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.