Preparing Bug Out Bags for Children

When you’re preparing to be in survival mode, focusing on bug out bags is just as important as preparing a room or basement for shelter. A bug out bag is like a survival kit that you take with you when on the go, with essentials to tide you over a few tough days. It may not be a home away from home, but will help to get one safely from a point of danger to a safe place.

Many adults who are aware of survival tactics might already have a bug out bag planned out or even packed up for themselves. They will have included items for the whole family, such as a tent and blankets, but you might also want to consider a separate bug out bag for your children.

The Importance of Bug Out Bags for Kids

A bug out bag is something you use in a crisis situation, but having one for your kid means a step towards their comfort and sense of security at a crucial time like this. When we’re thinking about how to survive with our family, our children might be undergoing a deep physical and emotional turmoil. In order to mitigate the toll a disaster can have on a child, equipping them with a bug out bag is a great idea.

Of course, young children can’t be expected to know things like pitching a tent on their own, and they certainly shouldn’t be left with fuel sources or fire starters. However, they can still have a few survival essentials with them when you all have to be on the go for your safety.

What’s more, when the children know that they have a bug out bag of their own and even help in preparing it, they’re less likely to suffer from mental pressure when the time comes. When you’re preparing this kit for them, make sure to talk in easy terms about the importance of preparedness and what they can do in an emergency.

Choosing the Bug Out Bag

Choosing the bag itself is an important part of making a dedicated bug out bag for children. There are several child-sized options in the market, so make sure you get one that your child is actually able to lift. They don’t need too many gadgets and gizmos; simply get one with enough space to hold things that might give them comfort. A pocket for a water bottle and some inside pockets for smaller items might also come in handy.

The bug out bag should also be strong enough to carry all the intended items, especially over a long distance. Inside, you’ll probably have items that are going to be a bit different from the bags belonging to the older members of the family. This is because the items are usually going to be those that provide comfort, familiarity, and a sense of security to the child.

There’s no need to buy a fancy bag, but a fun, colorful one might be of great attraction to the child as well. You don’t have to go overboard and get expensive hiking or military backpacks either; a strong, sturdy one would do.

What Should Be in a Bug Out Bag for Children

You would probably be carrying the usual survival gear yourself, such as thermal blankets, fuel sources, and other essentials. The kids, however, need stuff that will cheer them up, like a favorite stuffed toy, something sweet to suck on, perhaps even an iPad in order to keep them distracted. Screen time might be frowned upon in most circles, but this is one situation where you might possibly bend the rules.

Comfort items aside, a child would need some basic survival items just in case. This will help them feel like they’re a part of things, and also help to inculcate survival skills at a young age. Put the heavier items in your bag, and let your child carry some lightweight, safe items if they can handle it. Some examples of such items include:

  • A laminated card with a list of emergency numbers, including the child’s address, parents’ names and numbers, and any other information which might be of use if the child gets lost or separated from the group. No one likes to think of such a situation, but it does frequently happen in disaster and danger stations.
  • A burner phone or pre-paid cell phone. This is only if the child is old enough to handle a phone.
  • A poncho for protection from the rain or for providing warmth.
  • An extra pair of socks, gloves, and a hat, with the thicknesses depending on the climate you’re in.
  • Goggles, dust masks, and their inhaler if necessary.
  • Some emergency supplies, such as band-aids, wipes, etc.
  • Hand sanitizer or a bar of soap wrapped in waterproof paper
  • A water bottle or some packages of water if they know how to handle them
  • Miscellaneous items like flashlights, emergency whistles, etc. You can teach the child how to use them I case they get separated from you, or feel that there’s some danger lurking nearby. There’s a variety of brightly-colored options put there, so get something that the child will find attractive.

Finally, let’s see which comfort items are good ideas to pack in a bug out bag for children. These might not be items that you allow them every single day but are very useful in an emergency. You don’t want the child to be unduly stressed or anxious, so consider packing the following:

  • A small iPad, with a solar power charger for powering it
  • Some lightweight toys or stuffed animals
  • A small ball for playing games
  • A pack of playing cards or a travel-sized board game
  • Snacks with energy-boosting properties such as nuts and trail mix
  • Some sweet treats like candy, bubblegum, or even sugar packets if you run out of actual candy.
  • Packets of drink mix

There might still be some confusion about how to pack a bug out bag. Worry not, as there are several kits and accessories out there for you to choose from. Make sure to personalize and customize the bag according to your child’s needs and requirements. Some of the best items are reviewed below:

Where to Buy
Emergency Zone Keep-Me-Safe Children's Deluxe 72-Hour Emergency Survival Kit
Wise Food Emergency Survival Backpack Kit, Great Go Bag for Hurricanes, Fires, Earthquakes
Dorcy 55 Lumen Floating Waterproof LED Flashlight with Carabineer Clip Dorcy, Purple (41-2508)
GINMIC Ponchos Family Pack - Rain Ponchos for Kids and Adults, Assorted Colors, Extra Thick 0.03mm, Disposable Emergency Rain Ponchos for Family Travel, Camping, Hiking, Fishing
Deuter Unisex Kikki Alpine Green/Forest One Size


1. Emergency Zone Keep-Me-Safe Children’s Deluxe 72-Hour Emergency Survival Kit

This survival kit includes all you’d need for your child in a pinch. The kit will ensure that children will survive in any disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, and hurricanes.  Getting food and water during emergencies will no longer be a problem with this 72-hour emergency survival kit- it comes with energy-boosting dried meals and water pouches. The SOS items included in this kit passed the US standards. Also,  its water, and food ration pouches are approved by the US Coast Guard and contain low sodium to prevent unnecessary thirst. The emergency items inside this kit have a guaranteed 5-year shelf life. So, if you are looking for a comfortable, dependable, and full-packed kid emergency survival kit, this one from Emergency Zone Store is the top choice.

2. Wise Food Emergency Survival Backpack Kit

This is another survival backpack kit with several items that you’d need when on the go in an emergency situation. Whether it’s a fire, an earthquake, or any other disaster, you’ll be well-equipped with this kit. As far as a child’s bug out bag is concerned, the contents here are enough for distributing to the whole family.

With the items here, you can easily gauge what essentials your kid will need in their bag. Take out a few items from each category, such as bandages and food packages. With this, your child could learn quite a few survival skills while packing their bug out bag.

3. Dorcy 55 Lumen Floating Waterproof LED Flashlight with Carabineer Clip

This Dorcy waterproof flashlight is a great favorite among survival enthusiasts. With the carabiner clip, you can easily attach it to the outside of your kid’s big out bag for easy access. The variety of colors, including purple, pink, green and blue, will make sure that the child is interested in using the flashlight whenever necessary.

You’ll get this flashlight for a very reasonable price, but the performance gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It has a rugged design for outdoor usage, is waterproof, and will even float if the child drops it in water. The LED bulbs inside provide about 55 lumens of light and will run for about 8 hours and 45 minutes.

Perhaps what’s best about this flashlight is the ease of operation. It doesn’t have many fancy modes, but a simple switch that can be operated even by very young children.

4. GINMIC Ponchos Family Pack – Rain Ponchos for Kids and Adults

When you’re packing all the bug out bags, it’s just as well to have an extra supply of certain items on hand. Rain ponchos are one such item, especially if you’re traveling in a wet and rain=prone climate. These are disposable ponchos that you can use for the whole family, and come in assorted colors to appeal to the kids.

The ponchos are thick and durable, but also light in the bags and portable for your time of need. You can carry the extras in your own bag and make sure that every child has at least one in theirs.

5. Deuter Unisex Kikki Alpine Green/Forest One Size

Deuter backpacks are an excellent choice for your kid’s bug out bag. This particular one has a fun yet discreet design that won’t attract too much attention. It’s also sturdy and spacious enough for any child’s survival needs. Since the colors and design are unisex, you can get them for all the kids without any discrimination. There are different colors available, though no choice is too loud.

You get some handy side cargo pockets here, with a drawstring closure over the large main compartment. There’s also reflective paneling, internal name labels, and accessory loops for attaching flashlights, hand sanitizer bottles, etc. Those who get this option will probably not have to look for another one.


Preparing a bug out bag is a very important step, but it’s not difficult if you make a list beforehand. You might want to read up on some bug out bag items that are often overlooked, just to make sure you’re on the right track.