not all situations have humanity pitted against each other – and some coconut oil since I can’t start a fire to save my life.

    Also at least three growlers – for reasons.

    • Backpacker says:

      I wouldn’t pack a pencil sharpener, that’s why you’ve got a knife. There’s so many things you need to take that you can’t take everything.

      • Stephen says:

        A pencil sharpener weighs nothing and takes up zero space. A pencil sharpener is great for getting into the dry area in sticks. Any chance you get to save your knife blade from work is a great idea. Like I said it weighs nothing so why not

      • Joe says:

        It’s also great for making tinder. Just twist a stick in there and you have a nice thin strip of wood waiting to catch on fire and, like Stephen said, it weighs practically nothing.

  • Ron says:

    People tend to become too materialistic when it comes to solving a challenge/ problem.
    Most persons(even fit ones) will have problems with moveability and operating radius when carrying a backpack weighing in excess of 14kg(25lbs..? I’m used to the metric system), in addition to the stuff you allready have in pockets, in your belt, and in addition to the weight of a rifle.
    Remember, the more you carry/ the harder you work, the faster you burn calories/ energy…

    To my opinion(based on years of “mountain men”-activities), the main focus should be on developing skills that will be important in a bug out scenario, and coming up with a plan about were to retreat to.
    Secondary/ paralell to developing skill and forming a plan, one should “custom build” a bag as light as possible, for the job. Try to include objects in the bag that may be used for multiple purposes, per object. When you’re done packing once: Pack again, and again(at least three times), trying to make your backpack lighter every time, while still containing the bare essentials.

    Last, but not least: Water and (Ability to make) FIRE and a means to “stock up” on your food supplies is KEY.

    And if you live in a cold environment, WOOL underwear and socks is THE way to go.
    Wool will maintain 70% of its insulation when its wet/ if you become wet. As far as I know, no other textile/ garment have that advantage.

  • troylb832 says:

    I dont have rime to read all the comments but i read a good 50 or 60. What everyone fails to think when they do the bug out bag is where am i bugging out to? Am i going to run around randomly or go to moms house or where ever. Having a bug out location is the key. Having back up bug out locationS is even better. Find some where secure and stock it. Find some where securer and stock it too. I live in the woods im pretty confident i wont bug out but believe me i have 3 locations within a weeks walking distance of each other. A bob just needs to get you to the location someone said try humping 50 pounds for 3 hours or something like that and its true. Some food water and water filter is all you need. All the major tools food water clothes storage or what not should already be at your location. All you need is a fanny pack and a way to conceal a hand gun.

    • James says:

      I live on the coast of Australia. Where I live the worst natural disaster we ever had was very high winds or minor flooding. I’m not concerned with natural disasters but the increasing multi-cultural density and what dangers come with letting in certain race groups (sorry to be a racist, not everyone is a terrorist I know, I just focus on statistics and patterns that say “avoid these people” not “harm them”).

      Anyway, I’m an avid prepper who wants to become a survivalist, however my issue is that I have no where to practice. The mountains here are no bigger than 500 meters and take only a couple hours to travel through. I could take a bit of a journey and practice in the Blue Mountains or something I guess…

      Any better suggestions? I thought just learning skills like archery, martial arts, survival cooking, etc. would be a better place to start?

      • A friendly voice says:

        yes, learning the skills you mentioned are necessary. Also, learning what you can eat if you were to have to stay in the wilderness for a prolonged period of time. You’ll also want to have a bag of supplies not unlike the one you see above, but may want to include an axe and a shovel on top of that machete. pocket knife and a survival knife. All these are great tools and double up as fantastic melee weapons.

      • skud says:

        Your biggest asset in dire situations is other people. Racism, or any other fear based perception of others, will be a huge issue short and long term. If you can’t get along with the people around you, you will not last long.

  • […] 75 Bug Out Bag List Essentials – Bug Out Bag Academy – I know this will not make it onto most people’s lists, but I bought a Gen 1 night vision hands free monocular device. Is it the latest and greatest in night vision … […]

  • Branden says:

    i bought a couple backpacks with a solar panel sewn into the sun facing side. they’re pretty sturdy, and I’ve loaded them with the bulk of this gear minus a piece or two, but I’m really wishing they were modular at this point. Is there a strap system that can add MOLLE capability to a standard civilian type backpack like these?

    • kenomouth64 says:

      I would avoid anything that is too ‘flashy’. Things like, military backpacks/gear, backpacks w/ a solar panel, overly large and stuffed backpacks, excess gear; they all make you a target. Someone is starving and they see you passing by with a backpack stuffed full. They might just shoot you in the head before you even know they are there. IMO, one should aim to obscure their gear and skills in a “bug-out” situation. Skills are much more important than gear. One might come up with several “bug-out” locations and pre-store gear in those spots. Then have a “bug-out” bag that just makes you look like the average struggling Joe. If someone thinks you have something, they will want it, when someone wants something of yours and they know there will not be repercussions for their actions, they will get violent.

  • Sean says:

    Great list. Building a BOB seems to be a tricky subject, half the people say, “too much!” and the other half, “not enough!”

    What it boils down to is your environment and personal skill levels. If are trained and skilled in survival then the less stuff you need, less trained means more gear.

  • […] recently taken to to carrying in my car, a, “Bugout Bag“, along with a sleeping bag, a Camprest mat, my favorite pillows, some Mezcal Vago Elote and […]

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  • Alex says:

    I have about a 40lb bugout.

    I have 2 makeshift water bladders, made of box wine liner. Cut one corner, clean it out and you have a good size water bladed, with a button release. (Makeshift Shower) or simply storage.

    Also a few things you wont regret having on you. Multipurpose uses.

    .sharp fillet knife
    .nail clippers and tweezers
    .Fish line and fish hooks. (Minimum)
    .Sandwich bag filled with small square bagbags, (yes like the ones you get from your dealer) and fill em with spices.
    .leather gloves
    .Machete or axe
    .*550 cord*

    Among whatever suites you best. Great post. Climb To Glory!

    • Vic says:

      Please trust me on this..

      No more than 12% of your body weight..and most of that should be Water.. Like a Gallon minimum..

      If you injure yourself in any SHTF scenario. you chances of survival go down dramatically.. Unless you make a practice of lugging a Ruck all the time.
      You will injure yourself even just carrying a 40lb ruck.

      As a 27 year old Marine 6′ 135lbs I carried 120lb 30 miles in a day before 23lb or so of that was water for myself. The next Am we were all looking for . you guessed it

      Today I am old and would be dead in the same scenario.. Just the way it is..

      Survival is not a game and fooling around the edges of it.. Plain Stupid..

      Preps are important .. fitness, familiarity and training are the only realistic way those preps will really give you a chance at survival.

      • rick says:

        Well said. All the gear in the world doesn’t mean dick if you can’t carry it. Keeping your fitness level up should be priority one and two.

      • Zach says:

        Well im 270lbs. I was about 10 miles a day (with no pack). My bug out bag is for my wife and I, its about 50lbs. It is a hiking backpack so it has good back support around hips.

        • Anonymous says:

          What happens if sonethin happens to you your wife ha to carry 50 pounds or you do injured, if she carried her 25 pounds and somethin happened she still may be able to carry her 25 pounds or you could carry it until she was capable. Everyone should have some level of self reliability it helps when you’re protecting everyone in your family or group

  • Lucia Ferris says:

    This is helpful. I’m always in fear of the end of the world or any sort of natural disaster. I’m paranoid.

  • […] are a few items common on bug-out bag lists – rope, knives, rain poncho, long-lasting food, water – that you should surely include, […]

  • Brian says:

    I’ve found a camping hammock to be a good addition for a quick and easy bed that keeps me off the ground. They are also very light weight and the lack of poles make them easier to store.

  • Gene Aiken says:

    Might be a good idea to take some coffee. Liquor tobacco for Comfort and stress relievers as well as for possible trade items.

    • AD says:

      These are not good items to use in any survival situation. Though they have their merits and value, they should be avoided for the most part. Alcohol, tobacco, and coffee will all dehydrate you in a bad way. If caffeine or comfort are need, best things to have are tea or Tang, lame as that can sound.

      • Ken says:

        Let’s be realistic… Coffee is a luxury item. It’s nice to have but not necessary. If you need caffeine, go for a few caffeine pills. I like to have a pill bottle with a plethora of different pills (acetaminophen, nsaids, asprin, etc.). Know what each pill is and when/if you need to take it.

    • bill says:

      If you need caffeine to avoid withdrawal (caffeine headaches are no fun) you’re better served with pills or something like Midol or Goody’s headache powder. Both have caffeine and pain killers and are great for controlling caffeine withdrawal. Also a bottle of Midol or a box of goddys weights a whole lot less than coffee and requires less water to waste.

      I smoke. I will have tobacco with me so I don’t kill someone and it does help me calm down. My bugout bag tobacco is a tiny corncob pipe from the drug store and some very strong pipe tobacco called Crooner (or if you want even stronger “old Joe Krantz”) from a company called C&D tobacco. Its nicotine content is very high so I carry a small, vaccume sealed pouch of it that weights about 4oz and with how strong it is will last for a month. It goes in a Ziploc once I break the seal and before that will last forever vacuum packed. Where as cigs burn quick, leave trash to follow and go stale quickly, this lasts forever and the only trace of it is some ash.

  • Dylan says:

    Why dont we just bring our whole house dont know if if you could fit it all in a bag

  • Basa says:

    Hey guys an expat (UK) via USA of 30 years now in Australia and this place is nowhere near prepared for anything quite alarming. It is illegal unless you can justify a reason why you are carrying ANY knife including swiss army, leatherman etc. Anyway one thing we were taught in scouts in UK some 45 years ago a good pencil sharpener for shavings for fires, arrow points, and stakes. Thought i would share as I never see it on lists. I have a Brass German one with extra blades dual sized takes up no room and at a pinch I can use it as a an electrical conductor. I have taken advanced first aid and am joing the sea rescue volunteers here they train you on nautical navigation and seamanship two skills that may come in handy. Great site!

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks, Basa! A small, basic pencil sharpener is a great addition to the list. Best of luck as a sea rescue volunteer!

    • Steve says:

      Not even a pocket knife? Wow.. Safety for all at the expense of… safety for all…

  • christopher swain says:

    Lots of excellent items and suggestions. And a lot of great comments as well.. I would add a good picket sized durvival book( close it up in a ziploc bag) or print out some of your favorite excerpts or blog posts on survival. Since most of us ( myself included) get our food from the grocery store, I am sure information about hunting or trapping small game could be a real life saver.. I’ve seen Jeremiah Johnson, but I dont think that prepared me for living in the wilderness.. I would add a slingshot and ammo as well to my kit. This method has the added advantage of being silent. Squirrels and rabbits are easier to hunt than deer. I didnt see mention of a wire saw, very compact and able to cut small to medium sized limbs without dulling your knife or machete blade.. And a good sharpening stone to sharpen your knife, ax or machete. I am sure a lot of the smaller items can be bought expensively at Walmart , harbor freight, the dollar store, and even ebay.. Spend a little more on good quality knives( carbon steel) , ax, and machete. Just my two cents..

  • Mariana says:

    One thing I recomend for people living in hot sunny places is sunscreen

  • wolfe says:

    if i bug out i will only take few items a knife,a small hand axe ,saw,pocket knife,multi tool,2 emergency blankets,good first aide kit ,lighter,matches and farous rod,and a good metal boiling pot and a metal water bottle. Thats all i need everything else mother nature can provide,

  • Kfilly says:

    I know this will not make it onto most people’s lists, but I bought a Gen 1 night vision hands free monocular device. Is it the latest and greatest in night vision technology? No, it is not. However, it is a way to navigate in the dark without the use of a flashlight. I also went with a monocular instead of binoculars as it is easier to navigate wearing a monocular. Stealth is key when bugging out on foot. You do not want to draw attention to yourself when you are walking around with a big bag full of goodies and others do not have anything.

    • Ryan V. says:

      Also if you cary an infrared flashlight, it wont light anything up to the naked eye, but even with just a cheaper gen 1 night vision, it will make your view MUCH MUCH brighter and more visible. Sum the flashlights will have a tiny red bulb that i doubt anyone would notice and others stay completely dark. Relatively inexpensive way to have a pretty powerful night vision system.

  • Pamela Hobbs says:

    Shouldn’t there be a conversation on Toxic chemicals and or nuclear radiation ect.
    Gas mask ect and the types with filters ect.
    What about stuff about tree climbing tools and mountain rocky climbing ect.
    I would like to see different ways of making food using plants ect.
    Tips on cleaning deer hogs bird squirrel fish ect.
    I want to find out how to trap a deer or hog without firing a gun, in case hiding or need to be not heard to be found how to trap deer hogs squirrel rabbit ect.
    I’m interested in deep survivall tips.
    Anyone willing to pass that info on to me can email me at
    [email protected]

    • Blake says:

      Can “O ” worms. I found this site for bug out bag. Not full blown survival . Pamela there are many great sites out there that will answer all these questions for you. This is bug out bag and most people can’t carry 90 Lbs of shit on their back.I will tell you if you put everything listed on this website I could not carry it. It’s just a guide.
      Hoo-ya deep sea

    • Greg says:

      A gas mask isn’t going to help with toxic chemicals or nuclear radiation. You would need a full chem suit. If that were to happen and you are in the area, unfortunately you would be screwed. Trapping a deer would be very difficult as well.

    • F. says:

      I suggest a supply of body lubricant. Like Ultra Glide. Just walking with a pack will begin to poduce rashes where ever skin and friction meet.

      • Anonymous says:

        Uhhhhh maybe wear a little bit thicker clothing but good idea for other uses

    • Markus says:

      “Shouldn’t there be a conversation on Toxic chemicals and or nuclear radiation ect.
      Gas mask ect and the types with filters ect.”

      No. You aren’t going to need it.

      Chemical weapons aren’t terribly effective and are kind of messy to make and use and have undesirable political consequences. You’re far more likely to be stabbed by some thug or jumped by a crowd under civil unrest.

      Nuclear meltdowns and similar isn’t a serious threat. The people of Pripyat, who were told nothing of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown until days after it happened and drunk heavily radioiodine contamined milk weren’t seriously hurt.There were about 50 verifiable deaths from Chernobyl, and most of these were fire fighters and plant operators. Cancer rates aren’t measurably elevated in people who went up on the roof of Chernobyl and moved radioactive graphite blocks and fuel channels in 10-20 Sv/hr fields.

      In a nuclear war, the single most important thing to do to increase the chance of survival is to duck and cover and wait until the blast has arrived. Protect exposed skin, especially your face, and duck to avoid being thrown by the blast wind (brief and intense wind that arrives with the blast) and avoid shards of glass projecting out from windows etc at high speeds. Most buildings are knocked over or severely damaged at 5 PSI, where as unprotected humans exposed to 5 PSI blast are fine. Most people exposed to the air burst are not very close and even small reductions in burns, cuts and bruises makes a big difference.

      Far less important, but still important, is to understand fallout. Fallout comes from ground level bursts and only ground level bursts. It is not a radioactive gas or goop. It’s sand and debris that have been lifted up into the fireball and infused with radioactive isotopes. It won’t significantly contaminate water (over 1000 atmospheric nuclear tests haven’t increased background radiation by even 1%; don’t worry about it). The fallout will sit on roofs and lawns and emit very penetrating gamma rays. If you get fallout on your clothes, brush it off and leave the clothes at the door and get to shelter immediately; it’s just like fine sand. The objective of sheltering is to put as much mass between you and the fallout particles for at least a day or two.

      The fallout approximately obeys the the 7-10 rule; when the time since the blast increase by a factor of 7, the gamma radiation is reduced by a factor 10. So if the radiation peaks at 1000 R/hr after 1 hour, it will fall to 100 R/hr at 7 hours, 10 R/hr after 2 days, 1 R/hr after 2 weeks etc.

      1000 R/hr after 1 hr is a very heavily contaminated area (e.g. within a few tens of miles downwind of a missile silo). 1000 R/hr is a lethal dose after about half an hour. 100 R/hr is a lethal dose in about 5 hours. 10 R/hr you can tolerate a couple of hours per day. 1 R/hr you can tolerate forever.

      The dose doesn’t linearly add up to 500 R and then you drop dead. You have repair mechanisms and they’re pretty great. Radium dial painters who ingested radium by sharpening the brush with their lips ingested ridiculous doses of radium. The worst exposed had a life time committed dose of allmost 100 000 R. None of the people exposed to less than 6 000 R died from sarcoma or carcinoma, the two cancers likely to be caused by radium given that it likes bone (looks like calcium/magnesium to the body). Don’t worry about low dose radiation; worry only about sheltering from fallout in a reasonable way (the corner of a basement, an underground parking garage, the stairwell of a concrete block of flats etc are good spots). Stack up some water jugs, food, bags of potting soil, bricks or whatever and you have a good enough protection factor to survive very nasty fallout.

      Look also at fire safety, which is very important in any case (looters, earth quakes, malfunctioning electronics etc.). Most fires in a nuclear strike will be small. In the city they will pretty much go out when concrete rubble, glass and bricks collapse ontop of them and smother them; most people will die of blast and heat here. Further out the flash may ignite smaller localised fires, which if you don’t put them out will spread. Things like sofas etc. are unlikely to catch fire when exposed to the flash, but crumpled paper and dried leaves etc is far more likely to catch fire. Have some means to block windows with something non-flammable (e.g. aluminium foil) and clean up trash if ever tensions between the US and russia are very, very high; otherwise worry about other things.

      Have emergency radio so that you can be informed. There may be no or very limited fallout where you live (no fallout from air bursts, weather patterns aren’t very predictable even if you live near missile silos).

      • A-A-Ron says:

        Markus, Great Comments! Totally agree, the same can be said for most Chemical/Bio threats–Unless you can fit a true positive pressure isolation room and full bio suit and the stuff to clean it and repair and extra filters into a BOB, do not wast the space and weight for any thing other than a N95 or N100 filter. I am WAAAAY more worried about the bugs that folks are coughing around than any type of NBC attack.

  • Pamela Hobbs says:

    The way this Country is going today, I suggest every one prepare for the worse. Better to have it and not need and need it and not have it.
    Learn to make a fire, hunt, fish.
    May even practice, go camping and make believe your on your own with no one to help.
    People call me paranoid, but I believe one day we will have to depend on ourselves to survive.
    And always build your own first aid kit. Never depend on a packed one from a store. Know what’s in it and where and know how to use it.
    Snake & spider bites.
    Stab wounds. Gun shot wound.
    Stitches, burns, Frost bite ect.know how to use it.
    Be Safe.

  • clif says:

    trying to put a bugout bag together for myself and also one for each of my two college-age kids. Looking like a pretty expensive proposition … sever la thousand dollars worth of gear on that list. That .. and checking handgun permit laws … I’m mystified by the different states regulations. Perhaps this has been addressed elsewhere .. but I am a ‘resident’ of South Dakota, but I don’t actually live there. Currently I split my living time between Missouri (no permit necessary for concealed carry as of Jan 1 2017) and Michigan which requires you to be a resident of the state to get a permit. Since I’m not and never will be a resident … I guess I can’t concealed carry in Michigan. Which may or may not matter much if and when the SHTF. Anybody have any experience with this? Thanks.

    • Travis says:

      My Arizona CCW permit (non required like Missouri) is reciprocated by Michigan, so I can carry when I visit family there.

    • Sean says:

      You can get a permit from a state that has “reciprocity” (works for other states). Per https://sdsos.gov/services-for-individuals/concealed-pistol-permits/reciprocity-agreements.aspx You can get a permit that is valid in South Dakota in many states. Utah, North Dakota, Florida, and Tennessee “include non-resident permits”. I got mine in Utah (being a resident) and it is valid in quite a few other states.

    • George says:

      If you have to “bug out” why would you be worried about handgun permit laws? I’m thinking that would be about the last worry on my list while trying to survive.

    • bill says:

      Look up the keltech sub9 or sub2000. They fold up to 16 inches, are mostly plastic so they weight next to nothing, take handgun mags and fire 9mm or 40sw. It’s not a a handgun and is completely legal in ever state. There are other folding carines out there just the first ones that came to mind.

    • A-A-Ron says:

      Clef-Hey I live in a very liberal gun state (No CCW required to carried concealed), however I will never carry concealed. My theory, is that if I am going to carry, I want every possible threat to be deterred as soon as possible. If someone is going to thing twice by just seeing a gun on my hip–mission accomplished. Additionally, almost every state has exemptions for firearms use in survival situations, so as far as BOB goes, abide by your states storage and transportation requirements, keep a weapon in your BOB and know how to use it.

      • skud says:

        An openly carried weapon is a signal of your ability to use deadly force. To most, it is also a signal of your intent to use said force, whether you actually have that intention or not. This leads to faster escalation of violence where some may decide its best to open with violent behavior, not giving you time to react.

        If someone who intends to do you harm can’t see a visible, readily-accessible firearm, they will likely coerce you into handing over your stuff instead of just opening fire. This is because, contrary to popular belief, people usually don’t engage in physical violence for no reason. Especially in the beginning of a bug out scenario where people are desperate to be and feel safe.

  • Bug Out Ready Granny says:

    For those with prescription eye-wear, keep a pair of prescription sport goggles (which are impact resistant and hold up to more rugger wear n’ tear) in your bug out bag. Just remember to swap them whenever your prescription changes.

    • Saira says:

      Where can you get those from?

      • Jennifer Clark says:

        Wherever you get your glasses/contact lenses.

  • Jeremy says:

    Why isn’t climbing Harnesses on here?
    I feel if you live in a rocky area it would be important to A) know how to climb. B) have the correct equipment.

    • Blake says:

      You don’t need a climbing harness, with rope you can fashion a Ranger harness. Google it. It severed the 10th mountain brigade fine, we still teach it today in the service.

      • Skippy Zippy says:

        I just watched a great episode of “Tactical to Practical” about the 10th Mountain. Great cold-weather and mountain survival. Civilians can get the same training in places like Washington State (Mt Rainier) and California, where I live. I’m in the desert surrounded by mountains so different sets of survival training and tools are needed. 115 degree heat comes with lots of different survival skills and equipment. Shelter and water top the list.

      • Anonymous says:

        We learned it in JROTC and actually have timed competitions on it our squad practiced timed blindfolded I had a time of 36 seconds blindfolded good times if that’s a concern pack an extra 550 cord cut off about 6′ and there ya go

  • This is my first time even considering a BOB and I’d like to take a moment to say “thank you” for giving me a place to start. Many things I hadn’t considered and now I’m interested to do some more looking into the subject. 🙂

    • Andrew says:

      Ethan, thanks for the kind words. Glad we could help you out. Knowledge is more than half the battle, just don’t forget to put it into action as well.

  • Robbie Davis says:

    From a backpacker and eagle scout, if you want to make a bug-out bag, you should get the scout handbook and the scouting Field book for some great info. These books are good because your bug-out has the same stuff that a backpacker would carry on a hike, with the only difference is a bug-out bag has stuff that will handle more abuse.

  • Aaron says:

    Something I’ve never seen on ANY of these lists is tooth floss. Yeah, you can floss with it, but it has many other uses. When used for sewing, its amazing. Almost indestructible. It can be used as a suture in extreme cases. It can also be used as tinder if you get the right kind. My 2 cents.

    • Christy says:

      I agree with you Aaron. Floss is important.
      Also, instead of a big heavy bag, I use a bag for the stuff that can get wet and a 5 gal bucket for the stuff I don’t want to get wet. You can sit on it, carry water or keep your things dry. It’s even waterproof.
      There’s my 2 cents. LoL

      • Cynthia says:

        Thinking a bucket might be uncomfortable/awkward to carry in an emergency situation but I have one lined with a “bucket boss” which is nylon, and provides pockets inside and out. I also found a “bucket seat” which makes it more comfortable to sit on. I used it traveling and tent-camping cross country to store my cooking, fire-making, and cleaning supplies. It was a good seat for campfire cooking. A small and compact way to keep this stuff organized in your car.

    • Andrew says:

      Hey, Aaron. Thanks for commenting and good suggestion. One of the reasons you don’t see floss on the list is that paracord can be stripped down to varying thicknesses including very thin, almost floss-like strands. But since floss is so compact and light-weight, it certainly can’t hurt.

  • 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.

    • Christine says:

      You should have a small stone for sharpening your camp knife, fillet knife, maybe a pocket knife and fish hooks.
      It’s not that difficult to learn to start a fire in the pouring rain with drenched wood. Once you know it’s easy. You only need basic tools, everything weighs something and takes up space and needs to be carried. Id rather have a few extra rounds of amo.
      Heh heh….When someone tries to poke my eye out with a pencil they just sharpened… I’ll simply shoot them…

  • 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! 😉

    • Benjiman says:

      Hey there,
      Fitness is key as you stated. Stamina & cardio especially. But don’t go over board. Large muscular frames require more to keep them going. Fat reserves are also a huge help, the bodies natural survival system.
      When food is sparse its the body builders that will crash & burn first.

    • carlsjones says:

      Hi gilles, it is great being fit, but there are things to consider, because of you’re condition. Fit people push themselves, this requires energy, even with you’re fasting experience. Its an assumption, but I’d guess you don’t carry much padding, this is a massive disadvantage. Three days prep can easily extend to a week. I am not knocking you, I just think you need to strategise so you can cope.

      Poor analogy, but UK special forces are lean, carry lite and are trained to drop in and take a long walk out. There is a reason for this, the UK doesn’t have that many helicopters/carriers. US special forces are BUILT, carry shed loads of kit, do SHORT missions and expect a helicopter to pick them up.

      I think you should box up you’re fitness for when you REALLY need it. Fit people take risks and cut corners. Another terrible analogy, leisure batteries shouldn’t be drained by more that 50%, so steady is better.

      Mans greatest weakness is over estimating his/her abilities. At the end of the day, you just want to survive, its not a film set, you won’t get a medal and Trump won’t ring you unless you saved his daughter. 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        If we got evac we’ll use it if not we’ll be okay that’s what we train for

  • 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.

    • Team BOBA says:

      Thanks, Nina. Great suggestion! We’ve started adding some into the article above and will be adding more soon. Check them out and stay tuned!

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • I would also include a set of plastic [?] kitchen gloves & liquid soap to wash the cloth diapers with. And a small bucket for washing them in.

      • Jess says:

        I would just wash the diapers in the wet bag (let air dry) & bring a travel size shampoo bottle filled with baby laundry detergent.

  • 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.

  • 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

    • bo johnson says:

      A good knife is great for survival situations. As much as tensile strength is important, HEAT tolerance is also important so it can be used in fire making, cooking and engine work. Please test it for heat tolerance and let us know. Thanks. 🙂

  • 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.

    • Texasroclimber says:

      I think some people on here are carrying their tinfoil in the shape of a hat.

  • 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.

    • Jeannie Palmer says:

      How about a yo yo fishing reel? It serves many purposes, including snaring animals.

  • 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.

    • Robert says:

      Great reminder. I always keep an extra pair

    • Tom Davy says:

      Agreed! I also have an attached crokies in my EDC and evac bag. In an emergency, I need my glasses stuck to my face.

    • forgetmenot says:

      I had laser eye surgery last year for just this reason. My cost was $2K. I am 50 years old and needed bi-focals. However, instead of having both eyes lasered, I only had the dominant eye done. Now I see distance perfectly with my dominant eye and see perfectly close up with my non-dominant eye. Both eyes work perfectly together and I still have depth perception. Doesn’t work for everyone, but worth checking into with a laser eye doctor – your regular eye doctor will try to discourage you because they want your money. Something to consider!

  • 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

      • Anne G. says:

        Survival of the fittest. You can see on this list who is more likely on which list. The gentleman with the three stashes in different directions a days walk away is brill-hopefully you do the upkeep and no one else finds them first.

    • forgetmenot says:

      True! But here’s a tip: buy a good quality trash can and partially bury it in a location of your choosing (State land possibly). Conceal the top with brush or whatever works for your environment. REMEMBER where you put it! Maybe at the half way point of your hike to your final destination or your 1st stop on your bug out. Load it with items that you think you may need or don’t want to carry when you leave your home/work/urban location. Take what you need, drop off what you don’t need.

  • Kathryn says:

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

    • Allison Karline Ewing-McDonald says:

      A pencil sharpener is underappreciated for sure. As well as things you mentioned already. Most of them are made from magnesium, so shave some of it off and you have a fire starter. Two blades that can be dismantled and used for whatever. And its super inconspicuous, if you in a situation where someone takes your stuff, its likely they wont care about a pencil sharpener.

    • Christopher from AR says:

      Omg that’s fantastic pencil sharpener is def something I never thought about before

  • 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

    • Erin says:

      You could use latex tubing as a tourniquet or to tie together supports for a shelter…

  • 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.

    • jes says:

      you can just use your knife to mark things. no need to bring something extra.

  • 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.

    • huntad says:

      Condoms also make good slingshot bands or depending on length temporary bow strings

      • Team BOBA says:

        You wouldn’t believe how many “condom” comments we have to filter… 😉 Thanks for bringing up some practical uses for non lubricated condoms in an emergency scenario!

    • Morguie says:

      Condoms should not have any added ingredients, like lube or spermicides already in them! Be sure to get the kind free of everything if you plan to use as suggested here, not to just grab any random package on shelf.

    • BostonNic says:

      An old military trick if you are carrying a weapon. Slip a condom over the barrel to prevent dirt and other foreign materials from gumming them up.

  • 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!

      • Team BOBA says:

        Thanks, you two! We’re loving the attitude. This is the whole point of this post and the rest of the site.

      • skud says:

        Depends on the context you are living in and what you are preparing for. I can think of many countries that have active and powerful organizations, whether institutional or not, that would see certain groups of people they dislike/fear gone or otherwise exterminated.

  • 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

    • chance dailey says:

      Idk who mentioned rads but I think they play too much Fallout

  • 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.

    • George Yemm says:

      Carbide lamps produce acetylene to burn, not hydrogen.

  • 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.

    • Phoebe says:

      Also tampons are a pretty good size for bullet wounds

  • 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.


        • Joe says:

          Joe Scout here I just wanted to add to this list by saying knowledge is power, so put some in your BOB by buying some survival books. I advise especially books on first aid and plant ID because these subjects aren’t common knowledge, and are very detail specific.

      • 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.

        • taco says:

          iodine will sanitize drinking water in a pinch.

      • terj says:

        Not iodine, potassium iodide. There is a big difference…

  • 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

    • Russ says:

      Natural selection will be in play here. Its just a part of life in situations like this. I’m sorry.

  • 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.

          • Cooper H says:

            How’s this scenario working out for you?q

      • 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…

          • sanityondeck says:

            So much for that crazy theory

      • Ghost says:

        So, no martial law. 2nd amendment still in place. Guns still legal. No mass rioting. No stock market crash/great depression. No drone strikes on hapless citizens. Monday night football still a thing. And all this while Hilary lost.
        Seriously people, please stop with the paranoia. Life is nuts enough without adding to the crazy pile, and quite frankly, you’ve made yourselves look incredibly foolish with your ‘predictions’.

        Now, back to the topic at hand: best suggestion I have for prepping is to first assess the threats in your area that are most likely to happen, then branch out to things that are extremely unlikely.
        Example: In my area, I’d prepare first for a fire, criminal trespass/assault, train with harmful chemicals derailing, power outage during snowstorm, tornado, flooding or other forms of severe weather. Once I have those bases covered, I’d move on to worrying about preparing for longer-term, more involved scenarios.

        Things like solar flares, comet impacts or thermonuclear (actually, scalar electromagnetic is the new form of mass destruction) weaponry, I *guess* I could try to be ready for, but the likelihood of one of those scenarios occurring is small, and surviving one of them even smaller. Just being realistic here.

        As far a B.O.B. goes, I feel the key is to ensure you have redundancy in your kit (the “two is one, one is none” rule applies here), and that items are chosen for their ability to serve multiple purposes (i.e. slingshot band –> easy enough to find branch to fashion into slingshot, or use band as tourniquet, or use band to tie things off, or use as a drinking straw etc)

        My two coppers.

    • 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

    • skud says:

      sex is a crowd favorite recreation that is free and easy. you are fooling yourself if you think people won’t be f*cking each other constantly. besides, condoms have practical applications (that is why they said non-lubricated)

  • 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

    • Craig Kerns says:

      Giggle away, Kyle. Non-lubricated condoms are for water storage and other uses.

  • 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.

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  • 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.

    • Neveryoumindthat says:

      What Micah said below is correct, and they are also useful for waterproofing small items. But feminine products are a must have in my Bob, they do double duty in my first aid kit as wound care alternatives.

  • 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.

    • AMS says:

      I use bow and arrow. Have a compact 1 in bob. And also a BB gun. Won’t kill people but hurts like a b-!@h and gives me time to excape. Plus…it’ll do for small game.

      • Neveryoumindthat says:

        I’ve gone to an air gun as my hunting option. I can plink small game all day and not be heard by unfriendlies. Bolstered with training in local edibles I figure I can secure calories and stay stealthy. Of course I have more significant firepower for defence.

        • Neveryoumindthat says:

          I have also successful built a 45 pound survival bow with one knife in a single day. Suitable bow and arrow stock is available in any wooded area in my region. Learn the craft and you don’t have to pack it to have it.

          • ~e says:

            Have you got a link (pdf or website), or ISBN for a book on the subject? It’s good to tell people to ‘learn the craft’, but where would you go to learn it?

        • EP says:

          Is your air gun a rifle or pistol? Just wondering how accurate a pistol would be for hunting…

  • 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

  • Albion Online Gold

    You did a good job .

  • 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

    • pauly hart says:

      Here’s the smemagh link mate. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keffiyeh

    • 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. 😀

      • James Belits says:

        What is the total weight for this backpack above?