Putting together a bug out bag is best done with a checklist. If you’ve thought about what you need, you’ve probably thought of most of the things on this list already. Now all you have to do is to check them off and see what you may have forgotten. Here is what to put in my bug out bag:
- The Bag. Go for a camper’s backpack that comes with hip support to allow you to carry more stuff.
o Webbing and hooks
o Rainproof shell
- Equipment for Shelter. You need to have means to provide a roof over your head. Don’t always rely on the materials around you.
o Sleeping bag
o Compression sacks
Here's a video about what equipment for shelter you should have in your bug out bag.
- Clothing. Apart from your main set of clothes, always have an extra set in case your clothes get wet. It’s never good to spend the night with wet clothes, as it could be deadly sometimes.
o Extra pants
o Extra shirt
o Extra socks
o Extra underwear
Tip: you can switch between shorts and pants, depending on the weather.
o Gloves – make sure they’re durable enough to allow you to do multiple things such as lift heavy objects or operate firearms.
o Poncho or raincoat, although the former is better because it provides more utility.
- Food. Go for what’s nutritious but doesn’t spoil easy.
o Oats and cereals
o Meal bars
o Freeze dried packs
o Light snacks
o Can opener
o Titanium Spork and plate – Make sure the material is durable and easy to clean. For the plate, get one that’s curved up into a bowl for more utility.
o Some hunting/fishing equipment
Here's a video about what food you should have in your bug out bag.
- Water. It’s not just about bringing clean drinking water, but also having the means to get them.
o Water filters
o Water purifying tablets
o Canteen and stove kits
- Fire. Always have multiple methods of igniting a spark, just in case one method can’t be done in a situation.
o Portable fire starter kits
o Waterproof matches
o Cotton balls soaked in Vaseline (great for starting a fire)
- Health and hygiene. Always keep everything around you clean – it’s essential for your health and, ultimately, your survival.
o Your usual toiletries, such as soap, tooth brush and toothpaste
o Sunscreen and insect repellents
o Toilet paper and cloths for washing or drying
o Antiseptics and cleaning materials like dish soaps – always clean your dishes after eating!
o Hand sanitizer
o Prescription and other medication – Prepare medication for colds, aches, infections, etc. If you have special medical needs (i.e. allergies), make sure you stock up on the necessary medication as well.
Here's a video about what hygiene items you should have in your bug out bag.
- Utility Kit. These are absolute must-have items.
o AM/FM Radio
o Utility/Swiss Army knife – make sure you know all the features and how to use them
o First aid kit
o Large knife
o Duct Tape
o Paracord – at least 100 ft.
o Maps and a compass
o Sewing kits
o Flashlights – make sure to have extra batteries!
o Glow sticks – important in case your flashlight runs out
o Ziplock bags of different sizes.
When checking off this list, make sure you balance between getting everything you need and bringing what you can carry.