With so many things you want to stock up on, which bug out bag essentials do you really need? There are literally thousands of posts scattered around the internet. But the truth is, most of these lists are just guidelines, so take them all with a grain of salt. The ultimate bug out bag for you will be the one that you build from the ground up and fully customize.
Bug Out Bag Essentials | Stock Up on These for When SHTF
Your Pre-Made Kit
Not every list will work for you, and there is no single “perfect” pre-made kit. A hundred posts can be written about each and every item you need to stock up on (and we’re working hard to do just that!). Though, sometimes, you just need to know what you need to get and have it on hand without a lengthy explanation. This post is for just that situation, as we list the top 50 survival items you need to have stockpiled for a future SHTF situation below.
The Survival 50 Bug Out Bag Checklist:
- A quality survival knife.
- Cordage (550 Paracord for example)
- Small home cash reserve (varies based on income/expenses, at least 1 month’s worth of all expenses, if possible)
- Emergency wallet cash (small bills, usually no more than $100)
- A hatchet for splitting wood and other camp/retreat tasks
- At least two flashlights (one battery-powered and one powered by hand crank or other long-term methods)
- Hand-cranked radio
- Journal/notebook for recording information
- Basic tools (hammer, prybar, screwdrivers, etc.)
- Simple repair and construction materials (screws, nails)
- A tough pair of gloves
- Coveralls or tough clothing for rough situations
- A quality spare tire
- Car maintenance kit (an extra oil filter, set of spark plugs, a bottle of oil, bottle of coolant, headlight bulb)
- Car window breaker/seatbelt cutter
- Temporary tire repair foam
- A well-stocked first-aid kit
- Spare glasses/contacts.
- As many of your needed prescriptions as you can legally purchase
- Hygienic wipes (for washing without water)
- Feminine hygiene products (intended use is to soak up blood from wounds)
- Homemade or store-bought gravity shower
- Powdered bleach
- Trowel to dig cat holes for latrine
- Medical information card
- Concealable handgun
- A rifle appropriate for mid-range combat
- A rifle appropriate for long-range shots
- Extra magazines for all weapons
- A compass
- Topographic maps
- Roadmaps with bugout routes carefully marked
- Water filter
- Portable water bottle
- Water quality test kit
- Portable water filter
- Toilet paper
- A reusable alternative to toilet paper (family cloth, bidet etc)
- Legal documents including a will or deed to home/rental agreement
- Firebox for most valuable papers, cash reserve, and so on
- Basic 72-hour kit including food, water, and essential medicines
- Essential long-term grains and dry goods (rice, wheat, beans)
- Preserved vegetable and fruits (dehydrated, freeze-dried, canned etc)
- Comfort foods that are high in sugar (candy, cookies)
- Portable and durable foods (granola bars, hard biscuits)
- Water flavoring mixes
- Grain mill to grind wheat, rice, and nuts
- Solar oven to cook bread and other goods
- Resource books to use all the goods, tools, and resources you’ve gathered
Check out these 12 essentials for your bug out bag list:
When it comes to building a bug out bag, it’s not how much you have in your bag, it’s about what you have and how you can use it. Innovation is key and weight is everything. The lighter your pack is, the longer you can travel with it. It is in your best interest to know exactly what is in your kit and more importantly, how to use it. If you don’t understand how something works or why it should be in your kit, DO NOT put it in your kit! You never want to be doing something for the first time when you need it to save your life.
Surely, you have your own long list of bug out bag essentials. Share it with us in the comments section below!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.