bug out bag essentials

What is a “Bug Out Bag?”

A bug out bag, sometimes called BOB, is a bag that contains essential emergency items. The bag is intended to help you and your family survive in dire circumstances, like an emergency. For example, what if you had to evacuate due to a natural disaster like an earthquake, tornado or hurricane? Could you survive for the next several days? Could you feed your kids and keep them healthy? If you have a bug out bag that’s packed right, you most certainly could. Your bug out bag essentials matter.

If you are new to being a prepper or a survivalist, then this might sound a little confusing or overwhelming. Well, don’t worry, the team at Prep For That is going to help you build an amazing, life-preserving bug out bag. After reading this article, no matter what happens, you are going to be able to survive for the next few days.

Bug Out Bag Contents | A Personal Decision

What one person might place on their bug out bag checklist could be vastly different from what another person might list. People are all different. Everyone lives in a different region of the world; some hot and others cold. Some people live in mountainous terrain and others near the Everglades. There are different situations with seasons and bugs and wildlife that must be taken into account. My below list should be considered as a general starting point for a very basic bug out bag contents list.

Building A Bug Out Bag | Stop Stressing, My Friends

Building a bug out bag sounds like quite a chore, but the truth is, it just takes a little planning and a small investment. You can build a cheap bug out bag and I promise, you’ll sleep so much better at night for it. Knowing you’ve taken even a small precaution can often lower your stress level.

First things first, you are going to need a legit bag. You want something that’s got room, compartments and is waterproof and durable.  Clearly, backpacks can get rather costly. If you have it to spend, a nice military bag is always great to own and would serve your bug out bag purposes perfectly. However, if you want to cut some costs, Amazon has an affordable option that’s well-reviewed.  Past this expense, pending its a needed expense, let’s see if we can build the rest of the bug out bag in an affordable manner. You want to survive, but you also don’t want to be totally broke. I get it.

Here Are Some Bug Out Bag Essentials

Identification: If a crisis happens, you might be asked for ID if rescue workers move in.  Once the smoke and ash subside, or the waters recede, or the riots find calm, you will need an ID to potentially access bank accounts or your neighborhood. If you don’t always carry your passport, I recommend just keeping it in your Bug Out Bag. Pack this for family members as well.

Money / Cash: If the powergrid fails, or a hurricane or earthquake strike, it is unlikely that the ATM machines will be fully functioning. You will need cash. DO NOT JUST GET $100 BILLS. Get smaller ones. Places you need to use cash may not be able to make change. Make sure you get some smaller denominations.

Water: Without water, we can’t survive. You need to keep a water bottle inside of your bag, but unfortunately, water is heavy and you aren’t going to be able to carry a ton of it. You aren’t likely going to be able to carry enough for more than a day’s use (remember, you need clean water not just for drinking).So I recommend you get some purification tablets and place them inside of your bag. Purification Tablets are cheap and light, so you can carry a lot of them. And you might need a lot of them…PFT Recommendation: These are cheap, light and work.

Fire: Fire is essential for warmth. You need fire to cook raw foods. You may even need fire to signal your location to rescue operators. Fire can also help you out when there is no power, which is often the case following a disaster. You need to be able to light a fire. Unfortunately, using two sticks is likely not going to be your best option.

So, you should keep some matches and a lighter in a dry compartment of your bag. Your bag should be waterproof.

PFT Recommendation: Get a waterproof firestarter. It’s affordable and could save your life.

Food: Yeah, surprise, going hungry is not a good survival plan.  You are going to need food supplies which can last for at least 4 days, maybe more. Throw in some canned foods – beans, fish, chicken. You want sustenance, in other words, the most bang per can so that you can get in your calories for survival.

It is also important to understand that you will be exerting an extreme amount of energy walking and carrying things, maybe even sleeping outdoors. You will need calories for energy.  I’d suggest adding in some ready prepped meals.  You can get a huge box of these ready prepped that last 5 to 7 years, they come with heater pouches. It is never bad to have them in the house as well.

First Aid Kit: This is clear need. You get injured, you need to be able to fix yourself up. You might step on glass accidentally post-disaster. Lots of things can happen. Hydrogen peroxide, band aids, gauze, tape, scissors…all essential items.

Here is a good first aid kit on Amazon. You don’t need anything extravagant, just something that could help save you in a bad situation.  Not expensive and even has some cold compression pads.

A Knife: At bare minimum, have a swiss army knife in your bug out bag. Swiss army knives are super useful in all kinds of situations. Here’s an affordable option on Amazon.

Now, I’d also suggest a regular knife to use for cutting meat, or God forbid, self-defense. I’d peruse our best fixed blade knives section and our best survival knives section. I’d recommend checking out my Bear Grylls Ultimate PRO Survival Knife review.

Handgun: This is a personal decision, but I will say, if the world around you goes the way of chaos and famine, don’t expect people to be kind to you. You might need something to defend you and your family with. I recommend a Glock 43 with extra magazines. That’s what I have.

Here’s a picture of my Glock 43.

GPS Device: You really should have something, not your phone, that can guide you.

AMAZON has a FULLY STOCKED BUG OUT BAG. You might spend a little more, but you won’t have to build it yourself (personally, I love building stuff myself).

Bug Out Bag medications checklist. And also, check out our how to prepare a bug out bag to help you NOT make mistakes.

Bug Out Vehicles

You might hear of people talking about bug out vehicles. Bugging out isn’t just bound to bags, the truth is, you may need a vehicle that is prepper ready as well. What if you needed to grab friends and family in an emergency bug out situation? Would you have the room and supplies inside of your regular car? Most likely not.

Hey, any vehicle that works and has gas is a good bug out vehicle, but for more of a streamlined experience, you’d need to get more detailed than just that. A true bug out vehicle would likely hold at least four or more persons. It would have enough room for multiple bug out bags and lots of supplies. Most normal cars do not have such capacity.

Another key factor would be that it would be able to endure rough weather. It would need to be an all-terrain bug out vehicle. This has to already have you salivating if you are someone who loves cars and such.