Every survivalist’s opinion on what’s best to place in a bug out bag differs a little, but there are some essential items that nearly every survival prep list should contain. As an important part of preparation for natural and man-made disasters, a fully-stocked bug out bag may eventually save your life. Here’s what your bag should contain.
1. First aid kit: You could fill an entire bug out bag with your first aid essentials, but unless your bug out bag is the size of the car, whittle your first aid kit down to essentials. It’s better to build your own first aid kit than buy a prepackaged kit that might have items you don’t need.
2. Food & utensils: Freeze dried meals are light and last for years. High-calorie energy bars are another option. Don’t forget simple utensils and a pot for cooking and boiling water (a must for water purification).
3. Water and water filter: Hauling water is difficult, but you’ll want to have some on hand, as well as a bottle that features a water filter on it. The bare minimum is a liter of water per day. Additionally, you might think about water purification tablets.
4. Radio & communication: A crank radio is the best option for staying informed about a disaster or emergency situation. You may consider a phone, but remember you might not be able to keep an energy-hungry smartphone alive.
5. Flashlights & batteries: Although you may substitute fire for flashlights in many cases, a working flashlight and extra batteries will never go unused in an emergency. Pack more than one compact flashlight and try to find one with a hook or magnet on it.
6. Simple tools: Versatile knives and multi function tools are essential, and you’ll want to include tools for starting fires. Some people even pack rifles for the purposes of hunting; however, firearms are only a good idea if you’re an experienced shooter.
7. Personal hygiene items: Brushing your teeth might not be the first thing on your mind during an emergency, but you’ll be thankful for these small luxuries in the event of a disaster or emergency.
8. Extra clothes: Extra socks, a hat, extra underwear, and a bandana are just a few of the small pieces of clothing you’ll want to bring. Remember to pack your bug out bag with the seasons in mind. Have two sets of clothing on hand for cold and hot emergency evacuations.
9. Poncho, tarp, and/or blanket: You don’t need a tarp that’s 20 feet wide, but you’ll be glad for the simple protection of a plastic poncho or tarp. Depending on the size of your bug out bag, you may consider a blanket. A compact tent is another item to think about.
10. Sewing kit: A sewing kit is a simple and versatile addition to your bug out bag, and it won’t take up much space.
Every bug out bag is different, and you’ll always get the best results by building your own. Take the next month to gather your bug out bag supplies and choose each piece carefully to ensure you have enough room for all the essentials. Additionally, repack your bag at least once a year to refresh items that might expire like food, batteries, and first aid items.