Bug Out Bag: The Only Contents List You Need

Everything that you need to know about bug out bag, bug out bag list, bug out gear, best bug out bag.

My Bug Out Bag: Ready to get the heck out of dodge… in a hurry!

There has been a lot of talk over the years about bugging out, bug out bags, bug out bag lists, bug out gear and the best bug out bag. The subject of “bugging out” is bound to come up in any conversation about survival preps and every survival blog has at least one article posted about how to put together the best bug out bag.

Why Bug Out?

The subject of bugging out and bug out bags (some preppers refer to this kit as a bug out backpack) is a popular one and for good reason, disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, flash floods or other natural disasters, could force survivors to “head for the hills” in search of safer ground.

We are constantly threatened by a series of potential disasters, both natural and man-made. It seems like we are being threatened from all sides, and sometimes, I admit to feeling like just throwing up my hands in despair and just giving up. It’s easy to give up. But I shake it off and prep harder than before. I’m funny like that…

We also face a series of potential long-term disasters including, ecological collapse, economic collapse, agriculture disaster, war, plague, pandemic, an overly oppressive government or any number of disasters that could force the need to seek safer footing or even hide-out in the hills long-term.

Bugging Out Vs. Hunkering Down

If you’ve read my article bugging out vs. hunkering down then you already know that bugging out to the hills should be your last option when you have no other choice.

Bug out bags should be considered as a temporary survival plan or as a backup at best. You should keep in mind if you are forced to leave your home or retreat; you have essentially made yourself a refugee, which is the last thing you want during hard times.


A bug out kit will keep you alive for a few days, or weeks… then what? You had better have a way to supply your basic needs after exhausting the gear contained in your bug out bag contents.

Keep in mind that we are not talking about bugging out from the city to a pre-set-up and well-stocked retreat in the hills, if this is your plan then you might not need a “bug out bag” since you can just load everything into your car and take off. But still having the bug out bag essentials, i.e. life-saving gear in a pack or kit that is ready to grab and go is a good idea if you have to abandon your bug out vehicle and head out on foot.

It would be great if you already have a stockpile of food, medications, and gear waiting for you at a mountain retreat, let’s just hope that you can actually, get past the blocked roads, carjackers, checkpoints and other hazards that will be met along the way get there, unscathed.

If you do somehow, manage to make it through, all of the en-route hazards to your well-stocked retreat in the hills, still don’t be surprised when you’re “greeted” at the door by another family or group that has already, moved in. What would you do? They may outnumber you and be better armed… Will you walk away? Will you stay and fight for what is yours?

If at all possible, move to your retreat or relocate to a safer area now – before disaster strikes. Learn to grow your own food, raise small livestock and get to know your neighbors. I just hope that it’s not too late in the game for you to make the move. Time is running out and deep down I think that it’s already too late to relocate…

Bugging Out and Putting Together The Best Bug Out Bag

Anyways, back to bugging out and how to put together a bug out bag

Some survivalist aka “preppers” look at this type of bug out kit as an “escape and evasion” bag. Where they will use the kit as a grab and go bag that will be used if they’re forced to head out to the forest and mountains to hide from danger – for most this is a flawed idea.

Living completely free of civilization, scrounging for food and shelter in the forest, mountains or desert for any significant length of time can be done, under the right conditions, by some people. But it would not be easy and the constant struggle to stay alive would be more than many could handle and most would not make it very long.

But when you’re left with no other option, besides stay and die or bug out to the hills and maybe survive a few extra days, it’s worth a try, and having a “bug out or escape and evasion bag” ready to go will give you a better chance of making it…

The prospect of the hidden cave or dugout stocked with survival supplies should be a considered. Having a hidden cache of essential survival gear could mean the difference between death and survival if you’re forced to head for the hills.

I have several cache tubes hidden around my area and have been working on putting in more. I will only leave my home/retreat if I have no other choice. I would rather stay and fight then run and hide, but if I have to run and hide, the hidden caches will give me a better chance of making it…

If it’s a natural disaster, where help will be on the way, but you have to leave for you immediate safety (say a hurricane is heading your way) would a friend or family member in a distant town take you in? You need to have a “disaster buddy” in another area, but still reachable in a few hours’ drive, with whom you’ve already made plans and have an agreement with, where if a disaster happens in your area that you can go to his place to wait it out and vice versa.

A government shelter, not for me thank you. I want to stay out of the FEMA camps.  And who wants to be dependent on the government for their survival anyways? Not me. But then I’m one of those “wrong-headed” Americans who would rather trust their own wits and skills than the government to take care of them after a disaster (or anytime)… They just hate that.

What You Should Have in Your Bug Out Bag

Okay, so what should be included in a bug out bag? Well, that depends on you personally – you’ll have to consider things, like your location and where you’re going, your health, your skills, and time of the year. That’s why that there’s no one bug out bag list that fits all needs and individuals. But by looking at the bug out bag lists that have been put together by a number of different people, we can get ideas to work with and expand our bug out bags for our personal location and needs.

What’s In My Bug Out Bag

Okay, since we are talking about bug out bag lists and bug out bag gear, I’m sure that you’re probably wondering what is in my bug out bag. Well, I’ll show you… below are photos of my bug out bag contents and gear. Hopefully, the photos will help you or someone who you know put together your own bug out bag.

Light and fire starter items...

Light and fire starter items…

bug out bag first-aid kit

A bug out bag first-aid kit – note the Quickclot.

bug out bag radio

Small solar / crank AM AND FM radio. Dollar bill is for size comparison.

Bug out bag rope and snares

Tying, binding and snaring…

Bug out bag water purification

Water, Lifestraw, and Berkey Water Bottle with Filter.

bug out bag food items

Food items should be light weight, provide essential nutrients and be suitable for long-term storage of one year or more. I replace my bug out bag food every year…

Bug out bag kit

Personal hygiene items.

bug out bag cooking gear

Chow time. Don’t forget to include cooking and eating utensils in your bug out bag.

Bug out bag sewing kit

A sewing kit is a must in you bug out bag.

bug out bag cloths.

Bonnie hat, lightweight work gloves, extra socks, 8’x10′ tarp and head net…

bug out bag outdoor survival kit

Outdoor survival kit, compass, extra flashlight and batteries and camo compac.

Bug Out Bag Firearms and Self-Defense

Most people will suggest a .22 caliber rifle, such as the Ruger 10/22 and this is a great choice. A .22 caliber rifle can take small game as well as larger game such as deer with proper shot placement.

Another advantage of having a .22 Long rifle is the relatively low report especially when using CB caps and the ability to be effectively silenced with a homemade sound suppressor aka “silencer”. Just remembered that such a device is illegal without proper government approval and will land you behind bars if caught, and is suggested here for a worst case scenario only or after you have gone through all of the legal hoops.

The downside of the .22 Long rifle round is the limited range, penetration and stopping power all of which limit the rounds effectiveness when used for self-defense. I suggest a backup handgun chambered for a cartridge suitable for self-defense. I would not go below a 9mm or 38 special and then us good expanding ammo.

Even with a 9mm and 38 special, you should seriously consider using only the +P rounds such as the 115 or 124-grain JHP +P in the 9 mm or 158-grain lead semi-wadcutter hollow point .38 Special +P for defensive purposes.

Your location would also determine weapons choice. For example, those bugging-out in grizzly country should definitely consider something more powerful than the aforementioned 9 mm or 38 special.

My first choice for protection against such large game would be a center-fire rifle chambered for .308 or larger. My second choice would be a magnum revolver with a 5.5″ to 7.5″ barrel chambered for .44 Magnum or larger.

It is wise to avoid any armed confrontation if possible. Trust me you are not a coward if you avoid the possibility of being shot or having to shoot someone else. You are not expendable – neither are the lives of your family or those in your bug out group. Those with the macho kill ‘em all attitudes will not last very long after the poop hit’s the fan.

With that being said, a semi-auto military style rifle should be considered especially if you are trying to get from an urban area to the country, where facing organized gangs or other threats attempting to block your exit could be a possibility.

An AR-15 with collapsible buttstock or folding stocked AK-47 (for compactness and concealability) could help get you out of a dangerous situation if pressed into one while taking up little space and not adding significant weight to your overall survival gear.

I hope that you’ve found this article on bug out bags, and bugging out useful and can put the information above to good use – please share this article with your friends and social media contacts.

Well over to you… what do you have in your bug out bag?

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. riverrider says:

    what’s in my bag? way too much. i set mine up as a “run out the door nekkid in the middle of the night” bag. i can grab it and slip on the boots setting next to it and haul freight the short distance to a hidey hole where i can suit up and tie my boots before moving out. even my m4 is strapped to it. however as is it is set up for long range combat ops and much too much snivel gear in it. in the real deal i’d ditch about half of whats in there and get it down to ghb weight. i like your setup, very minimalist.

    • Just thought id add a military wool blanket and a small tarp.

      • riverrider says:

        very good suggestions. i have two tarps(one too many) and two poncho liners that together weigh less than a wool blanket. there are many days i go back and forth on the wool vs. the liner tho. wool is fire resistant for one thing.

      • Getting there says:

        the most useful thing in my BOB. Getting fit!
        3 months ago I was 110 kgs BMI 33 and unable to walk more than a couple of miles.
        Slowly but surely losing weight and going on longer hikes.
        I have a lovely 1/2 mile hike up a 200 yard high hill just a 20 minute walk from my house. It’s great to be getting back to my fitness level when I used to be able to climb up and down that hill three times fairly easily.
        I’m slowly getting back to that fitness level and it is feeling great!
        Great regards to all the people here and there ideas from down here in Australia

        • Good for you, Gt! Each of us needs to maintain a minimum level of fitness, not just for emergencies but for every day health.

      • Sasquatch08 says:

        One thing I would add is a second compass.

        Silly as it sounds, people under stress, even those skilled at land navigation, sometimes start to second guess their navigation skills for no good reason.

        This usually takes the form of losing faith in their compass, an issue that can nearly always be overcome by comparing the readings of that compass to a second one.

        Stupid simple, but very effective at countering a growing sense of panic, which as we all know is a real killer.

    • I always keep a snakebite kit in my bob. And a small gun cleaning kit.

  2. rjhollydog says:

    Recently I have added several pairs of disposable gloves, I have opted for the heavier 9mil type. I do not see a firearm or ammo, I am guessing that is on your person. i change my gear for the seasons, warmer gloves and socks,hats in the winter, also in the colder months I add hand warmers. For me spare glasses are a must. I think everyone should have high quality sunglasses, useful year round.

    • I like the sun glasses idea, wear them all the time, don’t know why I didn’t think of them,,, thanks

      • Outbackwack says:

        I need reading glasses, so I carry several bifocal safety glasses from safetyglassesusa.com (sunglasses, clear, yellow). Don’t forget prescription meds either. Sunscreen and Chapstick (also good fire starter) if hiking in the open. A shemagh has many uses (Sun, sling, water filter). A headlamp with spare batteries keeps your hands free. I use a Nitecore HC50 that’s good for 400 hours on low and has added red LED’s. Good tweezers for picking off tics, stings and thorns. Waterproof matches. An old wallet with a few bills and expired cards in case I get mugged. Cliff bars. CORDAGE. Zip ties. Wooden coffee stirrers for tinder (free is good!). A small bottle of second skin for cuts, scrapes and bites. A mini fishing kit. Plastic bread clips for hanging clothes, etc. Ranger bands from bike tubes. Write in the rain notebook. Pencil (writing and tinder). A good compass w/mirror. Spare cell phone battery. Stainless bottle (cooking, drinking, won’t break or melt). Iodine tablets. Bivy. Mylar blankets. Tilley hat. My 10/22 take-down with 6 magazines, 1000 rounds, bi-pod and Pentax scope, plus M&P .40 with 4 magazines and 200 rounds of Critical Defense. Hope & a Prayer 🙂

  3. Thomas The Tinker says:

    MD…. what does your pack weigh in at? RR… same ? to you Sir.

    • Thomas The Tinker,

      Not sure – but I guess about 25 pounds…

      • JP in MT says:

        Good weight. I was talking to an LEO at the last gun show. His vest and belt weight in at 45 lbs!

      • Im a pretty young teen and my bug_out bag weighs abiut 35 pounds, but I have few more “tools” In mine that I would find useful in different situations given the option that I can overcome the situations. One more thing that I think some people should have more of in there bug_out bag if many different ways to start a fire, because most of the bug_out bags that I haave seen is where they have a lighter or two and some matches but what if your bag gets wet or over time you will use them or it up. So as my dad has told me “one is none and two is one.”.

        • Geodkyt says:

          Military heat tabs are awesome — they will get a wood fire going, even with wet wood, with half a tab.

          Bic lighters (not necessarily generic lighters, and not the minis) are really sturdy and have a stupid amount of lights in them, so 3-4 lighters (in various places – including at least one in your pocket at all times) will last long enough for you to make a replacement fire set if you are literally reduced to living in the wild until you die of old age. Waterproof ALL but the one in your pocket by zipping them into a ziplock snack bag (and feel free to waterproof the one in your pocket, too). If you are cold, soaked, and rapidly going hypothermic, you may not have time to get a wet lighter going before you are too clumsy to light it.

          Unless you are moving HARD every single day (too hard to carry a coal), you shouldn’t need to _light_ a new fire every day. Seriously — ask any smoker who uses one how much he smokes (remember, 20 cigarettes to the pack, 200 per carton; figure one light per cigarette) and how long a single Bic lighter lasts him. Figure you will average no more than two flicks of your Bic a day, if you aren’t using it to light cigarettes.

          Used up disposable lighters will still generally have at least 1/3 of their “flint” remaining. Most people (even in a “survivial” situation) will just toss them as soon as they run out of gas — nope, you keep them because “flick your Bic” is still an easier way to make sparks than a firerod. (But I have a Blastmatch in my BOB nonetheless.) You can EASILY make a fire fast with a “dead” lighter if you have good tinder, just from the sparks.

          But a BOB is NOT a “lifetime survival bag”. It is intended to get you AWAY from danger and INTO a sustainable, static environment. Depending on your circumstances, you should plan for anywhere from 72 hours to one week on a basic BOB, so 2-3 Bics should be fine.

          • this post brings back a memory. When I was in my twenties… I was on a long liner in Alaska, We were wet for 18 hours a day. And, we smoked a lot. We all kept a Bic lighter taped upsidedown to a twenty inch line around our necks. it never failed us. I m putting one in my bug out bag tomorrow.

          • ArvadaDude says:

            Ditto on the Bic lighters….although I have actually had good luck with the minis. I do keep it in a case in my EDC which has helped a lot. Zippo hand warmer is awesome and coupled with some zippo fuel and an actual zippo you can stay warm in many situations where a fire is not an option.

          • RJHollydog says:

            I have a bic lighter in my pocket right now, and carry one constantly, but I also have a high end butane one in my truck, I smoke cigars occasionally, and i always have a stash of matches. In my GHB I also have a mag starter and Vaseline/with dryer lint. When it comes to starting fire redundancy is the rule.

          • Geodkyt,
            Even a cheap butane lighter generally has a fill port on the bottom of it. A small can of butane will keep several lighters full and running for a long time.

          • “Bic” type lighters are a part of all my BoBs. However, does anyone see a conspicuous deficiency in Bic lighters compared to other brands?

        • Encourager says:

          Welcome to the Wolf Pack, Nate the Kid! And welcome to the world of prepping.

          Find some small plastic jars or containers, like the old film canisters, and fill with dryer lint. Smear in a glob of petroleum jelly. Makes a good fire starter. Also can use a cotton ball smeared with the jelly.

          • The old film canisters also hold exactly 25 rounds of 22lr
            in a waterproof case just in case one could see a use/ need for that.

          • I agree on the fire starter. Cotton balls with petroleum jelly are great as well and light with a single strike from a Swedish fire steel, even damp. After a long rain one can still find dry pine needles under trees, and small twigs enough to get a fire going.

        • I agree with the Encourager, welcome Nate the kid! I have 3 Bob’s, 1 First Aid for every situation- you may find it useful to check out several peoples blogs to see what you want to include in yours. A few things I have in mine that some don’t is 3, 6″ wide rolls of vet wrap (available at most feed supply stores) great for bandaging wounds that require frequent cleaning. You can remove and reapply a couple of times before having to replace it. I also have 2 tubes of superglue for closing wounds. Then I have 2, 72 hour BOBs for the different seasons here in both bags I have organic seeds in case it turns into a much longer relocation- I make sure to rotate my seeds yearly by planting what’s in the bags and purchasing new seeds each year.
          Either way, pack what’s right for you and do LOTS of research- local climate, weather emergencies- flood/earthquake/tornado- and possible man made emergencies- chemical spill, gas refinery explosion- what ever applies to your region.

        • a good fire starter that no one ever lists is an magnifying glass. Very easy to use and takes up very little space and never wears out.

    • riverrider says:

      about 50, but keep in mind it has stuff i’ll be wearing and my rifle attached and a week of mre’s. its still not bad, being in a marine ilbe ruck. i know that’s too much for me to haul long distance at my age. there are redundancies and snivel gear that will get dropped depending on the time of year too. i had to pack it worst-case-scenario. thats the bad part of a BIG ruck, you tend to keep adding stuff to it you think you need…my ghb and a supplemental food bag ride in my truck and makes a good bugout set themselves.total about 15 pounds. i’m trading the keltec sub2k out for the vz after i put it thru its paces.

  4. How about we not grab a bug out bag, and instead grab that weapon go seek out the Militia and fight to save the country?

    But, as the Revolutionary War proved, less than 3% of the nation’s men were man enough to stand and fight for the nation, while the other 97% coward in their hiding places.

    The nation needs every man to defend it, not run to their hiding places to hide while the real men fight the criminal corrupt government of thugs.

    You all have your guns, yet the real meow man you are shows clear. The fighting starts and you run away with your bag.

    And you wonder why we lost the nation?

    It’s because the nation has meow men in it that are too cowardly to stand and fight, so they run and hide.

    • George,

      “How about we not grab a bug out bag, and instead grab that weapon go seek out the Militia and fight to save the country?”

      Who are you going to fight (shoot)… and what good will it do? Don’t answer that question here, just think about it… Anyways, my article was not about “fighting the government” or killing people, it is about having a ready to go kit, in case you have to leave your home suddenly.

      ps the country as we knew it was lost with the signing of the patriot act, NDAA, and a dictator who runs the country unopposed by “executive order”… the only way that we are going to get it back is to repeal those laws and to limit the executive “powers” we have allowed the dictator in charge to wield, without facing criminal charges. You can shoot as many people as you want but it won’t change a thing… not recommended…

      • M.D.

        You have built a very helpful family of preppers with your blog. One of the things I appreciate the most is that I can visit it… which I do several times each day, without seeing people attack others and call names… as George just did. We can have a different viewpoint and contribute to the discussion without trying to pick a fight.

        George. The 97% that did not join the fight, might not have been cowards. They might have needed to stay behind to help keep their young country going. Business owners, blacksmiths and farmers. Or they may have needed to stay behind to protect their young family.

        Don’t be so “closed minded”… and please don’t stink up M.D.’s blog with inflammatory statements. Be respectful.

        • riverrider says:

          it wasn’t the 3% that won the war but as in all wars it was the other 20 or so % that fed, housed, built guns, made gunpowder, forged cannon, raised draft horses, etc and etc that won the war. professionals know that wars are not won on the battlefield, but by logistics. in todays army there are 20-30 logisticians behind every shooter. my days as a shooter are dwindling fast but i can provide support in many other ways when i hang up my spurs. george would be well advised to learn these things, if he lives past the first volley.

        • Bam Bam says:

          I think Kannin is right here–it may only be three percent fighting but if you are in that three percent I am sure you will appreciate others in the 97 percent who serve you a hot meal, give you the opportunity to take a shower, wash and tend your clothes, and have first aid supplies and antibiotics to treat wounds.

          • Rick H. says:

            George, what if the reason we grab our BOBs is because of a natural event? Are we supposed to shoot at the clouds then? Seriously, while you have a valid point, I don’t think that’s the thrust of M.D.’s article here.

      • with all respect,exactly where do you think you’re going ? How may illegal criminals and criminals in the truest sense of the word, are RELEASED DAILY nationwide and roaming around already in packs or simply reuniting with their established crew ?
        think they’re limiting themselves to the ghetto ?
        SHTF they’ll be looking for fun.
        so exactly what are you doing and where are you going thinking no one will be out there to grab you ?
        better to simply relocate to an area with patriots and make your unit.

        • rita,

          I’m already living at my homestead / bug out location and have been for years, and no one is going to grab me, if they do thrust me they will let go very quickly. Sadly I think that you missed the point of the article… Go back and read the article again – people please actually, read the articles before making broad comments… thanks.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Run and hide in the very short term in order to protect your freedom to call together or join the militia in a few days.

    • Lake Lili says:

      NOTE: Response from the other side of the 3%

      Sorry George, but many of us stayed and fought for our homes and country until it became apparent that despite a hundred and fifty years residency, we were no longer welcome. At that point we left and went north. Many of my ancestors fought and died for our farms, our communities and our families, for the lives we had built since arriving in the 1620s, but at the end of the day we took what we were allowed and left. Your 3% may be heros to you, but that 3% and those they incited taught my family a lesson about not trusting neighbours and friends, about always having an exit plan, and about having the strength to rebuild. In 1776 your 3% won, but that should be a reminder about what 3% can do. Those who disagree with the next 3% might not have Canada to run to next time.

      • Babycatcher says:

        We are probably related. My maternal relatives lived on the southern/ eastern side of the St. Lawrence river( in NY) , and in 1776 were forced to move to South Mountain, Ontario, Canada, by the neighbors…..the only good part is, they did rebuild, and are still there sleeping in those parts. And I got to meet my Canadian cousins for the first time two years ago. We had a lovely time!

        • Lake Lili says:

          Its possible… Mine mostly settled around present day Hamilton, Ontario. There were 45,000 United Empire Loyalists (UELs) who came. Most came with only what they could carry. Politics and patriotism aside it is one of the few mass refugee movement in North American history – the others relate to Native populations and were government organized. When you read the literature about what they were able to bring with them, its is a lesson in early bug out bags. And if George is right in his statement of 3% with large portions of the population complacent, it does bring us back to the point that a small minority can affect serious change if the majority are not paying attention.

    • Geodkyt says:

      Bug Out Bags are ALSO (and probably, primarily) for large scale natural disasters. (Hell, that’s the primary reason I would be likely to be driven from my home, anyway.)

      Weapons are included, not because you’re planning on fighting the ZOG, UN hordes, or whatever your fantasy threat is — theyare there because in large natural disasters, there is often a corresponding break down in law and order amongst those who are only restrained by the fear of the police.

    • George, I understand your sentiment but you have to balance bravado with common sense. IF you GOOD, you have another possible day to fight. If you stay put and let them bring the pain to you, you’ll be a martyr as you’ll likely be a dead statistic in short order.
      Sure, I’d like to cap some of the Blue Helmets if it comes to that but realistically when THEY come for you they come from a position of POWER AND NUMBERS. Something you, as a loner, surely do not possess.
      I”m not saying it is better to run away and live to fight another day but come on, if you know in advance the SHTF and it is time to beat feet, do so, gather with like-minded folk and take the pain to THEM.

    • George,
      There’s a knock on your door at 3:00 AM. It’s a fire fighter or local deputy telling you that a tanker truck full of nasty chemicals has crashed upwind from your house, and you have only minutes to leave; most likely, only for a few hours to a day. Grabbing the rifle in this case, which is the far more likely one, along with hurricanes, and other natural or manmade disasters, will leave you a little short on the preps, even at the local Motel 6. You should at the least have a change of socks, shirt, and underwear.

  5. jamullins says:

    i have organized bags, kits, tins, cans, tubes, boxes, packs, and so on so much for so many tasks that it’s ridiculous. but, i have worked as a private military contractor for almost two decades now. i have had to learn, often in the moment, to survive things i would never have even thought of as threat to me.

    that said, one of the most important things i can think of having on hand is a go to source of knowledge. i keep several books on survival, fieldcraft, plants, and medical emergencies in my gear where possible. i even have flashcards with basic tips on common survival tasks (laminated 3″ x 5″ note cards) that i keep in my go to kits where space is at a premium.

    everyone talks about it, some practice a little of it, but no one can know and do everything survival necessary, so be sure to have a source. even for the most common and elementary skills. shit happens, you get frazzled, injured, or both by events and find yourself not remembering all this ingrained basic stuff. or maybe you need to do something but don’t know how from memory alone. maybe you need to teach others who know little to nothing.

    keep knowledge sources available.

    • ARPrepper says:

      I am really new at this. I am trying to read everything I can. You mentioned that you had survivalist books….which ones do you recommend. Thank you for your help.

  6. tommy2rs says:

    I keep a couple of heavy contractor trash bags and a ziploc bag with a few bread bags in it. It’s good to have a place sit or stretch out that won’t leave your backside wet and think of the bread bags as redneck seal skinz.

  7. George,

    From reports I heard at the Bundy ranch, many showed up with guns and ammo but were not prepared with first aid and comm equipment. I am assuming most brought food and water because that is a no brainer but what if they did “not grab a bug out bag, and instead grab that weapon go seek out the Militia” only?! We should see to our needs first so we are not a burden, then seek to see to the needs of others.

    I agree we should not just hid in a hiddy hole and let others try to fix the problem but if you join up with me ill prepared, then you just became my problem too.


    PS Minutemen were call such because they were ready to deploy at a minutes notice.

  8. The most accurate statement the author makes is “time is running out and deep down I think it is already too late.”

  9. I don’t think we’re going to be able to drive anywhere. i think they’ll “kill switch” the autos to create gridlock and keep people from bugging out. better have some good ‘ol hiking boots.

    • This is where an older 4WD vehicle comes into play. One that has no computer to run it; and keep spare sets of plugs, points, coil, and condensers even a complete set of wires and distributor cap in some form of Faraday cage.
      Having a functional vehicle will present you as a target of those masses which do not have conveyance. Knowing back roads and multiple ways out may become critical here.

    • cecelia,
      Kill switch the autos? You are reading too much science fiction, or are driving very new and odd vehicles. I guess they could turn down the GPS, which would strand a lot of folks, and crash a few airplanes; but, as long as we’re indulging fictional tales.

      • Northernwolf says:

        Recall Mr Hastings of Rolling Stone magazine and his Mercedes it was hacked, was no accident anything with a computer can be controlled so an older car/truck is worth having,no on star for me

        • Hi. I’m new here, and am certainly not introducing myself very well, but feel that misinformation is a Very Bad Thing.

          First up, cars can be disabled by Electro Magnetic Pulses. Currently, the most efficient way that humans can generate an EMP is through high altitude nuclear blasts. If that’s teh case, radiation will be developing cancers and other health problems pretty quickly. Other forms of generated EMP have very small ranges. Of course, cutting a few key cars in critical routes will cause a gridlock, but for the most part, it is going to be virtually impossible to just EMP the whole town/city/state/country. If your car is affected by an EMP then Mike’s suggestion above is valid (though it would not need a Faraday cage as there is no circuit to short until the parts are hooked up).

          Secondly, hacking a car can be done, but it needs to have someone physically hook up to the computer. You can’t just connect via Bluetooth and start steering cars. It doesn’t work like that. I suppose you could turn up the radio to annoying levels though…?

  10. JP in MT says:

    MY kit is still a GHB-type, stored in duffles and a box. Too heavy for this old boy to really lug around. But in includes food and cooking supplies in case we are just stuck due to weather, etc.

    Actually pack setup will come before the end of summer.

  11. ChristineM says:

    Two heavy duty gallon zip-loc bags, and canvas bag
    with shoulder strap in case you get an opportunity
    to collect water
    Shoe Strings

  12. Having had to walk out of my home with no notice and not taken anything with me, I think some sort of bag, even just minimal (meds, a change of clothes, and photo copies of id) should be on everyone’s to do list. Our shft moment was our home on fire at 3 am on Dec 14, 2010, on the coldest night so far that winted. My 17 yo son woke up first and got us out of the house, but no one of us thought to grab even keys. Our home was “fully involved” in less than 5 minutes. If we had bags ready to go sitting by the bed or the door that we had practiced grabbing, perhaps my husband would have had pants and shoes to put on. Perhaps one of us would have had a car key and could have moved the car sitting outside the garage so that the front of the house would not have fallen on it. Perhaps we would have had a little bit of cash or spare glasses for the two of us who did not pick up our glasses.

    Just saying that you might need a go bag or bug out bag for some reason other than the government coming to your door.

    • Wow! Eye opening.

      • I will have a new bugout bag designed for this type of emergency by the end of the week.

    • Encourager says:

      Suzy, what a horrible ordeal to go through! But your experience has taught all of us. Little things – spare car keys in the pole barn; a hidden key near the pole barn to open the door; shoes on every floor to slip on; smoke detectors redundantly; extra glasses in car. If you have no building other than your house and attached garage, you can always have a waterproof plastic/rubber box outdoors to keep a few emergency supplies in, even a spare set of clothing for each member in the house.

      So sorry you had to learn the hard way and I hope your life is close to being back to normal…

      • The situation of our home burning down became a blessing to my family. We had nothing left but the clothes we wore to bed. One cat got out, one did not. It was 17 degrees. But our family, friends, neighbors and church came to our rescue. We were given clothes almost immediately by neighbors: socks, shoes, sweatpants, blankets. By the end of the day we had been given more clothes and cash to purchase some necessities. My husband’s employer provided a cell phone, computer, and a townhouse (furnished) that we stayed in for several weeks. Our Lord uses many hands to provide for His children. This experience brought our family closer to each other and to our Lord.

        We are back to “normal.” Insurance is a pain, but works.Our home has been rebuilt, we have new furniture and clothing, but most important, we all got out of the house with only minor burns and singed hair. However, if I ever have to leave my home again suddenly, I want to take a bag with me. That bag will have my meds, a change of clothes, extra glasses, keys, photocopies of id, shoes, a small bag of toilitries, and CASH!

      • My BOB is in layers, with a fair amount in my EDC, mostly contained in a 511 tactical vest, hanging in the kitchen, where it can be easily grabbed when leaving by any of the doors. Here is an example, of the vest from a while back: http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/survival-kits/; although some of the contents have changed (e.g., better flashlights and more integrated tools) and of course, some of the contents are seasonal and get updated or replaced a few times per year. I have vision problems that preclude driving (at least on the highway), so I often travel with others, some of whom prep and some of whom don’t’, so an enlarged EDC can give me a little of the BOB / GHB kit, when not in my own vehicles. The actual BOB then adds some clothing, food, water purification, etc. in a relatively light package.

    • Geodkyt says:

      Yup. MOST LIKELY use of a BOB is _NOT_ the total destruction of society, but a LOCALIZED disaster – anywhere from just your home to your entire region. Don’t limit your BOB and GOTH (GO To Hell) Plan to absolute TEOTWAWKI – SOME bug-out worthy disasters are limited in space and time and things WILL eventually return to some semblance of “normal”. Not planning for those (which are actually more likely) is just as foolish as assuming you will be able to buy prepared food and clean water within 24 hours of the disaster. Luckily, the same thinsg that will keep you alive through the initial period of TEOWAWKI will ALSO keep you alive and healthy through a large, limited, and last minute disaster. . . but they won’t help you recover from it afterwards.

      Include cash (if possible) — unless the disaster takes down the entire government and economy, people will still accept cash (albeit likely at vastly inflated prices compared to pre-disaster).

      For that matter, include copies of any documents you might want to have IF this isn’t the end of the world, but you lose everything not attatched to you. A thumb drive full of scanned docs (and family photos) can help you rebuild your life, if the problem is one that is recoverable.

      Meds and other necessaries (like glasses). This should go without saying for ANY BOB, even if it limits itself to TEOWAWKI and ignores things like Cat 5 hurricanes and major earthquakes.

      I would recommend something like playing cards — boredom is a real thing, and DOES have detremental effects on your mindset, mood, and corresponding ability to deal with stuff. Especially if it’s a small group (like a typical family). A pack of cards, and/or a small folding (“travel sized”) chess board, or similar are inexpensive and don’t take much room or weight, but can pay off handsomely. Regardless of what the issue requiring you to bug out is, you will NOT be “running and gunning” most of the time, and you WILL have downtime where you are resting or literally waiting on something outside your control. Sitting there, staring at the woodline or wall of your shelter eats at your mind — occupy it with something. Again, applies to ANY bug-out worthy disaster, even temporary ones.

      I’ll note that the illustrated first aid kit, while including a clotter, seems to simply be an advanced “Boo-boo kit”, NOT a “trauma” kit. Don’t get me wrong — you NEED the boo-boo kit, too; untreated small cuts and burns CAN become life threatening in a survival situation, and they certainly make life miserable. But you need to plan major injuries, including cuts, stabs, chops, and thumps (not necessarily from “enemy action”, either – you can inflict any and all of these doing things like building a shelter and fire). Add some pressure dressings (heck, thick heavy Kotex pads will work – they ARE simply repurposed WWI field dressings), a self-applied tourniquet YOU are trained to use, maybe an NPT airway. Again, YOUR disaster may allow you to eventually get medical attention. . . if the casualty can survive long enough to get evacuated. Add a big bottle of your personal favorite OTC painkillers — there’s a reason we used to call Tylenol and ibuprofin things like “Ranger Candy” and “Vitamin I”; busting through the woods or rubble WILL cause lots of minor pains that will cumulatively sap your strength and willpower.

      Don’t know if your boo-boo kit includes common meds like: Pepto Bismo pills, antiacids, Benadryl (mostly for stings or poisonous plants you encounter), etc. Again, low cost, light weight, fairly compact — but diarrhea, SERIOUS gassiness, or poison ivy can really mess you up at a time where you simply do not have the margin for error.

      A couple of large contractor sized (55 gallon) heavy trash bags is another item that is small, lightweight, and EXTREMELY useful for a variety of uses.

      Lastly, my BOB setup includes web gear (attached to the bag, to be worn in addition to the BOB). I use SAW pouches in place of the standard ammo pouches, but don’t carry ammo in them (that’s on a bandolier setup next to the rifle) I have EMPTY BAGS in them (I use MOLLE sustainment bags with shoulder straps) — they are there for me to carry useful stuff I find as I am moving along. It really sucks to find useful stuff you’d like to have, but have no way to carry it. . . but I don’t mind slinging multiple bags full of goodies over my shoulder — I’ve done it before with heavier stuff (like machinegun and mortar ammo) for longer distances each day than I’d likely be moving in a bug out situation.

  13. William says:

    Most of what is recommended is good however, I have replaced all of my heavy MRE’s as well as Freeze Dried food that require water with Top Raman which can be eaten with or without water this took off 2-3 Lbs. of weight. I added protein bars, bullion and jerky. As water is heavy, I only carry 2 canteens or bottled water, a water filter and some large Freezer bags that I can wrap around fresh tree or bush leaves, drop 2-3 small rocks in the bags, secure the bags and wait for the humidity to create water if necessary. Added a Topo map and purchased a good medium size back pack with quick release just in case. Substituted heavy tarp and military poncho with 3-4 Contractor size garbage bags. One for ground cloth, one for overhead and one just in case I need a rain coat and the other to cover a hole for water condensation. Minus another 1.5 lbs in weight. Total weight reduction 4.25 Lbs.

  14. Lake Lili says:

    If you are travelling with children, include a couple of diapers. If you have to move your family in the middle of the night, the kids may be frightened, tired, etc. If they are going through the unfamiliar, have to hide, etc, worrying about them having an accident because its not safe to dig a cat hole or they can’t hold it… well diapers become a good option.

  15. Arizona says:

    OK,you’ll hate this,BUT heres whats going on,THERES A BIG,asteroid coming and it close to 35-maybe as large as 50 miles across,ITS going to hit in the gulf,a 1500 ft high tidal wave,a mag.12 quake,the whole planet will shake like jello,the ROADS will breakup like crackers,the bridges will be in the rivers,AND anyone near the gulf will die ,THE US GOVERNMENT along with the UN,NATO armies will attack ,and the blood will flow everywhere,THEY have no intention of trying to save anyone,THEY do plan to KILL EVERYONE though,the country has been sold to CHINA,and they are coming to get their new farm,THIS asteroid will be the start of the end,AT the end of your trip,YOU BETTER have lots and lots of ammo stashed,it will not only be for defence,but the new money in america,GOLD and SILVER will be worthless,no ones going to trade food for anything but ammo,OR anything else for that matter,good luck you guys, YOUR GOING TO NEED “GOD” more then ever,so call on HIM for help…….HE’S waiting to hear from you…………

    • Lake Lili says:

      Are you purposely trolling or were you actually trying to initiate a reasoned discussion?

    • In the event of an emergency, remove all sharp objects from your pockets, bend over and kiss your arse goodbye.

    • Happy Camper says:

      Sounds like the Australian cult series “Tomorrow When the War Began”
      Read it !!!

  16. 1 Man + God=A Majority says:

    a good read, BUT: this old geezer will be “buggin in.”

    the old song by John Fogerty “The Haunted House” says it best for me:

    ‘Say yes, I’ll be here when the morning comes
    I’ll be right here and I ain’t gonna run
    I bought this house and, you know, I’m boss
    Ain’t no haint’s gonna run me off’.”


  17. Arizona says:

    YOU GUYS need to understand OBOOZO just told the RUSSIANS and CHINESE america is taking over the world and if everyone doen’t get on their knees and ready to suck on his command ,HE WILL NUKE THEM OFF THE PLANET,I don’t believe russia and china will go along with that for a second,and I know the north koreians won’t,GET READY,all hells about to be unleashed on america………………

    • Encourager says:

      Okay, Arizona. On one hand you claim to be a Christian. Then you start to talk like the devil. Make up your mind.

      Remember this? – ‘Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth…’

      If you can’t be decent, leave and don’t come back.

      • Encourager,
        I guess you can be both god and the devil when you’re bipolar, so perhaps someone needs to get back on their meds, and we should all stop responding to trolls.

  18. Bam Bam says:

    In my first year of prepping I put together bug out bags for my dh and I. They are so heavy we couldn’t carry them very far. But they are comprehensive. The idea is to throw them in the back of the truck.

    Just this week I got in a new bag. I am going to put together an every day carry bag-get home bag. I am rarely more than five miles from home so this should be straight forward.

  19. Arizona says:

    HAHAHA,hey listen OLD GEEZER,I was just aiming this at those who aren’t ready to go home yet,ME anytime would be fine,I’am close to the LORD,HE tells me all kinds of things,and I tell everyone else,NOT that many will listen,and not that many will survive either,BUT the ones who call on the LORD will also have his protection,I know he told me so..AND ITS true,someone tried to shoot me a while back,all their gun would do is go click,click,it wouldn’t fire………..

  20. Encourager says:

    Good article, M.D., and great pictures. A picture IS worth a thousand words! A few things to add:
    Some hard candies to give you a burst of energy and relieve your dry mouth.
    Extra shoelaces can be used for many things, including replacing your broken shoelace…
    A couple more Mt Hse meals, they are light.
    Moleskin in that first aid kit.

    Thanks for the review and reminder. I never summer-prepped my GHB, it still has winter hats, etc in it. Will do it today!

    • Geodkyt says:

      Yup on the hard candies. I forgot to mention those.

      Suggest 100 – 300 feet of 550 cord in lieu of shoelaces. It’s not that much cord, but it is useful for a whole slew of things — including replacing shoelaces.

  21. I have what is known as a Bug Out Trailer, I have taken a 6′ X12′ Box Trailer and converted it to a living breathing tow able facility so that I can run if needed or set up where is needed, I have shelter, battery and generator and propane, can cook on wood and I also have a shelter, This was developed around the Bugging out of two families.

  22. I have multiple GHB/BOB bags for different conditions. In all of them I have at least 2 pair of socks, a poncho, a stainless water bottle with a nesting cup, a sturdy sheath knife, a space blanket, work gloves, and multiple 25’ lengths of cordage.

    I do keep a EDC kit in a nylon zip pouch that will always be in whichever pack I will carry.

    My EDC contains:
    A small fero rod, a mini lighter, a magnifying lens, some cotton balls and tube of lip balm for >3 ways to start a fire.

    Water purification tablets.

    A Waterproof USB Drive (search the web) I have scanned all my important documents (Passport, Drivers License, DD214, SS Card, Prescriptions, etc) and some special photos to keep. It also has my library of PDF documents.

    Cash – $200 in ones, fives, and tens, a roll of each pre-1965 quarters and dimes.

    A small folding knife and GI style can opener.

    A notepad with pen, pencil and bold marker.

    Emergency mylar blanket with 25’ of paracord and bank line.

    I do have a bag specifically for fire evacuation that has 2 changes of clothes, toiletries, 2 weeks of meds, and some cash. Grab that with a BOB and EDC I can get by.

  23. Nancy V. says:

    Great pictures. It always helps to view what others have in their BOBs. I need to modify mine a bit to include a better sewing it – I have a small one, but no buttons and notions. Good thinking.

    For me, redundancy makes me feel better. Hence, we keep two BOBs in the truck and our backup long-term supplies and gear are stored in two locations elsewhere. I opted to wear a large waist pack, instead of a purse, because it holds my Dad’s Swiss army knife, a small med it, mini survival kit, cell phone, gloves, ID, etc.

  24. Happy Camper says:

    Question for everyone: In regards to what your pack weighs, how far do you anticipate that you are able to carry it on foot? Is there a percentage of your own body weight that is an ideal weight for the BOB.
    I can walk forever on flat ground, but add a bag and I’m out of the game. I’ve got a bag that straps around my waist (fanny pack I think USA folks call it) as an EDC and a bag on wheels as a get in the car and go bag.
    I’m very interested in general thoughts on the sustainability if carrying your chosen BOB weight.

    • D in MN says:

      My quick get away bag (Mostly for walking) weighs 10 lbs, I can carry 10 lbs fast as I need to keep ahead of the mosquitos.

  25. Exile1981 says:

    By tween took a survival class at school )we have a good local school and a crappy local school- guess which one they go to?) – afterwards she decided that she wanted her own BOB. we have small ones for each of the kids, but they are mostly clothing and some toys and a couple of snacks. Given that she is now 3″ taller than mom I guess it’s time.

    She designed her own bag after reading some online sites and thinking on what she wanted. I bought her a chinese military backpack as they work for narrow framed people. After she was done putting it together I had her wear it and go up and down the stairs 10 times, after that she realized it was too heavy and reduced the items in it.

    Her original set up was a little skewed, she had 6 MRE’s, a pound of candy, 2 knives, candles, flashlights, headlamps, road flares and a gallon of water.

  26. It’s easy to overload a bob. I made one up for each car and a spare. Some cash in small bills and silver as well as minimal shelter, food and water. Got some of the largest 5×7 first aid gauze too, wish I could afford the clotting stuff. Put the wife’s stuff in single sling diaper bag to not look tactical, diaper dude bags check them out. Learning a lot from you all, except George. Always been hard headed and ready to fight but with age comes wisdom.

  27. Dizzy Farmer says:

    KJV bible(personal preference), most important sword to carry especially in a time of hardship. Card board egg crate with dryer lint in the egg holes and melted candle wax poured over. Or 7/11 slurpee straw cut short (2″/3″) packed with Vaseline soaked cotton and the ends melted shut for water proofing. Also I find plastic grocery bags are super useful too many uses to list.

  28. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    For my area, two great ‘nice to haves’ are a hammock and bug net. Sleeping outdoors in the thorny jungle is very hard otherwise. The hard one for us – ground water sources are very scarce in these parts so being able to find and make it potable is very necessary, it is hard work in fact. The good part – very rarely does it get cold enough to freeze, snow is a 100 year event so winter is more bearable then up North. The time of year you bug out is unknown so having at least two kits for each might be a good idea.

  29. I keep a large bag weighing 70 lbs in my car and truck. In it I have a smaller back pack. Depending how far I need to go and the area I am in I take out what I need and leave the rest in the truck. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

  30. D in MN says:

    I have a BOB for a 10 second escape to my truck to leave immediately that includes essentails and food for a few days and tools for getting food after the packed food runs out.

    Given more time as I recently experienced was to evacuate from the forest fire a block away last month, I had 15 minutes to pack more survival gear which included a tent, my dehy and FD food storage, camp stove, air mattress, my 22 and ammo. lighter, dog food and their supplies, radio and my laptop plus personal items.

    I think it all depends on the time you have first, then space, and transportation available to carry all you need to bug out. I think it is wise to have several options for taking survival gear depending on these three things. It is good to have your vehicle already packed with basic essential bob, and a duplicate bag inside the home in case you have to go on foot.I suggest if you have more than than 10 seconds to leave in a vehicle, make sure your other survival gear is stored in one area close to your vehicle instead of scattered all over the house.

  31. Rick H. says:

    Don’t forget a couple pairs of dry socks and underwear, as well as a little bit of laundry soap to keep ’em clean. Hygiene is important in an emergency, both physically and mentally. When your world is collapsed into a single article of luggage, the little things will be what matters most. I’d also toss in a few photos of loved ones and a jump drive with copies of the vital info you may need, just in case you come home to…nothing. I’ve been there before, and it’s heartbreaking to find out everything you have is gone. Even the most basic of things then become priceless.

  32. TPSnodgrass says:

    I’ve thought (and prayed) long and hard about this very subject. We felt prompted to move out of my native “Golden State) and haven’t regretted it one bit. Great feeling to get OUT of the crush of humanity. We feel we were guided through hard work and inspiration to our very location we are now in and do not regret it. Barring a chemical attack of some kind, we are “bugging in”, for as long as we need to, we’ve set up excellent situations with our neighbors and have an outstanding personal support network for a variety of “contingencies”. We have been concentrating primarily on our “get home bags” and since we live in an area with hot, hot summers and extremely cold winters, we must by necessity rotate the contents of our GHBs’ at every change from or to Daylight Savings time. This we’ve found keeps us pretty current. We’ve got well broken in boots, appropriate clothing, emergency shelter, first aid kits(brother is an MD), and legal self defense “gear” that is always on us.(Thank goodness for a state where self-defense is considered a God given right). The GHBs fluctuate from time to time, depending on vacations, road trips, etc, if grandkids are with us, etc. They have their own travel/GHB gear as well. We have prepared faithfully, prayerfully, and with as much common sense as two people can muster-I’m lacking a tad in that aspect. Preparing for worst case scenario, praying for the best, reality will be somewhere in between those two points, we believe. Again, we already “bugged out” to a locale we feel best suits our purposes, based on prayer and study. Is it 100% fool proof? Of course not, no place on Earth at present is. Are we easily defensible? Yes, we are, and so are the neighbors, we’ve quietly had many a frank discussion about how we are going to defend our area, when the time comes.(and it will) Do we lay awake at night concerning ourselves with hordes of people/marauders? Nope, most will not make it out of the metro areas at all. Unless they have excellent screen and script writers. Life is real, movies and tele-films are not. Hope this helps a bit. Stay salty and faithful.

  33. Love almost every comment. I can use it like a check list. A couple of things I consider worth their weight are waxed dental floss and Lava soap. Dental floss can be used to sew up heavy coats, shoes and backpacks. Lava soap works great on poison ivy, and works great on ground in dirt (like sliding down a hill side on your backside) But then you guys are probably not as clumsy as I.

    • One thing many women forget is ” personal” monthly items. I bought some PUL which is leakproof, and used two types of super absorbent towels ( acquis) and very lightweight type. With this I’ve made 2-3 ” pads” which can be washed out and also used for soaking up blood injuries. You can make diapers for kids with the same stuff and not have to worry about throw aways or finding replacements. Alum works well for clotting and is cheap. I also have multiple- varied sized kits that work separately or together with BOB. I’ve also collected an assortment of hunting/ defense items that only have the necessary bits, as I expect to find or make the other parts. IE slingshot, bow and arrows, snares and so on. The important parts weigh little. One thing I highly recommend is a hammock of some kind and a poncho. Both can be used in a variety of ways. Last thing is Smartwool in various weights : short sleeve T, long sleeve, and bottoms. Very versatile! I even wore two of them in Hawaii. The rest has been mentioned by everyone posting here. Tooth Powder is great stuff too, with a number of other uses.

  34. D in MN says:

    Dove, I do the other. I take artificial (waxed) sinue for sewing mainly and split it down to use for dental floss. It cost me $5 about 10 years ago and I have a lifetime left on it.

  35. Archimedes says:

    You don’t need a Faraday cage for “plugs, points, coil, and condensers even a complete set of wires and distributor cap”. EMP will not hurt those things. Vehicles that old are safe, and most that are more recent are safe for other reasons. Only transistors, microelectronics, and hardware relying on integrated circuits are vulnerable to Electro-Magnetic Pulse. There goes the service station, and any other retailer. Let that potential (pun intended) be reflected in your kit. (And yes, I think there is an EMP event in our future.)

    • Archimedes,
      Good points on the Faraday cage; although, even for older vehicles, a set or two of alternator / generator diodes in a Faraday cage (i.e., wrapped in aluminum foil) would be a good cheap addition to the list.

  36. FALPhil says:

    Does anyone besides me wonder how 72 hours/3 days became the standard for a BoB?

    • It was the standard up until Katrina occurred. Now more emergency preppers and government agencies such as FEMA recommend having enough to sustain you for up to 5 days.

  37. Canyonman says:

    Sorry it took a couple of days to put this together, and sorry this is so long, but it may help me make my bones as a FNG. 🙂 For a while I had a nice little side gig assembling BOBs for those with no idea where to get such things. I stopped for various reasons, mostly because my wife and I “got out” and my priorities changed, and because I realized the people I was making them for would never actually bug out. There were variations, of course, but in addition to what M.D. has shown, here are things to consider. My apologies for any of these that have already been listed above.

    My system evolved, based on my time in the Army infantry, my love of the mountains, and testing a lot of theories. One big change was adding a fanny pack – a good, heavy duty camo’d version. I named this HAM (Haul Ass Mode) – when the bad guys and/or zombies are nipping at your heels, and you have to drop your ruck and beat feet. That means fanny pack, .22 rifle, and water. For that reason a military surplus 2-qt canteen (square) with sling is ideal, as it won’t be on or in the ruck. .22 is the ideal BOB weapon simply because of the weight of the ammo. The Marlin 795 was my choice, along with a Ruger P95 9mm pistol.

    The fanny pack should have ammo and whatever else you can cram in there – multitool, spork, lighters, paracord, cable ties, wire saw, area map, and a couple of candles. It’s much easier to get a fire going with a candle than it is with a lighter or match. Tiny bottle of hand sanitizer from Walgreens. Moleskin, individually packaged wet wipes (alcohol prep pads), small binoculars, P38 can opener, pocket Bible, The 10 Commandments, Declaration of Independence and US Constitution. I actually found a guy on eBay who sold them in a pocket size, and I always included those. A few index cards, mechanical pencil, black Sharpie, and three small 9-LED flashlights. A couple of packets of Kool-Aid – a pinch will make boiled water more palatable.

    I kept finding more and better ways to downsize the BOB items, so that this system was built on a medium US Army ALICE pack – standard 1970s-80s green, with support frame – and everything would fit in the pouches. These rucks have three exterior pouches, an interior pocket, and an extra pouch inside the main flap. That left the large main cavity completely available for food and clothing. T-shirts, pullover jerseys, and as many socks as you can get in there. No shirts with buttons. High end long johns, ski type that will wick away sweat. Stocking cap. Camouflaged rain suit – you can spend a fortune at Dick’s or Cabela’s, or look for military surplus. Consider a pair of moccasins for when you’re drying out your boots. Other than what you’re wearing, that’s it for clothing. Fill every corner of the ruck with food.

    For food, I’m adding foil pouches of tuna and Spam, and as much Ramen as you can fit in your bag. Forget MREs. A jar of peanut butter, a ziploc of instant coffee, and packets of honey and sugar. Protein bars, Granola, trail mix.

    Lots of companies (Coleman, etc.) make folding camp saws. Add a 10″ prybar, #43651 at Harbor Freight.

    Zorbeez shammy – much smaller than a towel. Ziplocs and water proof bags. Forget the sleeping bag – get an emergency bivvy, solar blanket, and a pocket hammock instead, they weigh nothing. Strap a camouflage tarp to the bottom of the ruck with bungee cords.

    M.D. shows a head net – I included a shemagh, full head mosquito net, and camouflaged bandana. Always stressed these to women – make yourself invisible and androgynous.

    Get a good bugoutfit (just invented that) together. Don’t try to look like a member of The Expendables, but don’t go Hello Kitty either. Good medium weight jacket you can strap to your ruck, rip-stop pants, spare no expense on a good pair of boots. AND BREAK ‘EM IN. Be neutral, be invisible.

    Douse your jacket, pants, and boots with Scotchgard.

    Good gloves, two or three varieties – work/leather, tighter mechanic/tactical gloves, cold weather.

    You can get a dusk mask and a good set of foam knee pads at Home Depot for $3 or $4. Again, very nice to have, weighs nothing. (Dusk mask? Remember 9/11?) Sunglasses were discussed; lots of military surplus desert goggles out there, too.

    Finally, I found a breakdown fishing gear set at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I believe Zebco makes them; rather like a large Pocket Fisherman, complete with carrying pouch. Very nice to have for $20 or so.

    Strap it all on and hit the road. See how it feels. Practice bugging out, jogging, running, filtering water. Don’t wait until The Big Day.

  38. john of sparta says:

    three things not mentioned, which i have in my bag:
    1. more bags. empty Ziplock plastic bags.
    2. flashdrive/SD card/whatever with updated info.
    3. pet stuff. pet food and even more pet food.

  39. one thing I placed in my and love ones bags, is insect repellent. I don’t see a lot of people talking about this, but if you running thru the woods, (ticks with west nile virus, etc) or trying to sleep outside, (them mosquitoes will give you a restless night) depending on the season of course. I also got a couple of gallons of ortho home defense for the “home fort”. got to keep them creepy crawlers out.

  40. This is a great post on what a bugout bag should contain. I also enjoy the detail put into explaining the reality of your average joe running into the forest and attempting to survive for an extended length of time. For most this isn’t feasible.

    It is extremely important to have a bag like this prepared and handy in case of any type of emergency situation. The problem however is if you don’t already have the suggested contents, than the bugout bag can certainly add up to some big bucks. I operate a site that sells pre-made 72 hour bags and other emergency equipment all reasonably priced.

    You can visit at http://www.SurvivalSets.com and save 25% today using promo code “25off” at checkout.

  41. I still haven’t seen any results for the writing contest that ended this month (or last?). Win or lose, it would be nice to see which article (and author) won the contest, and in fact if anyone did.
    I look forward to congratulating the talented person who took the time and effort to enter the contest.

  42. what about a container of multivitamins ?? .. I’m from Australia also where firearms aren’t anywhere near as readily available :/ .. but i like the ideas and equipment mentioned in the page .. some things i would never have thought of or known if i didnt read this page and its comments thank you preppers 🙂

  43. I carry a 18v 28w folding solar setup, a tablet, a netbook, and external BUS powered HDD’s with all sorts of entertainment, movies TV shows, books, encyclopedias, maps ETC. All wrapped in static “faraday” bags. Fits in the “laptop” pocket of my bag, nice and cushoned. Takes up about as much space as a phonebook total. If you have children…having a means to entertain not only yourself in dull times but them is crucial… Plus with a pair of Rino 120 radios in packs, its easy to upload maps and data etc.

  44. Having lived through a horrific ice storm in 1998 and an earlier “Mohawk crisis” in 1990, I found out first hand what it’s like ( in Quebec) to try to survive at home when the shit literally hit the fan. The Canadian armed forces literally rolled tanks down our streets trying to secure out neighbourhood during the Mohawk crisis ( we were later evacuated) and in ’98 we survived a week long power outage in -35 degree temps. No need to remind me of the importance of prepping as things do and will come up in our lives triggering that fight or flight instincts in all of us. I learned the need for tons of WATER, food, wood, meds and so on you can never have enough…

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