With so many disasters happening everywhere around the world today, a lot of people are taking the idea of having a Bug Out Bag is critical to your survival. Just in case you are not familiar with the term Bug Out Bag, it means to have a sort of survival kit with essential items that will allow you to survive for a minimum of 72 hours should a disaster occur in your area.
Being prepared is always a good idea, but it often takes some thought and effort to ensure you are not caught off guard when the disaster does really happen. Ideally you should have a few scenarios in mind and work accordingly to ensure you have everything essential on hand to better your chances of immediate survival. Skills for survival are not really required with a Bug Out Bag, but whatever you decide to add to your bag is going to eventually have a huge impact on your percentage of survival in a disaster circumstances.
Let’s take a look Important Items for a Bug Out Bag:
This is so important. Research has shown the average person can only manage to go without water for 3 days, and even this largely depends on the individual’s circumstances. When a disaster occurs, there is no guarantee you will have access to clean, uncontaminated water, making water the number one essential item to include in your Bug Out Bag.
1 Liter per day per person is really the bare minimum. So your 3 day Bug Out Bag should have at least 3 liters of water.
To expand your capability or survive longer than a couple of days you will need a water purification system. This can be as simple as boiling water and iodine tablets, or a serious water filter.
You should also add a personal water filter such as a LifeStraw (click here to learn more) to your bug out bag to
Another must have selection in your Bug Out Bag is food.
For a 3 Day Bug Out Bag Backpack Meals and Energy Bars can be sufficient. Back pack meals are freeze dried meals that you just add boiling water to. They are light weight and last a long time. I recommend Valley Food Storage for my Backpack and Bug out Bag meals.
Ideally these should be items that would be suitable for a hiking trip.
- A pair of sturdy boots or shoes
- A pair of long pants (preferably not blue jeans)
- 2 Pairs of socks (preferably not cotton)
- 2 Shirts (Maybe 1 long sleeve and 1 short sleeve for layering)
- A Jacket that is both warm and protection from rain
- Warm long underwear of some kind
- A hat
- A Bandana
Be sure to plan for the weather in your area and all seasons you can see.
Packing some type of durable covering sheet to help you stay dry and out of any severe weather conditions is a good idea.
- Some type of tent or tarp and a way to set it up
- A ground tarp for underneath your shelter to stay dry or a sleeping pad (Never underestimate the importance of this)
- Some type of Bedroll, preferably a good sleeping bag.
5. First Aid Kit
This should ideally be the very first item to include in your Bug Out Bag. Injuries are a common occurrence before, during and after a disaster has struck and you should be ready to treat any injury, even if it is in a very basic manner.
Trying to cover everything you need in your Bug Out Bag First Aid Kit is another article entirely to itself (you can read that here) so I won’t try to cover it all
What I will do is recommend that you build your own First Aid Kit instead of buying one of those prepackaged first aid kits that claim to have 1001 things to get you through any emergency. While some are ok, most are not ideal for you and for your bug out bag.
6. Critical Gear
Critical Gear sounds so serious, but some people will look over this section if I say “basic”. And while some are common sense, I like to stress the importance of being prepared (duh).
- Rain Gear – at least 2 ways to stay dry in the rain. Poncho and Coat are good coupled with your Tent/Shelter
- Fire – A bare minimum of 3 different ways to make fire. I wrote more about this here: Surviving The Outside In Depth #9 Build Fire.
- You’re also going to need something to cut your firewood and a knife uses too much energy long term: What’s Wrong with Your Survival Saw?
- Cooking – Bare minimum here is a small pot/large cup to boil water in for both drinking and freeze dried meals. A small backpacking stove and fuel are better.
- Light – At least 2 dependable flashlights and a backup set of batteries for each.
- Survival Knife – The most used and most versatile tool in your Bug Out Bag is your survival knife. Read this article to learn what knifes you will need: Three Must-Have Survival Knives
The fact of the matter is you are might be dealing with a “Without Rule of Law” situation, or close to it, and people are likely to do crazy things. Being prepared to defend yourself is part of the survivalist mindset.
Obviously a firearm is going to be your best friend for your bug out bag. (Though not in all situations).
You should also have a trusty survival knife and an all multi-tool ready to go.
In the end, you should really be concerned with packing essential items that will allow you to survive for a bare minimum of 3 days. You may find that packing a few extra meals and more water will only help your chances.
Weight and size should be factored into the equation as this too will have some bearing on your survival, as you carry the Bug Out Bag.