Every survivalist needs a bug out bag list to stay prepared for any SHTF scenario. What’s a bug out bag ? It’s a bag you frequently change the contents of due to thoughts such as, “Oh yeah! I forgot to add this item,” or, “Maybe the bag is too heavy,” or, “Do I have enough necessary items?” So, how do you get started packing a bag that is supposed to guarantee your survival?
What Should Be On Your Bug Out Bag List?
One of the simplest, most crucial steps in disaster preparedness is to have a well-thought-out and organized bug out bag list to aid in your preparations. This will ensure you have the equipment needed to make your departure from an area of disorder or complete chaos to a safe one.
Building your own customized bug out bag doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it should be a fun and enjoyable experience. After all, having a solid bug out plan, and knowing that you’re planning well-in-advance, should help put your mind at ease.
Make sure your bug out bag list includes items to address the following needs:
- Water and hydration
- Food and food preparation
- Shelter and bedding
- Heat source
- First aid
- Travel aids
- Self defense
How Heavy Is Too Heavy For My Bug Out Bag?
The truth is, there are always items you can add to your bug out bag list, but making it too heavy can be cumbersome. At the same time, if you remove an item to lighten the load, it could prove to be a mistake later. So, what is the perfect balance?
- Make sure you can carry your Bug Out Bag comfortably – You may have to walk for long distances. If your bag is ill fitted or too heavy, you might as well have taken your chances sheltering in place.
- Keep it SIMPLE – You are not trying to build a mobile home that you will carry around. Keep it simple to cover basic needs.
- Pack things that make you self sufficient – If you are thinking about an item that you will need to pair with something that you are going to need to source on the way, forget it. Pack complementary items that you can use both individually and together to save space.
- Plan your bag with a defined time period in mind. 72 hours is a good place to begin as this is approximately how long a person can live without water.
- Remember the goal here is survival, not luxury. If you do not need it to survive, leave it behind.
I will share with you some examples of lists that you can use as a guide for your own B.O.B. But first, I want to answer the most common question about 2 different types of bug out bags:
Are a 72-hour emergency kit and a bug out bag the same thing?
Yes and no.
A 72-hour emergency kit is a “type” of bug out bag. It is purposed exactly the way it was named: it should be constructed to get you through a 72-hour survival situation. The reason why many survivalists pick the 3-day window is because in most cases, you will be rescued and back in civilization by the third day.
— Survival Life (@SurvivalLF) April 4, 2016
The much larger bug out bag is what I call a Sustainability Kit — a bag that is constructed to get you through a much longer survival situation. Naturally, this bag will be packed a little differently and will be larger than the 72-hour kit.
Here’s a bug out bag list for both types of bags:
72-Hour Emergency Kit
I think EVERY family member should have two identical kits each: one set of 72-hour emergency kits in your home ready to grab at a second’s notice, and a second set of 72-hour emergency kits to keep in the trunk of your vehicle. I know it may sound like a little much to have two kits ready to go for each person, but when disaster strikes, you and each of your family members need to already have that safety net in place. Whether you’re in your vehicle or in your home, your emergency kits will be there — and what a relief it will be to each of you to have those much needed emergency supplies.
The following infographic is a great guide to follow for each 72-hour emergency kit.
Note: Some of the items on this list can be shared among family members, so you can save a little money and space by sharing items like a can opener, for example. Also, blankets and extra pairs of shoes are a great addition to your bug out bag list. And finally, any prescribed medications should be added to the first aid kits.
The Perfect 72-Hour Bug Out Bag List for Your Little Ones
Your Sustainability Kit – The Ultimate Bug Out Bag List
Your Sustainability Kit is quite different from the 72-hour emergency kit for the simple fact that it’s not designed for a 3-day survival situation – it’s designed for a 3-week to 3-month survival situation.
In a sustainability kit, you are going to want all materials to be borderline bulletproof, meaning leather, canvas and steel. Stay away from extremely lightweight fabrics and plastics, as these just won’t have the same level of durability that a sustainability pack requires, especially in the bitter cold. However, keep in mind that the more sustainable your pack is, the heavier it will be. This will limit your mobility and speed, and it will make you more tired by the end of a day of trekking.
A Drago Gear Tracker Backpack (as shown above) is a great choice for a sustainability kit. It’s durable and lightweight and has tons of space. Some of the features include:
- Dimensions: 18″ x 11″ x 11″
- Made of 600 Denier
- Ideal balance between capacity and transportability
- Compact pack provides ideal blend of capacity and transportability with compact design and 4 main storage areas
- Premium back- relief panel design for maximum comfort during extended use
- Internal organization system for securing tools and other items
- Hydration-pack compatible
- Made of 600D Polyester
Purchase the Drago Gear Tracker Backpack on Amazon.
Since your sustainability kit is for a much longer term survival situation, really consider and weigh all your options for its contents. Here’s a bug out bag list for you to use as a guide but, again, you can adjust the bug out bag list to fit your specific needs – prescription medications, any personal items, etc.
Now, because fully stocked sustainability kits can be expensive, I would suggest just having one per family member to keep inside your home.
The Best Sustainability Kit Checklist
The following bug out bag list infographic pretty much covers all the information you’ll need to have the perfect sustainability kit experience!
Did we miss anything? Share your own bug out bag tips in the comments below!
Need to stock up? The Survival Life Store has got all the essential all the Pillars of Survival covered:
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