The Guide to Preparing Bug Out Bags

Whether you are concerned about an earthquake, tsunami, extended power outage, or civil upheaval, there are numerous reasons to have a bug-out bag ready to help you through the next 72 hours of uncertainty. A bug-out bag is one of the most critical things you can have to assist you and your family survive during a disaster. During an emergency, your bug-out bag is your lifeline. Your bug-out bag could mean the difference between surviving a crisis and becoming another casualty. Because of its importance, you should prepare your bug-out bag before doing everything else, including stockpiling food and water and building fortifications.

What is a Bug Out Bag?

A bug-out bag is a survival kit designed to hold everything needed to live for 72 hours. A bug-out bag is a collection of goods and equipment that has been safely and securely packed inside a bag. A Bug-out bag also known as BOB is intended for you to take with you in case of an emergency or tragedy. However, why 72 hours? According to human biology, you can only go without water for 72 hours before you die. During a crisis or disaster, you would require one of these packs to utilize during an evacuation. It is ideal to store this kit or bag somewhere that is visible and convenient for access.

Difference Between a Bug-Out Bag and Get Home Bag

A get-home bag is a lighter bag designed to bring you home in an emergency, which hopefully won’t take you more than a few hours. A bug-out bag is a sturdy backpack designed to help you survive away from home for up to a week. Typically, a bug-out bag weighs between 20 and 40 pounds (about 10 to 15 kilograms), but the less the better because it will be difficult to carry on your back. The weight of a go-home bag is typically half that of a get-home bag. A get-home bag is normally something you bring with you, to keep either in your workplace or inside your car, whereas a bug-out bag is typically kept at home, in a location that is quick to grab and go in case of an emergency.

Importance of a Bug Out Bag

Possibly the most important survival item you will need is inside your bug-out bag. You would feel secure knowing that you had all you need to survive if you only grabbed your B.O.B. Different types of bug-out bags exist. Almost all of them would make a suitable BOB. For every type of emergency or disaster, there is no perfect BOB. It serves as a suitable bug-out bag as long as you have the necessities for survival.

Photo of a fully equipped soldier in uniform holding backpack

Essentials for a Bug Out Bag

You must base your bug-out bag construction on a few presumptions. It might be impossible for you to check into a hotel. It may not be possible for you to pause at a restaurant or shop for food. There’s a chance that you can’t get clean water. You may need to take care of your fundamental human survival needs, such as food, drink, and protection from the environment and hostile forces.

Fire Starter: 

In the outdoors, you can make a fire on your own with sticks, but since fire starters are so small and portable, they are preferable. Furthermore, you never know what kind of situation you might encounter. Even a brief search for the ideal sticks to use for a fire could take too much time. Fire starters are cheap, portable, and light. Pick up one or two, then pack them. You stay warm thanks to fire, avoiding hypothermia and exposure-related death. Your food is cooked by fire, protecting you against food poisoning. Boiling water using a fire makes it safe for consumption. Fire can serve as a rescue and help signal. Because fire is essential to our survival, it should be the first item on your bug-out bag list and the first skill you acquire. Your odds of survival while running are substantially poorer if you can’t make a fire. In so many ways, having fire can mean the difference between life and death.


There is a good probability that someone will get wounded if you have to bug out. You’ll likely be in risky surroundings and unknown territory, which could put you in danger of getting hurt. First aid basics like gauze and alcohol are used to clean and shield any potential scrapes or gashes. Although we hope that accidents and illnesses never occur, it would be negligent to be unprepared if they did. That includes having a fully-stocked first aid kit on hand. Additionally, your kit should be capable of taking care of minor issues like insect bites, scrapes, and debris removal from cuts. Major injuries should be able to be stabilized and tourniquet. A little stock of prescription drugs for ailments and pain is a smart idea. Along with supplies for sickness and injuries, you may want to bring some supplies for sanitation and hygiene. Your ability to maintain cleanliness will help you maintain both physical and mental wellness. Consider using eyewear, gas masks, or other facial masks, gloves, and other protective equipment to protect yourself from various hazards.

Hygiene Supplies:

Not only is being clean during an emergency necessary for your bodily and mental health, but it’s also a luxury. Bring enough soap, talcum powder, and baby wipes to last at least a few weeks.


Life itself is made out of water. Over 50% of the human body is made up of water. Respiration and perspiration assist us in controlling our body temperature. It transports our food to our cells. It flushes our waste and cleans us. Without water, you cannot survive for more than three days. Water is a substantial item that can take up a lot of room in your bug-out kit. However, it is crucial. We can’t go for very long without water. Water is more crucial to your survival than almost everything else. Consequently, you should pack some. The ideal is a water canteen. a robust, durable canteen that won’t crack or degrade quickly. Another suggestion is a water filter. So that you always have clean water to drink if you need it, you can filter whatever water you need to as well as refill your canteen in this manner.


You will eventually require funds for a purchase. Additionally, you never know when it might be useful. if you need to pay someone for support or even transportation. Cash can be useful in a variety of circumstances.


It is crucial to eat to provide your body with the energy it needs to perform the tasks you ask of it. It is crucial for maintaining our mental health as well. There shouldn’t be any food that needs to be prepared because it should have a long shelf life. As much high-calorie food as you can pack. Peanut butter is a perennial favorite. Protein bars also function nicely.


It’s a good idea to keep a few basic tools on hand in case you have any unforeseen needs. You never know what you’ll run into when you bug out. The number of tools you need to carry will be significantly reduced thanks to the abundance of multipurpose equipment. With just a few of these multitools, you can meet the majority of your demands while bugging out. A robust and trustworthy combat knife. or many knives. I always carry my folder along with a fixed-blade survival knife for tasks requiring a lot of sheer force. The most crucial survival tool you can own is a knife. Your survival knife can be used for a huge variety of tasks. With it, you can create, hunt, kill, and defend yourself. Therefore, include a good knife in your bug-out kit.


Your ability to find your way around any environment is crucial. Your GPS device should be able to tell you where you are and how to get where you need to go. However, GPS won’t work if there are conditions that make electronics or satellites worthless. You’ll need a few simple tools to keep track of where you are and where you’re heading unless you are an excellent outdoor navigator. Even with a map and compass, though, overland navigation can be challenging, so make sure to routinely study and practice it.


The ability to defend ourselves against the elements. Fire is important, yet it is ineffective on its own. To survive, you must also have shelter. If you’re on the run, you’ll need to be able to create a survival shelter if you’re going to survive. When it comes to shelter, knowledge, and experience are more important than gear. Depending on the surroundings, you should be able to construct numerous different sorts of shelters. You can include a variety of lightweight, compact survival items like tents or tarps that will give you the necessary protection from the elements to survive exposure in your suitcase. For weather protection, it is most important to at least cover your head.


There are other preparedness enthusiasts out there, and they are armed and dangerous since their only goal is to raid, rob, loot, and plunder to meet their demands. If they see you with them, they will be focused on your goods. You will perish quickly if you aren’t equipped to defend yourself against this. With a handgun, you can accomplish this the easiest. Handguns are simple to handle, carry, and conceal. However, they still do a decent job of shielding you and your loved ones from harm. There are further ways to defend yourself, such as with long-barreled weapons, tasers, or pepper spray. Less-lethal weapons can sometimes de-escalate a confrontation more successfully than frightening knives or guns. Be sure to carry extra batteries or darts if you decide to carry a stun gun or taser. Remember that this person is terrified, hungry, and wants what you have even if you are against using any lethal defense. They’ll try to destroy you. As harsh as it may sound, if you can’t return the favor, you won’t make it.


Nylon rope, paracord, and fishing line should be in your bug-out bag, so you may climb, drag, bundle, and organize as needed.


A flashlight is a necessity for any bug-out bag. However, when you live and work outside, their batteries usually seem to run out quickly, so carry plenty. Rechargeable batteries should be brought along in case you happen across a functional battery charger or for your universal charger.


Bring one change of clothing that is appropriate for the temperatures and weather you are likely to experience. Avoid bringing too many clothes or you’ll quickly run out of room in your backpack.


Something to help you pass the time when bugging out should be the least essential item in your bug-out kit. By doing this, you can prevent yourself from worrying or feeling afraid. Consider including modest items like a book or deck of cards, as well as a tiny notebook and pen for journaling, in your bug-out pack. All that matters is that you would find the activity you include enjoyable.

Communication & Signals:

Sometimes stealth and evasion are more vital than signaling. However, if your BOB is also used for camping or other excursions, you may need to signal for help. In that situation, you must know how to signal and ensure that you have redundant methods of doing so. Your only hope of survival may be rescued. You will also need to be able to communicate if you are in a group and become separated. The whistle and mirrors can help with this, but the simplest solution is to use two-way radios.

Emergency bag for earthquake

How to Select a Bag for Storing Your Bug Out Gear

The bag you use to transport your supplies is the most critical component of your bug-out bag. When shopping for a bug-out bag, consider the following factors

  1. Size: Your bug-out bag should be large enough to carry what you need but not so large that a single person cannot carry it for any distance.
  2. Frame: A frame better distributes the weight of a pack, allowing you to carry your equipment for longer, farther, and with less pain and strain.
  3. Compartments: Multiple compartments allow you to carry more and easily locate certain goods.
  4. Durability: Your bug-out pack will be exposed to extreme weather and may be with you for an extended period. Durability cannot be negotiated. Also, be certain that it is water resistant.

Tourists carrying backpacks capture the beauty of nature sitting on a hillside wooden terrace

Bag-out Bag Types

  1. Ordinary: In some cases, a simple backpack or bag might be incredibly useful. It is a good idea to blend in if you are in a position where you will be in contact with other individuals. You are far more likely to be assaulted, robbed, or stolen in these circumstances. You are essentially begging to be robbed if you are carrying a tactical bag with your things inside. Even if you’re carrying tactical equipment inside, having a soiled bag will probably help you blend in. If you are in a position where you may encounter a large number of people, a get-home bag may be more appropriate, as you will not be bugging out, but will be staying in a generalized local area.
  2. Tactical: Planning goes into the creation of a tactical bag. Using pockets, compartments, and flexible attachment methods, tactical bags can be customized to include whatever you require for the intended application. Being versatile is essential. Modular MOLLE or ALICE systems are frequently utilized in tactical bags. Modular, Lightweight, Load-Carrying Equipment, or MOLLE, is the load-bearing pack system now used by the military. It took the place of ALICE (ALICE stands for all-purpose, lightweight, individual carrying equipment). Both of these systems make good bug-out bags because they are made to be used by you in your circumstances with your equipment.

When Should the Bug-Out Bag Be Prepared or Packed?

A bug-out bag should always be fully prepared and ready to leave. These are intended for emergencies and must be used right away. It is best practice to exchange any perishable food and water items in bug-out bags to enhance their effectiveness. If clothing is involved, maintain it in the season to avoid getting hurt by extremely cold or hot weather.

Depending on the size of your family and where you live, you might want to include a few different items in your emergency disaster kit. If you want to survive a crisis, you must be ready. To make your life easier while bugging out or to prepare for those days, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on goods. So, only bring what you really must have. To know more about other items that you should pack with your bug out bag, check out the Guide to Selecting Items for a Bug Out Bag.