Bug Out Bag

A bug out bag is simply a backpack with things you might need if you had to leave your home quickly and stay mobile for a few days. If you live in an area with regular natural disasters like fires and storms a bug-out bag can make your escape to much safer.

The most important items you’ll need are shelter, food, and water. The most important feature of your pack is portability which mostly has to do do with overall weight, your pack’s design, and your physical fitness.

Continue reading for some ideas for making a very complete bug-out bag. You’ll probably find that a sub-set of these items will meet your needs but I wanted to capture a complete list in one place. If you were to put all these items in a bug-out bag it would be much too heavy so choose carefully.


  1. Lightweight Sturdy Backpack
  2. Lightweight Cold Weather Sleeping Bag & Pad
  3. Collapsible Emergency Shelter or Backpacking Tent


  1. Filled Reusable Water Bottles (one gallon per person per day)
  2. Water Filter and/or Water Purification Tablets

Food & Cooking

  1. Cook Stove, Mess Kit, and Dish Soap
  2. Matches & Lighters
  3. Nonperishable Food Rations for 3 Days Minimum

Protective Gear & Clothing

  1. Warm Rain Resistant Cap
  2. Warm Water Proof Jacket
  3. Rain Poncho
  4. Water Resistant Hiking Boots & Spare Laces
  5. Sturdy Work Gloves
  6. Warm Gloves
  7. Sun Glasses
  8. Eye Protection
  9. Dust Masks
  10. Warm Socks
  11. Underwear & Long Underwear
  12. Sun Block & Bug Repellent
  13. Space Blanket

First Aid & Personal Hygiene

  1. First Aid Kit & Common Medications (Imodium, Tylenol, Aspirin, Benadryl, etc)
  2. Personal Hygiene Kit, Soap, and Moist Towelettes
  3. Handkerchief
  4. Personal Prescriptions
  5. Toilet Paper

Misc Gear

  1. Whistle & Signal Mirror
  2. Headlamp (AA Batteries)
  3. Small LED Flashlight (AA Batteries)
  4. Large Garbage Bags

Communications and Navigation

  1. Cellular Phone
  2. Maps (Include locations of public shelters, fire stations, evacuation routes, etc.)
  3. Compass
  4. GPS device
  5. AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio or Multi-Band Ham Transceiver(s) (AA Batteries)
  6. Binoculars


  1. Solar Battery Recharger for AA Batteries
  2. Spare Rechargeable AA Batteries
  3. Small Sewing Kit
  4. Multi-Tool
  5. Knife & Sharpener
  6. Small Folding Shovel
  7. Small Crow Bar
  8. Small Axe
  9. Rope/Paracord
  10. Duct Tape

Personal Items

  1. Identification (Passport)
  2. Notebook & Pens
  3. Cash & Coin
  4. Copies of Personal Documents
  5. Family Emergency Plan & Phone Numbers
  6. Financial Account Information
  7. Survival Books
  8. Bible (or other scripture)
  9. Weapons

Possessing weapons of any kind is a very personal decision. While weapons can protect you that can also make you more of a threat to other people including law enforcement. Before considering packing weapons in your bug-out bag check you local laws and obtain proper permits before carrying concealed weapons; and by all means be sure to get proper training and consider the risks carefully.

It’s also important to point out that guns and knives are not just weapons but can be extremely useful tools for defense and hunting. So while I emphasize the great care in the decision making process I also want to say that they can also be very useful tools.