Bug Out Bag

Bug Out Bag Essentials

Are you prepared to drop everything and “Bug Out” at a moments notice? How long will you last?

What is a Bug Out Bag?

A Bug Out Bag is essentially a backpack filled with essential survival gear, such as fishing line, pocket knives, and nutritional sustenance. Your survival in any situation will vary on how well you are prepared mentally, physically, and gear-wise. You’ll want to pack enough supplies to comfortably get you through at least three days.

Who Needs One?

Everyone who wants the best survival odds needs to pack a Bug Out Bag. It is crucial for everyone in the family to have one, in the event one is lost or stolen, you’ll have other Bug Out Bags to rely on.

When Do I Pack It?

There is no better time to start gathering materials for your Bug Out Bag than now. You can start by collecting small things such as waterproof matches, AA batteries, granola bars, hand-warmers and band-aids.

What Does The Bug Out Bag Checklist Recommend?

What you will require for survival will vary on your climate, situation and number of (invited or uninvited) guests you are bringing along with you. I’ve broken this list down for a single adult traveller. The checklist for children and pets are also below. Please check back for a printable PDF checklist in the near future.

Internal Frame Camping Backpack

TETON Bug Out BagA sturdy, yet light-weight framed and padded backpack should be properly fitted to your body. I recommend the TETON Sports Explorer4000 for $89.99, which has 4,000 cubic inches to store items in multiple compartments, which should allow you to get by for 2-5 days. It also comes with a rainfly to protect your gear and top and bottom compression straps to secure large items such as a sleeping bag, tarp, or blanket. No matter what you decide to use as a Bug Out Bag, keep in mind that neutral colors like Green, Brown, and Black are easiest to camouflage.


A gallon of water per person per day is recommended, but can get very heavy, very fast. For this reason, we recommend a LifeStraw or a Portable Water Filtration Device. Additionally, a LifeStraw Go Water Bottle or Collapsable Vapur Microfilter Bottle to drink from unknown sources of water.

Nutritional Sustenance & Supplies

Multi-UtensilYou won’t want to pack all food that relies on water, in the event that you don’t have access to it. Dehydrated Fruit, Jerky, and Granola Bars are light enough to carry. You may want to include a few MREs.  I recommend using Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program. It can save you up to 20% on your entire order and is shipped directly to your door automatically on schedule, as I recommend you refresh your perishables every 6-12 months.

You’ll also want to purchase a multi-functional eating utensil, like this Eat N Tool for $4.26. Since you won’t know how long you’ll be out there, it’s safe to pack a military grade can opener as well.

Keeping Warm

Stay toasty by packing waterproof matches, a Magnesium Fire Starter, and Mylar Thermal Blankets for $6.52. If fire-making isn’t your forte, invest in a compact hiking stove such as the Solo Stove which is able to boil water in 8-10 minutes, or bring a few pouches of Instafire Fire Starter.

First Aid

You can make yourself a small kit of Various Bandages, Quickclot, and Alcohol Cleansing Pads or grab an Ultralight/Watertight Medical Kit for $15.39. Be sure to pack chap stick for your lips and chapped skin.

Miscellaneous Basics

A multi-use flashlight like the Champ 8 in 1 which charges via hand crank, USB or AAs. (Don’t forget to pack a few extra AA’s – at the very least they are good for bartering.) A Multi-Tooled Pocket Knife can really get you out of a bind and when that isn’t enough, try a Fiskars 14″ Hatchet to chop up kindling or use as last-resort self defense.

And tampons. Yes, whether you are a man, woman or child, these can be quite useful!


If it is safe to stay on the ground, you’ll want to invest in a decent, lightweight tent with a rainfly, like the Guide Gear TeePee tent. Brightly colored tents will not camouflage easily. If you need to stay off the ground, a better investment would be a Camping Hammock.


You can never have enough rope, which is why I recommend you pack a length of paracord or grab yourself a nifty paracord bracelet. (This one doubles as a fire starter and a sharp eye knife.)

Pack two pairs of moisture-wicking socks, extra undies, and a hoodie for those cold nights.

Are You Mentally Prepared?

A “SHTF” moment can happen anywhere, at any time. Prepare yourself by learning some of our best life hacks and liking us on facebook to get constant ideas on how to prepare.

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Stacey Troilo
An avid equestrian, cyclist and mounted archer, Stacey is an experienced branding and social engagement consultant for small to mid-sized businesses. Her passion for homeopathy and emergency preparedness has been showcased around the web.