Everyone should have Bug Out Bag Essentials and a plan. It seems like more and more often we hear about the latest devastating natural disasters around the globe and you realize it CAN happen, it HAS happened and at some point, it COULD happen in your town.
What is a Bug Out Bag?
Simply put, a Bug Out Bag is a portable kit that contains the items you would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster. However, some kits are designed to last longer periods of time than just 72 hours. For the purpose of this article, we will assume your bag is for a 72 hour period.
Selecting a Bug Out Bag
A BOB can be a simple backpack, which is sturdy enough to hold the contents without tearing the seams. My BOB is a Patagonia Bag with a padded compartment for a laptop. If I was to buy another one I would look at the Solargopack or BirkSun bags with built-in solar panels for charging your electronics.
If you really want something seriously sturdy then get a framed bag. Check out the supply closet for BOB’s I find promising.
After you purchase your bag, DON’T remove the tags. Load it up with your supplies, put it on, and go for a walk or wear it around the house for a few hours. Does it feel sturdy? Is it comfortable? If not, return it and try another style. If it does work for you, take the tags off and you’re done until you need it or replace the contents.
Bug Out Bag Essentials Checklist
What goes into you BOB will depend on your personal needs –consider things such as your location and your health. I’ve listed some items for your consideration.
I like to use zippered pouches to hold each type of item, this way if I need a band-aid or something else, I'm not searching through every item to find what I need. Stay organized.
Food items should be lightweight and provide proper nutrition. I’m not a fan of MRE's or freeze-dried foods so I only pack food I currently eat. I also don’t want anything in my BOB that requires warming or cooking to be edible.
Example of food items for your BOB
- Water – I came across individual packs of water at the local army navy store which is compact and lightweight ( I keep 2 (8-ounce packs) in my cars glove compartment at all times)
- Dried raisins or craisins
- Small bags of nuts or trail mix
- Single Serve packs of tuna or salmon
- Single Serve packs of Peanut butter
- An individual bottle of booze (vodka, whiskey, etc.) why not, right?
- Don’t forget to include disposable utensils and a small manual can opener if you intend on packing any canned goods with a pull tab.
- If I can bug out in my car, then I’ll grab a grocery bag and load it up with stuff from my pantry like, beans and soups, etc. and any fresh bread or crackers, and bottled water that I have on hand.
Personal Hygiene Items
For the urban kittens that would not be caught without her face on, go ahead and include your must-have make-up, mascara, lip gloss, body lotion, makeup remover sheets, etc. Look for the individually packed travel sizes for ease. Again what you decide to pack will depend on your personal needs.
- Place items in a gallon size Ziploc bag
- Toilet Tissue
- Seat Covers – travel pack
- Waterless disposable toothbrushes and floss picks
- Dry Shampoo
- Bar soap
- Hair Ties or bands
15 Survival items to include in your Bug Out Bag
- Matches and/or Lighter
- Flashlight with batteries
- Bungee cord
- Swiss Army Knife
- Sewing Kit
- Thermal Blanket
- Water purification tablet
- Potassium Iodide pills (if you're concerned about nuclear fallout read Don’t Be Afraid, Just Prepare Yourself for the Unlikely Event of a Nuclear Blast
- Small roll of duct tape
- 2 Heavy-duty trash bags
- Dust Mask (store in a plastic zip bag before putting in your BOB)
- Handkerchief or Bandana
- Printed Map
- Pepper Spray
Bug Out Bag Medical Essential
- Small First Aid Kit
- Travel Size Advil, Tylenol Aspirin ( your preference)
- Eye Drops
- Alcohol wipes (individually wrapped)
- Snake Bite Kit
- All prescription medications
- 2 pair Yoga Pants (2 Long Sleeve T-shirts
- Change of undergarments for 3 days
- Nylon windbreaker
Keep a pair of hiking or riding boots and a warm jacket and blanket in the trunk of your car.
Bug Out Bag Communication Checklist
- I have a small flash drive that includes all my really important information.
- Hand Crank and Solar Multiband RadioSolar Charger for your electronics
- Charging Cords
- Car Charger
- Don’t forget your phone and any backup batteries and cords on your way out the door.
Examples of items to store in your Car
"better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it"
- Pick up a Duffel bag for coats, extra food items, blankets, etc.
- Igloo Cooler
- Camp Stove
- Portable Solar Generator
- Portable Tent
- GPS (most phones have this capability)
- Pocket Rain Coat
- Rain Boots
- Thick Rope
Even if you never encounter a major disaster that requires you to evacuate, having a plan is peace of mind. Do you have a Bug Out Bag? Please comment and let me know what you've packed in your bag.
Don't forget about your pet emergency bag