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.

Galco Holsters

In every bug out bag, you should have one good pistol that you are comfortable with. Whether that pistol is a revolver or a semi-automatic, you should be proficient at shooting it, and you should be able to carry it naturally. Depending on your local gun laws, and the environment that you are carrying in, it is ideal to carry concealed. Either way, if you are open carrying or carrying concealed, you need a dependable holster. Sticking the firearm in your pocket or shoved in your pants is not an acceptable way to transport it. You want a comfortable holster that you can trust to keep your pistol secured to your body. Galco holsters are a trusted brand, by military, police, and civilians alike.

Galco Holsters Shoulder Holster

Galco Holsters

Galco Vertical Shoulder Holster System

There are many ways to carry your firearm. As I mentioned before, the most ideal way to carry would be to carry concealed. This could include a shoulder holster concealed by a jacket or a vest. These are the holsters made famous by the 80’s television show “Miami Vice.” These holsters usually do not protrude from the body, making unusual bumps in your clothing where there shouldn’t be. Another plus to these Galco holsters is that they usually do not restrict your movement. You are able to move and perform tasks the same as you would if you were not carrying. One other advantage to the shoulder holster is that you are usually able to carry a couple of spare magazines on the other side of your body. The downside to this type of holster is that if you are in a position that you need to carry in the hot summer, you will stick out like a sore thumb wearing additional layers of clothing in the heat.

Galco Holsters Inside-the-Waistband Holster

Galco Holsters

Galco Waistband Inside The Pant Holster

Another way to carry concealed is to have an inside-the-waistband holster. I own a leather inside-the-waistband holster made by Galco holsters, and it is very convenient. It is a simple, brown leather holster with a black clip. The clip is worn on the outside of the pants and clips onto your belt. Moving around is somewhat limited, but not as much as I initially thought that it would be. Since you are wearing a belt, you are able to draw the pistol in close to your body and keep it there. I was kind of hesitant at first since it does not have a strap on top to keep the gun secure. I thought that this would be an issue, so I put it on and went for a little run. It wasn’t the most comfortable then, but the gun stayed in place. The downside to this is that you need to be wearing either jeans, or some kind of pants or shorts with a good belt on. You also need to wear your shirt untucked, as the butt of the pistol is above your belt.

Galco Holsters Underwraps Belly Band

Galco Holsters

Galco Belly Band Holster

The problem with both of these holsters is that during the spring, summer, and early fall is that I like to run around in a comfortable pair of gym shorts and a tee shirt. That is where my favorite of all my Galco holsters come in. The holster is called the Galco Underwraps Belly Band. This is the most versatile holster that I own. I will wear this around my belly when I am wearing a button-up shirt that needs to be tucked in. I will wear this around my waist when I am wearing my gym shorts that I don’t wear a belt with. I will wear this holster around my waist even when I am wearing my jeans, and I don’t feel like wearing my inside-the-waistband holster. The belly band has two places for your pistol, so you can wear your gun on either side of your body. If you want to cant the gun differently, you simply turn the belly band inside out. The belly band also has a pocket for a spare magazine, and a larger pocket for ID’s, keys, cash, handcuffs, or whatever small items you want to put in there. I wear this holster at least 90% of the time.

Galco Holsters Speed Paddle Holster

Galco Holsters

Galco Speed Paddle Holster

If your state gun laws do not allow concealed carry, but they do allow open carry, Galco holsters still has you covered. Galco has a fine line of paddle holsters. They are called paddle holsters because there is a “paddle” connected to the holster that is designed to slip on the inside of your pants, while securing your holster to your hip without having to wear a belt. These Galco paddle holsters are designed to hold your pistol securely in place while still allowing you to access your gun in a hurry. These holsters can be also be concealed, but in my experience they protrude from your body more than others, and are more noticeable. As far as comfort is concerned, these are the most comfortable holsters, in my opinion, as they do not hold the gun squeezed close to your body. Also, during the hot months, you do not need to worry about sweating all over your gun since it is not pressed against you. However, they do let your gun collect more dirt and dust since your gun is not covered by your clothes.

However you choose to carry your pistol, Galco holsters provide a bunch of options to suit just about everybody’s needs and wants. Galco holsters are tested to stand up to the most extreme conditions, and that is why they are trusted my the military and top police agencies.

Emergency Water Purification

One of the most important needs in life and while buggin’ out is the need for water. At the minimum, a grown human adult needs at least 1 liter (about 1.06 quarts) of water per day. If water weighs 8.35 pounds/gallon, and you need at least 3 liters, then you need to carry a little more than 6.6 pounds of water in your bug out bag. However, if you are going to be constantly walking, then you will need even more than the minimum suggested. Instead of carrying all that extra weight on your back and shoulders, you should look into some kind of emergency water purification for your bug out bag.

Emergency Water Purification by Katadyn (Vario Multi Flow Water Microfilter)

Emergency Water Purification

Katadyn Vario Multi Flow Water Microfilter

The Katadyn Vario Multi Flow Water Microfilter is an excellent addition to any bug out bag. It weighs a mere 15 ounces, and is only 6 1/2 inches in height. That is smaller and lighter than any standard water bottle. Yet its output is a huge 2 quarts per minute. That means less work and less time filling up your bottles or your hydration bladder, and more time moving to where you are going. Another smart feature on this emergency water purification unit is that a turn on the head of the unit engages the ceramic filter, thus extending the life of the pleated glass fiber filter that you use in normal conditions. When the ceramic filter is engaged, the output slows to about 1 quart per minute. Inside of the fiber filter is a replaceable carbon core that keeps the water tasting fresh. Unlike most water purifiers, this one operates on a dual piston technology. This means that it is purifying the water while you pull the handle up, and also when you push the handle back down. The only downside to this unit is that the filter is only good for up to 500 gallons, or about 1875 liters. Hopefully your bug out bag does not see this much action.

Emergency Water Purification by Katadyn (Pocket Water Microfilter)

Emergency Water Purification

Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter

The Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter is the “Cadillac” of the water purification units. This water filter is the choice for the U.S. military, and expedition units. The water filter has a silver-impregnated ceramic element, that is effective against bacteria and protozoa. The Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter filters out any microorganisms larger than 0.2 microns to provide you with the clearest, cleanest drinking water. This unit is a little larger than the previous one, but still a small 10 inches tall. It weighs in at just over a pound (20 ounces), but that is because it is made of more heavy duty materials so that it can handle being thrown around. This pump features a round handle which is more ergonomic than most units, and contains a cushioned base which makes pumping easier, regardless of the surface its set on. The output is about 1 quart per minute. That is slower than the previous model, but the reason is that the filter is better. The filter in this unit is good for up to 13,000 gallons, which is more than almost all other emergency water purification units. Also, this is the only water filter on the market with a 20 year warranty.

Either of these emergency water purification units are excellent choices for your bug out bag. Both units have been extensively tested by the manufacturer and various government agencies. I personally keep a Katadyn water filter in my bug out bag for the sole purpose of emergency water purification. There are other brands out there that cost less, but I believe that you get what you pay for.