First things first- what is a bug out bag? Do I need one? An emergency can hit anywhere, at any time, and come in many forms. A bug out bag, 72 Hour Bag, or Go Kit/Bag is your face any situation bag. It’s the bag of things that can help you handle and survive the widest range of situations. Are you worried? Will it make you feel better? Then you need one.
What we’ve put together is a rough list of gear that you should have in your bag at all times. Of course this is customizable, you include or exclude items as you see fit. Always keep in mind that this is something that you’ll need to carry and needs to keep you alive for 72 hours, 3 days. Now there are a number of scenarios to prepare for, this bag and list should get you prepped for the widest range. Which makes it a heavy bag. This is the bag you want ready at all times.
Don’t pack a bunch of extras, you want to survive not rebuild society. That means the focus needs to stay on you remaining, hydrated, fed, warm, dry, and uninjured. You want these things because to assume your path out and bug out location will work would be your first and last mistake, you need to be ready to handle disruptions. When customizing your pack think local, terrain, availability of water, temperature range, urban vs rural setting and alter accordingly.
The bag itself
Our choice for the actual bug out bag is the Tasmanian Tiger Raid Pack a classic military backpack that offers 52 liters of storage space for mid to long range excursions. But that’s our recommendation, there are so many options out there. Look around, find one you like, our feelings won’t be hurt and we’ll continue to post bags and recommendations. Just don’t go cheap!
The whole point of a bug out bag is that you don’t know what’s going to happen. So create a bag that’s always packed, ready to go and can do double duty in your home. Just make certain to replace immediately anything you use from the bag. You should also have a bag for everyone in the house that can carry one, built on their ability to carry.
Water is heavy, you do need to carry some. To help keep supplied you need to pack a filter and some tablets.
So with all that here is our list, as we go on we will go into a bit more detail on specific examples of each and why they were chosen.
- A first aid kit- look at our Blackhawk Medic Roll post.
- 32 oz of potable water
- collapsible vessel/canteen
- water filter- we like the LifeStraw
- water purification tablets
- food- freeze dried is lighter- just saying
- 20+matches in a waterproof container
- tinder/firestarter kit
- pot to boil water- mess kit
- extra batteries
- signal mirror
- flat roll of duct tape
- sleeping bag
- sleeping pad-optional
- a good fixed blade field knife
- a multitool
- 50′ of paracord
- waterproof pad & pen- rite in the rain
- important documents in a weatherproof case and on thumb drive
- some cash in assorted denominations
- dry bags, various sizes
- toilet paper- wet wipes
- toothbrush & toothpaste or powder
- a hat
- socks- good waterproof
- change of clothes
- weather appropriate accessories- gloves, goggles, etc.- adjust seasonally
- weatherproof jacket
- two way radio
- charging cable and plug
- Li-ion battery pack
- solar charger
- misc. fasteners and carabiners
- not to get into a debate- pistol and 2-3 magazines