Bug Out Bag

17 Items to Pack in an Emergency Bag



Emergency preparation equipment on wooden table, on dark background | Items to Pack in an Emergency Bag | featured

As every prepper knows, early preparation plays an integral role in any crisis survival strategy. Every well-equipped prepper needs an emergency bag that contains food, health, hygiene, and self-defense essentials.

In this article:

    1. Essentials
    2. Hygiene and Health
    3. Logistics
    4. Daily Living Needs
    5. Miscellaneous

RELATED: What Is An Emergency Kit?

17 Items Every Prepper Should Carry in an Emergency Bag


1. Water

man in blue down jacket filtering water | emergency bag list

Survivalists should have at least three days’ worth of drinking water for every party member when scavenging for a hideout or bunker area.

On the other hand, your chosen bunker or camping site should have a nearby water source. If you cannot find a suitable hideout yet or are stuck in a location where you cannot get access to water, store at least two weeks’ worth of potable water per individual.

2. Food

The pot is burning near the tent in the forest at night | what to pack in an emergency bagCarry three weeks’ worth of non-perishable goods in your emergency kit. Similarly, your home or bunker should have two weeks’ worth of food stored in a dry, cool area away from direct sunlight.

Although, we advise delaying the use of your emergency food supply for as long as you can. If possible, source your food by hunting or picking fruits and veggies in the forest. Save the non-perishables for life-or-death situations.

3. Emergency Medication

White prescription pills spilled onto a table | emergency bag contents

Don’t forget to bring your prescription and maintenance medication. In a crisis where you do not have access to clinics, the last thing you would want is to fall ill.

4. Extra Clothes

Set necessary clothes for hiking | emergency bag checklist

Contrary to popular belief, survivalists cannot keep wearing the same set of clothes. Wearing fresh clothes at least every other day or so reduces your risk of catching various infectious diseases.

Also, sure you have a good mix of light and heavy clothing in your emergency bag. You wouldn’t want to get caught in the middle of a snowing forest with nothing but a thin shirt on you, would you?

Hygiene and Health

5. Essential Toiletries

Soap bar, liquid soap and toilet paper | emergency bag list

Bring your soap, shampoo, toilet paper, diapers, and other toileting essentials. Regular handwashing and sanitation will slow down the spread of germs, which is extremely crucial in a crisis where clinics and hospitals are closed.

6. Vitamins and Supplements

Pills and capsules in wooden spoon with fresh fruits | what to pack in an emergency bag

Vitamins and supplements can provide your body with the essential nutrients to fortify your immune system. Having these supplements can help complete your daily nutritional needs, especially if you do not have access to full meals.

7. First Aid Kit

First aid kit with pills on table indoors | emergency bag checklist

Bring a first-aid kit with you that contains everything you’ll need in the event of an accident. Some of the most crucial items include, but are not limited to, the following: topical ointments, wound cleaners, compression wraps, bandages, and pain killers.

RELATED: How To Make Seawater Drinkable Using Plastic Bottle


8. Cash and Tangible Assets

Hand holding money in dirty stone floor | emergency bag contents

A common misconception about crisis planning is that you won’t need money. This is far from the truth. No matter what crisis transpires, society will retain some form of economy, and its constituents will need to follow some type of currency.

Carry a good mix of fiat money and tangible investments like gold and silver. You need crisis-proof assets that would retain value even in a post-crisis society.

9. Communication Devices

Police are holding a communication radio | emergency bag list

Make sure you have battery-powered radio devices that you can use for daily communication. These devices play an especially crucial role in natural disasters and crises wherein you might get separated from your party members.

10. Map and Compass

two young tourist determine the route map and compass | what to pack in an emergency bag

Never traverse unfamiliar lands. If you do not have access to a GPS device or map, at least make sure you have a compass on you, so you don’t end up getting lost.

Daily Living Needs

11. Fire-Starting Kit

Bushcraft fire starting with fire steel and striker | emergency bag checklist

Having a campfire can spell the difference between life and death during crises. You can use the flames to torch your uncooked, bacteria-filled raw meat, and at the same time, it can also serve as a heat source during harsh winter nights.

With that in mind, always carry a small can of gas and a pack of matches. Although if possible, try learning how to start a fire using primitive tools such as a bow and drill gives as well so you can start a fire any time you need to.

12. Food Hunting Equipment

Squirrel Hunting | emergency bag contents

A knife and pistol can help you hunt varmints like squirrels, wolves, and feral hogs for food. That way, you don’t exhaust your emergency food supply right from the get-go.

13. Sleeping Bags and Tents

Young woman in warm blue sleeping bag | emergency bag list

Always pack a sleeping bag or tent. Sleeping on the cold, hard ground is not only extremely uncomfortable but doing so also leaves you prone to various diseases and illnesses.

14. Bleach

Watering a fruit apple tree in the garden from a metal bucket | what to pack in an emergency bag

Bleach is a useful multi-purpose solution you can use for various tasks, from cleaning clothes to disinfecting your water source. Make sure you have at least a few liters in your bag. And if possible, store a few gallons in your bunker or hideout spot as well.


15. Identification Records

Two Dutch Passports close up | emergency bag checklist

Carry important documents such as your birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, and social security number. You never know when you’ll need these documents in extreme crises.

16. Baby and Pet Essentials

Mothers bag with toy | emergency bag contents

Bear in mind that babies and pets have no way of surviving crisis situations without the help of a human adult, so it’s up to you to take care of them. Make sure you have their essentials stored away as well.

17. Self-Defense Weapons

A person is hiding a handgun under the denim belt | emergency bag contents

Carry one or two pieces of self-defense weapons. Instead of focusing on using large, intimidating weapons, focus on simple, functional tools that you can utilize to the fullest in different emergencies.

Plus, it shouldn’t take up too much space. Having a long, bulky rifle or shotgun hanging out of your backpack will do more than good,

Check out this video by BlackScoutSurvival where they share the ideal bug out bag checklist:

There are no strict rules or guidelines on what to pack in an emergency bag. Every household has varying needs. For example, families with small children might prioritize food and medication, while large groups of young adults may focus on security and self-defense.

Also, survivalists should strive to create a solid, efficient survival plan to go along with their bug-out bag. Emergency bag contents will simply serve as tools. Your chances of survival in any given crisis highly depend on your ability to utilize the available resources.

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What other essentials do you think every prepper should have in their emergency bag? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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  1. Danny R Brant

    May 20, 2021 at 12:33 PM

    Looks Great–Something I probably would purchase.. The only problems is I purchased the Spartan Sleeping bag with extra items and received all of the extra items without the sleeping bag. E-mails have been sent about the MISSING SLEEPING BAG but I cant get a Response! PLEASE RESPOND

  2. Deborah Searles

    May 20, 2021 at 3:48 PM

    I have had the same problem…ordered the thing in jan of 2019 and like u got all the free gifts but no spartan sleeper…i have called mulitple times and got the response that it was on “backorder” and would get high priority status on shipping it. Still nothing.
    +after the many calls and BS- now they say they cant even find my order.<< $20 bucks for the “free gifts” is not a deal.
    Past orders should be fulfilled first b4 trying to get someone else to order it. If I had not ordered it then why did I get all the free gifts that were included in the bundle?
    And they are still advertising that you can get the bundle….am not happy!
    Same thing is going on with the jackson bundle w “free hammock n other gifts)( $19.95 more gone) and the everslide matches(17.90) never verified a reshipment. I even had “jeff” call to confirm my order of 2 pulse bolt crossbows that I never got.
    this company needs to give us confirmation #s with tracking we can print out(not order #s that they seem to lose somehow. again not happy with the customer service on any communications.

  3. Joe Andrews

    May 24, 2021 at 6:53 AM

    Good article. Second time this week I have seen poor trigger position in an article. A major no no with any firearm handling.

  4. Thorneyrose

    August 9, 2023 at 8:56 PM

    What about loo paper?

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