Bug Out Bag

What You Don’t Have In Your Bugout Bag




We all know the bug out essentials – paracord, survival knife, water filter, matches. However, there are so many items for a bug out bag that are often overlooked. S*** happens, right?

Geek Prepper put together a great list of items that you should have on hand when bugging out:

Sewing Awl:

A sewing awl is extremely beneficial in repairing items made of tough materials, such as leather or canvas. I've used this to repair my backpack straps, sew canvas, stitch a camp chair, to repair leather sheaths and holsters and even to make my own sheaths and holsters. If you can't buy new items and must repair, maintain and create your own, an awl will be one of your most valuable possessions! Don't forget to order extra thread and replacement needles!

Adjustable Wrenches:

Everyone should ALWAYS have at least one adjustable wrench in their bug out bag, in their car and at home in case of an emergency. For Bug Out Bag, I'd probably go with a 12 inch and a 4 inch, both wrapped in a camp towel to keep them quiet.

10-in-1 Screwdriver:

That's right! One screwdriver that can handle just about anything.

Long reach pliers:

Extend your reach into tight and narrow work areas. These always come in handy. When I don't have them is when it seems like I need them the most!


I like the outdoors as much as anyone, but if I'm hungry or cold, I want my fire now. I will make fire with firesteel or flint, sure, as soon as I run out of lighters. I have 10 lighters in my bug out bag. I have 2 in my first aid kit, I have 5 in a ziplock bag in each of my cars. I know I can light a fire with cold fingers using a lighter. 50 lighters is not too many, 100 lighters is not to many. Get some and stash them in all your cars and kits.

The Everstryke Match is an excellent lighter, and will start a fire in any weather condition, rain, sleet, or snow.



Carabiners are excellent and quick alternatives to tying a knot for tents, hammocks, clotheslines, etc. They tighten, create tension, and secure ropes, a hassle-free alternative to untying difficult knots and using ropes that quickly lose tension. They've made it even easier to use by adding a carabiner clip that attaches to any fixed anchor point.

Fishing Gear:

Everyone packs fishing tackle, but what about a tiny fishing pole?

The Pocket Fisherman Maps:

We're always pushing maps. We have to because if the SHTF and it's the type of situation where we need to lay low and avoid some form of military or government agencies (cough..FEMA…cough). Then you can bet we won't have ANY electronic devices on us for them to track or triangulate us with. We're talking old school, move at night stuff. Learn to navigate using maps and a compass. These books on navigation can help tremendously:

Map Reading and Land Navigation: FM 3-25.26.

The Essential Wilderness Navigator: How to Find Your Way in the Great Outdoors, Second Edition


Observe and scout before you move into an area. This is essential. If you don't do this, you will walk into ambushes or stumble into gangs of looters or worse! I found out the hard way that water-proof binoculars should be the standard for outdoorsy people and preppers. Trust me when I say you need waterproof binoculars!

Nail Clippers:

That last thing I want to die from is an infection from a hangnail. You can buy nail clippers anyplace, pick up a couple sets for your fingernails and toenails!

Automatic Watch:

A watch that is EMP proof and doesn't ever require batteries is essential.Knowing the date and time can help you plan your movements and help keep you sane. You can even use a watch to help you determine direction (see post: Determining Direction With Your Watch). I too have procrastinated on getting an Automatic Watch, but I have resolved that this will be my next purchase, because it's not a bank breaker and it's really important.


There is a reason that our military issues these to our troops. Keep crap out of your eyes while on the move. Dust, debris, and tree branches. Don't be blinded by assailants wielding “Pocket Sand”. Insect repellant. Ticks, mosquito and biting insects can be fatal, but they are always irritating. You'll have enough to worry about without bugs. Sunscreen: protect your head and face from sun. If you're not wearing a Shemagh or hat make sure to have sunscreen. Also think about Lip Balm.

P95 Respirator:

Keep your airways safe, while you breathe. There may be dust and smoke in the air.

Gas Mask:

If I have to use a gas mask (and we might), I'm going to use one from Israel (they fight and survive). These also use the NATO filters (Type 80), which you can find.If you have children, get the Child-sized gas masks too!

Free Paracord Bracelet - FireKable by Survival Life


Dromedary Bag:

While on the move, there may not be convenient water stops. Stock up on water whenever/wherever you can!

Nitrile Gloves:

You're going to be touching some nasty stuff, even if you'd rather not. You may be moving bodies or performing first aid. Keep some in your bag, your car and at home!

Hand Sanitizer:

Clean your hands before eating, or touching your face. Every time. Take no chances, not just after TSHTF, but day to day too.

Battery Converters or Adapters:

Turn your AA batteries into C or D batteries. This would be very very handy!

Feminine Hygiene:

Besides the obvious uses, tampons can be used to filter water and maxi pads make great bandages. There are a million uses for both of these items.

Waterproof Bible:

We'll all need some hope in a post Apocalyptic world. Hope may be all that keeps you going!

Compact Gun Cleaning Kit:

because crawling through mud makes guns dirty!

This list of Overlooked Bug Out Bag Essentials wasn't designed to be published, it was designed for me any my family to determine what we'd need that isn't normally included when thinking about post-TEOTWAWKI life. When I showed it to a friend, he was amazed and wanted a copy. He said he had the same experience when he showed it to other friends.

Read the rest of this list at GeekPrepper.org. Please use this list as a starting point to help you prepare for the worst!


Check out these related articles:

The Top 5 Ultimate Medicinal Herbs For Your Bug Out Bag

Customizing Your Ultimate Bug Out Bag

How to Instantly Cut Pounds and Ounces Off Your Bug Out Bag

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  1. Michael W. Perry

    July 20, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    That’s a great list for big ‘end of life as we know it disasters.” But for more every day, hum-drum ones, I suggest a with-with-you-at-all-times belt pouch to get you home that includes:

    1. A flashlight for dark places indoors. Cruise ships and ferries are a good example of places you don’t want to be in the dark.

    2. A compass for determining directions indoors and on unfamiliar streets. In a pinch, even if you don’t know the street layout, you can head in the right direction until the streets become familiar.

    3. 20 feet or so of cord strong enough in a pinch to support your weight. That’s for getting out of high or low places.

    It also makes sense to have at every place you spend time (particularly work and your car) a with-your-at-every-location bag that includes:

    1. The above.

    2. Comfortable shoes for walking long distances (especially for women).

    3. Warm clothes and rainproof clothes. You never know what the weather will be like.

    4. A day’s supply of food and water (or enough to get you home if home is further off).

    5. If work requires that you dress nicely, have blend-in, rough-and-ready clothes to walk home it. You don’t want to send a message, “I’m rich. Mug me” when the police are otherwise occupied and cell systems down. You can’t always have a gun with you. You can always look less like a target.

    Thinks of a major quake, flooding, or a terrorist attack that takes out public transportation and either blocks or jams up streets with traffic. First, you’ll be trapped in a building, then you’ll have to endure whatever the weather is for what may be a long walk home.

    And if you have kids, then always have what you need to take care of them. For instance, for small children you might keep child carrier or small stroller in the trunk. And for kids, do not forget comfort things, food they like and a favorite toy or two. Also, if you have kids in day care, know exactly what their response to a disaster will be and make sure it is sufficient. That will give you peace of mind until you can pick them up.

    Don’t forget that a disaster could come in pairs. When I was part of a emergency response team in Seattle, I told others that the worst case for the city was first for one of the blizzards that come every five years or so to paralyze the city and then have a major quake on top of that. No power, streets blocks and desperately cold.

    And it’s also worthwhile to take the time to get ham radio licenses for dad, mom, and the older kids. Get one of the sub-$40 VHF radios (some made by Baefeng) and have a plan about how to get in touch in the phone systems go down. Direct from handheld to handheld will work for a few miles. Beyond that, check locally and see if there’s a repeater that’ll be open for personal messages in a disaster. Most are likely to be taken over by various emergency services.

    –Mike Perry, KE7NV

  2. Teknix

    August 31, 2014 at 5:16 AM

    Ahaha, you have been putting wrong items, or didn’t put the right ones in your BOBs 😀 Dave Canterburry has this system of 10 C’s for a long time. I don’t know, if you don’t have these listed items in your BOB you don’t have a BOB at all.

  3. Pingback: Seattle Carabiner Survival Kit | spedianews.com

  4. Pingback: Items That Should be in Your Bug Out Bag | Survival Life

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