Bug Out Bag List

You have decided that you need some kind of emergency plan, and that plan should include a bug out bag. But what now? Do you buy a pre-assembled disaster kit? Do you just wing it, and hope for the best? The truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect, one size fits all bug out bag list. My bug out bag is going to contain different items as the next guy’s bag. Everyone is different. You have different needs and wants than your neighbor. You may have a lot of similar items since you live in the same part of the world, but your bug out bag list will still differ from his.

Please note that this is my bug out bag list. What works for me may not work for you. Along with the research that you are doing right now, think about the different needs and wants that you have for your own bug out bag.

Bug Out Bag List – What Are Your Needs?

Regardless of how long you are “buggin out,” your primary need will be the need for water. The average adult will need at least 1 liter of water per day. It is a good idea to carry at least 3 liters in bottles, then have some kind of emergency water purification, as a backup.

Next, you are going to need some kind of food. I pack some energy bars, beef jerky, and some oatmeal. Another food item that some like to pack is rice. I personally don’t care for rice, but that’s just me.

Belt for your bug out bag list

5.11 TDU 1.5-Inch Belt

The next few items on my bug out bag list is different articles of clothing. In my bag, I have two extra pairs of underwear and two extra pairs of socks. Since I also have to worry about cold winters, I also pack a couple of extra pairs of long underwear. I have clothing sitting on top of my bug out bag so if I need to grab it in a hurry, I can get changed in no time. I like to keep a pair of cargo pants with a couple of short sleeved shirts and one long sleeved shirt sitting on top of my bag, along with my jacket. I always have a nylon belt, like the one pictured. Not only does my belt keep my pants up, but I also have a holster on that belt. I prefer this type of belt to a traditional belt because its always the right fit, I don’t have to worry about “fitting” in between belt holes. I also have my boonie hat sitting on top of my bag, I will be wearing it too. I will also have my sunglasses on my head, regardless of what season it is.

The next item on my bug out bag list is my first aid kit. You can buy a prepackaged kit, but its better if you make your own, for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that the 200 piece kits usually consist of 180 bandages, and a couple of other first aid items. The second reason why its better to make your own kit is so you can customize it, and you know what everything is used for. Depending on where you live, you may need items for snake bites. Also, if you are allergic to bee stings, that is something else that you need to keep in mind.

Bug Out Bag Multitool

Leatherman 830160 Surge Pocket Multitool

The next category is survival items. My first item on my list would be flashlights. I keep more than one bug out bag flashlight in and on my bug out bag. You are probably most vulnerable at night, and you don’t want to be totally blind. The next survival item that I’ll mention is my multitool. There are so many versions with so many different options, it is up to you whatever your needs are. The only thing that I would suggest is that you go with needle-nose pliers, instead of more of a “blunt-tip” pliers. My first multitool that I bought didn’t have the needle-nose. Once I got my second tool with the needle-nose, it was a night and day difference. I would also recommend a compass. Don’t rely on the “compass app” on your phone, in case you can’t charge your phone. Some people prefer to carry a machete, but I choose to carry a hatchet instead. I also carry water proof matches and hand warmers in my bug out bag.

My next category on my list is shelter. Some people may say that you can carry a tarp to sleep under, but how good is your sleep going to be under a tarp in the pouring down rain? I believe that you need a good bug out bag tent. If you are going to be on your feet walking all day, you need to be able to get a good night’s sleep. Also, if you are nowhere around a tree, what are you going to put the tarp on? Along with the tent, you are going to want a good bug out bag sleeping bag. You are going to want to get a bag that is large enough for you, and one that is rated to at least -10 degrees. Some say that you want a mummy style bag, but if it isn’t big enough, then it won’t do you any good.

Bug Out Bag 2-way Radios

Motorola MJ270R Talkabout Two-Way Radios

The next category on my bug out bag list is communication. My flashlight is a form of communication. If its daytime, and the sun is shining bright, a flashlight won’t do you much good. A signaling mirror would be a better choice to attract attention. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to yell for help, a whistle is always a good choice to call for help. A whistle is also helpful to scare away unwanted animals that may do you harm. If you are going to be travelling with a loved one, you may also want to consider some kind of 2-way radio. If you are going to get a set of these, consider a set with a weather and emergency channel. The set pictured have an emergency siren, an LED flashlight, and access to seven National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) channels.

Bug Out Bag List – Can I pack some optional items?

Of course, the answer is yes. I encourage you to think about it, talk about it with your wife/husband, and take some notes down. Some people like to pack cooking tools, along with hot sauce. The hot sauce makes anything a little more edible. Some also prefer bug repellent and sunblock. Some people prefer baby wipes to soap. Many people prefer to pack a roll of duct tape, because you just never know what you’ll need it for.

Whatever you choose to pack in your bug out bag, be sure to test it out a couple of times on a long weekend. This will tell you what you are missing, and what extra weight that you don’t need to pack. Remember, there is no right or wrong bug out bag list. Its all about your survival, so don’t take it lightly.

Bug Out Bag Flashlight

When disaster strikes, in whatever form, it usually won’t happen at 9:00 am on a Saturday morning when the weather is perfect and you have no plans for the day. Unfortunately, when the time comes that you need to grab your bug out bag and go, the circumstances probably won’t be ideal for traveling. The weather may be bad, it could be storming or snowing, depending on where you live. It may also be nighttime, and you may not be able to use your vehicle. In this case you will want to make sure that you have a dependable bug out bag flashlight with somewhat fresh batteries.

What You Don’t Want In A Bug Out Bag Flashlight

There are hundreds of different brands and hundreds of different designs of flashlights. That being said, obviously there is no “one, perfect bug out bag flashlight.” However, there are some flashlights that you will want to try to avoid. A rechargeable flashlight is one that you will not want in your bug out bag. If you do have one, that means that you will also have to pack the charger, which is added weight and space. Not to mention, if you are buggin’ out, where do you intend to plug it in and recharge it?

Streamlight LED Flashlight

“Lantern” Style Streamlight LED Flashlight

Another type of flashlight that you want to avoid is the “lantern style” flashlights. These are the types of lights with handles on them. The lantern style flashlight is the kind that is usually found on fire trucks and other emergency response vehicles. In most cases, these are normally rechargeable style flashlights too. You can find them powered by alkaline battery, although their light output is not as strong. They have big ergonomic handles that make holding them easy, even for a firefighter who is wearing thick gloves. Even with a convenient handle, they still get heavy after just a few minutes. Although their light output is awesome, and it seems like the beam can reach the moon, these too are also big and bulky. These kinds of lights do not make a good bug out bag flashlight.

What Is A Good Bug Out Bag Flashlight?

As I mentioned before, there is no such thing as the “one, perfect bug out bag flashlight.” There are always different situations where you will need different solutions. Personally, I stick with only one brand of flashlight. I will only buy a Streamlight LED flashlight. I was a volunteer fireman for a few years, and had one mounted on my helmet. That light never failed me. The worst thing that happened to it was some of the rubber around the lens melted, and some of the plastic lens also melted, but that is because it got a little warm in a few houses I was in. My first Streamlight LED flashlight is still with me. Additionally, the Streamlight company stands behind their products, which is hard to find these days.

Bug Out Bag Flashlight

Bug Out Bag Flashlight by Streamlight

One of my favorite flashlights, which is also my main bug out bag flashlight, is the Streamlight 2AA ProPolymer LED flashlight. This flashlight is small, its just a little over 6 inches long. It also has a little belt clip to it so when you are not using it you can just clip it on your belt, or I like to slip mine in my pocket. Its small enough that you hardly even notice that its in there. This Streamlight LED flashlight also has the rubber coating around the lens to make it shock and impact resistant. I have owned the Mini Mag Lights with the LED bulb in the past, and have dropped them before, and had to get a new light because it couldn’t be dropped. I have dropped this flashlight numerous times, and it has never hurt it a bit. Another thing that I really like about these flashlights is that the on/off switch is in the tail cap. This makes signaling very easy. If you need to flash your light quickly to get someone’s attention, this feature makes signaling easy. The specs on this light from Streamlight says that this light on 2 “AA” batteries is rated for 18 continuous hours. You should not need to pack spare batteries for this bug out bag flashlight.

Is There Any Other Kinds of Bug Out Bag Flashlight I Should Consider?

Bug Out Bag Flashlight

Bug Out Bag Flashlight Headlamp

I believe that you can never have too many flashlights. I was stationed on a submarine when I was in the Navy, and when there are no lights, it is really dark since there are no windows. Since then, I almost always carry a flashlight with me, and I like to have a spare close by. One of my spares that I carry in my bug out bag is a headlamp type flashlight. The one that I have is the Streamlight Argo HP C4 LED headmount flashlight. It is nice to have a light mounted on my head so that I can have both of my hands free. I have not needed to use it in an emergency situation, such as starting a fire, but I have used it before while working on my car at night. The guys over at Streamlight have made these “C4” LED flashlights so that they have the battery usage of an LED light, but have the range and brightness of a xenon bulb. These flashlights also last up to 30 hours on low mode, which is about 25% output, for 30 hours. No need to pack spare batteries for this light either.

Streamlight LED Flashlight

Streamlight LED Flashlight KeyMate

I also have one other redundancy on my bug out bag. Notice I said on, and not in. I keep three of these little Streamlight KeyMates on the zippers of my bug out bag. They are small, just over 2 inches long, and they are lightweight. I like these because they have the little keychain lanyard attached to the tail of them. They are small enough that they never get in the way, but I have an extra light or two if I need them in a pinch. The ones that I have also came with red and green light filters that I can put on them. I don’t use the green filter, but I do like the red filter at night so that my eyes don’t have to readjust to the dark after looking at something through the red lens. The reason that I can carry these lights on the outside of my bug out bag is that they are designed to withstand the weather. Although they are small, these lights are o-ring sealed so that it keeps any water out. The batteries for these little 1 ounce lights are rated for up to 96 hours run time, so you should not need to pack spare batteries for these lights either.

There are many options in selecting your bug out bag flashlight. Ultimately, you will have to decide what is right for you as far as size, weight, and dependability. I choose Streamlight because the company stands behind their product, 100%. I also choose Streamlight because the prices on their products are not outrageous. There are many flashlights, in my opinion, that are lower quality, but cost more than Streamlight flashlights.